The Official Communique of the USS Ronald E. McNair
Boston, Massachusetts

September 15, 2001 ---------- Vol. 8 No. 2 ---------- Star Date: 37149.3


Editor's Note
Captain's Log
TV Schedule
The USS McNair's Mission
McNair Ready Room
Chief Medical Officer's Log
Comm Channel News
Code 47 via Subspace Radio
About My Friend, Val Hope
My Favorite Klingon
From Data's Humor Chip
The Starships of Starfleet
Women and Smoking
Fun On The Internet

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Yes, it has been a while since our last issue. Plenty has happened in the world of Trek. The Voyager series has ended. A new TV series is about to begin. A new motion picture is underway. And within the USS McNair there have been changes. Part of this issue is a tribute to former crew member Valerie Hope, who beamed up to Sto-Vo-Kor on July 30, 2001.

In the TNG series, Picard and his crew dealt with the death of Tasha Yar. During the last seven months, the crew of the USS McNair faced a similar situation. I a proud to be a member of this ship. More than you may know.

As Val faced her terminal illness much as any Klingon would, the crew of this ship stepped up to help her in a variety of ways. This included times when Val was admitted to the Boston Medical Center and homebound. We also had the June 2001 meeting in a Newton, Mass. hospice so that Val could attend. It was a tough time for everyone and I am proud of the way the USS McNair crew met this challenge.

To my fellow crew members, "Live long and prosper," has never been more appropriate.

Through it all, I was struck by Val's courage. She opted against the heavy drugs and for a higher quality of life through her final days. All the while, she was aware of others' feelings and difficulties.

I first met Val in 1993 when I joined the USS McNair. Actually, I met her at a monthly meeting at Joan's home. Val was so quiet then. Little did I know how vocal she could (and would) be. During the years, Val and I got to know each other well; especially during an "away mission" to Hartford, Connecticut. Val and I rode by car to Hartford from Boston to see TNG actress Marina Sirtis in a play.

You can learn a lot about a person by spending four hours in a car together. We discovered that we had similar interests besides Trek. We both grew up in New York City. We both love American football, the N.Y./N.J. Giants, chocolate, and bar-b-qued ribs. However, my interest in Klingons never approached Val's love for Worf and his fellow aliens with ridged foreheads.

Val was our club's first Security Chief and Moral Officer. Was this an apt role for "The Klingon?" Absolutely. Val started this tradition and made sure that the crew followed her directives: to celebrate the important birthdays, anniversaries, and accomplishments of all crew members and their families. As a result, I've developed some really close relationships and friendships in the USS McNair. In many ways, the crew is my 2nd family; a family that knows me as well if not more than my biological family. What a blessing!

This tradition is what distinguishes the USS McNair from most other fan clubs I've encountered. It's a fine tradition which I am sure that we will boldly continue and uphold. Star Trek may have brought us together, but our enduring friendships and love of sci-fi and space are what keep us together.

George Jenkins
First Officer
Stardate 37135.6. September 1, 2001 - Boston, MASS.

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INTERCOM is published quarterly. Copyright © 2001, USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. Questions, comments, permission requests, and submissions should be sent to the INTERCOM Editor, USS Ronald E. McNair, P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125 - 5159.

INTERCOM is free for USS Ronald E. McNair crew members, and single courtesy copies to region ships offering a newsletter exchange. For others, an annual subscription (4 issues) is available. Enclose a check or money order for $5.00, payable to the USS Ronald E. McNair, and send it to the above address.

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Star Trek: Voyager is a Trademark of Paramount Pictures. Star Trek, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: The Next Generation are Registered Trademarks of Paramount Pictures. This publication in no way intends to infringe upon any copyrights, trademarks, or licenses held by Paramount Pictures or by Viacom.

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Captain Kevin Johnson reporting
Captain's Log September 1, 2001
Stardate: 37135.8

I am happy to report that the USS McNair will participate again in the Overseas Coupon project (OCP). The project was founded in December 1992, in order to help military personnel stationed overseas support their families. Military support centers overseas offer coupon exchanges and military commissaries overseas accept MANUFACTURER COUPONS for up to six months past their printed expiration dates.

