Friday, 24 July 98 Washington, DC
1. POLITICS: THIS IS NOT A GOOD TIME TO BE A NOMINEE.
seems, is getting confirmed these days. In a dispute with the
White House over nuclear waste disposal, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)
is threatening to block a vote on confirmation of Ambassador Bill
Richardson as Secretary of Energy. Meanwhile, the nomination of
Neal Lane as Director of the Office of Science and Technology
Policy is languishing, even though Rita Colwell has already been
confirmed to replace him as National Science Foundation Director.
That could leave Lane with no place to sit down. The President
could be forced to make a number of recess appointments.
2. NASA: THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL HANG OUTS.
met at NASA's Ames Research Center this week to begin developing
a five-year plan for astrobiology research. While the three-day
"roadmapping session" discussed the search for extraterrestrial
life, Celestis, Inc. offers to make you part of it. For only
$49.95, your DNA can be launched into space on the Celestis
Encounter 2001 spacecraft. Deep-space radio transmissions of the
names of the Encounter participants will herald your arrival.
3. THE VIEW FROM SPACE: IT INSPIRED THE FIRST ASTRONAUT.
Shepard, the first American astronaut and one of only 12 to set
foot on the moon, died July 21. Viewing Earth from the moon,
Shepard was moved to tears by its beauty and fragility, but Vice
President Gore's proposal to let everyone share that experience
with the Triana spacecraft, which would be launched in late 2000,
has not moved Congress. Bringing everyone this inspiring view
might be a fitting tribute to a man who inspired the nation.
4. EMF: BIOELECTRIC PENDANTS -- STATE DINNER CHIC?
Cherie Blair, wife of the British Prime Minister, was recently spotted sporting
a "bioelectric" pendent. According to its designer, chiropractor
Charles Brown, the pendent wards off "electromagnetic radiation
from modern office equipment." The Bioelectric Shield Co., which
makes the pendant, told reporters the pendant was recommended to
Mrs. Blair by Hillary Clinton. WN notes that neither Cherie nor
Hillary has been harmed by EMF while wearing the pendant.
5. MIR FACES CRISIS: HARD HATS ARE ADDED TO FALL FASHION LINE-UP.
As Mir contractors go unpaid, concern mounts that Russia's space
station might be allowed to reenter Earth's atmosphere in an
(WN 26 June 98).
In a letter to Vice
President Gore, Rep. James Sensenbrenner pointed out that fears
of falling space stations might erode public support for the ISS.
Mr. Sensenbrenner explained the consequences somewhat differently
in a letter to the Russian Prime Minister. "Ensuring Mir's timely
and safe return from space," he said, "would improve prospects of
making adequate resources available to participate as a full
partner in the International Space Station." Clear enough.