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NHNE News Brief 59
Friday, May 2, 1997
"A thought-provoking exploration
of the extraordinary times in which we live."
974 days until January 1, 2000
Total Paid Subscribers: 129
Total Online Update Mailing List: 825
Our Deepest Fear
Marian Shrine to be Established
Ram Dass Suffers Stroke
FDR as He Really Was
What Color is the "Tiger"?
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
The Core of the Matter
A Good Job
Wonderful, Centered & Inspirational
USGS Statement Incorrect
"Volcano" -- The Review
The "Real" Volcano Story
UFO Radar Images a Hoax
CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
Math in the Fields
Antimatter Fountains Discovered
Man vs. Machine -- The Sequel
The Power of Healing
Cloning May Heal Spinal Cords & More
Fit, Not Fat
The Marketing of the Millennium
I Seek You
ABOUT NHNE & HOW TO JOIN US
OUR DEEPEST FEAR
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
---Marianne Williamson via Mary Anne Buchowski
MARIAN SHRINE TO BE ESTABLISHED
(Source: USA TODAY, 4/30/97)
Late last year, the 20-foot shimmering image of what many feel is the Virgin Mary appeared on the tinted glass exterior of an office building in Clearwater, Florida (News Brief 44). Since that time, more than one million pilgrims have visited the site. Now the owner of the building, Mike Krizmanich, says he is convinced the apparition is a gift from God, and has decided to turn the building into a permanent home for the apparition. The building will only be used for spiritual purposes. He plans to set up the shrine himself, without the involvement from any outside religious organization. (JG)
RAM DASS SUFFERS STROKE
(Source: HOLLYHOCK HOLISTIC LEARNING CENTRE, 4/24/97 via Sandy Ezrine)
Ram Dass, noted spiritual teacher and author, suffered a stroke on February 19th. Though he has a long road ahead, he is making steady progress toward recovery in California. Ram Dass has been a major force in consciousness research, the exploration of Eastern metaphysics, and most recently, social action and service in projects related to AIDS, dying, socially-responsible business, health care and aging. SwiftWing reporter Sandy Ezrine comments: "I have spent many hours with Ram Dass at workshops and lectures and many more listening to his wonderful tapes. It doesn't seem to matter what the topic is, for me, he is one of those few people where just being in his presence creates a sense of peace and harmony. He was just finishing a book on conscious aging when the attack ocurred. I don't doubt that he will have a different viewpoint now. His mantra since this happened is 'Patience, persistence and acceptance.' Even with the challenges he is facing, he continues to teach us all. I feel that Ram Dass will 'speak' again and use his learning for the betterment and enlightenment of the baby boomers who are approaching their 'mature' years." To support his recovery, the HOLLYHOCK HOLISTIC LEARNING CENTRE has invited two colleagues of Ram Dass' -- Joan Halifax and Zuleikha -- to lead a benefit retreat May 25 - 29 at Hollyhock Holistic Island Retreat in British Columbia (100 miles north of Seattle). The $425 CDN (approximately $325 U.S.) tuition will go directly to support Ram Dass' recovery. Meals and accommodations are extra. For more information, call HOLLYHOCK at 800-933-6339 or visit <http://www.hollyhock.bc.ca>. If you want to send a message to Ram Dass or get an update on his progress, visit: <www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/Heights/1143/ramindex.html>. (JG)
FDR AS HE REALLY WAS
(Sources: Evan Thomas, NEWSWEEK, 5/5/97; Maria Puente, USA TODAY, 4/30/97)
The Vietnam Memorial in Washington was a much-needed symbol to unite a nation and heal the wounds of a terrible war by recognizing a neglected portion of society. Ironically, the recently-dedicated memorial to FDR, a president who was wheelchair bound for the last 23 years of his life, has created division and strife amongst the disabled population. Protesters, angry at the fact that Roosevelt's paralysis has been given scant attention by the designers of the memorial, have been threatening to leave wheelchairs, crutches, leg braces and canes inside the memorial to call attention to the oversight. Bowing to the pressure, President Clinton has recently announced that he would back legislation requiring the Roosevelt Memorial to display a statue of the late president sitting in a wheelchair, claiming that if FDR "were alive today, he would have insisted on being shown in his wheelchair." The joint resolution is being drafted up now and is expected to pass. Meanwhile, Brandenburg, Germany recently dedicated a memorial to the 9,000 physically disabled, mentally retarded and others deemed "unworthy" and executed in the Nazis' euthanasia program. (JG)
WHAT COLOR IS THE "TIGER"?
