Friday, 23 April 1999 Washington, DC
1. HEADACHE: BAYER SCIENCE PROGRAM NEEDS A LITTLE WORK.
It seemed like a good idea.The aspirin maker took out a
large ad in the New York Times on Tuesday to promote its
volunteer employee program,"Making Science Make Sense,"
aimed at getting kids interested in Science. As an example,
the ad suggested getting them to start thinking about "why
lighter things fall faster than heavier things." That even
started the WN staff thinking! If this program is going to
work, it seemed to us, the place to start is with Galileo's
"Dialogues." Here's the new version.
Even without experiment it is possible to prove
by clear and conclusive argument that Aristotle's assumption
that a heavier body falls more rapidly than a lighter one is
Watch it Salviati, Aristotle's paper was peer
reviewed. Are you claiming that lighter bodies fall more rapidly?
Of course, Simplicio,otherwise if you were to
join a small stone to a larger stone, the heavier would be
I get a headache just thinking about it, Salviati,
but be careful who you call retarded. So Aristotle was wrong - it's
really light objects that fall faster?
You're slow Simplicio, but you've finally got it.
2. GREENING EARTH SOCIETY: SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT
A full page ad in yesterday's Washington Post shows a
chimpanzee covering his ears - refusing to listen to the good
news: CO2 levels are going up! Pretty great huh? Plants
thrive on CO2, the ad explains, making this a greener, more
productive planet. It's one of Nature's building blocks.
Without CO2 life on Earth would cease. So don't be a chimp,
do your part to make this a better world: trade in your dinky
little economy car and get an environmentally-responsible
sports-utility gas guzzler, turn up the thermostat and burn
those hydrocarbons. Support for the ad came from electric
utilities and the Western Fuel Association.
3. SPY HYSTERIA: THE COX REPORT HAS STILL NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC.
The Director of Central Intelligence issued a "Statement on
Damage Assessment" this week. Although information on nuclear
weapons obtained by China, "probably accelerated its program
to develop future nuclear weapons," the statement acknowledges
that, "We do not know whether any weapon design documentation
or blueprints were acquired. We believe it is more likely that
the Chinese used US design information to inform their own
program than to replicate US weapons design." The White House
and the Cox panel are reportedly near an agreement on how much
of the Cox report will be made public
(WN 2 Apr 99).
no charges have been filed against the person suspected of
leaking the information. However, those at DOE responsible for
leaving him in his sensitive position for more than a year after
the FBI investigation was completed, may face the axe.