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October 1978 


lxe-.:u"~ ve editor fra\k \endig 
art director: frank devino 
european editor dp r ~z- --i i i 
director of advertising "--=_— '.'--.:-_ 

This ivcntti's cover photo "Road 
Song, " by Pete Turner, was shot at 
dusk along a deserted road. 
"A photographer's work is given 
shape by his personal vision, " 
says Turner. "I have always been 
an avid science tiction reader and 
this comes through in my work." 






::-- :.-: e 






E- :- -: 






E : ■ -: _ t 













Kathleen Stein 



- :: .- 

James B.Hall 




-Alton Biakeslee 






Francene Sabin 



William K. Stuckey 



Baroara J. Culliton 




Theodore Slurgeon 




Monte Davis 




Harry Harrison 




Isaac Aslmov 




Thomas Hoover 




Photographed by Ken Kay 




Gene Bylinsky 







Patrick Moore 






Opinion ' 


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I ^^ I henwecalledcontributingedi- 
I ' | | tor Bill Stuckey, a Dallas Tex- 
•^ %^F onian who writes about sci- 
ence like Tom Wolff wriles about culture, 
and asked if he'd like to do a story for us 
on the Nobel Prize, he said, "Now friar's 
what I call good editorial direction!" 

Such enthusiasm from Bill is as rare as 
mesquite-broiled porterhouse, so we knew 
we'd made the right decision. 

"Texas is giving California a run for the 
best brains in the country," said Stuckey. 
"The cowboys are dark horses this year 
but they may just walk away from that De- 
cember ceremony in Oslo with a fistful of 
prizes . . . and cash. I feel very close to the 
action down here." 

As well he should. Stuckey has been on 
the Nobel Irail for years now, a pet project 
lhai burgeoned into hundreds of inter- 
views with Laureates, Prize judges, and 
other insiders who gave him access to the 
mercurial, secret world of Nobel. 

The Prize, of course, is well, the prize. 
Scientists can be annoyingly blase about 
it, yet those persons adjudged Prize mate- 
rial get a kind of global imprimatur for their 
work. For astonishing predictions of who'will 
win what plus rare glimpses of the Nobel 
selection process, see page 84 

Turning from thoughts of this world to 
those of distant galaxies, we asked Alton 
Blakeslee, science writer and editor for the 
Associated Press from 1946 until his re- 
cent retirement, to tell us of astronomers' 
efforts to pick up intelligent signals from 
outer space. The result was "Listening lor 

Life," page 62, a compelling reccn on T-e 
"electronic ears" that may eventually de- 
termine if we are alone in the universe- 
Researching another story, we came 
across a color photo that so dramat-caUy 
captured the lenticular effect of insect 
sight, we decided to contact the photogra- 
pher right away. He turned out to be Ro- 
man Vishniac who, at 8"! , is the established 
dean of photomicrography Some days la- 
ter- we were treated to an exclusive show- 
ing of Vishniac's vast portfolio of photo- 
micrography—dazzling images awash 
with every conceivable cofor, depicting 
fascinating processes of life that occur far 
below human perception. The Vishniac 
gallery on page 72 seemed a logical ex- 
tension of our close encounter with genius. 
Thomas Hoover's "Zen. Technology, and 
the Split Brain" (page 1 22) examines the 
curious behavioral phenomenon known as 
"computerthink.'" a syndrome that encour- 
ages human problem -sol vers to mimic 
those computers with which we surround 
ourselves. Dr. Hoover istheauthorof 
Zen Culture (Random House, 1977}. 
One antidote to "computerthink," it 
seems, may be soon available in pill form, 
according to medical write! Ger.e By- 
linsky. In "Future Drugs" (page 132), he 
suggests new ways to stimulate creativity 
through artificial means, the Indian of so- 
phisticated pharmaceutics; -esearch that 
has its roots in the psychedelic '60s . 

Omni is not only a^acsz ~r : ; ;: t - :; 
It is also a magazine of science fiction in 
this issue we present original Stories c. 

Two of the genre's established masters, 
Theodore Sturgeon and Isaac Asimov. 
Sturgeon's "Time Warp" is a lale reminis- 
cent of Star Wars complete with brave he- ' 
roes and terrifying villains caught in a bat- , 
tie to save the Earth. After the story ap- 
pears in Omni Sturgeon plans to produce 
a record album of "Time Warp" as well as a 
touring multimedia show. "Found!" (page 
118) is vintage Asimov, a gripping story of 
mechanical madness in orbit. 

On the more humorous side is "Invisible 
Stripes'" (page 68), a sometimes hilarious, 
sometimes frightening offering by Ron 
Goulart, co-creator of Star Hawks, the 
most intelligent syndicated comic strip this 
side of "Doonesbury." And rounding out 
Omni's fiction package is "Valley of the 
Kilns" (page 58), by James B. Hall. Hall, 
while a much published novelist, short 
story writer, poet, and critic, is a newcomer 
to science fiction. He has recently stepped 
down as provost of College-5 at the Uni- 
versity of California/Santa Cruz to devote 
more time to writing, a move we hope will 
make him a frequent Contibutor to Omni. 

Also in this issue— Dr. Bernard Dixon, 
distinguished editor of the British weekly 
New Scientist who, doubling as European 
editor of Omni, will regularly write our Life 
column, NASA scientist James Oberg with 
his UFO Update, Mark R, Chartrand III 
who takes time from his duties as director 
of New York's Hayden Planetarium to write 
our Space column and Kenneth and 
David Brower, the celebrated environmen- 
talists who will report in Earth. DO 


editor S publisher 


associate publisher 



' Bob Guccione (chairman and president) 

Kathy Keeton (senior vice-president) 

Irwin E. Billrnan (executive vice-president) 

Anthony J. Guccione (secretary-treasurer) 


Editor in Chief: Bob Guccione; Executive Editor: 

' : ■. ■■ ■■■■■' r :.. :■".:■■ :.:■: o ■ .: ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■■■ :-■.>!::■..':; lV.t- 

■■■"■v. , i„ IVli :, ;...■ '.. . < ov.'or 

Edward Rosenfeld F ■::■:.::: i'ciior Ben Bova; Euro- 
pean Editor: Dr. Bernard Dixon; Associate Editor: 
Kathleen Stein; Assistant Editors: Richard Levil I, 
Kathleen McAufiffe; Editorial Assistants: Suzanne 
Stoessel, Christine Pullo; Copy Editors: Carolyn 
:alone, Gina E. Granl; Contributing Editors: 
Monte Davis, D- CnustGpi'C: LvariR. Don Fabun, Dr. 
Patrick Moore OBE, Scot Morris, Barbara Seaman, 
William K. Stuckey 
Art Director: Frank DeVino; Associate Art Director: 

' ■::; ' .: ■■ :i ■ ■ , !.■:;■■. ! .' ..ii:' "■■■■. 

Editor: Hildegard Kron; Staff Photographer: Pat Hill 

V.P.lDirector of Advertising: Charles Ma'-dul: V.P- 
Advertising Administration: Woody <atsot>: V.P; 
Public Relations Director: Alma Moore; V.P.I 
Administrative Services: Jeri Winston; V.P.I 
Production Director: John Evans; Midwest Advertis- 
ing Manager: Norm Kamikow; Controller: John Hol- 
■'.'.■■.':'■■■■■■■:: vzr.-ager: Ralph Perricelli; Assis- 
nt to Circulation Due-tor: Fii=..:hfc:?- i Fogel; Advertis- 
g Production Director: Toni Wagner; Piooudhn 
Managers: Carnille Russo, Michael Weinglass: Pro- 
tidn Assistants: Linda Bogdanolt. Margaret Ri- 
;hi; Research Director: Carole Rossant; V.P.I 
Circulation. Marketing, and Promotion: 
Bob GuecionB, Jr. 
i York (Charles Mandel): Omni Publicalions In- 
ternational Ltd., 909 Third Avenue, New York, N Y 
10022. Tel. (Si;:) V-n 3301. Iclex no. 237123. 
Midwest (Norm Kamikow) Omni Publications Intei- 
' rial Lid., 111 East Wacker Drive, Suit* P036. 
igo, Illinois 60601 . Tel. (31 2) 565-0466; Detroit: 
itine Meyers] Tel. (31 3) 855-9427; Omni Publi- 
ns International Ltd. Wes( Coasi (Robert J. 
Friedman) Omni Publications International Ltd.. 
1100Glendon Avenue, Los Angeles. California 
90024. Tel. (213) 477-4051; (Joe C 
Broadway, San Francisco, Califorr 
(415) 929-7575. U.K. & Europe: (Pe 
Omni Publications Ltd.,- 6B Upper Berkeley St. 

M1H 7DH, England. Tel. (01) 262-0331. Telex 


York 909 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y 10O22. 
Tel. (212)593-3301. Telex no. 327123. West Coast 
8732 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 
90069. Tel. (21 3) 652-BO70. London 2 Bramber 
Road, West Kensington, London W14 9PB, Eng- 
land. Tel (01) 385-6181 . Telex no. 919865 
Omni Publications Ltd. 
(U.K. & European Editions) 
Managing Director: Gerard Van der Leun; Advertis- 
ing Director: Peter Goldsmith; Circulation Director: 
lurns; Press and Public Relations Director: 
Molly McKetlar 
Washington, D.C.: William R.Cor 
'"V., Washington, D.C. Berlin: h 
sse 1 , Berlin 45 Herzlia Pitua: 
David Hameiech St., Herzlia Pitu 

" Andre Fodor, 98 Rua Mexico. 1 5th floor, Rio di 

Janeiro ZC39 Budapest: Paul Kirtyhedgyi, 5 Reg 

'autca., Budapest 5. Hungary Zagreb- Gadomi 

Komijenovic, Strebmjak 96, Zagreb, Yugoslavia.- 


lond) 1904 
3r Goldsmith) 

i,1 707 H Street, 
S-Hohn, Enzian- 
lonard Stone. 46 
srael R/odeJa- 



Future Shock 

This is the magazine I've been waiting for! 
Could you please run articles immediately 
on the future of: language; special effects 
in movies; cities; mass transportation; pri- 
vate air transportation; computer art; sub- 
liminal advertising; sex; sports; fashion; 
crime; animal behavior; parapsychology; 
underwater housing; racism; cosmetics; 
democracy; zero-gee weight reduction; 
gold; faster-than-light postal systems; 
pastries; childbirth; guitars; cats; sculpting 
materials; tropical diseases; tv commer- 
cials; and other forward-looking stories. 

Jerry Edelman 
Gretna, LA 

Before the Flood 

I realize that you have quite probably been 
the victims of a deluge of manuscripts 
since the announcement of Penthouse 
International's new venture into the sci- 
ence fiction field. However, there is not a 
merciful bone in my body. I add yet one 
more large manila envelope to the pile al- 
ready threatening your sanity and disturb- 
ing yoursleep. 

Allen Curry 
Cincinnati, OH 

Do It Again 

Great neutrinos, you've done it again! Just 
when all we Nobel Prize people were 
about to become vacuum cleaner sales- 
men, you bring us new hope with Omni. 
It's an exciting project, and I predict we'll 
work together even more harmoniously 
than we did on Saturday Review and Sci- 
ence Digest. As requested, I'm enclosing 
a mishmash of currently available Stuckey. 
William K. Stuckey 
Dallas, TX 

Miniature UFOs 

I would like to share my UFO experiences 
with some organization that will not laugh 
at me. For the last ten years I have seen 
landing on the rooftops of New York City 
skyscrapers infinitely delicate flying ob- 
jects. I can't call them airplanes, and al- 
though they can land and take off verti- 
cally like helicopters, they have totally 
unique shapes. Sometimes the shapes 

cover the whole range of the geometric al- 
phabet. And although the detailing on the 
"skin" is quife intricate, the actual size of 
the objects is generally small, about big 
enough to fit in an elevator shaft. They of- 
ten have bright colors. 

On the few buildings that have-given me 
access to rooftops I found evidence of 
small triangular imprints. I have photo- 
graphs. Would Omni be interested in print- 
ing them? 

Melinda Moore 
New York, NY 

Congratulations: Birth of a Star 

It was a pleasure learning about your new 
publication. Omni sounds as if it will be- 
come a long-lived phenomenon. 

Richard Golob, Director- 

The Center for Short-Lived Phenomena 

Cambridge, MA 

I am looking forward to seeing the first 
copy of Omni out on the stands in Octo- 
ber Good luck with it. 

Lyall Watson 
Oxford, England 

Our sincere hopes for success with Omni, 
A magazine of this scope and caliber is 
absolutely needed. If we can be of any as- 
sistance with regard to articles on solar 
energy, I hope your investigators will not 
hesitate to call on us. 

J. Michael Levesque 

Vulcan Solar Industries 

Pawtuckei, Rl 

Future Zoo 

We would be pleased to cooperate with 
your company and are delighted to hear 
that the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo would be 
a model for the zoo of the future. 


General Director 

Metropolitan Toronto Zoo 

Sunburn Survey 

We would like to locate individuals with 
very efficient molecular repair processes 
who are, as a result, highly resistant to 
sunlight, cancer, and aging processes. If 
you know of anyone who has (or had) a 

Where were 
you in 


What 7 , 


you think — f 

you just died ■■■' 

and that was it? \ , 

Read actual accounts ■ ■;L 

of people who have tV„ 

recalled past lives 

without drugs or hypnosis 

in the startling new book . . . 

Lived Before 
This Life? 

by bestselfing author 

L. Ron Hubbard 

"...a tnasterwork..." 

Frank De Felitta 
author of Audrey Ruse 


at Waldens and other fine bookf,i-.rcs 

very white skin color, never gets asuntan, 
and never gets sunburned regardless of 
how long he or she is exposed, please 
send us a brief nofe. There will be no obli- 
gation. All information will be confidential. 
Please contact: Sunburn Survey, Depart- 
ment of Chemistry, Brooklyn College, 
Brooklyn, NY 11210. 

Rolf Martin 
Brooklyn, NY 

S.O.S for Whales 

I am writing to you today to ask for your im- 
mediate help in saving the whales from 
certain extinction. It is within the power of 
such an influential new magazine Tike 
Omni to convince the world that the need- 
less slaughter of the highly intelligent, 
warm-blooded beings is not only unneces- 
sary but criminal. 

Cynthia Webem 
Atlanta. GA 

Copernicus Update 
I am still overseas, sol wontseethe 
dummy for the new magazine until ; re- 
turn. ... I look forward To seeing bom ma 
dummy and eventually the journal itsetf 
and would certainly consider writng 
something on Copernicus or Tycno at a 
later date. 

~- .■■■='■ 3 _ ;-' :~ 

Harvard College Observatory 

Cambridge, MA 

Bridging the Culture Gap 
Omni is a most ambitious project, and I of- 
fer my warmest wishes tu te success. 
Such a magazine would make a huge 
contribution to American curate at one of 
the weakest points in its fabnc — tr-s 'two 
culture" gap. 

_=.'-*"re E _o - r 

Professor of Physics and Astronomy 

Calffomis State University 

Long Beach. CA 

Humble Dowser 

Because of the nature of your new maga- 
zine, I thought you "r*gnt be interested in 
the subject of downing (otherwise referred 
to as water witchin". drvining, etc.) for 
some future issue The 191 1 Encyclopae- 
dia Britannica states that "Jhe best dows- 
ers are usually more or less atiterate men 
engaged in humbte professions.' And as 
a semiretired ad man. I dank I qualify. 

Ted Kaufman 
North River, NY 

Cosmic Line 

I am an excellent photographer and a very 
good writer. I'll be g'aa to preserr a f ew of 
my works and speak with you about ideas 
for a regular cofumnin your ne* Crura. For 
example, it would be ireeres&ng :o =aunch 
a completely new fasten sr.'e The Cos- 
mic Line," which I shaf be happy Id pre- 
pare with the help ol a French desorer. 
The new fashion line — if £ is not simply a 

"masquerade line" — could do a great, 
miraculous advertising job for Omni, 
because it would present you as an 
unending precursor of the NEW! 

New York, NY 

Astral Preparations 

My out-of-body experiences during the 
past 30 years have given me an endless 
source of ideas for science fiction with log- 
ical glimpses into the furture. 

Martha Fotinos 
Napa, CA 

Elementary Particles 

I am writing to introduce myself as a possi- 
ble contributor to Omni, lam a physicist 
by profession but have been doing a fair 
amount of science writing during the past 
few years. For openers, let me sketch out a 
few ideas that might be interesting to 
Omni's readers: "What's New in Elemen- 
tary Particles." "Is Anyone Listening Out 
There?" "Breaking the Light Barrier," and 

James Trefil 

Charlottesville, VA 
SF Query 

Attached is "Feed Me Flesh," about a 
boy's struggle in a meatless society. . . . 
Thanks forgiving us another market 
for our stuff and another SF magazine 
to read. , 

Jay A. Parry 

Salt Lake City, UT 

Soul Mates 

I futzed around, indecisive about the 
proper market and deep into my third 
novel — until I saw the market notice for 
Omni" and decided that ... [my] story 
and the magazine were perfect for 
each other. 

John Shirley 
Portland, OR 


Omni sounds extremely interesting, and I 
look forward to seeing the magazine's ap- 
pearance this fall. ... I will probably have 
contributions to make from time to time. 
What I'm thinking of is not conventional 
history of science, which is mainly con- 
cerned with the evolution and develop- 
ment of concepts and knowledge, but of 
innovation as such, which has a special in- 
terest of its own and without which devel- 
opment would not occur. . . . Meanwhile, 
all my best wishes. 

Stillman Drake 

University of Toronto 

Toronto, Canada 

In Crowd 

I'd like to be part of the magazine, but let's 
face it, who wouldn't? 

Jefferson Scherr 
Brooklyn, NY . 

low thatyou have acquired the power my son, 
wir) sou must swear to me bu the sacred sword of 
ftooan,that ijou will use the power onlu for cjood.,. 
*r neueribreuil 


Jovan Sex Appeal Af tershave/Cologne t 

W 1'..,,,,.' '■■^■■'a?J : , J%an,'lrjc, ...i-^wH 


By Kenneth and David Brower 

The harsh. de r -!ysliiying light of 
science has left the modern biol- 
ogist with one last miracle, a mir- 
acle of organization. Somehow, back in 
the planet's youth, molecules organized 
themselves into a structure that could re- 
produce itself. Dust quickened, and into 
an inanimate world came animation. All 
ihe rest has followed: the flight of the peli- 
can, the fragrance of a baby's skin, the 
songs of wolf and whale. These latter de- 
velopments are relatively receni, and we 
know in a general way how they came 
about. We can roughly trace their evolution 
backward. They are miracles several 
times removed. 

But the original quickening was an en- 
tirely new principle. It was something like 
an idea ... a beneficence. It was a mira- 
cle. That it happened here, on earth, is 
. more than one small planet could ever 
hope for. 

One of the wonders ot the new principle 
is, having come into being it endured. 
There are potent forces of disorganization 
loose in the universe. Order is the excep- 

tion here; increasii \c disorder is the rule. 
When a bullet strikes a rock — and time 
and the universe are full of this kind of 
violence— the energy of the bullet's motion 
is translated into random motions ofthe 
bullet's atoms and the atoms of the rock. 
The bullet and rock become hot. Heat is 
the scribbly signature of disordered en- 
ergy. The event is irreversible. Disordered 
energy can't reassemble itself into the or- 
derly kinetic energy ofthe moving bullet 
and fly backward down the barrel of the 
gun. It's a one-way sireet, an incline down 
which order slides. That's how the cosmic 
cookie crumbles. 

The beta particle — a high-speed elec- 
tron emitted from the nucleus of a radioac- 
tive atom — is a bullet in the cosmic arse- 
nal. When the particle strikes living tissue, 
it disorders the tissue. It rips negatively 
charged electrons from the tissue's atoms, 
leaving positively charged ions in its wake. 
{Alpha, gamma, and x-rays all have the 
same effect.) The liberated electrons in 
turn ionize other atoms until all the energy 
of the original particle is dissipated. Many 

Pi-::ivand. Washington: key component for a Plutonium Economy. 

beta particles travel at nearly the speed of 
light and strike with enough energy to 
break 100,000 of the chemical bonds join- 
ing atoms. The particle is a dumdum bul- 
let, though enormously faster. Its entry hole 
is modest, its exit hole spectacular. 

Living cells have an internal order that 
we recognize, through our electron micro- 
scopes, as architecture. They have a 
serendipitous beauty that the eye has only 
recently discovered. The radioactive parti- 
cle mars the beauiy. It fumbles the pillars 
and pediments of the unexpected archi- 
tecture, and its passage leaves the city of 
the cell in ruins. 

A cell can be so badly injured that it 
dies, or that iis ability to divide into daugh- 
ter cells is destroyed. Bui worse things 
happen. A cell that is injured less severely, 
in continuing to reproduce, can 
pass on the damage to ils daughters. 
There occurs within animal cells a particu- 
lar kind of radiation damage, a character- 
istic imbalance of chromosomes, that 
when multiplied by cell division grows into 
a leukemia or cancer. A single high-speed 
particle can disorder the chromosomes in 
this particular way. From this tiny event, a 
man or a mouse can die. 

Life is adrift in a sea of radiation, as the 
makers of the artificial kind are apt to point 
out. The sea is full of eddies and counter- 
currents. Radialion seeps up from springs 
on earth and flows in rivers from space. 
The sun sends out a steady stream of par- 
ticles freshened occasionally by solar 
storms. Yet on earth, life has found some- 
thing like a backwater. Here life is protec- 
ted from the full force of the cosmic stream 
by the planet's atmosphere; here life toler- 
ates the weaker radiations from the plane- 
tary crust. Life on this planet has even 
made a sort of bargain with the disorganiz- 
ing principle of the radioactive stream, 
tapping its mad energy for the occasional 
beneficial mutation that makes evolution 
possible, and suffering the bad mutations. 

But the margin within which life operates 
is small, and the folerances are fine. There 
is no question who the enemy is, our first 
and oldest. If the universe is hostile to life,, 
there is no better expression of that hostil- 
ity than the radioactive particle. The Four 

Horsemen are secondary enemies, at a 
less basic level of organization . The parti- 
cle attacks us fundamentally by disorder- 
ing the atoms of which we are made. It 
strikes at and scalters the miraculous prin- 
ciple that distinguishes us from dust. 

Nearly 2000 genetically-determined 
human defects now have been mapped, 
and scientists ag'ee:'iat these are only a 
fraction of the total. Growing speculation 
suggests that most or all disease may 
have a genetic basis. There is further 
speculation that radiation, natural or other- 
Wise, may be a primary cause of aging. If 
these speculations are correct, then the 
small particle takes on the largest signifi- 
cance. If they are correct, we move about 
like colossi under a submicroscopic bom- 
bardment that with time will bring us down. 
We scarcely feel the attack in our youth, 
usually, but we groan under it in our old 
age, and finally it topples us. Each of us in 
his own lifetime fights, and loses, life's war 
with disorder. There is no way to dodge an 
invisible particle traveling hundreds of mil- 
lions of miles per hour. We sit and take it. 
Our bodies are composed mostly of wide 
open spaces, and some particles pass 
through without hitting anything, but others 
score, and with time enough they do !he 
job. Disorder wins out in the end. 

Advocates of the Atomic Age would 
have us tame the particle, slow it down, 
embrace it. It would light our streets and 
drive our flywheels; its three-rayed symbol 
would emblazon man's gray tunic of the 
future. Nuclear advocates would have us 
escalate our mining of radioactive metals, 
refine those metals into the most virulent of 
known poisons, and send that poison 
abroad on the surface of the planet. They 
would ring in a Plutonium Economy — in 
which hundreds of tons of plutonium 
travels from reactor to reprocessing plant 
and back again, safe, they guarantee, 
from terrorists, psychotics, Mafia hijack- 
ers, sabotage, administrative incompe- 
tence, drunk drivers, floods, earthquakes, 
and other acts of God. 

Other proponents would escalate our 
export of reactors to the rest of the world, 
assuring us that plutonium from those re- 
actors won't be diverted for bombs. We 
will solve the problem of thermal pollution, 
they say. The problem of disposal of nu- 
. clear wastes will be solved sometime in 
the future. We will successfully guard 
ihose wastes for all the tens of thousands 
of years they have to be isolated from the 
environment. We will not be haunted by 
groundwater leaks in our salt-mine reposi- 
tories or ruptured casks in our deep-water 
dump sites. 

But we are haunted by these leaks and 
ruptures, and we will continue to be, hu- 
man fallibility being what it is. Minor world 
powers will explode their bombs made 
from reactor plutonium, just as India has, 
and with each new addition to the nuclear 
club we will subtract from our chances of 

avoiding the Final War. These things will 
follow, at any rate, if nuclear advocates 
continue their success in bending govern- 
ment's ear. 

In his campaign and early days in office, 
President Carter made a strong commit- 
ment to new energy policy. He promised to 
minimize this nation's dependence on the 
atom, to strengthen nuclear safety stan- 
dards, to cancel the Clinch River Breeder 
Reactor and shift research away from plu- 
tonium breeders, to take a strong stand 
against nuclear-arms proliferation, to give 
energy conservation and solar power top 
priorities, and to provide personally the 
leadership all these tasks require. The 
promised leadership has fallen to Energy 
Secretary James R, Schlesinger, former di- 
rector of the Atomic Energy Commission 

blue glow in pool re 

and the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Mr. Schlesinger has executed an about- 
face and is leading the country back to the 
old, radioactive Nixon and Ford energy 
policies which he helped formulate, and 
which President Carter has promised to 
end. For the canceled Clinch River reactor, 
Schlesinger would substitutes new pluto- 
nium breeder two or three times larger. In- 
stead of the promised strengthening of 
safety standards, the Secretary has sent 
Congress a nuclear-licensing bill that pro- 
poses not a single new provision to 
strengthen reactor safety, and diminishes 
public participation in the licensing pro- 
cess. Instead of the promised redirection 
of our research energies to solar power, he 
has allotted nuclear power the lion's share 
of funds, leaving solar research with just 3 
percent of his department's budget. Under 
President Carter, the State Department, in- 
stead of opposing nuclear proliferation as 
promised, has pushed for the sale of nu- 
clear fuel to India, despite that nation's 

refusal to accep: hte'na: oral safeguard 
requirements, and despite its detonation 
of a homemade nuclear bomb. 

If the world is to step back from the nu- 
clear brink, the United States, which led 
the way there, must lead the way back; its 
President must reassert leadership. 

The radioactive particle is too danger- 
ous and implacable for fallible humans to 
fool with. 

"Despite the best efforts and intentions 
of the people of the United Nations," said 
Jacques- Yves Cousteau, addressing the 
U.N. in 1976, "human society is too di- 
verse, national passion too strong, human 
aggressiveness too deep-seated for the 
peaceful and the warlike atom to stay 
divorced for long. We cannot embrace one 
while abhorring the other; we must learn, if 
we want to live at all, to live without both." 

The strange thing is, we all know that 
and we always have. From time out of 
mind, our mythology has prepared us. The 
tales of Prometheus and Pandora, and of 
Faust, and the notion of hubris in Greek 
tragedy, are as apt now as when invented. 
More apt. How, in the Ages of Bronze or 
Iron, could those lessons have been so 
perfecty applicable, and so desperately 
important? It is almost as ff the old story- 
tellers had blinked, millenia in advance, at 
the white thermonuclear flash, and had 
begun preparing their admonitions. 

Pandora opened her box, of course, 
and Prometheus stole the fire, Perhaps 
these things are inevitable, given the na- * 
ture of man and matter. 

It may be that any call to order in this 
disorderly universe is hopelessly quixotic. 
It may be that a nuclear advocate like Dr. 
Edward Teller, the putative father of the 
H-bomb, is, with his instinct for the cata- 
clysmic, more truly in tune with the cosmos 
than men like George Wald and Linus 
Pauling. The big nuclear bangs with which 
Dr, Teller wishes to excavate harbors and 
canals have an impressive precedent — 
the precedent, il modern cosmologists are 
right. Things are done Dr. Teller's way in 
the universe — galaxies begin explosively. 

Perhaps in all organization, in all organ- 
isms, there is a tension that longs for 
release. Time was in Creation when all en- 
tities banged around as happily as billiard 
balls. Perhaps a nostalgia for those days 
explains the moth-flame fascination that 
raduim has held since it drew Madame 
Curie and killed her, Perhaps it explains 
rhe desperate brinksmanship of men like 
Mr. Schlesinger, who is doubtless a cau- 
tious fellow in smaller matters, like select- 
ing the proper tie. 

Then again, maybe human life will beat 
the odds and hang around for a while. 
Maybe our will to survive will outbalance 
our nostalgia for the void, and mankind will 
dodge through the gauntlet that lies 

It will take a miracle, but miracles have 
happened before. DO 

By Mark R. Chartrand III 

In July of 1 985 NASA plans lo launch a 
unique spacecraft. Driven by a new 
solar-powered ion engine, the space- 
craft is scheduled to fly by Halley's Comet 
and then play tag with a second comet, 
Tempel 2. if the mission flies, we will get 
our firsl close-up view of these cosmic 
vagabonds and, in a few monihs, discover 
more about comets than has been learned 
since the dawn of astronomy. 

In ages past a cornet was believed to be 
a finger of a god pointing to earth, bringing 
disaster to those below ("dis-aster" means 
bad star). Today we believe comets lo be 
remnants of the redundant formation of the 
solar system some five billion years ago — 
primordial material stored in a leaky time 

Cornets travel in orbits thai are more el- 
liptical (less circular) than planets, spend- 
ing much of their time far from the sun. The 
nucleus, or central part, of the cornel was 
perhaps best described by Dr. Fred Whip- 
ple, who called them "dirty snowballs." 
They are thought to be loose mixtures of 
water ice, frozen methane, ammonia, car- 
bon dioxide, and other gases, with bits of 
cosmic, dust, sand, and rock stirred in. 
Since comets have not been observed 
from closer than a few million kilometers, 
astronomers cent -<ncw the exact size of 

ihe cometary nucleus, but it is thought to 
be around ten kilometers across, and 
probably lumpy. 

Surrounding the nucleus of the comet is 
a ball of gas and dust called ihe coma. 
The nucleus and coma together make up 
the head of the comet, which may be 
20,000 to 200,000 kilometers across. As 
the comet approaches the sun, solar neat 
turns fhe outer layers of the frozen nucleus 
into vapor, liberating more dust and caus- 
ing the coma to swell. With each passage 
near the sun the comet loses some of its 
material, until eventually it falls apart 

All-pervading, too, when a comet ap- 
proaches the sun, are the solar wind — a 
supersonic breeze of atomic particles 
blowing from the sun— and the pressure of 
sunlight, which retard the gas and dust 
from the coma with a force 50 times that of 
the local gravity of the sun. This gas and 
dust lag behind and form the comet's tail, 
a few cupfuls of dilfuse material stretched 
out into a multimillion-kilometer streamer. 

Someone once described a comet's tail 
as something as close to nothing as any- 
thing can be and still be something. The 
gas and dust in the tail are so dispersed 
that even the description "diaphanous" is 
extreme. Stars can be seen undimmed 
through Ihe tail. In fact, our planei passed 

Bright.splemi/a hc-oci o! Hsiic-y sCw: :,■:. c'loiocir&pterj on Mayd.'iO'iO. during its :ast appearance. 

through Ihe tail of Halley's Comet in 1910, 
with no ill effects. Despite predictions of 
the end of ihe world , the thin atmosphere 
of the earth was all the protection needed. 

Comet's tails always poini almost ex- 
actly away from the sun because of the 
outward-streaming solar wind and light. 
When the comet is inbound the tail is in- 
deed trailing, but when the comet is past 
its closest approach to the sun, the tail ac- 
tually leads the way. The gas and dust may 
form separate tails, and the curvature of 
the tails of some comets gave the first clue 
thai there was such a thing as the soiar 
The Mission 

NASA's plan is to launch the mission in 
July of 1 985. A space shuttle will carry the 
craft into earth orbit, and then a dual- 
engine Inertia! Upper Stage booster will * 
propel the 1600-kilogram probe into an in- 
terplanetary orbit. The solid fuel boosters 
will then drop off, and a solar-powered ion 
engine will take over the three-yean three- 
billion-kilometer, low-thrust voyage to 
Comet Tempel 2. Along the way scientific 
instruments will monitor the conditions in 
the interplanetary environment. 

In November 1 985, just four months af- 
ter launch, the spacecraft will release an 
unpowered probe thai will be left behind 
as the main spacecraft accelerates out- 
ward from the sun. The small probe, about 
200 kilograms, will drift into the path of the 
oncoming Ha! oy s Cornel about 73 days 
before that body rounds the sun. The Hal- 
ley probe will not carry cameras since at 
the 57 kilomeier-per-second encounter 
velocity the two bodies will flash past each 
other with no time for even a brief glimpse. 
However, the probe will measure the 
comet and its surroundings and will radio 
the data to the main spacecraft for relay to 

This will be a kamikaze mission, for the 
Halley probe will likely not survive the 
close encounter. What's left over after the 
cosmic juggernaut has passed will orbit 
the sun forever. 

Meanwhile, the Tempel 2 part of the mis- 
sion moves out of the way of Halley's 
Comet and continues to accelerate out- 
ward until, 1 080 days after launch — July 

1988— it approaches Comet Tempel 2, 
then half again as far from the sun as is Ihe 
earth, Radar and cameras will allow mis- 
sion controllers to maneuver the probe 
within a few tens of kilometers of the head 
of the comet, all the while sending back 
high-resolution pictures of the nucleus. 
Wide-angle cameras will show more of the 
coma and tail, and spectrometers, mag- 
netometers, and dust analyzers will study 
the local conditions in detail. 

Radar will keep the craft alongside the 
cornel head for six to twelve months — 
possibly in orbit about it — as the comet 
rounds the sun. More instruments will 
monitor the complex inle-acuons between 
the comet and the interplanetary environ- 
ment, while astronomers on earth com- 
pare their observations with those from 

The cameras on board will be able to 
show us objects as small as a baseball on 
the surface of Ihe nucleus. We may see 
volcano like outbursts of gas as the sun- 
light heats the frozen vapors. Jets of gas 
may alter the orbit of the comet, ever so 
slightly. At the end of the mission we may 
try to bump the spacecraft against the 
nucleus to test its properties. 

The possibility -s making this voyage 
depends on the ability to get enough 
power for the engines, the instruments, the 
radio, and radar. This is where the ion pro- 
pulsion system comes in. The spacecraft 
will carry a huge array of solar panels to 
gather the eve'Oieser: sunlight and con- 
vert it into electricity. Most of the power will 
go to the ion engines. 

Ion propulsion is not new. It has been 
under development for 20 years, and 
about ten years ago an Agena rocket was 
launched carrying SER~ the Space Elec- 
tric Rocket Test. Following that feasibility 
test, research continued in laboratories so 
that now ion rockets have operated under 
simulated-near-space conditions for 
10,000 hours (about 14 months) contin- 
uously. There is $5 million in this year's 

Comet probe is launched from Space SiiuWo; 
boosters inieciaat: mio interplanetary orbit, 
then drop oil. Small probe is deployed at 
Halley's comet; main craft goes an to Tempel 2. 

NASA budget tor continuing development 
of the ion engine. 

The ion rocket works by charging up a 
dense vapor and using an electric field to 
accelerate the gas out of the nozzle. I hat's 
the action. The reaction is the thrust given 
to the spacecraft. While the thrust is not 
high, a few hundredths of a pound com- 
pared with thousands of pounds for 
medium-sized chemical rockets, the ion 
rocket has the great advantage of going 
for a long time on a little fuel. Rocket engi- 
neers call that "specific impulse," and for 
an ton engine it can be ten to a hundred 
times greater than for a chemical rocket. A 
further advantage, without which the mis- 
sion would be impossible, is that the en- 
ergy comes from the sun. rather !han hav- 
ing to be carried along as fuel. 

For the ion engine, the fuel is liquid 
mercury — 860 kilograms of it for the three- 

year thrust. The mercury is fed into a 
chamber about the size of a cake tin and 
vaporized by heating. FJec:rons are 
squirted into it from an electron gun, simi- 
lar to the one in a television iube. The elec- 
trons give the mercury atoms a charge, 
converting them-into ions, and the ions are 
attracted toward two screens at one end of 
the chamber. One screen is grounded, the 
other charged up to 1000 volts, and this 
electric Held accelerates the ions to 
speeds of 30 kilometers per second and 
throws them out the back. Six such en- 
gines would be clustered to power the 
comet mission. 

Comets don't wait. The mission must be 
launched as scheduled orwe will miss this 
opportunity to study two comets for the 
price of one. 

NASA scientists w-il ask Cong-ess lor 
funds for the mission in the Fiscal Year 
(FY)1981 budget. The amount required 
will be one result of a current mission defi- 
nition study. Ion engine development is al- 
ready under way. But some researchers are 
worried that Ihe project will get bumped by 
a domino effect from Proposilion 13. 

Each year, NASA asks lor funds for "new 
starts" on projects that require many years' 
lead time. In FY 1 980, they will 
ask for funds for VOIR— Venus Orbiter 
Imaging Radar— scheduled for launch in 
1983 fney may get approval, but if they 
don't get it that year, an ejection year, the 
crunch will come when someone has to 
decide whether they will ask again for the 
Venus program the following year, FY '81', 
thereby bumping the comet mission, or 
whether they will let the Venus probe slip to 
FY '82, thereby bumping a planned Mars 
mission. If the comet mission start is de- 
layed, we will not be able to rendezvous 
with Halley until its next pass in 2062. 

Congress is likely to be in a money- 
saving mood in the near future, and politi- 
cians are wont to go after highly visible 
projects that affect (they think) the fewest 
voters. Public interest in the comet mission 
could help a great deal in seeing that this 
mission is not canceled. 

It is an important mission, for several 
disparate reasons. It is time we looked 
closely at the smaller bodies of the solar 
system, those that preserve best a record 
of the early solar system and how we all 
gol here. On a ohiiosoonical level, the de- 
gree to which a society supports basic re- 
search (as well as the arts and other "im- 
practical" endeavors] is an indication of 
the maturity of that society, Since 1969. the 
will to explore ihe new frontier of space 
seems to have withered. 

Halley's Comet is known to almost ev- 
eryone, and though its 1936 appearance 
will not be spectacular, public interest will 
be high. We could use a resurgence of 
that feeling of exploration that accompa- 
nied the Apollo program, But we must get 
the comet mission launched on schedule. 
Comets don't wait! DO 

VJT^l 111 IV. 




. j j3w>dqa worn 

You remember the day 

the time. Next year an orbiter will 

that aerospace history was made. 

actually lift off for Earth orbit. And 

On Friday, August 12, 1977, a NASA 

by the mid-1980s, a fleet of 

Space Shuttle orbiter, built by the 

Rockwell-built reusable orbiters will 

landedonearth Preheat iron [dry-wool 

Space Systems Group of Rockwell 

be giving this country the world's 

A setting) for 3 minutes. Slip 

International, glided silently down 

only economical, efficient space 

^jflL^ garment on ironing board 
"TW^" over scrap material. Remove 
from rockwell wrinkles. Position transfer 

to the Mojave Desert and com- 

transportation system, permitting 

pleted the first flight of the world's 

brand-new uses of space and 

face down and pin edges 

first reusable space transportation 

bringing the benefits of space 

(outside design area) to iron- 
ing board cover. Iron transfer 

system. It's a story well worth 

down to Earth. 

slowly fori minute, making 

telling, and remembering, with 
this T-shirt iron-on. 

The spaceship that lands on 
Earth is opening a whole new chap- 

sure to cover spaceship and large print (out to 
edges) egyiilv as shown on T-shirt. If paper browns, 
iron is too hot. Let transfer cool for 1 minute, then 

The story is getting better all 

ter in the space program. 

unpin and slowly pull transfer straight up. 

4lfe Rockwell 
^^^ International 


By Dr. Bernard Dixon 

A tew decades Irom now, we may 
make a brutal, calculated de- 
l cision to totally eradicate a 
particular form of life. We already are 99 
percent of the way along that path. 

Even conservationists, who publicly 
deplore the extinction of innumerable 
species of animals and plants through ne- 
glect, ignorance, or financial greed, have 
applauded this conscious, murderous act 
to be carried out by a UN agency. 

I speak of smallpox virus. Since 1967, 
the World Health Organization (WHO) has 
been systematically obliterating this 
devastating parasite from vast tracts of the 
globe. The last case of smallpox in South 
America was recorded in 1 971 , the last in 
Indonesiain 1972, and in Pakistan, 1974. 
Nine months ago, a triumphant WHO an- 
nounced that the few remaining traces of 
infection in Ethiopia and Somalia have 
been stamped out. So ends the greatest 
public health crusade in history. 

But WHO's field workers have not simply 
conquered one of the most vile, maladies 
ever known to man. By vaccinating human 
populations, they made life impossible for 
a particular microorganism. As a result, 
smallpox virus is no longer at large among 
Homo sapiens . It is confined to glass 
phials in the deep-freezes of medical lab- 
oratories throughout the world. My ques- 
tion is: When we feel sure that smallpox is 
indeed extinct in nature, should those final 
stocks of virus be committed to flame? 
I guess they will be. Common sense 

supports the idea. But let's look at the 

All arguments deployed by wildlife 
enthusiasts in their efforts to protect 
endangered whales, turtles, and but- 
terflies apply just as forcibly to small- 
pox virus. As a threatened species, it is 
absolutely unique. Once extinct, it 
can never be recreated by laboratory 
scientists. Smallpox virus has formed 
an "ecosystem" with man in the past, and 
while we seem to have decimated it with 
impunity, there could be longterm ill con- 
sequences of which we are naively 
unaware. Finally, although an electron 
microscope is required to see it, smallpox 
virus is not an unattractive piece of 
life. Microbiologists gain aesthetic plea- 
sure from peering at the most virulent of 
germs, this one included. 

It is, of course, fhe nastiness of smallpox 
virus that makes talk of conservation seem 
laughable, if no! lunatic. Its lethal power, 
rather than man's military might, explains 
why Hernando Cortez, with less than 600 
men, was able to conquer the great Aztec 
empire in the early 16th century. The invisi- 
ble germ spread like wildfire, reducing the 
population of central Mexico from some 
30 million to three million. In modern times, 
before the WHO initiative got underway, no 
other virus was so feared as a cause of 
disfigurement and death. 

Putting aside conservation arguments 
(valid though they are) what possible 

could there be for retaining such 

■ ■''■■'■ ' '" 


horrendous material? Just two. First, it's 
conceivable that smallpox will return and 
that the present-day virus could be useful 
in fighting the disease. The germ will not 
be required for vaccination: ihat is done 
with a related virus (vaccinia), which cer- 
tainly will be maintained in laboratories for 
all time. But it might prove valuable as a 
tool for studying a resurgent form of small- 
pox. Once the WHO campaign has abo- 
lished the disease from nature, such atool 
could come from only one source. A 
million-to-one chance exists that the virus 
is incarcerated in a desiccated burial vault 
or similar location, which has allowed it to 
survive without being fransmitted from 
person to person. Unlikely, but possible. 

Second, we could find numerous ap- 
plications for smallpox virus in a totally 
different field. As the discipline of genetic 
manipulation forges ahead, hereditary 
material from diverse sources will be used 
to fabricate novel organisms valuable in 
medicine, agriculture and other fields. Ev- 
ery living crealure, plant, and animal on 
earth will become a vital genetic resource. 
In years to come, the irreplaceable DNA of 
smallpox virus may prove beneficial in 
areas that cannot be foreseen today. 

These arguments will doubtless be 
eclipsed by the public's concern for main- 
taining a horrendous germ in national 
deep-freezes. WHO has said only that the 
number of laboratories holding smallpox 
virus will be reduced. 

It seems certain to go further, however, 
making not just a dread disease but also a 
unique life-form totally extinct. That will be 
a spectacular historical decision. No other 
microorganism has been so methodically 
eradicated before. And the odds against it 
happening again (however mighty the 
WHO's battalions) are overwhelming. 

In May of this year, the World Health 
Organization posted a reward of $1000 for 
anyone who first reports the finding of an 
active case of smallpox anywhere. Eradi- 
cation of smallpox on a global scale can- 
not be officially announced until a two- 
year search fails to turn up evidence of the 
disease.— Ed. DQ 



By James Oberg 

Friction between science and fly- 
ing saucers has generated a bliz- 
zard of sparks over the years. 
The sides are well defined: Establishment 
scientists traditionally dismiss UFO data 
as fanciful fiction, while UFO enthusiasts 
portray themselves as outcast Galileos, 
prophets of a new scientific revolution. 

Advocates of Unidentified Flying Ob- 
jects insist that they are onto some extraor- 
dinary phenomenon unaccountable by 
contemporary science. The favorite theory 
involves alien spacecraft, but growing 
splinter groups promote various psychic, 
interdimensional, cross -temporal, con- 
spiratorial, or even more bizarre hy- 
potheses. Whatever il is, UFO enthusiasts 
assert, the confirmation of extraterrestrial 
beings could be a key to the next great 
breakthrough in human knowledge. 

Few could argue such a premise. 

Early in 1977, the wire services reported 
that astronomers now favor scientific stud- 
ies of UFOs. According to The New York 
Times, "unidentified flying objects should 
be investigated further, a majority of 
trained astronomical observers said in a 
survey disclosed recently," 

Closer analysis showed that the private 
pro-UFO survey actually meant that only 
one-quarter of those polled responded 
that UFOs "certainly" or "probably" de- 
served study, with a few more agreeing 

that they "possibly" deserved study More 
to the point, only one-quarter of 1 perceni 
of the astronomers thought that UFOs 
were important enough to warrant their 
personal attention. 

But the poll did nevertheless seem to 
bestow some measure of scientific re- 
spectability to this topic, previously ranked 
among the lunatic fringe. The poll was 
symptomatic of the changing image of 
UFOs, and the new status of UFO re- 

After three decades of exuberant if ama- 
teurish fieldwork, furious propagandizing, 
and aimless theorizing, a number of UFO 
groups have finally begun to play the 
game using rules of science. Accepting 
the burden of proof, they have mounted an 
Impressive scientific program designed to 
demonstrate, finally, that UFOs exist. 

On a dark hillside in Texas, white- 
uniformed men monitor a battery of instru- 
ments, hoping to catch and record the 
subtle physical effects alleged to accom- 
pany UFO visitations. In photographic 
laboratories across the country, data pro- 
cessing specialists analyze computerized 
■ images oi alleged UFO photographs, 
seeking evidence of forgery and potential 
proof of authenticity. A computerized data 
base in Chicago prints out pattern analy- 
ses of UFO sightings, seeking a signal 
behind the noise of thousands of annual 

Spectacular glowing UFO was photographed from a Concorde during 1973 solar eclipse. 

reports. Pieces of metal picked up near 
alleged landing sites undergo spectro- 
scopic examination in well-equipped 

These are the techniques of science, 
applied to a subject long regarded as be- 
yond the fringes of science. But these are 
the techniques that will produce proof, if 
proof is possible . 

Standards are,now tighter and the 
experience of UFO investigators greater, 
so that many "unknowns" have dimin- 
ished. More and more cases have been 
solved, but always a fraction remain un- 
solved, unexplained, unidentified. This 
residue of unknowns is the basis for UFO 
enthusiasts' hope. Skeptics disagree, 
saying that inherent limitations in human 
perception, memory, and knowledge will 
always introduce a small artificial residue 
of unknowns. 

So what kind of data will stand up to sci- 
entific standards, no! as a leftover residue 
of mysteries but as a definitive list of re- 
corded events? 

Laying aside the possibilities that alien 
ambassadors will land at the White House 
or that the fabled "secret captured flying 
saucer" will ever be rescued from alleged 
governmental oblivion, hard evidence for 
the reality and respectability of UFOs must 
come from laboratories now engaged in 
scientitlc research. 

The "Project Starlight International" 
team, privately but generously funded by 
some Texas millionaires, has assembled 
an array of instruments that could produce 
incontrovertible evidence. They have cam- 
eras, radar, spectrometers, magnetome- 
ters, radiation sensors, gravitometers, and 
a small laser beam to communicate with 
extraterrestrials should they happen by. 

The Starlight UFO trap has now been in 
full operation for nearly three years. Mew 
equipment continues to be added, includ- 
ing a radar set and computerized alert 
system that automatically telephones vol- 
unteer skywatchers in the vicinity of a 
computed UFO position. The system 
works well in drills — but nothing substan- 
tive has resulted. 

The most exciting recent events have 
dealt with a fierce wood tick infestation on 

the hillside where the Starlight equipment 
is mounted. White-clad UFO watchers 
bend to their technical tasks amid the 
tumes of sulfur bombs. They watch a sky 
full of airplanes, meteors, satellites, kites, 
balloons, birds, ball lightning, migrating 
wind-blown spiders, and maybe, jusi 
maybe, something else. But, as Starlight 
project director Ray Stanford told col- 
leagues at a 1 976 UFO conference, "If we 
search for ten years with what we've got 
and we don't find anything, then we're go- 
ing to have to admit that nothing is there." 

One of the most visible aspects of the 
phenomenon is a growing collection of 
UFO photographs. While the vast majority 
of UFO sighting reports are made by hon- 
est, perplexed, often reluclant witnesses, 
most photographs are hoaxes. To sepa- 
rate out the possibly authentic photos, if 
any at all, experts use photoanalysis 

For example, Dr. Brtice Maccabee. a re- 
searcher for the National Investigafions 
Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), 
has made densitometric scans of a fa- 
mous 1950 photo from McMinnville, Ore- 
gon. The scans support the skeptical 
"Condon Committee" conclusion that the 
photo could in fact be of a large structured 
disk 50 feet or more in diameter. But an- 
other expert, computer specialist Robert 
Sheaffer, concluded fhal the photo was 
made with a smudged lens and that the 
object appears to be hanging from an 
overhead power line. Condon Committee 
investigators later changed their minds 
and agreed with Sheaffer. 

Specialists at the "Ground Saucer 
Watch" (GSW) office in Phoenix also apply 
advanced data processing techniques to 
photographs. Their work has raised howls 
of protest from traditional UFO groups be- 
cause many of the more famous photos 
have been denounced by GSW as frauds. 
However, GSW has compiled a small list of 
photos that they suggest could be genu- 

ine. Again, other researchers disagree, 
and scientific debate is raging on the va- 
lidity of such processing techniques. 

Computer scientists have a favorite 
proverb; "Garbage in, garbage out." It 
means that bad input data can be manipu- 
lated to produce nearly any output de- 
sired, but it will be useless. That, so far, 
seems to be the fate of UFO computerized 
data banks, since data processing spe- 
cialists have criticized them for not having 
sufficient control over the validity of input 
data. UFO proponents, appealing to math- 
ematical formulas from information theory, 
claim that a proper computer program can 
filter out the garbage and sift through to 
the authentic residue. 

Nor have laboratories produced any 
specimen that could not have been ob- 
tained from ordinary sources on earth. Ex- 
otic space metals or artifacts continue to 
oe reported, but none have passed the in- 
vestigation of professional laboratories. 

Yet these debates have changed mark- 
edly from the days when UFOs were the 
topic for screwball religious cults, nasty in- 
sinuations about wiinesses' sanity and/or 
sobriety, and knee-jerk gullibility. Today's 
arguments must stand up to the time- 
tested standards of scientific research. 
Perhaps they will reveal something, per- 
haps not. But it's the only way to find oui 
for sure. 

In light of the need for better scientific 
research about UFOs. it is particularly 
frustrating to read published reports that 
"NASA has rejected a White House re- 
quest to reopen the government- 
sponsored research program." But the 
real story is not so open-and-shut as these 
pessimistic accounts would indicate. 
■ Actually, the story began when Presi- 
dent Carter promised to release all UFO 
data, if elected. Once elected, he discov- 

UFO experts give "the benefit o! the doubt" to this Yungay. Peru photo and believe it genuine. 

ered that the Air Force's "Blue Book" files 
were already being declassified, and ev- 
erybody denied having any other files. 
Carter's science adviser, Dr. Frank Press, 
was assigned the task of answering UFO- 
related mail from the public. A flood of mail 
arrived, demanding that the "real secret 
files" be released. 

Overwhelmed with queries, Press asked 
NASA director Dr. Robert Frosch if NASA 
might handle the mail. In the letter, one 
paragraph innocently asked if NASA 
would consider convening a panel to de- 
cide if anew c-ficial investigation was war- 

Following several months of consider- 
ation, NASA said that it could see no rea- 
son to undertake a new investigation. 
However, Frosch offered fo make NASA 
laboratories available to analyze any 
UFO "physical evidence" that might be 

Six months later, nothing has been offi- 
cially submitted. 

If UFOs are alien spacecraft {and while 
this is the leading theory, many other 
schools of thought have come and gone), 
it's likely that earth's spaceships may have 
been able to encounter them in outer 
space. Stories have sprung up about how 
"our astronauts have seen them too!" 

In fact, each story can be traced back to 
authors' misunderstandings, distortions, 
exaggerations, or just plain fabrications. 
There does not appear to be a single case 
on record of American or Soviet spacemen 
encountering anything extraordinary 
in terms of normal space occurrences. 

The most famous case, however, con- 
tinues to thrive. It deals with a UFO seen 
by astronaut James McDivitt on the 
Gemini-4 mission in June 1 965. McDivitt 
insists that the beer-can shaped object 
was just another man-made satellite, but 
some observers have suggested that it 
was a glimpse of his own booster rocket in 
a nearby orbit. 

A "tadpole" photograph was released 
by NASA soon after the flight, taken from a 
series of movie frames. McDivitt claims he 
shot a few exposures with two still cam- 
eras, but (hey did not turn out. He didn't 
touch the movie camera, and the blob of 
light released by an overeager photo tech- 
nician shows only a window reflection, he 

APRO's Dr. Harder, however, insists that 
the "tadpole" really was the UFO, despite 
what McDivitt thinks, and that it was being 
propelled by a plasma jet. Dr. Harder 
chooses to disregard :ne astronaut's testi- 
mony and build his case on a few frames 
of reflections. UFO believers can only 
hope that most UFO evidence is not so in- 

Positive proof of a genuine UFO encounter 

could be extremely valuable for the entire 
human race. It could be financially reward- 
ing for the owners of that proof. And it 
could spell financial ruin for one prominent 
UFO skeptic — unless, of course, he was 
the one delivering the proof, 

The National Enquirer, a weekly tabloid 
newspaper with a circulation in the mil- 
lions, has a standing offer of $1 million for 
"positive proof." The London-based whis- 
key bottler Cutty Sark, Ltd., recently un- 
veiled an even bigger prize of one million 
pounds Sterling, or about $1 ,800,000 at 
the presenf exchange rate. 

Lesser awards also are available in the 
absence of positive proot. The Enquirer 
. annually grants up to $1 0,000 to witnesses 
of a UFO incident judged "most scientifi- 
cally valuable" by an independent panel of 
UFO specialists (the "Blue-Ribbon Panel," 
see box). And Cutty Sark has announced 
plans to award £1 000 to Ihe best-written 
essay on the UFO problem. 

Moreover, a number of London belting 
houses have accepted various wagers on 
the imminenl visitations of extraterrestrials. 
But the world's most famous "anti-UFO 
bet" has been set forth in the book UFOs 

Author Philip J. Klass, a senior editor of 
Aviation Week magazine and the nation's 
leading UFO skeptic, claims he has chal- 
lenged UFO believers "to put their money 
where their mouths are." Klass has offered 
to pay $10,000 to anyone who agrees to 
his bet, if and when certain criteria are met 
establishing that a true UFO visitalion has 

occurred. Every year until that happens, 
Ihe wagerer must pay Klass the sum of 
$1 00 (up to a maximum of $1 000, after 
which payments cease but the bet re- 
mains in force). 

Less than a dozen UFO enthusiasts 
have signed up to date, usually on inside 
information that "this year the government 
is going to announce UFO contacts. ..." 
Such predictions have appeared in print 
nearly every year for a quarter of a century, 
but people still seem to believe them. 
Klass has become a little richer because 
of them. 

Only one UFO buff has maintained his 
bet in force, apparently more for publiciiy 
than persuasion. Stanton Friedman makes 
a living off his lecture tours proclaiming the 
reality of UFOs, and he responded to 
Klass's needling by formally agreeing to 
the bet a few years ago. 

Additionally, Klass has offered to buy 
back all copies of his book UFOs Ex- 
plained if events prove h : s assertions in- 
correct. But pro-UFO scientist Robert Mc- 
Campbell has done Klass one better. He 
has offered to buy back copies of his book 
UFOIogy from anyone not satisfied with it, 
proof or no proof. 

Actually, Philip J, Klass already had 
been setting off multimegaton detonations 
among the ranks of UFO believers. Miffed 
wh.en UFO experts in 1 968 ridiculed a seri- 
ous (and siili tenable) suggestion that 
many UFOs were actually ball lightning, 
the by nature combative aviation reporter 

threw himself into serious investigations of 
what were regarded as the "best" classic 
UFO cases. He often dug up startling (and 
embarrassing) new evidence bul has be- 
come a pariah in UFO circles (Hynek 
retuses to appear together with him, and 
Hynek's "UFO bibliography" handout 
pointedly ignores Klass's two books). 

With the death of astronomer Donald 
Menzelin 1976, Klass has emerged as the 
nation's leading UFO skeptic. He spurns 
the word "debunker," with its connotations 
of knee-jerk dismissals and unorthodox 
points of view. Instead, Klass attempts to 
investigate UFO cases more deeply than 
might other researchers who have sub- 
conscious desires to actually find proof of 
extraterrestrial visitors. Concentrating only 
on the generally acclaimed "best cases," 
Klass often has exposed the superficiality 
of work done by pro-UFO experts. 