The OCP was granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity status by the IRS on October 27, 1998. The USS Ronald E. McNair crew sent to OCP $7,393.72 worth of coupons between November 1996 and October 1997. Please follow the below procedure to donate coupons:

  1. Sort MANUFACTURER COUPONS ONLY into food (if you would eat it and provide calories) and non-food (pet food, toothpaste etc.). Also if you have coupons that may be used as a gift (buy this and get a free something) the coupons have zero value but the something may make a child happy come holidays and/or birthdays.
  2. Package each bundle of food coupons and non-food coupons by month of expiration in a baggie and/or with a rubber band. Do not use paper clips they do not hold during shipping.
  3. Label each bundle with the type of coupon (food or non-food), the total amount of coupons and the month of expiration. To tally the value of the coupons: use the face value, the maximum value for buy X and get Y free or your best guess. If the tally is more then $1,700.00 split the bundle into one or more so that each bundle is less than $1,700.00
  4. Include a note stating your name, the total tally of the coupons and the earliest expiration date. Because of processing, mailing, and distribution the earliest expiration date should be no more than one month expired when you give it to me at a meeting and or by mail. OCP requested that the coupons be no more than two months expired.

Captain Kevin D. Johnson
Commanding Officer, USS Ronald E. McNair

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Here's the latest information available:

The series premiere for Enterprise is Wednesday, September 26th. The first episode, "Broken Bow," will reportedly feature first contact with the Klingons. Check your local television listing for the broadcast time on your local UPN afiliate.

Witchblade Season One episode listing:

All of these episodes originally aired from May to August of 2001. Watch the television listings for local rerun times.

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By George Jenkins, XO
Star Date: 37131.6 (August 28, 2001)

The memorial service for Val "The Klingon" Hope was held on Wednesday August 8, 2001 at the J.B. Johnson Funeral Home in Roxbury. The Officiating Minister was Reverand Adrian Anderson. For those of you who were unable to attend the memorial service, here is the biography from the program:

Valerie Elaine Hope
Born: December 10, 1951
Graduated: July 30, 2001

"Valerie Elaine Hope (affectionately known as Val) was born the fourth of six children to Fern Elaine Hope and Walter Delacey Hope on December 10, 1951 in the Bronx, New York City. She graduated from the Commonwealth High School in Roosevelt, Puerto Rico and after moving to Massachusetts she joined the U.S. Army Reserves and continued her education. In June 2001, she received her Associates Degree from Bunker Hill Community College, where in 1977 she was the recipient of the Linda Krasner Award in recognition of personal and academic achievement. Prior to her graduation to be with the Lord, Val was pursuing a Bachelor Degree in History at the University of Masschusetts. Her other educational pursuits included courses in cabinet making at the Wentworth Institute and a degree in cabinet making from the North Benett Street School."

"Her desire to be actively involved in GED and ESL programs for the community led to her to found and institute the "Learning Can be Fun Tutorial Program" for English, science, and math to tutor adults for GED testing. This program was the foundation for her tutorial skills with her students at Bunker Hill Community College in the Multi-Asistance and Teaching Center, to motivate them to improve their language, wiriting, math, and computr skills, and at the Alice Haywood Taylor complex in Roxbury."

"Val was also active as a volunteer for several organizations. She was Chair Person for the Committee to organize camp fairs; she was a volunteer for the Big Sisters of Boston Association assisting with their Annual Halloween and Christmas celebrations. She also volunteered at the Harvest Co-op where she participated in the Veggie Festivals. She particularly enjoyed participating in the Unity Day Cook-outs at the Alice Haywood Taylor Complex where she resided. She had been a member of the Tenant Task Force."

"Val was a "Treki:" an avid Star Trek fan, and a long time member of the U.S.S. Ronald E. McNair Star Trek Club here in the Northeast, which was named after the African-American astronaut who lost his life onboard the Challenger [shuttle] flight. Her enjoyment as an active "Treki" lead her to use the handle "Klingon Colony."

"Val is survived by two sisters, three brothers, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins, and a host of friends, supports, and students, in Boston and around the country. Val loved you all... God loves you best."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Editor's Note: If you wish to donate your time or money to any of the above programs that Val volunteered with, please click on any of the above links for more information about the organization of your choice.

What else is new? Of course, what's new is the upcoming television series, appropriately named "Enterprise." The series is set in 2150, about 100 years before Captain James T. Kirk's Enterprise. In this new series, we terrans are novices when it comes to space travel. Somehow, we've managed to build this starship, NX-01, that will carry 87 personnel. (Compare that to 435 personnel on NCC-1701 and 1,000+ on NCC-1701-D.) It has rudimentary weapons, no shields, no shuttle bay, primitive replicators and unreliable transporters. Sounds like fun, eh?

