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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 20, 2009 / 28 Tamuz 5769

America's space cadets have an idea that's completely outside the box

By Dave Barry





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Just when you think all the great ideas have been thought of, scientists dream up a concept so radical, so innovative, that you wonder if they've been smoking reefers the size of Yule logs.

Such is the case with a group of scientists from the National Research Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. According to an Associated Press story that I am not making up, these scientists are proposing to build an elevator that would be 62,000 miles high.

That's right: 62,000 MILES, which is 32 million stories. At the top would be a revolving restaurant serving what the scientists promise will be "really mediocre food." No, seriously, the scientists want to use the elevator to launch stuff into space. One of them is quoted as saying: "The first country that owns the space elevator will own space." Laugh if you want, but those words are eerily reminiscent of an equally bold prediction by Chester Gould, the man who created Dick Tracy. Gould once stated: "The nation that controls magnetism controls the universe." People scoffed, but in 1963, a vehicle called the Magnetic Space Coupe, based on Gould's theories, actually flew to the moon and returned safely, in a syndicated comic strip.

It remains to be seen whether the space elevator will achieve that level of success, but the scientists are confident. Their plan is to build it using "carbon nanotubes," which, in layperson's terms, are nanotubes made out of carbon.

The advantage of the space elevator is economic. To send a satellite up on a rocket, the way we do now, costs $15,000 per kilogram (one kilogram equals 2,038 bushels). But if you had a space elevator, you'd just get on there with your satellite and ride to the top (this could take several years if those darned kids got on there ahead of you and pushed all 32 million buttons). When the door opened, you'd heave the satellite into space, then quickly press the "close door" button to prevent the vacuum from sucking your internal organs out through your eye sockets. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking: "From a scientific perspective, that scenario is ridiculous! Those 'close door' buttons never work!"

Unfortunately, you are correct. According to a Wall Street Journal article, the "close door" buttons are fake. They're dummies with no actual effect, like Congress.

I have a friend named Ted Habte-Gabr, who - after overcoming a tragic childhood accident that required surgeons to remove several of his vowels - worked for a while in the elevator business (or, as Ted calls it, the "vertical transportation industry"). Ted says that one of the industry's major headaches is the following scenario, which, according to Ted, "usually involves lawyers":

In a crowded elevator, two people, Person A and Person B, are talking. The elevator stops on Person A's floor. Person A gets out, but holds the door open, and keeps talking to Person B. The door buzzer goes off; everybody else on the elevator is waiting; people on other floors are waiting; but they keep talking, because in their legal opinion the inconvenience to everyone else is less important than their conversation, which, according to Ted, is usually about who gets to use the law firm's tickets to sporting events.

THIS is when you need a working "close door" button. Although some people feel even stronger measures would be needed. A reader named Mike Seidel proposes having the door behave normally for one holding (i.e., if someone is legitimately running for the elevator and needs to stop it). After that, sharp blades would shoot out and lop off any appendages holding the doors open.

Another reader, Barry Sullivan, proposes applying voltage to the elevator doors as they are held open. "This could be ramped up to, say, 5,000 volts over 10 seconds. So let go or die."

Of course, these measures could result in hideously gory mishaps, possibly involving senior partners. So to the Los Alamos scientists, I say: Forget the space elevator. If you want to help humanity, tackle the jerks-holding-doors problem, so humanity can get to its floor and get off. Because it smells in here.

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Previously:

This party animal is following the yellow brick road
My diet plan is a surefire way to lose your spouse
Here's a vacation the kids won't forget anytime soon
I'd rather read about walnuts than Britney Spears
Birthday pinata duty has me feeling a little batty
Can't we all just get along? Are you a meshugena?
I've got a few pet peeves about sea creatures
Some common grammar queries axed and answered
Grads, the world is your oyster — and it's shut
It's Barbie's world — the rest of us just live here
35 years later, it's a flight of the conned chords
Trout fishing makes me blooping crazy
Duct-tape daredevils
When it comes to buying, my wife shops — and I drop
I've found a guy who can write this column better me
After all these years, still not ready for my closeup
Let's watch out for those conjugal phrases
A trip to North Dakota puts me on the map
Kicking and hugging
This dad has a severe case of wedding belle blues
Thanks to the British, I've suffered another art attack
My vocabulary is just teeming with synergy
A brief emergency
It's time for me to come clean about my dirty ways
A ruff and ready playmate
Sticking it to bad drivers
The gravity of skiing
Warning: DO NOT READ WHILE SLEEPING!
I had fun, fun, fun till someone took my Vega away
Attack on language from Shaq to shark
Defusing the turkey bomb
Driving While Stupid
I'm living in a perpetual state of confusion
Traveling with little ones is just plane crazy
It's time to unmask a more traditional Halloween
U.S. needs to shoot for a better class of criminals
Mountain man training involves some trash talk
Ten rules for making the world a much better place
A slide down memory lane reminds me I got burned
This latest research is enough to drive you nuts
Wrestling with night critters gives me butterflies
Silly songs get this old teapot into some hot water
Kids better wise up, or they're doomed to repeat
Overweight? I'm in training for the next Ice Age
The bleu plate special proves just ducky on this trip
Just weighting for the day I can build a better body
Better to light a single gift candle than to curse your wife
These camping tips will make for some happy trails
I'm shooting the rapids with eyes wide shut
People's bad grammar is enough to make me sic
Toilet water as a weapon? That idea really stinks
The carefree days of summer begin with the ants in my pants
Heartland's moovers & shakers are an udder disgrace
I've found a guy who can do this better than I can
If you really love Dad, give him a big box of nothing
Graduates, the world is your oyster — and it's shut
How to look good in a swimsuit — no ifs, ands or butts
Trip proves I'm the king of my own castle
The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight
Complain about gridlock? That's just a dead end
New phone tactics help me develop new hangups
For faithful readers, a course in Journalism $1.01
How to speak English very much better
When it comes to laundry, men are all washed up
This houseguest is ready to throw in the towel
Fixing your home can truly be a bonding experience
The lies about this mammal just drive me batty
In spin cycle of love, hard to be delicate
It's just not the time to thumb our nose at bagels
Latest fitness Rx for men is a yawn
My daughter's party, I'll cry if I want to
Sanguine ride on rabid transportation
One experiment worth repeating
Nothing like a good trip to help me see the light
The lord of the dance doesn't have anything on me
Invention clearly worth the brewhaha
Safe on the slopes
Why-oh-why-oh-why-oh…
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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