In 1 977, he joined with other scientists 
and educators in forming the "Committee 
for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of 
the Paranormal," a group that has de- 
nounced easy acceptance by the public 
of allegedly baseless's in astrology, 
the Bermuda Triangle, ESP, "ancient astro- 
nauts," and modern myths. 
Klass heads a small but potent band of 
skeptical investigators called the UFO 
Subcommittee. At the very least, this 
group demands the tightening of stan- 
dards in so-calleci scicir.ific UFOIogy. The 
level of carelessness of many pro-UFO ex- 
perts has markedly declined, so progress , 
is being made. DQ 


Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), 1 909 Sherman Suite 207, 
Evanston. IL 60201 . Self-styled pinnacle of UFO activities, this 
small group generally depends on other groups for data. Dr. 
Allen Hynek does the public appearances and fund raising, 
while researcher Allan Hendry carries out actual coordination 
and in-depth investigation. Two publications: CUFOS 
Quarterly Bulletin , $1,5/ yf.; and international UFO Reporter, 

Aerial Phenomenon Research Organization (APRO). 3910 E. 
Kleindale, Tucson, AZ 8571 2. Among the longest surviving 
UFO groups (represented in 50 countries), APRO is held to- 
gether by the dedication of its cofounders Jim and Coral 
Lorenzen, who have recently led the group to specialize 
(critics say monopolize) in "UFO abduction cases." APRO 
Bulletin, $10/yr. for 12 issues. 

National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (Nl- 
CAP), Suite 23, 3535 University Blvd., Kensington MD 20795. 
Another old group, unfortunately in a downhill slide following a 
decade of organizational in-fighting. NICAP Bulletin, S10/yr. 
Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), 103 Oldtowne Road, Seguin, 
TX 78155. A vigorous, expanding group acting in concert with 
CUFOS. MUFON UFO Journal, $8/yr. 

Ground Saucer Watch (GSW), 13238 North 7th Drive, Phoenix, 
AZ 85029. Highly professional organization (membership by 
invilation only), which applies vigorous scientific standards to 
UFO investigations. Ouanerlv inuma; free with membership. 
Project Starlight International (PSI), PO Box 531 0, Austin TX 
78763. Somewhat mysterious organization with Ihe best array 

of gadgets yet assembled to measure UFOs — if only they 
could find one. Irregular bulletin sent in exchange for cash 

Committee Against UFO Secrecy (CAUS), 191 E 161st St,, 
Bronx NY 1 0451 . New offshoot of GSW, this small group is us- 
ing Freedom of Information suits to extract allegedly secret 
hypothetical government "UFO files." Newsletter $10/yr. 
20th Century UFO Bureau, 756 Haddon Avenue, Col- 
ling wood, NJ 08108. This group, associated with Dr. Carl 
Mclntyre's "20th Century Reformation Hour," believes that 
some UFOs are angels and signs of the imminent Second 
Coming. However, other UFOs are sent by Satan to confuse 
people lest they recognize the angels, 
UFO Subcommittee of the "Committee for the Scientific Inves- 
tigation of Claims of the Paranormal," 923 Kensington Avenue, 
Buffalo, NY 14215. The first formal organization of UFO skep- 
tics, who tackle the "best UFO cases" on record, often with 
spectacular success, much to the dismay of most UFO buffs. 
Reports of activities are included in the Committee publication 
The Skeptical Inquirer (formerly Zetetic), $1.2/yr. 
The National Enquirer's Blue Ribbon Panel of UFO exper's 
(who review "best cases" for cash rewards). Two regular 
members (James Harder and Leo Sprinkle) are joined by a 
changing cadre of obscure "UFO experts," including this 
year's Willard Armstrong and John L. Warren. More respected 
UFOIogists have declined offers of membership. Send contest 
entries to UFO REWARD, National Enquirer, Lantana FL, 
33464. All entries will be evaluated. 


^^ ^^ ost readers of Omni presum- 
|| J .' I ably grew up, likelhis re- 
I w I viewer, with the concept that 
the inevitable expansion of humanity 
would lead to the colonization of other 
planets. While Ihis idea is hardly dead and 
buried— witness a recent journal article in 
which James Oberg offers some bold but 
plausible pians to transform our moon, 
Mars, Venus, and even Mercury into 
earthlike biospheres — the goal of planet 
colonization has been challenged by a 
radically different notion of the Final 
Frontier Created by Princeton professor of 
physics Gerard K. O'Neill, this new 
concepl is based on one of those 
revolutionary propositions that are so 
simple they seem self-evident. The 
surface of a planet, O'Neill asserts, is not a 
very good place to house a postindustrial 
society. Free space itself, he says, is the 
natural ecological habitat for a high- 
energy, high-growth technological 

The best sing e presentation of O'Neill's 
Ideas is found in his book The High 
Frontier (William Morrow, 1 976): "On a 
planetary surface," he argues, "we are the 
'gravitationally disadvantaged,' at the 
bottom of a deep hole in potential energy. 
To raise ourselves from earth into free 
space is equivalent in energy to climbing 
out of a hole 6461 kilometers deep, a 
distance more than 600 times the height of 
Mt. Everest. Does it make sense to climb 
with great energy out of one such hole, 
drift across a region rich in energy and 
materials, and then laboriously climb back 
down into another hole, where both energy 
and matter are more difficult to get and to 
"use?" Answering with a resounding no, 
O'Neill explains how we could build a 
variety of space habitats, space towns, 
and eventually space cities, starting in the 
L-5 area (the most stable of the five 
Legrange points where the earth-moon 
gravitational fields balance out to zero.) 

Dr. O'Neill writes in an easy, 

nontechnical style and stresses, after 
demonstrating the engineering soundness 
of his designs, that the resources and 
enormous new energy such space 
habitats would capture would stave off the 
Doomsday and New Dark Ages predicted 
by the professional pessimists of the Club 
of Rome and the pop ecology movement. 

Space Colonies, edited by Stewart 
Brand (Penguin, 1977), offers both 
emotional and intellectual debate on 
O'Neill's scenario and features what 
Hollywood might call an all-star cast — 
including Buckminster Fuller, Carl Sagan, 
Russell Schweickart, Lewis Mumford, 
Governor Jerry Brown, and dozens of 
others, pro and con. Unfortunately, the text 
seems to have been set by a disciple of 
the Marquis de Sade, in a typeface that ' 
should be called Old Eyesore, and the 
reader who tries to get through all of it will 
probably end up with a case of eyestrain. 

A warning on semantics before we go 
farther: Professo' Mac, c ran Maruyama, an 
anthropologist who favors O'Neill's 
scenario, has been warning for about four 
years that "space colonies" is an 
unfortunate phrase, since the word 
colonies in'any context provokes a 
negative reaction among Third World 
readers. The only ones who have 
assimilated Maruyama's perspective are 
the editors of L-5 News, a journal devoted 
to O'Neill's ideas, and they have switched 
to "space habitats." Dr. Timothy Leary, with 
his usual Mad Avenue flair, has offered 
H.O.M.E.s (High Orbital Mini-Earths) but 
was not particularly enchanted when this 
reviewer he oopular.ze his idea 
iurther by writing a song, "H.O,M,E,s on 
Legrange." Space colonies still haunts 
most of the books we are reviewing here. 

T. A. Heppenheimer's Colonies in Space 
(Stackpole, 1977) — there it is again— is 
lively, lavishly illustrated, and a model of 
how to popularize science for a mass 
audience. If you want to know exactly why 
the L-5 area is stable, why space colonists 
(pardon, dwellers) wil p-cbably drink 
goat's milk instead of cow's, how to keep 
bees in high orbit, or dozens of nitty-gritty 
matters like that, Heppenheimer is the 
man who can lay it all out for you in a 

breezy, easy style. There are no 
oversimplifications, yet a bright high 
school student can understand every 
word, beginning with Ray Bradbury's 
lyrical introduction. 

Staggering is the only word for G. Harry 
Stine's The Third Industrial Revolution 
(Putnam, 1975), a book as popularly 
written as Heppenheimer's but as mind- 
boggling as 2001 . Stine, an aeronautic 
engineer, is concerned only in part with 
O'Neill's space settlements; his vision 
encompasses all the industrial processes 
■that can be accomplished more cheaply 
and efficiently in space. The First Industrial 
Revolution in Stine's evolutionary 

near-future. Estsnci ary's vision is one in 
which space resources will abolish 
poverty, medical advances will achieve 
longevity land the ri'st sieos toward 
immortality), both nations and the nuclear 
family will wilher away, and humanity will 
be so transformed by the first decade of 
the next century that all present.ideas of 
limitations on progress will be obsolete. 

Every bit as sober as Esfandiary's book 
is visionary, Gerald Feinberg's 
Consequences of Growth (Seabury, 1977) 
examines all the ecoconservative 
objections to space habitats, longevity, 
genetic engineering, and Futurist 
optimism. With consideration for the 

By the year 2000 space cjntc^ienrs sttht 

perspective was only a small step beyond 
agriculture and cottage economy; the 
Second Industrial Revolution 
(cybernation), only a slightly larger leap; 
but the Third Industrial Revolution (space 
technology) is a really big jump, offering 
us so much new energy and resources 
that all previous history becomes the Dark 
Ages by comparison. Written with the nuts- 
and-bolls, cost-and-profits orientation of 
an engineer who is accustomed to 
justifying every new idea to the financial/ 
management department, TheThird 
Industrial Revolution is totally Utopian but 
remorselessly pragmatic — "as revolu- 
tionary as science and as conservative as 
the multiplication table, "to borrow a 
phrase from Calvin Coolidge. 

The books of Iranian sociologist R M. 
Esfandiary, now available in paperback 
(Optimism One,Upwingers, and 
Telespheres, Popular Library, 1377), insist 
polemically that fhe only real reason to 
reject the Utopian scenarios of O'Neill and 
Stine is a gut-level feeling that humanity 
doesn't deserve success and happiness. 
Castigating the "pessimism," "self-hatred," 
and "despair" of the antigrowth 
philosophy, Esfandiary writes like a jet- 
propelled Nietzsche, sometimes 
substitutinrjTnvective for solid argument 
but cerlainly stunning and provoking the 
reader with a roller-coaster ride intp a 

feelings of those who regard the future 
w ; th anxiety. Feinberg examines the 
evidence dispassionalely and votes, with 
reservations, for the optimists. 

Barbara Marx Hubbard of the 
Committee for the Future offers her own 
scenario in The Hunger of Eve {Stackpole, 
1 976). Hubbard is as daringly original as 
Esiandiary but remains his opposite in all 
other ways: poetic where he is polemic, 
mystic where he is rationalistic, gently yin 
where he is ferociously yang. Still, the 
Hunger of Barbara is huge, aiming at 
indefinite expansion in both space and 
lime (O'Neill habitats plus immortality); her 
book is also the best written of all those 
reviewed here, singing of space and 
human potential with the lyricism of a 
prose Whitman and the fire of a feminine 

The ultimate (so far) in Futurism !s Dr. 
Timothy Leary's Exo-Psychology 
(Starseed/Peace Press, 1977), which 
combines a joltingly electronic text with a 
superslick layout. Magazine-style 
headlines across the top of each page are 
matched by a reiterated slogan across, the 
bottom lhal reads, smplesmfle smi^le space 


extension. Behind this tv commercial 
facade. Leary offers a whole new theory of 
evolution, dividing humanity's terrestrial 
history into 1 2 stages of increasing 

intelligence and projecting 1 2 quantum 
jumps of even higher intelligence after we 
migrate from earth. The message of the 
whole is given in a nutshell at Ihe 
beginning: "Since no one can allow the 
game to become bigger than our concept 
of the Game (what is not imprinted is not 
real to the primale brain) therefore let us 
define the game as large fast intense 
precise as possible .... Unlimited Space 
Unlimited Time and Unlimited Intelligence 
to enjoy same. smi'LE." Only Esfandiary 
comes clpse to being as lutique as that, 
ideologically or typographically. 

Ben Bova's Colony (Pocket Books, 
1978) is the first science fiction novel on 
the O'Neill scenario. Looking both ways, 
Bova projects a Utopian tuture in space 
while allowing all the worst glocm-and- 
doom predictions to come true down on 
earth. The bopk's hero, David Adams, is a 
genetically engineered superman from an 
O'Neill spaceworld who takes pity on the 
suffering masses of ecologically ruined 
Terra and sets oul to save them. To tell 
what happens would ruin the suspense of 
a very exciting yarn, but one can hint that 
tragedy and triumph are mixed in the 
manner of the epic futuristic visions of Oiaf 
Stapledon. Don't be surprised if Colony 
wins the Hugo as best SF novel of the 
year. — Robert Anton Wilson 

There is nothing new, strictly speaking, 
in film and television translations ot 
science and science fiction material. 
Every conceivable subject has been dealt 
with in books, magazines, and pamphlets . 
in the past century. What is new, however, 
is the apparent growing interest in this 
genre by a sizable portion of the American 
and international audience. 

Science fiction has been dealt with in 
movies since the silent days, notably in 
Georges Meliet. s corner extravaganza, 
A Trip to the Moon, in 1902. But there has 
never been enough audience interest to 
generate a flock of "serious" (i.e. big 
budget) science fiction films and television 
shows. Until now. With the enormous 
success of Star Wars and Close 
Encounters of the Third Kind, the powers 
that control the pursestrings of the 
entertainment industry have been 
convinced of the profits to be gained in 
this market. 

Reluctantly at first, then with greater 
determination, every major film studio, 
backroom independent producer, 
television network, and even that bastion 
of good taste and educational fervGr.-the 
Public Broadcasting Service, has jumped 
on the Star Wars bandwagon. Financial 
gain is only part of the story. Many of the 
films and television programs now in 
various stages of production represent 
even more ambitious undertakings than 
Star Wars and Close Encounters. 

If the current crop of television shows is 
successful, the next three years will see a 

massive reorientation of audience viewing 
time toward science and science fiction 
and away from traditional westerns, 
medical programs, police dramas, or 
musical variety shows. Hybrids of tried 
and true TV fare will most likely emerge as 
well: Be prepared for Medical Center 
2000, Lasersmoke, Carol Burnett and 
Buzz Aldrin on the Moon, or Mars Squad. 
On the positive side, the success of the 
PBS science shows, from Bronowski's The 
Ascent of Man to The National 
Geographic Specials and TheCousteau 
Odyssey will lead us into more serious 
examinations of our planet and its 
surrounding universe. 

In the movies, the trend toward big- 
budget adventure melodramas ("space 
operas") has replaced the still-extant 
though now downplayed disaster cycle, of 
which hybrids have sprouted in all 
directions. What might have been just an 
earthquake, a tidal wave, or some other 
natural disaster is now a product of 
manipulation by forces from outer space, ' 
as evidenced in the upcoming Meteor, 
Terror Beyond the Stars, and other light 

Science fiction may not be here to stay, 
for the quality of many efforts will surely tax 
the patience and credulity ot even the 
most devoted enthusiasts, but it is being 
given a fair chance. This fall we'll see the 
tip of the iceberg in the SF boom. Whether 
the remainder of the floe will ever see the 
light of day may depend on the ability of 
the upcoming sample to generate 
enthusiasm even marginally comparable 
to Star Wars and Close Encounters, which 
together are approaching the 
5400,000,000 mark in world box office 

(syndicated) Don Herbert, who as "Mr, 
Wizard" was one of ihq groundbreakers in 
science education on television, returns 
with a series of 90-second and two- and 
lour-minute spots covering a variety of 
contemporary subjects .... Marie Curie 
(PBS; origin: WCET, Cincinnati; a 
coproduction of the BBC and Time/Life 
Films) Five hour-long weekly dramas 
about the life and work of the two-time 
Nobel Prize-winning discoverer ot radium. 
Produced by Peter 

Goodchild, who was responsible for the 
Microbes and Men series on PBS a couple 
of seasons past, in which Madame Curie 
was one of a number of great scientists 

responsible for the look and feel oi Star 
Wars. A classic space opera with classy 
special effects; but will they work on the 
little screen? .... 
COMEDY Mork and Mindy (ABC) 
Seemingly, someone ie-read Visit to a 
Small Planet and decided it might make a 
good series. Produced by the makers of 
Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley, this 
show presents us with the story of Mork, 
from the planet Ork, and his American 
girlfriend Mindy, who's the only one to 
know his true identity. Mork from the planet 
Ork? . . . The Muppet Show (syndicated) 
The most entertaining, though hardly the 
classiest, space show since Star Trek is 
the regular segment of Pigs in Space seen 


There are well over a dozen science and 
science fiction programs being presented 
this fall on the tube. They range from 90 
seconds in length to thirteen hours or 
more, cover a variety of subjects from 
serious documentary to wars in outer 
space, and include a healthy sample of 
shows being renewed by the all-powerful 
dollar-hungry networks. This season's 
programs fall into four areas: adventure, 
comedy, drama, and educational 
entertainment. The surprise of the year is 
that the educational shows are as 
numerous as adventures, quite 
unexpected for a medium in which viewers 
typically would rather watch an explosion 
than have it analyzed. 
Cousteau Odyssey (PBS; origin: KCET, 
Los Angeles) Returning with four new 
shows for the 78-79 season. The first new 
program, to air in December, will include a 
visit to and explanation of Easter Island. 
Later shows may include an examination 
of the Nile River .... How About . . . 

The National Geographic Specials (PBS; 
origin: WQED. Pittsburgh) Returning with 
four new shows: Gold, an examination of 
its power over men; Hong Kong, a study in 
the lifestyle of a city; Thor Heyerdahl and 
the Tigris, the final journey of the extra- 
ordinary explorer across the Persian Gulf 
and the Indian Ocean on aSumerian reed 
craft; Kenya: Wildlife Hand Management: 
problems of conservation in a developing 
nation. Their documentaries are totally 
objective, perhaps too objective for the 
late 70s. Efforts to thread the line 
between exploitation of their subject 
and examination of serious issues 
lack needed commentary. . . What Do We 
Know Now That We Didn't Know Then 
(syndicated) A series of one-hour 
documentaries on diverse subjects. One 
program examines UFOs. 
ADVENTURE The Amazing Spiderman 
(CBS) Series dramatizes the adventures of 
the Marvel Comics Group super-hero .... 
Battle of the Planets (syndicated) 85 half- 
hour animated science-fiction episodes, 
made in Japan in the tradition of round- 
eyed derivative children's fare .... 
Battle Star Galactica (ABC) One of the 
expensive (and probably well-produced) 
series to reach television. Special effects 
created by John Dykstra, who was largely 


(above); Pigs in J 

mm The 

on The Muppet Show. Commander Link 
Hogthrob, Doctor Strangepork, and that 
sexually smoldering mistress of outer 
space and America's hearts, Miss Piggy, 
on their never-ending mission to destroy 
all that is holy in the tradition of space 
adventure. Not to be missed. 

DRAMA Fantasy Island (ABC) Though not 
strictly science fiction, its resemblance to 
Michael Crichton's Weslworld bears 
mentioning, Unfortunately, the series 
generally resembles The Love Boat, 
abandoning the potential excitement 
implied by its title .... Fire In the Sky 
(NBC) Made-for-television film reminiscent 
of When Worlds Collide; an -astronomer 
(Richard Crenna) tries to tell the world of 
its impending collision with a comet .... 
Project U.FO. (NBC) With special effects 
far better than those in most feature films, 

■ this Jack Webb-produced series takes 
Dragnet to its ultimate spaced-oui 
conclusion: government investigators look 
into reports of close encounters of the iirst, 
second, and third kind, with highly comic 
effect (though unintentionally so) as each 
sighting is explained away, or left 

■ unanswered, in a straight-laced 1950s 
police manner. 

SPRING, FALL 1979 Brave New World: 
NBC 4-hour novel for tv. Big-budget 

adaptation of Aldous Huxley's futuristic 
novel .... Buck Rogers: NBC made-for-tv 
movie with poa:=iulsaecjeis or series to 
follow .... Flash Gordon: NBC animated 
World Premiere Movie with series potential 
.... The Lathe of Heaven: Pilot for PBS 
series dramatizing wocks of speculative 
science fiction .... The Martian 
Chronicles; NBC six-part mini-series 
adaptation of Ray Bradbury's famous work 
.... The Unknown: Syndicated, daily 
supernatural soap opera written by author 
of Dark Shadows. 

Bedknobs and Broomsticks) \o space. A 
cat by the name of "Zuhar J5/90 Doric 
Fourseven" (sounds more than 
coincidental^ like C3PO and R2-D2) is 
helped out by several Disneyesgue 
scientists, played by Ken Barry, Sandy 
Duncan. anc McLean Stevenson .... 
Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (United 


Amid the 17 feature films in this field, 
several look interesting, a couple might 
have possibilities, and a great number 
appear to be low-budget ripoffs. The 
absence of "quality" 
studio films can be attributed to 
the great deal of time it takes to write, 
prepare, photograph, edit, and market a 
big budget movie. The list here, however, 
is almost entirely studio-oriented, each 
of the major film companies having 
chosen to produce between one and three 
science fiction films for release in 

The films ready for the fall season are 
grouped according to their estimated 
budget and audience, rather than type, as 
expensive and inexpensive pictures 
overlap in storyline and degree of 
sophistication, but not in expected 
distribution patterns (the more important 
the film, the better its chances at the 
box office.) 

The Cat From Outer Space (Buena 
Vista) Walt'Disney Studios have adapted 
their earthbound type of fantasy film (The 
Absentminded Professor, Pete's Dragon, 

The classic scier.r.e !<cf:or>morror film, Inva- 
sion of the Body S'-atchs's nas been rcmatia 
(top); the animated Lord of the Rings (below). 

Artists) Donald Sutherland and Leonard 
Nimoy star in the updated version of Jack 
(Little Big Man, Time and Again) Finney's 
novel, first filmed in the '50s by Don Siegel. 
A long-awaited film with atop-secret lid on 
its content, United Artists is releasing this 
as its big Christmas picture. As always 
with remakes, the question remains, since 
the picture was so good the first time, can 
a remake possibly overcome the first 
version's reputation and stand on 
its own? 

Jason and the Argonauts (Columbia) 
Since it would be prohibitively expensive 
to remake this 1962 film, it is being re- 
released instead. Although the cardboard 
plot and generally one-dimensional acting 
drag this picture down a tew points, the 
beautiful color photography and brilliant 
special effects by Ray Harryhausen have 
made it a classic in the fantasy field. The 
highlight, a swordfight between four men 
and seven full-sized animated skeletons, 
is considered by connoisseurs to be 
among the greatest stop-motion animated 
sequences ever produced. 

Lord of the Rings (United ArtistsYThe 
long-awaited interpretation of J.R.R. 
Tolkien's trilogy by Ralph {Fritz the Cat. 
Wizards) Baksh s be nc touted as a 
"painting in motion. "Judging by 
previewed production illustrations, the 
film promises to be a faithful and loving 
rendition of the tale . . . Superman 
(Warner Brothers) Several years in the 
making and budgeted at 525,000,00.0, 
Superman is the most expensive science 
fiction film ever produced. A second part 
has already been partially filmed, but its 
completion will depend on how well the 
first version does at the box office. The 
production credits are a Who's Who of 
show business, but you'll be reading them 
all over billboards, magazines, 
newspapers, and television for the next 
four months. Suffice it to say that Marlon 
Brando plays the Supe's dad, and Gene 
Hackman his archrival, Lex Luthor. The » 
rest will be history .... Warlords of Atlantis 
(Columbia) The opposite ot Superman. 
this low-budget action movie was . 
produced by the same artists who gave us 
The Land That Time Forgot and The 
People That Time Forgot. It features the 
cast that time forgot: Doug McClure and 
Cyd Charisse, and special eftects that 
should have been forgotten. The stills 
remind one that some things are best left 

OTHER FILMS Gizmo! (New Line Cinema) 
Originally entitled Eureka!, this film was 
produced and directed by Village Voice 
"Scenes" writer Howard Smith, who 
corrected Marjoe a few years ago. 
Gizmo! is a humorous compilation of 
people's most ridiculous inventions and 
attempts at immortality from wirewa iking 
and homemade flying machines to walks 
in outer space and perfect dimplemaking 
machines. Medical scier? sts take note. 

■ntecest is. cf the 20 (ii'"is -sted below, a 
large number are adaptations, sequels, 
remakes, or otherwise not original 
material. One of the major reasons that 
Star Wars and Close Encounters were 
successful is that both had original 
screenplays. Despite their rush to 
duplicate the smashing success of these 
films, studios have overlooked this all- 
important factor. As a result, the odds are 



□ oubt is not a very agreeable status," wrote Voltaire, 
"but certainty is a ridiculous one." That statemenl 
would have made the 18th-century French 
philosopher a prime candidate for membership in a 
recently established organization called Ihe American 
Tentative Society (ATS). 

"It is the essence of science, and common sense, to regard 
our present knowledge as subject to growth, addition, or 
revision, and therefore — tentative," announced the ATS in its 
brochure. "Otherwise, we become prisoners of our yesterdays, 
stuck with our dogmas, mired in our inability to learn and adapt, 
Current knowledge is, of course, the best we have with which to 
live and be guided. But the ATS concern is that outmoded 
information can limit thinking, actions, feelings. . . ." 

To stress the importance of being tentative, the ATS, at a 
recent luncheon held at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria, 
presented the Rennie Taylor award (after the late founder of the 
ATS) and a check for $2500 to each of six scientists. According 
to ATS president Alton Blakeslee, the scientists were selected 
for their "intellectual flexibility." 

The awardees were Frank D. Drake of Cornell University for 
his early and continuing interest in detecting signals from 
extraterrestrial intelligent life; J, Tuzo Wilson of the Ontario 
Science Center for championing the concept of continental drift 
against then-current dogma; S. Jocelyn Bell Burnell of the 
Mullard Space Laboratory in England, who "persevered 
despite discouraging advice" in the work that led to the 
discovery of pulsars; Norman E, Shumway of Stanford 
University for his pioneering work in the transplantation of 
human hearts; Rose Payne, also of Stanford, for her work in 
immunological research that contributed to the success of the 
heart transplants; and Edwin Land of Polaroid for answering his 
daughter's question, "Where is the picture?" after he had taken 
her photograph with a conventional camera. 

The ATS is not an isolated phenomenon. Last year Pergamon 
Press published The Encyclopaedia of ignorance, containing 
"papers on what we do not know, on matters which lie on the 
edge of knowledge," Fifteen years earlier I.J. Good edited an 
anthology of "partly baked ideas" called The Scientist 
Speculates. And just this year a new science journal called 

Speculations in Science and Technology, intended as aforum 
for ideas too tentative for established journals, began 
publication in Western Australia. 

All of these efforts raise the nagging, disturbing question that 
lies at the root of all scientific investigation: How do we know? 

How do we know our descriptions of the universe are 
accurate? How do we know what is true? 

Well, there are tests. The most powerful is, Does it work? If a 
theory describes events or phenomena adequately and 
economically (or at least better than its competitors), if it 
doesn't contradict some other known physical law that seems 
sound, and if it's fruitful in suggesting other observations and 
predictions, then the theory is considered correct. 

There are problems, however, with this utilitarian approach to 
truth. For example, in the context of the knowledge of the 15th 
century, the Aristotelian-Ptolemaic idea that the sun is the 
center of the universe seemed true. 

The danger, then, is what might be called "hardening of the 
categories." There are endless examples of this peculiar 
ailment, and perhaps the most illuminating is from the American 
astronomer Simon Newcomb, who said at the beginning of this 
century, "The demonstration that no possible combination of 
. , , known forms of machinery, and known forms of force, can 
be united in a practical machine by which man shall fly long 
distances through the air, seems ... as complete as it is 
possible for the demonstration of any physical fact to be." 

Newcomb, who died in 1909, six years after the Wrights took 
to the air, is best described by a statement, sometimes known 
as "Clarke's Law," by author and scientist Arthur C. Clarke: 
"When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that some- 
thing is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states 
that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong." 

If we fail to keep in mind the provisional nature of current 
knowledge, warns the ATS, "we can become arrogant in 
defense of some 'truth' learned long ago." For information on 
the ATS, write to Mrs. Ana Rose, Executive Secretary, American 
Tentative Society, PO. Box 751 , Ansonia Station, N.Y, 10023. 
Those interested in Speculations in Science and Technology 
can write to Western Australian Institute of Technology, Perth, 
South Bentley. 61 02, Western Australia.— TRUDY E. BELL 



Early this year, oceanog- 

raphers discovered a region 
of life-supporting vents more 
lhan 1600 kilometers north of 
the Galapagos Rift — an area 
640 kilometers west of Ecua- 
dor where molten lava has 
caused the earth's crust to 
separate. This find was not 

In March 1977. in what was 
to be a routine mission to 
study several hot water vents 
in the ocean bottom, scientists 
from the Woods Hole Oceano- 
graphic Institution, the Massa- 

do not survive unless they 
feed on organisms that use 
sunlight for energy. In the 
abyss, no light is available. 
However, scientists found 
hundreds of white clams and 
oversize brown mussels plus 
tubeworms, crabs, an octo- 
pus, and small cotton 
puff-like organisms never 
before seen. 

The reason for the animals' 
large size and great number 
soon became apparent as the 
scientists found that along 
with the hot water, high levels 
of hydrogen sulfide were 
seeping from the vents. This 

chusetts Institute of Technol- 
ogy, and Oregon State Univer- 
sity had descended three kilo- 
meters below the ocean's sur- 
face to the Galapagos Ritt. In- 
stead ot finding an expected 
barren abyss, however, the 
geologists and chemists in- 
side the submersible Alvin 
discovered a diversity of life 
centered_.around the vents. 
By all reasoning, this was 
not supposed to happen. Ani- 
mals living in total darkness 

chemical, used by the sulfur- 
oxidizing bacteria in the area. 
provided food. 

The vents have led scien- 
tists to think that sub.ocean life 
is not uncommon. But if you're 
wondering how the animals 
got to the vents in the first 
place, you're not alone. That is 
just one of the questions the 
Galapagos Rift group will try 
to answer when they go down 
again in January. 

—Kenneth Jon Rose 


A remarkable new surgical 
device, the laser scalpel, has 
recently been developed by 
the department of electrical 
engineering at the University 
of Washington. 

Excessive blood loss has al- 
ways been a serious problem 
in surgery, especially in burn 
case operations. The rup- 
turing of surrounding blood 
vessels and the damage to 
skin tissue pose a constant 
threat. With the advent of the 
"laser blade" these obstacles 
may be virtually eliminated. 

Incorporated in a sharp 
transparent quartz knite, a 
25-watt argon laser sends a 
beam through an optical tiber, 
instantaneously cauterizing 
the blood vessels adjacent to 
the incision. The laser blade 
will take no more time in the 
operating room than the cur- 
rently used electric kniie does 
and will be at least three times 
more efficient in reducing 
blood loss. 


Explorer and historian ot an- 
cient astronomy George Mi- 
chanowsky recently shed new 
light on the origin and mean- 
ing of the fabled Eygptian 
ankh , or "looped cross" sym- 
bol, that is popular today as a 
good luck charm and erotic 
talisman. Once thought to be 
derived from the shape of a 
sandal strap, the origin of the 
symbol has long puzzled 

According to Michanowsky, 
author of The Once and Fu- 
ture Star (Hawthorn Books), 
there is now compelling evi- 
dence that ankh is derived 
from the language of the an- 
cient Sumerians of Mesopota- 

mia, where the word was one 
of the names for a gigantic 
starburst, or supernova, that 
was seen in the southern sky 
some 6000 years ago. 

Physical evidence ot this 
momentous celestial event 
was discovered in the last 
decade by radio observations 
and optical probes conducted 
from Australia. As the closest 
known supernova to the earth, 
the stellar explosion would 
have appeared brighter than 
the full moon poised above 
the southern horizon, and it is 
now understood to have fig- 
ured prominently in the lives 
of the early Mesopotamians. . 

Michanowsky traced the ori- 
gin of the Egyptian ankh to the 
Sumehan expression an-ha 
meaning "Fish of Heaven." 
This was one of the epithets ot 

a i„;T*-. 

44 OMNI 

the god E-A . who-, as Mi- 
chanowsky explains, was the 
southern sea and sky god with 
whom the Sumerians identi- 
fied the great supernova. Mi- 
chanowsky believes that the 
loop of the symbol stood for 
the great burning star, while 
the horizontal stroke repre- 
sented the watery horizon of 
what is today called the Per- 
sian Gulf, over which the 
Sumerians observed the 


The Council on Environmen- 
tal Quality projects that by the 

by U.S. courts and, in the ab- 
sence of clearly defined 
rights, the solar-collector 
owner is, at best, in limbo. 

Recently, however, a num- 
ber of states have passed 
laws aimed at resolving the di- 
lemma. Several, including 
Minnesota. Connecticut, and 
Oregon, have enacted legisla- 
tion to encourage three- 
dimensional zoning, which 
takes into account sunlight 
and shade, as well as over- 
head air space. Shade-control 
ordinances devised so far 
regulate either the height ot 
potential obstructions or their 

Rights to unobst/ucted sunlight do 

year 2000, 25 percent of our 
energy needs may well be met 
by solar energy. Even now, 
sales for solar-energy collec- 
tors are booming; 500,000 
square meters of solar panels 
were bought in 1977 alone. 

But, for the unsuspecting 
new owner, trouble may loom 
right next door. It could take 
the shape of a neighbor's sec- 
ond story addition or a venera- 
ble towering pine. The. current 
reality is; Solar homeowners 
have no rights to unobstructed 
sunlight and no legal recourse 
if that light is blocked. 

The concept ot sun rights 
has been rejected repeatedly 

not exist lor solar bomss. 
location, with outright bans on 
trees or new structures that 
would cast a shadow on a 
neighbor's equipment during 
midday (usually 9:30 a.m. to 
2:30 P. M), 

— Katherine Horwitz 

* Hello, this is the answering 
machine of Marshall McLu- 
han. At the sound of the beep, 
please leave a medium 

"Hello, this is John Cage. 
When you hear the beep, 
please don't say anything. I'd 
much rather listen to the tape 

hiss and phone static. 
4 Hello, this is J, Edgar Hoover. 
It won't be necessary to state 
your name. We already know 
who you are. 

"Hello, this is Franz Mesmer. 
You will take 500 trancs and 
mail them to Dr. Mesmer, 1 3 
Rue leGrat. Paris. Once this is 
done you will have absolutely 
no recollection of this 

"Hello, this is Dr. Benjamin 
Spook. At the sound Of the 
tone please leave your name 
and number in a soft and lov- 
ing voice. Do not shout or 
curse for you will only alienate 
the machine, 

"Hello, this is Socrates, I am 
unable to lake your call at the 
moment for I am out having a 
drink with my friends. 


Just as canariesonce 
warned of lethal gases collect- 
ing in coal mines, now, in a bi- 
ological monitoring system in 
southeastern Montana, honey- 
bees are being used outdoors 
to provide early warning of en- 
vironmental pollution. 

Bees lorage widely, picking 
up chemicals in air and water, 
pollen and nectar, and from 
surfaces of flowers explains 
Jerry J. Bromenshenk, ento- 
mologist and ecologist ot the 
University ol Montana, Mis- 
soula, in a recent issue of The 
Sciences. They tend to accu- 
mulate harmful chemicals in 
their bodies at concentrations 
higher lhan those existing in 
the environment. 

Hives ol commercial bee- 
keepers offer a biological net- 
work to capture specimen 
bees, freeze, and chemically 
analyze them for any of some 
40 trace or major elemenls. In 
a current project funded by 

the Environmental Protection 
Agency.Bromenshenk finds 
that bees have shown an in- 
crease in lluondes since oper- 
ation began ol two new coal- 
tired power, plants t5 kilome- 
ters away. — Alton Blakesiee 


Need some carbon copies 
of your spouse? Ol someone 
else's spouse? Then you 
might investigate the Home 
Cloning Kii. a perfecl gilt for 
the "Me Generation." Con- 
ceived and assembled by four 
Philadelphia journalists in- 
cluding Pulitzer Prize-winning 
cartoonist Tony Auth, the kit 
consists of a test tube, a cul- 
ture medium, and a sef of in- 
structions that promises to 
"grow something " Says Harry 
Jay Katz. sales representative 
for the kit, "People like you can 
now reproduce alone in the 
comlort of your own home." 
The Kft goes for $6.95. To or- 
der, write: Home Clone Corpo- 
ration, 1 700 Walnut Street, 
Philadelphia. PA 19t03. It's 
belter lhan a pet rock. 

^t <f-,§ f\-M 



Endocrinologist in Italy 
have found an experimental 
drug (hat has abolished impo- 
tence in some men and 
kindled sex drives in "women 
who never had an erotic feel- 
ing in their entire lives." 

According to Andrea 
Genazzani of the University of 
Siena the drug, bromocryp- 
tine, can induce menstruation 
in women whose cycle has 
ceased. Another clinical trial, 
described by Domenico Fonzi 
in Chemical & Engineering 
News, demonstrated the 
drug's ability to increase sex- 
ual libido and restore sperma- 
togenesis in men, 

Bromocryptine acts by in- 
hibiting secretion of the hor- 
mone prolactin in the pituitary; 
the drug's antidepressive el- 
fect may be due to its influ- 
ence on the production of 
serotonin and dopamine, two 
major brain chemicals that 
partially regulate people's 
moods. Bromocryptine is now 
available in the U.S. on an ex- 
perimental basis. 

Tffbse intrigued with the re- 
ported therapeutic advan- 
tages of acupuncture yet 
repelled by the thought of 
having their body pierced by 
hundreds of needles might 
consider trying laser acu- 

A German company (Mes- 
GmbH) has developed a 
iaser-powered device that 
promises to make acupunc- 
ture both clean and painless, 

Called :'Akuplas," the de- 
vice is based on the concept 
that red light easily passes 
through the skin and incorpo- 

46 OMNI 

rates a low-powered helium- 
neon laser beam that can pen- 
etrate to a depth of between 3 
and 10millimeters, harmlessly 
and painlessly. By use of a 
glass optical fiber, the two mtf- 
liwatt, rosy colored beam is 
transmitted to a small pencil- 
like handpiece, where it can 
be directly applied to the 
patient's body. The focused 
beam can then be guided to 
the traditional 700 acupunc- 
ture points, from where, ac- 
cording to the ancient Yin/ 
Yang principle, the various or- 
gans of the body are 


If a flower, coin, or human 
finger is placed on an unex- 
posed photographic plate and 
then subjected lo a high- 
frequency high-voltage ca- 
pacity discharge, strange 
shapes and patterns known 
as coronas often appear 
around the object's image 
when the film is developed. 

Since the discovery of this 
process by Soviet researcher 
Seymon Kirlian in 1939, there 

has been a growing interest in 
its possible medical applica- 
tion by Russian and other 
Eastern European scientists 
and governments. In the U.S., 
however, researchers in- 
terested in electrophotog- 
raphy have had trouble get- 
ting the scientific community 
to take their findings seriously. 
To scientists, Kirlian photogra- 
phy is a product of the occult, 
whose adherents claim that 
the strange configurations are 
pictures of astral bodies, ecto- 
plasm, and other far-out psy- 
chic phenomena, 

If some of the findings at 
this year's second annual con- 
ference of the International 
Kirlian Research Association 
at Harriman College, Harri- 
man, New York, can be dupli- 
cated in olher laboratories, 
however, the use of elec- 
trophotographs for medical 
diagnosis may soon be 

Three physicists at Drexel 
University have discovered 
that Kirlian photographs show 
marked changes in finger-pad 
coronas after hyperventilation, 
mental arithmetic, minor pain, 
and a 100-decibel burst of a 
1000-hertz tone. They believe 
these changes result primarily 
from the amount of sweat be- 
ing exuded from sweat ducts. 

The Drexel work seems to 
be supported by the findings 
of Leonard W. Konikiewicz, di- 
rector of medical photography 
at Polyclinic Medical Center in 
Harrisburg. Pennsylvania. He 
discovered that elevated 
levels of sodium and chlorine 
in the sweat generally signal 
the presence of cystic fibrosis, 
an inherited disease. Both so- 
dium and chlorine are good 
electrical conductors, 
Konikiewicz's electrophoto- 

graphs show how patients suf- 
fering from the disease have 
finger-pad coronas that differ 
substantially from those of 
normal subjects. 

Kirlian photography may 
also have an application in 
cancer research. Dr. S, Malli- 
karjun, professor of physics at 
New Jersey's Monmouth Col- 
lege, claims that finger-pad 
coronas of healthy human 
subjects show time-related 
cyclic changes, while those of 
patients with cancer retain a 
highly intense luminosity unaf- 
fected by time. "In cancer pa- 
tients successfully treated by 
surgery," Mallikarjun says, "The' 
finger-pad image changes to 
the cyclic pattern." 

Information on the latest de- 
velopments in Kirlian research 
can be obtained from IKBA 
Communications. 41 1 East 7th 
Street, Brooklyn, NY 11218. 

—Theodore Cogswell 

Kirlian coronas around thumbpad 
of normal person (lop) and cystic 
fibrosis carrier (bottom). 


Lobsters, once. found only in 
North Atlantic waters, have 
now been transplanted from 
their natural cold Atlantic habi- 
tat to the West Coast. Not only 
do they survive in warm Cali- 
fornia waters, report San 
Diego State University 
aquacultural scientists Jon 
Van Olst, Richard Ford, and 
James Carlberg, but they 
grow nearly three times faster. 

"Because less time is nec- 
essary for lobsters to grow to 
full size when cultivated in 
warm water," says Van Olst, "it 
will probably cost less to 
produce them — an estimated 
S2.24 to raise a 500-gram 
animal — if you can find an in- 
expensive source of heated 
sea water." 

Doing just that, they have 
taken advantage of the heated 
waste seawater from two 
power companies— San 
Diego Gas and Electric Com- 
pany and Southern California 
Edison Company. Directing 
the warm effluent into the 
breeding grounds, they can 
maintain a temperature of 
70°F to 75 a F— possibly the 
ideal temperature for promot- 
ing lobsier growth. About 
5000 lobsters, more than in 
any other culture program, are 
now being raised from the lar- 
val stage, They are expected 
to reach the 500-gram market 
size in less than three years — 
a feat that takes seven to eight 
years in the cold waters of the 

The lobster transplant oper- 
ation has not been without 
problems. It has been difficult 
finding the right food mix; the 
food some lobsters preferred 
turned them blue. The color 
didn't affect their taste or edi- 

bility but might have startled 
the consumer. Also, lobsters 
are cannibals, able to se- 
riously deplete their own 
ranks. However. Van Olsi has 
already developed a revolving 
carousel contraption called 
"care-o-c'ell," which channels 
the lobsters into private 
quarters and curbs their 


The man who designed and 
built the "Skycycte" for Evel 
Kneivel's ill-fated Snake River 
Canyon jump three years ago 
now says that for one million 
dollars he will put any man or 
woman into space. 

Robert Truax of Project Pri- 
vate Enterprise has created a 
seven-meter-long, single- 
stage reusable rocket in the 
backyard of his home in Sara- 
toga, California. Assembled 
from old surplus government 
equipment, the "Volksrocket 
X-3" will be capable of lifting 
an astronaut to an altitude of 
80 kilornelers (about 50 
miles), to the edge of space. 

Formerly a research chief at 

theAerojel General Corpora- 
tion, Truax is said to be some- 
thing of a pioneer in rocketry. 
His past experiences include 
work with the Navy, Air Force, 
and Department of Defense, 
He was also involved with the 
Mercury space project and 
Polaris missile. 

Truax already has found a 
"customer." Thirty-one-year- 
old Martin Yahn of San Jose, 
married and with two children, 
was chosen from a list of 50 
applicants. Yahn, presently 
unemployed, doesn't happen 
to Have a million dollars to buy 
a ticket, but he is enthusiastic. 
Truax plans to. send him up for 

The Volksrocket has already 
undergone several successful 
ground tests, and if all con- 
tinues to go according to 
schedule, it should be ready 
for take-off just 18 months 
from now — about the same 
time the Space Shuttle will 
blast olf from Cape Canaveral. 

Several days before the 
launching, the Volksrockei will 
beselup nexllo a large body 

of water (probably the Pacific 
Ocean, but any large lake will 
do). There he will have a re- 
covery team standing by, 
armed wilh a 34-meter cutter, 
two helicopters, and an air- 
plane. Yahn. enclosed in his 
air-tight cornpartmenl, will be 
hoisted atop the seven-meter 
booster by a crane. Moments 
after the engines fire, [he 
rocket will rise fasler than 860 
meters per second. 

Once the rocket has 
reached an altitude of 28,600 
meters, Ihe engines will burn 
out, leaving Yahn to coast to a 
maximum height of 80 kilome- 
ters. The rocket will then de- 
scend back to 28,600 meters, 
where a small parachute will 
be automatically released! 
Five minutes later, when the 
rocket has dropped to 6000 
meters, the main chute will be 
deployed, reducing the rate of 
descent lor a sate splash- 
down. Total time ot Iravel — 
about ten minutes. If Yahn sur- 
vives, he will have the singular 
honor of being the world's first 
private astronaut. 

For one million dollars you too can journey tt 

the VolksmcRe; X-3. shown bet-ore builder's garage. 



The Nye Optical Company 
of Spring Valley. California, 
has announced that it has 
successfully photographed 
the gravitational field around a 
500-grarn lead weight. The 
photograph was obtained by 
placing the weight in a re- 
cently developed gravity 
chamber, called GRIM-1 , that 
is capable of forming an im- 
age of minute gravitational 
fields and then photographing 
the image with ordinary high- 
quality camera equipment. 

The photograph is what ex- 
perimenters call a near- 
contact gravitational field 
image — analogous to the opli- 
cal situation that occurs when 
a Flashlight is placed in near 
contact with photographic 
film. The validity of the pro- 
cess was confirmed in two 
ways: Several images of the 
same object agreed fairly well, 
and interactions between 
three objects produced gravi- 
tational barriers {points where 
the forces between the ob- 
jects are in equilibrium) that 
roughly agreed with comput- 
ed values. 

The Nye Optical photo- 
graph is believed to be the 

first image of a near-contact 
gravitational Held ever ob- 
tained. It is particularly signifi- 
cant because it is only one 
step removed Irom imaging 
gravity at a distance, and it 
may serve as the basis for the 
future development of gravita- 
tional optics. If gravity could 
be imaged at a distance, then 
the structure of the interior of 
the earth or even the interior of 
the sun could be mapped. 
"' Beyond this, we look to the 
production of synthetic gravity 
and hopefully coherent syn- 
thetic gravity, " says Richard 
Nye, president of the Nye Op- 
tical Company. "Then the 
crowning achievement will be 
gravitational or magnetic 
holography. Some responsible 
people are even beginning to 
talk about the neutralization ot 
gravitational fields." 

It you enjoy nibbling on your 
toenails, be consoled: Many 
others share your vice. While 
researching a cure for finger- 
nail biting, psychologist 
Frederick Smith of Brigham 
Young University discovered a 
high incidence ot foot-in- 
mouth syndrome. During inter- 
views with 75 fingernail 
munchers, Smith discovered 
that two of his subjects also 
liked to chew on their lower 
digits. Convinced that toenail 
biting was far more wide- 
spread than ever realized, 
Smith pursued this line of re- 
search further. He estimates 
that as many as 1 5 percent of 
all Americans engage in this 
unusual habit. 

Although that figure may 
seem high, Smith points out 
that most people bite their toe- 

nails in secrecy because they 
leel it is a "rare or abnormal 
practice that would invite 
scom from others." But de- 
spite their fear of being ridi- 
culed, Smith has found only 
one subject able to break the 
habit — and that was because 
he became too overweight to 
get his foot into his mouth. 


The acoustic microscope, 
which forms images by 
sound waves, will soon take a 
place beside the electron mi- 
croscope and the light micro- 
scope as a valuable research 

viscosity of materials. In in- 
dustry the acoustic micro- 
scope could be used for de- 
tecting flaws in crystals of 
gems and tor locating faults in 
integrated circuits. In addition, 
a number of medical diagnos- 
tic uses for the microscope al- 
ready have become apparent. 
Growing evidence indicates 
that cancerous tissue trans- 
mits sounds at a higher veloc- 
ity than normal tissue. This ve- 
locity differential could be uti- 
lized to detect malignant 
growth. Sound waves may 
also be valuable in diagnosing 
certain forms of anemia and 
other blood disorders. 

Cobalt-titanium alloy; optical image left, 

tool in science and industry. 
By next year. Calvin Quale 

and his research group ai 
Stanford University hope to 
complete an acoustic micro- 
scope that can take pictures 
at sound frequencies of three 
billion cycles per second — 
equaling the resolution power 
of optical microscopes. 
The instrument, which 
produces images of speci- 
mens by means of a scanning 
acoustic beam that reveals 
properties of matter that are 
not detectable by light or elec- 
tron microscopes, will open 
up new frontiers of research 
into the density, elasticity, and 


There are hundreds of sta- 
tistical correlations between 
solar activity and the weather, 
but scientists are generally 
skeptical of their validity be- 
cause the driving force for the 
earth's atmosphere — the sun's 
heat— is essentially constant. 
In a recent issue of Nature, 
however, Ralph Markson oi 
the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology speculates that 
the connection may not be 
thermal but electrical, 

The solar cycles to which 
weather cycles appear con- 

Sun may altect thunderstorms. 

nected— sunspots and solar 
flares— involve electrical and 
magnetic phenomena. 
Markson hypothesizes that 
thunderstorms on the earth 
form whatis essentially a vast 
giobal electric generator that 
drives current through the at- 
mosphere. The current flows 
from the storm clouds up into 
the ionosphere (the charged 
layer in the upper atmo- 
sphere) and returns to the 
ground in a diffuse form in fair 
areas outside fhe storms. 
Thunderstorms releasea lot of 
energy, and at any one time 
there may be 1 500 raging 
over the earth. 

Flares on the sun could 
change the resistance of the 
electrical circuit in two ways: 
hy shooting out a great num- 
ber of charged particles from 
the sun that the earth inter- 
cepts and by sending out 
magnetic fields thai deflect 
the rays from reaching the 

The solar flare particles 
would tend to lower the resis- 
tance of the atmosphere es- 
pecially above thunderstorms, 
enhancing their activity. The 
effect would be greatest at 
higher latitudes, where the 

particles penetrate mast 
deeply. At lower latitudes the 
lesser number of cosmic rays 
reaching the earth would in- 
crease the resistance of the 
atmosphere, suppressing 
thunderstorm activity there. 

"if atmospheric electrical 
variations can influence 
weather, this suggests another 
way that we might tamper with 
nature," Markson points out. 
Nuclear explosions in the at- 
mosphere, for example, could 
release charged particles that 
might alter the weather. Very- 
low-frequency radio waves 
sent out from the ground or 
from space could do the 

Speaking of modifying the 
weather by radio waves, in a 
recent issue of Science C. G. 
Park and R. A. Helliwell of 
Stanford University present 
statistics showing that radia- 
tion from ordinary electric 
power lines leaks into the 
ionosphere and stimulates 
strong, very-low-frequency 
radio waves that can be de- 
tected both from space and 
from the ground, 

Observations from three 
stations in Antarctica show 
that the radio-wave activity in- 
duced by power lines tends to 
occur when power consump- 
tion is high in northeastern 
North America. They report; 
"Much more research is 
needed before we can esti- 
mate how much Impact this 
phenomenon has on the up- 
per atmosphere and what ef- 
fects, if any. filter down to the 
lower atmosphere," 

"The universe is not only 
queerer than we suppose, 
but queerer than we 
can suppose," 

- J.B.S. Haidane 


Not only do sharks possess 
an excellent sense of smell 
and a line sensitivity to idw- 
trequency vibrations, it now 
seems they can find both their 
prey and their directions 
ele ctromagne ticaily. 

The first evidence of this re- 
markable ability was pro- 
duced more than a decade 
ago when Adrianus Kalmijn of 
the Woods Hole Oceano- 
graphic Institution showed 
that sharks can detect elecfric 
fields as low as a hundred- 
millionth of a volt per centime- 
ter. Since all organisms in the 
sea produce small electrical 
fields, sharks can uncover, 
from under the sand, fish they 
cannot see. Moreover, they 
will also attack live electrodes 
buried there- 
Just this year, however, 
Kalmijn has found that sharks 
also navigate using Ihe earth's 
magnetic field as their guide. 

By actively swimming through 
the ocean, a shark cuts the 
magnetic field line's oi the 
earth, inducing an electric 
current around itself, which it 
detects by the same sensory 
organs il uses in detecting 
prey. The direction in which it 
swims affects the direction ol 
the current induced. Thus, in a 
manner of speaking, sharks 
have' an infernal compass that 
works electroma.gneiically. 

Sharks are not the only ani- 
mals with an internal com- 
pass. Early ihis year Kalmijn. 
trained a small species of 
stingray, which is also electri- 
cally sensitive, to receive food 
in a section of a tank thai was 
magnetically east or west de- 
pending on fhe trial. From this 
and other information, he has 
come to the conclusion that 
sharks and rays may not be 
nature's smartest creatures- 
then again, for 300 million 
years, they have not gotten 

— Kenneth Jon Rose 



In the past 50 years torna- 
does have killed some 9000 
people in the U.S. and have 
destroyed up to 300 million 
dollars of property a year. Yet 
these devastating twisters 
have remained bafflingly 

Recently, however, Ernest 
M. Agee, Christopher R. 
Church, and John T. Snow ot 
Purdue University have con- 
structed a huge tornado- 
making machine, indoors, in 
their laboratory in West Lafay- 
ette, Indiana. 

The 6.5-meters high by 3.5- 
meters wide tornado-maker 
simulates on a small scale var- 
ious sizes and strengths of a 

Predicting the unpredictable. 

twister; results can be readily 
related to the dynamics ot an 
actual storm. By engaging a 
powerful blower atop the ma- 
chine, 1140 cubic meters of 
air per minute is sucked into 
the giant cylinder, creating 
home-brewed two- meter 
tornadoes. By simulating the 
natural conditions that contrib- 
ute to the development of a 

tornado, the three meteorolo- 
gists are certain they can 
eventually predict not only the 
storm's ferocity, but also its 
elusive path of travel. 

"We must welcome the future 
remembering that soon it will 
be the past; we must respect 
the past remembering that 
once it was all that was hu- 
manly possible." 

— George Santayana 


According to Cornell biolo- 
gist Melviri Kreithen, who has 
been working with homing pi- 
geons for over ten years, birds 
inhabit a sensory world that 
makes the human senses of 
sight and hearing seem truly 

"Birds have a full panoramic 
view of the earth and sky," 
Kreithen says, "and for them, 
the sky is ultraviolet and blue, 
crossed by a series of grid 
lines in great circles. The grid 
moves across the sky as the 
sun moves. We know honey- 
bees use the grid in getting 
back to the hive, and birds 
can do the same trick, I 

Whereas human ears quit at 
sound frequencies lower than 
ten to twenty cycles per sec- 
ond , birds can hear infra- 
sounds (uitralow frequencies 
with extremely long wave- 
lengths) down to three cycles 
per minute. Infrasounds are 
created by large-scale 
geophysical events, says 
Kreithen. "There are several 
acoustic beacons in the West- 
ern Hemisphere. One is in the 
mountains in Argentina, an- 
other, in the Cascades of the 
Pacific Northwest. When the 
wind blows through peaks, it 
creates infrasound, which a 

bird can hear up to 5000 kilo- 
meters away. This means that 
a bird flying over the geo- 
graphical center of the United 
States could hear the wind in 
the Cascades, and the infra- 
sounds from winds blowing 
across the tops of waves on 

at dinnertime." Kreithen says. 

"They also seem to have a 
good sense of barometric 
pressure and can orient to the 
earth's magnetism. When we 
hang magnets on them, they 
fly differently." 

—Jeff Cox 

sense infrasounds, magnetism, barometric pressure. 

both the Atlantic and Pacific 
oceans simultaneously." 

Birds can pick up the 
sounds of thunderstorms sev- 
eral thousand kilometers away 
and earthquakes farther away 
than that. They can also hear 
the low frequency resonances 
of the up-and-down pulse of 
the ionosphere during mag- 
netic storms and the rumbling 
of the aurora borealis. 

So strong is the navigational 
system of pigeons that they 
can fly home from up to 1 60 
kilometers away blind. Biolo- 
gists have placed frosted lens 
caps over their eyes to blind 
them yei still allow light to en- 
ter their eyes (if totally blinded , 
they go to sleep). "I've taken 
them 1 60 kilometers away in 
random directions and re- 
leased them at breakfast time 
and then seen them come 
helicoptering out of the sky 
within 1 00 meters of their roost 


The following definitions 
come from students of 
elementary-school teacher 
Harold Dunn: 

"The way psychology is dif- 
ferent from sociology is say 
that a man kills a neighbor. 
Well, psychology blames the 
man and sociology blames 
the neighbor." 

"Biology is a spare word for 
when you cannot think how to 
say insides." 

"Genetics explain why you 
look like your father and if you 
don't why you should." 

"Meteorology is the study 
of how to get climate without 

"Astronomy is the same 
as astrology except the 

"Geologists are one of 
the chief by-products of 
geology." DO 

50 OMNI 












There may be no 
biological limit 
to the human 
lifespan. In the 
near future a 
healthy 21 year old 
might live 200 
years or more. 


In October, 1976, Luna, the 16-year-old 
daughter of science writer Robert Anton 
Wilson, was brutally beaten and killed in a 
grocery store robbery. Helpless in the face 
of death, Wilson took the only action he 
could. He had the child's brain set immedi- 
ately in cryonic suspension, frozen in liq- 
uid nitrogen at 320 degrees below zero 
(Fahrenheit). From this brain a part of 
Luna's identity may someday be recon- 
structed, or, from one of her stem cells, a 
new body cloned. Hers was the first brain 
to be frozen in this manner. Now, however, 

a special cryonic cylinderfor the brain has 
been made available for the purpose of fu- 
ture cloning or identity reconstruction of ' 
some other kind. 

Cryonic preservation is undertaken on 
the premise that the infinitely more ad- 
vanced medical scientists of the future 
might be able to revive the dead and re- 
pair whatever killed them. It's a long shot, 
to say the least, but the odds are still better 
with freezing than they are with cremation 
or burial. Some cryobiologists estimate 
that certain bodies could be preserved for 

several hundred thousand years without 
any deterioration. 