(Source: John Leland & Gregory Beals, NEWSWEEK, 5/5/97)
The sudden rise of Tiger Woods -- at 21, perhaps the second most popular athlete in the world -- has illuminated some of the fault lines in the ways we think about race. In strictly mathematical terms, Woods' heritage is one quarter Thai, one quarter Chinese, one quarter white, one eighth Native American and one eighth Black. But most constructions of race in America revolve around a peculiar institution known as the "one-drop rule": anyone who acknowledges a single black ancestor is Black. The rule is a warped legacy of slavery, devised to ensure that the offspring of slaves and masters would remain enslaved. Recently, when Woods was asked on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" what race he belonged to, he answered simply, "The human race." In fact, he has coined the word, "Cablindasion," to combine Caucasian, Black, Indian, and Asian. Perhaps he is the true sacred buffalo symbol prophesied so long ago that would amalgamate the four colors of humanity -- white, black, red, and yellow -- heralding a remarkable era of peace and healing, when once again the gods would walk the Earth. (JG)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
THE CORE OF THE MATTER
"I appreciated the NHNE Special Report on Heaven's Gate. I'm sure that it must have been difficult to sort through all the issues, but once again you managed to get right to the core of the matter. I couldn't agree with you more, regarding the responsibility we all share to make certain that what we believe is valid. Heaven's Gate is truly a 'wake-up call' for all of us. Keep up the good work."
---Helena Rocca, Bright's Grove, Ontario, Canada
A GOOD JOB
"As an ex-subscriber, I want to commend you on your posting about the Heaven's Gate disaster. I have always been impressed with NHNE's objectivity. I identify with your desire to remain open to new information about the universe and spirituality while at the same time being able to sort out the valid, thought-provoking new ideas from sensationalism. The fact that you emailed the Special Report to everyone you could reach (both subscribers and non-subscribers) reminded me that you are still out there and are deserving of support. I am sending you a check today to renew my subscription. You are doing a good job."
---Linda Simpson, Charlotte, North Carolina
WONDERFUL, CENTERED, & INSPIRATIONAL
"I found your Special Report on Heaven's Gate to be a wonderful, centered, and inspirational essay, plus a fine selection of other people's reactions, thoughts, feelings."
---Michael Mariner, Boulder, Colorado
USGS STATEMENT INCORRECT
"I used to work for the government measuring the activity of earthquakes and other seismic activity. The USGS statement in News Brief 54 concerning the frequency of past earthquakes being less because of fewer seismic stations is incorrect. Theoretically, one seismometer could record every quake on Earth. The only thing it would not be able to do is locate the epicenters -- three monitoring sites are required to pinpoint a quake. I don't know why the USGS would have said this. Perhaps they want a bigger budget so they can install more equipment?"
---James M. Collins, Colesville, Maryland
[We received the following comments from the USGS on the above letter:
"The rate of seismicity has not changed globally. The rate of seismicity was a bit higher in Southern California a few years ago, but it has gone back to normal now. I suspect that an increase in the number of seismometers globally has resulted in an increased number of RECORDED earthquakes. One seismometer, even the best we have, cannot record ALL earthquakes around the globe. An increase in the density of seismometers in a particular area will increase the number of small local earthquakes recorded in that area, and those are important for a large variety of reasons [such as earthquake prediction].
