Friday, November 17, 2006
Last week a New Jersey court sentenced Patrick Kelly of Kuna,
Idaho to five years in prison for defrauding investors in United
Fuel Cell Technologies. I don't know Kelly, but in 2000 I got a
letter from the Genesis Project in Boise, ID inviting me to join
other scientists in developing an energy-efficient process for
separating hydrogen from water. Bad smell. Two years later a
company called Genesis World Energy claimed it had succeeded. WN
cried "scam" (WN 13 Dec 02) .
Scams that claim to break the First Law of Thermodynamics are not
uncommon. What made this scam different was that the Genesis web
site said they weren't taking investments. However, only one
month later, President Bush in his State of the Union address
proposed the Freedom Car, "powered by hydrogen, and pollution
free" (WN 31 Jan 03) . Timing
is everythng. Deep-pocket investors begged Genesis to be let in.
On Tuesday, the Center for Inquiry held a press conference at
the National Press Club in Washington to issue a declaration
urging that public policy be based on science rather than faith.
The declaration was signed by a number of leading scientists and
advocates of strict church-state separation. The Center for
Inquiry is an outgrowth of the Committee for the Investigation of
Claims of the Paranormal, which publishes the Skeptical Inquirer.
There are lines all over the country to buy the PS3. But Beverly
Hills Teddy Bear Co. is betting on a different horse: a button-
activated, foot-tall, bearded Jesus in hand-sewn cloth and
sandals. He recites such bible verses as, "No one can reach the
Kingdom of God unless he is born again." That oughta grab 'em.
There were reports this week of "behavioral problems" associated
with the antiviral drug, but the maker, Roche, says new data
shows the effects are from the virus, not the drug. The Defense
Department hopes so. It stockpiled huge amounts of tamiflu.
Donald Rumsfeld hopes so too. He left DOD, but he's a major
stockholder in Gilead Sciences where he was once CEO. Gilead
holds the rights to tamiflu which it outsources to Roche.
Resveratrol, already shown to reverse the effects of obesity in
mice, as we reported on 3 Nov 06 , has also been shown to
increase their stamina. However, researchers say it's impossible
to drink that much wine. We can but try.
Even as demand for the untested superstitions soars in the West.