However desperate, bizarre, or maca- 
bre an effort it may seem.cryobiological in- 
terest is growing and profit-making organi- 
zations such as Trans Time in Berkeley, 
Bay Area Cryonics, and the Cryonics Soci- 
ety of Michigan are forming around the 
country. Adherents of the practice include 
people such as Woody Allen and Colum- 
bia University physicist Gerald Feinberg, 
who conceived the hypothetical faster- 
than-light particle, the tachyon. It is ru- 
mored, although without confirmation, that 
Wall Disney is among those whose anima- 
tion is cooling off until a better day. 

Unlike Luna Wilson's body, most of the 
souls resting in cryonic suspension are in- 
tact. Immediately after death each body is 
packed in dry ice, drained of blood and 
filled with glycerol and DMSO (dimethyl- 
sulfoxide) an antifreezing" agent,to pre- 
vent ice crystals from forming in the living 
tissue, The frozen body is then wrapped in 
aluminum foil and stored in a thermos-like 
insulated double-walled polished steel 
"cryonic storage capsule" until the millen- 
nium. The body is "buried" in a cryonic 
cemetary which uses auxiliary power sour- 
ces to keep it frozen even in the event of a 
power shortage. 

To keep the immortal fire burning, how- 
ever, is no minor financial undertaking. For 
most people, the initial cost of interment 
amounts to about $1 5,000 with a mainte- 
nance charge of £1800 a year. At Bay Area 
Cryonics a $50,000 insurance policy is 
said to cover the whole thing. And you 
| have to plan ahead! 


jj The obvious drawback to cryonic sus- 

pension is that you have to die in order to 
° enjoy an extended life. But movements 

jj such as cryobiology point to the growing 

1 rebellion against aging and death. People 
I simply want to live longer, better, and are 

1 less and less willing to "go gentle into that 
| good night." And the cryonic refrigeration 

2 revolution with its "freeze . . . wait . . . 

s reanimate" is not the only front on which 
I death and aging are being attacked. 
1 In Robert Anton Wilson's Cosmic Trig- 
* ger, Paul Segall, Ph.D., a researcher in the 
| department of physiology at the University 
| of California, Berkeley, offers several'ap- 
I proachesfo longevity, which include: 
1 • Transplantation, which might allow us to 

1 continue replacing organs "until the point 

2 where 'we' are still there, but our entire bo- 
| dies are new." 

I • Prosthetics and cyborgs, machine- 
1 human combinations of which the Bionic 
i Woman is a none-too-fanciful projection. 
| • Identity reconstruction through cloning, 
j* • Regeneration, a process by which re- 
= pressed genes are switched back on to 
| renew cell tissue. 
I And at the heart of the matter is geron- 

tology- This science investigates not only 
the chemical and biological processes of 
aging, but also the possibilities for ex- 
tended healthy life. If gerontology re- 
search proves as promising as it looks, 
drastic measures such as freezing, clon- 
ing, and mechanizing humans in order to 
preserve your vital personality may not be 
necessary. Most etforts in the gerontologi- 
cal field are concerned with postponing 

As early as 1 962, Dr. Bernard Strehler, 
professor of biology at the University of 
Southern California, and one of the inde- 
fatigable warriors of the seige on death, 
announced that before long science will 
have understood aging's sources and that 
"toothless, wrinkled, mindless incontinent 
wrecks with Dorian Gray-like [sic] 
bodies— they will not exist!" In the ab- 
sence of aging, Strehler said, the longevity 
of a healthy 21 year old could exceed 
2000 years. 

6/f life extension becomes a 
national priority . . . if there 
were a $200 billion assault 
on aging and death . . . in 
five years we'd have a program 
that would put such a dent in 
death we might wipe it off 
the face of the earth.^ 

■ Following the startling hypothesis that 
aging could be curable, gerontologists 
have been piecing the puzzle together, 
moving closer to pinpointing the causes of 
aging, the sources of longevity. 

Right now it seems quite possible that 
the underlying cause of aging may not be 
impossibly complex, but singular, primary. 
It may be that senescence is not a natural 
phenomenon, but a byproduct of social 
conditions. There may be, in fact, no bio- 
logical limit to a healthy vigorous lifespan. 
To extend the accepted lifespan potential 
from 70—1 00 years to 1 20, 200, 400, 1 000 
and on up, may be part of Homo sapiens 
on-going evolutionary destiny. 

With the tremendous explosion of knowl- 
edge of basic molecular biology and ge- 
netics, we are learning the secrets of life 
and in doing so, we're learning how to 
conirol aging, to extend life. 

Data now are beginning to indicate that 
life-extension is inevitable. We may have 
some way of lengthening our lives before 
the year 2000. Some of us may never die. 

An array of potentially useful drugs are 
in various stages of testing, drugs which 

may not extend lifespan significantly, but 
which will stave off bodily wear and tear, 
perhaps rejuvenate the body and pre- 
serve energy and youthfulness past mid- 
dle age. These drugs might contribute to a 
"synergistic effect" whereby one advance 
buys a person enough time to live well until 
the subsequent discovery prolongs his 
health even more. 

Anti-aging therapies are being tested 
that combat free radicals, for example, 
those fragments of molecules which break 
off, careen aboul the body tissue wreaking 
havoc and contributing to the build-up of 
cellular garbage such as lipofuscins. Dr. 
Denham Harman. an internist-chemist at 
the University of Nebraska school of medi- 
cine is working on a series of antioxidants, 
which react with free radicals and mini- 
mize their effects. 

Dr. Harman developed a number of 
compounds that increase life expectancy 
as much as 50 percent in mice, These in- 
clude: Vitamin E; 2-MEA (mercaptoethyl- 
emine), a compound first used for radia- 
tion detection; BHT and Santoquin, com- 
monly used as food preservatives; as well 
as sodium hypophosphite, an old drug 
used for the treatment of tuberculosis 
around 1 900. These drugs all have ex- 
tended life expectancy in mice, and Har- 
man hopes this testing will now extend to 
larger mammals. 

Another compound, DMAE (dimethyl- 
aminoethanol), is showing promising re- 
sults, reports Albert Rosenfeld in his 
important book, Pro-Longevity . DMAE "• 
is a lysosome membrane stabilizer, and as 
such it strengthens cells against damage 
caused by lipofuscin accumulations. 
When lysosome membranes are dam- 
aged, harmful substances leak out and 
may be responsible for aging symptoms. 

Dr. Richard Hochsehild of the Micro- 
wave Instrument Company of Del Mar, Cal- 
ifornia, found that by adding DMAE to the 
water of mice he increased their lifespans 
significantly. Other investigators have suc- 
cessfully employed centrophenoxine, a 
synthetic compound derived in part from 
DMAE, to delay lipofuscion build-up in the 
brain of guinea pigs. Centrophenoxine, 
which has almost no toxic side effects, is 
already used experimentally with apparent 
success in France to improve the mental 
abilities of senile patients. 

The first drug -kely to pass through the 
FDA's interminable bureaucratic maze, 
however, is the well-publicized Gerovital, 
developed in 1 945 by Dr. Ana Asian of the 
Bucharest Geriatric Institute. In Romania it 
is possible to get "youth shots" of 
Gerovitai's 2 percent procaine hydrochlo- 
ride and haematoporphyrin solution from 
government doctors. 

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Asian has 
claimed to have cured people of every- 
thing from heart disease and alhritis to im- 
potence and gray hair. But few scientists 
are prepared to sing the drug's praises. 


Says Dr. Ruth Weg, of Andrus Gerontology 
Center of the University of Southern Cali- 
fornia; "Wejust don't know." 

The list of potentially effective drugs, 
then, is growing geometrically, and the 
catalogue of agents that offer some 
chance of alleviating or postponing some 
debilitating symptoms are imminently test- 
able. In the future, moreover, enzyme 
cocktails and genetic manipulation in pill 
form might be as commonplace as valium 
and birth control pills. 


Since the 1930s, classic laboratory stu- 
dies show that restricting an animal's diet 
in the first half of ils life can double its 
lifespan — lo the point where a 1000-day- 
old rat can be compared to a 90-year-old 
human with the body of John Travolta. 
These experiments have been conducted 
on everything from one-celled Tokophrya, 
to rotifers, worms, insects, mice, hamslers, 
and rats with similar results. This is a key 
concept in the theory of life-expansion. 
Restricting diet delays maturity and in- 
creases longevity. 

Dr. Roy Walford, a pathologist at the 
UCLA school of medicine, a man with a 
reputation among his colleagues for metic- 
ulous research, recently has extended this 
nutritional study to include the testing of 
mental function. He will find out whether 
dietary restriction produces long-lived 
idiots or long-lived supermice. "It may well 
be the supermice," he says. 

In a new development, Walford and his 
associate Dr. Richard Weindruck have dis- 
covered that when dietary restriction is be- 
gun in mid-life mice, the animals' immune 
systems seem to be rejuvenated . A chief 
researcher in immunological systems, and 
the author of the The Immunologic Theory 
of Aging, Walford has lound that in aging 
not only do the immune cells lose their 
ability to fight off the body's enemies, but 
they actually go berserk and turn against 
the very tissue they are supposed to pro- 
tect. There is increasing evidence that this 
autoimmune response is a fundamental 
symptom of aging, which involves certain 
self-destructive acts: "like an art perfor- . 
mance," Walford laughs. 

Two years ago, Walford traveled exten- 
sively throughout India to measure body 
temperature regulation among the yogis. 
He found that through their yogic prac- 
tices some could lower their body temper- 
ature one-half to one-degree Centigrade. 

Why lower body temperature? Walford 
and others have found that reducing body 
temperature of humans a few degrees 
could greatly extend lifespan. "A very mi- 
nor reduction, about three degrees Fahr- 
enheit," says Bernard Strehler, "could well 
add as much as 30 years to human life." 

Neither Walford nor anyone else, how- 
ever, has succeeded in lowering tempera- 
ture in "warm-blooded" (homeothermic) 

56 OMNI 

animals, although Walford has experi- 
ments with the diverse substances, includ- 
ing marijuana, to determine to what extent 
they could do the job. Marijuana is the 
best substance for lowering body temper- 
ature," he says. Yet his mice developed a 
tolerance to the drug, and, after a few 
weeks of injections it had no effect on their 
temperatures. "There might be an ana- 
logue or chemically similar substitute that 
could do it," he speculates. 

Richard Cutler of the National Institute of 
Aging's Gerontology Research Center of- 
fers the bizarre, but workable, scheme of 
actually inserting a tiny ceramic device 
into the blood vessel preceding the hypo- 
thalamus (where temperature is con- 
trolled). A microwave unit also might be 
placed in the bedroom. At night during 
sleep, when the body's metabolic rate is 
slower, the microwave unit would beam on 
and the embedded device would, in turn, 
trick the hypothalamus into thinking the 

• Will extended lifespan create 
a massive population 
explosion? Not at all, if every 
person has just one child — a 
quota that should be 
observed anyway, if the world is 
to avoid procreating itself 
into oblivion.^ 

body was in a fever of one or two degrees. 
The hypothalamus consequently would 
lower the temperature a degree or so. In 
the early morning, before awaking, the mi- 
crowave unit would switch off and the 
body temperature would be restored to 
98.6°F. The user would not be bothered, 
but might live twice as long. 


As more is known about the genetic 
structure of life, biologists are coming to 
the conclusion that aging is not the result 
of slow "trashing" of all parts, but may be 
the result of a genetic program, coded 
along with the other instructions for the 
functioning of the cells in its DNA. The big 
question remains: Are we programmed to 
die? Is there a "death clock" that turns off 
the genes one by one? Or is nature simply 
indifferent to our fate after we've played 
our part in perpetuating the species? Or 
does the program for growth and sexual 
maturity contain within it what Dr. Richard 
Cutler of the National Institute on Aging 
calls "pleiotropic processes" — necessary 
functions which have by-products which in 
the long run are harmful to your health? 

Many investigators on the case are now 
"pro-clock." Opinions vary drastically and 
vehemently, however, as to where the time- 
piece is located. One group theorizes that 
the aging mechanism occurs at the cellu- 
lar level. Molecular biologist Dr. Leonard 
Hayflick discovered-evidence that there 
are only so many times (± 50) a cell can 
divide in vitro before its descendants age 
and die. Thus, Hayflick concluded, the cell 
has a built-in genetic limit. And ever since 
the revolutionary "Hayflick Limit" was an- 
nounced, it has been the target of continu- 
ous speculation. Critics scour the territory 
for evidence to refute it. 

Dr. V.J. Cristofalo of Philadelphia's Wis- 
tar Institute, for instance, has prolonged 
cellular life by adding the hormones corti- 
sone and hydrocortisone to culture solu- 
tions, thus suggesting that it is hormonal 
balance that signals the termination of cell 
division, not tiny clocks. 

Dr. David Harrison of Jackson Labora- 
tory, Bar Harbor, Maine, believes certain 
cells may indeed be immortal (as they 
were thought to be prior to Hayflick's re- 
sults). When he transplanted stem cells, 
which have a large prolificacy capacity, 
from old animals into young, the old cells 
functioned as well as the young cells did 
when both were transplanted into young 

Walford's rejuvenation of middle-aged 
mice's immunological response, as well as 
work he has done with congenic mice 
strains, leads him to believe that control of 
the entire immune system is located within 
a small region of genetic material — 
corresponding to the sixth chromosome in 
humans. He suspects that this control cen- 
ter is fundamentally involved in the aging 
process as a whole — that it may be "the 
man pulling the strings behind the 
scenes." These strings may involve only 
a few genes. 


Many other scientists now think the 
program for aging is encoded in the 
hypothalamus-pituitary system. The hypo- 
thalamus, that tiny pea-sized node at the 
base of the brain, is the master regulator of 
hormone distribution, and, along with the 
pituitary and endocrine system, it com- 
prises the regulation network affecting vir- 
tually all homeostatic systems as well as 
growth and sexual development. 

The body flashes an uninterrupted se- 
ries of response and feedback signals be- 
tween the individual glands and the brain. 
Aging may disrupt the hypothalamus's 
ability to run the show. Years of evidence 
more than suggests that the hypothalamic 
control of hormonal release goes haywire 
with aging. 

By stimulating the hypothalamus of 
aged female rats with electric impulses, 
Dr. Joseph Meites of Michigan State, has 
successfully reactivated their estrus 


L '_ B li 


- ';' 

In one voice they pledged 

fidelity to the brick fires, 

but one among them dared to 

violate the law of the clay. 


in these mountains, our flight together now past, I understand 
more clearly a return to the valley of my youth and to its factories 
might signify reconciliation and might be even wise; yet, against 
that compromise, I face again the ultimate fact of my wife now 
dead, and also two children, A sentimental gesture of return to 
the quarries can only dishonor love's memory. In this cave, there- 
fore, I shall remain and here I shall die. 

Before the death by falling (boy), by deadfall (girl), or her death 

(broken heart), I understood only a Utile the price of our rebellion. 

What I had not fully understood until now is how little our crime 

changed even slightly the established quotas of work, or the 

products of clay which at this moment are being fired, tallied, and 

cooled each week and each quarter of every year. In the Valley of 

the Kilns our names are not recorded. 

To the thousands of workers who remain, our flight so long ago 

S signifies nothing. No person shall profit from either our hardships 

I or from the example of our devotion to one another, Were I to re- 

a turn to the Valley for trial, would public confession of error perpet- 

j uate her memory? I doubt it, 

* Nevertheless, I shall make this chronicle of two lives accurate 
I with neither apology nor self-delusion intended. And as I set 
! down these words which never shall be read, farther back in this 

cave I hear the great clay heart of the world beating darkly 
among stalactites. 

At dawn, when the snowfieids above wink in the first light, I 
foresee clearly my own fate; extinction by wolves when I can no 
longer walk our cave-path to the grove of oaks for fuel. Until then I 
accept austerely the seasons remaining. Towards evening, I 
watch deer walk from the forest near my deadfalls to drink; at 
times, when the rains of winter come my certain end may seem 
almost just. If by chance, in the future, someone reads these 
mere wordson paper, no doubt they will make other judgements; 
each reader for himself alone. 

Although in the Valley the routine of each morning is the same. I 
recollect vividly my first day of duty on the high escarpments. 

Before the first rays of the sun illuminated the peaks, I was 
awake, In the farthest reaches of our barracks-caves, I heard 
hundreds of workers stirring, on their feet now, coming towards 
the light to work. Outside, the first "music" from the loudspeakers 
flooded our flat, wide, white assembly area. 

Across the Plaza, on the front porches of their individual dwell- 
ings, precisely at the same moment, our foremen a 
stately way, all in a line, they walked across 
the Plaza. 

As Ihe sun rose, all crews stood pre- 
cisely at attention. 

Fascinated, we listened to the roll call of 
production units; then yesterday's work 
done, and this new day's communal goals. 
With great excitement each morning I 
heard the tonnage for Escarpment-Six. 
With one voice we pledged Fidelity to the 
Kilns: our work to be pure, to uphold the 
customs of our craft, to sacrifice, etc., etc. 
My voice with a thousand other voices re- 
echoed our pledges upward into the 
sun's first rays. And I was young. 

Therefore I accepted with pride Ihe 
challenge of the high escarpment, where 
the clay was talcum white. From those 
heights our kilns seemed only row-upon- 
row of brown-smoke hives no larger than a 
wineskin. We tamped black powder into 
holes drilled by hand. We blasted away 
great avalanches of rock which fell like a 
long white feather of rolling thunder to- 
wards the conveyor gangs three thousand 
feet below. 

Our work was elite work. We knew the 
entire enterprise of the Valley rested upon 
us: without clay all kilns must cease pro- 
duction. The risk was great and only those 
with a nimble, extraordinary sense of pos- 
sible catastrophe survived. On the high 
escarpments my character was formed, 
and I became a man. 

Towards noon our Foreman signaled his 
drill crews strung out along the sheer, ris- 
ing walls. Casually, we came down to his 
assembly area to eat and to rest for the 
one hour allotted to us each day. 

"So: my eagles come for food?" our 
Foreman always said, and each day 
smiled at his own joke. Yet it was true; we 
called one another "Eagle." Because of 
rains or wind erosion, if an apparently solid 
path gave way suddenly with a hallow rush 
of air beneath a man's feet, we believed 
that man flew through space for a long 
time before the rolling, white-feather ava- 
lanche took him. 

I saw two hundred men "fly" briefly, then 
disappear into tons of rock and white clay 
at our escarpment's base, yet not one man 
cried out. Instead, backs arched, arms ex- 
tended and in that classic position they 
fell — down, down, became smaller, 
smaller— and at last tumbled end-over- 
end when the avalanche of rock took them. 

Our bread, our white cheese, our cus- 
tomary wineskins passed from the eldest 
to the youngest man in our crew; vividly I 
remember the shapes of our brown, hairy 
legs as we rested beneath the shade of an 
overhang. Against the talcum-dust our feet 
were sturdily splayed, for our ancestors for 
a thousand years had also worked these 
quarries, had climbed these escarpments 
of clay where dust and sky became one. 

At those moments of rest even a piece 
of bread became alive in the callous grace 
of our hands. Against white clay our intri- 
cately woven, encoded loin cloths 
breathed in the light; into our loin cloths 

were woven our future assignments, our 
destiny in the enterprise of the kilns. Only 
foremen and upper-level management 
could read those secrets; all others obses- 
sively stared without comprehension. Be- 
sides our identical matching headbands, 
each man had a device Implanted in the 
upper arm. At certain hours these devices 
made "music"; at others, especially at 
night, they merely hummed and we knew 
happuy that something was listening. 

When the sun setting touched the first 
rim of the mountains, we re-lormed on a 
lower terrace; by now our bodies had be- 
come liquid-ivory statues, breathing easily. 
Sometimes singing, incredibly white from 
the blown dust, we went at a half-trot to the 
valley floor. 

At the assembly plaza, later, especially 
in the windless nights of Spring, the kilns 
seemed to become upright, mighty organ 
pipes, glowing in their own heat, turning 
orange, then red, and just before dawn, 

Unto our loincloths was woven 
our future assignments, our 
destiny in the enterprise of 
the kilns. Only foremen 
and upper-level management 
could read those secrets. Alt 
others stared obsessively 
without comprehension.*! 

pale blue. At those moments our singing 
became one voice rising from the dark, 
open throat of the Valley. 

A feeling of right order came upon us. 
We were atone with an enterprise which 
signified purpose, something essential to 
our larger world. 

One summer night exactly like that I lay 
half-asleep at the entrance of our barrack- 
cave. Above the escarpments I watched 
our constellation take more perfect shape: 
the Great Jug with three handles; to the 
West, The Brick, also mighty in orbit 
against the vast, ultimate lurnace of our 

"Awake?" and it was my Foreman from 
the escarpment, his profile a blade of cast 
bronze against the light of our kilns. 

"My Eaglet much awake?" his tone was 
ironical, the customary speech of all Fore- 
men. In the mysterious way of manage- 
ment, he knew where to find me, and lhal I 
was awake, staring at our constellations. 

Casually the Foreman picked up the 
end of my loin cloth. By holding it parallel, 
he shifted those patterns alongside the 

beads of my headband. When aligned, the 
two narrow sashes caught the light from 
the kilns, blinked, and for a moment, 
seemed to join to become one larger 

"What I see here . . . Eaglet — " My Fore- 
man then held the bead patterns unnatu- 
rally close to his hooked nose. He said, 
"Yes. . . " and again cleared his throat. 

Is . . . " 

For the first time, I realized the man who 
had first led me to the escarpments was 
near-sighted; worse, his hesitation con- 
veyed absolutely that he did not clearly 
read — could only guess — what my loin 
cloth and headband patterns foretold. 
With more of a shock than I realized at the 
moment, I understood the knowledge of all 
Foremen — and by extension all Manage- 
ment — was approximation, myth. Further- 
more, in his moments of hesitation, my 
Foreman seemed incredibly old. 

"Cert-ain-ly!" and I heard false enthusi- 
asm. "She reads, 'new assignment'. Hah?" 

Because I had grown to full manhood on 
the escarpments and had survived, I ex- 
pected change; yes, and also reward and 
recognition. Yet because I had been 
taught so, at that moment I fell nothing at 
all. Thus my deeply protective reply was 
very much the tone of my Foreman. 

"So: tomorrow is my time?" 

Abruptly, he turned from me. 

First he seemed an abnormally tall fig- 
ure, his shadow massive, blue; then he 
was only a man growing smaller as he 
walked almost furtively back across the 
shimmering, absolute stones of the Plaza. 

Because he had told me nothing, I 
called out. 

He did not turn back. 

Without thinking, I trotted across the 
Plaza, towards him and the first row of little 
houses where the Foremen lived with their 
"wives." I touched his shoulder. 

Startled, he drew back. Fear was what I 
saw in his face, and in the gesture of his 
upraised arm. I had crossed their Plaza, 
had touched him. Because of my audacity, 
he drew back. 

Am I a Foreman?" I asked, "with house?" 

He stepped back to the front steps of 
what might be his own "home." Because 
all windows in all the small houses were 
dark, I thought, Why no one at all lives 
here. These are only house fronts. These 
doors lead only to other quarters, perhaps 
Into barracks-caves . 

Far down the production lines an ex- 
traordinary flash of blue light illuminated 
his face, the house fronts, and his door, 

"You , .-. you have done well." 

"Then a wife assigned?" 

Harshly, in the dialect of all Manage- 
ment, he both spoke, and turned from me. 

With one futile disengaging motion of 
arm and shoulder, he disappeared 
through the door. 

And of course I never saw him again. 

Bent low, I trotted back across the Plaza 

At this moment, astronomers 
over the world are eavesdropping 
on the starry cosmos. 



At any momenl, radio signals 
beamed from some distant 
planet may be touching your 
body, unseen and unfelt of 
course, but bringing evidence 
that we earthlings are not 
alone in this vast universe. 

Most astronomers now are 
convinced there is intelligent 
life, with some civilizations far 
more advanced than ours, on 
planets circling the billions 
upon billions of stars or suns 
in the cosmos. Further, some 
civilizations could well be 
broadcasting signals an- 
nouncing their presence — 
telling us, if we could only 
hear, about their location, their 
knowledge of life and science. 
and of our own possible 

Proven contact would pro- 
foundly affect human life, phil- 
osophically, spiritually, even 
materially. Some advanced 
civilization might instruct us on 
how to preserve life, how to 
| avoid disasters and suicide 
| by nuclear war, or by careless 
I destruction of our own earth- 
| ship's environment. They 
ji might even reveal how we 
■£ could become immortal, like 
? themselves. 

I It is such a tantalizing pros- 
f pect that the National Aero- 
£ nautics and Space Adminis- 

tration has now asked Con- 
gress for S1 9 million to fund an 
expanding five-year search 
with radio telescopes to listen 
for word from somewhere out 
there. Even now electronic 
"ears" in the United States. 
Russia, and Canada are lis- 
tening closely for intelligent in- 
terstellar signals. 

One proposal for the future 
is Cyclops, an array of some 
1 500 radio antennas, each 
1 00 meters across, grouped 
in a circle 10 kilometers in di- 
ameter. To build Cyclops now 
would cost S10 billion, and 
there isn't yet the official senti- 
ment to proceed with such a 
gamble. But Cyclops might be 
built in segments over many 
years to gradually extend our 
ability to intercept extraterres- 
trial messages. 

Cyclops, says Frank Drake, 
director of the National Aslron- 

omy and Ionosphere Center at Cornell 
University, would be so keen ol hearing 
that it could likely eavesdrop upon, and 
then reproduce, a television program that 
originated on some planet more than 300 
light-years away. 

Might we actually pick up programs that 
originated 300 years ago? Yes, Drake 
says, for it is a fact of physical law every- 
where in the universe that radio and televi- 
sion and all other transmissions zip not 
only to receivers on the planet itself, but 
also radiate cut in all directions into space. 
Television signals are especially strong. 
Like it or not, the earth has been announc- 
ing its presence for some 30 years through 
a cacophony of television and radio sig- 
nals in a continuous outgoing wave of en- 
ergy, traveling at the speed of light. Drake 
estimates that our own "leakage" of sig- 
nals has now gone out far enough to have 
impinged upon some 400 stars, their 
planets, and their intelligent inhabitants, if 
such exist. 

Might we similarly eavesdrop on televi- 
sion programs from planets 100 or even 
1000 light-years away, bringing us Ihelr 
versions of Johnny Carson, the Spacemo- 
bile Runabout series, or toothpaste 
commercials— or television classroom 
courses revealing untold knowledge of 
health and biology, sources of energy, or 
even insights into unimagined areas of 
knowledge? The intelligent signals that we 
might detect from planets around other 
stars could reach us accidentally, or they 
could be directed deliberately at our gen- 
eral neighborhood in space. Speculating 
about the abundance of such signals and 
whether they are impinging on us right 
now, Drake answers: "I am sure they are. 
We just don't know how strong they are, or 
what the frequencies are." 

Drake is not alone in his optimism that 
intelligent life exists elsewhere in the 
universe. He also is realistic about the diffi- 
culties of making contact with it. 

The universe is so vast that by one esti- 
mate there are 1 00 billion stars for each 
human now on the earth— and there are 
four-plus billion of us. The Milky Way, the 
galaxy or family of stars to which our rather 
ordinary sun belongs, measures some 
100,000 light-years across. It alone con- 
tains 200 billion stars, or 50 stars per 
earthling. And there are billions of galaxies 
in the universe. 

Wthin all these galaxies stars are form- 
ing, evolving, and dying. So are their off- 
spring planets, increasingly, the consen- 
sus among astronomers is that most stars 
have planets. 

"The birth of planets frequenily if not in- 
evitably accompanies the birth of stars." 
says Carl Sagan, director of Cornell 
University's Laboratory for Planetary Stu- 
dies and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his 
book The Dragons of Eden (Ballantine 
Books). Altogether, there may be 100 
billion planets suitable for life 

within the Milky Way galaxy alone, 

Our sun is parent of nine planets, with 
only the earth, to our knowledge, support- 
ing intelligent life, The two Viking space- 
craft exploring Mars for life signs "gave 
discouraging but not conclusive negative 
results," Dr. Drake says. The Vikings dis- 
covered that Mars has a peculiar surface 
chemistry, but this was " not the result of 
organic chemistry either inside or outside 
of living things. Alas, we found no dead 
bodies on Mars, no organic molecules that 
could be the past or present constituents 
of living things." 

Stars, being nuclear furnaces, burn hy- 
drogen to form helium and then in 
successive steps create heavier elements. 
Exploding as supernovas, or expanding 
as red giants, they pour these elements 
out into space, to become part of the dust 
clouds giving birth later to new stars and 
planets. Stars, long dead, brewed all the 
atoms of your body. 

On the earth, atoms formed into the mol- 
ecules of the primordial seas and atmo- 
sphere, which presumably consisted pri- 
marily of such substances as methane. 
ammonia, water, hydrogen, carbon mon- 
oxide, formaldehyde, and hydrogen cya- 
nide. Laboratory experiments in the 1950s 
by the biochemists Stanley Miller, Harold 
Urey, and Sidney Fox showed that organic 
molecules could be formed from those 
substances by heat or lightning or other 
natural events. Chemical reactions "synthe- 
sized amino acids (the building blocks of 
proteins), purines and pyrimidines (the 
units for genetic material), and also carbo- 
hydrates, hydrocarbons, fatty acids, and 
other organic compounds. These could 
organize into more complex structures 
similar to those in living cells. 

Perhaps it all happened this way on 
earth. Did it happen the same or similarly 
on millions of other planets? Drake thinks 
"there is almost nothing you can do to stop 
a primitive atmosphere from making the 
molecules of life. The chemical processes 
that we have identified as being most im- 
portant to formation of life on earth are in 
fact common results of the laws of chemis- 
try. We can expect that they have occurred 
in many places in the universe." 

Space itself is a chemical factory for 
molecules basic to life. In huge interstellar 
clouds of dust, radio astronomers have 
detected 40 or more molecules made in 
space, including ammonia, water vapor, 
formaldehyde, formic acid, methanol 
(wood alcohol), carbon monoxide, hydro- 
gen cyanide, cyanoacetyline, and acetal- 
dehyde. Drake and others look upon car- 
bon monoxide, formaldehyde, and hydro- 
gen cyanide as "the familiar triumvirate 
that probably dominated the production of 
the chemicals of terrestrial life." 

The violent heating and collapse of a 
dust cloud to produce a new star and 
planets would destroy most of these or- 
ganic materials, but not all. Just as bits of 

Arecibo radio telescope, 310-meters message, showr, <c ;he teft broadcasted the 

across, rests in a circular valley in Puerto binary numbers 1 to 10, the atomic numbers 

P.'co. Suspended high-above it is there- ot elements ol Hie, the formula and structure 

ceiver, which picks up the faint signals col- of DNA, a human figure, a diagram ot the so- 

lected and focused by the dish. In 1975. the lar system, and the telescope transmitting 

is used to beam a message the message, 
from the earth ta the Globular Cluster in Her- 
<e 25,000 light-years distant. The 

wood, tar paper, cement, bricks, and the 
like are left over in building a house, so un- 
used parts of the dust cloud would be left 
over in building a new solar system Com- 
ets are perhaps leftovers from the forma- 
tion of our own solar system; Drake thinks 
they may contain many cubic miles of the 
organic molecules, serving as deep 
freezes that carry the stuff for fulure life, 
which is released when they crash-land on 
newborn planets. Large meteorites of the 
type known as carbonaceous chondrites 
might also be space freighters of organic 
chemicals. The large Murchison mefeohte 
that fell on Murchison. Australia in 1969 
contained 1 8 amino acids including six 
that are found in living cells. Another pos- 
sibility is that a planet could pick up 
space-made organic molecules when it 
drifts through a dust cloud in space, 

Drake estimates that a new system ol in- 
telligent beings is being created about 
once every year in the Milky Way. Such be- 
ings could vary fantastically from us and 
from each other in their physical shape, 
appearance, mental set, motivations, 
morals, and knowledge. Some might be a 
million years more advanced than us: 
others might just be beginning to reach 
our stage ot technology. Some galactic 
neighbors, curious to find other neighbors, 
may be sending beacon signals telling of 
their presence and skills. On the other 
hand, they might be predators seeking 
promising new colonies. 

The first attempt to tune info radio com- 
munications from somewhere else began 
in 1 960 with Project Ozma. It started on a 
chilly April morning near Green Bank, 
West Virginia, a mountainous town of 
about 100 souls, arthe National Radio 
Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The 
observatory's 26-meter-diameter antenna 
had its shiny cup-shaped ear pointed al 
two initial targets. These were the stars Tau 
Ceti and Epsilon Eridani in the southern 
sky, barely visible to the naked eye, both 
about 1 1 light-years away, 

Project Ozma was named after the fic- 
tional princess Ozma, in Frank Baum's 
book The Wizard ot Qz . who ruled "a place 
very far away, difficult to reach, and popu- 
lated by strange and exotic beings." The 
project was largely the concept of Frank 
Drake, fhen 29, with the enthusiastic sup- 
port of the late Otto Struve, director of the 
NRAO. The time to begin the great search 
had arrived, with more sensitive antennas 
and radio amplifiers that had just then be- 
come available, Special equipment for the 
initial listening cost about S2000 and was 
supplied by the National Science Founda- 
tion, which supports the observatory. 

For 200 hours over a period of three 
months, the radio ear was tuned to listen 
on a wavelength of 21 centimeters, the 
wavelength of radio waves emitted by hy- 
drogen atoms when they become excited 
after colliding with other atoms in space. 
Thai wavelength, it was reasoned, would 

be known to all physicists and astrono- 
mers in Ihe galaxy since nature presum- 
ably plays the same rules all through the 

On this particular "telephone" line to Tau 
Ceti and Epsilon Eridani, Project Ozma 
sought for signals above the usual radio 
noise in the universe, something that 
would say, "You are not alone; join the ga- 
lactic club." The coded signals might have 
been a mathematical formula, the atomic 
weight of some element such as uranium, 
or anything else recognizable as a 
planned artificial signal. 

Once a signal was received, the plan 
was to broadcast it back. The reply would 
have taken another 1 1 years to reach Tau 
Ceti or Epsilon Eridani, and then another 
1 1 years for us to learn they had heard us. 

But no signal was detected. 

Listening too late? Too soon? On the 
wrong frequency? No one knows for sure. 

The concept of searching for extrater- 
restrial intelligence, however, has contin- 
ued to intrigue astronomers, In 1968, 
under the direction of Vsevolod S. Troitsky 
at the Gorky Radio Astronomy Observa- 
tory, Soviet astronomers scanned 12 
nearby stars similar to the sun in size. Two 
different series of observations were car- 
ried out from March, 1 970 through Novem- 
ber, 1970. 

One problem that concerned the astron- 
omers was how to determine that any sig- 
nals received were actually tram outer 
space and not the earth. It is possible tor a 
radio-taxicab call in the streets of Bu- 
charest to bounce off the moon of the 
ionosphere and be received back some- 
where else on the earthl To eliminate that 

Workmen walking on line mesh surface of 
Arecibo dish must wear large "snow shoes" to 
distribute their weight evenly over 
large area. Flecks on photograph are debris 
trapp'-xi by mesh. 

possibility, the Soviet astronomers em- 
ployed two widely separated listening sta- 
tions, first from Gorky and the Crimea and 
later from Murmansk and the Ussuri region 
between Manchuria and the Sea ol Japan. 
Since the antennas in each pair of stations 
were separated by thousands of miles, if 
all the stations received ihe same signal 
then it almost certainly had to be some- 
thing different from a taxicab in Chicago or 
a radio talk show in Cleveland. 

Once, Drake recalls, a Soviet scientist 
told him excitedly that they had picked up 
a suspected real space signal. Drake 
guessed, correctly as it turned out. that it 
was a signal from a newly launched Ameri- 
can spy satellite. Nothing more was de- 

Soviet interest in searching for extrater- 
restrial intelligence continues high, with 
good possibilities of international coopera- 
tion in the cosmic search. 

Troitsky, after his first attempts, renewed 
them in 1972 and has since continued. 
The U.S.S.R. now has a state commission 
devoted to organizing the quest, and its 
large RATAN 600-antenna radio telescope 
in the Caucasus is to be devoted to part- 
time listening duty. RATAN. which stands 
for (in Russian) Radio Astronomy Tele- 
scope of the Academy of Sciences, is 600 
meters in diameter. 

In 1968, British astronomers were briefly 
excited that they had received, in routine 
operations, what seemed to be an intelli- 
gent code Further investigation revealed 
that they had detected a pulsar, a massive 
neutron star spinning rapidly and flashing 
radio signals like a lighthouse in space. 
Several hundred such objects are now 

In 1 972, Gerrit L Verschurr, then at 
NRAO, also took a look at ten nearby stars, 
also without success. In Ozma II, between 
November, 1 972 and August. 1 975. Pat- 



rick F Palmer and Ben M. Zuckerman 
used NRAO's then-new 92-meter dish and 
its 1 40-foot dish to observe-659 nearby 
stars. Each antenna had a receiving sys- 
tem equivalent to 384 radio channels. The 
astronomers looked at each star for four 
minutes at a time, typically six or seven 
times during the program. The stars. 60 to 
70 light-years distant, were similar to our 
sun in size and activity. Ozma II in five min- 
utes repeated the original Ozma I. and 
cocked an ear at hundreds of additional 
stars. Again — no positive results. 

Some believers in extraterrestrial intelli- 
gence are dauntless. In Canada, Alan H. 
Bridle and Paul A. Feldman are conduct- 
ing a search of several nearby stars at the 
Algonquin Radio Observatory at Lake Tra- 
verse, north ofTorontoin Ontario. AtOhio 
State University's Observatory in Dela- 
ware, Ohio, between five and 20 channels 
of its 2,460-square-meter radio telescope 
are devoted to listening for signals. Near 
Mt. Shasta, California at the Hal Creek Ob- 
servatory of the University of California at 
Berkeley, specialists operate an 26-meter 
radio telescope to observe the motions, 
masses, and temperatures of clouds of hy- 
drogen gas in our own galaxy, But they 
also have mounted on it, piggy-back, a re- 
ceiver that takes side looks for intelligent 
signals from space. Again, nothing of pos- 
itive interest has yet been found. 

Far southeast, in Puerto Rico, is the Are- 
cibo Observatory, operated by the Na- 
tional Astronomy and Ionosphere 
Center of Cornell University. The Arecibo 
radio telescope, with its 310-meier- 
diameter antenna set into a circular valley, 
has 100 times the collecting area and six 
times the recording power of tbe NRAO 
dish that first looked out in Project Ozma 
lor signals from space. In one-tenth of a 
second, the Arecibo telescope can dupli- 
cate what was done in 1960 in two months 
at Green Bank. It is able to detect signals 
that might be coming from civilizations 
hundreds to about 30 thousand light-years 

Beginning in 1975, in programs initiated 
by Drake and Sagan, the sensitive Arecibo 
antenna was pointed at five galaxies. More 
recently. Paul Horowitz of Harvard Univer- 
sity used the Arecibo telescope to search , 
for intelligent signals from the 200 observ- 

stars nearestthe earth. In the most 
sensitive search for extraterrestrial signals 
undertaken so far, Horowitz simultane- 
ously monitored more than 65.000 narrow 
radio channels. 

All these eavesdropping attempts were 
carried out primarily on the 21 -centimeter 
radio wavelength of hydrogen. The choice 
of the Irequency illustrates a major diffi- 
culty in listening for extraterrestrial life. "We 
are searching for a few needles in a fan- 
tastic haystack ol inconceivable size," 
Drake points out. Even though the Arecibo 
radio telescope is the most powerful in the 
world, i! "would have to point in 20 million 



Even out of prison, he really 

wasn't free. A teleport 

implant had made his body the 

property of Lt. Denzlo. 



He ran. So they shot him. 
Five kilguns hi! him almost simultaneously, 
slicing him into chunks. 
Although everyone assumed his running was 
an admission of guilt, Andy Stoker wasn't guilty. 
Not this time. 
But since the stranglings stopped when Andy 
died, the case was oificia.iy closed. Nobody, or 
hardly anyone rather, beside myself knows what 
was really going on. By the time I had everything 
figured out, Andy was dead and gone and I'm 
certain the Greater Los Angeles Police Depart- 
ment wouldn't believe me. Besides which, if I 
weni near the GLAPD fortress out in the Pasa- 
dena Sector someone in the Murder Division 
would be sure to find out. Can't risk that. 
So you're the only person I'm going to tell 
about Andy Stoker, aboul the stranglings and 
who really committed 
this particular batch of murders. 
The first time I saw Andy in person was on a 
hot bleary afternoon in August of 2005, He was 
tugging off some of his clothes out in front of the 
main building of the Quakeproof Studios in the „ 
Burbank Sector of GLA. J 
Spotting him through the one-way window of s 
Ihe tiny office OS was loaning me, I jumped up I 
and dived for the door. = 
"Musk, " rumbled the dented robot sec- | 
retary that went with the office, a 

"Beg pardon?" I hesitated, anxious, on 
the threshold. 
"Hair note save. War rnusk," 
"Oh, right." I dashed back to my floating 
metal desk, snatched up the breather and 
clapped it to my face. 

"Half a hobby die," chuckled the old bot 
as I headed out again. 

Back in the Connecticut Enclave where 
I live, the air is usually breathable, so I 
wasn't in the habit of wearing a protective 
mask. When I first hif the glaring afternoon 
outside, the tinted goggles seemed to go 
black for several seconds. By the time 1 
could see again Andy had his tunic off and 
was slapping at his bare chest. 
. The android security guard, a baffled 
expression on his cream-color face, was 
holding his stungun at the ready. 

"It's okay." I called, running in the direc- 
tion of the security huts. "He's my guest." 

"Just look at that, will you?" Andy or- 
dered the guard, tracing a finger over the 
certificate tattooed on his flesh. "They did 
program you to read, didn't they? This 
states I graduated, with honors, from the 
Pasadena Playhouse For The Criminally 
Insane. I'm absolutely clean now. No mat- 
ter what the Murder Division may have 

"You got to have a pass," the humanoid 
guard insisted. "I'm not all that interested 
in your body, sir, nor in its decorations. 
Your criminal past is so much water over 
the dam so far as my duties — " 

"Hey. he's alright!" I said. "He's here to 
see me." I had reached them. 

The guard cupped his gunfree-hand to 
his metal ear. "Eh?" 

Andy reached over, gave my breather a 
thump with his fist. "You shouldn't wear an 
American brand mask," he advised. "Es- 
pecially one of these clunky GEs. They 
garble your speech, let in enough airborne 
carcinogens to kill the average lab ratin 
about fifteen—" 

"Ah, I recognize you, sir, by the New En- 
gland cut of your two-piece daysuit," the 
guard said to me. "Very ivy league, now 
that I make it out through the haze. You're 
the gentleman from Oldies, Ltd." 

"Exactly," I shouted through my mouth- 
piece. "This is Andy Stoker, came to work 
as a technical advisor on a nostalgia show 
we're doing entitled Fabled Pattern Killers 
Of Yesteryear." 

"I happen to be a pattern killer myself," 
Andy told the guard, grinning. "Relatively 
famous, about five years ago, as Captain 
Midnight. So called because I always 
struck at exactly — " 

"My memories only go back two years. 
sir," said the android. "In show business, 
that's sufficient. Famous murderer, were 

"I strangled nine people, made the cov- 
ers of Timellfe and Mammon in the same 
week." Andy-stopped to grab up his dis- 
carded tunic. 
I noticed a nasty reddish lump on his 

back, but didn't comment on it. "Come 
along, Andy," 1 said, catching hold of 
his arm. "I'll show you the sets they're 

Andy continued to address the mechan- 
ical guard. "I was the best known video- 
induced criminal of the year, although I'm 
less famous these days. Except to the 
darn Murder Division of Ihe Greater Los 
Angeles Pol — " 

"You'll vouch for him, sir?" the guard 
asked me. 

"He doesn't have to," answered Andy. 
"I'm clean now." He poked at the tattooed 
diploma. "I won't strangle anyone, ever 
again. Unless I happen to be goaded into 
it by a suggestively violeni television show. 
Since, however, I'm forbidden by theterrns 
of my parole to own, operate or even look 
at a tv set, a disksyst or a vidwall, there's 
very little — " 

"The sets, Andy." I hurried him away 
across the bright, hazy grounds of the 

QWhat is that thing?" 

I asked referring to an infiamed 

reddish lump. 

" That's my teieport box. They 

let me loose but 

they stuck me with this . . . 

which means I'm 

wearing invisible stripes*/ 

video studio. Ever since he'd criticized my 
breather I'd felt the thick air was sneaking 
in and seeking out of my lungs and doing 
them harm. "They're all indoors." 

"I'm sorry 1 lost the pass you sent me." 
he said as we, rapidly, walked toward Stu- 
dio C. "It fell out of my pocket while I was 
upside down over the Grand Canyon," 

"Why were you in that position?" 

Andy was along, lanky young man of 
about 29 and, being several inches taller 
than me, leaned down now and lowered 
his voice. "It's got to do with romance," he 
confided through the mouthpiece of his 
Japanese-made breather, 

"How does the Grand Canyon—" 

"Don't you read Fax -Variety?" 

"I have to." 

"Then you ought to have noticed the 
item about Dynamite Dunn and myself be- 
ing a new twosome." 

"Dynamite Dunn, the lady daredevil?" 

"There aren't that many Dynamite Dunns 
in the world. She's who I mean. Didn't you 
read the tremendous writeup they gave 
her in WomenStunts last week, or the rave 
notice in Stunt Persons a couple months 

ago? I suppose, being head over heels in 
love, I'm prejudiced about Dynamite's 
stunts, but to me she's the best-looking girl 
in the Suicidal Stunt tield. 

In here." I pushed open the door of the 
sound stage and we entered. 

Andy tugged off his mask. "You ought 
to get yourself one'of these Nusubito 
Breathers, the Japanese really know how- 
to make the things. Their air was unbreath- 
able way before ours. Back when I was 
strangling fulltime I used an American 
make and found it to — " 

"How did you happen to be over the 
Grand Canyon?" 

"Oh, Dynamite's planning a stunt that in- 
volves her being seduced by three . . . this 
is London in the 1 9th century, right?" 

We'd entered the dimlit set which repre- 
sented a block of the East End of Victorian 
London. "Going to use it in our 'Jack The 
Ripper' sequence." 

"Messy, Jack The Ripper was messy." 
observed Andy, slowing and gazing 
around. "Strangling is much neater. If I 
were, which I assure you I never will, going 
to kill anybody again, I'd sure use strangu- 

I took, even though he seemed pleasant 
and calm enough, a few steps back from 
him. "We don't have to talk about your 
crimes if it upsets — " 

"They weren't crimes," Andy said, grin- 
ning. "Which is what made my case so fa- 
mous, I was judged, by both a six person 
human jury and a three member robot 
backup jury, to be video susceptible. In , 
fact, I've got one of the worst and most se- 
vere kinds. I'd always been strongly 
goaded by what I saw on our TV wall as a 
kid. Broke a leg one summer trying to em- 
ulate Hunneker The Jungle Man, came 
very close to fracturing my head after 
viewing The Girl With The Iron Skull." 
Those little incidents were only preludes 
and then on that fateful night in 2000 I 
chanced to watch The Case of the Bar- 
chester Strangled on Bently of Scotland 
Yard and off I went. Strangled nine help- 
less victims before the GLAPD ran me to 
ground. Always did it at midnight, like the 
killer on the show, hence my nickname of 
Captain Midnight. Coined by the media." 
He lifted up the front of his tunic, studied 
the tattooed diploma. "I'm cured now, 
though, which is why I was let out on pa- 
role two years ago. I'm fine so long as I 
keep absolutely clear of tv. I haven't, give 
you my word, harmed a soul since I've 
been out. Too busy for crime anyhow, what 
with my consulting work and my courtship 
of Dynamite." 

"I thought I saw in the National Intruder 
where Dynamite was sleeping with some- 
one on the GLA police force." 

"Oh, that item you noticed, huh?" Scowl- 
ing, Andy shuffled along the shadowy Lon- 
don lane. I honestly believe her affair with 
Lt. Denzlo is only another stunt. Nope, the 
one true love in Dynamite's life is me. Be- 


<m Nature, God, or whatever 
you want to call the 
creator. . .comes through 
the microscope clearly and 
strongly. Everything made 
by human hands looks ter- 
rible at high magnification. 
Every bit of nature is lovely.J 






DNAI(opp.j Pinecone Cluster 

Simply washing your hands can be an adveniure in the New York 
apartment of photographer-scientist Roman Vishniac. I discovered 
this fact some years ago. "My God!" I screamed as I was about to 
turn on the faucet. "What's that in the washbasin?" 

Dr. Vishniac responded calmly, "That is a crab. I brought him here 
to take his picture and he is waiting patiently unlil I take him home to 
Florida. You must not frighten him." 

Most people would dispose of such creatures after using them. To 
Roman Vishniac that is an act of murder. "They are living beings with 
as much right to exist, and due the same respect, as human beings." 
It is a feeling he shares for all living things, down to the simplest one- 
celled animals. 

This powerful reverence for life began when, as a child in Mos- 
cow, Roman's grandmother gave him a microscope. It was 1 904; he 
had just turned seven. The microscope came with three prepared 
slides and magnified to 1 50x. Young Roman was instantly captivated 
by the fantastic world seen through the eyepiece. He soon prepared 
his own slides with bits of plants, fur from a family pet, insects. . . . 

Buttercup Stem j (opp.) Cross Section ot 
a Young Root 

4 The higher the magnifica- 
tion we use, the more 
details are brought out, per- 
fectly formed, like endless 
sets of boxes within boxes. 
, , . "Colorization" frees 
images obscured by the 
dazzle of ordinary lights 

His room in the Moscow apartment became a laboratory, 

That was the birth ot his photomicrography. "Nature. God. or what- 
ever you want to call the creator of the universe," says Vishniac, 
"comes through the microscope clearly and strongly. Everything 
made by human hands looks terrible under magnification — crude. 
rough, and unsym metrical. But in nature, every bit of life is lovely. 
And the higher the magnification we use, the more details are 
brought out, perfectly formed, like endless boxes within boxes." 

When he was nine. Roman put some water from a goldfish bowl 
under his microscope lens and gazed in awe at the "mysterious and 
beautiful" protozoa. "To see them gliding and whirling," says 
Vishniac, "was a profoundly moving experience." 

In 1914, Vishniac entered Moscow's Shanyavsky University. Six 
years later he left with a Ph.D. in zoology and an M.D. Still in his 
teens, he was named an assistant professor of biology. 

During this period, he produced time-lapse films in 
cinemicroscopy— the first ones ever— and also did endocrinological 
research involving the thyroid and the metamorphosis of the axolotl , 
a variety of salamander. He wanted to publish his work, but the Rus- 
sian political situation in 1920 made that impossible. As a dissident 
in Soviet Russia, his career— indeed, his life— had a limited future. 
Roman fled to Berlin, 

There, along with research in endocrinology. Vishniac explored 
the complexities of optics and light. He wanted everyone to see the 
glorious, splendid universe he saw through the microscope. 

To photograph a prepared slide of a flat, dead object was simple, 
but Vishniac refused to work with nonliving material, Then, as now, 
he was concerned with the three-dimensional, living creatures that 
could not be seen with the naked eye. These microorganisms swim 
through their aquatic world in an endless ballet, while eating, repro- 
ducing, surviving. It was wrong, Vishniac felt, to kill them as if they 
did not have as much right as humans to live. "It is also bad sci- 

rffcW #*F 





imAlt life is interrelated. To 
understand art, one must 
understand man- To under- 
stand man, one must 
understand ail living things. 
There exists as much 
beauty in a grain of sand 
as in a Mozart symphony* 1 

ence," he insisted, "because dead matter does not teach about life," 
So he searched for a new way to deal with light through the micro- 
scope, one that would show a viewer the functioning inner structure 
of living microorganisms. 

At the same time, Vishniac became deep y inlwijsred in Oriental 
art and entered a postgraduate program in the subject at the Univer- 
sity o! Berlin, He completed all the work required for a Ph.D. in Orien- 
tal art, but the Nazis, who had come into power, did not permit giving 
diplomas to Jews; so it was withheld. 

While in Berlin Vishniac also invented a technique called "dif- 
fracted wave contrast" that greatly improved microscopic visibility. 
In 1932, he offered it to two large German optical companies but 
during the testing period the Nazis came to power. Both companies 
then asked Vishniac to provide proof, not of the efficiency of his new 
method, but of the Aryan descent of his grandmothers'. Since they 
were Jewish the optical companies pronounced the technique non- 
Aryan and turned it down. Some time later, the Dutch physicist 
Zernike developed a similar method called "phase-contrast" and for 
it won a Nobel Prize. 

Vishniac emigrated to the United Stales on December 31, 1940, 
with $400 and no knowledge of English. Able to speak eight lan- 
guages and read 1 3. holding two doctorates and the equivalent of a 
third, Vishniac still could not find work. Finally, he turned to freelance 
portrait photography by day and continued his scientific research by 
night. This brought in enough money to survive. At the same time, 
Vishniac went to magazine offices with his photographs of insect life 
and microorganisms, occasionally selling a few. 

Since 1 950, when Vishniac was able to give up portrait photogra- 
phy, he has devoted most of his time and genius to science. He has 
taught at universities; has made nature films for the National Science 
Foundation and other prestigious organizations; written a number of 
books and scholarly papers; and lectured on an incredible range of 




Root ol a Legfjme l(opp-) Vitamin 

• To see the protozoa 
gliding and whirling was a 
profoundly moving 
experience. . .and the 
camera lens fit so snugiy 
over the lens of my new 
microscope it almost 
seemed designed that way5 

subjects. His photographs, both scientific and sociological, have 
been exhibited throughout the world. 

"There are two subjects," Vishniac once told me, "about which I do 
not know anything: sports and women's fashions. Everything else in- 
terests me. and I study. I want to learn, and everything teaches me 
something. All life is interrelated. To understand art, one must under- 
stand man. To understand man, one must understand all living 
things. There is as much beauty in a grain of sand as in a Mozart 
symphony, a Shakespeare play or a Japanese painting. It is all one." 

Among the many cameras Vishniac uses to photograph nature 
and microlife are Nikon, Leica, Hasselblad. and Olympus 2 Al- 
though they are excellent instruments, he maintains that it is not the 
camera that ultimately matters. "A box camera such as the one I 
used as a child can take good pictures, too," he says. "It is in the 
brain and heart of the photographer that the real work is done." 

He also utilizes various microscopes, from 60x to one with 1 750x. 
His most complex piece of equipment is a Zeiss microscope with a 
special attachment called the Nomarsvi-Vishniac interference sys- 
tem. Dr. Vishniac never stains a specimen, never kills one, never 
uses artificial stimuli. 

The key to his incomparable microphotographs is what he terms a 
"colorization" process. This involves the use of two prisms, with the 
optical system placed between them, "In trying to describe this pro- 
cess." he says, "one is bound to be guilty of oversimplification. Per- 
haps the best I can do is explain that ordinary light is made up of all 
the colors of the spectrum, and since they cancel out each other, the 
light appears colorless. 

"Another thing about ordinary light is that it vibrates in all direc- 
tions, or planes, at once. Under most circumstances, this is a very 
fortunate thing, for it means that the rays oi light are evenly diffused. 
But when ordinary light is used in sufficient quantity to penetrate the 
translucent interior of a microscopic organism, its dazzle obliterates 

£An original piece ofartis 
alive, a reproduction is 
dead. I bring the original to 
the student. . .and all the 
magic the artist put into it is 
seen and felt. So it is with 
nature. . . . I never stain a 
specimen, never kill one. 3 

the details. Unrestrained light assassinates microscopic structures, 

"So we turn to polarized light, which is ordinary light that has been 
passed through a calcite prism to make it vibrate on one plane only. 
It is still colorless, but what happens is that the detail and the color of 
the image that reaches the eye are greatly intensified, and the 
specimen's anatomy appears much as it would in a color x-ray." 

Beyond the superlative technique and inventiveness Dr. Vishniac 
brings to his work, his success in photographing the microworld is a 
result of endless study and patience. Once, after being asked to 
photograph what is seen through the eye of an insect, he devoted 
weeks to reading everything available on insect vision, days collect- 
ing fireflies, and more weeks in the laboratory until he succeeded in 
removing, intact, the 4600 lenses of the insect's eye. Only then could 
he take the picture. 

At 81 , Vishniac's only concession to the calendar is that he now 
refuses to make commitments more than a year in advance. Other- 
wise, his pace could still exhaust a 30-year-old. Every summer, he 
and his beloved wife, Edith, climb the Swiss Alps. "We do not go 
swiftly," he says, "but it does not matter. We are not in a race." 

His interests remain as diverse as ever, Lecturing a! various col- 
leges, Dr. Vishniac's aim is to awaken students to the beauty of their 
world. He wants them to understand the unity of creation in nature 
and in art. In addition to the slides with which he illustrates his lec- 
tures, Vishniac shows objects from his own collections of sculpture, 
paintings, coins, and rare books. "An original piece of art is alive." he 
explains. "A reproduction is dead. I bring the original to the students 
and, for the first time in the lives of some of them, there is an under- 
standing of art. All the magic that the artist put into it is there to be 
seen and felt. So it is with nature. There are nice museums with ev- 
erything in them dead— shells, stuffed animals. . . . But the colors 
fade, and there is no movement, no magic. How can we learn about 
nature from these things? We cannot. "OQ 

Science's ultimate award 

is a matter of 

politics, personalities, 

and being at the 

right place at the right time. 


We can't measure science accu- 
rately. It's not like a race where 
everyone is judged on the basis 
of time. There are no generally 
accepted measures in science." — Erik 
Rudberg. former chairman, Nobel Physics 
Prize Committee, Stockholm, 1971 

I have no doubt that Professor Rud- 
berg believes this. He was perhaps the 
most open and candid Nobel Prize judge 
I have interviewed. But he was speaking 
on a rarefied level — the level of the judge 
who must decide whether the develop- 
ment -of the integrated circuit is more 
significant than the discovery of the mi- 
crowave radiation left over from the large 
wham-bam that created the universe. It 
would take 20 mega-Solomons to re- 
solve such matters. What Rudberg did 
not say, however, is that there are certain 
scientific matters upon which fools like 
you, me, and the state legislatures can 
make judgments. One such matter is the 
Nobel Prize. 

