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Now we're rockin'

Thanks for the great article on my Monahans 98 meteorite ("Found: Primordial water," SN: 10/30/99, p. 284). Therein you say that I do not want to part with any of it. Actually, the meteorite does have additional purple salt crystals, and I would be willing to part with some in the interest of science. So far, no one has asked.

Mike Craddock Big Springs, Texas

As the article stated, researchers who had studied Monahans 98 told SCIENCE NEWS that the meteorite's new owner--unnamed in our story--had not wanted to give up any of his heavenly treasure. The offer made in this letter should be welcome by all who care about scientific inquiry.


All dressed up

Your article on wearable computers ("Smart outfit," SN: 11/27/99, p. 330) raises an interesting possibility. How do professors detect if a student is wearing something like this? With a telecom link, it could make a mockery of oral exams or any others. Imagine a dissertation defense with 10 of your best friends working behind the scenes.

Craig Ewert Crystal Lake, Ill.

I have a ready and renewable source of energy for wearable computers overhanging my belt. I see myself in a new wardrobe--eating as I did at age 25 and renting out my middle to run others' programs in my sleep. This might be better than having my cake and eating it too.

Mac Walker Madison, Conn.

Dim hopes

"Extrasolar planets: Out of the shadows" (SN: 11/20/99, p. 324) didn't mention any follow-up search for planets around the star HD 209458. If current theory is correct, there is a good chance that any other planets circling the star are in the same plane as the newly discovered one. Perhaps it would be possible to detect the dimming of the star by these other planets, also. I am sure that idea must have occurred to astronomers already, although I have heard no mention of it. Is such a search going to take place?

Bob Phillips Stilwell, Kan.

Dimming of other planets that lie close to the star would probably already have been detected when the researchers looked for such dimming. The limiting factors are diameter and how close the planet lies to the star. The closer in, the greater the dimming.

--R. Cowen

Think if he'd bought Apple then

"Schroedinger's cash register" (SN: 11/27/99, p. 344) provided a nicely balanced discussion of recent attempts by physicists to make progress in finance. I was amused, however, to see my colleague Andrew Lo referred to as an "econometrist." We who practice econometrics commonly call ourselves "econometricians." By the way, econophysicists are not a new phenomenon. One of the first must have been Sir Isaac Newton, master of the Royal Mint.

Halbert White San Diego, Calif.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 29, 2000
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