"Project Sunshine...began in 1955 at the University of Chicago," writes David Proctor in a recent issue of the Boise Weekly. "Willard Libby, later a Nobel Prize laureate for his research into carbon dating, instructed colleagues to skirt the law in their search for bodies.... Documents declassified by the U.S. Department of Energy show that scientists from the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority worked with their American counterparts to take the bodies of 6,000 [deceased and stillborn] infants from hospitals in Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, South America and the U.S., then ship them to the United States.... Libby and others connected with the American defense industry wanted to know how much radiation was entering the food supply." And what would Proctor and other nuclear critics say if Libby and others had shown no interest in answering this question?
Build it and they will come. "Society is facing an anomaly," according to the lead article in "Fiscal Focus Quarterly" (April), published by the office of state comptroller Daniel W. Hynes. "Although violent and property crimes are decreasing in Illinois, the prison population and public safety expenditures are increasing. And addressing prison overcrowding by building more prisons seems to have had little effect on the overcrowding."
Tonight's special is Lake Michigan trout--come in and forget your troubles! According to a June press release, Susan Schantz, a toxicologist at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and her colleagues discovered that people over the age of 49 who'd eaten large numbers of Lake Michigan sport fish now have high levels of PCB in their blood as well as learning and memory problems. They "had difficulties recalling a story told just 30 minutes earlier. They also were less likely than their less-exposed peers to cluster words given orally into categories based on their meaning to boost recall." The same researchers report in the June issue of Environmental Health Perspectives that "executive and visual-spatial function were unaffected" by the pollutants.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Writing in Catalyst (May), Maureen Kelleher quotes 15-year-old Joe Figliulo on the two kinds of Senn High School students he'd met: "The kids who are stone stupid and don't care about anything" and "the kids who are so concerned with their future they don't have time to just talk."
From the economy that brought you banks too big to fail: dot coms too poor to go bankrupt. The American Bar Association's ABA Journal (June) cites Pittsburgh bankruptcy lawyer Robert Simons on the problem of dot-com companies that wait until too late to try to save themselves. "With no money, no revenue stream, no business plan, and no employees, there is nothing left to restructure. And Chapter 11 requires cash to pay the filing fee and the lawyers. 'Ironically, the companies do not have the money to afford bankruptcy,' Simons says."
No paradox at all. Northern Illinois University's Donald Menzel reflects on the so-called "paradox of professionalism" in an essay posted on the university's Web site (www.niu.edu/
tp0dcm1/papers/ images.htm). He argues that the professionalization of government bureaucracy over the past 50 years has been accompanied by a reduced trust in government. He thinks one key factor is careerism. "Getting ahead as a professional in government has too often meant knowing more and more (acquiring expertise) but caring less and less (shedding responsibility)."