BY HARRY RING
Reassuring, no? - Dutch officials ordered an inquiry into claims of radioactive contamination from a 1992 crash of an El Al cargo jet. El Al denied there was anything dangerous aboard, declaring that "depleted" uranium is widely used in the industry as wing ballast.
As ugly as it gets - A new Delaware law provides that the letter "Y" be included on the drivers' licenses of people convicted as sex offenders. The designation will be explained on the back for the benefit of other states where a new license might be sought. The sponsor of the law declared that "it follows you forever. This is another tool in the toolbox for police."
Chew on this one - A Stockholm dental clinic patient got a taste of cutbacks in Swedish health benefits. He agreed to pay about $5,000 for a set of teeth implants. When the upper jaw was done he paid half the bill. But as final adjustments were being made in the lower jaw implants, he found he couldn't make immediate payment. The lower teeth were extracted.
Murder for alleged profit - A recently disclosed R.J. Reynolds Tobacco memo confirmed that its scientists had discovered a way to remove carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke, but the findings were suppressed. Scientists later said the company feared disclosure would bring pressure to use a safer but more expensive process. Also, scientists had to use the word "alleged" each time they referred to carcinogens.
Eh? What noise pollution? -In a 1965 University of California survey, 9.2 percent of folks 50 and over said they experienced difficulty hearing. In a similar 1994 survey, 17 percent said they had hearing loss.
Plain talk - Industries that use petroleum in their products are enjoying the drop in oil prices. A Tupperware spokesperson said it would lower their production costs. Will that mean lower prices for Tupperware products? Response: "We price to what the market will bear."
See, the streets are paved with gold - The House of Representatives voted $500,000 to help the town of Ardmore, a wealthy little Philadelphia suburb, to redo its downtown sidewalks. The plan is to install sand-colored sidewalks and gray granite curbs. They say it will look like the walks in Florida's Disney World.
X-rated - Although they're few in number, tourists are welcome at the Nevada Test Site, where A-bombs were exploded above ground, and then underground, from 1951 to 1992.
Visitors are assured they won't be exposed to dangerous radiation, provided they don't disturb soil behind signs warning of contaminated areas. Children under 14 not admitted.
Talk about sick - The Energy Dept. plans to build a Nevada Test Site museum in Las Vegas - 75 miles away. There'll be artifacts and film footage of above-ground blasts.
"And," burbled a PR person, "We can sell souvenirs.
Coffee mugs, T-shirts and earrings - Fat Man and Little Boy
earrings." (Fat Man and Little Boy were the light-hearted
handles of the U.S. bombs dropped on Japan in WWII.)
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