This October, Stockholm will an- 
nounce its selections for the "science 
prizes"— Physiology/ Medicine, Chemis- 
try, and Physics. In the spirit of a true 
itinerant gambler, here are my picks: 
physiology/medicine Sweden's Sune 
Bergstrom and his life-preserving pros- 
taglandins will capture the 1978 Nobel 
Prize in Physiology/Medicine. Born in 
1 91 6, by Swedish Prize standards Berg- 
strom is still in his prime. The mild- 
| mannered truth-seeker will also carry to 
| victory his longtime pal and understudy 
| Bengt Samuelsson and — hold your 
| hat— will bring an unprecedented sec- 
| ond Nobel in Medicine to the grand wiz- 
| ard of the neurotransmitter, Ulf von Euier. 
| Look. for a Swedish three-way sweep. 
z A hair behind the startling Swedes is. 
I Australia's master of the immunologi- 



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i Nobel support of science 
is equivalent to the monarchial 
support of the arts that 
made the Netherlands a renais- 
sance art center 
and Vienna a music center3 

cally amazing thymus. Jacques Miller— 
a top bet (or the Nobel gold ($150,000 
plus book contracts and other fringe 
benefits) by 1980. But the eagle may 
overtake the kangaroo with such con- 
tenders from the States as the princes of 
visual perception, the Hubel-Wiesel 
team; the mysterious mechanic of the 
cell membrane known only as E. Racker; 
and that veteran of the steroid wars who 
assisted in giving your daughter the pill, 
Carl Djerassi, who just might take the 
Prize in Chemistry instead. The dust 
hasn't settled yet. and it is hard to tell who 
and how many are in the running, but look 
for top performances from the leaders in 
endorphins, restriction enzymes, and the 
daredevil sequencers of DNA and RNA. 
chemistry Even the Swedes say his work 
has a touch of art, and the Swedes should 
know, as they gave the 1965 Prize in 
Chemistry to Harvard's unbelievable Ro- 
bert Woodward— my choice to do it 
again — who shared the glory with his fa- 
vorite lab buddy, Roald Hoffman of Cor- 
nell, Both of them have put together the 
cleverest little reaction-prediction 
scheme to date. Woodward's only prob- 
lem is that the Swedes have to think a 
long time before giving the same Prize 
twice, so don't count out the old long- 
distance synthesizer E.J. Corey or the 
man who did what Ihey said couldn't be 
done — the wedding of two inert elements 
to produce never-betore-seen 
compounds— Neil Bartlett. Also watch for 
Al Cotton, a dark horse from the unlikely 
brain farm of Texas A. & M.. and Jerrold 
Meinwaid, for his work with the fragrant 
pheromones, the talkative molecules of 
smell that act as communications satel- 
lites to bugs and other noncognitive earth 

physics The shutdown in federal mainte- 
nance has slowed down the track in this 
stupendously abstract human calling, 
and many of the contenders are 
dispirited. Nevertheless, the 
sharpest eyes are again on astronomy— 
which the Stockholm referees 
recognized for the first time 
in 1974, 
This year, my money rides on the 

space/time twins from Bell Labs, Arno 
Penzias and Robert W. Wilson, who 
should win for their near mystical detec- 
tion of what is called three-degree radia- 
tion, the magical leftover whisper of the 
Big Bang that started it all, However, 
don't discount the Princeton-Chicago 
time-reversal duo of Fitch and Cronin or 
Steven Weinberg, the prodigy with per- 
haps the finest bloodlines in the queen ol 
sciences (Niels Bohr Lab, Princeton, 
Berkeley, M.I.T., Harvard) who needs only 
a few more confirming experiments to 
pull off the biggest coup of all, the Unified 
Field Theory. 

PICKING wruNERS In the 1960's, when I 
worked as a writer at Northwestern Uni- 
versity and M.I.T., I was impressed by the 
epidemic of hypothalamic shudders that 
would grip the science faculties when-a 
Laureate or Nobel-connected Swede ma- 
terialized on campus. It was then be- 
lieved that Laureate favor would bring 
honor, federal grants, and the brightest of 
students to the favored institution, Who 
picks the Laureates, I asked? Who picks 
the pickers? How do the pickers decide 
what is bingo, so-so, or thud in interna- 
tional science? Off and on, I spent the 
next eight years in Laureate-rich. Nobel- 
network centers of Sweden, Germany, 
France, England, and the U.S. asking 
such questions. I interviewed some 60 
Laureates, a dozen Swedish judges, and 
various Networkers who are invited by 
Stockholm to nominate Prize candidates. 
A few of the interviews were revealing; 
others were nonsense because of the 
Swedish love of secrecy (they have kept 
Prize-selection records under lock since 
the Prizes were founded in 1 901 ) and the 
European tradition of thinking it bad taste 
to tell ajourna'ist anvlliT-a hut to go to 

In 1 972, 1 put to the test what I had 
learned about Swedish Prize-selecting 
customs by attempting to predict future 
winners, An article of mine in the now- 
defunct Saturday Review/Science fore- 
casted that two British quasar-pulsar 
hunters, radio astronomers Martin Ryle 
and Anthony Hewish; would win since in 
addition to displaying brilliance they were 

Werner Heisenberg, Nobel Prize, Physics, 1932 

Athisdeathin 1896, Alfred Bernhard Nobel, the 
inventor of dynamite, left a tund of $9,200,000 
"the interest on which shall be annually distribu- 
ted in the form ol prizes to those who, during Ihe 
preceding year, shall have conferred the 
greaiesl benelil on mankind." 
Nobel drew up his own will (opposite, in (fie 
original Swedish) and there were numerous 
loopholes, resulting in a live-year legal battle 
before the will was finally upheld. The 1 02nd 
element, nobelium, was named after him, 

4/Wy first reaction when I won 
the Prize was to turn 
to my boss and say, 'Now can I 
have a secretary?^ 

doing everyming else r'gnt as far as sub- 
tle Prize politics weni, They won in 1974. 
In the same Saturday Review piece, I list- 
ed Ihe names ot some 20 others who 
were doing it right and would win. Five 
have since scored. 

Now, six years later, I feel more. confi- 
dent about picking winners. I have since 
armed myself with a powerful tool, the 
"Science Citation Index." 
the index The list was kept secret until 
last December. Then, Eugene Garfield, 
the cunning mogul of library science and 
president of the private Institute of Scien- 
tific Information in Philadelphia, dropped 
his bombshell. Without a backward 
glancei Garfield introduced a number 
system to the vaguely verbal Nobel 

Science consists of doing experiments, 
cooking uptheories, and publishing the 
results in scientific journals. Each paper 
traditionally carries an index listing other 
scientists' papers that bear on the topic 
reported upon. In 1961, Garfield launched 
a service called "Science Citation Index," 
which kept track of all these citations. 
Dull? Do not be misled. By 1968, the mus- 
tachioed, matrix-loving Garfield was 
telling the American Association for ihe 
Advancement of Science that "citation 
analysis" by computer may be a way to 
predict Nobel Prize winners. Keen-eyed 
Garfield had spotted a link between large 
numbers of citations and Nobel-level sci- 
entific quality. A heavy list of citations 
meant that a scientist was attracting the 
attention of his colleagues — perhaps, 
in Nobel terminology, "opening a door," 
"founding a field, "going right to the "con- 
ceptual" and "fundamental" meanings 
behind the deceitful actions of Miss Na- 
ture. Citation ranking is like a best-seller 
list or a marketing survey. 

Did Garfield sleep 7 Rest on laurels? 
No, he went on to list the 250 "most cited" 
scientists throughout the world over Ihe 
15-year period between 1961 and 1975. 
To make this list the researcher had to be 
cited at least 4,000 times by others over 
the decade and a half. The Garfield revo- 
lution upset the long-standing folk view 
that one's scientific quality could be 

judged by the number of papers 
published. The 250-citation study went 
much closer to the bone — how many peo- 
ple actually read your papers' 7 There 
were a lot of complaints about the rele- 
vancy of the 250-citation study, and some I 
were valid. But what caught my attention j 
was how much more it told about the na- 
ture and quality of science than did 1 6 
Nobel words. (Understand also that "250" I 
represents a minuscule fraction of one 
percent of all the world's working scien- : 
tists over the 15-year period.) 

Consider Sigmund Freud. Although he 
was nominated tor the Nobel Prize in Lit- 
erature, Freud did not receive the cov- 
eted science prize. Garfield's top 250 list, 
however, ranks Freud near the top with 
some 8490 citations between 1 961 and , 
1 975. And Freud died in 1 939. This last 
fact eliminated Freud from the running, 
for prizes are only awarded to the living, 

Further refining the citation index, soci- -I 
ologist Harriet Zuckerman noted in the 
1 960's that the average Nobel Prize win- 1 
ner received at least 200 citations in the I 
year before he/she was awarded the 

Garfield himself has stated that some 
high citation numbers are misleading due j 
to citation customs in a particular sci- 
ence. Chemists appear to put every 
chemist who ever lived at the end of their I 
papers, and so their numbers must be 
tempered. Life scientists seem to hold 
their citations to a reasonable number 
and physicists tend to cite only their 
peers or above. As one observer put It, j 
"Richard Feynman cites only Murray Gell- I 
Mann, and Murray Gell-Mann cites only I 

I have mentioned that 4000 citations 
over the 1 5 years was enough to get on I 
the 250-list (note that Garfield sometimes I 
playfully calls it a 249-list and sometimes 
goes a few beyond 250 to reach the 4000 I 
even number). The largest citation num- 9 
ber referred to so far was Freud's 8490 
listings. The top ten of the 250-list in- 
cludes, at fifth from the top, double- 
Laureate Linus Pauling, with 15,662 cita- J 
tions over the 15-year period, Number I 
two is the late Soviet physicist, also a 

6 There is no escaping the 
correlation between frequency 
of scientific citations 
and Nobel Prize nominations. * 

Laureate, LD, Landau, drawing 18,888 
gestures from his colleagues. Number- 
one-, with 'an astounding 58,304 
citations — including 7565 for 1 975 alone 
(not far from that of Freud's whole 
career) — is Qliver Ldwry, of the Washing- 
ton University medical-school in St. Louis. 

A respected, scientist, Dr. Lowry is 
nonetheless a lousy bet for a Nobel Prize. 
He explains why: 

"Most of that enormous total of citations 
is lor a single paper I wrote in 1951. It is a 
fluke. AH we did was to deScribe a cheap 
and sensitive method for measuring very 
■small amounts of protein. We didn't find 
any basic or nciples. What we did was 
not even as-original as inventing the mon- 
key wrench, Rather, we snoweo now to 
make a monkey wrench with a handle that 
wouldn't break off so easily. It simply 
turned out to be very useful. Almost ev- 
erything that anyone has researched in 
the life sciences for- decades has in- 
volved protein, or something attached to 
.profein, That's the only reason my method 
has made a splash. I'm not interested in 
methods per se. I'm a neuroohemist." 


to love you, of course, but the Swedes 
can't know you if they can't see you. One 
must be in the right place for that, since 
the Scandinavian vision is extremely nar- 
row. They ca.n'l see you, unfortunately, if 
you've developed yourantigravity device 
a! North Dakota or your hyperspati'al re- 
juvenator at Aleutian Polytech. Instead, 
one must be a part :of that handful of great 
universities that are rich in members of 
the world's principal science academies, 
in Laureates, or in Prize nominators who 
are invited by the Swedes to serve as 
scouts for promising talent. If you are a 
foreign member of the Royal Swedish 
Academy of Sciences (which, in Swedish 
| eyes, means you are already good 
I enough to be a Laureate), then you are in 
P astrong position for a prize. Belonging to 
Britain's Royal Society (founded by 
gravity's own rainbow, Sir Isaac Newton, 
and literally swarming with nominator- 
» scouls) is a distinct advantage, consider- 
ably better than holding a seat in the U.S. 
National Academy of Sciences. 

My own code names for the most Swe- 
dishly visible regions in America are New 
Harvington (the golden preserve of 
Harvard-MIT, New York's Rockefeller and 
Columbia Universities, plus Princeton 
and the new center of Laureated gravity 
in Washington, the National Institutes of 
Health); Mldameragb (four midweslern 
state universities that revolve around the 
University of Chicago); and. Los Berkli- . 
ego (the Jerry Brown -ha rasped but siill 
reigning University of California cam- 
puses in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and San 
Diego, plus Stanford and Cal Tech). Else- 
where, we find Royal Londoxbridge {The 
Royal Sociely, Cambridge. Oxford, and 
London's Imperial College), and in Ger- 
many, the iTiu'tipie campuses once known 
asfhe Kaiser WHhelm Institute hut, since 
the loss of all those wars, Max Planck In- 
stitute (Kaiser Planck). Future centers 
should emerge in Japan (Hal Technor- 
ogy-san) and Israel {My-Son-The). But 
wait. Something is stirring in those long 
overlooked idea factories ^ay down in 
Dallas, Houston, Austin, and College 
Station— the startling new contender from 
the Lone Star state — Dalton Station. 

In 1972, there were no Laureates work- 
ing in the great stare of Texas. Now there 
are three, with others probably on the 
way. in addition, there is John Wheeler, 
the resident black hole king of the' Univer- 
sity of Texas who has made no "major dis- 
coveries" lately but who enjoys high 
Swedish regard for coauthoring the pa- 
per in ihe late 1930s on nuclear fission 
with Nobel saint Niels Bohr. Also, the Gar- 
field list, to general surprise, showed five 
Texas researchers in the top 250 of the 
world. Chemist Al Cotton of Texas A.&M. 
not only held ninth place with 12,901 Gar- 
fields, but was one of only nine scientists 
on the lis! whose annual citation rate has 
actually increased since 1974, No other 
region east of L. A., south of Chicago, and 
on the down side of Washhgto-i D.C er- 
icys such Swedish visibil ly 

Not that this made any mark on the 
Texas Legislature. 

There is a small but -important item in 
the Texas higher education budget called 
"organized research." Among other 





of a curious 

bolt of linen 

in which 


of Nazareth 

is believed 

to have been 


may soon 

reveal the 

secret of 


most baffling 





Consider the astonishing proposition that 
the Holy Shroud of Turin, which has been 
venerated by thousands ot pilgrims during 
its rare public display in Italy this summer, 
is a photograph of Jesus Christ lying in His 
tomb — a photograph created nearly 2000 
years ago by a "short, intense burst of 

The idea confounds even the most de- 
vout, yet this supposed image of Christ 
crucified lies behind a scientific adventure 
that, if everything goes according to plan, 
will begin in October when a team of 
American scientists brings space age 
technology to bear on the central mystery 
of the ancient relic: What formed the 

The Shroud of Turin, whose history accu- 
rately can be traced to the 1300s, is a 
piece of linen about 4.7 meters long and. 9 
meters wide. It shows in remarkable detail 
the image of a crucified man seen from 
the front and from the back. Skeptics, in- 
cluding bishops of the Roman Catholic 
Church, have dismissed the Shroud as a 
14th-century forgery. However, recent sci- 
entific observation shows almost certain- 
ly that the image was not painted on the 
cloth. Given what is known about tech- 
nology (or its absence) at the time, it is 
hard to accept simple forgery as an 

How was the image formed? A team as- 
sembled by physicist John P Jackson and 
aerodynamics expert Eric J. Jumper ot the 
U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, in- 
tends lo find out. The answer, they specu- 
late, may be revealed by computer and 
molecular analysis. 

"If Christ was resurrected from the dead, 
then the Gospels are truth, and eternal 
life — immortality — is offered to all of us," 
muses team member Ray N. Rogers, a 
thermal chemist at Los Alamos Scientific 
Laboratory in New Mexico. 

"What better way, if you were a Deity, of 
regenerating faith in a skeptical age, than 
to leave evidence 2000 years ago that 
could be defined only by the technology 
available in that skeptical age?" 

Evidence that the Shroud dates to the 
time of Christ is only circumstantial, as is 
proof that it comes from Jerusalem. But, 
scientists agree that it may never be possi- 
ble to prove that the Shroud was worn by 
Christ even if further research, including 
carbon-14 dating, establishes that it did 
come from Jerusalem some 2000 years 
ago. Still, the evidence is enticing. 

British historian and journalist Ian 
Wilson, author of The Shroud ol Turin 
(Doubleday. 1978), has constructed a 
theory of the Shroud's history, tracing it 
from Jerusalem circa 30. A.D., through 
Edessa in Turkey, to Constantinople at 
the time of the Crusades, and on to Lirey, 

Film negative ol Enrie's 1931 
photograph clearly depicts front and rear 
image ol human tigure. 

France, where, in the 1350s. it came 
into possession of a knight named 
Geoffrey de Charny. 

From the de Charny family onward, 
the Shroud's location can be well docu- 
mented, including its arrival in Turin 400 
years ago this year. Ai present the Shroud 
is under the effective control of the arch- 
bishop of Turin, though its true owner is 
Umberto II, the deposed king of Italy who 
resides in Caia, Portugal. 

From a scientific point of view, two 
pieces of evidence support the hypothesis 
that the Shroud's legacy begins in Jerusa- 
lem, In 1973, Dr, Max Frei. former head of 
the Zurich Police Scientific Laboratory, 
was given permission to study dust parti- 
cles on the Shroud. Using adhesive tape 
to trap the tiny particles, Frei collected 
samples for microscopic examination 
back in his laboratory in Switzerland. He 
took particular notice ot minute pollen 
grains, which he began cataloguing in de- 
tail. Because different plants produce dis- 
tinct types of pollen indigenous to specific 
parts of the world, pollen provides clues to 
the Shroud's geographic history. Frei's 
painstaking work is yet to be completed, 
but already he has evidence that the 
Shroud has been in the area around Jeru- 
salem, as well as Turkey and Western Eu- 
rope. Another investigator, a Professor 
Raes of Ghent, Belgium, reported that bits 
of cotton woven in with the Shroud's linen 
fibers are characteristic of cotton used in 
the Middle East two millennia ago. 

Although detailed scientific analysis of 
possible explanations of how the image 
was formed have had to wait until the late 
1960's, medical studies of the portrait 
have been going on since the beginning of 
this century. Each one reaches the same 
conclusion; the image is anatomically cor- 
rect in every detail. This observation is 
held to be another piece of the puzzle 
favoring the garment's authenticity. 

Since death by crucifixion ended with 
the Romans, how, it is asked, could a 14th- 
century forger perfectly recreate the ef- 
fects of that brutal form of execution? An 
important point lies in the placement of the 
nails in the wrists of the man whose image 
is on the Shroud Paintings of the crucifix- 
ion typically show Christ with nails through 
His palms but anatomists experimenting 
with cadavers in Europe proved that 
palms could not possibly support the 
weight of a human body. The image on the 
Shroud more plausibly shows nail wounds 
through each wrist. 

Additionally, the image on the Shroud 
shows a number of wounds and areas 
of copious bleeding that conform both 
to what physicians say would occur in 
crucifixion and to what the Bible says 
happened to Christ. Dumbbell-shaped 
markings on the back of the man could be 
wounds from scourging, marks on the face 
could have come from a crown of thorns, 
and a wound mark on the right side corre- 

sponds to the Gospel's reference of Jesus 
being pierced with a lance. 

Whether the Man of the Shroud really 
is Christ, or some other victim of cruci- 
fixion, or the ingenious creation of some 
14th-century forger, the central mystery 
remains: How did the image get on the 
cloth? The image is said to be extremely 
subtle, indeed barely distinguishable — a 
faint pattern of sepia color suggesting the 
body and slightly darker tones marking 
the areas presumed to be (or have been) 
blood. It is only when the relic is seen 
through the eye of a camera that the im- 
age takes on its stunning clarity. The man 
—tall, handsome, lying in repose with 
the hands crossed over the pelvis — is 
most clearly revealed in the negative, In a 
reversal of the usual rules of photography, 
contours of the face and body of the man 
appear most lifelike in photographic nega- 
tive. The nose and the chin, for instance, 
are. light and the eyes appear dark but the 
face looks entirely real having none of the 
masklike quality of a familiar negative. 
This surprising reversal suggests that the 
Shroud itself is a negative, that in the pro- 
cess of image formation the linen cloth 
acted as a piece of film on which the pic- 
ture of the body was recorded. 

Scientists conducting preliminary stud- 
ies of the Shroud image have been work- 
ing with a series of high quality black and 
white photographs taken by Giuseppe 
Enriein 1931, Although analysts to date 
has not answered the question of image 
formation, it has helped to eliminate some 
hypotheses, especially that the image was 
painted. Los Alamos chemist Ray Rogers 
notes that microscopic examination of the 
fibers reveals no evidence of any pigment, 
Furthermore, the image appears to be 
only on the surface of the linen, with no in- 
dication that any pigment had been ab- 
sorbed through the fibers as would hap- 
pen if the image were made of known 
paints or stains. To top it off, the Shroud 
was put to the test, so to speak, in 1532 by 
what Rogers calls "a perfect thermal ex- 
periment." It wasinafire. 

The Shroud lay folded in a silver casket 
near Savoy when the Chambery Chapel 
caught fire in 1532. Rogers estimates that 
the temperature within the cask reached 
200 to 300 degrees Celsius before the 
Shroud was doused with water and taken 
from the burning church. The Shroud es- 
caped with minimal damage, but it was 
burned by drops of molten silver which ap- 
pear as triangular markings along the 
length of the cloth on both right and left. 

The importance of the "thermal experi- 
ment" is: if the image were composed of 
pigment, it would have been affected by 
the intense heat. Similarly, if the image 
were the result of some natural biologic 
process related to the decomposition of a 
body or to the aloes (oils) and spices with 
which a cadaver was annointed, those 
natural products too would have been af- 

fected by the heat. But as it is, nothing 
happened. Says Rogers, "If large, compli- 
cated, natural-product organic molecules 
were responsible for the image, they 
should have decomposed, changed color, 
or volatilized at different rates depending 
on their distance from the high- 
temperature zone during the fire. [As a re- 
sult, the image would have marked varia- 
tions in color lone and density] There is no 
evidence for any variations at all." 

Looking at the Shroud from another per- 
spective, scientists Jackson and Jumper, 
collaborating with researchers at the San- 
dia and Air Force Weapons Laboratories in 
New Mexico and the Jet Propulsion Lab in 
California, have approached the problem 
of image formation with the relatively new 
computer techniques of image enhance- 
ment and analysis. Just as computer en- 
hancement was used to bring clarity to 
pictures of Mars taken during the un- 
manned Viking landing two years ago, 
digital processing can be employed to 
clarify the Shroud image by sharpening 
portions thai scientists want to study while 
eliminating these distracting features of 
"noise," such as the herringbone weave 
of the cloth. 

Based on the unusual clarity of Enrie's 
photographs, scientists have come up 
with two observations of particular impor- 
tance. First, there appear to be button-like 
objects — possibly coins— over the eyes of 
the Man of the Shroud. Until new photo- 
graphs are taken, Jackson and Jumper 
will not be able to confirm this observation 
but, if it turns out to be right, it could reveal 
both how and when the image was made. 
At the time of Christ, it was nol uncommon 
in Jewish burials to cover the eyes of the 
dead with potsherds or coins. Inasmuch 
as Christ was buried by Joseph of Ari- 
mathea, an affluent man, it may be possi- 
ble that the objects are coins. Jackson 
and Jumper are hopeful that computer en- 
hancement of photographs of the eyes will 
prove that the objects are coins, and also 
show what kind of coins they are. 

The second observation, according to 
Jackson and colleagues is, "computer re- 
search has shown thai the Shroud image 
is three dimensional in that information de- 
fining the spatial contours of Jesus' body 
are encoded in the varying intensity levels 
of the image." Normal photographs do not 
contain three-dimensional information, as 
the scientists showed in an experiment in 
which they created a computer generated 
three-dimensional relief of a normal photo- 
graph of Pope Pius XI. The resulting image 
is distorted, with the nose and mouth, for 
instance, pushed into fhe face. 

By contrast, computer generated three- 
dimensional relief of the Shroud produces 
a distinct, correctly defined image. The 

Two parallel lines ol scorches 

left by 16th-century lire dominate positive 

print ol Shroud. 

* $ 



She was held by a force 

beam and bending over her was one 

of the members of the Mindpod. 


He was sleek and he was furry; he 
was totally amphibious, and Althair 
the Adventurer was what he really 
was. However, he was known, on his 
lovely planet Ceer, as Althair the 
Storyteller just because he did that 
better — better even than adven- 
turing, at which he was a marvel. 
His people called his planet 
"Ceer, the planet indetectable," and 
that it really was. It had no smoke or 
factories, machines or jails or presi- 
dents; just uncommanded beauty 
made of waves and wilderness. It 
had a kind of shrub-tree plant that 
would yield to mental pressure and 
produce' the living living-shelters, 
cupping coolness by day and 
hoarding heat at night, 
A heavy planet, Ceer, with strong 
inhabitants, who had still stronger 
minds — so strong that with a cere- 
mony they had linked their minds to- 
gether and created an integument, a 
kind of shell, a shield around their 
worlds that bent all outside rays and 


gravities. Reflecting and occulting 

nothing, it concealed the planet's 
mass, and more: concealed its ab- 
sence; yet the peopled plains and 
oceans could see the triendly stars 
unhampered. The peoples' 
name was Zado. 
Story time! Story time! Slithering, 
lithe, surting, sliding, inchworming, 
crackly-whiskered, beady-bright, 
-soft, smooth and shining, came the 
young, the pups and pammies gath- 
ering round, Story time! Story time! 
Althair, a tower in a sea excited, 
waited out the shouldering, scrab- 
bling, let-me-near silenting, until at 
last they did all the waiting. 
"Today, I will tell you {Althair be- 
gan) of the planet Orel and the hor- 
ror that happened there: but first I 
must tell you about a pup and pam- 
mie older than yourselves who were 
just about as big as me, and lived on 
a planet with the name Earth. Their 
names were Will Hawkline and 
Jonna Verret . . . . " (There was a 
clatter of chirrerina giggles as the lit- 
tle Zados tried to say the funny 
names and could not. Althair let 
them try. then raised his head. 
They shushed.) 
"Will Hawkline and Jonna Verret 
lived on an island renamed Avalon, 
which they had made beautiful and 
kept beautiful, and saw hardly at all 
for their working. Will was very im- 
portant being Coordinator of the 
Time Center, which means he said 
what to do and everybody did it, 

Jonnawas the best test pilot he had, which 
means when Time Center built something, 
she tried it out. Way down deep Will was 
angry at Jonna, though he never said it 
and maybe didn't know it. He wished for a 
test pilot bigger and older than he was, so 
he could tell him what to do and see him 
do it. Jonna was younger'and smaller and 
she was a pammie but good is good and 
there's no arguing that. So he was angry 
because she was a pammie and she was 
the best in the world at what she did. (Al- 
thair boomed along with the chittering 
chuckles. It certainly was funny.) 

There were lots of other people on Ava- 
lon, of course, but they're not really in this 
story, except for Little Johns. Now the Little 
Johns were very special. You see, Earth 
people were slowpokes, so they built 
things called computers which could logic 
much faster than they could. The first Little 
John had the strange ability to think him- 
self into a computer, or think the computer 
into himself. So he could then do create/ 
computing almost as well as a Zado — as 
long as he was linked to a computer. With- 
out a computer he was just another slow- 
poke. So they cloned him a dozen times, 
creating.a dozen Little Johns. 

That's what the Time Center was all 
about — to stop Earth from being a slow- 
poke. When they wanted to go to another 
star, they could get inside a big metal jug 
and fly it in real-time, which took so long 
they had to go to sleep until they got there 
a long time later. Then when they got back 
to Earth the same way, all their friends 
were long ago dead of old age. Or, they 
could get into a different kind of jug and fly 
to the star faster than light, and not have to 
go to sleep for hundreds of lifetimes; but 
when they got back, time had still passed 
on Earth and their friends had still died 
away. Earth time and jug time were just too 

But Will Hawkline, with the help of his 
computers and his people and the Little 
Johns, Will Hawkline did itl He found a way 
to separate time from space-time, so his 
little jugs could go back a little way in time 
while they went forward a long way in 
space — all at once! That way space trav- 
elers could go away to a star and come 
back again, while the people they loved 
were still alive to welcome them and listen 
to their stories. I know that's a long funny 
way to solve a problem, but then they 
weren't Zados, and you have to admire 
them. Jonna Verret tested the new little 
jugs — scouts is the Earth name for them— 
and they worked, and because they 
worked, a terrible thing happened. 
And now I will tell you about Mindpod, 
and Orel. 

No one knows when or where it came 
from, but a great dark jug landed on the 
planet Orel, it were 26 things, alive 
and awful which together are called Mind- 
pod. Zados are not the only ones in the 
universe who can link minds, but unlike 

us, the Mindpod used their linkage as a 

Orel was a wild place where the biggest 
animal was a meercath, a lizard with thick 
quick hind legs and small deft hands, big- 
ger than me, with a toothy mouth that 
could take off my head, and a mind just 
good enough to feed and be happy. In a 
blip I the Mindpod had those meercaths' 
minds, and all they would do forever after 
was to make weapons and go off to other 
worlds to kill and destroy. Nothing could 
ever give them back their own minds. A 
meercath commanded by the Mindpod is 
a terrible thing. And there were enough 
worlds within reach of the Mindpod's big 
dark jug— the Earth word for it is 'cruiser' — 
that the Mindpod itself could rest safely on 
Orel for a very long time, and take other 
worlds which take other worlds and Oh] 
(Oh! cried the young ones. Oh! they wept.) 

The Mindpod cruiser had in it all sorts of 
structures and inventions that could do 

£ No one knows when 

or where it came from, but a 

great dark jug landed 

on the planet Orel, and In It 

were 26 things alive 

and awful which together are 

called the Mindpod. . . . 

It sent a cruiser toward Earth 

to steal and destroy. 9 

things that the Mindpod could not— they 
were rather like Earth people that way, but 
not at all funny. They had feeler things and 
listening things and find-out things so that 
they knew right away what had happened 
when Jonna tested the back-in-time jug, 
the little one she called a 'scout'. That 
made the Mindpod afraid. When the Mind- 
pod was afraid it was immediately very, 
very angry. It knew how to travel in zero 
time but it didn't know how to travel back 
in time, so the Mindpod sent a cruiser to- 
ward Earth to steal and destroy. 

On Avalon, in Time Center Control, 
Jonna had just come in from the last of her 
flights. She stood proud and happy, happy 
because she had done everything right, 
happy for Will too, because it was truly a 
great thing he had done. Will Hawkline 
looked at her, how she stood smiling, her 
hair a bright tumble, her eyes pleased and 
giving. Just for a moment his regret that 
she was a pammie and not a bigger and 
older pup grew smaller and he smiled and 
took her hand. 

At that moment the very walls boomed 
with a terrible voice: 

Attention Time Center; You have one 
complete revolution of your plane! to pre- 
pare all records of your experiments and 
to have yourselves and the records ready 
for pickup. One hour later Planet Detona- 
tion will occur, whether or not you are 
planetside. " 

Will Hawkline, still holding Jonna's hand 
though he had quite forgotten it, bawled 
"Little John!" 

Immediately Little John Five stepped 
up — a big Earth person, strong as a Zado, 
with close golden hair and eyes very wide 
apart. Will Hawkline cried: "I have done a 
terrible thing, but — how could I know? 
Who are they? What do they want? Can 
they do what they say?" 

The large growing eyes closed; and 
now the Little John was one with the big 
computer and its instant logic and im- 
mense memory. He said "Subspace wake- 
trace indicates that they came in zero time 
from OREL — Orion Remote Earthtype 
Landbase. Who they are: No data, except 
that they are not indigenous to Orel. Can 
they do what they say: All revelant data in- 
dicate that they can, to a probability of 99 
point eleven nines. Could you have known: 
You could not. What do they want: Clearly, 
it is the back-in-time scout device; if they 
had it they would have used it, and would 
have struck before ourtests." 

"But if we don't give it to them, they'll 
blow us up anyway, and then they'll never 
have it." 

"Which indicates they are afraid of it. If 
they can't have it, no one will have it." 

"Then they've given us the answer!" 
When Will Hawkline made up his mind, he 
did it altogether. If they're afraid of it, we'll 
use it. We'll arrive on Orel before they 
leave and stop them." Heturned to Harper 
Townsend. his chief of operations. "Harper 
— are both scouts ready for launch?" At 
his nod; "Jonna — are you willing to take 
a Little John and go to Orel, while I take 
the other scout and rendezvous with 
you before they attack?" 

Her face told him how ready and willing 
she was, 

"Then let's go! Harper, put every com- 
puter on the problem of destroying that 
cruiser— but don't make a move until the 
last minute, or they'll strike before the 

He sprinted toward the launch gate 
and only then realized he was still holding 
Jonna's hand— he almost pulled her off 
her feet. "Sorry ..." he said and was 
gone. She looked sadly at her hand. 
"Sorry?" she said, then turned and ran for 
her own scout, shouting for Little John 

And you know, by the time they were in 
their scouts, the Little Johns and the com- 
puters had worked out every single fig- 
uring they needed to make the trip back in 
time, forth in space, to Orel before the 
Mindpod cruiser left. 

At that very moment, on the place in the 
dark cruiser where the devices that made 
it go were — the Earth word is 'bridge' — a 
meercath left his lace of blinking lights and 
came to the commander. "There are stow- 
aways,, sir." (That's the way they talk in 
jugs. And a stowaway is a person who 
gets on a jug or whatever they call them, 
without anyone knowing.) "Stowaways, sir. 
I thought at first there were three, then it 
seemed like four. Anyway, it's certainly 

"Start a search then," the commander 
said. "Every compartment, room, path- 
way." The meercath went away, and an- 
other one called out, "Small craft leaving 
the planet, sir," Bui even as they fixed their 
look-at thing on it and spit fire, the scout 
slipped into faster-than-light and was lost 
to them. Just then another appeared, and 
a great fan of flame swept out from the 
Orellian cruiser and sliced off a tail section 
just before this scoui 'lung I'.self into faster- 
than-light and also escaped the attack. 

None of us could possibly know what it's 
like to fly out in one of those little scouts. 
Acceleration squeezes you backward until 
you can't breathe any more- and you can't 
see anything right or really think straight, 
and all ofa sudden there's a great bloom 
of light, a spinning spiral, and you're in an- 
other universe full of grey shapes that 
make you dizzy when you look at them. In 
time— how mucn time depends how far in 
real-space you are going — you're back in 
this universe, blinking at a whole different 
set of stars, with a strange planet floating 
nearby. Terrifying, 

But for Will Hawkline it was infinitely 
worse. Seconds before they slipped into 
faster-than-light. "We're hit!" Little John 
Five cried out, and Will Hawkfine said. "Too 
bad, but we're counting down and we're 
going out anyway!" At thai, the bloom of 
light splraled around them and they were 
in the grey place, and — crunch-ring- 
blang — things broke in the scout's insides. 
Their lights went out and flared bright and 
dim again. "Damage report." Will Hawkline 
ordered, and the Little John told him a long 
list of awful things. "Can you get a fix on 
Jonna?" And that was worst of all. 

"She's on Orel — on the surface!" 

"Captured," Will Hawkline whispered, 
and oh, he had a feeling inside himself he 
didn't know he could feel. "She's alive- 
though." he almost-said, almost asked. 
"She's alive," said the Little John. "Butthey 
are doing something to her." 

Oh yes they were doing something to 
her. She was flat out under a force-beam 
with a fearful light shining on and through 
her, and bending over her was one of the 
actual members of the Mindpod: and I 
can't tell you what it looked like because 
no one's told me, except that it was horri- 
ble beyond description so that even if I 
could I wouldn't. And it said: 

"We have placed a substance in your 
bloodstream which will kill you in avery 

WUd Turkey Lore: 

In 1776 Benjamin Franklin 
proposed that the Wild 
Turkey be adopted as the 
symbol of our country. 

The eagle was chosen 

The Wild Turkey 
later went on to 
become the symbol of 
our country's finest 


Planet farming, laser rockets, 
intelligent clouds, and 
asteroid colonization — 
are but a sampling of the 
visionary ideas of physicist 
Freeman J. Dyson. 


□ ne should expect thai, within a few thousand years 
of its entering the stage of industrial development, any 
intelligent species should be found occupying an artifi- 
cial biosphere which completely surrounds its parent star." 
For 20 years now. Prolessor Freeman J, Dyson has been discus- 
j sing mind-boggling prospects in just that calm, matter-of-fact, 
| "one-should-expect" way. It is his hobby, he says disarmingly, 
something that grew up alongside his career as one of the finest 
, mathematical physicists of our time. To his colleagues at 
Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies, Dyson is known for his 
_ understanding ot what goes on in the core of a star or in the interac- 
i ^ tion of high-energy beams of subnuclear particles — contributions 
^ that have earned him Ihe American Institute of Physics' Heineman 
5 Prize, the Royal Society's Hughes Medal, among other honors. 
= To a wider circle. Ihough, he is known for imagining an ariilicial 
4 biosphere — or environment in which life can exist— called the" Dy- 
I son shell." It is avast structure buili by dismantling a Jupiter-sized 

planet and using the raw material to provide living area millions of 
times greater than that of any planet. He further suggests that the 
powerful gravitational field of a white-dwarf binary star might serve 
as a super-slingshot to accelerate interstellar voyagers free of fuel 
costs . . . and thai an army of self-reproducing automatons could 
mine the ice of Saiurn's moons and use il to make chill, arid (vlars a 
garden planet. 

Freeman Dyson was born in Crowlhorne, England, in 1923, He 
attended a public school in Winchester where his father was a 
teacher, entering Cambridge during World War II. After two years 
of service with the RAF's bomber command, he took a B.A, in 
mathematics (his specialty was number theory). Dyson came lo 
the United Stales in 1947. after a few years at Cambridge and the 
University of Birmingham. Al Cornell, he was drawn from mathe- 
matics into physjcs by the influence of Richard Feynman and Hans 
Bethe; in 1 953, he moved io the Institute for Advanced Studies 
where he has worked since then. 


Dyson's speculative side lay dormant, he says, until 1 956 when 
he met physicist and bomb designer Ted Taylor at a series of con- 
ferences convened by the General Atomic Co. in San Diego. They 
worked together on the fail-safe design of the TRIGA research re- 
actor, and on Project Orion — a plan to propel spacecraft far larger 
than Apollo (even the size of a city!) by detonating nuclear or ther- 
monuclear bombs behind a "pusher plate." Since then, the two 
men have been close friends, stimulating each other in imagina- 
tive synergy. Dyson also has worked tor the U.S. Disarmament 
Agency, served as consultant to NASA and the Department of 
Defense, and is a former chairman of Ihe Federation of American 

Today, at 55, Dyson is more freewheeling than ever in his specu- 
lation. Conversing with him leaves one slightly breathless as he 
jumps from details of a rocket that might be launched tomorrow lo 
the outlook for the next ten billion years of evolution. After a while, 
one begins to sort out what he says by how he begins each sen- 

tence. "It's inevitable . . ."signifies his certainty about the next cen- 
tury or two; "It seems obvious. . ."enlarges the scope to the future 
of mankind on the earth; and "One should expect. . ." can reach 
from the Big Bang to the end of the cosmos. 

Dyson is a small, compact man with sharp features ("I don't have 
much hope for your pictures," he warns; "my_ children always say 
my nose looks like the beak of a bird") frequently softened by a 
half-smile. When the smile breaks into laughter, which is often, the 
laugh is that of a hearty, delighted young man, and it seems almost 
too large for its owner. However much he may deprecate his 
"hobby," Dyson clearly enjoys it — as well as the reactions of his 
more staid colleagues. 

In ihe last decade, Dyson has been watching and advising the 
growth of Princeton physics professor Gerard O'Neill's plans for 
self-sufficient colonies in space, supplied with raw material cata- 
pulted from the moon by an electromagnetic "mass driver". The in- 
terview began with that subject: 

Dyson: I think O'Neill saw what I and 
others did not see — that the public was 
ready to get excited about space again. It 
seemed after Apollo that people were 
turned off; they'd seen too many moon 
rocks. I thought it would be hopeless to 
get people interested in space colonies for 
twenty years or so. But O'Neill showed that 
you could get them interested, especially 
young people. It showed great courage 
and insight on his part. 
Omni: Is it because he's talking about col- 
onization, rather than a there-and-back ex- 
pedition like Apollo'? Or because he's 
showing how the colonies could pay for 
themselves by building solar-power satel- 
lites to supply energy to earth? 
Dyson; I doubt Ihe economic aspect was 
that important. It came later, when O'Neill 
was trying to get the Establishment- 
NASA and Ihe Congress — interested. He 
had to sell it on economics, but as far as 
Ihe public is concerned, it isn't that. 
Omni: How do you explain O'Neill's suc- 
cess in view of the current mistrust of "big 
technology," of big government projects, 
and so on? 

Dyson: I don't really know. Perhaps I 
should say that while I have the greatest 
respect and admiration for O'Neill, space 
colonization on that scale isn't entirely io 
my taste: the big colonies he envisions are 
a little too hygienic for me. I've done some 
historical research on the costs of the 
Mayflower's voyage, and on the Mormons' 
emigration to Utah, and I think it's possible 
to go into space on a much smaller scale. 
A cost on the order of $40,000 per person 
would be the target to shoot for; in terms of 
real wages, that would make it compara- 
ble to the colonization of America. Unless 
it's brought down to that level it's not really 
interesting to me, because otherwise it 
would be a luxury that only governments 
could afford. 

Omni: Where would your Mayflower -style 
colonists go? 

Dyson: I'd put on the asteroids. 
Dandridge Cole and olhers suggested 
using a solar mirror to melt and hollow out 
an iron astero d. and in O'NsiTs book his 

homesteaders build their own shells from 
the minerals available out there. I wouldn't 
accept either of those as the most sensible 
course: I think you should find an asteroid 
which is not iron or nickel, but some kind of 
soil that you could grow things in. 
Omni: What do you mean by soil 7 
Dyson: Well, we have specimens of me- 
teoritic material called carbonaceous 
chondrite, which looks like soil — it's black, 
crumbly stuff containing a good deal of 
water; it has enough carbon, nitrogen, ox- 
ygen so that there's some hope you could 
grow vegetables in it, and it's soft enough 
to dig' without using dynamite. 
Omni: So you think it would be worth look- 
ing for an asteroid like that rather than 
trying to transform a raw stone or metal 

Dyson: Yes, if it's to be done on a pioneer 
basis, you'd jolly well better find a place 
where you can grow things right away. 
Otherwise, it's inevitably a much slower 
and more expensive job. 
Omni: Is the sunlight at that distance ade- 
quate to grow plants? 
Dyson: I think so. Plants are very flexible in 
their requirements, you know, and they 
could be genetically altered if it's needed. 
After all, a lot of things grow very well even 
in England. . . 

Omni: What about colonizing the moon? 
Too much gravity? 

Dyson: That . . . and it's simply too close to 
home. Too easy for the tax man to find you. 
And choosing a place to go is not just a 
question of freight charges. There have al- 
ways been minorities who valued their dif- 
ferences and their independence enough 
to make very great sacrifices, and it seems 
obvious to me that it's going to happen 

Omni: So you think we may not go in for 
the big O'Neill-type colonies after all? 
Dyson: We may not, but others may. I was 
in Russia two years ago for a conference 
on telescopes, and all that anyone there 
wanted to hear about was O'Neill's ideas. 
They knew that he and I were both at 
Princeton, and assumed I could tell them 
every:ning about space Golonies. The 

point is that in Russia, they have very little 
of our current mistrust of technology on the 
grand scale — in fact, it.fits in very well with 
their ideas about our relationship to na- 
ture. Thousands of engineers working on a 
giant framework Moating >n soace, that's a 
picture that excites them very much. I 
wouldn't be surprised if they choose that. 

If they do, the historical analogy be- 
comes very strong: the Russians play the 
role of the Spanish colonists in theCtJew 
World, and people like me are more like 
the English, with smaller, scattered, de- 
centralized colonies. Of course, it took the 
English much longer to get going, but 
when we did go, we did a better job. 
Omni: As for the "going" — how will that 
happen? In The Curve of Binding Energy 
TBallantine Paperback, 19761 John 
McPhee quotes you as having hoped fhat 
Project Orion would put men on Mars by 
1 965, Saturn by 1 970. Looking back on it 
today, do you think that "bomb" propulsion 
should have been followed up? 
Dyson; First, you have to remember that 
the background against which we're judg- 
ing Orion has changed dramatically since 
the nuclear test ban treaty of 1 963. At the 
time we were working on it, we calculated 
that launching Orion would add no more 
than one percent to the radiation from at- 
mospheric tests. But that amount would 
be quite unacceptable under the current 
ground rules, and rightly so. In some 
sense, I do regret that we didn't try it — but 
history simply passed it by. 
Omni: What about using chemical rockets 
to put an Orion-type ship into orbit, then 
going from there on nuclear explosions? 
Dyson: We did consider that in the later 
proposals. It would have been disappoint- 
ing to sacrifice Orion's advantages for the 
first and most difficult stage . . . and in any 
case, although the radioactive debris us- 
ing that approach would not have been 
nearly so great as that from a ground 
launch, much of it would still have made 
its way down inx the atmosphere. 
Omni: Are there any current 
propulsion ideas as promising as Orion 
was in its lime? 

102 OMNI 

Dyson: There are several that I think are 
just as good, if not better. First, there's the 
ground-based laser system that [physi- 
cist] Arthur Kantrowitz has advocated. The 
ship would simply carry reaction mass — it 
could be water— and the lasers would fol- 
low it upward, delivering energy to vapor- 
ize the reaction mass. What's nice about 
the idea is thai it would permit you to get 
into orbit with one stage, costing perhaps 
510,000 for a ton of payload. The launch- 
ing facility could be a "public highway" 
into space for the kind of small-scale colo- 
nization we were talking about; you'd 
make your reservation and show up with 
the equipment you'd need wherever you 
were going — perhaps not an individual or 
a single family, but certainly a small group. 
Omni: What would lasers putting out that 
kind of power do to the air as they passed? 
It sounds like there'd be a spectacular 
"Star Wars" beam snapping, crackling, 
and so on. . . 

Dyson: Actually, it wouldn't be like that at 
all. Remember, air is very transparent, es- 
pecially at the ten-micron infrared wave- 
length involved in this scheme. There 
shouldn't be more than a ten or twenty per- 
cent energy loss along the way, and it 
would be spread over quite a large volume 
of air. The idea isn't without problems, of 
course; the air would be heated slightly, 
which would cause it to expand, so it 
would tend to defocus the beam. But the 
biggest problems are in the design of the 
motor, the structure that receives the laser 
energy and converts it into heat as effi- 
ciently as possible. Unfortunately no one 
has built even a prototype yet. 
Omni: Then you foresee no problem as far 
as the laser itself is concerned; does that 
mean work on very high-powered lasers is 
progressing satisfactorily— for military 
applications, say? 

Dyson: I couldn't say. But there's no rea- 
son to use a single giant laser. You could 
just as easily use a battery of smaller ones, 
each with a power level that's attainable 

Another possibility is O'Neill's mass 
driver. It's an old idea as far as ground 
launching is concerned, but his proposal 
to adapt it for thrust in space is new. On 
the ground, of course, it shares the laser 
system's chiel advantage: you needn't 
carry along your energy source. There are 
various ideas on what to use as reaction 
mass for applications in space. If you get 
into earth orbit via chemical rockets, for 
example, you could grind up the empty 
fuel tanks into powder and use that. Some 
of it would end up harmlessly in the atmo- 
sphere, and the rest would be no signifi- 
cant addition to the ambient dust in the so- 
lar system. A liquefied gas would be 
even better. 

The third idea, which would be for travel 
within the solar-system although hardly for 
launching anything, is our old friend the 
solar sail. That's a very old idea— It's in 

104 OMNI 

Tsander, writing in 1 924, and I wouldn't be 
surprised if it could be found in 
Tsiolkovsky even earlier. 
Omni: Has anyone worked that idea out in 

Dyson: Not too long ago, NASA invited 
proposals for a mission to' rendezvous with 
Halley's Comet in 1986, and several 
groups did studies. It's a terribly hard mis- 
sion, and chemical rockets can't even be- 
gin to get near; it means getting into an 
orbit going the other way around the sun, a 
huge velocity change, so the only possibil- 
ity of doing it at all is with some low-thrust, 
long-duration propulsion system. So a 
group of solar-sail enthusiasts at the 
[NASA] Jet Propulsion Laboratory did a 
summer study on the mission. They put to- 
gether a very thorough and really promis- 
ing proposal, in the "real world," with 
launch dates and everything. They were 
working with a Mr. McNeil, a private- 
enterprise type, who is the inventor of a so- 

itUnless you enforce a 
total prohibition on genetic 
research, it's inevitable 
that people are going to make 
their children better than 
themselves. The techniques 
to do that will be 
available in the next century. 9 

lar sail he calls the Heliogyro, which is very 
clever from an engineering point of view 
and much easier to manage than just a big 
square piece of foil. 

So they put this document together, and 
when it was finished they went to the JPL 
management and asked them to recom- 
mend to NASA that it be tried. The out- 
come, and I quote: "The principal limitation 
preventing the sail from receiving a posi- 
tive recommendation. . .was the high risk 
associated with asserting its near-term 
readiness in the face of absolutely no 
proof-of-concept tests." 
Omni: Hmmmm. . .who else did they ex- 
pect to test it? 

Dyson: The problem is, of course, that they 
can't afford to fail. The rules of the game 
are that you don't take a chance, because 
if you fail, then probably your whole pro- 
gram gets wiped out. 
Omni: Would a change at the top, say in 
NASA, open it up to ideas like the solar 
sail, or laser launching? 
Dyson: I don't think the problem is with 
NASA, but with the whole political system 
by which government projects are funded. 

You can't afford to fail, it's as simple as 
that. Congress just doesn't provide money 
tor things unless they're sure to work. 
Of course the situation could change, but 
the change has to be primarily in Con- 
gress; I don'tthink any management at 
NASA could do very differently from what 
they're doing at the moment. The trouble 
is, the scientists aici'l inrerested in new 
propulsion methods either, They just want 
the good old reliable rockets; they want to 
get their stuff into orbit and that's it. So sci- 
entists are not going to provide the kind of 
push that's needed. 

Omni: So O'Neill's approach might be the 
only way to create a constituency tor 
space colonization? 

Dyson: That's not the way I want to go. You 
see, O'Neill also has this no-risk philoso- 
phy very strongly. 

Omni: Then how do you reach Congress? 
Dyson: Perhaps you can't. That's the 
whole question. I'd like to do it with private 
enterprise. There are people like Gary 
Hudson, who would like to go into busi- 
ness completely independent of NASA 
and put stuff into orbit commercially. He 
believes he can undersell NASA by a fac- 
tor of ten. Maybe he's right; I wouldn't be 
surprised. It's Just hard getting the cus- 
tomers. Well, as he says, he has lots of 
people lined up for his second launch. 
Omni: Is it fair to say that for you, the most 
important aspect of space colonization is 
that it be cheap, flexible, small-scale? 
Dyson: Yes. I'm not altogether fanatical 
about it, not really a follower of Schuma- 
cher. One needs the big enterprises, 
too. . .there may be things that demand 
them, and I think it would be a great mis- 
take to be too ideological and say "we 
must not do it because it's big," which 
some of my friends tend to do. I merely say 
that at the moment we're only doing the 
big expensive stuff, and that's stupid. 
Omni: Short of orbiting enough solar- 
power satellites to fill all our needs, what 
do you see as possible answers to our cur- 
rent energy dilemmas? What about fusion? 
Dyson: I would have to say that at the mo- 
ment fusion doesn't look good. Even the 
best fusion reactor would use ten times as 
many neutrons to produce a kilowatt of 
electricity as a fission reactor. Of course, 
with fission you have a very different set of 
problems, and we may make the political 
decision to avoid those — but on technical 
and economic grounds alone, fission 
looks better. I'm very wa/y of any state- 
ment that something can't be done, 
though — somebody may come up with a 
new approach to fusion power tomorrow, 
and i could be totally wrong. 
Omni: And what about near-term uses of 
solar power? 

Dyson: Right now I'm involved with a solar- 
energy scheme that Ted Taylor is promot- 
ing; I'm just as excited about it as I was 
about Orion. Ted's a man I'll always be will- 
ing to follow. He's always years ahead of 

the rest of us, and he decided a few years 
ago that solar energy was the thing to work 
on. What we're aiming for is a trial here in 
Princeton of a system centered around a 
solar pond, a system that would provide 
heating, cooling, and electricity for a hun- 
dred homes, for a capital investment of 
half a million dollars. 

It's a very earthbound, low-technology 
project — essentially village technology, 
something that the Indians, the Thais, the 
Nigerians, could put to use at once. The 
basic requirement is a lot of plumbing, and 
you can find plumbers anywhere — in fact, 
you may find better plumbers in the "un- 
derdeveloped" countries- than here! And 
the only mass-produced component 
would be the heat engines, and (hose you 
can buy off the shelf right now, cheap and 
quite efficient. 

I don't know if we can do it, but if we 
can, we'd turn the world upside down; it 
beats anything. 

Omni: How far along is the project? 
Dyson: Oh, it's nowhere yet — just Ted's en- 
thusiasm and a few pieces of paper. We've 
had negotiations with the Department of 
Energy, but it's just laughable— you can't 
even get to the people who matter with 
anything this small. 
Omni: Even you? Even Taylor? 
Dyson: That's right. But (he amusing thing 
is that it really doesn't matter whether we 
succeed or not, because there are- hun- 
dreds of other little groups like us. around 
the world. One or another is going to come 
up with the right idea, and it's no tragedy if 
ours fails. If it isn't sotar ponds, it'll be 
something else along those lines. There 
are so many variables — it's like finding the 
best way to design a bicycle, lots of details 
that you only get right after a long time. 
The most difficult part will no doubt turn 
out to be figuring out how to dig the ponds 
cheaply, how to keep children from falling 
in, and so on. . .! 

This is a wild extrapolation, but I think it's 
worth saying: One of these solar pond sys- 
tems takes just about the same amount of 
money and land, per capita, as a highway. 
If the U.S. were to derive all its energy from 
solar ponds, it would mean essentially 
making over again the same kind of invest- 
ment we've made in our road system — one 
percent of the land area, and something 
like a thousand billion dollars. 
Omni: Presumably a cleaner invest- 
ment. . . 

Dyson: Not all that clean — I'm sure there'd 
be a lot of people who'd object to having 
these ponds around, and it'd involve many 
of the same problems as roads. But at 
least ponds won't stop you from walking 
from one place to another! Oh, there'd be 
problems. Sunlight ieso abundant, if you 
can just think up any sensible scheme that 
will make use of it at five-percent effi- 
ciency, you're in. That doesn't mean' we 
should drop fission or the research into fu- 
sion, of course. 

Omni: OK, let's assume we get through 
the next few years, and find sources thai 
will let us keep expanding our energy use. 
But will we? The thinking behind the Dyson 
shell, and some of the other 'cosmic engi- 
neering' projects, seems to be that any 
advanced civilization will keep doing 
more of the same thing we've been doing 
in the last tew centuries. Is that a safe 

Dyson: Oh no, that isn't my assumption at 
all. When I wrote about the possibility of 
detecting infrared emissions from a shell 
built around a star, the rules of my game 
were "What could we detect?" There may 
be many advanced civilizations that don't 
handle vast quantities of energy, or that do 
it In a way we can't imagine and can't de- 
tect. But if there are any which do try to 
make the most of the total output of their 
stars, we should be able to spot them. 
Omni: As you know, a number of science 
fiction books and stories have made use of 
your speculations. Was there a reverse 
influence — did fiction influence you? 
Dyson: Certainly. As a child I read through 
all the Jules Verne books I could find, 1 
read Wells, and enjoyed them very much. I 
read very little else actually because I 
was a poor reader. But the one who set my 
style of thinking, certainly the most influen- 
tial, was Olaf Stapledon, with his Sfar 
Maker and Last and First Men. I remember 
they were in Pelican paperbacks, nine- 
pence each, and one day I sat in Pad- 
dington Station for two or three hours, 
reading Star Maker. It seemed to me per- 
fectly obvious that that was the way fo 
think about space and about the future — 
that kind of broad scope, that kind of 

Omni: You must be aware that some of 
your colleagues lake a jaundiced view of 
your ideas about giant trees growing on 
comets, taking Jupiter apart to build a Dy- 
son shell, and soon. Does it bother you 
to know that they're out there, muttering 
about 'Dyson's crazy ideas'? 
Dyson: Not at all, Keep in mind, I'm also a 
perfectly respectable physicist, and the 
speculation is a hobby. It's become well 
known, but I've grown used to the idea that 
people very often become famous for ac- 
cidental reasons. It's amusing to think that 
someday all my 'serious' work will proba- 
bly be a footnote in a textbook, when 
everybody remembers what 1 did on the 
side . . .! Anyway, what do i have to lose? I 
have tenure here, and no one expects 
much from a theoretical physicist once 
he's past fifty anyway! 
Omni: In an article some years ago, you 
pointed out that chemical energy — the 
kind in our bodies and brains, the kind 
we've built a technological civilization 
on — is very small, even trivial, compared 
to the major forms ol energy in the uni- 
verse: gravitational, kinetic, nuclear, and 
so on. Yet here we' are. Is there sornething 
about chemical energy to account for that? 

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Dyson: It is very, very special. The beauty 
of chemical energy is thai it's so enor- 
mously flexible, and it can serve so many 
different purposes at once. It's a good way 
of storing energy, a good way of releasing 
it in a controlled fashion, a good way of 
transferring il from one point to another. I 
think that's why life makes use of it. There 
have been ideas, people trying to imagine 
creatures living inside neutron stars and 
various other unlikely places. Olaf Staple- 
don, of course, wrote about living stars— 
Omni: And there's Fred Hoyle's 'Black 
Cloud,' an intelligent nebula of gas and ■ 
dust, . . . 