---Lisa Wald, USGS Pasadena Field Office]
"VOLCANO" -- THE REVIEW
By James Gregory
Volcano is a typical disaster movie starring a destructive volcano in downtown Los Angeles, a hero in the Director of the OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MEASURES (OEM) (Tommy Lee Jones), and a lovely geologist (Anne Heche). A few minor characters get melted by the lava, and there are subplots of the hero's daughter getting lost, the Assistant Director at OEM really running the show, and race relations in LA getting cooled by fighting hot lava together and realizing that everybody is the same color when they are covered in ash. While the movie is a scientific lightweight, if you can suspend critical logic, you might find it an enjoyable, fast-paced, roller coaster of an adventure.
Steve Malone of the Geophysics Program at UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON comments:
"What's a volcano doing in central LA [and] how can the whole thing from start to finish take place in less than a day? There are so many other technical mix-ups, exaggerations, and outright goofs that it is [only] worth mentioning a few which stand out. There are so many explosion type things -- many with backsucking of fire, steam and smoke emanating from ponds, fountains, man-hole covers, basements, subway tunnels, and cracks -- that one should consult an exorcist rather than a geologist. The cause of the volcano is explained [away] by the lovely geologist as plate tectonics: "There are oceans of molten lava down there and sometimes a crack just opens." While some of the scenes of flowing lava look almost real (filmed in Hawaii), it usually doesn't act like lava, doesn't cool after traveling blocks, but then is conveniently tamed by a row of portable concrete barriers and some squirts of water. Volcanic bombs sail for blocks, explode like an artillery shells, but then sit there glowing red. Enough complaining. The OEM dudes are great. Jones does all sorts of hero things, but the real hero is Emmet (Don Cheadle), the cool-talking Assistant OEM Director who runs the show. He is able to mobilize huge armies of emergency equipment through gridlocked streets to build barricades, dig canals and topple buildings in only 20 minutes, and tell jokes while doing it. The geologist doesn't display much geologic knowledge, [but] she can run all sorts of beeping and flashing 'lava-o-meters' and the movie gives her credit for helping save the city. While the story and dialogue are more entertaining than 'Dante's Peak,' the geological bizarreness, silly special effects, and ridiculous rescues downgrade it to a 'C'. In comparison, I rated 'Dante's Peak' a 'B.'"
Michael J. Carr of Geological Sciences at RUTGERS UNIVERSITY adds:
"As a fan of the old Star Trek, I have only three grades for volcano/geology movies:
-- 'B': The geologist survives.
-- 'A': The geologist survives and gets the girl/boy.
-- 'F': All other outcomes (usually death)."
Since the geologist survived but nothing really developed between Heche and Jones, I guess Carr would award the movie a "B."
Ken Hon and Cheryl Gansecki of KA'IO PRODUCTIONS, INC. based in the town of Volcano, Hawaii, supplied the Hawaiian eruption footage to 20TH CENTURY FOX that was used in "Volcano." They also provided lots more that was used by the special effects wizards to make the fake lava. KA'IO PRODUCTIONS have challenged sharp-eyed movie buffs to see if they can spot the authentic lava scenes. Winners of "Am I a Real Volcanologist?" Contest receive free volcano videos and will have their answers posted at: <email@example.com http://www.volcanovideo.com>. Send your entries to "firstname.lastname@example.org". (Sources: Steve Malone, Geophysics Program, UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON; 4/23/97; Michael J. Carr Geological Sciences, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY, 4/24/97; Ken Hon & Cheryl Gansecki, KA'IO PRODUCTIONS, INC., 4/26/97)
THE "REAL" VOLCANO STORY
(Source: Jerry Adler, NEWSWEEK, 5/5/97)
With all the volcanic hoopla erupting from the explosion of volcano-disaster movies these days, it might be helpful to be reminded of a few volcano facts:
-- There are about 550 active volcanoes on land worldwide and over 1,000 under the sea.
-- The worst volcano disaster in recent history was the death of 23,000 people in a volcano-triggered mud slide in the Columbian city of Armero in 1985.
