180 January 1998
DINOSAURS ARE GONE, IT'S DEFINITE Eventhough you have not seen any dinosaurs except in the movies, it is definite that they are gone. They all died about 65 million years ago buried under a layer of little glass beads called spherules. We have AProof Positive: Meteorite Impact and Dinosaurs Extinction Frontiers, Newsletter of the National Science Foundation No.5, May 1997 page 7 (NS 1.57:997/5) and "The End of the World: More Proof of the Dinosaurs Demise" Frontiers... No. 10, October 1997 page 3 (NS 1.57:997/10). It seems about 65 million years ago a meteorite impacted Earth in the Caribbean area and in 10 minutes the resulting cloud spread over the Earth and fell (to Earth). The vapor cloud ultimately destroyed most everything on Earth's surface and the condensation of its content resulted in a layer of glass beads, known as spherules, more than two inches thick. The meteor's impact, the cloud, and all the secondary effects killed all the dinosaurs. It is the analysis of the deep-sea sediment cores found when drilling in the Bass River near Atlantic City, which show the Earth's long rejuvenation and recovery from these events. This spherules layer, AKA the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary is found 1,260 feet below the earth's surface. What lies below the spherule layer is the Earth's age of the dinosaurs (the Cretaceous Period). During the last 65 million years of Earth's post-meteor development, on top of the spherule layer, we have the age of the mammals (the Tertiary Period). Now you know why you haven't seen any dinosaurs except at the movies. A spherule can be seen in the October issue at <http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/publicat/frontier/start.htm>
LIKE MYSTERIES?? If you were given a portion of a (written) text that lacked the name of its author, how would you identify the author? Did Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte, James A. Michener, Neil Simon, or Philip Yannarella write it? Another scenario: did the victim or the murderer write a suicide note? From: "Who Wrote it?, Steps Toward a Science of Authorship Identification" by Carole E. Chaski, National Institute of Justice Journal, No. 233, September 1997 pages 15-22, Carole might say "the answer is elementary my dear Watson." The science of authorship identification, as to who wrote the anonymous text, first requires a writing sample database of the writing of all the possible authors. Then a detailed analysis must be made of the mysterious manuscript. The third step is to search the database of samples to see which item(s) in the database matches the mysterious manuscript. The computerized "Automated Linguistic Authentication System" has two components. First is the "Writing Sample Database" and second is the "natural language parsing programs" that process documents in the database by assigning syntactic labels to the words, phrases, and larger units of each text. Then, these labeled segments of documents can be quantified and used statistically to categorize texts into authorship clusters. Basically, the mystery sample should match-up with some sample(s) in the database because of the idiolectal markers and syntactic structures. There, see how simple it would be to identify Hemingway as the author of a paragraph and prove that a dead person did not really write the suicide note.
NGI: NEXT GENERATION INTERNET According to NASA, the goal of Next Generation Internet (NGI) is to explore new speeds and communications technologies, and have computers sending information in quantities and at speeds at which no man has gone before (sound familiar?). The current Internet, which is very slow and has massive traffic jams, will be a standby network for you and me to use. Supercomputers will move data in millions of bits-per-second across the country, around the world, and into outer space. NASA is developing the NGI through currently existing (NASA) supercomputer factitious, networks, centers, and laboratories. The NASA mission-driven scientific applications for NGI include (1) the Astrobiology Institute--a virtual science research facility without walls, (2) Aerospace vehicles, (3) Mission to Planet Earth--accessibility and analysis of Earth Data systems to understand global change, (3) Virtual access to computational laboratories, telescopes, flight simulators, and (5) Telemedicine--interactive consultation, remote protocols and procedures. NGI users have the expertise and computer technology to have their information and data travel Anot just in the fast lane of the information superhighway. They want their own separate highway that can handle larger and more data/information loads traveling at much faster speeds. This super superhighway is the NGI, the Next Generation Internet. You can get the details in "Building a Higher, Broader Pyramid" by Jarrett Cohen, in Insights, Issue 3, 1997, pages 24-27 (NAS 1.94:997/3) and "The Internet of the Not-So-Distant Future" by Pat Kaspar in Insights, Issue 3, 1997, pages 14-17 (NAS 1.94:997/3) <http://www.aero.hq.nasa.gov/hpcc>
MILESTONES IN MORTALITY DATA The first case of AIDS was found and reported on June 5, 1981 but AIDS was not considered to be a cause of death until the appearance of mortality data for January 1987 issued in 1990. Alzheimer's Disease (AD) was initially considered to be a rare form of presenile dementia and as with AIDS, AD was a cause of death not recognized by the categories in the International Classification of Diseases. Though AD has been difficult to "recognize" and diagnose, AD has come to be the 8th cause of death for people 65 years of age and older in 1995. For the first time AD will be listed as cause of death under ICD-9, as No. 331.0 a separate mortality data category for the 1994 (mortality) data. A statistician's ability to identify historical AD data relates to her/his familiarity with the International Classification of Diseases, its revisions, and the ICD-8, and ICD-9 numbers. The statistician must be aware of the 1979 introduction of the title "Alzheimer's Disease" as a separate entity and not part of "Senile and presenile dementia". The first appearance of AIDS mortality data for 1987 and the AD mortality data for 1994 mark two current milestones in the history of mortality statistics. "Alzheimer's Disease: The Evolution of a Diagnosis" by Leon White in Public Health Reports, v. 112, no. 6, November/December 1997, pages 495-496, and "Alzheimer's Disease as a Cause of Death in the United States" by Donna L. Hoyert and Harry M. Rosenberg in Public Health Reports, v. 112, no. 6, November/December 1997, pages 497-505 (HE 20.30:112/6).