Dyson: All these things may be possible, 
but we've absolutely no reason to believe 
it at the moment. What chemical energy 
has that the other forms don't is versatility, 
the huge variety of structures, the variety 
of types of chemical bond. It's a very 
many-sided thing. But it's hard to know just 
what is responsible for its 'specialness,' 
because we've nothing else yet to com- 
pare it with. 

Omni; What's your immediate reaction to, 
say, Hoyle's black cloud? Does it seem 

Dyson: I think it's very plausible. In fact, I 
was thinking about just that in another con- 
nection, another of the things I've been 
working on as a hobby What is the ulti- 
mate fate of living creatures in the uni- 
verse? There seem to be two possibilities: 
either we all get fried or we all get frozen. If 
we all get fried, it's not very interesting. 
The universe collapses into a big .black 
hole, temperature goes to infinity— it's all 
over, nothing you can do. The alternative is 
much more interesting: that the universe is 
open and expands forever. The conven- 
tional view is that that is also a depressing 
prospect, because everything gets cold 
and just disperses. It's Stapledon's "noth- 
ing left in the whole cosmos but darkness 
and the dark whiffs of dust that once were 
galaxies." But I've been thinking lately — if 
the universe is open, could we survive? 
Could life and intelligence survive? I think 
probably we could, but it would have to be 
in the form of a black cloud — there'll be no 
possibility for chemical life to survive. 
Omni: Do you mean that we would trans- 
form ourselves into such a form, or that we 
would evolve into it? 

Dyson: It's . . .it's hard for us to grasp the 
time scale involved, it's unimaginably long. 
As a rule ot thumb, it takes a million years 
to evolve a new species, ten million for a 
new genus, one hundred million for a 
class, a billion for a phylum . . . and that's 
about as far as your imagination can go. In 
five billion years or less, we've evolved 
from some sort of primordial slime into hu- 
man beings . . . what would happen in an- 
other ten billion years? It's just utterly im- 
possible to conceive of ourselves chang- 
ing as drastically as that over and over 
again, but ... I think all you can say is that 
the material form that life would take on 

106 OMNI 

that kind of time scale is completely open. 
To change from a human being to a black 
cloud'may seem a big-order, but it's the 
kind of change you'd expect anyway over 
billions of years. There's all the time in the 
world for evolution before the sun runs 
out of fuel. 

What I envisage as the structural unit of 
such a creature is simply dust grains, 
probably made of iron or some convenient 
stuff, probably charged and working on 
each other with electric and magnetic 
forces. One can imagine enormously com- 
plex structures built out of these things. 
What would correspondto a muscle, or a 
nerve synapse? I haven't the faintest idea 
. . . it's an open-ended system, in the same 
way as the organic fluids we're made ot, 
and the electromagnetic forces would give 
you a means of tying it together, coordinat- 
ing it. It could be just as complex, even 
more complex than what we see around 
us now. 

6/n five billion years or 
less, we've evolved from some 
sort of primordial slime into 
human beings. What would hap- 
pen in another ten billion years? 
The material form that life 
would take on over that 
time scale is completely open3 

Omni: Then how do we manage to under- 
stand the universe at all? Do you agree with 
Carl Sagan, for example, that we find the 
mathematics of gravitation so simple and 
elegant because natural selection eliminated 
the apes who couldn't understand? 
Dyson: Not at all. For apes to come out of the 
trees, and change in the direction of being 
able to write down Maxwell's equations . . . 
I don't think you can explain that by natural 
selection at all. It's just a miracle. 
Omni: You have also written that "as we 
look out into the universe and identify the 
many accidents of physics and astronomy 
that have worked together to our benefit, it 
almost seems as if the universe must in 
some sense have known that we were 
coming." Is that a playful suggestion? 
Dyson: It's not playful at all. 
Omni: Then we seem to be talking about 
sentiments that most people would con- 
sider religious. Are they religious for you? 
Dyson: Oh yes. . . .It's always difficult to 
mix science and religion without making a 
fool of oneself — in fact, it's probably im- 
possible, and one is probably very unwise 
even to try. . , 

Omni: Well, let's say that the pressure of 
this interview is forcing you out on a limb. 
As we all know, the dominant tendency in 
modern science+ias been to assert that 
we occupy no privileged place, that the 
universe does not care, that science and 
religion don't mix. Where do you fit into 
those ideas? 

Dyson: The tendency you're talking about 
is a modern one, not old. I think it became 
almost a dogma only with the fight for ac- 
ceptance of Darwinism, Huxley versus 
Bishop Wilberforce, and so on. Before the 
nineteenth century, scientists were not 
ashamed of being religious, but since 
Darwin, it's been taboo. The biologists are 
stiff fighting Wilberforce. If you look now, 
the view that everything is due to chance 
and to little bits of molecular clockwork is 
mostly propounded by biologists, particu- 
larly people like Jacques Monod — 
whereas the physicists have become far 
more skeptical about that. If you actually 
look at the way modern physics is going, 
it's very far from that. Yes, it's the biologists 
who've made It so hard to talk about 
these things. 

I was reading recently a magnificent 
book by Thomas Wright, written about 
1 750, when these inhibitions didn't exist at 
all. Wright was the discoverer of galaxies, 
you know. So I'd like to read from that— 
it's easier to say these things by quoting 
others. He's talking about how many inha- 
bited worlds there are, and he writes: 

"In this great celestial creation, the ca- 
tastrophe of a world such as ours, or even 
the total dissolution of a system of worlds, 
may possibly be no more to the great Au- 
thor of Nature than the most common acci- 
dent of lite with us. And in alt probability 
such final and general doomsdays may be 

as frequent there as even Birthdays or 
Mortality with us upon the earth. This idea 
has something so Cheerful in it that I own I 
can never look upon the stars without won- 
dering that the whole world does not be- 
come astronomers; and that men, en- 
dowed with sense and reason, should ne- 
glect a science that they are naturally so 
much interested in, and so capable of 
enlarging the understanding, as next to a 

Demonstration must convince them of 
their immortality, and reconcile them to ail 
those little Difficulties incident to human 
nature without the least Anxiety. " 
Omni: That's the long view indeed . . . 
even at the Institute for Advanced Studies. 
How much do you discuss your 'hobby' 
with your colleagues here? 
Dyson: This place is a motel, and people 
change from year to year. That's what I like 
about being here, a fresh crowd every 
year. The number of permanent people is 
very small, so most of the time I'm talking 
to visiting members, In the School of 
Physics we are, generally speaking, very 
serious; the young people are highly spe- 
cialized and want to talk about their pro- 
fessional work, so the people I talk to 


One danger that haunts sci- 
ence fiction is the looming 
form of threatening robots; 
The earliest of these were 
constructed of flesh and bone 
and would now be called an- 
droids: Frankenstein's mon- 
ster (1817); and Capek's 
R.U.R. (1923), Rossum's Uni- 
versal Robots, the source of 
the term. The idea that if you 
built it it couldn't be good car- 
ries on through C.C. Camp- 
bell's The Avatar (1935). in 
which the perfect artificial 
man becomes dictator of 
the world and has to be 

It was only with the con- 
struction of metal robots — 
obedient machines— that me- 
chanical men began operat- 
ing on the side of justice. In 
the early pulp magazine, 
Frank Reade's Steam Man 
fought the Indians for the 
good guys, and Eando 
Binder's robot, built for peace 
to prove its worth to mankind, 
was smart enough to choose 
sides against the Nazis in 
Adam Link Fights a War. Ed- 
mond Hamilton's Captain Fu- 
ture coutd count upon the 
faithful robot Krag, as well as 
the faithful but not so nice 



A glittering gallery 

to celebrate 

those timeless workhorses 

of science fiction. 

android Lothar, to 

aid him at ail times. 
A later develop- 
ment is the part man, 
part metal (or plas- 
tic) creature. This 
theme and the psy- 
chological effects of 
bionic engineering 
have been explored 
successfully in 
Budry's Who (1958) 
and more recently in 
the preposterous 
bionic man. woman, 
dog, hamster, etc., 
tv series. The au- 
thors of these stories 
never seem to real- 
ize that all mechani- 

cal substitutes for 
human parts are far 
weaker than the 
originals; the bi- 
onic man needs a 
wheelchair — not a 
springboard to leap 
over buildings. We 
must slip far into the 
future to rationalize a 
superior technology 
that makes the crea- 
ture work well, as in 
Saul Dunn's Man- 
droid, who is only 10 
percent human, the 
rest being manufac- 
tured parts. 
A touch of order 
entered robotic cir- 

cles in 1 940 with Asimov's Robby and Liar. The 
mechanical men now began to clank about ra- 
diating security, since they had the Laws of ' 
Robotics stamped inlo their 
positronic brains. Asimov gets full credit for 
these laws, and countless are the writers 

who have utilized them: 

1 , A robot may not injure a human being, or, 
through inaction, allow a human to 

come to harm. 

2, A robot must obey the orders given it by hu- 
man beings except where such orders 

would conflict with 
the First Law. 
3. A robot must pro- 
tect its own exis- 
tence as long as 
such protection 
does not conflict 
with the First or 
Second Law. 
Once the robotic 
threat had been re- 
moved, the infinitely 
varied relationships 
of robot with man 
could be explored. 
Clifford Simak, in his 
City series, shows 
mankind evolving 
and leaving the 
earth to the robots 

and highly evolved 
dogs, Jack 
Williamson's With 
Folded Hands . . . 
(1947) does dis- 
cover a danger in ro- 
bot control, but a be- 
nevolent one. To pre- 
vent men from being 
hurt, the robots are 
stunting all develop- 
ment of the human 
race. With all the ro- 
botic goodness 
around it was a plea- 
sure to see Alfred 
Bester's Fondly 
Fahrenheit, about a 
slightly insane robot. 
Having once as- 


i i « 

j: » m 

( % 

_ m 

a ^h« 



*5 ST^ShS 

signed man's attribute to a 


machine, we must consider 


the relationship of this intelli- 

gent machine with man's 


'■:.", .■■:■■: 

mystical nature. Boucher's 


The Quest for Saint Aquin 

asked if it is possible to have 

a robot saint. Silverberg 

answered the question years 


later with Good News from 


the Vatican. If you can have a 

robof pope — then why not 

a saint? 

Of course these are just the 

\ ■ 

human-appearing robots, al- 

though there is no good rea- 

son at all to shape a robot in 

this manner, other than it 

looks nice and it is handy to 

have around the house. Real 

robots, the ones actually in 

use in industry today, look 

nothing at all like the classic 

danker. The commonest are 

just collections of machine 

tools and mechanical 


SF also has nonhumanoid 

robots of this kind. The 

V' ; 

computer-controlled, fully 

automated spaceship has 

h- v" tS> 

been with us for quite a while. 

JL .■'■; ■.*..£ frH 

Fully automated cities, usu- 

TJU 4* 

ally so well designed that 

if'- ■■; ;■ 

■ ■■*(,.*■:; 

they keep operating after 

m : 

a^F^-' ■ 

their inhabitants are gone. 

have had their day, and fully 

' V, 

automated trains ran first in 

the pages of science fiction. 

^Hjpt WsJi 

At sea we have Bass's 

jP mgL 

Godwhale, a sentient giant 

robot designed for harvesting 

plankton for undersea food 


processing plants. In 

Space — and at war again— 

are Saberhagen's Ber- 


serkers, super war machines, 


■WW -..' 

launched by alien nutters, 

""" . whosejob it is to zip about the 


- ^ 


galaxy destroying 

■ ■■"-..._, ' I ~z3" 

all forms of life. DO 





>, i: 

^*J2fc^- ." 


in Mai? 




jeopardized by Computer 

loft and set things z 

caught itself. Perhaps never. Perhaps twice 
a day. Only Computer-Central could mea- 
sure the time-delay induced by error and 
only Computer-Central knew how many oi 
the component spares h ' ' 
replacements. And Computer-Cer 

aut it. The only good pi- 
page is perfection. 
And it's been perfection. U 

e're the troubleshootert 
there when something really i, — 
when Computer-Two or one of the otl 
it correct itself. It's i ' 

happen now and again in the early 

that was before our time. 

' \ Don't get me wrong. 

i the error and we'll 
i. Or Joe will, any- 
i not the kind who sinqs one's 


Anyway, this time, neither of us could 
make the diagnosis. 

The first thing that happened was that 
Computer-Two lost internal pressure. 
That's not unprecedented and it's certainly 
not fatal. Computer-Two can work in a 
vacuum after all. An internal atmosphere 
was established in the old days when it 
was expected there would be a steady 
flow of repairmen fiddling with it. And its 
been kept up out of tradition. Who told you 
scientists aren't chained by tradition? In 
their spare time from being scientists, 
they're human, too. 

From the rate of pressure loss, it was de- 
duced that a gravel-sized meteoroid had 
hit Computer-Two. Its exact radius, mass, 
and energy were reported by Computer- 
Two itself, using that rate of pressure loss, 
and a few other irregularities, as data. 

The second thing that happened was 
the break was not sealed and the atmo- 
sphere was not regenerated. After that 
came errors and they called us in. 

It made no sense. Joe let a look o( pain 
cross his homely face and said, "There 
must be a dozen things out of whack." 
Someone at Computer-Central said, 
"The hunk of gravel ricocheted very likely." 

Joe said, "With that energy of entry, it 
would have passed right through the other 
side. No ricochets. Besides even with rico- 
chets, I figure it would have had to take 
some very unlikely strikes." 
"Well, then, what do we do?" 
Joe looked uncomfortable. I think it was 
at this point he realized what was coming. 
He had made it sound peculiar enough to 
require the trouble-shooters on the spot— 
and Joe had never been up in space. If he 
had told me once that his chief reason for 
taking the job was because it meant he 
would never have to go up in space, he 
had told it to me 2" times, with x a pretty 
high number. 

So I said it for him. I said, "We'll have to 
go up there." 

Joe's only way out would have been to 
say he didn't think he could handle the job, 
and I watched his pride slowly come out 
ahead of his cowardice. Not by much, you 
understand— by a nose, let's say. 

To those of you who haven't been on a 
spaceship in the last 15 years— and I sup- 
pose Joe can't be the only one— let me 
emphasize that initial acceleration is the 
■only troublesome thing. You can't get away 
from it, of course. 

After that it's nothing, unless you want to 
count possible boredom. You're just a 
spectator. The whole thing is automated 
and computerized. The old romantic days 
of space pilots are gone totally. I imagine 
they'll return briefly when our space settle- 
ments make the shitt to the asteroid belt as 
they constantly threaten to do— but then 
only until additional computers are placed 
in orbit to setup the necessary additional 
Joe held his breath through accelera- 

tion, or at least he seemed to. (I must ad- 
mit I wasn't very comfortable myself. It was 
only my third trip. I've taken a couple of va- 
cations on Settlement-Rho with my hus- 
band, but I'm not exactly a seasoned 
hand.) After that, he was relieved for a 
while, but only for a while. He got 

"I hope this thing knows where it's 
going," he said, pettishly. 

I extended my arms forward, palms up, 
and telt the rest of me sway backward a bit 
in the zero-gravity field. "You," I said, "are a 
computer specialist. Don't you know it 

"Sure, but Computer-Two is off." 

"We're not hooked into Computer-Two," I 
said. "There are three others. And even if 
only one were left functional , it could han- 
dle all the space flights undertaken on an 
average day." 

"All four might go off. If Computer-Two is 
wrong, what's to stop the rest." 

* It was a small cylinder . . . 
clearly metal, but of an odd 
grainy texture . . . stuck to the 
outer wall. It left behind a 
perfectly round hole in the 
skin of Computer-Two. "There's 
the reason gas pressure 
declined to zero, " I said. 9 

"Then we'll run this thing manually." 

"You'll do it, I suppose? You know how— I 
think not?" 


"For the love of Eniac," he groaned. 

There was no problem, actually. We 
moved out to Computer-Two as smooth as 
vacuum and less than two days after take- 
off, we were placed into a parking orbit not 
ten meters behind it. 

What was not so smooth was that, about 
20 hours out, we got the news from Earth 
that Computer-Three was losing internal 
pressure. Whatever had hit Computer- Two 
was going to get the rest, and when all four 
were out, space flight would grind to a 
halt. It could be reorganized on a manual 
basis, surely, but that would take months at 
a minimum, possibly years, and there 
would be serious economic dislocation on 
Earth. Worse yet, several thousand people 
now out in space would surely die. 

It wouldn't bear thinking of and neither 
Joe nor I talked about it, but it didn't make 
Joe's disposition sweeter and, let's face it, 
it didn't make me any happier. 

Earth hung over 200,000 kilometers be- 

low us, but Joe wasn't bothered by that. 
He was concentrating on his tether and 
checking the cartridge in his reaction-gun. 
He wanted to make sure he could get to 
Computer-Two and back again. 

You'd been surprised— if you've never 
tried it — how you can get your space-legs 
if you absolutely have to. I wouldn't say 
there was nothing to it and we did waste 
half the fuel we used, but we finally 
reached Computer-Two. We hardly made 
any bump at all, when we struck Com- 
puter-Two. (You hear it, of course, even in 
vacuum, because the vibration travels 
through the metalloid fabric of your 
spacesuits— but there was hardly any 
bump, just a whisper) 

Of course, our contact and the addition 
of our momentum, altered the orbit of 
Computer-Two slightly, but tiny expendi- 
tures of fuel compensated for that and we 
didn't have to worry about it. Computer- 
Two took care of it, for nothing had gone 
wrong with it, as far as we could tell, that 
affected any of its external workings. 

We went over the outside first, naturally. 
The chances were pretty overwhelming 
that a small piece of gravel had whizzed 
through Computer- Two and left an unmis- 
takable hole. Two of them in all probability; 
one going in and one coming out. 

The chances of that happening are one 
in two million on any given day — even 
money that it will happen at least once in 
six thousand years. It's not likely, but it can, 
you know. The chances are one in not 
more than ten billion that, on any one day, » 
it will be struck by a meteoroid large 
enough to demolish it. 

I didn't mention that because Joe might 
realize that we were exposed to similar 
odds ourselves. In fact, any given strike on 
us would do far more damage to our soft 
and tender bodies than to the stoical and 
much-enduring machinery of the com- 
puter, and I didn't want Joe more nervous 
than he was. 

The thing is, though, it wasn't a 
"What's this?" said Joe, finally. 
It was a small cylinder stuck to the outer 
wall of Computer- Two, the first abnormality 
we had found in its outward appearance. It 
was about half a centimeter in diameter 
and perhaps six centimeters long. Just 
about cigarette-size for any of you who've 
been caught up in the antique fad of 
We brought out our small flashlights. 
I said, "That's not one of the external 
"It sure isn't," muttered Joe. 
There was a faint spiral marking running 
round the cylinder from one end to the 
other. Nothing else. For the rest, it was 
clearly metal, but of an odd, grainy 
texture — at least to the eye. 
Joe said, "It's not tight." 
He touched it gently with a fat and 
gauntleted finger and it gave. Where it had 


In a story told not long ago 
in a galaxy not far away, a 
young space pilot named 
Luke Skywalker guides a high 
technology lighter plane on a 
last chance mission to destroy 
the forces o! evil. He must 
thread his rocket through a 
nearly invisible opening, while 
speeding at full power. A tar- 
geting computer, which 
updates the ship's firing controls 
on a microsecond basis, is 
Luke's only hope. 

Suddenly, at the crucial mo- 
ment, he hears a voice from 
the past saying, "Use the 
force, Luke. The force is an 
energy field created by all liv- 
ing things. Trust your feelings, 
not the computer. " Coming up 
hard on the target he hesi- 
tates, switches off the elec- 
tronics and — when it leeis 
right — squeezes the trigger. 
Below him the enemy ex- 
plodes in a blinding nova, like 
a thousand suns . . . 

That cliche-packed episode 
was, of course, from last 
year's movie blockbuster. Star 
Wars , acclaimed by many as 
the ultimate technology film. 
What did you feel when Luke 
switched off the computer and 
flew by intuition? A surge of 
pride — or perhaps relief — 
when he actually out-gunned 
the machine? Then you got 
Ihe message: "Don't worry 
about all those intellectually 
threatening computers; a hu- 
man being still can outperform 
a machine any day of the 
week." It's a reassuring tune — 
. whistled in the dark. 
| In the real world, a com- 
1 puter's superior ability for 
| split-second analysis is fact 
s rather than futuristic fantasy. 
I But the threat is not that the 
j* machine will outsmart us; it is 
| that the computer may actu- 
| ally be changing the way we 
£ use our own minds. Byprovid- 


Technology and the 
Split Brain 


ing an artificial "intelligence" that amplifies 
the brain's capacity for logical thought, 
these machines may be nudging us 
toward an increasing reliance on "compu- 
terthink," a rigid, mechanical thought 
process devoid of intuition and creativity. 
We may be in danger of becoming no 
better thinkers than our machines. 


Perhaps the easiest way to understand 
this development is to recall some findings 
about the brain itself. In the late 1 960s, an 
experimental treatment for patients suffer- 
ing from severe grand mat epilepsy was 
conceived by neurosurgeon Joseph 
Bogen and psychologist Roger Sperry. 
They decided to try the radical step of 
severing the bundle of nerves connecting 
the two halves of the brain. The two 
scientists suspected that this connector, 
called the corpus callosum, was leaking 
electrical malfunctions in one half of the 
brain to the other. They hoped a radical 
separation would isolate the source, 
diminishing its impact. To their delight the 
operations succeeded admirably in re- 
ducing both the occurrence and extent of 

Afterwards, Sperry subjected his 
patients to some standard tests of identifi- 
cation and verbal response. To his amaze- 
ment he discovered that the hemispheres 
of our brain are specialized, with each 
side handling different cognitive functions, 
and when they are separated they seem to 
act as two independent, autonomous 
types of consciousness. For example, lan- 
guage ability in many people seems to 
reside in the left side of the brain, so that'it 
was possible for a patient from a split- 
brain operation to hold an unseen object in 
the hand controlled by the right-brain (this 
being the left hand, since we're cross- 
wired) and be unable to name the object. 
However, when the right hemisphere was 
shown a picture of an object, such as a 
spoon, the subject could use his left hand 
to pick that object from an unseen assort- 
ment of items. But the spoon could not be 
named. In this experiment, with apologies 
to an ancient Taoist/Zen adage, "The hemi- 
sphere that speaks does not know; the 
hemisphere that knows does not speak." 
The discovery that many people have 
verbal ability concentrated in the left side 
of their brain led experimenters to wonder 
exactly what the right side was thinking 
while ihe left was talking. Ever since the 
Greeks, who used the same term — 
logos— for both "word" and "reason," we 
in the West have assumed that language 
and higher intelligence are synonymous. 
.1 But further research found a number of dif- 
| ferences in function. For example, the left 
3 hemisphere reads music from notes on a 
I page, but the right remembers the music 
s we hear; the left handles math, the right 
s perceives poetry. Thus the brain seems 

divided by type of intellect. The language- 
using left side of Ihe brain is process 
oriented and works through things se- 
quentially (just like a computer), while the 
mute right hemisphere concerns itself with 
patterns, spatial relationships, concepts. 
Sperry's finding that half our brain con- 
tains knowledge we can't verbalize 
sounds curiously like an insight spelled 
out over 2000 years ago by one of the 
Chinese forerunners of Zen, a Taoist 
named Chuang Tzu. This philosopher 
quoted a story told by a wheelmaker that 
could have come from a 1 970s paper on 
split-brain research. 

When I am carving a wheel, if my 
stroke is too slow, then it bites deep but 
is not steady; if my stroke is too fast, 
then it is steady, but does not go deep. 

<mThe hemisphere that speaks 
does not know; the hemisphere 
that knows does not speak. *> 

The right pace, neither slow nor fast, 
cannot get into 

the hand unless it comes from the 
heart, it is a thing that cannot be put 
into words; there is an art in it that I can- 
not explain to my son. That is why it is 
impossible for me to let him take over 
my work, and here I am at the age of 
seventy, si/7/ making wheels. In my opin- 
ion it must have been the same with the 
men of old. All that was worth handing 
on died with them; the rest, they put into 
their books. 

The wheelmaker recognized that there 
was a nonverbal, intuitive kind of knowl- 
edge that had nothing to do with linear, 
structured analysis. There are some things 
that have to be worked out one step at a 
time (quick, divide 18 into 100!) and there 
are things you have to feel (at what point 
do you downshift your sports car for a 

Sperry's experiments have been well 
popularized by Robert Ornstein of the 

Langley Porter Neuropsychiairic Institute 
in San Francisco, who has gone on to test 
the brain hemisphere activity of normal 
people as they carry out various tasks, 
with findings that generally support 
Sperry's split-brain theory, Thus modern 
brain research has finally verified a quality 
of the mind we've suspected for a long 
time. Look around and you find examples 
of the two ways of thought everywhere; 
objective/subjective, law/art, rational 
mystical, yin/yang, digital/analog, 
sequential/ holistic. 


How important is our power of non- 
analytical thought to the practice of 
science? It's the most important thing 
we have, declares the Princeton physi- 
cist historian Thomas Kuhn who argues 
that major breakthroughs occur only 
after scientists finally concede that cer- 
tain physical phenomena cannot be 
explained by extending the logic of old 
theories. Consider the belief thai the sun 
and planets move around the earth, which 
reigned prior to 1 500. This idea served 
nicely for a number of centuries, but then 
became too cumbersome to describe the 
motions of heavenly bodies. So the Polish 
astronomer Copernicus invented a new 
reality that was based on a totally different 
"paradigm" or model — that the earth 
and planets move around the sun.. 

When the paradigm being dissected by 
the logical, scientific method finally fails to 
explain observations, the creative portion 
of our intelligence must jump outside this 
failed "reality." Which is not to say that a 
new paradigm is any more true than the 
older idea; it merely explains observations 
a bit better for the time being. As did the 
ancient Zen teachers, Kuhn concludes 
thai the real truth of our universe may be 
unknowable. But the important thing here 
is that Ihe new reality doesn't come about 
by approaching a problem rationally, since 
rationality only can operate within the old 
rules. As does a computer, the human 
mind in its logical mode must follow the 
rules ol logic. To go outside them would 
be "irrational." 

There are many cases of scientists pro- 
ducing major breakthroughs by exploiting 
their mind's capacity for non-rational cre- 
ativity. For example, the German chemist 
Kekule in 1865 solved the mystery of 
benzene's molecular structure in a dream. 
(Most organic molecules are connected 
strings of carbon atoms; the benzene mol- 
ecule is a hexagonal ring.) According to 
the traditional account, Kekule nodded off 
one afternoon and dreamed of a snake 
writhing uncontrollably. It suddenly seized 
its own tail and slowly began to rotate, 
in a stable condition. When the scientist 
awoke, he knew he'd found the answer. 
Thus the cornerstone of organic chemistry 
came out of a dream, not a "logical" 

scienu f ic experiment in the iaboralory. 

Similarly, the man who verified the exis- 
tence of cosmic rays, Robert Millikan, in a 
burst of insight, conceived an experiment 
thai first measured the charge of the elec- 
tron while riding on a train. There even is a 
story, considered apocryphal by some, 
that Nobel-pr-zc physicist Donald Glaser 
(now at the University of California Berke- 
ley) envisioned the bubble chamber, a 
critical invention in subatomic particle re- 
search, while meditating on the beads 
forming in his beer glass at an Ann Arbor, 
Michigan, saloon. 

Albert Einstein, whose atomic-age "real- 
ity" that mass is convertible to energy re- 
placed the earlier Newtonian cornerstone 
that mass is always conserved, was an- 
other non-verbal thinker. "The real thing is 
intuition," he said. "A thought comes, and I 
may try to express it in words, afterwards," 
But perhaps the best-known example of 
nonanalytical creativity was Leonardo da 
Vinci, whose notebooks are crammed with 
mechanical technology centuries ahead of 
his time, His circa 1490 drawings include 
a spring-driven car. a spinning wheel, 
even a rudimentary helicopter. Yet it was 
all apparently done visually, intuitively, 


The powers of intuition are nothing new 
to the thinkers of the Far East (the force in 
Star Wars is no more than a Broadway ver- 
sion of the 3000-year-old Chinese fao, lhat 
indescribable unity of all things). In fact, 
intuition was viewed in the Far East as the 
only adequate means of understanding 
the natural world, Many of the "realities" 
that arose from this non-logical intelli- 
gence were extremely perceptive, pre- 
ceding similar realizations in the West by 

But how can intuition be more correct 
than hard scientific data? It turns out that 
facts alone are only one part rif scientific 
irulh. As we learned from Copernicus, sci- 
ence also is ideas. Arthur Koestler com- 
ments in The Sleepwalkers: "insofar as 
factual knowledge is concerned, Coperni- 
cus was no better off, and in some re- 
spects worse off. than the Greek astrono- 
mers of Alexandria who lived at the time of 
Jesus Chris!. . . They had more precise 
instruments fo r observing stars than Co- 
osrnici " .-- .! "' '"i-""' cus hiiHself haro-.y 
bothered w>th star gazing; he relied on the 
observations of Hipparchus and Ptolemy 
(who) had the same observational data, 
the same instruments. Ihe same know-how 
in geometry, as he did." 

An Eastern parac'gm derived from intui- 
tive wisdom that turned out to be more cor- 
rect than the longstanding position of 
Wesiern philosophy i:; dramatized by 
Werner Heisenberg's 1 920's Uncertainty 
Principle. This landmark rethinking of 
physics in effect states that both the posi- 
tion and movement of a subatomic particle 

cannot be known simultaneously since 
one is affected by the act of measuring the 
other. In short, object and observer in- 
teract; they are not separate Although 
they never put it in mathematical terms (as 
did Heisenberg). the intuitive thinkers of 
China asserted for centuries that indepen- 
dence of object and observer is a ques- 
tionable concepl. lhat we are at all times 
participants in the world around us. De- 
tached, objective observation is conse- 
quently absurd. 

It cannot be entirely coincidence that 
many of Ihe major scientists who ushered 
in the alomic age viewed Eastern philoso- 
phy as a system of thought more conge- 
nial to the new order. Physicist Neils Bohr 
declared lhat lor a parallel to atomic 
theory it was necessary to turn "to those 

The force in Star Wars is 
only a Hollywood version of the 
3000-year-old Chinese tao.9 

kinds of epistomological problems which 
thinkers like the Buddha and Lao Tzu 
(the father of Taoism) have already 


The computer does many things for us. 
If provides fhe high-speed trajectory com- 
putations that allow us to land on the 
moon. It operates a telephone system that 
some have estimated might otherwise re- 
quire the services of almost a quarter of 
the U.S. population. It is. in fact, well on the 
way to becoming an alternative kind of 
"intelligence." The next two generations, 
riding on the miniaturization made possi- 
ble by the silicon chip, will most likely 
bring this instrument within striking range 
of many logical functions of the human 
brain, among them language, It already 
can organize and process sequential in- 
formation much faster than we can. Teach 
a computer the rules of logic, and it will 

out-analyze you every time; from calculus 
to tic-tac-toe. Even now the Cyber 1 76 
computer is providing a serious challenge 
to human superiority in that ultimate logical 
pastime, the game of chess. Those who 
believe that the capacity lor logical deci- 
sions is all that separates man Irom inani- 
mate matter had best start preparing to go 
down with the chip, 

One might suspect that this, reproduc- 
tion of left-brain (or logical) intelligence by 
a machine would make us want to use our 
own minds in a different mode, one that 
the machine can't replicate. However, just 
the opposite seems to be happening. We 
have become increasingly disposed to at- 
tack problems the logical, numerical. 
"computerthink" way since it's easier to 
give the work to a brute-force machine 
than to try to find an elegant solution. 
Worse still, the powerful logic now at our 
disposal tempts us to approach design 
problems in a way congenial to the com- 
puter rather than to our own instincts. For 
example, we now prefer io break a prob- 
lem down into small parts and then handle 
the parts separately, rather than view it as 
a whole. If each element is "logical." then it 
frequently occurs to no one that the whole 
entity may make no sense. 

The decline of nonverbal thought in 
technology was recently noted in the jour- 
nal Science by University of Delaware pro- 
fessor of history and technology Eugene 
Ferguson, who related a disturbing fact: 
Current engineering graduates seem to 
have less and less capacity for visual, 
conceptual thought One example Fergu- 
son gave was the decline in students' abil- 
ity to draw (remember Leonardo), which is 
so precipitous that "when the National 
Park Service's Historic American Engi- 
neering Record wishes to make drawings 
of machines and isometric views of indus- 
trial processes as part of its historical 
record of American engineering, the only 
students who have the requisite skills at- 
tend architectural schools." Drawing is a 
right-brain phenomenon; but as a result of 
the curricular emphasis on numerical anal- 
ysis and computers as the basis of mod- 
ern engineering design, we only are learn- 
ing to do things the noncreative. left-brain 

What Ferguson is describing is the im- 
pending triumph of "computerthink." In the 
long run, concludes Ferguson, "engineers 
in charge of projects will lose Ihetr flexibil- 
ity of approach to solving problems as 
they adhere to the doctrine that every 
problem must be treated as an exercise in 
numerical systems analysis." These same 
designers, he notes, will be "unaware 
that their nonverbal imagination and 
sense of fitness have been atrophied by 
an intellectually impoverished engin- 
eering approach." 

There are, of course, many scientists 
and scholars who do not accept this grim 
outlook. Buckminster Fuller, for example. 

views technology as a solution, not a prob- 
lem, and Robert Pirsig, in Zen and the Art 
of Motorcycle Maintenance , advocates 
what he calls "spiritual rationality," a right- 
brain stroking of technology, in which we 
sort of meditate on its hard-edged metallic 
precision as a new form of aesthetics, 

But there also are many who sense in 
technology a threat to our own human su- 
periority. It is understandably distressing 
to have our analytical powers suddenly 
topped by a machine we can hold in our 
hands. A recent Time article noted that, 
"Some manufacturers of computer games 
have discovered that people are discon- 
certed when the computer responds 
instantly after the human has made his 
move. So the computers have been pro- 
grammed to wait a little while before 
making counter moves, as if scratching 
their heads in contemplation." 

Indeed, many of us now tend to delude 
ourselves about the impact of technology. 
A study of attitudes toward computers not 
too long ago revealed that all persons 
questioned, regardless of their station, 
predicted that thinking machines would 
eventually replace all jobs below their 
own. Top to bottom, everyone asked be- 
lieved his own job was the last one above 
the water line. The left brain is looking over 
its shoulder and seeing the computer 
gaining fast. 

But the real threat ot the computer is not 
that it will outsmart us or replace our jobs. 
It is that we are relying more and more on 
this artificial "intelligence" rather than 
struggling to develop our own consider- 
ably more complex creativity, 


A countermovement to the reign of 
sterile logic seems to be emerging, albeit 
confused and in disarray. Leslie Hart de- 
clares in How the Brain Works, "The great 
bulk of human brainpower suffers sup- 
pression and disparagement because of 
this witless, pompous, pretentious em- 
phasis on largely nonproductive but 
respectable artificial modes of thought." 
Obviously we need to understand the po- 
tential of human intuition better if we are to 
reverse the trend. 

For example, how can this nonverbal, 
nonanalytical strength of the mind be com- 
municated from one to another? The sci- 
entist R.G.H. Sui declared in The Tao of 
Science that, "One of the chief obstacles 
hindering its transmission is its indefinable 
character. Although real, it is as imprecise 
as an exhilarating spring day. It defies 
articulate description. It is not dispensed 
in measured doses. It is absorbed slowly 
and subconsciously into the moral fiber 
and intimate intuition of the person over a 
long period of time." 

There is, at the moment, much talk 
about holistic education, of developing 
"both sides of the brain." Recently author 

Paul Brandwein, director of research at 
Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, recom- 
mended, "First of all, teachers should 
recognize that all decisions need not be 
based on observable phenomena." He 
also suggested that the curriculum be lib- 
eralized and that students be taken to see 
things rather than just being told about 

Interesting, but it sounds a bit like intui- 
tive intelligence is somehow less demand- 
ing than rational intelligence. The opposite 
is closer to the truth. It requires more disci- 
pline to be meaningfully creative than to 
work by rote. Right-brain (or creative) 
functions aren't less demanding; they're 
just a bit bashful about making an appear- 
ance when the left-brain is awake and 
running Ihe show. Consider how a logical 
chain of reasoning can so easily intimidate 
"better judgment," since intuition is hard to 
find and to defend. What is amazing about 
an intuitive thinker such as Albert Einstein 

• What is amazing about an 

intuitive thinker like Albert 

Einstein (who, incidentally, 

didn't talk until he 

was three) is that he learned 

how to shut off and ignore 

the kind of thought that 

is merely internalized speech. 9 

(who, incidentally, didn't talk until he was 
three) is that he learned how to shut off 
and ignore the kind of thought that is 
merely internalized speech. 

Some interesting progress on the prob- 
lem of suppressing left-brain functions 
and opening up spontaneous intelligence 
has recently been reported by a California 
art instructor, Dr. Betty Edwards, who dis- 
covered ways to enable students to see 
things without analysis. One technique is 
to force students to "scribble-draw," or 
draw so rapidly that there is no time to 
think about the process. Another ap- 
proach is to make students focus on an 
object until they begin to see the space 
around it, rather than just the object itself. 
Still another method is to assign the draw- 
ing of a complex item such as the fine 
leaves on a tree, so that the attention can 
only be on the lines, not on an analysis of 
the object. The effect of all this is reported 
to be a release of the bashful right-brain. 

What seems not to be widely re- 
cognized is that precisely the same 
techniques were discovered around a 
thousand years ago by the Zen painters of 

China, Although they might study tech- 
nique for decades, the actual process of 
painting was completely spontaneous. 
After meditating on a subject or a topic, 
until both it and the space it inhabited 
were a part of his intuition, a painter would 
then fling down the ink drawing seemingly 
by impulse, without recourse to reflecting 
or rationale. The act of stepping back to 
deliberate on a point was not in evidence. 
Meditation and the non-analytical tech- 
nique had'the effect of releasing the intui- 
tive powers of the mind while simultane- 
ously circumventing the left brain. 


The Zen masters of the eighth century 
onward began what we today might call 
a research project to find ways to defeat 
the left-brain and thus expand the right- 
brain's potential, After many years they 
eventually settled on two basic tech- 
niques for stifling the dominance of the 
left hemisphere: 1 ) meditation, and 2) a 
structured form of mental harassment. 

Meditation^ long the mainstay of Eastern 
practices, is now the subject of laboratory 
studies in the West. We have found that by 
sitting quietly in one place and suspend- 
ing active thought processes, it is possible 
to significantly alter the measurable char- 
acteristics of the brain. But the objective of 
Zen meditation also was and is, among 
other things, to alter the way we relate to 
the world around us. Ideally, the sense of 
separation, the object-subject relationship 
to our environment that is so much a part 
of the analytical, rationalisl tradition, gives 
way, Zen philosophy maintains that it is 
possible to "understand" our environment 
in a more meaningful way by seeing things 
without compartmentalization, analysis, or 
value judgments, To see a tree directly for 
itself rather than as an embodied scientific 
name is to participate in a kind of under- 
standing that supersedes logic, analysis, 
or any of the other structured functions of 
the left brain. Meditation, in fact, appar- 
ently allows the mind to supersede these 
functions. It appears, however, to be more 
a passive than active approach to ex- 
ploring the mind. 

As a result there were those who came 
to believe that the objectives of meditation 
could be realized by more dynamic 
means. After much trial and error Zen 
teachers developed a kind of deadly- 
serious zaniness, whose single-minded 
pursuit of the extrarational is reminiscent 
of our modern Theater of the Absurd. They 
developed a program of deliberate mental 
harassment designed to taunt the schol- 
arly mind much the way the Marx brothers 
could taunt a straight-man. Take a typical 
Zen exchange and watch carefully as cat- 
egories and logic are neatly exploded: 

A monk once drew four lines in 
front of a famous Zen Master. The top 
line was long and the remaining three 

126 OMNI 


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ending SA for use in 




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The machine for your machine. 

were short. The monk then demanded, 
"Besides saying that one line is long 
and the other three are short, what else 
could you say?" The Master drew one 
line on the ground and said, "This could 
be called either long or short. That is 
my answer." 

Or take another example: 
A new arrival said apologetically to 
the Master, "I have come here empty- 
handed!" "Lay it down then!" said the 
Master. "Since I have brought nothing 
with me, what can I lay down?" asked 
the visitor. "Then go on carrying it!" said 
the Master. 

Given enough of this never-getting-a- 
straight-answer, the logical mind seems to 
burn out its circuits. The conundrum or 
koan method of Zen is to pose a question 
that at first seems as though it ought to 
have a logical answer (What is the sound 
of one hand clapping?) but which in fact 
does not. The logical left hemisphere is 
thus placed in the position of a computer 
called upon to produce the square root of 
a negative number. I! just slugs away until 
it finally throws in the towel. Then, as the 
Zen teachers say, the chain of causation 
snaps (i.e., sequential reasoning breaks 
down), and the mind is ready to explore its 
capacity for intuitive holistic wisdom. 
Zen teachers merely demonstrate that 
the "left-brain" isn't so all-powerful after all. 

Out of this release of the latent capabili- 

ties of the right-brain there developed a 
novel culture, whose creations include arts 
that require complete spontaneity (impos- 
sible until the critical, nagging rational 
mind is discredited and silenced) and an 
aesthetic theory about materials and de- 
sign that stressed the subtle manipulation 
of perception (which forces the observer 
to become involved in the creative 
process and to experience the work 


It may turn out that the most important 
insight awaiting us in the realm of Eastern 
thought concerns right-brain intelligence 
itself. The question ol how to reach this in- 
telligence already seems destined to be- 
come the fashionable education issue of 
the 1 980s, as even now we are struggling 
to try to understand — in rational terms- 
how the right brain works. But the Zen 
teachers, who have been working with this 
part of the brain for many centuries, would 
tell us that the rational part of the mind by 
definition can never understand the work- 
ings of the intuitive part. 

It is fundamental to Zen philosophy that 
self-conscious introspection is doomed to 
failure, since to understand your mind — 
using that very same mind — is like trying to 
grasp your own hand or see your own eye. 
And thinking about the intuitive mind logi- 

cally is the one sure way never to under- 
stand its workings, since if you arrive at the 
understanding rationally or verbally, 
guarantees the understanding is wrong. 

As a ninth-century Zen master put it, 
"Zen formulates the study of intuitive wis- 
dom only to receive and guide beginners. 
In reality this intuitive insight cannot be 
learned, tor the study of it actually screens 
it from our understanding. " This might be 
called the Zen "Uncertainty Principle," the 
proposition that attempting to understand 
the workings of one's own intuition through 
rational processes is futile. If this sounds 
"illogical," it should. 


The West's romance with rationalism 
now has evolved its final irony, the triumph 
of simplistic thought processes whereby 
we pay the machine our sincerest form of 
flattery- — imitation. The longstanding 
belief that all problems can best be 
handled using logic and rationality — the 
more the better — has seduced us into 
easy dependence on synthetic machine 
logic. At the same time we have obligingly 
tailored our own thought process into the 
"computerthink" form, making it simplistic 
enough to be compatible with our ma- 
chines. It seems almost a case of our be- 
ing captivated by our own creation. 

Yet few among us would disagree that 
most really good ideas arise from intuition 
and only afterwards are they tested by our 
logic. This logical apparatus, far from giv- 
ing us new ideas, can sometimes squelch 
an innovative concept prematurely by 
exercising too heavily its critical function. 
The Zen teachers, while believing that the 
intuitive process is itself beyond rational 
comprehension, also knew that the repres- 
sive tyranny of rationality could be sup- 
pressed via various physical and psycho- 
logical disciplines. And they found some 
very positive ways to explore, strengthen, 
and exploit this dormant creativity. 

If we in the West are to make this non- 
linear creativity work for us, we too must 
restore the delicate relationship between 
rational and intuitive thought. We may find 
in the Eastern experience clues to the re- 
lease of our own latent creativity. If we suc- 
ceed in discovering the process whereby 
our nonverbal, nonrational mind can be 
turned on, we finally will be able to call on 
our own creativity — that fickle "muse" who 
now appears at her own convenience — 
when and where we wish. And with this 
may come a quantum jump in the mind's 
potential for ideas and insights. The com- 
puter can then be put firmly in its place, as 
a servant for all the left-brain chores we 
can unload, much the way that physical 
work is being relegated to machines. We, 
in turn, can then freely explore that extra- 
rational realm called intuition, a potentially 
much higher intelligence with which we 
can create a new "reality. 1 DO 

128 OMNI 


structural forms that are pri- 

:ed by differences in f 

They are everywhere in nature. Tr 

ample, as are the human skin and blood 

. The principles of pneui 
tures have been applied to such i 

When two bubbles join, their pressures 
immediately equalize and the common 
surface between them is always a plane. 
Soap bubbles are also forms of great . 
beauty. The bi ' ' 
from Pi 

lions, photographed by Ken Kay. | 





■ ■ ■, ■ 

New chemicals to enhance your 

creativity and heighten 

your senses without confusion. 



/ finally learned how to 
come into possession ol an 
encyclopedia. I already own 
one now—the whole thing 
contained in three glass vials. 
Bough! them in a science psy- 
chedeli. Books are no longer 
read but eaten, not made of 
paper but of some informa- 
tional substance; fully digest- 
ible, sugar-coated. 

I also did a little browsing in 
a psychem supermarket. Self- 
service. Arranged on the 
shelves are beautifully- 
packaged low-calorie opin- 
ionates, gullibloons — 
credibility beans? —abstract 
extract in antique gallon jugs, 
andiffies, argumunchies, puri- 
tands, and dyecstasy chips. 
The imaginative Polish sci- 
ence fiction writer Stanislaw 
Lem wrote this passage in his 
book The Futurological Con- 
gress, just six /ears ago, 
I Lem's fictitious "psychem" 
| (psychiatric chemistry) soci- 
= ety is a Utopia based on a 
| "chemocratic" system of gov- 
| ernment wherein whatever 
* people want, they get- 
's, helped by strong doses of 
I mood- and mind-influencing 
I drugs. 

Vigilax disperses all states 
of somnolence, trances, illu- 
sions, figments, and night- 
mares. Oblilerine and Amne- 
sol purge the mind of unpleas- 
ant memories, and Authen- 
lium creates synlhetic recol- 
lections of fhings that never 
happened. Children learn 
reading and writing from 
orthographic sodas. Optimisti- 
zine and Seraphinol put peo- 
ple in fhe best possible humor. 
Business letters with gentle re- 
minders about accounts out- 
standing and amounts owed 
are saturated with a volatile 
substance that awakens the 
debtor's scruples and sense 
ot responsibility. 

So fast is drug technology moving these 
days that the kind ot chemical behavior 
modification envisioned by Lem is not that 
far from reality. "We are on the edge ot a 
choose-your-mood society,'' says one sci- 
entist. "Those of us who work in Ihis field 
see a developing polennal for nearly total 
control of human emotional status, mental 
functioning, and will to act. These human 
phenomena can be started, slopped, or 
eliminated by the use of various types of 
chemical substances." 

Scientists exploring the brain have 
begun to discover chemical signals of 
specific fractions of behavior. One such 
chemical enhances visual altention in the 
mentally retarded, also in normal people. 
Moreover, it promises lo increase motiva- 
tion and improve failing memory in the el- 
derly. Another brain chemical makes peo- 
ple forget unpleasant experiences, just 
like Lem's science-fictional Obliterine. A 
third restores sexual potency in males 
and allows previously infertile women to 
have children. 

Side by side with these discoveries, a 
separate area of research is beginning to 
produce results in the synthesis of new 
mind- and mood-influencing drugs, 
chemically akin to LSD. mescaline, and 
other mind-opening agents. In a radical 
departure from the usual approach to drug 
design, intended to help people who are 
identifiably sick, fhese new drugs promise 
to help normal people in many different 
ways, from improving their creative abili- 
ties, to easing the pain of divorce, to pro- 
ducing exhilarating effects similar to those 
of alcohol but without liquor's caloric con- 
tent or damage to the fiver. 

These new drugs go beyond the familiar 
amphetamine pep pills and barbiturate 
thrill pills discovered long ago by users 
ranging from suburban housewives frying 
to cope and stay slim, to long-distance 
truck drivers on demanding schedules, to 
college students cramming for exams. The 
new drugs are much more specific in whal 
they do. Where amphelamine pep pills en- 
courage a person lo do more of the same 
repetitive tasks (during World War II the 
Japanese gave amphetamine tablets to 
their war factory workers), the new drugs 
are capable of enhancing and suppress- 
ing specific moods and emotions such as 
attention, intention, anger, fear, and joy. In 
startling new research still unknown to the 
public, scientists are discovering that they 
can play the mood-and -emotion keyboard 
much as a pianist plays notes and chords. 

This emerging ability to exfend the 
range of behavior and emotions opens up 
a myriad of possibilities. In benign hands, 
it can improve man's creative and produc- 
tive capacities and free him of unneces- 
sary worries and anxieties. In sinister 
hands, it canjde turned into a weapon as 
potent as, though much less conspicuous 
than the atom bomb. 

Since no mechanism exists today for 

134 OMNI 

legal introduction and controlled use of 
mind medications, they will be manufac- 
tured illegally and sold on the black mar- 
ket. The most sought-after will un- 
doubtedly command very high prices. 
"The real problem in the field of psy- 
chopharmaceuticals," says Wathan S. 
Kline, a pioneer in the field, "is not so much 
the creation of new classes of drugs, but 
determining who shall make the decisions 
as to when they should be used, on whom, 
and by whom." 

These unresolved questions have taken 
on a certain urgency because, whether we 
like it or not. the capability of synthesizing 
highly specific mood- and mind-influ- 
encing drugs is already here. 

Man has. of course, sought (and em- 
ployed) mind-expanding drugs for thou- 
sands of years. Although Indians in the 
New World appear to have discovered 
most of the hallucinogenic drugs in plant 
sources, such as the various so-called sa- 
cred mushrooms, the denizens of the Old 
World and their descendants in America 
weren'f that far behind. They, too, em- 
ployed "magic" plant extracts, such as the 
belladonna compounds used in witch- 
craft. Old World compounds are more pro- 
perly termed delusinogens than hallucino- 
gens, because they produce delusions 
rather than illusions, but they can be as 
potent as hallucinogens, Some research- 
ers think, for instance, that the Salem witch 
trials were the result of a massive poison 1 
ing with rye bread contaminated with an 
ergot fungus containing a hallucinogen 
similar to LSD lhaf caused bizarre, night- 
marish visions in the normally placid Puri- 

Modern-day possibilities, however. 
didn'l really hit drug designers until recent 
decades of deliberate, massive use of 
mind-influencing drugs thai pointed to the 
possibilities of manipulating the nuances 
of human behavior. 

Early hints of where mood control was 
going came from observation by psychia- 
trists ireafing palients suffering from ma- 
nia, depression, and other mental prob- 
lems with psychopharmacological agents. 
They noticed that the drugs had powerful 
effects on many aspects of their patients' 
personalities, far beyond the major symp- 
toms that called lor the drug treatment in 
the first place. They could see how pre- 
viously quiet palients on antidepressanfs 
would suddenly become impersonally 
talkative. One psychiatrist recalled a 
mousy 47-year-old spinster suddenly tell- 
ing him he was late for an appointment 
and demanding an explanation. They 
could see also how amphetamines or- 
ganized the thinking ot some people and 
how ruthless and aggressive men sud- 
denly acquired a certain tenderness after 
exposure to small doses of hallucinogens. 
Bullies suddenly began thinking of chil- 
dren and baby animals frolicking in the 



It was the exposure to hallucinogens 
such as LSD and mescaline that offered 
the most intriguing possibilities of all. A 
whole generation of youngsters, whose of- 
ten mindless use of psychedelic drugs 
sent them on mind-bending journeys into 
unreal worlds, could now be observed. El- 
oquent pioneers such as Aldous Huxley 
had explored edges of those worlds ear- 
lier, but never had so many Westerners 
traveled so far with the help of drugs and 
brought back so many fantastic tales, 

Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, psilo- 
cybin, psilocin (from mushrooms such as ' 
Psilocybe mexicana and Stropharia cu- 
bensis), and mescaline, which comes 
from the peyote cactus, are in a class by 
themselves. They are unlike barbiturates, 
amphetamines, or tranquilizers such as Li- 
brium or Miltown. They are not like narcotic 
drugs such as the opiates, which are ad- 
dictive. A percentage of amphetamine 
and barbiturate users become abusers. 
Psychedelic drugs are not physically ad- 
dictive, and, of course, they produce psy- 
chological experiences spectacularly dif- 
ferent from other mind-influencing drugs. 

Among these experiences are fascinat- 
ing changes in perception. Sounds are 
transformed into visual sensations, each 
tone or noise producing a kaleidoscopic 
color picture. Objects such as flowers or 
stones appear to pulsate and come to life. 
Incredible scenes are imagined with one's 
eyes closed. Incidents from the past are 
relived. Time and space are transcended. 
Many users claim that their artistic 
perceptions — appreciation of music 
and painting — are enhanced. 

But no one has produced any artistic 
masterpieces under the influence of hallu- 
cinogens, and fhe drugs often have ad- 
verse side effects. A sense of unman- 
ageability, even panic, on occasion grips 
LSD and mescaline users. In others. 
anxiety or visual aberrations persist for 
days after use. 

A healthy shift away from the often dan- 

Alexander T. Shulgin (top) and Arnold Mandeil. 

gerous use ol hallucinogenic drugs is now 
I the making as careful invesiigalors pur- 
sue the queslion of how powerful mind- 
■ntluencing drugs can be made to work for 
:ne benefit of humans withoul harmful hal- 
lucinogenic and other side effects. "There 
is a new realm," says Arnold J. Mandeil, 
cochairman of the department of psychi- 
atry at the Univo-siiy of California at San 
Diego. "I think the era of the new brain 
.drugs will 'ract;ona:o oul aspects of be- 
havior that we never paid any attention to 

Mandeil notes as an example that "at- 
tachmenl" as a human phenomenon is 
traceable to a brain system. One of Ihe 
commonly used antidepressant drug fami- 
lies, the tricyclic antidepressants, in addi- 
tion to removing depression also thins oul 
the dependence palients have on their 
spouses and children. When a user of this 
drug anticipates the loss of a loved one- 
through divorce, for example — he doesn'l 
experience the separation anxiety as pain- 
fully as he normally would. 

We can also see thai the function of at- 
tachment must be chemically modulated 
in the brain by observing animals. Cats, lor 

instance, aren't as attached to man as 
dogs are, presumably oecause cats' brain 
chemistry is somewhat different. Scientists 
predict that when the biochemist-./ oi be- 
havior is deciphered it will be possible to 
assign specific emotions and actions to 
the presence or absence of specific 
chemicals in the brain— a dramatic shift 
from the environmental psychiatry that has 
ruled us for so long. 

These advances stem from the often 
startling new knowledge about the brain, 
The old view presented the brain as a 
lightning-fast but rather rigid electrical 
switchboard, "an enchanted loom, with 
millions of flashing shuttles," as one 
scientist described it. 

In the new view, the brain is a more 
complex organ. It looks more like an en- 
chanted forest than an enchanted loom. 
It's a place where dendrites, the antennas 
of the neurons, constantly grow out of 
neuronal bodies like inierwe.avirig 
branches of giant Irees; where 
neighboring neurons whisper to each 
other at energy levels so low they are 
hardly measurable; and where cells called 
glia — in which the neurons are 
embedded — move about, influencing the 
activity of the neurons. The brain is chang- 
ing, remodeling, and restructuring itsell 
from instant to instant. 

The greal recent discovery has been 
thai the biggesl changes in the brain are 
directed by chemical substances acting in 
conjunction with electrical signals. Thus, 
the brain was found to be not only an elec- 
trical computer but a computer sub- 
merged in a chemical cauldron where 
chemicals of different shades and hues 
can light up or darken the enchanted 

The brain responds instantaneously to 
millions of electrical impulses thai con- 
stantly pour into it from sensory receptors. 
A thought can, of course, set off these im- 
pulses jusl as efficiently as sight can. The 
signals arc processed ■-■v i r i ■ lightning 
speed and coded into computerlike yes or 
no commands, The impulses then speed 
along the remarkable network that con- 
sists o" neurons. 

A neuron Is shaped somewhat like a 
tree, with the cell body at the top. From 
there Lvanch ou~ Ihe derdmes \ ro 
ceive messages from neighboring 
neurons. The tree's trunk is the axon, ihe 
neuron's transmission cable. Its length can 
be impressive. In man, for instance, axons 
that connect the big toe to the spinal cord 
can be three feet long. In a giraffe they 
may be 12 feet long, 

Millions of axons run down Ihe spinal 
column like coaxial cables, A signal trans- 
mitted down the axon is bioelectrical until 
it comes to a synapse, one of the hun- 
dreds of the axon's tiny junction points that 
connect with other neurons. The synapse 
is a slit less than a miilionth-of-an-inch" 
wide. The current in the axon is too weak 

lo bridge this gap. so instead it activates 
transmitter chemicals located in storage 
granules at nerve endings. — 

When the signal reaches its destination, 
such as a muscle, the signal produces Ihe 
desired action or movement. When the 
signal acts on neurons in a certain region 
of the brain — a pathway ol a particular 
mood—it calls forth an emotion or a be- 
havioral act. 

These natural chemical messengers of 
behavior are known as neurotransmitters. 
In the mid-1950s, manipulation of neuro- 
transmitter levels in the brain wilh psycho- 
tropic (mind-influencing) drugs that re- 
sembled neurotransmitters in structure— 
antidepressants, neuroleptics, stimulants 
— dramatically reduced the population 
ol mental hospitals. 

By using psychotropic drugs lo illumi- 
nate the pathways of emotion and psychi- 
atric disease, scientists have traced net- 
works ol neurons that respond to specific 
neurotransmitters. Of particular interest 
have been the so-called biogenic amines, 
derivatives of amino acids. Among the 
most important ol these amines are 
dopamine norepinephrine (or noradrena- 
line), and seroionin. 