-- The last catastrophic eruption on U.S. soil was 17 years ago, when Mount St. Helens blew, killing 57 people.
-- Mount Rainier in Washington is considered the most dangerous volcano in the U.S. The fear is not that it will blow, but that it will unleash a cataclysmic flash flood of mud, rock and melted ice. In the last 10,000 years, this event has happened 55 times.
-- Despite the fact that Los Angeles lies on the Ring of Fire and experiences many earthquakes, the likelihood of a volcano erupting there is nil. (JG)
UFO RADAR IMAGES A HOAX
By James Gregory
April 17 proved to be an exciting day for the UFO community. First came the incredible report that a U.S. satellite, GOES-9, had photographed "a very large anomalous object" estimated at 25 miles (40 kilometers) on a side over central Alaska at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. The image was immediately posted on several Web sites, and the news spread like wildfire through the Internet. A second GOES-9 image, recorded at 8:30 a.m., showed that the "anomalous object" had flown south and was now just west of Vancouver Island. The second image also showed "an anomalous object of the same size" over the Pacific Ocean approximately 50 miles west of San Francisco. A third GOES-9 image, taken at 9 a.m., showed the San Francisco object gone and the first object back in Alaska. A fourth GOES-9 image, taken at 11 a.m. registered a new object "half the size of the first two" hovering over Colorado.
In an article sent out on April 20, UFO ROUNDUP reported that at 2 p.m. on April 17, the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI) issued a "heads up" alert, citing "a potential threat" to the NORTH AMERICAN AIR DEFENSE COMMAND (NORAD) center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of Denver. Rumors circulated that NORAD had "gone to DEFCON-4 (Defense Condition #4 -- one step away from nuclear war) in response to the presence of the "anomalous objects" found by GOES-9. Major General Jeff Grime, Commanding Officer of Cheyenne Mountain, told the media that extra precautionary security was needed to protect the 1,100 personnel at the base. Security measures included cancellation of public tours at the center, erection of barricades on the access roads, and a 24-hour-guard on the maintenance portal on the south side of the mountain. The GOES-9 images were removed from their main Website the next morning, increasing anxiety and speculation. The "objects" were variously described as Borg starships, UFOs containing cult leaders David Koresh and Marshall Herff Applewhite, and landing craft from the UFO allegedly following the Hale-Bopp Comet last winter. Finally, UFO ROUNDUP's report stated that on the afternoon of April 18, a scientist explained that the "objects" were, in fact, glitches in the satellite's software. The images were caused by "data drop," which is clearly shown by the "digital noise on one side of the image."
When the above report arrived at NHNE, it raised a number of yellow flags. First of all, it would not be the responsibility of the FBI to issue a "heads up" alert re. "a potential threat" to NORAD. Secondly, a DEFCON 4 alert would have generated more media attention than this story claims. And thirdly, like most suspected UFO hoaxes, it was deficient in essential details, such as: Who posted the original satellite photos on the Web? What was the name and agency of the scientist who explained that the objects were only "glitches" in satellite software? Stories of this type are deliberately vague, so they cannot be traced back to their source. What is more likely is that the story was spawned by NORAD's precautionary security preparations at their command center in anticipation of the upcoming April 19 anniversaries of the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 siege at Waco, Texas.
