7,000 times sweeter

Government approves marketing of new artificial sweetener:

“Neotame, a nonnutritive sweetener said to be 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than sugar, has been approved for marketing as an additive in candies, soft drinks and some other products, the Food and Drug Administration ( news – web sites) announced Friday…

FDA officials said it has “negligible if any calories,” but it is unknown if it will meet the agency’s technical requirements to be labeled, as is aspartame, was having zero calories.” Yahoo! News


Light Beverages

Light turns into glowing liquid: ‘Light can be turned into a glowing stream of liquid that splits into droplets and splatters off surfaces just like water. The researchers who’ve worked out how to do this say “liquid light” would be the ideal lifeblood for optical computing, where chips send light around optical “circuits” to process data.’ New Scientist


The Right Stuff

A kinder, gentler militia?: “In the aftermath of Sept. 11, fringe militia organizations are recasting themselves as neighborhood watch groups. But old ways die hard.” Salon

Readers of FmH may recall I was very interested in the reactions of the paramilitary Right to the 9-11 events. Early coverage focused almost exclusively on the impact on recruitment.



Myers as Moon?: “Austin Powers star Mike Myers is in talks to star in a biopic about legendary Who drummer Keith Moon.

Myers and Who frontman Roger Daltrey have discussed plans for a forthcoming movie. The comic actor says he hopes it will come off.

Notorious hellraiser Moon died of an drug overdose in 1978 at the age of 32.” This is London


Pause to let the poet pass…

[Kenneth Koch, 1925-2002]

R.I.P. at 77, ‘New York school’ poet Kenneth Koch, who taught English at Columbia.

One Train May Hide Another

(sign at a railroad crossing in Kenya)

In a poem, one line may hide another line,
As at a crossing, one train may hide another train.
That is, if you are waiting to cross
The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at
Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read
Wait until you have read the next line--
Then it is safe to go on reading.
In a family one sister may conceal another,
So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view
Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another.
One father or one brother may hide the man,
If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love.
So always standing in front of something the other
As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas.
One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide
The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another
On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe;
One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia
Antica one tomb
May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another,
One small complaint may hide a great one.
One injustice may hide another--one colonial may hide another,
One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath
may hide another bath
As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain.
One idea may hide another: Life is simple
Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein
One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory
One invention may hide another invention,
One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows.
One dark red, or one blue, or one purple--this is a painting
By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass,
These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin
May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician
Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but
One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here.
A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides
Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in
A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag
Bigger than her mother's bag and successfully hides it.
In offering to pick up the daughter's bag one finds oneself confronted by
the mother's
And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker
May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee
Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love
or the same love
As when "I love you" suddenly rings false and one discovers
The better love lingering behind, as when "I'm full of doubts"
Hides "I'm certain about something and it is that"
And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the
Garden of Eden
Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve.
Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem.
When you come to something, stop to let it pass
So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where,
Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory
Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about,
The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading
A Sentimental Journey look around
When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see
If it is standing there, it should be, stronger
And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore
May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk
May hide another, as when you're asleep there, and
One song hide another song; a pounding upstairs
Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the
foot of a tree
With one and when you get up to leave there is another
Whom you'd have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher,
One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man
May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass.
You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It
can be important
To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.

Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid  by Robert J. Sternberg, reviewed:

Only a few questions can be called basic to the human condition — such as “What can we eat?” or “Who created us?” — and lots of very smart people have been working on them for millennia. The “eating” thing, for instance, has been minutely parsed by agriculture, economics and the culinary arts (among other fields), while the question of origins has given us religion and several branches of the hard sciences. But there’s at least one question — as basic as any other in its topical relevance and its grounding in the ancient — that human inquiry has only recently begun seriously to address. It was asked in caves, by people clad in mastodon-hide shifts, and chances are it crossed your mind this very day. “How,” it goes, “can people be so stupid?” And who knows the answer, really? I don’t — do you? Salon


Anniversary Bash?

Bin Laden plans fresh terror for September:

“Terrorists are planning a series of spectacular attacks on American, British and Israeli targets to coincide with the anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Centre on 11 September last year.

Intelligence agencies in the UK, southern Asia and the Middle East are detecting an increased volume of communications between suspected al-Qaeda cells as the organisation, led by the fugitive Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, accelerates efforts to pull off a major operation in the days around the anniversary of the New York and Washington attacks.” Guardian UK


Economists Tell the Poor: ‘You’re doing better, feeling worse’

Globalization Has Helped Poor, Study Says: “Far from creating poverty as critics claim, rapid globalization of the world economy has sliced the proportion of abject poor across the planet, according to a controversial new study released on Monday.

It says that freer commerce, epitomized by the cutting of tariffs and the lifting of trade barriers, has boosted economic growth and lifted the incomes of rich and poor alike.” Reuters This may miss the point of the anti-globalization movement, which is only partly about the material costs to the world’s poor of the spread of Western-multinational-dominated capitalism. How about the spiritual impoverishment of the growth of homogeneous consumerism and the growing global reach of corporations to rape the environment and the biosphere? It also seems absurd to dismiss the relevance of evidence that the gap between the world’s richest and poorest is growing by suggesting that it is ‘only’ Africa that lags behind. Blaming the victim: “Whether the disastrous African performance is due to insufficient globalization on the continent or whether Africa’s weak governance, low education levels and fragmented civil society put the opportunities of globalization out of reach is almost impossible to tell,”says the report.


Sleight of Terrorist Hand

Al Qaeda Figure Hidden by U.K. Intelligence. Abu Qatada is described by some as “the spiritual leader and possible puppet master of al Qaeda’s European networks” This is interesting; the British fear arresting or deporting him for fear of terrorist reprisals, so British intelligence confines him and his family at a safe house out of the ken of official government channels. He loses contact with his network and is effectively immobilized with little risk to Britain … at least until Time magazine broke the story of this subterfuge, I guess. Reuters


Eyes Wide Shut?

Tom Cruise says his children will be raised far from the States. ‘ “I think the U.S. is terrifying and it saddens me,” he told the British paper the Daily Express. “You only have to look at the state of affairs in America.” ‘ FOXNews Others who have linked to this story have accused Cruise of hypocrisy, noting how terrifying they find Scientology, of which Cruise is a devotee, to be. I’ll refrain; I’m not sure we know enough about his childrearing practices to determine if his participation in the sect is more of a threat to them than raising them in the US would be.


Is the death of the web at hand?

Court backs Danish paper’s linking ban:

Challenging the World Wide Web’s fundamental premise of linking, a Danish court ordered an Internet news service to stop linking to Web sites of Danish newspapers.

Copenhagen’s lower bailiff’s court ruled Friday that Newsbooster.com was in direct competition with the newspapers and that the links it provided to specific news articles damaged the value of the newspapers’ advertisements.Washington Post

The Danish Newspaper Publishers’ Association brought the suit on behalf of its twenty constituent newspapers, links to all of which were removed by Newsbooster when the ruling was handed down. Here, for your surfing pleasure, is the trade organization’s page of links to the involved newspapers.


The body in question:

Dispute arises over Ted Williams’ remains. His son wants his body cryogenically preserved and Alcor Life Extension has taken possession of his remains. Others, led by his estranged daughter, want to respect his wish to be cremated. She suggests her half-brother’s motive may be to sell the baseball great’s DNA, or cloning rights, at some time in the future. “I will rescue my father’s body,” she vows. Salon