Loss of dopamine from the part of the 
brain called Ihe basal ganglia is what 
causes the disorganized muscle activity ol 
Parkinson's disease and possibly the dis- 
ordered thought patterns ol schizophre- 
nia. Norepinephrine influences a wide 
range of functions through a diffuse net- 
work of neurons. Depression appears to 
be related to a deficiency of nore- 
pinephrine at certain synapses, and manic 
states to an excess of Ihe same neuro- 

Changes in serotonin levels in Ihe brain 
alter an organism's ability to evaluate the 
contextual cues of iis environment. The al- 
terations influence many types of behavior 
There are hints that some people who 
commit suicide are suffering Irom a sero- 
tonin deficit. 

How can a subjective feeling be ex- 
plained in terms of how neurons act? What 
is it that the biogenic amines do exactly to 
influence a person's mood? 

Seymour Kety, who served as the first 
scientific director of Ihe National Institute 
of Mental Health and now direefs psychiat- 
ric research laboratories at the Massachu- 
setts General Hospital in Boston, offers - 
some intriguing thoughls on the biological 
underpinnings of moods: 

"We haven't really appreciated the im- 
portance of the value system to Ihe brain. 
Over a billion years ofevolulion, it is easy 
to conceive that the species would have 
learned and genetically endowed each in- 
dividual wilh a means of evaluating results 
of behavior as good or bad. Animals 
would have learned through evolution thai 
food is good because food leads to sur- 
vival. That sexual activity is good because 
animals thai didn't think so would die out . 




'By Joseph Rao 

mext February 26, North Ameri- 
cans will get an opportunity to 
observe nature's greatest sky 
show — eclipse of the sun. This will 
be the first time since 1 972 that such an 
event will be visible so close to home. 
"Close," of course, is a relative term, but 
for those living in the northwestern U. S. 
and south-central Canada, this spectacu- 
lar phenomenon will occur literally in their 
own backyards. 

Total solar eclipse is visible from some- 
place on the earth about once every 16 
months. At such times, the moon casts its 
dark, slender cone of shadow (called the 
umbra) upon the earth's surface. The track 
traced by this lunar shadow across the 
earth is very narrow, however, so that it 
may be hundreds of years between lotal 
eclipses at any one spot on earth. 

This will be the 11th time this century 
that a total solar eclipse crosses the con- 
tiguous United States. Unfortunately, it will 

also be the last. After next year, most 
Americans either will be forced to do their 
eclipse viewing in foreign lands or wait un- 
til Augusi 21 , 201 7, for another opportu- 
nity. Curiously, the last three eclipses in the 
continental U.S. have been primarily East 
Coast affairs. On October 2, 1 959, the 
moon's shadow touched Massachusetts at 
sunrise. On July 20, 1963, the path of total- 
ity swept across Maine. Most recently, on 
March 7, 1970, the path of totality tracked 
along most of the eastern seaboard. 

This winter, for the first time since 1 945, 
the western U.S. will get its chance. 

At local sunrise on Monday morning, 
February 26, 1 979, at a point in the North 
"Pacific some 1 1 00 kilometers due west of 
Gray's Harbor, Washington, the moon's 
umbral shadow will touch the earth's sur- 
face. It will traverse empty ocean at 1 0,000 
kilometers per hour for a few minutes as if 
heads almost straight eastward, (hen 
makes landfall or, the PacilL- northwest 

On the morning -■: Mo.' o/ ;, ; ie noni: western U.S. 

(marked by !he siiaricri path) •v;. , :' , ;,. , i , .', , tiso.')£ c! nmuroii 5".:.' not 5' '.-.p-::-o:.j<:.ies, ■: ;o;e! eclipse o< the 
sun. Those ouisids tnopzln wi:i sn- a pej:iai eoi'p:-:e. At lis riiwraur' p:\zsp, i,'. : s exienl unci orienta- 
tion of the partial eclipse will, trot :, rcsemPl-- ".'/-.• c^escenis displayed. 

coast of the United Slates. Slowing to 4000 
kilometers per hourthis great "wall of dark- 
ness" will rush from the Washington- 
Oregon coast across northern Idaho, then 
cut northeastward through Montana into 
northwestern North Dakota. Passing into 
Canada near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba 
border, the shadow will track through 
sparsely populated northwest Ontario into 
Hudson Bay, cross the northernmosl tip of 
Quebec, Baffin Island, and will leave the 
earth at local sunset in northern Green- 
land. (A small part of Western Europe will 
gel a quick glimpse of ihe eclipse's open- 
ing stages just prior to local sunset.) 

The shadow will be in contact with the 
earth tor less than 90 minutes; the path of 
totality will run some 6700 kilometers in 
length and average 275 kilometers in " 
width. While moving through North Dakota 
however, the shadow's size will widen to a 
maximum of 31 5 kilometers. 

The duration of ihe total phase is always 
longest along the center line of the shad- 
ow's path. Righ! at the Oregon coastline 
totality lasts two minutes 16 seconds. Go- 
ing eastward along the center line, the to- 
tality time slowly lengthens, reaching a 
maximum of two minutes 52 seconds just 
east of Lake Winnipeg. Moving away from 
the center line, totality time decreases, be- 
coming zero at Ihe path's edges. 

Surrounding the umbra is the penum- 
bra, or partial shadow, also conical but 
much larger (8000 kilometers) in diameter. 
The penumbra is simply the half-shadow 
that lies outside every deep shadow, 
whether it's cast by the moon or a house. 
Wherever the penumbra falls, a partial 
eclipse will occur. Practically all of North 
and Central America will be inside the 
penumbra next winter, causing a rather 
large partial eclipse for much of the U.S. 
and Canada. The closer you station your- 
self to the path of totality, the greater the 
magnitude of the eclipse. Only inside the 
path itself, however, will you witness its. full 

When watching the partial phases, pre- 
cautions must be taken in viewing Ihe still 
blindingly bright sun. Only when it's in lotal! 
eclipse is the sun perfectly safe lo look at. 


A partial solar eclipse pales in comparison 
with a total one, even in those cases where 
the sun is reduced to a razor-thin crescent. 
The great show can begin only at the mo- 
ment when the last speck of sunlight is ex- 
tinguished. And what an astonishing expe- 
rience it is! The sudden rush of darkness 
seems to suggest impending doom, and 
during the all-too-brief period of semi- 
darkness, nature takes on a most unfami- 
liar guise. 

Scientists from all over the world as well 
as millions of amateur astronomers and 
sightseers will be drawn into the path of 
the moon's shadow next winter. Those who 
make the trip will be justly rewarded with a 
view of the greatest cosmic pageant that 
can be witnessed. It's almost impossible to 
adequately describe its beauty. 

it starts quietly, just over an hour before 
the total phase, with first contact: a small 
dent appears on the western limb of the 
sun, growing slowly larger each minute. 
The moon will continue to advance stead- 
ily, cutting the disk of the sun down to a 
crescent. In those last few minutes before 
totality, events pile in on each other: An 
eerie twilight begins to descend, the dis- 
tant landscape becomes enveloped in a 
strange greenish-gray pallor, the 
temperature may suddenly dip 
several degrees. 

Should the ground be covered with 
snow, or if you spread out a large white 
sheet, you may see shadow bands rip- 
pling, flickering, and scurrying about. 
These stripes of light and shade are be- 
lieved to be caused by the last of the sun's 
rays being distorted by our turbulent atmo- 
sphere, just as a star's light is disturbed, 
making it appear to twinkle. 

As the sun narrows to a thin filament, its 
much-enfeebled light will seem to rush 
out. It then suddenly disintegrates into ir- 
regular dots and points of light called 
"Baily's Beads," an effect caused by the 
last rays of sunlight streaming through the 
rugged mountain valleys on the lunar limb. 

Then, the giant lunar shadow comes 
rushing in. Those watching for its ap- 
proach should look to the west-southwest 
sky, where clouds will darken dramatically 
as if some great storm were brewing. At 
totality's onset, the shadow suddenly en- 
gulfs the viewer with the darkness of a 
moonlit night. 

The moon now appears as a jet-black 
globe rimmed for several seconds by the 
vivid pastel-pink extension of the sun's at- 
mospheric envelope: the chromosphere. If 
viewed through binoculars, you may see in 
several places around the moon's black 
disk solar prominences as tiny flames of 
pink, scarlet, reddish-violet, or magenta. 
In reality, these hot clouds of hydrogen gas 
are rushing out from the sun's surface for 
tens or even hundreds of thousands of 
kilometers into space. 

The most spectacular view, however, is 
the pearly-white corona, which haloes the 
moon's disk, extending out into space for 
millions of miles. It differs in size, tints, and 
patterns from one eclipse to another. It is 
always faint and delicate, with a sheen like 
a pale aurora. Sometimes it has a soft con- 
tinuous look; at other times long rays shoot 
out in three or four directions. It may stand 
out from the black disk in stiff streamers or 
end in brushlike tips. 

As for the overall sky illumination, it will 
be unlike any dusk or dawn you've ever 
experienced. A weird saffron tint will form 
a bright border across the horizon, while 
clouds in the area may take on striking 
hues of sienna or salmon. 

The brightest stars and planets will ap- 
pear, brilliant Venus being the most con- 
spicuous toward the south. 

Just before the end of totality, the chro- 
mosphere will again reappear, followed 
suddenly by a brilliant solitaire of steely- 
white light set upon a thin luminous ring— 
the inner corona. The streamers vanish; 
the gem grows; the stars and planets fade 
away; the sky fills with light as the great 
"diamond ring" in the sky soon becomes 
too dazzling to look at. 

All the phenomena seen prior to totality 
now reappear in reverse order as the 
moon moves off the sun's disk. 


You may think it absurd to travel hundreds 
or thousands of miles for a sight that will 
last less than three minutes, but there are 
many other things to see and do in and 
around the path of totality. Here are a few 


Goldendale Observatory is a center for 
amateur astronomers from the Pacific 
Northwest. It boasts a 61 .25 centimeter re- 
flecting telescope, one of the largest in the 
world, that is available for use by the gen- 
eral public. The observatory is almost di- 
rectly on the center line for the eclipse and 
has been chosen as the eclipse head- 
quarters for the Astronomical League. The 
public is welcome to view through the tele- 
scope Wednesday through Sunday nights, 
from 7:00 to 1 1 :00 P.M. at no charge. 
Maryhill Stonehenge, 13 kilometers south 
of Goldendale on an isolated bluff above 
the Columbia River, is a replica of the an- 
cient Stonehenge of England's Salisbury 
Plain. The replica was erected by industri- 
alist Samuel Hill (1858-1931) in commem- 
oration of World War I. It is located three ki- 
lometers northeast of Maryhill; you must 
look closely for it, as there are no markers 
to direct tourists and the monument Is 
barely visible from the hjghway. 
Grand Coulee Dam, one of the most mas- 
sive concrete dams in the world, 
harnesses the Columbia River. 
It is 170 meters high and 1300 long. 


Crater Lake National Park centers around 
Mount Mazama. a 3700 meter volcano that 
exploded and fell in on itself, leaving a 
caldera that now holds the crystal-clear 
and intensely blue Crater Lake. Some 600 
meters deep, it Is the second deepest lake 
in North America. 

Oregon Caves National Monument, near 
the California border, features an un- 
usually beautiful series of cave passage- 
ways lined with limestone pillars, stalacti- 
tes, vaulted domes, and galleries. 
Portland, Oregon's largest city, is the 
home of one of the Northwest's great art 
museums, the Museum of Art, S.W. 9th at 
Park Avenue. Eclipse activities will proba- 
bly center around the Oregon Museum of 
Science and Industry. 

Hells Canyon, dividing Idaho from Ore- 
gon, is America's deepest canyon, rivaling 
even Arizona's Grand Canyon. At points 
along the border near Devil Mountain, the 
Snake River is 2400 meters below the lip of 
the Canyon. ' 

Old Dependable is an impressive geyser 
that was capped by the townspeople of 
Soda Springs early in the century after 
they became annoyed with its constant 
eruption. It is set free to spout off only 
when tourists come to see it, or when the 
subterranean pressures become so 
great that it would otherwise explode. 
Craters 01 The Moon National Monument 
encompasses a weird moonlike land- * 

scape of more than 200 square kilometers 
stretched out in the southern Idaho desert. 
This unusual terrain is the result of vol- 
canic eruptions that occured some 1 600 
years ago. 

Yellowstone National Park is a world apart 
of natural wonders, colorful canyons, 
sparkling waters, spouting geysers and 
abundant wildlife. Winter activities run 
from December through March. 
Glacier National Park provides some of 
the most spectacular scenery in the world. 
The park has numerous glaciers, unbro- 
ken forest, and such wildlife as moose, elk, 
mountain goat and sheep, black bear and 
grizzly bear. There are some 1 000 miles of 
trails and nature hikes led by park rangers.. 
Guided cross-country ski tours are availa- 
ble during the winter months. 

Bismarck offers eclipse visitors such at- 
tractions as the State Historical Museum, 
the Dakota Zoo, and the Camp Hancock 
Museum. The observation floor of the state 
Capitol building provides a panoramic 
view of Bismarck and the Missouri River 

Amidon In this little town (population 51 ) is 
a perpetual burning vein of coal, imparting 
a truly hellish appearance to the surround- 
ing landscape, especially at night. You can 
see it 42 kilometers north of Bowman on 
U.S. Route 85. 

138 OMNI 


Winnipeg, the fourth largest city in Can- 
ada, contains one of Canada's largest 
medical teaching centers and numerous 
cultural facilities. Among these are the 
Winnipeg Art Museum, the Royal Ballet, 
Assiniboine Zoo, the Winnipeg Mint, the 
Manosphere exhibition, and the Museum 
of Man and Nature. In the museum is.the 
Manitoba Planetarium with a heliostat that 
projects a bright 20-inch image of the sun. 


Whenever an eclipse of the sun is due to 
occur, there are usually dire warnings 
broadcast over the airwaves and in news- 
papers telling people that there is no safe 
way to view an eclipse and that the best 
thing to do is watch it on television. Televi- 
sion, however, is a poor substitute for the 
real thing and should you choose to ignore 
the eclipse entirely, you'li only be cheating 
yourself out of seeing the grandest celes- 
tial spectacle visib o from earth. This is not 
to say, however, that you should not take 
precautions: Staring at the sun with unpro- 
tected eyes or inadequate filters during 
the partial stages can cause blindness or 
severe retinal damage. DO NOT USE sun- 
glasses, photographic filters, exposed 
color film, or — what was once considered 
the old standby -smoked glass, to watch 
the sun. You CAN, however, use two su- 
perimposed thicknesses ot completely ex- 
posed and developed black-and-white 
film. Alternatively, you can use welders' 
safety plates, shades "1 2 to 14, which can 
be bought at a welder's supply shop in 
sizes that will cover both eyes. 

The safest way to watch the eclipse is to 
turn your back on it — literally, not 
figuratively — by making a pinhole projec- 
tor. Use two sheets of cardboard with a 
small hole in one. The perforated sheet is 
held up to the sun, projecting the light 
through it onto the other sheet, which is 
held beneath the "projector" in its shadow. 
A cardboard box can be used in much the 
same way. Make a hole in one side of the 
box and then point it toward the sun. The 
light will be strongly projected on the op- 
posite side, inside the box. 

You can also produce eclipse images by 
letting sunlight pass through the lattices of 
your fingers as well as any other small 
openings such as those in a straw hat or 
trees and bushes still in leaf. Even indoors, 
closed Venetian blinds in a window facing 
south can produce row upon row of solar 
crescents on the wall or on the floor, so you 
may watch the eclipse indoors and stay 

One final note; If you are in the totality 
" zone, don't tire your eyes on the partial 
stages. Save them for the total eclipse. You 
can better adapt to the sudden darkness 
by wearing a'patch over one eye and re- 
moving it just as totality 
sets in. DO 


CCNIIN..ED " r iO^ J fiyF 4i 

against these new films because of a 
derivative overdose. 

The Alien (20th Century-Fox) Directed 
by Ridley Scott (Trie Duellists); co-written 
and with special effects by Dan O'Bannen 
(Dark Star) .... Flash Gordon (Paramount 
Pictures) Produced by Dino De Laureniiis 
(King Kong) at a cost of 320,000,000; 
directed and co-written by Nicholas Roeg 
(Don't Look Now, The Man Who Fell to 
Earth) .... The Fox and the Hounds 
(Buena Vista) Full-animation feature .... 
The Humanoid (no distributor set, A 
Merope Film Production) Starring Richard 
"Jaws" Kiel and Barbara Bach, both of 
whom were made popular by The Spy 
Who Loved Me. 

Meteor (American International 
Pictures) The biaqest production ever 
attempted by AIR with a $1 6,000,000 
budget; big name cast including Sean 
Connery and Henry Fonda .... 
Moonraker (United Artists) The newest 
James Bond film, which will offer bigger 
and more expensive sets and effects than 
ever .... Nightwing (Columbia Pictures) 
Based on the book by Martin Cruz Smith, 
in which the creatures of the night take 
over the night ... Overlords (Avco 
Embassy) Beings from outer space fight 
out their interplanetary wars on earth .... 
Plane! of the Dinosaurs (No distributor set) 
Special animated effects by Jim Danforth. 

The Primevals (No distributor set) 
Multimillion-dollar, stop-motion fantasy film 
epic .... Seven Warriors-Seven Worlds 
(No distributor set, but Dino De Laurentiis 
anticipates a $4,000,000 involvement, 
which suggests Paramount Pictures). . . . 
The Shape ot Things to Come (Allied 
Artists) Remake of H.G. Wells's story .... 
The Shining (Warner Brothers) Stanley 
Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space 
Odyssey) directs Jack Nicholson in this 
adaptation of Stephen King's story. . . . 
Space Probe (Buena Vista) Disney's live 
action space opera. 

StarTrek-The Motion Picture 
(Paramount Pictures) Long-awaited 
$1 5,000,000 voyage of the Enterprise, her 
original crew intact, promises to be one of 
the major motion picture events of the 
1 980s; directed by Robert Wise (The Day 
the Eanh Stood Still, The Sound of Music, 
The Andromeda Strain) .... Star Wars 2 
(20th Century-Fox) Script completed, due 
to start shooting this fall for 1 980 release 
.... Superman Part 2 (Warner Brothers) 
As mentioned above, already partially 
photographed; completion pending 
success of first installment .... Thongor in 
the Valley of the Demons (No distributor 
set) The tirst in a series of sword and 
sorcery tales ieaturing Thongor .... 
Voices (MGM) Starring Amy Irving (The 
Fury). — James Delson. DO 

ANSWERS TO GAMES (page 174) 

1. Most people come up with an an- 
swer of nine inches. This is incorrect. 

magine taking the books off the shelf- 
then where is the first page? The 
bookworm, of course, burrows only five 

2. The "Z" goes above the line. The 
pattern — straight letters on top, curved 
ones below. 

3. The blind man is wearing a red hat. 
The reasoning is as follows: The first 
man did not see two white hats for then 
he would have known that he wore a 
red. The second man, aware that the 
first did not see two white hats, needs 
only look at the blind man. If he saw a 
white hat on the blind man he would 
therefore know he wore a red. Since he 
did not know, the blind man must be 
wearing red. 

4. The right side of each figure is a car- 
dinal number (1 ,2,3,4, etc.), the left 
side its mirror image. Thus the next fig- 
ure is 88 

5. "Would a member of your tribe tell 
me that the left fork goes to Alphaviile?" 
Both tribes must give the same answer 
to this question. 

I I h 


8. First build a '.riangit; on Me tableiop 
■with throe matches; then use this trian- 
gle as a base for the other three 
matches, propped agains: each other 
to form a pyramid. 

9. Simply place one coin on top of an- 
other, at the intersection of the two 

• •••• 

10. Themissing number is 121. (The 
numbers are all representations of the 
number 16, expressed in different 
bases, mov'ng from base 16 to base 1 , 
Thus 121 is "16" expressed in base3.) 


The Ginseng root has been blamed for centuri 
for the evils of the flesh. 

While skeptical of its legendary 
aphrodisiac powers. English Leather 
has created a new men's cologne 
around this herbal root. 

The"result. a strangely gratifying 
effectonyouandthosearound <g-~ 
you. Morethanjusta scent, ^ 

It'samoodthatenvelops. Jw~ ~ 

^ I 1 1EE3 i 

Mysterious how something one 
person puts on himself can make two 
people lose their heads. 

For' Root of All Evil poster (2Q"x 2a"), send 
name, address an- si re ME v. Com cany. Inc . dent. 
O.PO.BOX359. Passaic, N J 07055 wltri Checker 


-_-i The scent of the centuries. 



different directions to examine the entire 
sky, and there are some ten million candi- 
date channels upon which to 

What is involved in being on the right 
frequency at the right time? Sheer luck. It 
is just possible that highly technological 
civilizations may turn themselves off as ra- 
dio beacons. On the earth, our radio and 
television transmissions waste energy 
since so much is leaking out into space. It 
is cheaper to transmit information via ca- 
bles or laser beams or fiber optics. But 
those transmission channels dim our radio 
visibility to other planets. Perhaps for only 
a few decades or a century do advancing 
civilizations inadvertently make them- 
selves known by leakage. 

Alternatively, a planet might fall silent 
because its civilization had blown itself up 
in a nuclear war, or it may be destroyed by 
an explosion of its own star. In a fit of para- 
noia a civilized world might decide it didn't 
want to make its presence known, for fear 
that predators might come to conquer and 
colonize it. 

Very frustrating ly, a civilization may 
beam a signal in our direction only a few 
hours a year, and we could be too early or 
too late in picking up the "telephone." We 
beam radar from Arecibo at Mars and 

Venus to map their surfaces and we also 
send signals to our space satellites. Some 
of those signals go roaming into space, 
perhaps to drive crazy some astronomer 
out there who hears them only once and 
not long enough to be sure they were from 
the earth. We may be victims of the same 
kind of cosmic irony . 

Astronomers must guess which fre- 
quencies of the radio spectrum another 
world would choose to transmit signals. 
One likely candidate is the "waterhole," a 
tiny portion of the microwave window be- 
tween the spectral lines of the two building 
blocks of water. One is hydrogen at 1420 
million Hertz (cycles per second); the 
other is the hydroxyl radical (chemical for- 
mula OH) at 1662 million Hertz. Life based 
upon water, as if is on the earth, might se- 
lect those frequencies as sensible. In ad- 
dition, the waterhole really is a "hole" in 
the spectrum of radio noise from various 
sources in space. 

Another guess involves whether the ra- 
dio transmission from another planet 
would be coming on a narrow bandwidth 
or a broad bandwidth. The narrow 
bandwidth signal is one that is restricted to 
a narrow band of radio frequencies; such 
a signal travels farther more clearly and is 
easier to detect, but it carries little informa- 
tion. The broad bandwidth signal spreads 
out over many frequencies and can carry 
prodigious information — Drake says a 
broad bandwidth signal could transmit the 


"I understand they passed a biii in Congress to get us to produce more oxygen" 

entire contents of the Encyclopaedia Bri- 

tannica in one minute. But the broad 

bandwidth signal is rapidly absorbed and 

attentuated during its frip through space. 

Intelligences out there might compromise, 

sending a narrow bandwidth 

signal as a beacon to alert us and using it 

to tell us what frequencies to tune 

to for lots of broad-band 


Drake suggests that most of our search- 
ing or listening so far may have been inef- 
fectual because we have searched for j 
only broad bandwidth signals, sweeping a 
lot of the electromagnetic spectrum with 
low sensitivity. More progress could be 
made not by just using bigger radio dish- 
es, but alsb by using more channels and 
more sensitive receivers. The technology 
for such sensitive instruments is increas- 
ing quite rapidly now. Each gain in sensi- 
tivity vastly increases the volume of space 
from which signals might be detecied. 
And only some 1 000 individual stars have 
been examined thus far on a few frequen- 
cies, most of them the nearest stars. We 
have barely made a beginning toward 
searching ten million stars on thousands of 
frequencies — a search that would statisti- 
cally improve the chances of at last mak- 
ing contact. 

If the Big Word comes, how do we rec- 
ognize it? Astronomers believe it would be 
rather easy to recognize a signal as artifi- 
cial because of its construction, or repeti- 
tion, or other characteristics. It could be a 
statement of some well-known physical 
law. and it might well come in binary num- 
bers (numbers written as combinations of 
the digits one and zero). Decoding the 
message might take awhile, but experts in 
cryptography abound in most countries of 
the world, and the sender wouldn't be try- 
ing to code it as a secret. 

Drake and the staff at Arecibo devised 
and shot out one token arrow of an earth 
message into space on November 16, 
1 974. It was directed at Messier 1 3, the 
Globular Star Cluster in the constellaiion 
Hercules, a family of stars some 25,000 
light-years distant. Radio telescopes as 
sensitive as the one at Arecibo could pick 
up the message anywhere throughout the 
Milky Way, and then pose someone the di- 
lemma of learning what it says. 

Taking only three minutes to transmit- 
just for one fime only — our brief message 
contained 1679 bits of information giving 
some knowledge of life on the earth. In bi- 
nary numbers it gave a "lesson" on the 
numbering system being used; listed the 
atomic numbers of the elements hydro- 
gen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and phos- 
phorus; and gave the chemical structure 
of the genetic material DNA. It also sup- 
plied a crude sketch of a human being, in- 
dicated its average height, said that there 
are four billion of us and that we inhabit the 
third planet from the sun. The message 
ended with an image of the telescope that 

sent the i 

At transmission, the effective power put 
into the beam was something like ten 
times the total electric power production 
on earth, Drake says. In the direction of the 
beam at the frequency of the transmitter, 
that power made the signal about ten mil- 
lion times brighter than the sun. "For three 
minutes," Drake remarks, "we became the 
brightest star in our galaxy." 

TheArecibo radio telescope always is 
busily scheduled for such work as radar 
mapping the planets and earth's upper at- 
mosphere. Many programs employ it as a 
transmitter. During those programs, the 
telescope also could transmit messages 
out to space while being warmed up. "The 
cost would be only a couple of dollars, like 
sending a telegram here at home, to 
places as far as 25,000 light-years away," 
Drake calculated. "With present radio 
equipment, we could send a 60-word 'tele- 
gram' a distance of ten light years at a cost 
of about ten cents in electrical 

Radio broadcasts have not been our 
only attempt to contact extraterrestrial life. 
"Loafing" out into space beyond the solar 
system — meaning they are traveling only 
1 6 kilometers per second — are the space- 
craft Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 1 1 , bearing 
gold-anodized aluminum plaques de- 
signed by Sagan, Drake, and Linda Salz- 
man Sagan (Carl's wife). After inspection 
of Jupiter the two spacecraft are going 

their lonely way to drift out of the solar sys- 
tem, perhaps someday to be found and 
their message deciphered. They tell the lo- 
cation of the earth and the sun with re- 
spect to 14 pulsars They also show a dia- 
gram of the solar system and drawings of 
a man and a woman to scale with a dia- 
gram of the spacecraft. The piaques are 
designed, say the Cornell astronomers, "to 
be the longest-lived works of mankind," 
sure to survive unchanged for hundreds of 
millions or perhaps billions of years. And 
very probably, never to be found 
or read. 

Also heading out toward the edges of 
the solar system are Voyager 1 and Voy- 
ager 2. Next year the two Voyagers will fly 
past Jupiter, then swing on to Saturn and 
beyond. Each Voyager spacecraft carries 
a phonograph record with greetings in 50 
languages, messages from Kurt Waldheim 
and President Carter, sounds from the 
earth (rain, people, cars, and so forth), 116 
pictures of various scenes and things of 
earth, and an hour and a half of music: eth- 
nic, classical, and pop — "Earth's greatest 
hits," Drake calls them. 

Now, energizing the quest for contact, 
comes Project SETI: Search for Extrater- 
restrial Intelligence. Envisaging 
a $19 million program lasting five years, 
Project SETI is the proposal mainly of as- 
tronomers at NASA's Ames Research Cen- 
ter in Mountain view, California and the Jet 
Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. 

"These continued rumors that I don't exist are 
making it very difficult for me to obtain credit!" 

It calls first for a huge one-million channel 
radio receiving system to increase the 
odds of picking up signals; and perhaps 
later for building the mammoth Cyclops 
system of 1 500 great radio antennas in a 
12- to 16-kilometec-wide array. The full 
system would be able to receive signals 
simultaneously on as many as one billion 
channels. In addition, existing radio tele- 
scopes at observatories around the world 
would be made far more sensitive by add- 
ing special equipment, allowing astrono- 
mers to monitor one million channels in the 
microwave region of the spectrum. 

John Billingham, a former physician to 
U.S. astronauts, is chief of the SETI team 
at Ames, the team plans to begin the 
search with three big radio telescopes in- 
cluding the one at Arecibo, listening at the 
"waterhoie" frequencies. The main targets 
will be sunlike stars within a few hundred 
light-years of earth, perhaps looking at 
each one sequentially for between 1 and 
30 minutes each night. 

The JPL group, headed by Robert 
Edelson, will use the 26-meter Goldstone 
radio telescope in the Mojave Desert to lis- 
ten for narrow band signals in one-quarter 
of the microwave window. This calls for 
searching most of the sky at less sensitiv- 
ity than that of the Ames program, but with _ 
a broader frequency range. 

From 1975 through 1 977 Philip Morrison 
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- 
ogy, long keenly interested in the possibil- 
ity of extraterrestrial life, chaired six sci- 
ence workshops of prominent scientists 
and others looking into the feasibility of 
searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. 
The group reached four main conclusions, 
published last year in their report, SETi: 

"1 . It is both timely and feasible to begin 
a serious search tor-extraterrestrial intelli- 

"2. A significant SETI program with sub- 
stantial potential secondary benefits can 
be undertaken with only modest re- 

"3. Large systems of great capability 
can be built if needed. 

"4. SETI is intrinsically an international 
endeavor in which the United States can 
take the lead." 

SETI would not be a waste if no signals 
came. The technology learned and data 
gathered would be valuable in radio as- 
tronomy and deep-space communica- 

Design studies for Cyclops were made 
by Billingham and Bernard M. Oliver in 
1971. Information from all the 1500 anten- 
nas and on all frequencies would be fed to 
an enormous computer to sort the informa- 
tion. Costing about $10 billion if built now, 
Cyclops is more likely to be constructed in 
the 1990s and might cost $100 million a 
year to operate. But Cyclops could be built 
in sections starting with, one or two big an- 
tennas centered around a power station 
and other facilities. There is debate over 

how soon and how hard the Cyclops proj- 
ect should be pushed. Drake is one who 
favors going ahead now. 

An alternative to a ground-based Cy- 
clops is a huge receiving dish, perhaps 
several kilometers across, orbiting in 
space and shielded from all the noise of 
the earth, collecting any space signals 
and relaying them io earth-based re- 
ceivers. It could be built by terrying up the 
materials on repeated trips of the shuttle. 

While a search for extraterrestrial intelli- 
gence in any form seizes the imagination 
ot many people, the quest for contact fills 
others with fear and doubt. Suppose, they 
say, the extraterrestrials want other planets 
on which to seed their form of life, or per- 
haps they regard other planetary life as 
food or slaves. Better that we keep our 
heads down and keep quiet, they advise. 

Those enthralled with the prospect, 
however, view contact with extraterres- 
trials and the new knowledge that contact 
would bring as unifying forces among hu- 
mans and nations, enriching our science 
and technology in ways that otherwise 
would take us great effort, time, and 
money to learn. We might catch glimpses 
of what our own future might be. 

Says the SETI report of 1977, "were we 
to locate but a_single extraterrestrial sig- 
nal, we would know immediately one great 
truth: that it is possible for a civilization to 
maintain an advanced technological state 

and not destroy itself. We might even learn 
that life and intelligence pervade the Uni- 

The report continues: "Some have wor- 
ried that a message from an advanced so- 
ciety might make us lose faith in our own, 
might deprive us of the initiative to make- 
new discoveries if it seems that there are 
others who have made those discoveries 
already, or might have other negative con- 
sequences. But we point out that we are 
free to ignore an interstellar message if we 
find it offensive. Few of us have rejected 
schools because teachers and textbooks 
exhibit learning of which, so far, we were 
ignorant. If we receive a message, we are 
under no obligation to reply. If we do not 
choose to respond, there is noway for the 
transmitting civilization to determine that 
its message was received and understood 
on the tiny distant planet earth. (Even a 
sweet siren song would be little risk, for we 
are bound by bonds of distance and lime 
much more securely than was Ulysses tied 
to the mast.) The receipt and translation of 
a radio message from the depths of space 
seems to pose few dangers to humankind; 
instead it holds promise of philosophical 
and perhaps practical benefits for all, 

"Other imaginative and enthusiastic 
speculators foresee big technological 
gains, hints, and leads of extraordinary 
value. They imagine too all sorts of scien- 
tific results, ranging trom a valid picture of 

the past and the future of the Universe 
through theories of the fundamental parti- 
cles to whole new biologies. Some con- 
jecture that we might hear from near- 
immortals the views of distant and venera- 
ble thinkers on the.. deepest values of con- 
scious beings and their societies! Perhaps 
we will forever become linked with a chain 
of rich cultures, a vast galactic network. 
Who can say?" 

The Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, 
president of the University of Notre Dame, 
in the SETI report writes that "As a theo- 
logian, I would say that this proposed 
search for extraterrestrial intelligence also 
is a search of knowing and understanding 
God through His works— especially those 
works that most reflect Him. Finding others 
than ourselves would mean knowing Him 

Possibly, Drake speculates, a message 
may come from a civilization that has 
learned how to become immortal, and 
might share that knowledge with us. Dr. 
Drake thinks that immortal civilizations 
may be more numerous than mortal ones. 
Immortality he defines as indefinite preser- 
vation, in a living being, of a growing and 
continuous set of memories of the experi- 
ences ot the individuals. The aging pro- 
cess may have been halted or techniques 
may have been found to repair indefinitely 
the damage done by the aging process, 
Or perhaps the inventory of memories of 
an old person's brain could be transferred 
. into a young brain, even perhaps a clone. » 
Immortal societies would have to limit their 
offspring very severely. 

An immortal civilization might become 
timid about death by accident, become 
obsessed about safety, with that motivat- 
ing them to tell other planets how to be- 
come immortal, so no one would be 
tempted to come seek out and conquer 
the immortal society. Immortals would like 
to make everyone else immortal and 
equal. So they might be sending out 
strong signals for easier detection, and 
they might be doing it fairly continuously 
and patiently. 

If the instructions for immortality were re- 
ceived here, what then? 

Would earihlings opt to become immor- 
tal, with a new set of problems, or would 
they elect to still accept the concept of 

The time, to many astronomers, has 
come for serious search for intelligent life 

"We may now be standing on a thresh- 
old, about to take a momentous step a 
planetary society takes but once: first con- 
tact with another civilization," Sagan and 
Drake write in Scientific American. 

To them the question is not whether we 
mount the major efforts to make contact — 
but when: "If enough of the beings of the 
earth care, the threshold might be crossed 
within the lifetime of most of those alive 
today." DO 


ing shot out of a solar cannon while a go- 
rilla is ravaging you . . . stunts like that take 
a lot out of a person. Sometimes, I have to 
admit, Dynamite seeks relaxation in odd 
places. Nothing to worry about, though." 
He hoisted his tunic further, reached 
around and tapped at his back. 

There was that slightly inflamed lump 
again, rectangular and about the size of a 
pocket computer. It was rimmed by red- 
dish flesh, stuck up almost a half inch. . 
"What is that thing?" 

"Didn't you read the bio sheet I sent? 
That's my teleport box," he explained. 
"Ugly thing, and it itches like crazy most of 
the time. They let me loose, but they stuck 
me with this. So I'm, metaphorically, wear- 
ing invisible stripes." 

"Who implanted that?" 

"Talk about coincidence, it was Lt. 
Denzlo," Andy replied. "He ordered the job 
done, that is. Perfectly within his rights, 
since I am a paroled killer, under the 
Roaming Murderers Act of 2002. Yep, the 
great state of California South says it's 
okay to bury one of these teleport gadgets 
in any potentially dangerous killer. I've 
talked it over, you can bet, with my attor- 
ney many times. He's not a bad guy, a ro- 
bot but built by the Japanese, loaded with 
legal lore and possessed of a really 

golden voice." 

Nodding at his back, I asked, "They can 
summon you with that gadget?" 

"Well, the law says only once in any 
given week unless there's an emergency 
situation." He chuckled, let his tunic fall 
and then scratched at the implanted tele- 
porter. "Denzlo treats almost anything as 
an emergency. Oh, let me warn you now 
it's come up. What with these Media Killer 
slayings going on, the lieutenant's been 
yanking me into the Murder Division of- 
fices for questioning as often as twice a 
day. In case I should go whooshing away 
in the middle of our conversation, don't 
take it as an insult. See, I don't actually 
have any control over what he — " 

"Who's the Media Killer?" 

"They don't know, Lt. Denzlo'd like it to 
be me, so he'd have, in his cockeyed opin- 
ion, a clear field with Dynamite." 

"I wasn't talking about identity, I'm just 
not familiar with the case at all." 

"You really are steeped in the past. 
Working for Oldies, Ltd. has — * 


A harsh tinny buzz was coming out of 
him, originating in his back. 


"Again? They're really harrass — " 

Then Andy wasn't there anymore. He 
vanished, as though he'd been sucked 
suddenly into another world. The air where 
he'd been standing gave off a faint pop- 
ping sound after he'd gone teleporting 

"No offense, Ogg, but we were having more 
success with the hunt during your representational period. " 

away— to Lt. Denzlo and the GLAPD. 

Andy didn't get back to me until two 
days later. Part of the time he was in the 
police fortress in the Pasadena Sector, the 
rest he spent with Dynamite Dunn. She'd 
given up her plans for the Grand Canyon 
and was contemplating a daredevil stunt 
involving the Nixon dam. Even though 
Andy was a certified video stimulation 
criminal who'd been cleared and pro- 
nounced socially acceptable by the Pasa- 
dena Playhouse for the Criminally Insane, 
the GLA had been able to have ateleport 
unit surgically implanted in him. This al- 
lowed them to whisk him in for questioning 
up to six times in any given month. Andy 
swore, which I'm inclined to believe, that 
once he quit watching tv he never 
stangled anyone else. Denzlo and his 
partner, Hart, didn't believe him appar- 
ently. They were working very hard to pin 
the Media Killer stranglings on him, which 
is why they'd teleported him off once again 
while he was visiting me at the studio. 

They were very unconventional cops, 
Denzlo and Hart. In their early 30s, both 
lean and dark. They went in for conserva- 
tive one-piece grey daysuits, close- 
cropped hair and no visible body decora- 
tions at all. Outside of a fondness for tele- 
porting parolees and ex-cons into the In- 
terrogation Pits, neither of them went in 
much for gadgets. They never used the 
Shockbox or the Fingerpopper, stayed 
away from Talkjuice and Brainprobing. 
Their approach was classic 20th century. , 
Hart yelled and Denzlo was softspoken. 

"We know you did it!" Hart shouted at 
Andy the instant he materialized in the 
sea-green Query Cell that afternoon. 

Andy put out a hand to steady himself. 
As many times as he'd been yanked hither 
and yon by the teleport unit in his back, he 
still got a shade woozy. "Did what?" 

"Don't scream at the guy," said Denzlo in 
his soft, droning voice. "He'll tell us wiihout 

"Oh, will be?" 

"Sure, he will." Denzlo circled the 
slightly swaying Andy. 

"What about Dr. Bubbles?" cried Hart, 
hopping once. 

"Who?" Andy reached a floating whale- 
black chair and sat, uninvited. "You're 
hauling me in too many times, by the way. I 
want to contact my robot attorney over 

"Only the guilty need robots!" 

"Take it easy, Hart. Andy's going to con- 
fess any minute now." 

"Somethings I don't mind your fudging 
about," Andy told them. "But I'm not going 
to let you teleport me more than the — " 

"Look at thisV From behind his back 
Hart produced a small metal arm and 
thrust it at Andy. 

He recoiled. "What the heck is that?" 

"You recoil like a guilty man!" 

"Thought you were going to poke me in 
the eye with those teenie metal fingers. Is 

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that part of some toy?" He was bewildered. 

"You do a very nice innocent act, Andy," 
said Lt. Denzlo, smiling admiringly. "No 
wonder they call you the Media Killer, 
you're a real performer." 

"Ah, so there's been another one ot 
those." Andy nodded. "Well, I didn't do this 
one either." 

"It's your M.O.!" 

"Hundreds of people have my M.O, I 
mean, all I ever did back when I was a 
killer was put my hands on their neck and 
squeeze. Nothing fancy." 

"Do you deny you used to watch Dr. 
Bubbles on tv? Do you deny that you 
strangled the poor old guy early this morn- 
ing at the Hollywood Home For Washed 
Up Actors?" 

"I don't watch any tv," said Andy pa- 
tiently. "You guys know that. If I ever did 
again I'd do . . . Lord knows what. 

"So you claim," said Denzlo in his calm 
voice. "We think you fooled the courts of 
California South five years ago, Andy." 

"Butyou won't foot us/" 

"Is that part of Dr. Bubbles?" Andy 
pointed to the little metal arm Hart was 
swinging in the air, "Must have been a 
small man with a — " 

"This is a part of one of his pathetic little 

"Don't you recall watching the Dr. Bub- 
bles & His Knowbots Show in your youth, 

Andy? It ran on the National Thoughtful 
Network for several seasons, taught a 
heck of a lot of kids how to . . . what's that 
on your tunic collar?" 

"Is it blood?" 

"Probably lipstick," answered Andy. "You 
ought to recognize the shade, Lt. Denzlo. 
Dynamite has it made up especially for 
her. Calls it Hazardous Crimson 
because — " 

"You still claim to be seeing this Miss 

"Claim? I'm head over heels in love with 
her. I worship every devil-may-care bone 
in her bod — " 

"That'll be enough of that kind of talk." 

"My partner respects Miss Dynamite 
Dunn! He intends to wed her, to sign a 
longterm marriage agreement. He doesn't 
care to hear cringing stranglers defile her 
repu — " 

"The only time I've cringed today is 
when you poked that goofy arm in my eye. 
That'd make anybody — " 

"You deny cringing, but not the strangler 

"I'm not a strangler either. We all know I 
used to be one, but with help I got over it ." 

"Where were you this morning?" 

"At the Grand Canyon." 

"An odd place to be." Hart made a few 
more hops. "Did anyone see you there?" 

"Certainly, Lt. Hart. Besides Dynamite, 

there was the crew from the ABCBS-TV 
network and a reporter from WomanStunts 
and a pudgy guy I think might have been 
the Vice President of the United States and 
... oh, lots of people. Whenever Dynamite 
practices one of her death-defying stunts, 
there's usually a crowd." Andy looked from 
one cop to the other. "Tell you something 
funny, too. By accident I happened to get 
just a tiny glance at a TV monitor screen 
and there was a picture of Dynamite doing 
a practice jump over a small ditch. First 
thing I knew, I was running and then mak- 
ing ajump myself. See, when I so much as 
look at anything on tv I — " 
"Too bad you didn't jump in the canyon!" 
"No, he wouldn't do thai," said Denzlo. 
"He's a fake. He convinced a six person 
jury and an outmoded computer judge 
he's a severe vidstim case. I don't buy any 
of it." 

"Do you think," suggested Andy, "it's be- 
cause you're trying to steal Dynamite away 
from me that you — " 

"We'll let you go for now, Andrew. I 
promise you I'll be checking out your alibi." 
Denzlo turned his back on him. 

"You can go!" Hart strode to the teleport 
control board in the corner of the room. 
"Where to?" 

"Since you've fouled up my job inter- 
view, you may as well send me home to 
my place." 

Denzlo, very softly, said, "You're still very 
high on our suspect list." 
"Don't strangle anyone else!" 
" I don't strangle people any — " 

He was in his cluster apartment in the 
Santa Monica Sector. He materialized five 
feet off the see-through floor. He fell now 
and banged his knee. That had probably 
been deliberate on Hart's part. 

"He's trying to frame me," insisted Andy 
when I met him for lunch a few days later 
at the Edge 0' The Fault restaurant in the 
Altadena Sector. 

Since there was something slightly 
wrong with the microwave unit on my side 
of the table, I was preoccupied with the 
way my knees were heating up. "Who?" I 
asked finally 

"Lt. Denzlo. Initially it was mainly harass- 
ment. Teleport me into the police fortress, 
question me, teleport me out. Now it's 
grown worse." 

"How?" I found if I kept my knees tight 
together it was all right. 

"You fidget a lot. I used to myself, back 
in the days when I watched TV. You ought 
to consider seriously dropping — " 

"My knees were cooking, that's all. I 
can't stop watching television, since my 
work — " 

"Well, about what Denzlo's up to. He's 
consumed with jealousy, as 1 believe I've 
mentioned. Dynamite informs me that 
when they're together he devotes much of 
his time to ranting over me. 'How's your 
killer friend?' or 'Does he like to put his 

inds on your throat when you're hug- 
ging?' And other snide stuff in that vein. I 

it! you, once you gei labeled a strangler, 

s — ■" 

"Dynamite tells you what happens be- 
tween her and this police officer?" 
"Sure, why not? We're deeply in love." 
"Not enough for her to drop Lt. Denzlo." 
"She'd like to, believe me, except she's 
somewhat fearful," explained Andy, tap- 
ping the menu screen on his microwave 
unit. "Is the frozen kelploaf any good 


"Look, if Denzlo isn't able to frame me, 
he may use his authority to make trouble 
for Dynamite. She has to keep dating 
the guy." 

"Maybe the safest thing would be for 
you and this lady daredevil to part." 

'"* n not a coward, like people in your 
line of work have to be. No man who can 
accompany Dynamite on many of her 
"lost dangerous feats, is a coward. I'm not 
about to let — " 

"No one's ever called me a coward ei- 
r, Andy. In fact, when I was visiting Burt 

incaster at the Old Acrobats Home in 
s to sign him up for — " 

"Danzlo planted one of my watches at 
"he scene." 

"Scene of a crime?" 

Slowly Andy nodded. "The last so-called 
Media Killer strangling, yes. Fellow named 
Mercenary Mazurky— maybe you've heard 
| z' him? Used to be a freelance soldier and 

is holding down the Invasion Desk on 
fee Intensive News Hour on KLOB-TV 

"I think Mazurky pixphoned me a couple 
*eeks ago, wanted me to enter this up- 
coming Clean Air Marathon to — " 

'That's the guy. They're staging a ten- 
sile jog to raise money to clean up the air 
-ereabouts. If you do enter, be sure you 
•ear a better mask than the one you use 

n not entering. I came out to GLAto 
C-'Oduce the documentary on famous pat- 
fen killers of bygone days. Running 
I fefc't— '' 

'This Media Killer fellow apparently 
r-angled poor Mazurky in the skycar lot 
IpKnd KLOB over in the Westwood Sector 
ore last night," Andy confinued. "This time, 
z dn't happen to be with anybody. Dyna- 
- te was taping an interview with an Alis- 
2 ' Cooke clone for the National Thought- 
"_ Network, 1 was home not watching tv. 
-eck. 1 don't even have a set, be a parole 
■ ation if I did. Thing is, Lt. Denzlo claims 
- . *atch was spotted in the shrubs near 
~e murder site." 

"How'd it get there?" 

"Denzlo put it there, after swiping ilout 
:~~y dwelling," answered Andy. "The 
Hjj s intent on getting rid of me as a rival. 
6te*l try anything." 

'Mazurky was a freelance commando, 
■asn't he?" 

"So they say." 

"Big guy, very tough." 
"Exactly." Leaning toward me, Andy 
lowered his voice. "You're wondering 
how the strangler snuck up on him." 
"Itoccuredtome, yeah." 
"Killer had to be somebody Mazurky 
knew."Andy grinned. "I told Denzlo and 
Hart as much this morning when they tele- 
ported me in for grilling. Yanked me right 
out ofawarm — " 
"Why'd they let you go?" 
"My robot attorney sprung me, but 
there's no telling how long before — * 

"Damn, he's atitag— " 
Andy was teleported away 
I looked down at my warm lap, not ex- 
actly wanting to meet the glances of the 
other restaurant customers. 

That lunch turned out to be the last time I 
personally encountered Andy Stoker. 

Oldies, Ltd. got a tip that the last Irving 
Elvis Presley impersonaior was living in a 
welfare commune in New Yazoo. Missis- 
sippi. They ordered me to teleport down 
there, see if I could locate the singer and 
sign him up for one of our nostalgia tours. 
We calculated he'd fit perfectly into a 
package we were putting together to star 
Conway Twitty and the very talented younc 
girl who pushed his wheelchair. Accord- 
ingly, I turned over the pattern killer docu- 
mentary to an assistant and went popping 
off to Mississippi. Teleporting, even wtefl | 
isn't unexpected like Andy's and you use a 
conventional teleport depot pad. can do 
things to you. The side effects Gf that, plus 
two weeks of tracking the illusive Pres^ 
sley lookalike, landed me in a yogurt ther- 
apy spa in Free Europe 22. 

By the time I emerged, nearly recov- 
ered, Andy was dead. The specifics of 
what happened I can only guess at. As 
I've told you before, though, I'm very good 
at making a complete projection from a 
minimum of data. Therefore, I'm willing to 
bet, the rest of this is fairly close to the 
truth. I did, when next I was in California 
South, attempt to compare seme of my 
conclusions with Dynamite Dunn's. She 
was tied up in plans for her wedding to LL 
Denzlo, claimed no time to talk to me You 
may have seen the subsequent wedding 
on tv, with the bride and groom consu- 
mating the marriage on a trampoline sus- 
pended over the Grand Canyon. 

Andy's attorney, wham I did have a 
chance to interview just prior to his being 
scrapped, told me he'd been able to prove 
that the watch found at the scene of 
Mazurky's strangling was stolen from 
Andy's apartment three days pnor to the 
crime. When the next victim, a salesman of 
electronic stimulation gear out in the San 
Fernando Sector, fellow named Paranoid 
Piet, was found strangled and ciuiching a 
lock of Andy's hair it looked bad However 
the robot lawyer established the fact that 
the hair came not directly off Andy's head 
but from the waste compartment of the 

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robot barber he visited. 

At about the time ot the Paranoid Piet 
strangling, Andy received some unsettling 
news from Dynamite. Unsettling hints 

Andy was visiting Dynamite in her 
home gym this particular afternoon. The 
redhaired giri, wearing an attractive 
one-piece stuntsuit, was swinging from 
a plyorope up near the domed see- 
through ceiling. 

Jogging along beneath her, Andy was 
saying, "There's only one person who can 
be doing this to me. You realize that, don't 
you, Dyna?" 

"You're letting your silly old jealousy feel- 
ings make you — " 

"Come on. It's got to be Denzlo. He's got 
motive and opportunity. He's the one fram- 
ing me." 

"Andy, you — " 


He dashed across the padded floor to 
the place where the fallen girl hit. "You usu- 
ally don't fall off things, Dyna," he said as 
he knelt beside her. "Something's 
bothering you." 

The pretty girl groaned some, shook her 
head and then sat up to hug him. "Andy, I 
suspect it's worse even than you imagine." 

"Worse?" He stroked her fiery hair. 

"Denzlo's been dropping hints lately," 
she said, sighing. "Wish he wouldn't, since 

it makes me gosh awful nervous. Not only 
have I been falling from some pretty high 
places istely, I've been screwing up other 
stunts, too. Last week when they shot me 
out of the neutron cannon to celebrate 
opening the new kelpfood plant out in the 
Oxnard Sector my trajectory was way off. I 
ended up landing smack dab in the mid- 
dle of a pile of — " 

"What about Denzlo? What's he been in- 
sinuating to you?" 

"I honestly to gosh think he is trying to 
frame you, for these Media Killer crimes, 

"I been telling you that for weeks, Dyna." 

"On top of which . . . Golly, I have the 
spookiest feeling he ... " She let out a 
longer, sadder sigh. 

Andy pushed her back from him. "I get 
what you mean," he said, eyes widening. 
"Denzlo is not only providing clues which 
point to me, he's providing the victims. 
Isn't that it?" 

She nodded her lovely red-topped 
head. "Gosh, I'm afraid it is. What'll you 

"Stop him!" 

"How? He's really smart, and powerful." 

"Suppose," mused Andy, "I were, com- 
pletely by unavoidable accident of course, 
to view this upcoming documentary on 
pattern killers that Oldies, Ltd put to- 
gether? I'd be compelled to rush out and — " 


"It would look better over there. " 

"Andy, you're supposed to be cured." 
"I am cured. You saw my diploma 
from. — " 

"Yes, don't bother showing me the darn 
thing again:" She put her small warm 
hands on his. "What I mean is, golly, you 
shouldn't be havingjhoughts about run- 
ning amok. Strangling a bunch of people 
like you — " 

"Not people, Dyna, only Denzlo," he ex- 
plained, grinning. "Actually, I won't watch 
the show. If I really watched it I might, as 
you put it, run amok, because I still am 
very susceptible to anything I see on tele- 
vision. I'll only say, when they come to ar- 
rest me for strangling Denzlo, that I was 
watching. Most I'll get is another few — " 

"I don't like the drift of this darn old con- 
versation," the lady daredevil told him. 
"Wow, do I pick 'em. A rogue cop and a 
dumbunny who tells me he's going to go 
out and commence choking innocent — " 
"Didn't I promise you no innocent peo- 
ple this time? Only Lt. Denzlo, then I quit. 
Promise." He made a cross over his heart. 
"I really won't — " 

"Again? Oh, Andy." 
"We still have our dinner — " 
She managed one quick kiss on his cheek 
before he went teleporting off. 

Andy didn't land in the police fortress 
this time. Denzlo, probably with the co- 
operation of Hart, had teleported him 
To the scene of the latest strangling. ■ 

They'd landed Andy there only minutes 
after the murder. No one was there as yet. 
Only the dead man and Andy. 
"Talk about frameups," he said. 
This was in the Pasadena Sector, the 
victim was a man named Reisberson. He 
was sprawled on the floor of his place of 
business, feet spread wide. 

Reisberson ran atv wall store and it was 
filled with sample walls. Each wall showed 
an ongoing television show. 

Ten seconds after he saw the dead man, 
Andy looked up at the nearest of the huge 
tv pictures. 

"... an excitement in the air . . ." an un- 
seen announcer was saying. "All for a very 
good cause, too, which must make all the 
folks who're about to participate in this 
Clear Air Marathon very happy." 

The same picture was on all the giant 
wallsize screens which surrounded Andy. 
Hundreds of runners waiting for the signal 
to start. 

A door behind him opened, feet came 
thumping in. "Stay right where you are, 
Media Killer!" ordered an official sounding 
voice. "We'll cut you in slices! Don't move!" 

Andy, though, really was susceptible to 
what he saw on television. At that moment 
on all those enormous screens people be- 
gan to run. There was nothing else Andy 
could do. 
He ran. So they shot him. DO 






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THE REAL BIONIC MAN— Sieve Austin, move over — you've got real competition. 

At the University of Utah in Salt Lake City ttiej are spending SB. 4 million this year 
alone to build a real bionic man. forty a part at a time. So lar they have developed 
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THE FUTURE OF FUTURE SHOCK— 'When we set up a democracy, nobody 
ever thought science and bdnnjogj Mould be political questions," said futurist 
writer Alvin Toffler in an exchjsive interview with OMNI publisher Bob G.uccione. 
"Nobody thought in terms a." des-gning a technological policy for a nation, The 
United States doesn't even haweseeti a policy today. "A decade after the publica- 
tion of Future Shock, author Toffler envisions both the near future and Ihe long- 
range prospects !o r p £""=" = =""" M "s examines the revolutions now occuring 
throughout Ihe sciences and e.a nates what effects these changes will have on 
the future of science, business, government . . . our whole way of thinking. 

LANGUAGE, EMOTIONS. AND DISEASE— Does thinking promote disease? Are 
anger and depression as rJangesous 10 us as cholesterol, smoking, even disease- 
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COMPUTER LIB — it is cs_ed the "home" or "personal" computer and it heralds 
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along with the microwave eve'-, ihe toaster, and the refrigerator. In the next OMNI, 
computer specialist Ted Melspa presents an insider's look at the new computer 
revolution and tells us how to come out onthe winning side. According to Nelson, 
we are now in an age cf 'nam" computing but true "home" computing is almost 
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BATTLE STAR: GALACTTCA— Television's biggest hit this tall is the show that 
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to the place where I belonged. If anything, 
I felt bereaved, desolate, as though sud- 
denly on some high, rotting escarpment I 
had become afraid. As I reached the 
safety of our barrack-cave, the device in 
my arm began to play softly: music for 
marching, and also music for sleeping. 
I awoke beside Kiln 82-B. 
That is to say, I came to understanding 
through work on our production lines. My 
loin-cloth patterns took me not to a small, 
white Foreman's house but to three years 
and 40 days as lead-off man beside the 
fire doors. 

Past daybreak one day in spring our 
crew of men entered the firing shed; at the 
same moment, the crew-women also 
arrived through their portal. 

Our procedure was exact. Each man of 
our crew placed carefully one molded, 
white-square of clay on the firing rack. The 
women opposite scribed the day's pattern 
and "fed" the clay with a brush and red- 
vitreous glaze. Whereupon Caliper-men 
thoughtfully measured each brick and 
each row of bricks, trying without rancor to 
find their own quota of "Second-Forms." 
Nimbly, within the permitted time-frame, 
tier-upon-tier the pallets rose as high as 
our tallest man could reach. For the firing 
run all pallets required perfect alignment. 

The Talley-men, those roving jackals 
with clipboard and abacus, came and 
went; our Foreman with his symbolic, lash- 
less whip of porcelain stood high above on 
his platform, never smiling . 

