Friday, 30 Dec 94 Washington, DC
1. PSYCHIC PREDICTION: THE 1990 BUDGET ENFORCEMENT ACT IS DOOMED!
Although the White House and the Newtonian Congress are trying to
outdo each other in promising tax reductions, the pay-as-you-go
restrictions of the Budget Enforcement Act require tax cuts to be
offset by reductions in entitlement programs. But politicians
are convinced that tampering with entitlements is suicide. What
will they do? Change the law! So here's the picture: revenues
are headed down; weapons spending up; and entitlements are off
the table. Unless putting poor kids in Boys Town can save $60B,
discretionary programs, including science, must absorb the cost.
2. SPACE STATION UPDATE: OOPS! THERE'S NO MONEY LEFT FOR SCIENCE!
NASA figures that the microgravity research program on the space
station will need the support of 240 scientists on the ground by
FY98. So far they have 73. According to a just-released General
Accounting Office report, however, NASA's plans to increase the
ground-based effort don't agree with its own funding estimates,
which show funding for such programs remaining flat through FY99.
3. ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING: PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS ONLINE IN JULY.
The American Physical Society and Online Computer Library Center
(OCLC) agreed to make PRL available electronically through OCLC's
Electronic Journals Online system. OCLC is a nonprofit computer
library service whose network covers more than 19,000 libraries
in 61 countries. PRL is the world's foremost rapid-publication
physics journal; its brief reports of important research cover
all fields of physics. PRL is just the beginning: APS Editor-in-
Chief Ben Bederson says the other APS journals--the five parts of
Physical Review and Reviews of Modern Physics--will soon follow.
4. UFO DELEGATION: THIS MAY NOT BE EXACTLY WHAT IKE HAD IN MIND!
In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower founded People to People,
a program to promote world peace through international contacts
outside of official diplomatic channels. The Citizen Ambassador
Program claims to be the descendant of People to People. And in
March, Dr. Leo Sprinkle, a counseling psychologist from Laramie,
Wyoming, will lead a delegation to England and Ireland to share
new information about encounters with UFOs and Extra Terrestrial
Intelligence. Invitations to join the delegates have gone to UFO
investigators, psychiatrists, psychologists and hypnotherapists.
The cost is $4575 each for a grueling two-week schedule of visits
to such "hotspots" of UFO activity as Stonehenge and to Silbury
Hill, a central location for crop circles. Organizers suggest
delegates consult a tax advisor before deducting their expenses.
5. DEFENSE DIVERSION: DISNEY SIGNS CRADA WITH SANDIA NATIONAL LAB
to develop an improved device for igniting pyrotechnics at Disney
theme parks. Sandia's experience in setting off big fireworks may
put the US ahead in a technology China dominated for 1500 years.