Of course, there's another blond, square-jawed white guy in the captain's chair, and an African-American male at the helm. And there's (surprise) a female at the communications console. Sounds like a true pre-quel, eh?

Of course this new flavor of Star Trek has its own Web site: Star Trek: Enterprise. Besides being slow to download on a 56K modem, the site has all that you'd expect to find at an official TV show's Web site. There news coverage, brief character bios, a few photos, and plenty of bulletin boards for fan input and rumors. Are you excited, yet?

For me the home page of this Web site says alot by what it lacks. True, it does list important items such as the show's premise, the actors, specs about the starship, and the production personnel: costume designers, illustrators, set designers, makeup artists, camera operators, lighting technicians, and so forth. What's missing?

Nowhere does the site list on its home page the scriptwriters! Does this mean that the scriptwriters are not important? I would argue that high-quality scripts -- and hence the scriptwriting team -- is critical to the series' success. All of the beautiful sets, costumes, and makeup won't mean a thing without quality scripts. I hope to God this is not a sign of things to come. I hope that Berman has made the writing staff a top priority. I hope that he has assembled the best writing talent available. I hope that he has given them the freedome to really innovate and create. We'll see starting Sept. 26th.

Interestingly, Paramount is not accepting spec scripts for the new series. That is, Paramount is relying on its own internal writing team to produce stories for the new series. TNG enjoyed a lot of success from stories pitched by authors, such as Ronald Moore, who originally was not a member of the TNG writing staff. Moore wrote most of the famous Klingon episodes of TNG.

So who are the writers for the new series? I had to search several other sites to find the list:

While at the new Enterprise Web site, I took the Star Trek poll. Here were the results at August 20, 2001:

You will be watching ENTERPRISE because...
It's a "Star Trek" series after all, I don't care about the producers, actors, or writers! 37.5% (1,017 votes)
Scott Bakula. He is a fan-favorite because of his work on "Quantum Leap." 30.4% (825 votes)
It's not set in the over-used 24th Century, full of tecnobabble, quantum anomalies or Borg [yet]! 15.8% (428 votes)
Who said I will be watching? Berman and Braga will destroy "Star Trek" with this prequel concept! 7.5% (204 votes)
Jolene Blalock. Sexploitation be damned, she is hotter than Jeri Ryan! 4.9% (135 votes)
If nothing else, the UPN promos have done it for me! 3.5% (97 votes)
Total votes 2,707

Gee, that's not very encouraging. Just over one-third of fans (37.5%) will watch anything Paramount throws on television. What a bunch of mindless, apathetic couch potatos! It's precisely this attitude that encourages television executives to produce low-quality shows! Repeat after me: "No Trek is better than mediocre Trek." This should be your mantra. Repeat it aloud until you believe it.

Also, a whopping 7.5% of viewers, or one out of every 13 fans, think that Berman and company can't produce a new series with any kind of quality. I wonder what gave these fans this impression? Could it have been the uneven quality of scriptwriting of the Voyager series?

Wow! That doesn't say much about the faith fans have in Paramount. It doesn't say much about the state of the franchise when a sizeable portion of your viewership doesn't trust that the studio can produce quality work.

If you don't know the cast for the new series, here is the latest lineup:

We all know Bakula (Born: October 9, 1954) from the "Quantum Leap" series and the 1998 comedy film, "Major League: Back to the Minors." But what about the rest of the cast?

John Billingsley's film credits include "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles" (2001) and several TV series: "The Others" (2000), "The Lot" (1999), and the TV movie "Tuesdays with Morrie" (1999). The actor guest-starred on episodes of "The West Wing," "Touched by an Angel," "Martial Law," "NYPD Blue," and "Judging Amy."

Jolene Blalock's TV credits include "Diamond Hunters" (2001) and "Jason and the Argonauts" (2000). She has guest starred on episodes of "JAG," "C.S.I.," and "Love Boat: the Next Wave." Given her assets, Blalock will be the "T&A" part of the show; the lure for all of those teenage boy viewers. So we'll probably see her in lots of skin-tight uniforms since Star Trek hasn't displayed anything close to bare skin since the TOS with Captain James "seduce all the babes" Kirk.

If you saw the film "Jurassic Park 3" then you saw Linda Park in the role of Hannah. She also guest-starred in the episode "Fag" of the TV series "Popular" (1999). The rest of the actors are relative unknowns with some spot guest appearances on a variety of TV series.