Rob McConnell of THE 'X' CHRONICLES confirmed our suspicions. He reported that "within minutes of this [UFO ROUNDUP] e-mail arriving at our newsroom, we received a call from Captain Dubuc, Media Liaison Officer for DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, who reassured us that the Defence Condition at NORAD was definitely not at DEFCON 4. According to Dubuc there has been no unidentified traffic over the skies of Canada, a statement echoed by the Media Liaison Officer at the Canadian Armed Forces Base in Trenton, Ontario. Jim Hedges of CNN NEWS CENTER in Atlanta told THE 'X' CHRONICLES that he had just finished speaking to their Pentagon Liaison contact within the hour and there was no report of any strange, unusual or military problem. The US WEATHER BUREAU and contacts at NASA said that this was the first that they had heard any of this. (Sources: UFO ROUNDUP, 4/20/97; Rob McConnell, AUFORA News Update, 4/12/97)
CROP CIRCLE WATCH:
MATH IN THE FIELDS
(Source: NEW AGE JOURNAL, 6/97; SCIENCE NEWS Web site <http://www.sciencenews.org/>, 10/12/97)
Whoever or whatever is creating crop circles in southern England is apparently a whiz at math. Several years ago, mathematician/astronomer Gerald S. Hawkins, author of "Stonehenge Decoded" and now retired from BOSTON UNIVERSITY, noticed that some of the most visually striking of these crop-circle patterns expressed specific numerical relationships among the areas of various circles, triangles, and other shapes that make up the patterns.
Hawkins found that he could use the principles of Euclidean geometry to prove four theorems derived from the relationships depicted in these patterns. In one case, for example, an equilateral triangle fitted snugly between an outer and an inner circle. It turns out that the area of the outer circle is precisely four times that of the inner circle. Three other patterns also displayed exact numerical relationships involving diatonic ratios, the simple whole-number ratios that determine a scale of musical notes (News Brief 51). "These designs demonstrate the remarkable mathematical ability of their creators," Hawkins comments.
Hawkins also discovered a fifth, more general theorem, from which he could derive the other four. "This theorem involves concentric circles which touch the sides of a triangle, and as the [triangle] changes shape, it generates the special crop-circle geometries," he says. Different triangles give different sets of circles. An equilateral triangle produces one of the observed crop-circle patterns; three isosceles triangles generate the other crop-circle geometries.
Curiously, Hawkins could find no reference to such a theorem in the works of Euclid or in any other book that he consulted. He challenged readers of SCIENCE NEWS and THE MATHEMATICS TEACHER to come up with his unpublished theorem, given only the four variations. No one reported success. And then, during the crop circle season of 1996, among the dozens of circles surreptitiously laid down in the wheat fields of England, at least one pattern fit Hawkins' theorem. "The crop-circle makers showed knowledge of this fifth theorem," Hawkins reports.
Those responsible for this old-fashioned type of mathematical ingenuity remain unknown. Their handiwork reveals an astonishing ability to enter fields undetected, bend living plants without cracking stalks, and trace out complex, precise patterns demonstrating an uncommon facility with Euclidean geometry. (JG)
ANTIMATTER FOUNTAINS DISCOVERED IN THE MILKY WAY
(Source: NASA Press Release, 4/28/97 via Chris Czech)
Using data from an instrument on NASA's COMPTON GAMMA RAY OBSERVATORY (CGRO), scientists from the NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY (NRL) in Washington, D.C. and NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY in Evanston, Illinois have discovered two clouds of antimatter in the Milky Way Galaxy. While using the CGRO to create a map of gamma ray sources in our galaxy, the researchers confirmed the existence of a suspected large cloud of antimatter near the galactic center and along the plane of the galaxy. The maps, surprisingly, also showed a second cloud of antimatter well off the galactic plane. The discovery points to the existence of a hot fountain of gas filled with antimatter electrons rising from a region that surrounds the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The nature of the furious activity producing the hot antimatter-filled fountain is unclear, but could be related to massive star formation taking place near the large black hole at the center of the galaxy. The second cloud may be caused by the explosions of young massive stars. "It is like finding a new room in the house we have lived in since childhood," comments Dr. Charles Dermer of NRL. "And the room is not empty -- it has a boiler making hot gas filled with annihilating antimatter." (JG)
(Source: Rachel Preiser, DISCOVER, 5/97)
In the '70s and '80's, squabbling amongst crew members on the Mir Space Station resulted in several missions being cut short. As work on the International Space Station progresses, compatibility of multinational crews in space is an issue that cannot be ignored. In 1992, NASA took the first step at addressing the matter, by commissioning anthropologist Mary Lozano to investigate the kinds of cultural differences that would be most significant for international crews on long-duration missions. 74 astronauts from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Japan were polled about all matters of living with others in the cramped confines of a spacecraft.