Beyond my lead-off station, always, I 
was aware of the curved door of our fur- 
nace and of the fires within. At a signal 
from the platform above, I rolled back our 
furnace doors. One crew on either side, to- 
gether, we pushed forward the wheeled 
truck of perfectly aligned, unfired bricks. 
When the heat caused the others to fall 
back, I, alone, pushed the load deeper 
into the furnace. Then I , too, was outside, 
and the door of the kiln slammed shut, 
then locked. 

At once we walked all in a row to the rear 
of that somberly roaring kiln. We pulled 
forth an incandescent, square honeycomb 
of new bricks which glowed among us like 
the sun. 

To see an aligned, glowing dolly of 
bricks emerge triumphant from its week- 
long fire made us cry out in an almost in- 
describable joy. As we watched, still an- 
other crew pushed that truck— glowing 
steadily, turning red— towards cooling 
yards. Always we watched the square of 
light grow smaller until it was only a firefly 
disappearing. Outside everything was 
dark as pitch. 

At such a moment we met. 

To "meet," however, implies special cir- 
cumstance. To be sure I had seen her 

each day for almost three years, but pre- 
cisely because each worker inexorably 
was at one with our production, with the 
ideology of our Valley, the distinctions be- 
tween men and women, while on the pro- 
duction lines, long ago had ceased to ex- 
ist. With that distinction vanished, we 
spoke to one another only in quota-words, 
or by communal song. Thus to see another 
person or to touch accidently across a pal- 
let of clay was not at all to "meet." 

As had happened before, exactly when 
the last pallet of the day emerged from our 
kiln, I had a terrible moment of vision. 
Three times before when I looked into the 
flames, unmistakably I saw my own face. 
That day however, writhing, as though 
sculptured in flame, I saw the outline of 
my whole body, complete with loin-cloth 

Blind, stricken, I fell down in the mon- 
strous blue shadow of our Whip's platform. 
For one moment he too was blinded by the 

iThree times before 
when I looked into the flames, 
unmistakably I saw my 
own face. That day, however, 
' writhing as though 
sculptured in flame, I saw the 
outline of my whole body. 9 

fiery sun of new bricks emerging. 

"You do ... " was what she said very 
softly, her face partly averted, "More ..." 

What she said was illicit, and also not 
possible— that anyone could do "more"; 
yet secretly, I knew in my own heart what 
she dared say was true. 

"More than anyone ..." 

The movements of my body had told her 
so: at the furnace door, then deeper into 
the flames than anyone else, I dared push 
our pallets; on the production line, at times, 
I was an Eagle still, high on the escarp- 
ment's most daring walls. And this, se- 
cretly, she had understood. As it had been 
so very long ago when I had seen a 
Foreman's profile against blue light, so 
was it with her at that moment: her profile 
against the kiln's subdued, overhead 
glow, her lips half-open. 

We did not touch. 

Instead, impulsively, she picked up the 
end of my loin cloth. Intently, her face with- 
out expression, she held the pattern of her 
loin cloth in parallel to mine. Never before 
had I seen a woman's hand do something 
so intensely feminine. 

In the shadow of the platform above, at 
a moment when even the Talley-men were 
blinded, on shards of old brick, illicitly and 
contrary to Law and in the face of death by 
burning, she kissed me. 

Terror was what I felt, and the Valley sud- 
denly seemed totrembie because of our 
unplanned disobedience. Then as though 
we had passed only in those shadows, we 
stood apart, stepped back into our re- 
spective lines. 
In the next weeks, two things happened. 
At Kiln 82-B my personal effort — a con- 
cept not before known to me— redoubled. 
I sensed new, illicit purpose. I pushed our 
piled-high carts of unfired bricks almost 
into the very heart of the awful flames. Sec- 
ondly, in ways I had not thought possible, 
she managed to put glaze on almost every 
brick which I placed on any pallet. No 
word was spoken, yet our work seemed to 
be for ourselves alone. And it was true: 
she managed to let others place her just 
beyond my touch, and yet I could observe 
her closely. 

Of course we had no names, and out- 
wardly she was precisely as all other 
women I had ever seen except in the cen- 
ter of her black, long hair was an enig- 
matic skein of ash-white. When the heat of 
the kiln blew her hair back across her 
shoulders, that line of color glowed and 
floated as I watched. Clearly that mark 
was her disqualification to bear children. 
Furthermore, I saw now a destructive, im- 
pulsive aspect of her work. She was > 
wasteful of glaze, and at day's end impul- 
sively threw down the honored tools of her 
craft. But would she, ever, see her own 
face in this consuming flame? I could not 
know the answer. 

After six weeks we met again in the 
darkness beneath a Talley-man's deco- 
rated platform, our feet bare on shards 
of brick. 

With absolute disdain for the symbolic 
porcelain whip above us, she said, "To- 
morrow, I go down ... to the cedar 

Terror was what I felt. Even with the 
Talley-man directly overhead I might have 
cried out but she touched me, placed her 
blunt, short fingers across my lips. 

Far down the tracks towards the cooling 
sheds, we saw our last dolly of bricks 
glowing, becoming smaller in the excep- 
tional, somehow comforting, darkness. 

Without saying anything, she turned to- 
wards the receding light, and because of 
love for her I took the second step. We 
were two shadows running, following the 
narrow rails onward. Then we were going 
underneath vast, half submerged sheds, 
their roofs held up by massive columns of 

Suddenly, ahead, the glowing, honey- 
comb of fired bricks flared, went out: the 
tracks had abruptly turned. Because it 
was totally dark, we walked more slowly. 
Underfoot were shards of pottery, of brick; 

emead we saw massive savagely dec- 
ayed platforms where once Foremen and 
alley-men austerely watched. These plat- 
forms from another age were now impo- 
tent, deserted, were falling down. 

ie a low. final tower we emerged 
oeneath the sky and climbed the rough- 
f.ewn, primal steps to an upper platform. 
Stretched out ahead in the moonlight, 
humped like the back of some sleeping , 
vicious animal, I saw the roof of cooling 
sheds stretching away. 

In full flight, with no. guide save the es- 
carpment to the East, gradually we went 
:cwards the docks, the shipping yards. On 
either side we passed between pallets of. 
sfacked-up bricks- with three holes, then 
cast canted stacks of jugs in a hundred 
sizes, all with three handles. Gradually 
:hese piles became smaller, the sheds 
more haphazard. After four miles, the shed 
-oofs were rotted, or blown away, the 
abandoned roof posts no taller than my 
waist. At last even the posts were only 
piles of rubble, covered by silt or by clay 
oiown here by the winds . . . 

On a rise of ground beyond the yast 
-■gstige of those mounds, at two o'clock in 
the morning, we stopped. For a moment 
we turned, looked back. Beneath the sky 
we saw blue and orange organ pipes of 
fiame, a mosaic of streets and plazas, the 
row-upon-row of mighty kilns, the entire 
Valley a hearth glowing — the place where 
//e were born. Ahead was only a canyon 
of stone, a prelude to the chaos of 

Listening intently, we heard for the last 
time the far-off, sweet, industrial hum rising 
from the Valley of the Kilns. We felt bereft, 
out we did not turn back. What I saw next 
made all of the difference. 

When we fled the kilns, I feared the 
areas of the Yards, and the River docks. 
Here the Talley-men roved with their giant. 
three-eyed dogs. These areas were cen- 
tral to our enterprise, to our dogma: our 
crews in the forest, on the escarpment, be- 
side the kilns, or in the vast network of 
cooling sheds; yes, and our myriad of 
quotas, our athletic games when we ran 
■ong distances carrying heavy weights, 
and most especially (he patterns pro- 
grammed into our loin cloths. 

This we believed: from our yards and 
docks— made Holy by Shardsmen — our 
"e and our brick moved onward to con- 
struct walls and fantastic cities high on 
mountain tops we had never seen. These 
things known were the end, Ihe justifica- 
tion of all our sacrifice. 

Yet here, beyond the most savage, 
burnt-out cooling sheds, there were no 
railway yards. No docks. Where rail yards 
might have been, I saw-only ancienl, low 
ridges coming together. These ridges in- 
tersecting might once have been a primi- 
tive system of dikes, or canals, or possibly 
roadbeds — now abandoned, now over- 





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a certain lime it will become ineffective, 
and you will stay locked in a world of vi- 
sions so dreadful that you will die of your 
own free will to escape them. So quickly 
now: answer my questions. What was the 
mission? What kind of work was going on 
at your Time Center? 
Who were you trying to contact 
when we captured your scout . . . ?" 
— question, question, question. 

Jonna lay there and spoke only once: 
"Little John Twelve was right." And then 
she wouldn't explain. For when the tractor 
beam from Orel took them, Little John 
Twelve said to her quietly, talking the way 
Little Johns do: "The probability of escape 
is negligible. My ability to refuse the infor- 
mation they will demand, not only of me, 
but of the entire contents of our computer 
banks, is equally negligible. There is 
therefore only one reasonable course. It 
has been nice knowing you Jonna Verret," 
whereupon he smiled slightly 
and died. 

She remembered wondering through 
her shock and fear what it must be like to 
be a clone among clones. He was as real 
as she was, yet dying could hardly be the 
same thing, for all the Little Johns had 
complete access lo everything Twelve had 
ever done or thought or felt, so in a way he 
would live on in all of them, more than a 

Now, helpless under the light, his words 
rang in her mind: "There is therefore only 
one reasonable course ..." and she 
closed her eyes. But she didn't know how 
to die this way, and she did not know- 
yet — if she really wanted to. 

And the light burned on, and the ques- 
tions rained down, and it seemed that the 
podmember's face (if that could indeed 
be a face) grew larger and larger until it 
filled the room, the planet, and the endless 
space outside, and its wet pores grew into 
caves and from them came dripping hor- 
rors with pointed, poisoned teeth and 
sounds more ghastly than any sight, 
sounds rising growlhowl scream shriek, 
and loud and more and huge and new 
worse sights ashake, ashudder and tear- 
ing apart with the noise absolute; and all at 
once dead quiet so sudden it was agony, 
and in a dim radiance stood Will Hawkline 
smiling, smiling at last right at her, his eyes 
captured by hers, his hand out, bis arms 
out, and, and, a spear of white metal strik- 
ing up from somewhere, entering his 
breast and emerging scarlet from the top 
of his head, and oh, his look of complete 
astonishment as she screamed at last, 
then all was dark, then she was gone 

"Gone," said Little John Five in the scout 
with Will Hawkline. "She's gone." 

Never knowing Jonna's last most terrible 
illusion, Will Hawkline asked, out of a dry 

throat, "What do you mean gone?" feeling 
again that which he had not known he 
could feel. 

"No sign now from Orel, not from her. 
. . . Are you well? Your breathing stopped." 
It started again with a great shudder. The 
Little John said, "And yet I have her life sig- 
nals ... no this can't be. This is not in my 
"What? What?" 

"The life signals come from another 
place ... not Orel at all, but nowhere else 
either. No chart or survey or probe has 
ever reported anything but emptiness just 
there. And yet— I get her sign " 

"Pull out of this into real-space, and set a 
course, and go there, wherever she is," 
Will cried harshly. 

"But Orel ... the cruiser ... the detona- 
tion of Earth—" 

"Five, I order you." And the Little John 
obeyed, saying only, "You know we're da- 
maged," and did the things necessary to 
fling them into the real. A moment's obser- 
vation and the Little John had set the new 
course and flung them spiraling into the 
grey. "You still get signs?" 
"Naturally not." 

"What do you mean naturally not?" 
"Forward in space, backward in time," 
the Little John said. "Have you forgotten? 
She will not have arrived there yet. Wher- 
ever 'there' is." 

Off they went then, back in time, forward 
in space, until they emerged; and there, 
where all the data banks everywhere said 
mere was nothing, was a planet in orbit 
around a distant star— distant enough and 
so erratically aflame that there had never 
been {would be) a reason to look for per- 
turbations. They stared at the world in 
wonder until Will Hawkline said, "It'smol- 
' ten. The planet's molten!" 
"Yes. It's newborn." 

"We've come that far back 7 " And the Lit- 
tle John answered, "We're damaged." 

"Orbit in close," said Will Hawkline, "and 
speed up our time." Reluctantly the scout 
responded and they watched in fascina- 
tion the agonies of a molten ball becoming 
a world, its heaving throes and spouts of 
lava, gouts ot flame and writhes of color as 
the strata turned up edgewise and sank 
again; then a nearly endless time of clouds 
and fireflickers, and the emergence of 
land and oceans, land that stayed, land 
that sank, oceans roaring across land 
newly alive with grasses 
just invented. 

And at las! the beauty came, and 
calm — isthmus and estuary making firm 
agreements with the island dotted sea, 
and life flourishing at last, sure and power- 
fully evolving. And for Will, a growing 
sense of presence; of a newer kind of 
mind, strong and gentle and sane and 
fearless. "Do you feel it?" 

"Feel what?" And by what, Will Hawkline 
knew that a Little John, for all his mental 
powers, could not feel certain things. 

Then together, they gasped. 

It was — gone. The planet vanished! All 
about them the stars shone, the distant 
sun flamed, but this world was gone 

Because he felt what he felt, Will 
Hawkline said, "Tfghten your orbit. Move in 

"Orbit around what? Closer to what"? 
There's nothing there anymore! I can't see 
if, my instruments can't see it .... " Will 
Hawkline had never seen a Little John so 
upset. But he could feel the emanations of 
Mind close by, and he smiled and said, 
"Pretend it's still there, and go down. 

Obediently the Little John did it. Noth- 
ing, and nothing, and ah." 

And of course you know where they 
were, and when. They had witnessed the 
birth of our dear Ceer, and the beginnings 
of our shield, and had now passed inside it 
and were filled with wonder. 

"Her signs! Her signs! She's alive here!" 
The Little John was really excited: amaz- 
ing! And just then the scout gave a sicken- 
ing lurch and Will himself overrode the 
computerized controls and summoned his 
old skill as a pilot — trained to manage 
these flying things with his own two hands. 
He righted it, but lost a great deal of alti- 
tude, and scout apparently disliked his 
firmness because it fought back and set 
up a great grinding clatter from some- 
where inside it. "Where is she?" he 
shouted over the noise. 

"Over there, right at the base of the pen- 
insula! But there's a mountain ,,..'* 

Will Hawkline saw it, then lost it in the 
rush of clouds and rain that swept down 
on it. He turned toward where he thought 
Jonna was. 

"Climb! Climb!" 

"Climb she won't," Will said grimly. "Any- 
way, 1 don't see any mountain now," which 
was perfectly true. As if insulted, the 
mountain reached up a high crag, or 
seemed to, and gouged out a slit a third of 
the way down the hull, throwing the nose 
of the scout almost straight up. Through 
the slit, which stopped just under his feet, 
he got a split-second glimpse of the penin- 
sula and a wide flat meadow. As the nose 
came down he swung it that way The 
scout tilted to the left and wouldn't correct, 
and they came in like that, skittered and 
slid, nose down, up and over, and it was all 
black everywhere and quiet. 

The first thing Will Hawkline saw as he 
came out of the blackness was something 
he couldn't believe. 


The next thing he knew was that the 
warm pillow under his head spoke to him: 
"Will ... Oh Will— are you all right?" It had 
Jonna Verret's voice because the pillow 
was Jonna Verret's lap. He tipped his head 
back and looked at her and then again at 
me, and tried to sit up and scrabble back- 
wards at once. I think he was afraid. 
Maybe my teeth. Jonna said, "It's all right, 
Will. That's Althair. He pulled you 

158 OMNI 

Sit of ihe scout." 

"What was left of it," said the Little John. 
Will saw him sitting on the floor nearby. He 
nad a bump over one eye but seemed well 
otherwise. They were in what Will thoughi 
*as a polished wooden cave. Well, what 
■vould you think if you'd never seen one of 
our living living-places before? 

Anyway, you never heard such a flurry of 
questions in your life, and if it hadn'l been 
'or Little John Five silling there nodding his 
z g golden head every now and then, I 
Don't think Will Hawkline would have be- 
■eved a word of it. He had to know all 
about Ceer and we Zados, and the shield 
*e thought up around our planet, and why 
tie have no machines, and how we grow 
■ vmg-places and see-far and move to 
other worlds when we want to. without 
I .ugs. 

"The Zados took me away from the 
■rid pod on Orel, "Jonna told him. "Right 
r.jrfrom under a force-beam. They 
o-ought me here and stopped the poison 
~e Mindpod had put into my blood and 
— -ademewell all over, even my head." 
Md Will had to believe it, because she 
*as here. Bui when I fried fo explain how 
Tat making where she was, the only place 
-the universe she couldn't be (so she dis- 
acoear'ed) and Ceer the only place in the 
averse she could be, he couldn't under- 
paid it. Slowpokes think roo/s, you see. 
When they want to do something, the first 
'Twg they look for is something oufside of 
—emselves to do il with; tools, machines, 
fwentions. They can do a lot with tools, but 
~at kind of thinking keeps ihem from do- 
r\z) things the simple way, which is why 
~ey are slowpokes. What makes them so 
■liny is that they don't have to be slow- 
o-o^es, and they just are. 

Will Hawkline was very very bright; you 
"ave to understand that. He had to be, to 
~ave become Coordinator of his Time 
Center on Avalon while still so young. As I 
Hd you, that is a very high place to reach 
--" -Earth. But he was bright in a way that 
-rade things a lot more difficult than they 
-ad to be. He never stopped asking ques- 
aons, which is a fine thing in itself, but 
»*>en he couldn't understand the answers, 
~e wanted to stop and work af it, and 
-o-jnd it very hard just to accept and go on. 
We can do certain things, we Zados. We 
-aa proved it to him. But it was very up-hill 
tor him to use what we could do without 
--■owing how it worked, and without tools 
=-d inventions to test all the parts. -Accept 
"E'ce is the big word. Acceptance was 
lay hard for Will Hawkline. 

Little John Five was no problem. He 
oould think like a living thinker, but he was 
; onditioned by computers and computers 
can't think. Computers now — they know 
— -e meaning of acceptance. And Jonna 

well, she was a pammte. and Earth 
:5 anmies are sort of special, and seem to 
x able to know a great many things with- 
b needing to be told. Acceptance is 

easier lor them. 

By this time, of course, I knew all aboul 
the terrible things the Pod had done to 
Jonna on Orel (we had known about the 
Mindpod by our own mindnet from the mo- 
ment they landed there, and had been 
watching) and also about the threat to 
Earth, And we had worked out a plan. 

To do it, we would have to get into the 
caves under the big basket— cradle, the 
Little John called it— which held the Orel- 
lian cruiser on the surface of Orel. (Orel is 
mostly porous under the surface, great 
chains and tangles of holes and caves.) 
We could then try to get into the cruiser it- 
self and see what we could do from there. 

Getting to Orel was a lot harder than it 
had to be, mostly because of Will 
Hawkline's insistence on understanding 
everything we did. When I told him that the 
Zado High Council would convene for the 
ritual which would take us to Orel, he 
wanted to know where the council would 
meet, and I had to explain that it didn't ac- 
tually meet a! any certain place; the 
mindnet could be cast wherever the Coun- 
cil Zados happened to be. Then I had to 
tell him what to do with his own mind, 
which is just — accept. And at first he 
wouldn't and then he couldn't, and I had a 
time, I tell you, showing him how he could. 
I didn't want him to see me laughing, and 
really, that was the hardest part. 

I got them all comfortable and convened 
the High Council and we started to weave 
the Net that would send us to Orel And 
wouldn't you know the moment the Ceer- 
reality began to fade around us, up pops 
Will Hawkline, bolt upright, demanding to 
know what's happening, and of course he 
broke the net and we had to start 
all over. 

I was going to speak to him but Jonna 
said, "Let me," and went and sat down be- 
side him. She took both his hands and 
looked into his eyes and said, "Will — just 
let it happen. Trust," she said. "Trust. Go 
with me." And while she held him with her 
hands and her eyes I quickly convened 
again. We got a good Net this time. The 
glowing sound-beds of shimmer lifted us 
and blip', we were in the caves on Orel. 

Whatever Will Hawkline or any of them 
were going to say then, they didn't say it. 
Not so much because of the caves them- 
selves, the crazy light (there are patches 
of luminescent rock, blue and green, and 
reddish moss and fungus that glows pur- 
ple) and the odd smell of the air; none of 
this. It was the meercath standing there, 
scratching its stomach with one of its little 
hands. It was wearing a harness with a 
heat weapon stuck on it. It was the firsf 
meercath the Earth folk had ever seen and 
I guess I don't blame them for being upset. 
Jonna made a little scream and the Little 
John opened his big eyes wide, and Will 
Hawkline slapped a weapon out of his belt 
and whsssht\ blew the meercath's big 
head right off. 

I was not pleased about that. I had 
never thought to tell them, but I had a 
shield around us just like the one we put 
around Ceer, and the meercafh never 
knew we were there. But now that Will 
Hawkline had used his weapon, the whole 
plane!, or anyway the Mindpod, knew it 
and knew where we were. 1 didn't tell him 
this. Zados do not say things that make 
anyone unhappy. Will Hawkline was 
pleased and it was too late to correct what 
he had done. I took the heat weapon away 
from the dead meercath and gave it to Will 
Hawkline and showed him how to use it, 
and asked him for his; I told him the Mind- 
pod could find us instantly if it was used 
again, but the meercath's weapon would 
be harder to trace. 

Then we ran. Oh, we ran! I led Ihem 
through the caves and into the labyrinth 
under. the cradle, and you know I couldn't 
create the shield while we were moving 
that fast. Another meercath saw us and set 

* /( was the first meercath 
that the Earth folk had seen and 
I don't blame them for 
being upset . . . Will Hawkline 
slapped a weapon out of 
his belt and whsssht! blew the 
meercath's head right off. 
I was not pleased about that. 9 

up fhat horrible wailing cry, and in a mo- 
ment it was coming from everywhere. We 
ran through the green and blue, through 
patches of purple, and soon there 
came the bright orange flare of the heat 

At last we were where I wanted us to be. 
right under the cradle, but it happened to 
be a blind corridor as well. If the meer- 
caths found us here it would be a bad 
thing. As long as we were running they 
would try to bring us down with their heat- 
things, but if they had us trapped they 
would catch us and pull us apart and bite. 
That's the way the Mindpod trained them. 

There was only one thing I could do — 
make a little mindnet and get us out of 
there. But I would need their help. Jonna 
and Little John Five seemed to understand 
right away what I needed — just to relax, 
give themselves to me and the net — and 
oh, how I wished Will Hawkline was a little 
less curious, a little less brave, and maybe 
a little more stupid! I will give him credit: 
he tried, buf then he saw the meercaths, 
two, three, then seven, eight, nine of them. 
I instantly threw up the shield — I didn't 

need their help for that — and they could 
not see us, and in a moment they would 
have moved on to search somewhere 
else. But Will Hawkline could see them as 
clearly as we can see the stars here on 
Ceer, and he raised the meercath heat- 
thing I had given him and sent a great or- 
ange flash down the corridor. Two of the 
meercaths went down howling, and then 
they all knew for sure where we were. 

Will Hawkline went down on one knee 
and steadied his weapon, and I thought, 
"That is the tool-craziest slowpoke in all the 
Known and Unknown!" I shouted in words 
and inside their heads to Jonna and the 
Little John: givemeyou\ and they did, and 
while the meercaths were wading through 
the horrible mess Will had made in the cor- 
ridor, I flung the energy they gave me, to- 
gether with my own, againsi the soft rocks 
overhead and a huge section came crash- 
ing down, shutting it off. 

In the sudden silence and swirling dust I 
said io Will Hawkline, "Now if you can't do 
what I ask, don't do anything', as gently as 
I could. Maybe it was this or maybe the 
way Jonna and the Little John looked at 
him, but he became very quiet and almost 

I called on the Ceer net with the precise 
locus, and as around us the cave faded 
away, metal walls, flat and dark, took their 
place. We were inside the Orellian cruiser, 
and almost before we could take a breath, 
we had that crazy spinny inside-out feeling 
of space travel, zero time. The cruiser had- 
lifted. It was a close thing. 

It probably took us a little while to be 
able to think straight — you pups and pam- 
mies will never know what a wringing out 
you get from traveling that way. Once I got 
my wits back, I looked around. Flat metal 
walls. Dark. I made it a little lighter. Jonna 
and Will were stretched out, I guess still 
waiting for their minds to catch up with 
them. Little John Five was sitting up wag- 
ging his big head. 

"Five," I said, "can you think-in to the 
computer on this cruiser 7 " 

He looked at me. If he was surprised to 
see me shining in the dark he didn't say 
so. He closed his eyes and made some 
sort of effort. He opened his eyes and 
said, "It's different 

"You have to expect that. But isn't it the 
same in some ways?" 

He closed his eyes again. After a while 
he nodded his head. "In a lot of ways." 

"Can you learn it?" 

"I think so." 

"You do that, Five. Think-in all the way. 
Think-in so far that when they start looking 
for us with their finder-thing, ihey will think 
you are another part of their own com- 
puter. Can you see out of their see-it thing? 
I wantto know where we are," I said. "I'll 
help," I said. 

He tried hard. I picked up what he mind- 
saw and made it shine on the dark wall. It 
was like a window. There was a plane! .... 

"My God," I heard behind me, "that's 
"There's Avalon — see?" 

"All right, that's where we are. I would 

e to know when we are," I said. 

"I do not have the referents," the Little 
John said. 

"I do. LookV Will Hawkline cried out. 

in the picture, from the curve of the 
ianet's shoulder, came a tiny golden 

lark. "A scout, "said JonnaVerret. "It's 

. could it be 

Across the picture came a line of fire, at 

most the exact moment the scoul winked 

jt in that special way a craft flares when it 
■s into faster-than-light. A moment later 

■other spark appeared, the fire speared 

jt and sliced into the tail section just be- 
c-re the ship disappeared. Somehow, the 
ter-than-light change came when it was 
angely brighter than the first one. 

"It— it's us. Me. They're going to doterri- 

s things to — to her." 

I decided to do a kind thing. I used a 
e of the net and made it say to Jonna, 

?eply, "Sleep." And I said to Will Hawk- 
, '-SleBp." They slept. They slept so 
jply that even the Mindpod's probes 

d search-sees wouldn't know they were 
■-ere. Then I said to the Little John: "Five; 
!y are hidden in a special way, and I can 

^ up my own shield, by now you know 
.V they will search; can you make your- 

I seem like part of their computer? So 
-uch so they will not find you?" He said he 

xjld. Then I told him what to do. 

When it was right, I got the net to bring 
' Hawkline and Jonna up and up 
xjgh their deeps until they were nor- 
mally asleep, and then I woke them. 

immediately Little John Five said, "The 

mputer reports stowaways. A meercath 

s told the commander." 

'said, "That's all right." 

The Little John said, "The commander 

| ordered a search," 

isaid, "That'sallrighttoo." 

Jonna said, "Can we hide somewhere?" 

I said I didn'l think so — not for long. 

Jonna said, "You can't mean tor us just 
;it here untii they come for us!" 
They won't take us without a fight," Will 
Mine said, and he took the meercath 
it-thing out of his belt; and wouldn't you 
% before I could say another word the 
v of the compartment crashed open 

d there stood a meercath guard. Will 
led his weapon and of course nothing 
>pened because I had taken the 

arges out while he slept. 1 had 

glected, however, to remove one patch 
iupidity or his appalling bravery. As the 

■sA meercath opened his mouth to 
II, Will Hawkline flung himself across 

e compartment and shoved the weapon 
ween all those big teeih and into the 

wreath's throat. And he didn't stop with 
t- With the momentum. of his rush he 
;ed a hand on the meercath's head 

d vaulted up and around, clamping his 

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legs above and below the meercath's long 
snout, forcing its jaws closed. I remem- 
bered then that all big lizards, especially 
the one with long jaws, might have, like a 
meercath, a bite powerful enough to nip 
someone my size in two, but the muscles 
that open the mouth are comparitively 
weak, and it's easy to hold the mouth 
closed. So the guard, scrabbling at Will 
Hawkline with its clever tiny hands, whim- 
pered and died, and sounded no alarm. 

Panting and exultant, Will Hawkline 
came back. "Help me drag this thing in- 
side." Well, I helped him. And I thought, 
how can I tell him, without making him un- 
happy, that he had just done the worst 
possible thing he could do? Zados don't 
make people unhappy. How could I tell 
him that if he had let himself be captured, 
he would have been taken to the comman- 
der on the bridge, where we might be able 
to do something, but that now he has killed 
a guard, the other guards would bite his 
silly brave head off? How could I tell him 
that the most important thing of all was for 
the Little John not to be discovered, that 
he couldn't now be detected except if he 
were seen, and guards looking for their 
missing meercath would certainly see 
him? I couldn't say it. I couldn't say it. He 
was so smiling and proud. 

"Will," I said, trying so hard to be gentle, 
"See Jonna there." And when he looked I 
threw the shield around her and she was 
gone. He gaped and took a step toward 

where she had been and I took the shield 
away. "See Little John Five." And I threw 
the shield around Five and then removed it 
and put it around Will Hawkline. "Will, " I 
said, "you can see Jonna. You can see me. 
You can see Five. But they can't see you. Is 
that right, Jonna? Five?" They nodded their 
heads and I took down the shield. 

"Why are you talking to me as if I were a 
child?" Will Hawkline asked, so maybe my 
gentling did not work, as well as I thought it 

I said, "We are going to use the shield. 
And I want you to understand that no mat- 
ter how close you come to anyone, they 
can 'f see you. No matter how much you 
want to attack one of them, you must not. 
We are going out there and find a search 
party searching, and we are going to put 
Little John Five into some place they have 
just searched, because he has work to do 
and they can't detect him anymore. And 
then the three of us are going to the bridge 
where the commander is, and we are go- 
ing to do it without getting our legs torn off 
and our heads bitten by them. Do you 

"You're still talking to me as if I were a 
child," said Will Hawkline. 

"Well," I said, "I tove children. Let's go." 

I opened the door and put up a shield 
big enough for all of us. We could see no 
meercaths but we could hear sounds to 
the left, snuffling and stamping. I waved 
them to follow (we could see each other in- 

"Care to lay in a cord or two for a rainy day?' 

side the shield) and we went that way. Sure 
enough there was a squad of meercaths 
right around the corner, opening and clos- 
ing doors. We stayed close to fhe wall and 
moved right down on them, and I don't 
think the three Earthers really and truly be- 
lieved in the shield until this moment. One 
by one the meercaths passed us as we 
stepped quietly out of their way, until they 
were gone. 

I opened a door. "In you go, Five. Tell me 
when it's all done," 

He smiled. This was the first time I ever 
saw a Little John smile. "1 will," he said and 
closed the door. 

The Little John had given me the 
cruiser's own computer picture of the big 
jug, and I had it well in my head. It was 
huge and a lot more complicated than it 
had to be, and it was full of machines and 
inventions and ups and throughs. And 

The bridge was way down in the middle 
of the cruiser with layers and layers of 
shells within shells all around it that could 
be sealed off, one from another, in case 
the big dark cruiser was damaged in 
space. The bridge was a sort of metal 
cave all studded with the pictures given it 
by the computer— pictures from the see- 
outs, the feel-outs, the how-fasts, how- 
soons, where-are-we's, and so on, and big 
ugly meercaths watching them. On a high 
place in the middle stood the commander, 
a special meercath, extra big. 

Invisible under the shield, we stepped ( 
past the guard at the bottom of the ramp 
up to the high place, and went and stood 
behind the commander. We watched for a 
while, how he did the things a commander 
does to make a cruiser go. Mostly it was 
sticking out the tummy and looking fierce 
at one after the other meercaths who were 
actually doing something. 

From the compartment deep inside the 
cruiser where we had hidden him, Little 
John Five mindspoke me: "I'm all finished, 
Althair." It was a very weary mindspeak. 

So I took the shield off Will Hawkline and 
Jonna Verret. But I kept mine, 

You know, it seemed like forever thai 
they stood there in plain sight, not knowing 
that they could be seen, while the com- 
mander strutted back and forth, not know- 
ing they were there. Then one of the meer- 
caths tending the little lights glanced up at 
the command post, froze for a second , 
and slowly stood up off his tail. (Meercaths 
sit on their tails.) Then another glanced, 
stared, and rose, and another. They began 
a funny little murmur among them, as if 
they were atraid to say anything to the 

And oh, it seemed like such a long while 
before the commander thought to look be- 
hind him, and there Will Hawkline and 
Jonna Verret looking him in the eye and - 
smiling, quite used by now to being invisi- 
ble, and not knowing they were not. 
The commander's huge mouth slowly 

came open, and slowly he raised his little 
right hand, and he pointed a claw at 
Jonna. He said, in Earth talk: "You! You! 
You're the one who disappeared!" And 
only then did she realize she could be 
seen. "Althair! Althair!" she cried, but I 
didn't say anything. Will Hawkline sidled in 
front of her, maybe thinking he was still in- 
visible, maybe thinking he could protect 
her or attack the commander, maybe both; 
but the commander made it clear he could 
see him too. His pointing claw swung to- 
ward Will Hawkline. "You! I saw your pic- 
ture tram Earth. The Time Center . . . you're 
the Coordinator. You're Will Hawkline!" He 
whirled around and yelled, "This is what 
we want! He has the back-time invention in 
his head! Detonate the planet! Destroy 

"Oh . . . Althair!" Jonna's soft hurt cry 
was the last thing I heard as the cruiser 
hung over Earth and a meercath slammed 
his hand down on the planet smashing 
control , 

There was a spiraling whirl and a blink ot 
black, and a staggering, sickening feeling 
like traveling in zero time. 

It was traveling in zero time. 

And the terrible lightnings stroked out 
from the cruiser, red from this side, blue 
from that, green from below and a terrible 
yellow from above, and they met in a river 
of coruscating while as they plunged into 
the heart of the planet below, cracked it. 
kindled it, scorched and exploded it and 
turned it into a furious little, star. 

And the planet was Orel, and with it 
went the Mindpod, whoever they were, 
and never again would they move through 
the worlds, taking and killing. 

But oh! my pups, my pammies: Oh! I 
stood with the Earth people and felt 
drowned in color and I couldn't breathe for 
shock and sorrow. Yes, the Mindpod was 
gone, and no, they would no longer men- 
ace us. or Earth, oranyoneeise: but oh, 
Orel and its little animals, its brave grass 
and the swirls and swarms of life in its 
seas; any hope it might have to evolve and 
grow, gone, gone forever from the uni- 
verse. Oh yes, there are lots more worlds 
and lots more life, but sometimes, when 
you have done a good thing , you have to 
look at all of the good thing, and wonder 
forever if there couldn't have been a better 
way, away wherein nothing died. 

We watched the death of Orel, all of 
Orel, layer after layer boiling and swirling; 
lava, explosions of gas, torn mountains, in- 
sane winds and oceans flowing into 
space. Never mind the Mindpod; never 
mind the meercaths; I cried for a world 
and all the life on that world, which can 
never be known again except in memory. 

Meercaths . . . what pf the meercalhs? If 
I found myself heart-torn and shaking at 
the sight, what of the meercaths who had 
to watch their own home dying like that? 

I looked around, and . . . and . . . and an 
incredible something else happened. With 

the death of Ihe Mrc;;; i. "—-—=—'- 
oaths in the cruiser disappeared. For each 
there was a little pop ~f vaomm =s re. 
ceased to exist, and we und eaiuoJ aESst 
that each was a projeeSm astAifmjec- 
tion.of a real meercarh c^TT'es fe ne*: arc 
when they were gone, Ihe TT^rrcrs 
were gone too. 

I mindspoke: "Thank you. IMi Hn 
Five." And the answer zsmeDac*. "Can 
sleep now?" 

"Sleep my friend." 

I dropped the shield. The) oosed a -^e 
Jonna and Will, as if they did not know 
what to say tome. 

a while. I needed to get you to Sm bridge 
without your getting killed on the way: 1 
needed to have the commander see jou 
and think he had you cap&jred: t»35 re 
one thing which would make her* srrcasfi 
the planet, and doitbeforehecoUc*Td 
out what Little John Rve Had done." 

"Five! Where is Rve? What ad he do?" 

"Something neither you naricotJdha*e 
done. All the orders on a tug jug flceffK 
come through Ihe computer The 
commander's orders were rrearttobe 
Detonate the planet. Return tc-Or& lj3b 
John Fivelhought himse^ -:: — - :;- 
puter and made the orders go Besjrn E 

Orel. Detonate the planet He's 

asleep, down therewne'^ ,',^ a" — _e" 
him sleep. He's already se: your course far 
Earth. Just touch lhat litti'e z~\ :■.*- 

there — yes, the green one — and off you'll 
go. But don't forget to message ahead. 
Earth may smash this cruiser the moment 
they detect it." 

'Will you come with us?" 

"Oh my no," I said. "I have something to 
do at home. "Will," I said suddenly, be- 
cause I couldn't help myself, "You learned 
acceptance . . . almost ... try learning it 
the rest of the way. Take your time. The 
Me green light will wait." 

They stood looking into each other's 
eyes for a long while, and I could see it 
happening: first his acceptance of what 
she feit. and the beginnings of his accep- 
tance of what he felt. I called on the 
mindnet and went home. I had a 

He was sleek and he was furry; he was 
lota#y amphibious, and Althair the Adven- 
turer was what he really was. However, he 
mas known on his lovely planet Ceer, as Al- 
r-ai' the Storyteller just because he did. 
lhat better — better even than adventuring. 

Story time was over. Slithering lithe, surf- 
ng. siding, inchworming, crackly- 
whiskered. beady-bright, soft and smooth 
aid shining, went the young, back to the 
ocea^ back to sleepy-couches in the liv- 
ing Iving-places I'll be Althair! they would 
ptay tomorrow: I'll be Jonna, I'll be Will. 
Hfe s myth aborning, this, what 
myth s for. DO 



made contacl with the surface of 
Computer-Two it lifted.and our flashes 
shone down on a visible gap. 

"There's the reason gas pressure inside 
declined to zero," I said. 

Joe grunted. He pushed a little harder 
and the cylinder popped away and began 
to drift. We managed to snare it after a little 
trouble. Left behind was a perfectly round 
hole in the skin of Computer-Two, half a 
centimeter across. 

Joe said, "This thing, whatever it is, isn't 
much more than foil." 

It gave easily under his fingers, thin 
but springy. A little extra pressure and it 
dented. He put it inside his pouch, which 
he snapped shut and said, "Go over the 
outside and see if there are any other 
items like that on it. I'll go inside." 

It didn't take me very long. Then I went 
in. "It's clean," I said. "That's the only thing 
there is. The only hole." 

"One is enough," said Joe, gloomily. He 
looked at the smooth aluminum of the 
wall and, in the light of the flash, the per- 
fect circle of black was beautifully evident. 

It wasn't difficult to place a seal over 
the hole. It was a little more difficult to 
reconstitute the atmosphere. Computer- 
Two's reserve gas-forming supplies were 
low and the controls required manual ad- 
justment. The solar generator was limping 
but we managed to get the lights on. 

Eventually, we removed our gauntlets 
and helmet, but Joe carefully placed the 
gauntlets inside his helmet and secured 
them both to one of his suit-loops. 

"I want these handy if the air-pressure 
begins to drop," he said, sourly 

So I did the same. 

There was a mark on the wall just next to 
the hole. I had noted it in the light of my 
flash when I was adjusting the seal. When 
the lights came on, it was obvious. 

"You notice that, Joe?" I said. 

"I notice." 

There was a slight, narrow depression in 
the wall, not very noticeable at all, but 
there beyond a doubt if you ran your finger 
over it. It could be noticed for nearly a 
meter. It was as though someone had 
scooped out a very shallow sampling of 
the metal so that the surface was distinctly 
less smooth than elsewhere, 

I said, "We'd better call Computer- 
Central downstairs." 

"If you mean back on Earth, say so," 
said Joe. "I hate the phony space-talk. In 
fact, I hate everything about space. That's 
why I took an Earth-side job — I mean a 
job on Earth — or what was supposed to 
be one." 

I said patiently, "We'd better call 
Computer- Centra I back on Earth." 

"What for?" 

"To tell them we've found the trouble." 

"Oh? What did we find?" 

"The hole. Remember?" 

"Oddly enough, I do. And what caused 
the hole? It wasn't a meteoroid. I never 
saw one that would leave a perfectly circu- 
lar hole with no signs of buckling or melt- 
ing. And I never saw one that left a cylin- 
der behind." He took the cylinder out of his 
suit pocket and smoothed the dent out of 
its thin metal, thoughtfully. "Well, what 
caused the hole?" 

I didn't hesitate. I said, "I don't know." 

"If we report to Computer-Central, they'll 
ask the question and we'll say we don't 
know and what will we have gained? Ex- 
cept hassle?" 

"They'll call us, Joe, if we don't call 

"Sure. And we won't answer, will we?" 

"They'll assume something killed us, 
Joe, and they'll send up a relief party." 

"You know Computer-Central. It will 
take them two days to decide on that. We'll 

&What if these life forms 
communicate somehow, and, 
across the vastness 
of space, others are now 
converging on us for the 
picking . . . Some, for the 
sake ofUnivac, may be able 
to invade the Earth for the 
metal of its cities. 3 

have something before then and once 
we have something, we'll call them." 

The internal structure of Computer-Two 
was not really designed for human occu- 
pancy. What was foreseen was the occa- 
sional and temporary presence of trouble- 
shooters. That meant there needed to be 
room for maneuvering, and there were 
tools and supplies. 

There weren't any armchairs, though. 
For that matter, there was no gravitational 
field, either, or any centrifugal imitation of 

We both floated in mid-air, drifting slowly 
this way or that. Occasionally, one of us 
touched the wall and gently rebounded. 
Or else part of one of us overlapped part 
ol the other. 

"Keep your foot out of my mouth," said 
Joe, and pushed it away violently. It was a 
mistake because we both began to turn. 
Of course, that's not how it looked to us. To 
us, it was the interior of Computer-Two that 
was turning, which was most unpleasant, 
and ittookusawhiletoget relatively mo- 
tionless again, 

We had the theory perfectly worked out 

in our planetside training, but we were 
short on practice. A lot short. 

By the time we had steadied ourselves, I 
felt unpleasantly nauseated. You can call 
it nausea, or astronausea, or space- 
sickness, but whatever you call it, it's the 
heaves and it's worse in space than any- 
where else, because there's nothing to pull 
the stuff down. It floats around in a cloud of 
globules and you don't want to be floating 
around with it. So I held it back; so did Joe. 

I said, "Joe, it's clearly the computer 
that's at fault. Let's get at its insides." Any- 
thing to get my mind off my insides and let 
them quiet down. Besides, things weren't 
moving fast enough. I kept thinking of 
Computer-Three on its way down the tube; 
maybe Computer-One and Four by now, 
too; and thousands of people in space 
with their lives hanging on what we did. 

Joe looked a little greenish, too, but he 
said, "First I've got to think. Something got 
in. It wasn't a meteoroid, because what- 
ever it was chewed a neat hole out of the 
hull. It wasn't cut out because I didn't find 
a circle of metal anywhere inside. Did 
"No. But I hadn't thought to look." 
"/ looked, and it's nowhere in here," 
"It may have fallen outside," 
"With the cylinder covering the hole till I 
pulled it away? A likely thing. Did you see 
anything come flying out?'" 

Joe said, "We may still find it in here, of 
course, but I doubt it. It was somehow dis- , 
solved and something got in." 
"What something? Whose is it?" 
Joe's grin was remarkably ill-natured. 
"Why do you bother asking questions to 
which there are no answers? If this was 
last century, I'd say the Russians had 
somehow stuck that device onto the out- 
side of Computer-Two — no offense. If it 
was last century, you'd say it was the 

I decided to be offended. I said, coldly, 
"We're trying to say something that makes 
sense this century, losif " giving it an exag- 
gerated Russian pronunciation. 

"We'll have to assume some dissident 

"If so," I said, "we'll have to assume one 
with a capacity for space flight and with 
the ability to come up with an unusual 

Joe said, "Space-flight presents no 
difficulties, if you can tap into the orbiting 
Computers illegally — which has been 
done. As for the cylinder, that may make 
more sense when it is analyzed back on 
Earth — downstairs, as you space-buffs 
would say." 

"It doesn't make sense," I said. "Where's 
the point in trying to disable Computer- 

"As part of a program to cripple space- 

"Then everyone suffers. The dissidents, 

"But it get's everyone's attention, doesn't 
it, and suddenly the cause of whatever-it-is 
makes news. Or the plan is to just knock 
out Computer-Two and then threaten to 
knock out the other three No real damage, 
but lots of potential, and lots of publicity." 

He was studying all parts of the interior 
closely, edging over it square centimeter 
by square centimeter. "I might suppose 
the thing was of nonhuman origin," 

"Don't be silly." 

"You want me to make the case? The 
cylinder made contact, after which some- 
thing inside ate away a circle of metal and 
entered Computer-Two. It crawled over the 
inside wall eating away a thin layer of 
metal for some reason. Does that sound 
tike anything of human construction." 

"Not that I know of, but I don't know ev- 
erything. Even you don't know everything." 

Joe ignored that. "So the question is, 
how did it — whatever it is — get into the 
computer, which is, after all, reasonably 
well sealed. It did so quickly, since it 
knocked out the resealing and air- 
regeneration capacities almost at once." 

"Is that what you're looking for?" I said, 

He tried to stop too quickly and somer- 
saulted backward, crying, "That's it!" 

In his excitement, he was thrashing his 
I arms and legs which got him nowhere, of 
I course. I grabbed him and, for a while, we 
I were both trying to exert pushes in uncoor- 
I fimated directions, which got us nowhere 
| either. Joe called me a few names, but I 
called him some back and there I had the 
advantage. I understand English perfectly, 
better than he does in fact; but his knowl- 
edge of Russian is — well, fragmentary 
would be a kind way of putting it. Bad lan- 
guage in an ununderstood language al- 
ways sounds very dramatic. 

"Here it is," he said, when we finally had 
sorted ourselves out. 

Where the computer-shielding met the 
wall, a small circular hole appeared when 
Joe brushed aside a small cylinder. It was 
just like the one on the outer hull, but it 
seemed even thinner. In fact, it seemed to 
disintegrate when Joe touched it. 

"We'd better get into the computer, "said 

The computer was a shambles. 

Not obviously. I don't mean to say it was 
like a beam of wood that had been riddled 
by termites. 

Intact, if you looked at the computer ca- 
sually, you might swear it was intact. 

Look closely, though, and some of the 
chips would be gone. The more closely 
you looked, the more you realized were 
gone. Worse, the stores that Computer- 
Two used in self-repair had dwindled to al- 
most nothing. We kept looking and would 
discover something else missing. 

Joe took the cylinder out of his pouch 
again and turned it end for end. He said, 
"I suspect it's after high-grade silicon in 
particular. I can't say for sure, of course, 


By PatrickMoore, O.B.E, 

Las! night"! went info my observatory,- 
uncapped my telescope, and; in. ■ 
the direction oi the planet Pluto. There was ' 
the tiny, remote world—looking lite a dim 
star and' .yet so profoundly unstarlike.. 
Generally it is regarded as the outermost 
planet — but this is not .'always true — and 
many astronomers foe! thai P iuto shouldn't 
b'ethefeat : a[ll. ... 

Rluto was tracked down in 1930 as the 
result or calculations by the American as- 
tronomer Perciv'al Lowell, best remem- 
bered today for his fascinating (and, alas, 
completely erroneous) ideas about the ca- 
nals of Mars. Lowell based his calculations, 
on the disturbing effects. of a fhen- 

n the giant worlds 
Neptune and Uranus;, and had, so to 
speak, carried out a detective's investiga- 
tion in- reverse. -.He was rig hi; Pluto proved 

■ i ■■■.;.■■■■■..'! i ■ ■ ii 
■Yet— something was wrong. Pluto was 

found to be very small, with a diametei 
less than that of the'earth or even of Mars. 
How could such a midget planet possibly 
drag Uranus or Neptune out of position by 
any measurable amount? Yet it was by 
;■. ■ ,■ ■ ■ ■.■■■.■ ■■-..■■ : 
been discovered, h was Sil very odd: and 
to make matters worse, Pluto has an orbit 
that periodically brines it close-; to the sun 
than Noptu' e i 

ol collision). From January 1979 to the 
year 1999, Neptune, not Pluto, will be the 
outermost planet of our sdlar system! 

What is the nature of the peculiar Pluto 
discovery? No. One yet knows. 

in the meantime- there has-been- an ex- ■.. 
citing development with Pluto. Studies car- 

■ ., ■■ -, : . ■ ■■■■■ ■■ ■■ ■' 

the U.S. Naval Observatory and at Cerro 
Tololo Observatory in South America indi- : 
■ ■■ ■ , ■ . ■ . : ■■■. ■ ■■■ 

moon, with. a diameter larger than half the. 
diameter of Pluto itself I'Th'e moon seems 

to circle Piuti lay 

(about 614 earth days), and is about 
20,000 kilometers away. If is still too early 
to be sure, but the satellite-may weli be 
there— -in which case, it would make Pluto 
a double, or binary,, planet. 

■■■■■■.■ ■ ■ ■: 

yond either Neptune of Pluto? If- so, what 
are (he char-. ; 

cold, lonely, and remote beyond. all under- 
standing; from it,- the sun would only be as 
brilliant as the full moon condensed to the-' 
size Of « brilliant star tracking down such 
a warld'woyld be a H 
Planet Ten r and its 

:" .' ■ ■ ■'■::■:■ ' ■ i ■ . ■ :■ 

c-i the outer reaches of the solar system, 

.:■■.■...■.:■.■.■■■■ ; i ■ ■ ■ ■■..■■ 
port is of: real interest, this time concerning^ 
the asteroids or minor planets— dwarf ■: 

.'■:■ I ■■■..■'■::■■. ■ : e 

solar system between the orbits of Mars 
and Jupiter. One of them, a very faint body 
240 kilometers across, is named Hercu- 
lina, On June 7 Herculina passed' in front 
Of a somewhat brighter star and occulted. 
(hid) it fora few seconds! Remarkably/that 
star w'inked;not once but twice — from this 
startled observers in California inferred- '. : 
that the asteroid Hercuiinamay hot be a 
solitary wanderer According to calcula- 
tions by David W. Dunham of the Interna- 
tional Qccuitations Timing Association, 
Herculina ma > of its own; 

some 50 kilometers across and 1 000 kilo- 
meters away ,,,.-' " r 

Hercuiina may not be the only asteroid . 
so honored. The idea that minor planets : 
could have satellites. was firs! conjectured, 
as long ago as 1 901 . Several astronomers 
in the 1920'sand t930's made observa- 
tions that seemed to indicate that the large 
minor pfanets Eros and Pallas have com- 
panions. In recent years those reports 
have been confirmed by other observers' 
watching those asteroids occult stars. .. 

Asteroids coufd be troublesome little 
bodies. When the first two Pioneer space- 
craft went out toward mighty Jupiter, they, 
had to pass right through the asteroid belt, 
and there w- nt they might 

■■■■■.■:■ .:-■■,...:■.,' 

cosmic-debris. Luckily that did not ■ 
happen-^there may be fewer very small 
asteroids than we once thought— but a hit 
from a sizable, piece of rock would destroy 
any probe in a fraction of a second. We: 
can only hope a means of protection more 
reliable than luck will be devised before 
human beings start to invade those peril- . 
Ous regions.. 
We will, of course, go there someday: DO 

bul my guess is that the sides are mostly 
aluminum and the flat end is mostly 

I said, "Do you mean the thing is a solar 

"Part of it is. That's how it gets its energy 
in space; energy to get to Computer-Two, 
energy to eat a hole into it, energy to — 
to— I don't know how else to put it. Energy 
to stay alive." 

"You call it alive?" 

"Why not? Look, Computer-Two can re- 
pair itself. It can reject faulty bits of equip- 
ment and replace it with working ones, but 
it needs a supply ot spares to work with. 
Given enough spares of all kinds, it could 
build a Computer just like itself, when 
properly programmed— but it needs the 
supply, so we don't think of it as alive. This 
object that entered Computer-Two is ap- 
parently collecting its own supplies. That's 
suspiciously lifelike." 

"What you're saying,"! said, "is that we 
have here a micro-computer advanced 
enough to be considered alive." 

"I don't honestly know what I'm saying." 

"Who on Earth could make such a 

"Who on Earth?" 

I made the next discovery. It looked 
like a stubby pen drifting through the air. I 
just caught it out of the corner ot my eye 
and it registered as a pen. 

In zero-gravity, things will drift out of 
pockets and float otf. There's no way of 
keeping anything in place unless it is 
physically confined. You expect pens and 
coins and anything else that finds an 
opening to drift wherever the air currents 
and inertia lead it. 

So my mind registered "Pen" and I 
groped for it absently and, of course, my 
fingers didn't close on it. Just reaching for 
something sets up an air current that 
pushes it away. You have to reach over 
and sneak behind it with one hand, and 
then reach for it with the other. Picking up 
any small object in mid-air is a two-hand 

I turned to look at the object and pay 
a little more attention to retrieval, then 
realized that my pen was safely in its 
pouch. I felt for it and it was there. 

"Did you lose a pen, Joe?" I called out. 


"Anything like that? Key? Cigarette?" 

"I don't smoke. You know that." 

A stupid answer "Anything?" I said in 
exasperation. "I'm seeing things here." 

"No one ever said you were stable." 

"Look, Joe. Over there. Over there." 

He lunged for it. I could have told him it 
would do no good. 

By now, though, our poking around in 
the computer seemed to have stirred 
things up. We were seeing them wherever 
we looked. They were floating in the air- 
currents. -- 

I stopped one at last. Or, rather, it 
stopped itself for it was on the elbow of 

Joe's suit. I snatched it off and shouted. 
Joe jumped in terror and nearly knocked it 
out of my hand. 

I said "Look!" 

There was a shiny circle on Joe's suit, 
where I had taken the thing off. It had be- 
gun to eat its way through. 

"Give it to me," said Joe. He took it gin- 
gerly and put it against the wall to hold it 
steady. Then he shelled it, gently lifting the 
paper-thin metal. 

There was something inside that looked 
like a line of cigarette ash. It caught the 
light and glinted, though, like lightly woven 

There was a moistness about it, too. It 
wriggled slowly, one end seeming to seek 

The end made contact with the wall and 
stuck. Joe's finger pushed it away. It 
seemed to require a small effort to do so. 
Joe rubbed his finger and thumb and said, 
"Feels oily." 

^Fortunately these things 
are easy to kill now 
while they're forming. 
Later on they will grow, 
thicken their shells, and 
as spores, prepare to drift 
for a million years. They 
might not be easy to kill then 3 

■ The metal worm — I don't know what else 
to call it — seemed limp now after Joe had 
touched it. It didn't move again. 

I was twisting and turning, trying to look 
at myself, 

"Joe," I said, "for Heaven's sake, have I 
got one of them on me anywhere?" 

"I don't see one," he said. 

"Well, look at me. You've got to watch 
me, Joe, and I'll watch you. If our suits are 
wrecked we might not be able to get back 
to the ship." 

Joe said, "Keep moving, then." 

It was a grisly feeling, being surrounded 
by things hungry to dissolve your suit 
wherever they could touch it. When any 
showed up, we tried to catch them and 
stay out of their way at the same time, 
which made things almost impossible. A 
rather long one drifted close to my leg and 
I kicked at it, which was stupid, for if I had 
hit it, it might have stuck. As it was, the air- 
current I set up brought it against the wall, 
where it stayed. 

Joe reached hastily for it— too hastily. 
The rest of his body rebounded as he 
somersaulted, one booted foot struck the 

wall near the cylinder lightly. When he fi- 
nally righted himself, it was still there, 
"I didn't smash it, did I?" 
"No, you didn't," I said. "You missed it by 
a decimeter. It won't get away." 

I had a hand on either side of it. It was 
twice as long as the other cylinder had 
been. In fact, it was like two cylinders 
stuck together long-ways, with a constric- 
tion at the point of joining. 

"Act of reproducing," said Joe as he 
peeled away the metal. This time what was 
inside was a line of dust. Two lines, One on 
either side of the constriction. 

"It doesn't take much to kill them," said 
Joe. He relaxed visibly. "I think we're sate." 
"They do seem alive," I said reluctantly. 
"I think they seem more than that. 
They're viruses — or the equivalent. 
"What are you talking about?" 
Joe said, "Granted I'm a computer- 
technologist and not avirologist — but it's 
my understanding that viruses on Earth, or 
"downstairs" as you would say, consist 
of a nucleic acid molecule coated in a 
protein shell. 

"When a virus invades a cell, it manages 
to dissolve a hole in the cell wall or mem- 
brane by the use of some appropriate en- 
zyme and the nucleic acid slips inside, 
leaving the protein coat outside. Inside the 
cell it finds the material to make a new pro- 
tein coat for itself. In fact, it manages to 
form replicas of itself and produces a new 
protein coat for each-replica. Once it has 
stripped the cell of all it has, the cell dis- 
solves and in place of the one invading vi- 
rus there are several hundred daughter- 
viruses. Sound familiar?" 

"Yes. Very familiar. It's what's happening 
here. But where did it come from, Joe?" 

"Not from Earth, obviously, or any Earth 
settlement. From somewhere else, I sup- 
pose. They drift through space till they find 
something appropriate in which they can 
multiply. They look for sizable objects 
ready-made of metal. I don't imagine they 
can smelt ores." 

"But large metal objects with pure sili- 
con components and a few other succu- 
lent matters like that are the products of 
intelligent life only," I said. 

"Right," said Joe, "which means we 
have the best evidence yet that intelligent 
life is common in the universe, since ob- 
jects like the one we're on must be quite 
common or it couldn't support these 
viruses. And it means that intelligent life is 
old, too, perhaps ten billion years old — 
long enough for a kind of metal evolution, 
forming a metal /silicon/oil life as we have 
formed a nucleic /protein /water life. Time 
to evolve a parasite on space-age 

I said, "You make it sound that every 
time some intelligent life-form develops a 
space-culfure, it is subjected before long 
to parasitic infestation." 