So in September, we'll see a lot of new, fresh faces in the Enterprise series. Hopefully, we'll see some fresh, innovative stories from the scriptwriters to go along with those fresh faces. There's so much riding on this series. While Voyger muddled along with lower-than-expected ratings, Paramount needs this series to be a hit to both appease Trek fandom and to attract new audiences for UPN. UPN need the series to be a hit so it does not remain a one-show network featuring WWF.

The pressue is on due to age. Everyone knows that Trek fandom is aging right along with Shatner, Spock, and Data. Will the new series capture the younger sci-fi audience that Buffy, Dark Angel, Farscape, Roswell, and Witchblade have already captured? If "Enterprise" fails on its face, then neither Pramount nor UPN will have captured the new audiences they so desparately seek. And many will write about the death of the Trek franchise. Was the series broadcast too soon? Was it ill conceived or poorly executed?

In a New York Times article, executive producer and creator Brannon Braga explained why the next Trek series is a prequel: "We felt that to just put another crew on another spaceship with a new name or to set it at the Academy on Earth at the same time as the other shows, with the same aliens and political situations wasn't fresh enough. We needed an impetus to tell new, exciting kinds of stories and character arcs," said Braga.

He added, "Setting something even further in the future than Janeway's time felt odd because every time we try to do that we end up with ships that look a little sleeker and suits that are a little tighter. So going back seemed like a nifty way to reinvigorate the whole thing."

I won't argue the point. The franchise needs something fresh. But, nifty? Does freshness come from the setting? Or from the types of ships? Gee, I thought that freshness came from well written scripts, well crafted plots, and deep characterization. Nifty wasn't what I had in mind. Mr. Braga, repeat after me: "No Trek is better than nifty Trek."

Mr. Braga wasn't finished. Here's what he said about the first episode, "Our pilot tells the story of a crew that comes together for the very first time. The crew's mission is simple: a Klingon has crash-landed on Earth - we've never seen a Klingon before - and the Klingons want him back. We've got to take him home or there's going to be trouble with the Klingon Empire. So it's a little bit like `Saving Private Ryan' - get the Klingon home. Along the way, we uncover a huge galactic conspiracy involving a new and deadly species called the Suliban."

He added even more, "It's much more gratifying and exciting to be in on something from the get-go. And I'm just glad this show wasn't rushed. Some people may think it's rushed because `Voyager' just ended and now you've got a new show, but the fact is that from the first concept to now, it's been two and a half years, maybe even longer. It was nice to be able to take the time to develop the concept, to develop each character and to spend a lot of time with Rick writing the pilot and developing the first few episodes."

Wow! On September 26th, we'll see just how fresh this series really is.

Entertainment Weekly magazine recently wrote in their e-mail newsletter that, "Tim Burton balks at an "Apes" sequel. [Director] Tim Burton says he'd go bananas if he had to direct another "Apes" movie." If you haven't seen this movie, then don't go and waste your money on it. See something else. Sure the makeup and special effects are good. Burton's films have a good track record with special effects and makeup. The director just forgot to use a good script.

Charlton Heston's line as a dying, elderly ape was forgettable and ill-placed. It didn't mean anything as the movie didn't develop his character. The last scene of the movie was a total joke. It was supposed to be smart and shocking, but it was just dumb. There was no logic to it. Compare it to the original film where the ending was both a shocker and made sense. It was a surprise because most people ignored the clues that lead up to that ending. Burton's remake lacked such clues and sophistication.

The science fiction in this film wasn't consistent either. The film lacked character development for both female leads: the young ape woman and the blond human. This was frustrating as both characters seemed to interact in major ways with the male lead character.

In the final scenes, Wahlberg's character flies this tiny little shuttle ship off the apes' planet, back through the space time anomaly, and all the way across space back to earth. And it didn't run out of fuel! How sensible was that? And this was after the chimp first flew and landed the same shuttle craft to the apes' planet. No matter how great the visuals and special effects are, they can't save a poor story. How long will it take for Hollywood directors to learn this? You just can't hide a poor script with special effects. The Godzilla remake reminded everyone of that point a couple years ago.

