Friday, 15 August 97 Washington, DC
1. BREAKTHROUGH PHYSICS: NASA CONDUCTS CLOSED WORKSHOP.
been the policy of WN to keep readers informed of truly paradigm-
shattering developments -- particularly in August when Washington
becomes a ghost town. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let me into
the propulsion physics workshop underway at NASA Lewis
(WN 30 May 97).
According to Aviation Week, the purpose of the workshop is
to decide which breakthroughs to pursue. Under consideration are
superluminal travel, inertia modification and free energy from
vacuum fluctuations. An experiment on the Podkletnov gravity
shield (WN 7 Feb 97) is already underway in conjunction with the
University of Alabama. Aviation Week points out that if it's
successful it will reduce the need for heavy-lift boosters. It
should be pointed out that it would also lead to a violation of
the first law of thermodynamics. A 19th century patent for a
perpetual motion machine consisted of a heavy drive wheel on a
horizontal axis. If a gravity shield is inserted under one side
of the wheel, it becomes unbalanced and rotates -- continuously.
2. TAX BILL: STUDENT CAMPAIGN PRESERVES THE TUITION TAX WAVER.
In a lesson to their teachers, graduate students took the lead in
opposing a provision in the House version of the tax bill that
would have eliminated the exemption for tuition wavers
(WN 13 Jun 97). Largely as a result of student lobbying, the Senate version,
which left the waver provision alone, prevailed in conference.
The beneficiaries thus included faculty and employees.
3. CONTROLLED DATA: ATTEMPT TO FORCE THE RELEASE OF RAW DATA.
Some of the most powerful lobbies in Washington were behind an
amendment to the Treasury spending bill that would have compelled
federally funded researchers to make public their raw data. The
amendment, introduced by freshman Representative Robert Aderholt
(R-AL), was defeated by a last minute lobbying campaign by
research universities. Behind the amendment were industry groups
such as the National Rifle Association and the American Petroleum
Institute. They want to be prepared ahead of time to deal with
studies that reflect badly on their industries. Appropriations
Chair Bob Livingston (R-LA) opposed the amendment, however, and
it was defeated in committee. Alas, it is certain to pop up in
some other bill. Leadership on the Science Committee is split,
with Chairman Sensenbrenner (R-WI) supporting it and ranking
minority George Brown (D-CA) lobbying against it.
4. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: HOMEOPATHY BY TELEPHONE.
Benveniste reported in Nature in 1988 that an "infinitely dilute"
antibody solution still evoked a biological response, scientists
were amazed. The water remembered! He later learned the memory
could be erased by 50 Hz magnetic fields (WN 31 Dec 93). Now he
proudly announces that the memory can be digitized and sent over
phone lines to potentize your water anywhere on Earth.