Friday, 2 April 1999 Washington, DC
1. FUTURE ENERGY: PERIPATETIC CONFERENCE TAKES ANOTHER HIKE.
First it was to be held "under the auspices of the U.S. State Department"
(WN 5 Mar 99).
When State discovered it had a New Age weird-science cult on its hands, it told the First International Conference on Future Energy to go elsewhere. "Elsewhere" turned out to be the Commerce Department
(WN 19 Mar 99).
Then Commerce found out what it was "in cooperation with," and gave the meeting the boot. It's now scheduled for a Holiday Inn in Bethesda, 29-30 April, sponsored by Infinite Energy Magazine and hosted by the Integrity Research Institute. The organizer, a U.S. patent examiner named Tom Valone, told me he has 20 years' experience in "emerging energy technologies." How many, I asked, have emerged?
2. SPALLATION SOURCE: SENSENBRENNER DROPS A NEUTRON BOMB.
Declaring the management of the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge to be "in turmoil" and spending to be "lagging," James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Chair of the House Science Committee, recommends that NO construction funds be appropriated for FY 2K, even as he described the project as "scientifically meritorious" and praised the choice of Dave Moncton as project director. What also triggered Sensenbrenner's tirade was a "use tax" imposed by the State of Tennessee. The tax is "totally unacceptable," he said; "under no circumstances should any funds be appropriated for SNS construction at any site that imposes such a tax."
3. THAAD: PENTAGON GOES AFTER THE GOLDEN SPINNING WHEEL AWARD.
Awarded annually by WN for the best spin on the news, it looks like the competition will be fierce again this year. On Monday, the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense was tested again. A senior Pentagon official proudly announced that "16 of the 17 test objectives were met." Translation: It missed the target.
4. SPY HYSTERIA: SHELBY CALLS FOR A MORATORIUM ON LAB VISITS.
No charges have been filed against a Taiwanese-American scientist fired from Los Alamos, and the Cox panel report is still secret
(WN 26 Mar 99).
Nevertheless, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) wants to halt all visits by scientists from "sensitive" countries to nuclear weapons labs. Meanwhile, President Clinton appointed former Senator Warren Rudman to lead a review of lab security. Former APS President Sid Drell is on the Rudman panel.
5. 1999 PIGASUS AWARDS ANNOUNCED BY TELEPATHY ON APRIL FIRST.
The James Randi Educational Foundation bestowed yet another honor on Jacques Benveniste, the only person to win the Ig Nobel prize twice
(WN 9 Oct 98).
Benveniste transferred the digitized memory of homeopathic water via the internet from Paris to an ordinary bottle of water in Albuquerque, NM. The coveted flying pig trophy was sent to Benveniste via psychokinesis. No word yet on whether he received it. More on the Pigasus awards next week.