Now here is a 5th grade science project I wish that more grade school kids would perform. They'd learn alot about their community and classmates. This Boulder Colorado school lost a perfect teaching opportunity and revealed how closed-minded it really is by refusing to display the girl's science project:

Barbie Science Project

This enterprising and smart 3rd grade student used several Barbie Dolls to measure the bias among her classmates and adults in her home town. The school didn't like the project and removed it from the classroom display. All of this after the teacher approved the student's science project.

It would seem that certain subjects are still too controversial for too many people in our country. The "bury your head in the sand" approach still appeals for far too many Americans. You can browse the ongoing discussion at Race Relations: Barbie Science Project. BTW, if you read the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education decision you'll note that it references the reserach work with dolls by Dr. Kenneth Clark.

Yep! On April 20th of this year, our favorite gal with the star-spangled panties and power bra turned 60 years old. Say what? You thought her comic was discontinued? Nope. The Wonder Woman Barbie Doll debuted in New York in March of this year.

Read on: "In 1941 William Moulton Marston, a Harvard-educated psychologist who was secretly writing comic books on the side, gave the world Wonder Woman. She was anything but accidental, and as long as she has been around, her fans have felt that no one ever got her quite right. In "Wonder Woman: The Complete History" (Chronicle Books), historian Les Daniels paints a portrait of Marston as one of those deeply complex men who are in their own way genius, and perhaps just a bit nutty-professor."

"In the late ’60s, with sales of the comic book waning, Steve was assassinated and Wonder Woman lost her superpowers. She learned kung-fu and ditched the star-spangled panties for mod miniskirts. Gloria Steinem saved her that time, by putting Wonder Woman on the cover of the first issue of Ms., in 1972... It is the 1976-79 television show — Lynda Carter in the plexiglass airplane — that so many people will forever equate with the character. But in a jumble of strong pop culture heroines — bionic women, police women, "Charlie’s Angels" — Wonder Woman had outlived her usefulness to the collective unconscious. She stopped being the exception to the rule."

"The TV show was canceled, and things got worse for the comic book. She married Steve, seemingly out of boredom. Longtime readers, including a teenage Phil Jimenez, drifted away. The men in charge of writing and drawing her (most of them were men) didn’t seem to love her. Having run for 329 consecutive issues, Wonder Woman was temporarily shelved in 1985."

To read more about this story, point your Web browser to Happy Birthday, Wonder Woman or Wonder Woman: The Complete History.

What's up with "Lucy-X?"

It seems that when the "Xena: Warrior Princess" series ended, our favorite action actress, Lucy Lawless, has joined the cast of the "X-Files" series. Lawless is scheduled to appear in at least two episodes, including the Nov. 4th season premiere.

Speaking of powerful and intelligent, if you haven't started watching the new "Witchblade" series on TNT, then you are missing a wonderful show. It has some of the best visuals available on series TV, along with some slammin' music, well crafted storylines, deep characterization, Matrix-style action, and adult-oriented plots that remind me of the spectacular "Babylon 5" series.

Set in current day New York City, the series revolves around Sara Pezzini's encounter with the witchblade (a very old and sentient bracelet), as she fights criminals and crooked cops for a unique brand of justice. The show is a mixture of sci-fi, the supernatural, MTV, Dracula, and "Law and Order" style whodunnit crime thrillers. The producers took the original comic series and adapted it well for TV and adult audiences.

What I really like about "WitchBlade" is that it's difficult to guess what is going to happen next. To me, this is the sign of a well written series. When you've seen a lot of television, things tend to become predictable,... and then boring.

Voyager's scripts were predictable; especially durig the last two seasons. The producers of the new "Enterprise" series could learn a lot by watching "Witchblade." "Witchblade" represents the future of sci-fi on television and cable. Lots of energy, great visuals, complicated storylines, a slammin' music track, Matrix-style action, and deep charcterization combined into a well-crafted weekly series. We all know what special effects are. Visuals are very different from special effects. Visuals represent innovative, interesting, and unusual camera angles, shots, and cuts between scenes.

The "Witchblade" series boldly goes further than "Dark Angel" did and where "Voyager" didn't even try. In "Witchblade," the sex and sexuality is right there; in your face. "Witchblade" doesn't suffer from sexless, puritan ethics and characters we saw in Voyager. The female lead charcter in "Witchblade" is intelligent, experienced, and tough yet sensual female detective with a full range of emotions, strengths, and weaknesses. SHe's far different from the pouty-faced, smart-mouthed teenage girl we saw in "Dark Angel." Yancy Butler makes the series happen, with all of its action and subtleties. Jessica Alba still has some growing up to do as an actress before she can convey a similarly wide range of emotions and vulnerability.