Lozano found that personal hygiene was problematic. While it is technically possible to take a shower in the weightless pressure cooker of space, in practise, few bother because the procedure is so troublesome. Therefore, alternative forms of grooming take on exaggerated importance. The Japanese felt Americans paid too much attention to hair care, while the Americans felt the French excessively vain about their personal appearance. (It was not clear if the Japanese polled had ever served with the French.) Americans were put off by the Japanese indifference to brushing and flossing their teeth.
Mealtime decorum was another sore point. European astronauts felt that Americans did not appreciate the ritual of eating, while Americans were appalled by the fuss the Europeans made over food. Food, in fact, may turn out to be the touchiest subject of all. Americans astronauts on shuttle flights are accustomed to being able to choose their own menus. It is a different story on Russian space stations, where everybody is expected to eat the same food. When American Norm Thalgard arrived on Mir for his four-month stay, he was dismayed to find ample stocks of canned fish in aspic, which he, like most of his compatriots, could not stomach. Americans were equally repulsed by the Russian fondness for buckeye gruel. Russians, on the other hand, are turned off by American steamed green beans, mushrooms, buttered carrots, and plain vegetables in general. Yuri Usachev, a Russian crew mate of Shannon Lucid, reported that his favorite American food was mayonnaise.
American astronaut Thalgard doubts if "anyone really knows how to pick people in advance and guarantee that they are going to get along." Despite all these problems, NASA psychologist Al Holland is hopeful: "Culture is a big deal, but professional similarities form a third culture -- a spaceflight culture -- that has a kind of levelling effect." (JG)
MAN VS. MACHINE -- THE SEQUEL
(Source: Steven Levy, NEWSWEEK, 5/5/97)
Last year, when the world's best chess player came head to head with a powerful chess-playing computer, the human was the ultimate victor, but only after losing the first game -- the first time in the history of the sport that a world-class chess master had been defeated by a machine (News Brief 26). Now the two adversaries are about to face off in a rematch -- and this time it is serious. In the blue corner is "Deep Blue," a customized IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer weighing 1.4 tons and the size of two refrigerators. On a good day, Deep Blue can analyze 300 million chess moves A SECOND. In the Red Corner is Garry Kasparov, world chess champion, and almost universally recognized as the best player who's ever lived.
At 22, Kasparov was the youngest world champion ever, and now 12 years later, he has never been stronger. Kasparov is looking at the first two games as "intelligence missions" in which he will probe for weaknesses in his opponent's logic and strategy. IBM boasts that this year's machine is smarter, more powerful and more nimble than last year's version, which they consider "a baby." But for all its sophistication, the electronic brain can't really think, only crunch numbers. The real battle will be to see which player can force the game onto their own turf. Kasparov must create situations that Deep Blue doesn't "understand." On the other hand, Deep Blue's program must be clever enough to nudge the game towards situations where it can correctly evaluate the chessboard.
In the end, the battle between man and machine is more collaborative than hostile. Kasparov regularly plays against computers to improve his game. He is supportive of the move to include computer consultants in human vs. human chess competitions, in the same way that students are now allowed to use pocket calculators in math tests -- leaving the "grunt" work to the machines and freeing up humans to be "creative." The reality is that the industrialized world is already a cyborg culture -- if all the computers were yanked from our presence, the modern world would grind to a halt. Computers and people are in this together.