"Right. And it must be controlled. For- 
tunately, these things are easy to kill, espe- 

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cialiy now when they're forming. Later on, 
when ready to burrow out of 
Computer- Two, I suppose they will grow, 
thicken their shells, stabilize their interior 
and prepare, as the equivalent of spores, 
to drift a million years before they find an- 
other home. They might not be so easy to 
kill then," 

"How are you going to kill them?" 
"'I already have. I just touched that first 
one when it instinctively sought out metal 
to begin manufacturing a new shell after I 
had broken open the first one^and that 
touch finished it. I didn't touch the second, 
but I kicked the wall near it and the sound 
vibration in the metal shook its interior 
apart into metal dust. So they can't get 
us — or any more of the compuier— if we 
just shake [hem apart, now! " 

He didn't have to explain further — or as 
much. He put on his gauntlets slowly, and 
banged at the wall with one. It pushed him 
away and he kicked at the wall where he 
next approached It. 

"You do the same," he shouted. 

I tried to, and for a while we both kept at 
it. You don't know how hard it is to hit a wall 
at zero-gravity; at least on purpose; and 
do it hard enough to make it clang. We 
missed as often as not or just struck a 
glancing blow that sent us whirling but 
made virtually no sound. We were panting 
with effort and aggravation in no time. 

But we had acclimated ourselves. 

We kept it up and eventually c 
more of the viruses. Therewasnoi 
side but dust in every case They «te 
clearly adapted to empty, auamasc 
space objects which, like modefnajm- 
puters, were vibration-f res. ThaTs abal 
made it possible, I suppose h) bold Dp 
the exceedingly rickety-compte* rnetaAe 
structures that possessed sufficient 
instability to produce the prcc^^^s c* 
simple life. 
I said, "Do you think we got Therr ai f 
"How can I say? If theres one ie*L « i 
cannibalize the others for mei^ supples 
and start all over. Let's banc around some 

We did until we were suffsaenBy worn 
out not to care whether one was st* *e*t 

"Of course." I said, panting. TneRane- 
tary Association for the Advancement c* 
Science isn't going to be pleased aM c*_- 
killing them all." 

Joe's suggestion as to .■.-=: -~e-- -. 5 
could do with itself was forceM, but en- 
practical. He said, "Look, our mission ss 
save Computer-Two, a few thousand fr*es 
and, as it turned out. our own ir.-es too 
Now ihey can decide whether is -en;>,gi= 
this computer or rebuild it fromscate*). tfs 
their baby. 

"The PA.A.S. can get what Ihey can ou? 
of these dead objects and feat sfstag be 
something . If they want live ones. 1 sus- 

pect they'll find them floating about in 
O^ese regions." 

I Sffld. "All right. My suggestion is we tell 
Computer Central we're going to jerry-rig 
$*s Computer and get it doing some work 
anyway, and we'll stay till a relief is up for 
~=!^ repairs or whatever in order to pre- 
vent any reinfestation, Meanwhile, they 'd 
better get to each of the other Computers 
3"'^ set up a system that can set it to 
vc-'aihg strongly as soon as the internal 
sT^-osphere shows a pressure drop." 
"Smpie enough," said Joe, sardonically. 
'It's lucky we found them when we did." 
"Wart a while," said Joe, and the look in 
Ns eye was one of deep trouble. We didn't 
find them. They found us. If metal-life has 
developed, do you suppose it's likely that 
this is the only form it takes? 

'What if such life-forms communicate 
somehow and, across the vastness of 
space, others are now converging on us 
for the picking. Other species, too; allot 
riiem after the lush new fodder of an as-yet 
untouched space culture. Other species! 
Some that are sturdy enough to withstand 
vibration. Some that are large enough to 
be more versatile in their reactions to dan- 
ger. Some that are equipped to invade our 
settlements in orbit. Some, for the sake of 
Univac, that may be able to invade the 
Earth for the metals of its cities. 

"What I'm going to report, what. I must 
report, is that we've been found\" DO 



Organisms are born with such notions. 

"On the other hand, destruction of tissue 
would be bad. Hunger would be bad. 
These are values in terms 'of survival of the 
species, and species that didn't incorpo- . 
rate these values would die out. Now the 
problem is, how do these values get trans- 
lated into everyday experience? 

"I like to think that the biogenic amines 
are the systems that mediate between 
these values, and that moods are the sub- 
, jective counterparts of the biological pro- 
cesses by which various new experiences 
are evaluated, coded, and stored with an 
appropriate value- -good or bad. 

"It is not by accident that with the things 
that are good for the species, we have 
pleasure; and with things that are bad for 
the species we have pain. It's conceivable 
that with pleasure you have one kind ot 
profile of chemical substances released in 
Ihe brain, and with pain you have another 
kind of profile in a kind of color coding." 

In his inimitable fashion, Stanislaw Lem 
presents this same idea: "All perception is 
but a change in the concentration of hy- 
drogen ions on the surface of the brain 
cells. Seeing me, you actually experience 
a disturbance in the sodium-potassium 
equilibrium across your neuron mem- 
branes. So all we have to do is to send a 
few well-chosen molecules down into 
those cortical mitochondria, activate the 
right neurohumoral-synaptic transmission 
sites, and your fondest dreams come 

Lem's fantasy comes pretty close to re- 
ality, for psychedelic drugs resemble natu- 
ral neurotransmitters and can be used to 
manipulate moods and emotions. LSD and 
a number of similar drugs all have an in- 
dole ring, a basic structural unit that also 
appears in serotonin. 

Mescaline is closely related to the natu- 
ral catecholamines norepinephrine and 
epinephrine (adrenalin). The drugs in- 
teract with their analogous neurotransmit- 
ters, stimulating or inhibiting their activity 
at the synapses. For example, LSD and re- 
lated drugs, chemical cousins of sero- 
tonin, appear to inhibil Ihe utilization of 
serotonin in certain areas of the brain, 
releasing it from serotonin-imposed 

Arnold Mandell, a pioneer tester of the 
new drugs and a brilliant biochemical psy- 
chiatrist to whom we owe many of our new 
insights into the mind, believes that the 
new emotion-enhancing and behavior- 
improving agents act by holding down 
man's ancient and primitive "reptilian" 
brain while bringing out the best in the new 
cortex. A crocodile's or a frog's mere knob 
of a brain typifies the reptilian brain's limi- 
tations. This brain, the.antecedents of 
which go back perhaps 200 million years, 

is located mainly in the brain stem and 
controls' such basic instinctual mecha- 
nisms as courting, mating, and selecting 
homesites. It also controls such reflex ac- 
tivities of the body as muscular motion and 
glandular function, the flow of blood and 
the beat of the heart. 

Mammals developed an increasingly 
more elaborate mesolimbic, or middle, 
brain that encloses the old reptile within 
us. The middle brain controls the senses 
of smell and taste, supervises activities in- 
side the body, and directs emotions. 

On top of the middle brain is man's up- 
per brain, the neocortex, which makes 
man unique. It allows abstract thinking, 
anticipation, problem solving, writing, and 

Mandell vividly describes the haunting 
contrast between these different levels of 
the human mind: 

"The reptilian brain, when aroused, 
when allowed to express itself, is aggres- 

imA number of materials 
I have been working on," says 
Shulgin, "are amplifiers ot 
specific senses that enhance 
the visual, the interpretive 
color sense, or auditory 
acuity. . .without 

It's the brain that controls the settling of a 
country, the establishment of the army, es- 
sive, competitive, suspicious, angry, 
bound by territorial limits, and insensitive 
to new input. It's the brain of Ihe groin 
psychologists— Freud, Darwin, and Marx. 
tablishing dominance over that country. It's 
the cultural deification of the Marines, of 
macho and ot pro football. It's the killer 
brain whose ecstasy is winning — a tri- 
umph that may involve the humiliation 
of olhers. 

"The other, newer system in the brain we 
visualize more in terms of perceptual 
arousal, it is not bound by territory but is 
free to float. It is sensitive to new input. It 
is much more interested in beauty than 
triumph. The ecstasy of that system is 
insight or discovery." 

Mandell, with an independent California 
drug designer, Alexander T Shulgin, has 
been investigating whether creativity can 
be enhanced with derivatives of the hallu- 
cinogenic drugs. In his drugs, Shulgin 
combines some of the chemical features 
of mescaline with a side chain of ampheta- 
mine. A highly intuitive man, Shulgin has 

come up with some psychopharmacologi- 
cal bombshells. 

"A number of materials I have been 
working on," he says, "are amplifiers of 
specific senses that will enhance the vis- 
ual, the interpretive color sense, or the au- 
ditory acuity without blanketing the entire 
body with intoxication and confusion." 

Whereas amphetamine typically 
strengthens the fixed patterns of response 
thai characterize the reptilian brain— a 
student on amphetamine once happily 
counted cornflakes all night in a lab — 
Shulgin's drugs release the creative part of 
the brain from serotonin-imposed inhibi- 
tion. The new drugs are effective in much 
lower doses than hallucinogens such as 
LSD and mescaline, and they can be ad- 
ministered in a wide range of doses with- 
out inducing hallucinations and the 
frightening dissolution of individuality lhat 
LSD can cause. 

LSD doses are measured in millionths of 
a gram. An amount of LSD equal to an as- 
pirin tablet is enough to produce effects in 
three thousand people. 

An intense man with a leonine mane of 
prematurely gray hair, Shulgin began to 
design his remarkable drugs more than a 
decade ago. He is a Ph.D. pharmacologist 
who had worked for a big chemical com- 
pany. On his own, he soon began to devise 
drugs with such specific action that his 
skills amazed psychiatrists. 

His early drugs had to be tested behind 
the scenes. Testing such experimental 
drugs on human volunteers is easier 
abroad than in this country, so Shulgin 
supplied some of his early drugs to 
Claudio Naranjo, a psychiatrist at the Uni- 
versity of Chile. Testing one early Shulgin 
drug on student volunleers, Naranjo found 
that the students' thinking and emotions 
were enhanced, without the perceptual 
distortions of hallucinogens. Hallucino- 
gens depersonalize a drug taker (he often 
feels a sense of oneness with the uni- 
verse), but Shulgin's drugs intensify a 
person's awareness of self without loss of 
contact with the environment or distortions 
in thinking. 

Enhancement of creativity with the new 
drugs is one of the exciting areas being 
explored by Shulgin and Mandell. On the 
face of it, creativity would appear to be 
one of the most complex human functions, 
but if turns out that it is one of the most 
easily stimulated. Shulgin's compounds 
produce a feeling of newness or novelty in 
an old situation. Rats tested for habituation 
(in this instance their ability to get used to 
air puffs blown at them by a special de- 
vice) react to each puff as if it were the 

Tested on students, one Shulgin drug 
produced a striking improvement in their 
writing ability. Although amphetamine in- 
creases the amount of writing, it usually 
becomes vacuous and repetitious. "When 
you give a Shulgin compound," says Man- 

168 OMNI 

dell, "the writing will be long but it will have 
beauty and detail." 

Shulgin is working with the part of the 
mescaline molecule that produces inhibi- 
tion of habituation, or stops a person from 
getting used to familiar things. A Shulgin 
drug called DOET makes the subjects re- 
laxed and receptive to new ideas without 
hallucinogenic eflects. Recalled a student 
volunteer who took a series of tests after 
ingesting a small dose of DOET: "I was - 
quite aware that I was being impatient with 
the tests, but I still wanted to do well. I was 
consciously trying not to rush through just 
to get it done, whereas if I had taken LSD, 
I would have jus! said to hell with every- 

A number of sophisticated social scien- 
tists, including anthropologists and psy- 
chiatrists, have taken Shulgin compounds 
and described several kinds of enhance- 
ment they experienced: new insights, at- 
tention to previously unnoticed aspects of 
a situation, perception of new problem- 
solving possibilities, and a marked gain in 
creative capacity. People have fried to 
solve problems under the influence of LSD 
and other hallucinogens, of course, but 
those drugs are such commanding mis- 
tresses that their users soon get distracted 
by the drugs' effects. 

Interestingly, Shulgin himself has gained 
new insights into drug design by taking his 
own creativity drugs: 

"When you address yourself to a prob- 
lem under the influence of a drug, you take 
hold of the problem by the lower-left-hand 
corner so to speak — where you have 
never taken hold of it before. You find it's 
not a direct approach to a problem. It's 
almost like a derivative approach to the 
approach of solving the problem. 

"You begin to analyze the reasons why 
you have a hangup. Rather than approach 
the problem in the classic way you already 
had, you find that your reasons for 
approaching the problem are often more 
important than the reasons for solving it. 

"It's as though you had a neurological 
capability wired into the brain — something 
that Ma Bell had tucked away in her com- 
puter, and you just have no way of dialing 
in because the neurotransmitters are not 
at hand, they are not mobilized, they are 
suppressed, or something is amiss. The 
drug catalyzes it." 

Of course, these drugs don't make a 
clod suddenly creative. Shulgin tried them 
on a small group of not particularly cre- 
ative people and failed to get any re- 
sponse. "You are not seeing the emer- 
gence of creativity de novo," he says, "but 
you are allowing its o'ganizaiion in a per- 
son who should and could have it or- 
ganized but does not because of a block- 
age or intuitive blindness. You can't design 
a pill thai will write a play in a man's head." 
Adds Mandell, "When you re-create the 
first-time freshness in an old, experienced 
hand, then you've got creativity." 

The finding that dullards cannot be 
made creative with drugs is in keeping 
with the discoveries of modem neuroanat- 
omy that the brain is tied together as a net- 
work and that a person uses all oi his 
brain. "The old mythology that human be- 
ings are using only some percentage of 
the brain is nonsense," says Gary Lynch, a 
young neurophysiologisf at the University 
of Calitornia's Irvine campus. "A chim- 
panzee — whose brain most closely resem- 
bles man's — is not going to learn to read, 
and there is no drug on earth, I think, that 
will do that." 

But there are distinct chemistries under- 
lying attention and intention, separation 
and loss, mastery and coping, and such 
components of behavior can be in- 
fluenced with drugs. Moving in this direc- 
tion, Shulgin synthesized a new kind of 
antidepressant. Unlike commonly used 
antidepressants, Shulgin's compound, a 
variant of mescaline, is not a stimulant to 
normal people. 

"But in a person who is demotivated. 
acting below his usual capacity," Shulgin 
says, "the drug brings that person back to 
his normal motivation." The compound is 
in the final stages of testing by a big drug 
company and has a good chance of be- 
coming a comme'cijil antidepressant. 

Shulgin calls another of his drugs a low- 
calorie martini. In designing it he tried to 
duplicate the exhilarating ejects of the 
first or second drink — and stop there. He 
thinks he has succeeded with a drug that 
acts in about 1 5 minutes and w.hose relax- 
ing effects last an hour or two. The drug 
has no caloric value and none oi alcohol's 
damaging eifect on the liver. 

In designing such specificity into drugs, 
Shulgin takes advantage of emerging 
skills in extra-tine modification of molecu- 
lar structures. It has become clear that ex- 
tremely small changes in molecular struc- 
ture can cause dramatically wide shifts in 
biological action. 

Drug designers are beginning to tailor 
drugs to the tiny receptors on the surfaces 
of cells. A receptor accepts specific sub- 
stances that fit a receptor's particular 
shape. These substances cause the re- 
ceptor to transmit an appropriate signal 
into the interior of the cell. A search is on 
for receptors for all sorts of feelings, emo- 
tions, and aspects of behavior. Drugs can 
then be designed to fit the particular re- 
ceptors, either to evoke the desired be- 
havior or to block undesirable behavior. 
Says Shulgin, "The time will come when 
we'll separate all our senses and 
capabilities — the visual from the auditory, 
the tactile from the sense of smell as well 
as wit, intellectual capability, creativity — 
and enhance them with drugs." 

Application of the new mind drugs so far 
is just a small beginning. Dr. Mandell and 
others see a legitimate use for the new 
drugs to ease the pain of separation or di- 
vorce, to allow people dying prematurely 

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from incurable diseases to face death with 
equanimity, even to eliminate an 
employee's fear of the boss. "Objections 
to such boosts in emotion or behavior," 
says Mandell, "could only come from peo- 
ple who feel that medicine must taste bad 
to do good." 

To this list of applications Nathan Kline, 
a pioneering psychopharmacologist and 
director of the Rockland, New York, State 
Hospital, adds other intriguing possibili- 
ties: prolonging childhood so as to in- 
crease acquisition of knowledge and 
skills; reducing or even circumventing the 
need for sleep; provoking or relieving guilt 
to treat criminals, among others; shorten- 
ing or extending experienced time to en- 
hance appreciation oi music, for instance, 
and, conversely, to speed up the passage 
of undesirable events. 

How soon such drugs will be made 
available legally is another question. 
"There is no social, scientific, or medical 
apparatus for optimizing normal human 
behavior," says Dr. Mandell. "I think it will 
take decades because there is no aegis in 
our society for introduction of performance 
or life-improving drugs. Under whose ae- 
gis could we administer a creativity drug, 
for instance? It isn't that you're sick, so no 
doctor can give it you. There is a wall 
against all this work." 

A strange dichotomy that exists in social 
customs could be a serious barrier to the 
introduction of mood-control medications. 
There is a widespread belief, for instance, 
that use of drugs in a social setting is bad. 
On the other hand, use of alcohol in such a 
setting is considered proper. In drug use a 
lone-wolf user is tolerated for his idiosyn- 
crasies, but a lone-wolf alcoholic is 
frowned upon. 

It's not that scientists such as Mandell 
and Shulgin advocate a Brave New World 
society £ la Huxley or Lem. (Huxley's 
drug in Brave New World was soma: 
"One cubic centimeter cures ten gloomy 

In contrast, Mandell and Shulgin see 
use of the new mind drugs as being only 
episodic, say, by busy people who don't 
have time to exercise or run: those forms 
of exercise can automatically induce some 
of the euphoric effects produced by 
drugs. They argue, though, that research 
should be pursued if for no other reason 
than to head off the appearance of illicit 
drugs in this field, which may have 
dangerous side effects. 

To find ways to minimize or eliminate the 
hazards, and to identify and develop the 
constructive potential of these powerful 
agents, would be a worthwhile task. The 
alternatives are not attractive. Sooner than 
anyone suspects, the lack of a mechanism 
to introduce such drugs might create diffi- 
culties for society whose dimensions will 
make the mind drug revolution we've al- 
ready gone through seem like a minor 
conflagration by comparison. DO 



things, this provides research funds for 
special University of Texas research cen- 
ters, such as the one on Astrophysics 
headed by John Wheeler and another 
one directed since the late 1 960's by one 
llya Prigogine. In 1977, the Legislature 
sliced the "organized research" item ex- 
actly in half. 

Prigogine is your average Texan who 
was born in Russia before the Revolution 
and who gained- his credentials in physi- 
cal science in Belgium. Since the late 
1 960's, he has split his time between re- 
search posts in Austin and Brussels. By 
1 977, however, he was worried. His funds 
were vanishing in both spots. No one 
cared that his thermodynamical theories 
were tilling links in evolution that Darwin 
missed — explanations as to how inert 
chemicals in the earth's primordial atmo- 
sphere might combine into complex 
structures, and into life'forms. 

What saved Prigogine's research 
money was winning the Nobel Prize in 
Chemistry in 1977. 

If the good old boys in theLegislaiure 
had known of the High Swedish Profile, 
they might have put all their leftover cam- 
paign funds on Prigogine's steel-gray 
head. Seldom has there been such an 
obvious winner. Prigogine is on Garfield's 
top 250-list, is a member of the Swedish 
Royal Academy, and has received 
awards from Britain's Royal Society. 
the Swedish wonder No Prize candidate 
anywhere is as Swedishly visible as Sune 
Bergstrom. The lanky paragon of Scan- 
dinavian biological wisdom was once 
dean of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute, 
the country's leading medical school, and 
at the same time chairman of the Nobel 
Physiology /Medicine Prize Committee. 
After retirement several years ago, he 
was named chairman of none other than 
the umbrella institution that administers 
and finances the Prize, the Nobel Foun- 
dation. Indeed, that might have blown his 
chances for a win — he was too close to 
the Nobel machinery to receive the Prize 
and still preserve the cherished Swedish 
reputation for objectivity — but that situa- 
tion has changed. 

The Bergstrom specialty is an ex- 
tremely potent class of hormones called 
prostaglandins, first detected in the geni- 
tal tissue of sheep. His mentor, Professor 
Ulf von Euler — who won the Prize for his 
work on neurotransmitters in 1 970 (41 
years after his father won it)— was appar- 
ently the first to note its biological activity 
Von Euler applied it to strips of smooth 
muscle (uterine tissue) and noticed it 
caused them to contract. He urged Berg- 
strom to study it further, isolate the es- 
sence of the contractile factor from its 
surroundings, determine its chemical 

structure and the way it works. 

Hot field? As Bergstrom told me in 
1971, "This is the biggest thing in years." 

If you are a right-to-lifer, you won't like 
the first major clinical use that prosta- 
glandins were put to — inducing contrac- 
tions in the human uterus, producing 
abortion. However, you should go for 
prostaglandins' biggest potential — ex- 
panding arteries and blood vessels to re- 
lieve high blood pressure and all manner 
of cardiac ailments. Anything that prom- 
ises the taming of the nation's leading 
killer has to be "the biggest thing in 

the Swedish noise factor One way to 
eliminate yourself from the Nobel Prize 
running is to become involved in scandal 
or simpiy appear as though you are trying 
for the Prize. The austere Swedish mes- 
sage is to shut up, do your science, and 
keep your nose clean. The besf shut-up 
example in recent years was the late 
Georg von Bekesy, a Harvard expert in 
the mechanics of hearing. As Harvard's 
Konrad Bloch (who won the Prize in 
Physiology /Medicine in 1964) recalled: 
"Von Bekesy had no professional ap- 
pointment here. His psycho-acoustics lab 
was hidden away in the basement of Me- 
morial Hall. No one here knew of his exis- 
tence until he won the Prize." 

No one but the Swedes. Von Bekesy, it 
seems, had been a researcher ai Sweden's 
prestigious Karolinska Institute. 

I once thought that Swedish Prize- » 

selection knowledge and records might 
make up Western culture's most complete 
archive of value judgments in esoteric but 
infinitely important knowledge. I believed 
Swedish wisdom might make science ed- 
ucation more pertinent. 

"Ha!" commented Arne Karsberg, sci- 
ence writer for the leading Stockholm daily, 
Dagens Nybeter. "I've seen their records, 
and they don't amount to much more than 
the average newspaper morgue. You 
wanf to learn how to judge science? Go to 
your own National Institutes of Health or 
the National Science Foundation or the 
(then) Atomic Energy Commission. " 

As time went on, more and more 
Laureates — even judges — told me I was 
tryingto snare the wrong owl. Institutional 
factors, set down in Nobel's will and in the 
Nobel Foundation's statutes, saw "sci- 
ence" as composed of nothing more than 
classical chemistry, physics, and physiol- 
ogy/medicine. (Forget mathematics, 
much of astronomy, computers, plate tec- 
tonics, social sciences, etc., as well as 
any discovery achieved by more than 
three researchers.) 

Perhaps the most telling comment on 
the condition of the Prize comes from 
Sten Lindroth, vice-president of the Royal 
Swedish Academy ot Sciences. 
"Sweden's major exports are the Nobel 
Prize and nude women," he said. "Both 
are good propaganda lor Sweden." DO 



What might have been rails, or steel 
shining, was only dew on ground-running 
tendrils reflecting the light ol the moon, or 
reflecting the kiln-flames from the Valley it- 
self. Beneath vines, beneath wind-blown 
gorse, I sensed there were only incredibly 
ancient rows of crude bricks which of their 
own weight and a thousand years of rain, 
were sinking inexorably into the earth from 
whence they came. 

Stupefied, un&ie to speak, I sat down 
on a low turtie-shaoed mound of pottery 
shards — said roming at all. As in a mo- 
ment of visin' a line things heretofore, not 
known o r rat" or faith in all my life 
seemed suddenly to become clear. In that 
terrible moment, I came truly to light. I un- 
derstood. After this knowledge there was 
~c : : e"r=£ 

I looted up. I intended to share with her 
my revelation. 

! -; her face I saw something both signifi- 
csM a"d terrible. She was sitting erect, 
smding. Her face in the moonlight was full 
of another kind of wonder, an expression I 
knew too well. Although she saw what I 
saw, her mind, her imagination, was differ- 
ent. She had never been on the high es- 
carpments. Therefore I understood she 
did in fact see "railroad yards." She saw 
what she had to see: docks, barges, and 
long lines of freight cars rolling. Her faith 
was absolute; she had never seen her own 
face burning like a rose inside a kiln. Only 
because of me she had come here, be- 
cause of love — and that 
was enough. 

Perhaps we might have returned the 
way we came. With good fortune, I might 
have lived out life in the kilns, silent, an 
outcast because of my fatal knowledge, 
awaiting my final years as atoothless, mut- 
tering grader of shards. Perhaps her spirit 
really was the spirit of the cedar forests; 
perhaps there was Justice after all, in the 
pattern of our loin cloths . . . 
But we did not turn back. 
I pointed ahead to a low notch in a wall, 
and to the dark canyon of stone beyond. 

With impulsive, almost childish glee, 
with her long, black hair blowing in the first 
wind of morning, she took my hand. She 
raised me to my feet. She laughed and I 
laughed and as we ran.the longest journey 
of our life began. 

The sun rose. As we paused for the last 
time to iook back, far away and far below, I 
saw the high escarpments turn for one mo- 
ment into the flame. 

The path leading always upward took us 
between flowers and across the first high- 
mountain meadow. There in a grove of 
sweet, low-growing pines for the first time, 
we made love and then slept in each 
other's arms until the sun 
was overhead. DO 



team's conclusion is that whatever pro- 
cess formed the image acted in varying 
degrees of intensity depending on how far 
the cloth was from the body. For example, 
they note that "the hair on the front of the 
image stands out in natural relief but on 
the back image, appears compressed 
against the head, as it would for a reclining 
body on a hard surface." The image inten- 
sity on the Shroud is the same for the front 
and back — another unsual feature that ar- 
gues against an information process that 
depended upon contact between cloth 
and body. Taken altogether, Jackson and 
Jumper report that". . .three dimension- 
ality implies that the image-forming proc- 
ess acted uniformly through space over 
the body, front and back, and even 
seemed to act independently of the type of 
surface, organic and inorganic, from 
which the image was generated." 

At this point, all scientists involved 
agree that more information is desperately 
needed. Enrie's photographs, though high 
quality, were obviously not taken with com- 
puter analysis in mind. When the American 
team goes to Turin, its first order of busi- 
ness will be to take a series of pictures us- 
ing a variety of film and filters, including in- 
frared, which will be particularly suitable 

for analysis. X-ray fluorescence also is 
high on the list of Turin experiments, Be- 
cause all elements produce a characteris- 
tic emission line in the x-ray region of the 
spectrum, the team predicts that x-ray flu- 
orescence will help to establish the chemi- 
cal composition of the image, and whether 
the composition of the body is different 
from that of the presumed blood spots. 

The diversity of experiments planned for 
Turin is limited on the one hand because 
all tests must be nondestructive (for obvi- 
ous reasons, the Church will not permit 
scientists to take pieces of the cloth, 
though they may be able to gather surface 
particles in a microvacuum cleaner); fur- 
thermore, as of this writing, they will be al- 
lowed only 24 hours to conduct their tests 
and take their pictures, though they would 
like to have as much as two weeks. Still, 
the team is optimistic about collecting 
enough data for later analysis 

Many members of the American team 
seem content to wait for the data to come 
in, but others cannot resist predicting what 
the outcome wiil be. Ray Rogers believes 
the image is a "scorch," (like a scorch 
should, it fluoresces under UV light) and 
says that it may have been produced by 
"flash photolysis," an intense burst of light. 
Jackson and Jumper put it differently, but it 
amounts to the same thing: radiation. An 
intense burst of light. But where it came 
from, they can't say. DO 

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cycles — put them back in heat. He also 
has reactivated the ovarian cycles of the 
old females by feeding them L-Dopa (a 
dopamine stimulator also used in the treat- 
ment of Parkinson's disease), and hor- 
mones such as progesterone, 
epinephrine, and iproniazid. 

The exciting thing about this evidence is 
that the old ovaries still work and can be 
started up again when the "clock" in the 
hypothalamus is turned back. The implica- 
tions for women past the menopause are 

Dr. W. Donner Denckla, Associate Pro- 
fessor of Medicine at Harvard's Thorndike 
Laboratories, thinks he's close enough to 
hear the death clock ticking. An intense 
youngish man with collegiate horn rims 
and a wry sense of humor, Denckla ex- 
plained recently to the large audience at a 
life-extension conference in St. Paul spon- 
sored by the University of Minnesota, that 
he has "one very strong candidate for the 
demise of mammals." 

Denckla's rather spectacular theory is 
based on the idea that humans have a 
built-in mechanism, not for aging, but for 
death itself. He believes the process of 
dying is built into our childhood; it starts 
around age ten. 

Denckla proposes that at puberty the pi- 
tuitary starts releasing an exceedingly 
powerful hormone, which he calls by tne 
artful acronym DECO (for decreasing O2 
consumption). "This lovely little molecule," 
he says, "wanders out and progressively 
throws a block between the body's cells 
and its circulating thyroxin," the thyroid 
hormone vital to normal metabolism. 
Death comes as it does to the Pacific 
Salmon — by flooding the body with the 
"death hormone" — only more slowly; so in- 
sidiously as to seem not the cause. 

In his super-realistic laboratories, 
Denckla removes the pituitaries (from 
whence, presumably, issues the DECO) of 
older rats, And, after adding hormone sup- 
plements to their diets, in a matter of 
months the old animals regain much of 
their pubescent glory. 

One big hitch in the Denckla plan is that, 
although the pituitary-less rats are re- 
juvenated to adolescent physiological sta- 
tus, their lifespan does not seem to be 
prolonged. They die on schedule. It is 
possible, then, that DECO may serve an 
important life function. 


Richard Cutler is a man with a big plan, 
which, if it does not embrace all of the 
manifold theories of aging, is at least com- 
patible with most of them. Cutler is looking, 
not so much for the causes of aging, as 
for reasons for the evolution of longevity. 

There is no genetic program for death, he 
thinks, but an open-ended potential for 
unlimited lifespan. 

In charge of the Program on Compara- 
tive Biochemistry of Mammalian Aging, 
Cutler constructs his architectonic ideas 
from sources as eclectic as his back- 
ground. Cutler personally evolved from a 
Colorado farmboy into a helicopter de- 
signer to a copter company owner at age 
18. He discovered college a few years la- 
ter and proceeded to get degrees in aero- 
nautical and electrical engineering, in 
physics, and biophysics. 

According to Cutler, the rate of aging 
might very well be regulated by relatively 
few genes, which we can discover and 
eventually control. He has reached this 
conclusion after carefully studying the ev- 
olution of long lifespan in humans. It 
seems that our lifespan increased so rap- 
idly compared to our apelike ancestors 
that no more than a few genes could have 
changed during such a brief evolutionary 
period. Hence, Cutler concludes that only 
a few genes may control the rate of aging . 

Slowing down the aging process 
doesn't have to be a formidable task. We 
already know much about what genetic 
controls are involved. The deceleration is 
likely to be achieved first by biochemical 
manipulation of the neuroendocrine sys- 
tem via the hypothalamus-pituitary con- 
trols and, later, when more is known, by 
genetic engineering. "The 'scenario', as 
they say," remarked Cutler, "is that you'd 
take a child when he's young, administer 
hormones to slow down his development 
and give him an analogue in his food to 
stimulate anti-aging processes. "A person 
might become sexually mature by 28, full 
grown at 45, and middle aged by 120. 
. "! think within ten years, depending on 
how much we concentrate on learning to 
manipulate the controls of development, 
the slowdown might be accomplished," 
he predicts. 

A trickier problem than slowing growth 
is maintaining the body's level of intrinsic 
wear and tear fighters, what Cutler calls 
"continuously acting antibiosenescent 
processes." These include free-radical 
scavengers, antioxidants, DNA repair and 
so forth. Genetic engineering of the regu- 
latory genes is too complex at the present 
time, so Cutler found a short cut: trick the 
cells with something like an anti-aging 
vaccine. One could inject a bit of "fake ag- 
ing" and the body would alter its level of 
protective enzymes to combat this fake 
aging antibody, It works on a similar princi- 
ple as the smallpox vaccine. 

One could pop a pill that would diffuse 
into the cells and fool them into thinking 
"Hey, we've got a lot of DNA damage." The 
cells, consequently, might raise the level 
of DNA repair enzyme to match the needs 
of a longer-lived organism. "We might be 
able to stimulate a whole battery of repair 
processes," Cutler speculates, "by insert- 

ing a highly damaged piece of DNA, with 
everything imaginable wrong with it. And 
all the repair mechanisms would be stimu- 
lated by the artifact. You don't even have to 
know how it works to use it." 


Cutler, unlike many gerontologisfs, has 
been willing to speculate a bit on the na- 
ture of Homo longevus. He says: "My 
guess is that it would be best, not only to 
double man's maximum lifespan potential, 
but also to double his brain size. Although 
doubling size is not likely to improve the 
quality of the brain, it might provide a 
greater redundant capacity for neurons 
and their supporting cells, thereby, per- 
haps, delaying the onset of senility even 

By reducing a person's growth rate by 
one-half and doubling the time for the 
brain's development and maturation (it's 
growth rate would remain the same as 
now, and only one extra division of cells is 
needed to double its size), one might grow 
up to be an adult who looked much like a 
1 2-year-old of today in terms of body and 
brain-size proportion. 

When will it happen? Science writer and 
author of the soon to be published Life- 
Extension Handbook, Saul Kent, believes 
predictions are irrelevant. "It's inevitable, 
but the timing depends completely on the 
effort. I could give you a sliding scale in 
years before the breakthrough, depending* 
on the effort put into it." 

"If life-extension becomes a national pri- 
ority like the space program," says Paul 
Segall, "if the Americans, the Russians, 
and the Japanese join hands, if there were 
a $200 billion assault on aging and death, 
this could produce dramatic results in five 
years. Just $200 billion, involving tens of 
hundreds of scientists, hundreds of thou- 
sands of technicians — in five years we'd 
have a program that would put such a 
dent in death we might wipe it off the face 
of the earth. And a program such as this 
would cost no more than these countries 
are now spending on the maintenance of 
old age homes." 

At present, however, there is no clear 
cut directive for life-extension research. 
The House Select Committee on Aging is 
holding hearings on the advisability of 
funding life-extension research. But as 
one committee member admitted privately, 
"we really don't know what we're doing. 
We don't know who to listen to." 

Although NIA Director, Dr. Robert Butler, 
has officially stated that life-extension re- 
search is a "priority of the NIA," this priority 
is not reflected in the Gerontology Re- 
search Center's $7-million share of the to- 
tal 1 978 NIA budget of $37.3 million. And 
the entire NIA budget, moreover, pales be- 
side the National Institute on Cancer's 
$872 million for 1978. The irony is pro- 
found, especially as evidence mounts that 

172 OMNI 

cancer is predominately an age-related 
disease. There may be no way to cure 
cancer without curing aging. 

"A lot of resistance to life- extension 
comes in the form of questions about over- 
crowding the planet, population explo- 
sions, social secur'fy, jobs, etc.," explains 
FM. Esfandiary, a normative philosopher 
who teaches courses at New York's New 
School For Social Research. "At its base 
the question is pathological After eons of 
programming to accept death, we sud- 
denly find we can conquer death. As we're 
getting closer to vanquishing it, people are 
getting up-'ig": — E. zaoeth Kiibler-Ross is 
a case in pc;r.: ~rey are afraid to face the 
idea they ca~ beat death. They are afraid 
lo be disappc '"ted. We still don't have the 
infrasrL.::_-s'c fe out in the demise of 
rel'-j ■" ;-_ :-cientation, and orthodoxy, 
we '="":. "3 toward a life-orientation." 

Sopraior>ged lifespan is inevitable. But 
is it advisable? "It is impossible to foresee 

.:. '.o society." sava Rov 
Watford. "I think it will be highly destabiliz- 
ing, and I'm in favor of that." 

Lots of senile tricentenarians? Not so, 
says Rolf Martin, biochemist from the City 
Universityot New York. Martin designed a 
"survival curve" projecting that the propor- 
tion of nonproductive oldsters actually will 
be reduced by two-thirds if lifespan is 
doubled. People would die of other things 
before they got senile. 

The biggest argument for life-extension, 
in some minds, is that the actual "ad- 
vancement of civilization" — that sacred 
cow of the Western world — is imperiled by 
the exponential rise in knowledge. 

The solution so far has been specializa- 
tion. But as we become more and more 
specialized, our ability to communicate to 
people outside our field diminishes. Our 
awareness narrows. Fewer people are 
gifted with the ability to put it all together. 
We may simply require more 
time to learn. 

"We need to investigate why man's life- 
span evolved in the first place," Cutler 
says. "Because that is what made man 
what he is today. A longer lifespan allowed 
man to make use of a larger brain, be- 
come more self-conscious, see the world 
and learn. It is difficult for me to see why a 
continuation along the same lines wouldn't 
result in more of the benefits that accrued 
in the first place. 

"In reality, the slowing down and cessa- 
tion of the evolution of a longer lifespan 
might have been an artifact, a negative by- 
product of increasing civilization, and was, 
in a sense, abnormal. Continued self- 
evolution of extended lifespan and intelli- 
gence is getting back to the biological 
norm — getting back on the road again." 

Says Cutler: "If you ask me about the 
ethics of extending our lifespan along evo- 
lutionary lines, I must. say that, if we do not 
evolve a longer lifespan— that is unethi- 
cal." DO 


about speculative things are usually histo- 
rians and sociologists and anthropologists 
and such people. One of the most interest- 
ing was a Brandeis professor named 
Frank Manuel, who's interested in the con- 
cept of Utopia and its history, and how it 
has been transformed through the centu- 
ries. Actually, he was studying me as an 
example of the modern Utopian, so we had 
long sessions in which I would talk about 
space colonies and so on, and he would 
say Ah yes, that came out of such-and- 
such a German writer of the seventeenth 
century that I'd never heard of. 
Omni: Do you think that 'a modern Utopian' 
is a good description of you? 
Dyson: Yes, in the sense of someone who 
imagines ideal societies. I certainly am. 
Omni: And the colonization ot space will 
open up chances for new Utopias, many 
different societies in the asteroids. 
Dyson: Even many different kinds of hu- 
manity. I don't think humanity is going to be 
a single species much longer — maybe be- 
cause of divergent evolution as we ex- 
pand into space, and maybe sooner than 
that via genetic manipulation. Unless you 
enforce a total prohibition on genetic 
research — unless you effectively outlaw 
the study of biology — I think it's inevitable 

that people are going to want to make their 
children better than themselves, and the 
techniques to do that will be available in 
the next century, 

I've recently been on a local committee 
formed to consider Princeton University's 
plans for recombinant*ONA research. Our 
official responsibility was just to assess the 
potential danger from a laboratory acci- 
dent that might release dangerous orga- 
nisms, but I found that everyone on the 
committee was more concerned about the 
steps beyond that. They were concerned 
with 'what are they going to do to us?' It 
surprised me, because I had thought that 
only I worried about these things. And I 
think their concern is much more realistic 
than some of the comforting reassurances 
about how far away human genetic engi- 
neering is. It's nearer than we imagine. 

And beyond that, there's a continuing 
social strain that can only increase. It's a 
tension between the idea that all men are 
brothers and the idea that every individual 
or group should be free to do its own thing. 
You see it in racial problems, in national 
and ideological conflicts. Conceivably, it 
you give people the choice of being 
brothers or going out into space, that 
could provide the impetus for colonization. 
It's very striking how often in the past a 
journey that looked like exile from one 
point of view has turned out to be an op- 
portunity from another.DO 

"Dianetics gave me 
an understanding 
of my own mind/' 

ION 'HNNF.Y, Production Manager 
for Special ESfeos, Star Wars 

' ' 1 had become a member of the business esta- 
blishment I had resisted so much; wing tip shoes, 
button down collars, ivy league suits, $45,000 a 
year. But 1 couldn't get behind what 1 was 
selling — the whole bit wasn't me," says Lon 

"IXawiM enabled me :<> take- a look at myself 
and my integrity — to see things as they really 
were, and to change. 

" I went out and became a grip-one oft base girys 
who caraes stuff on a movie set. 1 climbed the 
ladder to producer, and I've only scratched the 
Miri'vc ■■ij'wku nr : . potentials are. 

"The mam thing I got out ui I'Mam-tia «« nn 

works. I understand more about myself and 1 no 
longer have to be something I'm not. 

"I have more compassion for my fellow man 
too— the lives of OTHERS arc easier because ! 
r t: Li,.! liirs lx-.'k. that's tot sure 1 'You don't get mad 
as easy any more,' they tell me. 

"If people would really read and understand 
t'.'i.i.'.v in a . it would he the end of man killing man, 
man punishing man. We would not have any tOOCC 

Buy it. Read it. Use it. 

550 pages J10 hardback. J2 paperback. 

Publications Organ iz at ton 

4633 Fountain Avenue, East Annex 

Los Angeles, California 90029 

A fresh approach, a leap, 

of logic . . . an "Aha! experience.' 



Games and puzzles have universal ap- 
peal. It seems that everyone is addicted to 
one kind o! game or another, though which 
particular type will catch people's tancy is 
anyone's guess. Some folks can't wait to 
attack the daily crossword puzzle. Others 
have a private passion for mazes or ana- 
grams. If you pose the question, "Mary is 
now twice as old as Ann was when Mary 
. . , "and before you finish, some people 
have pencil and paper at the ready Say, 
"Train A leaves Philadelphia at 60 miles 
per hour. . . "and a few closet puzzle fa- 
natics will whip out their pocket calculators 
and start punching in numbers. 

These kinds of problems have never ap- 
pealed to me. The drudgery and humility 
of 8th grade algebra class still haunt me: 
the memories are too fresh. 

The puzzles I like can be solved without 
extensive computation. What they require 
is a fresh approach, a leap of logic , a sud- 
den jump out of the usual linear problem- 
solving strategy into a new realm of in- 
sight. The best problems have a taste of 
the unexpected, a spare elegance, a 
pleasing symmetry. At first glance they ap- 
pear impossible to solve. There just isn't 
enough information, it seems, or finding a 
solution will take hours of trial and error fid- 
dling. You try all the "intelligent" ap- 
proaches and nothing seems to work. You 
can't move forward so you move side- 
ways. Then suddenly the answer comes. It 
hits you like a pie in the face. It's so simple, 
so elegant, that you wonder how you could 
have been so stupidto have missed it. 
This flash of insight is what psychologists 
call an "Aha! experience." 

Below are ten of the best of these 
"breakout" puzzles. Each in its own way is 
a classic of its type. There are no trick an- 
swers. The solutions are all rigidly logical, 
but finding them requires the type of ap- 
proach that Edward deBono has called 
lateral thinking. The way some people at- 
tack these problems is reminiscent of the 
way they go through life — always following 
the familiar path, accepting unspoken as- 
sumptions that restrict their freedom of 
movement and blind them to new, creative 
options. I'd like to say that if you can solve 
these breakout problems you can tackle 
anything that life might place in your path, 
but that, surely, would be overstating the 
case. After all, this is only a game. 

■ 1 . Four volumes of Shakespeare's Col- 
lected Works sif on the shelf: 

The pages of each book are exactly 2" 
thick, and the covers are each Vb "thick. 

A bookworm starts eating at page 1 of 
Volume I and eats through to the last page 
of Volume IV. What is the distance the 
bookworm covers? 

2.Where does the "Z"< 
below, and why? 

i: above the line or 

o p Q R s 

3. A wicked king amuses himself by put- 
ting three prisoners to a test. From a box 
containing five hats— three red hats and 
fwo white hals — he puts one hat on each 
prisoner, leaving the remaining two hats in 
the box. He informs the men of the total 
number of hats of each color. If any man 
can tell the color of the hat he is wearing, 
he will be set free, but if he answers incor- 
rectly, he will be executed on the spot. (In 
other words, no guessing!) 

The first man looks at the other two, 
scratches his chin and says, "I don't 

The second man looks at the hats on the 
first and third man, furrows his brow, and 
finally says, "I don't know the color of my 
hat, either." 

The third man is at something of a 
disadvantage — he is blind. But he is also 
clever. He thinks for a few seconds and 
then announces, correctly, the color of 
his hat. 

What color hat is the blind man wearing? 
How did he know? 

4. There is a definite pattern to this ar- 
rangement of designs. What's the next 
figure in the sequence? 

5. On your journey to Alphaville, you come 
to a fork in the road. One road leads to Al- 
phaville, the other to Betabury, but which is 
which? Seated by the intersection is'an In- 
dian dressed in traditional clothing that 
identifies him as a member of one of two 
tribes that dress alike. However, those in 
one tribe always tell the truth and those in 
the other tribe always lie. You may ask the 
Indian one question io determine which 
road to take to Alphaville. What question 
do you ask? , 

With two questions there would be no 
problem. You could ask "Is this way up?" 
while pointing to the sky. The truth-teller 
would say yes, (he Liar would say no. You 
then could ask "Does the left road go to Al- 
phaville?" and know whether to follow the 
man's answer literally or not. But you are 
only allowed one question. What is it? 
Hint: After you are finally on your way to Al- 
phaville, you still won't know which tribe 
the Indian belongs to. 

6. Four toothpicks and a penny are ar- 

. ranged as shown, to schematically repre- 
sent an olive in a martini glass. By moving 
only two toothpicks (and not the coin), can 
you create a new martini glass similar to 
the one you started with, but with the olive 
on the outside? 

■ 7. Can you move one match to produce a 
valid equation? (VI ^ I — not allowed) 



If you're !<Ke rrosi peop'e, you will start 
by arranging thre.e matches in a triangle 
and then try in vain to get three more trian- 
gles out of the remaining matches. In this 
problem, as with previous ones; proper 
solution requires you to rise above the or- 
dinary, level-headed approach and seek 
its solution in a new dimension of thought. 

9. Ten coins are arranged like this: 

Can you move just onecoin to another 
position so thai, when added up either 
horizontally or vertically, two rows of six 
coins each will be formed? (The problem 
is best solved with actualcoins on a table.) 

10. A curious sequence: What's the miss- 
ing number here? 
10. 11. 12. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,20,22,24, 

31 , 100 1 0000. and the curious final 

number, 11111111 11 111111. 
Answers: page 

In Europe, where language barriers often 
separate, countries more sharply than po- 
litical ones, wordless traffic signs have 
been commonplaee for decades: 

TURN"— these and other messages have 
been reduced to simple, eloquently 
language-free international signs. Last 
year, in fact, France began erecting ex- 
traordinarily graphic signs depicting what 
it is that dogs— or at least Airedales, for 
that is what the silhouetted canine ap- 
pears to be— may not do on the sidewalks. 

8. Can you arrange these six kitchen 
matches to form four equilateral triangles? 

The shrinking earth will require more 
and more language-free messages in the 
"future. For example, how could one con- 
vey in symbols: 

—Caution: Loud Noises 
—Caution: Polluted Air (or Water) 
— Marijuana Smoking Area (or No 
Marijuana Smoking) 
— Caution: Laser Crossing 
— Swimsuits Optional (or, Nudity 

— Archaeological Dig in Progress 
—Danger: Ultraviolet 
The competition: Submit one design to 
convey any of the above messages, or any 
other communication that will be important 
in the future. Use the standard format of a 
generalized figure inside a circle, with a 
diagonal stripe to indicate any forbidden 

Draw your design at least two inches in 
diameter in black ink on white paper. En- 
tries must be postmarked by Dec. 1, 1978. 
Neatness counts. 

First-prize winner will receive $1 00.00 
Runners-up (2-10) will receive $25.00. 

All entries become the property of Omni 
and will not be returned. Send entries to 
Omni Competition- 1 . 909 Third Ave. New 
York,N.Y. 10022. DO 

A fascinating 

"Do not limit your thought to one 
brief life and one earth" Parama- 
hansa Yogananda said. "You are here 
for only a little while, then depart for 
a dissimilar and fascinating world. 
Rememberthe vastness of the Spirit 
that dwells within you. Try to realize 
you are a divine traveler." 

The awakening of such an under- 
standing helps you to discover your 
true place in the great adventure of 
life. The key to this understanding 
is meditation. It shows you through 
personal experience that you are far 
more than a physical vehicle. 
Through steady practice of scientific 
techniques you perceive your body, 
mind, and feelings as but temporary 
instruments for the expression 
of your real nature— ever existing, 
ever conscious, ever new joy. 

For more than half a century, Self- 
Realization Fellowship, founded by 
Paramahansa Yogananda, has of- 
fered a program of self-development 
that helps you achieve — through 
meditation and life-force control- 
energy, wisdom, peace, and inner 

Self Realization 

READ "Autobiography of a Yogi" 

by Paramahansa Yogananda 



invented by the RAND Corporation, the 

Delphic Poll can help OMNI 

readers to predict the future, now. 


The future, lament its forecasters, is 
not what it used to be. Not too long 
ago, an intrepid visionary could 
safely venture predictions on, say, sending 
men to the moon without fear of being 
proven right or wrong in his lifetime. But in 
this age of moon, walkers and test-tube ba- 
bies, little is beyond the realm of the possi- 
ble. The future now becomes history in just 
a matter of moments — "Don't blink," as the 
big-city wag in the back seat used to warn 
before approaching Podunk (population 
562), Iowa, "oryou'll miss it." 

But if the future is not what it used to be, 
neither are the men and women who earn 
their living predicting it. Throughout most of 
history, future predicting was confined to 
priests, astrologers, necromancers, con- 
jurers, and other charlatans. There were no 
weather bureaus or stock exchanges; the 
only institutions devoted to studying the fu- 
ture were such divine sanctuaries as the 
Temple to Apollo at Delphi, considered by 
ancient Greeks to be the navel of the uni- 
verse. There, the famous oracle was con- 
sulted not just by private citizens seeking 
power, wealth, or a better love life but also 
by kings and ministers on urgent affairs of 
state. In its heyday the Delphic oracle was 
always consulted, usually heeded, and 
sometimes even accurate. Among its most 
memorable prophecies was the prediction 
(2000 years before Freud invented the 
Oedipus complex) that King Oedipus of 
Thebes would murder his father and marry 
his mother. 

Needless to say, all fhis has changed. 
Today's oracles are faceless think tanks; 
their priests, the mathematicians and com- 
puter experts who man them. Predicting 
the future has been elevated (some might 
say "debased") to a science, so much so 
that its practitioners now debate what to 
call it — proposals range from prognostics 
(from the Greek tor "foreknowledge") to 
mellontology (from Ihe Greek for "future 
events") to futures analysis. But as these 
prognostic a. tors or mellontologists debate 
their name they are also refining ever more 
accurate techniques for prediction. Tech- 
nology is paring down the unknown. 

Today's forecasts, like the cryptic mes- 
sages of ancient oracles, are couched in 
ambiguous terms. Now, however, the ambi- 
guities are mathematical; predictions are 
given as statistical probabilities. One of the 
most popular of these new techniques 
clearly acknowledges its debt (and similar- 
ity) to its mystical predecessors by naming 
itself after the oracle of Delphi. This Delphi 
method, or Delphic poll, was invented in 
the early years of the cold war by research- 
ers at the Rand Corporation and was ini- 
tially developed with defense funds to pre- 
dict the probable effects of a massive 
atomic bombing attack. The researchers 
felt the need for a mathematical model, 
they later reported somewhat abashedly, 
because the subject did not readily lend it- 
self to field experiments. 

The Delphi method is a way of determin- 
ing the consensus of experts in any given 
field. Generals are asked about military de- 
velopments, engineers are asked about 
■ technological developments, and even 
narcotics agents are asked about crack- 
down results in some of the thousand-plus 
Delphic polls that have been conducted up 
until now. The experts' answers are usually 
interpreted by computer, carefully plotted 
on a graph as a neai statistical curve. 

This method obviously has its strengths 
and weaknesses. One of the most glaring 
drawbacks is that it merely assembles the 
collective biases of a statistical 
mainstream — leaving little room for intui- 
tion, insight, or genius. But in practice its 
early predictions have enjoyed considera- 
ble success. Its estimates of nuclear dam- 
age, thank God, have never been put to the 
acid test. But Delphic polls have correctly 
predicted the year of the first heart trans- 
plant and foreseen that the population ex- 
plosion would make the earth's underwater 
resources so valuable that nations would 
begin to stake territorial claims on them — a 
prediction given dramatic validity in the cir- 
cus of rapacity that was last year's U.N.- 
sponsored International Conference of the 

But despite the best efforts of mankind's 
assembled gray matter, ihe future remains 

essentially unknowable. The accelerating 
pace of change affecting every aspect of 
our daily existence has made "future 
shock" a permanent reality in our lives. 
Economist Kenneth Boulding put it in these 
striking terms: "I was born in the middle of 
human history to date, roughly. Almost as 
much has happened since I was born as 
happened before. The world of today is as 
different from the world in which I was born 
as that world is from Julius Caesar's." 

Next year, next month, next week, tomor- 
row. Two hours from the moment you read 
these words. All these concepts remain in . 
the realm of the unknown. The future that 
keeps bearing down on us — ever faster 
and more voluminously — remains an utter 
mystery. Can you really say what it holds in 
store for you? Be careful; the way you antic- 
ipate the future affects your every action in 
the here and now. 

The crisis of an accelerating future has 
restored oracles to their former respecta- 
bility. Economic indicators, military sce- 
narios, weather reports, and pollsters gov- 
ern our lives. As in ancient times, public 
prognosticators are always consulted and 
often heeded. But are they any more accu- 
rate than the oracles of ancient Greece? 

In the spirit of healthy cynicism, Omni 
wants to find out if the so-called experts 
know any more about the future than you 
do. We want to disprove the old axiom 
about the world's most unpopular futurists: 
that everybody talks about the future but 
nobody ever does anyihing about it. We are 
asking you to fill out and mail to us the fol- 
lowing Delphic questionnaire. You will be 
asked to make some predictions on scien- 
tific subjects, others on social trends, and 
still more on personal matters — you, after 
all, are the best expert on your own life, 

At the same time, an independent panel 
of futurists for prognosticators, mellontolo- 
gists, futurologists, futuristicists, futures 
analysts, or whatever they choose to call 
themselves) will be asked the same ques- 
tions. The two sets of answers will be com- 
piled and compared in a later issue. The 
answers, we amateurs can safely predict, 
should prove to be most revealing. 

176 OMNI 


Here is a list of possible events having far- 
reaching global consequences that many 
people believe could take place at any 
time within the next quarter of a century, 
Read each item carefully and decide if you 
believe it will ever take place. If you think it 
will not, then place a mark in the "Never" 
box. If you think it will take place, decide 
when it will most likely occur and put a 
mark in the appropriate box. Try to 
complete every item on the list. Remember 
that there are no "right" or "wrong"* 




(1) First woman 

elected Presi- 

dent of the USA 


(2) Nuclear war 

breaks out 

between USA 

and USSR 


. (3) US commits 

troops to Africa 

to counter 




(4) Gasoline 

reaches 25 

cents per liter 


(5) First terrorist 

use of nuclear 



(6) Return to pre- 

Sixties stan- 

dards of moral- 

ity and end of 




(7) Manned land- 

ing on Mars 


(8) First public 

"paying pas- 

sengers" on or- 

bital spaceflight 


(9) Industrialization 

of space 

becomes im- 

portant source 

of income 


(10) Computer 

beats world 

(human) chess 



(11) World shortage 

of animal 

protein makes 

meat too 

expensive for 

average Ameri- 

can household 

to serve 


(12) Cortfact made 

with intelligent 


2000 NEVER 

□ a 

□ a 

□ a 

U in- ) 

□ (12- ) 



(13) Ahuman being 
is successfully 

(14) Extrasensory 
perception is 
accepted as 
fad by the 
majority of 

(15) Average expec- 
tation of life is 

1 00 years or 

(16) Computers 
have "self- 
and intelligence 
greater than 

(17) The majority of 
South American 
Communist or 

(18) Economic 
collapse of the 
West as predict- 

'edby Marxist 

(19) Revolution in 
jUSSR leads to 
overthrow of 
existing regime 
and replace- 
ment by liberal 
"pro- West" gov- 



(20) Marriage as in- 
stitution virtu- 
ally disappears 
in USA with 
over 75 percent 
of babies born 
"outof wedlock" □ 

■Finally, would you please complete the 
following questions about yourself. 
Please be assured that these responses 
are completely confidential and are used 
only for classification purposes. 

1. In which age group are you? 

□ (26-1; 


□ ( 



. At the present time are you 
Full-time (30 hours a week 

or more) 
Part-time (less than 30 hours 

a week) 
Not employed (indicate 

Student" - 

□ □ □ □ □ (2i- 

□ □ □ □ .□ . (22- ) 

□ D 

D □ 

□ □ P □ □ (25- I 

. If employed, what is your job title or 
position (please be specific) 

- (28- )(29- ) 

. What is the nature of your firm's busi- 
ness? If self-employed please give 
your professional or occupational 
status. (Please be specific, e.g., 
engineering firm, law firm, insurance 
firm, etc.) 
- (30- H31- :■ 

. Please check the last level of school 
you completed. 
Some high school or less 

Graduated high school 
1-3 years of college 
Graduated College 
Graduate or professional 
training after college 
Educational degrees, 
if any — 

□ (32-1} 

□ ( ■'< 
D ( -a 

_D (33-e; 

6. Please indicate your total household 

income. This should include income 
from all sources for yourself as well as 
other members of your household with 
whom you are living. 
Under $8,000 □ GM-i) 

$ 8,000-$ 9,999 □ ! -2) 

$10,000-$14,999 □ | -31 

$15,000-$24,999 □ ( 4 

$25,000-$34,999 □ [ -5) 

$35.000-$39,999 □ ( -6) 

$40,000 or over □ ( -t) 

7, Are you: 

Male □ i 351 * 

Female □ ( -2) 

Your completed Omni Delphic Poll should 
be sent to: 

Department CR 

OMNI Magazine 

909 Third Avenue 

New York, N.Y. 10022