If you have missed the "Witchblade" series, don't worry. The USS McNair crew will have a video-marathon sometime in October. You can see all the episodes you've missed including the pilot movie -- all in the order shown. And you can discuss it with fellow sci-fi fans.

What's up with Trek on TV?

Starting in October, the TNN cable network will broadcast episodes from three Trek series: TNG, DS9, adn Voyager. If you've been watching TNN, then you already know that the network has been broadcasting the first three films films. TNN plans a large announcement for October. The network will broadcast five of the feature films.

Just in case you were counting, Majel Roddenberry has been involved with the Trek franchise for 35 years. In the original pilot she was Number One, the First Officer. In the classic series, she ws Nurse Chapel. In TNG she was the computer's voice and in the DS9 series she was Deanna Troi's mother, Lxwanna Troi. In my opinion, she is clearly the Queen of Trek.

Roddenberry has remained as executive producer on both "Andromeda" and "Earth: Final Conflict." ALong with her son she runs the memorabilia Web site Lincoln Enterprises. Roddenbery has not been involved at all in the new Trek series, "Enterprise." She will most likely be the computer voice again in the next film, "Star Trek X."

Speaking of the next film, last month at a Trek convention in England, actor Patrick Stewart (TNG, Captain Picard) addressed rumors about his role. Stewart, appearing with Kate Mulgrew in the town of Blackpool, told the audience not to believe rumours that his and Brent Spiner's (TNG, Cmdr. Data) characters would be killed. He also said that production on the film would start in October. Stewart also said that since the Voyager television series has ended, fans can expect to see the Voyager cast in upcoming films. To me, this sounds like a crafty notice that stewart will not appear in any more Trek films.

© 2001 USS Ronald E. McNair and George Jenkins. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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You or someone you know may find this of interest:


Women Less Satisfied With Advancement Opportunities

January 30, 2001, NEW YORK, NY - Just as the number of women entering law school is expected to outpace men for the first time in 2001, Catalyst's new study explores the reasons why legal employers are not retaining women in equal numbers with men, much less advancing them to partner. Although over 40 percent of law school students since 1985, women still make up less than 16 percent of law partners nationally and 14 percent of Fortune 500 general counsels.

Catalyst's latest research, however, indicates that losing women lawyers is not a foregone conclusion. Employers who provide women with mentors, control over their work, and development and advancement opportunities have a better chance of retaining women, according to Catalyst's study, "Women in Law: Making the Case" released today at a press breakfast at Columbia Law School.

"These women are saying they want high-profile assignments, advancement opportunities, and flexibility to get the job done on their own terms," said Sheila Wellington, President of Catalyst. "And last, but not least, they want a mentor who can help them figure it all out."

Women are less satisfied with advancement opportunities than men. Women of color are the least satisfied of any group on all fronts.

More than two-thirds of women and nearly half of men agree that the most significant barrier to women's advancement is commitment to family responsibilities. Men don't recognize the other top barriers women face: exclusion from informal networks and lack of mentors.

In virtually equal numbers women (68%) and men (66%) find it difficult to balance the demands of work and personal life. But women's careers are affected in ways men's are not because they make different choices. Thirty-four percent of women have worked part time, compared to 9 percent of men. However, men are beginning to make the same career decisions as women. Forty-five percent of women cite work/life balance as a top reason for selecting their current employer and 34 percent of men agree.

Compared to law firms, corporate legal departments do not provide women with a significantly higher level of either advancement opportunity or work/life balance. While 57 percent of women who went to work in-house did so seeking better work/life balance, 66 percent report not having found it.

"Counter to what many people believe, this Catalyst study shows that for women, the culture of in-house legal departments is reported to be no more conducive to a balanced personal and professional life than are law firms," Wellington said.

"Women are the emerging majority in the legal profession," said Martha W. Barnett, President of the American Bar Association. "The law firms and corporate legal departments that want to be successful in the future need to focus on recruitment, retention and advancement of women."

The Catalyst report contains an in-dept series of recommendations for legal employers. For example, developing the financial case for retaining and advancing women, laying out policies and strategies on flexible work arrangements, mentoring and networking.

More than 1,430 law school graduates from the sponsoring schools responded to the Catalyst survey. Sixty-four percent (922) were women and 36 percent (517) were men. This study is national in scope and features a geographically representative, random sample. The study focuses not just on women in law firms and corporate legal departments, but includes a sample of women lawyers who work in government, education and the nonprofit sector.