The action starts May 3 at the Equitable Center in Manhattan and runs through May 10. The purse is $1.1 million, with $700,000 going to the winner. You can follow the developments on the Web at <www.chess.ibm.com>. (JG)
THE POWER OF HEALING
(Source: Stephan A. Schwartz, NEW AGE JOURNAL, 6/97)
In a recent test of hands-on healing, researchers at the MOBIUS SOCIETY chose 14 people to serve as healers and paired them up with persons suffering from some sort of debilitating disease. Seven of the volunteers had never tried energy healing before, while the other seven were experienced healers who regularly used techniques ranging from the evangelical Christian laying on of hands to channeling. During the healing sessions, small sealed vials of triple-distilled water were strapped to each healer's hand. For control purposes, identical vials of water were kept in a protected place. After the healing sessions, it was found that, in every case, the water held by the healers had changed at a molecular level -- the molecules were now linked in a different and measurable way, and stayed that way long after the sessions were over. None of the control samples had changed. Surprisingly, the inexperienced healers, taken as a group, produced significant results, although not as powerful as those produced by the trained healers. (JG)
CLONING MAY HEAL SPINAL CORDS & MORE
(Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS via CNN ONLINE, 4/9/97)
Lost in the uproar over Dolly, the cloned sheep, is the fact that cloning might some day allow researchers to grow new bone marrow for cancer victims, fight sickle cell anemia and even heal spinal cords. Virtually every cell contains a organism's entire genetic blueprint -- all 80,000 to 100,000 genes -- but during embryo development, cells become differentiated, meaning only the genes responsible for each cell's function are turned on.
Cloning allows the clock inside cells to be turned back to when they were newly formed and malleable, then reprograms their genes to regrow tissues or switch off genes that spur disease. Dolly-creator Ian Wilmut took a cell from a sheep's udder cell and "undifferentiated" it, awakening all the genes to spin off the cells needed for an entire sheep.
If doctors could control those gene-regulating substances, they might stimulate regrowth of nerve cells, which do not regenerate naturally after a spinal cord injury. Or they might deprogram a skin cell and reawaken only genes that create bone marrow to grow cancer victims a customized transplant. Or they could fight sickle cell anemia by switching on a vital blood-producing gene. "To me, it's so exciting," said Dr. Doros Platika, President of ONTOGENY INC., "because [the successful cloning of Dolly] said you can unlock the body's capabilities to repair and regenerate." (JG)
FIT, NOT FAT
(Source: Laura Shapiro, NEWSWEEK, 4/21/97)
For years we've been taught that it's dangerous to be overweight, but now dramatic evidence carried out by Steven N. Blair at the COOPER INSTITUTE FOR AEROBICS RESEARCH in Dallas shows that people who are fit -- no matter what their weight -- have the lowest risk of death. Fat-and-health revisionists believe that too many Americans are being bamboozled by weight charts and bathroom scales. Based on statistics that show that in the last 17 years the number of overweight Americans has risen from 25 percent to 33 percent, Dr. John Foreyt of Houston's BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE calculates that by the year 2230, the entire adult population of the U.S. will be overweight. In all seriousness, he adds, "I always tell my patients, 'Get a life!' Focus on healthy eating and more physical activity. Don't worry about your weight so much."
Here are a few easy steps to get going:
-- Throw out the bathroom scale.
-- Start walking. As little as 30 minutes of brisk activity daily makes a difference.
-- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber, veggie-rich diet.
-- Unwind. High levels of stress are bad for your heart and immune system.
-- Enjoy life. Make time for fun things. (JG)
THE MARKETING OF THE MILLENNIUM
(Source: Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 4/28/97)
The millennium celebration at Times Square is up for grabs. At first blush, "official" sponsorship of New Year's Eve may sound laughable, but the event ranks among the most widely-celebrated holidays worldwide. As marketers from COCA-COLA to MCDONALD'S become more global in their reach, there is an ever-increasing drive for worldwide sponsorships beyond the crowded and costly platforms like the Olympics and the World Cup.
Consider: In a recent survey, nearly 46 percent of Americans picked New York's Times Square as the one place they'd most like to be at midnight on December 31, 1999. That's why the TIMES SQUARE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT and COUNTDOWN ENTERTAINMENT have just announced that they are seeking sponsors. As bait, they are offering visibility in Times Square during the millennium celebration, an event that is expected to attract 500,000 people in person and a viewing audience of 300 million. The catch is, that in order to snare the prize location on News Year's Eve 1999, marketers have to buy a decade-long sponsorship which could cost anywhere from $1 million to $5 million.