COLORFUL LEAVES The leaves on the trees, like people, given the proper conditions, will show their true color(s). Unlike inconsistent people, leaves will consistently show their best and most colorful sides when they stop growing. When the leaves get the cool dry fall temperatures and the chlorophyll's green pigment stops flowing, the real color(s) of the leaves appear. "Why Leaves Change Color" (A 13.2:L48/5/997) is a September 1997 brochure explaining color change and gives an Internet URL which existed from September until November 30. This site was a source of information about color leaf changes as they were occurring in various parts of the United States. Maybe next fall, there will be another website. What is more interesting is "Autumn Colors". This October 1994, Recreation Guide R8-RG 34 issued by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region Office is a two sided wall chart which includes a very big and colorful cross section view of a leaf which has changed color. This wall chart has all the explanation one needs to know why and how this process occurs. This guide may have the SUDOC number A13.36/2-2:R8-RG 34 or contact the Southern Regional Forest Service Office at 1720 Peachtree Rd. NW., Atlanta, GA 30367.
PYRAMIDS The Egyptians started pyramid construction a long time ago and more recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture constructed the Food Guide Pyramid. "USDA's Food Guide, Background and Development" issued in September 1993 as Miscellaneous Publication No. 1514 (A 1.38:1514) is 38 pages of fascinating historical information about the history of USDA food and diet guides from 1916-1980. The developmental stages of the 1992 Food Guide Pyramid included such configurations as a food wheel, a food bowl, a grocery cart, a diamond, an inverted pyramid (a funnel), and a circle (wheel) of food blocks. The Food Pyramid was a major innovation to visually present what we should eat in what amounts, so we would not need the Egyptian stone pyramid. Now in the spirit of instruction, survival, and helping the American public get more exercise, the Nicollet HealthSource Institute for Research and Education has created 'The Activity Pyramid'. The Activity Pyramid applies to everyone, eventhough it is found in "On the Teen Scene: Bone Builders: Support Your Bones with Healthy Habits" by Dixie Farley in FDA Consumer, v. 31, no 6, September-October 1997 pages 27-30 (HE 20.4010:31/6). The concept of a pyramid with graphics and text is a good visual way to learn, understand, and retain what we should learn, know, and practice. As the phrase goes: "one (pyramid) picture is worth a thousand words,"... get the point??
CELLULAR PHONES CALL UP ACCIDENTS There are 50 million cellular phones in use and many drivers get distracted enough when using the phone to have an accident. The use of phones in vehicles is an opportunity to not pay attention to driving and this inattention is a primary or contributing cause in up to half of all highway crashes. "An Investigation of the Safety Implications of Wireless Communications in Vehicles" issued in November 1997 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is 274 pages of information and data showing why, when, how, and the studies and statistics which proved cellular phones and laptop computers in cars can contribute to car crashes. There are results of accident reports, simulated studies, and detailed analysis of cellular phone use in vehicles that show why accidents do, can, and will happen when a cellular phone is used while driving. There is also a section on the United States and foreign legislation that relate to the use of cellular phones in vehicles. On pages 171-178, you will find a Market Survey of Cellular Telephone Features which cite make name, model number, item (phone or kit), size, weight, size of display (lines), size of pads, watts, features, and cost. The words "wireless communications" are used because these terms include laptop computers, compact disks, and audiocassettes because all of these devices can be found in vehicles today. Anytime you take your eyes/mind/attention off your diving and "reach out" to make use of one of these entities; you risk being in a crash. Eventually, the law of averages catches up with many people.
BORROWERS--KNOW YOUR RIGHTS This is not about book borrowers. RESPA BORROWERS - KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! is the title of the one sheet list of the ten rights every prospective homebuyer has when he takes out a home loan. This flyer found on the Internet at <http://www.hud.gov/fha/res/resborwr.html> presents the borrowers rights as found in the 1996 RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) which went into effect on February 2, 1996. See the United States Code, 1994 Edition, Supplement II, January 4, 1995 to January 6, 1997, Title 20, Section 2601 (Y1.2/5:994/SUPP. 2)
COAL EDUCATION How well educated are you? Do you know what coal is? Is coal a "bit of history" just like the Model-T automobile. Coal is the " hard chunks of black stuff" which is burned for heat. That is also what Santa Clause used to put into the Christmas stockings of people who were not on their best behavior. Depending on one's age and where you live, you may have never seen a piece of coal. Yet, some people still use coal for heating for the lack of natural or propane gas and by some electric companies use it for producing electricity. Yet the Kentucky Coal Association had a booth at the Kentucky Library Association 1997 fall meeting in Lexington, Kentucky and gave away literature and samples of coal. Did you ever see a house that is at least 50 years old which has a small door near the ground level? That's the door used for coal deliveries to that house which, at one time, had a coal-burning furnace. Did you know there is a coal tree? Yes, if you look at the cover of the March 1983 issue of the "Bulletin" issued by the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals (STATE DOC 18 MM 1, 3:983/3) you will find picture of a "COAL TREE" which has at the end of each branch a product made from coal. If you want a better coal education than I can present here you should check http://www.coaleducation.org / and you will find fuel for your burning desire to learn about coal. You will also learn something about one of the major industries in Kentucky.
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February 3, 1998