The press breakfast, attended by over 200 lawyers and members of the media, began with a presentation of findings by Catalyst President Sheila Wellington. Martha W. Barnett, President of the American Bar Association, then moderated a panel discussion. Panelists included Cynthia Quarterman, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP; Harriet Rabb, General Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services; Laraine Rothenberg, Partner, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Elizabeth Wang, VP and General Counsel, DoubleClick, Inc.

This study was sponsored by Columbia Law School, with a special grant from The New York Community Trust -Wallace Reader's Digest Special Projects Fund; Harvard Law School; the University of California-Berkeley (Boalt Hall) Law School; the University of Michigan Law School; and Yale Law School.

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a nonprofit research and advisory organization working to advance women in business and the professions. The leading source of information on women in business for the past four decades, Catalyst has the knowledge and tools that help employers and women maximize their potential. Our solutions-oriented approach-through research, Advisory Services, Corporate Board Placement, and the Catalyst Award-has earned the confidence of global business leaders. Catalyst President Sheila Wellington is the author of the forthcoming "Be Your Own Mentor," slated for publication in February by Random House. For additional information, please visit our Web site at or call (212) 514-7600.

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"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)*

Valerie Hope was a rare person on this earth. She devoted her life to serving people, especially those she called "friend." While I had the privilege of being her pastor, more important to me was that she was indeed my friend.

It is very hard for me to write this tribute. I regret not being with Val during her illness or being able to give her comfort in her last hours. Even more, I regret not being able to perform the last ministry of the church for my friend. But my dear friend would say, "Don’t sweat the small stuff, Rev!" And Val counted most things as "small stuff."

Val was like that. She put herself last and her concerns for friends first. Especially my concerns. Once I became Val’s pastor, she dedicated herself to serving me so I could serve others without concern for my own well-being. I was always the last person into the fellowship hall because I greeted everyone before I would sit down. Val knew that I never ate before preaching and that I am hypoglycemic. She would watch me and when the time went beyond that of her patience, she would come over and say "Rev, your hot tea with lemon is getting cold, please sit down and eat --- NOW!"

That was a clear cue for me to either invite people to join me at the table or bid them good day. If I did not heed her words, she would soon tell whoever I was speaking with that it was past time for me to eat and that I needed to go. She did this because I was both her pastor and her friend.

Val never permitted me to go to any engagement alone. Val accompanied me to all my speaking engagements and made sure that any need I had for water or juice was addressed. If I had a night visitation or emergency to attend, Val made it clear that I was to call her to accompany me. And when I called, she never said "no" because I was both her pastor and her friend.

Due to an earlier auto accident, I could not shovel snow so I would pay the neighborhood kids to shovel my car out of the many snow banks that plagued Boston winters. When Val found out that I was paying to have this done, she would get up before day, come to my house by "T", and make sure that my car was cleared of snow and ready to roll. And she did this without letting me know that she had done it. Once I found her out, she insisted that I not forbid her or insult her with payment. She said "Rev, you’re my pastor and my friend and that’s enough."

Finally when I married in July 1995, I asked Val to be one of my attendants. She declined saying she could not be in the wedding and make sure that things went off smoothly. Val went with me and kept notes on the various arrangements I made. Then she and the Starship we both loved so dearly, gave me the best send off I could ever have hoped for. And my wedding went off without a hitch. Because my friend, Val Hope, took care of me.

I miss Val Hope more than words can express. Not for what she did for me, but for who she was to me. Val Hope was and is my friend. I love you, Val. And dear Friend, I look forward to seeing you again when I finally get Home.

Reverend Joyce Irvin Harris
Colorado Springs, Colorado

* The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Editor's note: Reverand Harris, also known as Commander Harris, is the founding Captain of the USS Ronald E. McNair sci-fi club.

© 2001 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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A few thoughts about our favorite Klingon:

While reflecting on what to say about Val, one word kept coming to mind...COMMITMENT!

When Val got involved in something there was only one gear...full out! Whether it was the USS McNair, her charity work, just having fun, her friendships, her Christianity, her educational pursuit, her prune juice...(of course you have plenty on hand there for toasting purposes, because you KNOW she's checking...good thing Paramount didn't choose anything really dangerous as the "warriors drink") whatever or whoever it was, she was with it all the way. Whenever someone needed help with moving (always SO much fun), or any of the grunt work that is often SO important in any could always count on the Klingon.