KORBEL CHAMPAGNE, the nation's best-selling premium bubbly, is expected to be the first sponsor to sign up. Other marketers considering the plunge include VISA, PANASONIC and the U.S. POSTAL SERVICE. All sponsors get rights to the Times Square 2000 logo and have their names flashed daily on the giant PANASONIC video screen at Times Square.
Comments are mixed. "It's hard to believe even the Millennium now has a brand name," says Mark Crispin Miller, Media Professor at JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY. "It could be one of the better sponsorship opportunities of the decade," counters Katharine Paine, President of the DELA-HAYE GROUP. "There are lots of people who don't care about the Olympics, but there are few people who don't care about New Year's Eve, and even fewer who aren't interested in the Millennium."
The Times Square ball -- the famous six-foot, 500-pound aluminum sphere with its 12,000 rhinestones and 150 strobe lights -- is not for sale, even though one soft drink-maker pushed to substitute its bottle cap for the ball and an aspirin-maker wanted to replace it with one of their pills. "That ball is untouchable," vows Gretchen Dykstra, President of the TIMES SQUARE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT. Not quite; one additional perk for Times Square sponsors is that they can display the ball at special events that they sponsor. (JG)
I SEEK YOU
The functionality gap between online services and the Internet just got smaller with the release of "I Seek You" (ICQ) from MIRABILIS, a small Israeli software company. Once you've downloaded the software from their Web site and installed it, ICQ will notify you whenever your friends are online, as long as they too have installed ICQ software. ICQ also allows you to easily initiate real-time chat, exchange files, and send messages back and forth instantly. (Source: N'Gai Croal, NEWSWEEK, 4/14/97)
Movies on demand just got one step closer with REEL, which boasts a selection of 35,000 movie titles to rent and 80,000 for sale. It is not yet an on-line delivery system -- they ship the movies to customers by courier at a cost of $2.80 for seven days. REEL promises that if you can find a movie elsewhere that they don't stock, they will pay for it. (Source: NEWSWEEK, 5/5/97)
RIGHT-WING WATCH ONLINE (RWWO) is an electronic newsletter that monitors all aspects of the Religious Right and maintains video and print libraries of the their television and radio broadcasts, direct mail, newsletters, books and more. The purpose of their newsletter is to share highlights in relatively raw form -- what they're saying and doing in their various communications -- and leaves it to readers to draw their own conclusions. The RIGHT-WING WATCH ONLINE newsletter is free. To subscribe, send email to "email@example.com" with no subject and the following text in the body: "SUB RWW". (Source: RIGHT WING WATCH ONLINE, 3/3/97)
David Sunfellow (DS)
James Gregory (JG)
Gail Rossi (GR)
Joya Pope (JP)
Palden Jenkins (PJ)
Kathleen-Blake Frankel (KBF)
Karol Ann Barnett (KAB)
Mary Koch (MK)
Robert Perry (RP)
Steve Haag (SH)
Chris Czech (CC)
Sandy Ezrine (SE)
Mark Nijenhuis (MN)
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NewHeavenNewEarth is a grass roots network of people who believe that a divine plan is unfolding in the Earth. Our primary goal is to identify, understand and manifest this plan as best we can. We also believe that our planet is passing through a time of profound change and we are busy building a global network to share information, pool resources and connect with others of like mind. Our goal is to create a global community of like-minded people that can safely pass through whatever changes may come our way and help give birth to a new way of life on our planet. Based primarily on the Information Highway, we are not directly affiliated with any particular religion, organization, political view or institution, but are aware of and working in harmony with many groups who share similar goals. We invite everyone who is sincerely seeking to understand the reason for our existence and the nature of the changes presently unfolding on our planet, to join us.
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