Her playful sense of humor will also be with us always. In my last phone conversation with her (while she was in the Chestnut Hill hospice), she told me of how much fun she was having watching the reactions of all those she would ask to go to her closet only to meet the gaze of her Worf stand-up as soon as they would open the door.

Classic Val!

Her unshakeable faith in God and Klingon-sized will kept her as active as possible to the very end...going to the movie night and taking classes mere days before her departure to Stovol K'or (hope that's close to the spelling...looked good to me).

She took on life and death with the kind of courage and honor of which Ka'less would be proud. I look forward to seeing her again on the other side. Knowing her, she's probably teaching the Klingon ways to the they need to be any more powerful...angels with forehead ridges, Klingon attitudes and prune THAT's scary!

Walt Cooper
Founding First Officer, USS Ronald E. McNair

Editor's Note: Commander Cooper was formerly (at various times) with WCAS, WILD, WEZE, and WNRB radio in Boston. He is now Music Director, WZZD Radio in Philadelphia.

© 2001 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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Meeting agendas are available via Internet e-mail or fax. To learn more, see us at the next ship meeting. New members are welcome! Meetings are the second Sunday of the month at 3 PM. Call or write us for directions. Contact the USS McNair at P.O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125-5159.

The meeting minutes from prior USS McNair meetings:

Date: Sunday, June 10th. 3 PM at Hammond Point Hospice Attendees: Alison, Fern, George, Joan, Jocelyn, Ken, Kevin, Kevin Jr., Sabrina, Taka, Todd Minutes:

  1. Celebrate May and June birthdays
  2. Presented Vl with Worf standee

Date: Sunday, July 8th. 2 PM at Fern and Larry's in Reading. Attendees: Alison, Fern, Frank, George, Ken, Kevin, Kevin Jr., Larry, Maureen, Sabrina, Todd Minutes:

  1. The chocolate cake and cheesecakes were awesome, and appropriate desserts after today's BBQ.
  2. We watched the series finale of "Star Trek Voyager"
  3. Next meeting locations: Saturday, August 11, 2001. 10 AM. BBQ at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester; Sunday, Sept. 9th. 3 PM. Todd's. Framingham; Sunday, Oct. 14th. 3 PM. George & Alison's. Boston; Sunday, Nov. 11th. 3 PM. Frank & Maureen's. Malden; Sunday, Dec. 9th. Ken's. Brookline
  4. Next movie: Saturday, July 14th to see "A.I." @ Fenway General Cinemas. Boston. Meet @ 3 PM.
  5. The ship had decided to participate again in the Overseas Military Coupon Project. Kevin will provide instructions via e-mail.

Submissions to INTERCOM are welcomed and encouraged from both crew and non-crew. Articles must relate to TREK events, planets, characters, adventure, actors, literature, fandom, IDIC, collectibles, conventions, events, space science and exploration, or NASA. Articles should not exceed 1,200 words. For writer's guidelines, send a SASE to the INTERCOM Editor. Send submissions to: INTERCOM Editor, USS Ronald E. McNair, P. O. Box 255159, Boston, Mass. 02125 - 5159. Unsolicited manuscripts will not be returned. Submissions and coments are also welcome for sci-fi movies, the X-Files, Crusade, or other sci-fi works. Submissions received after the deadline will appear in the next issue, space permitting. The Editor reserves the right to edit and/or reject any submissions. Submission deadlines:
Deadline (Issue Date)
Dec. 1, 2001 (Dec. 15th)
March 1, 2002 (March 15th)
June 1, 2002 (June 15th)
Sept. 1, 2002 (Sept. 15th)
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No, this is not an eye exam chart. It's a puzzle to test your knowledge of Trek. The puzzle includes 21 starships from several televsion series and films. Ship names are listed horizontally, vertically, and diagonally; and both forwards and backwards. (Hey! This is space. Up and down are relative.) Now boldly go and solve this puzzle:


Answers are listed at the end of this issue.

© 2001 George Jenkins. All rights reserved.

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Sept. 29, 2001 The "BIG E" in Springfield, Mass. The largest state fair in New England. Admission is $12.00 plus parking. (A non-Trek event which the USS McNair is attending.)

November 9 - 11, 2001 United Fan Con in Springfield, Mass. at the Springfield Marriott hotel. Guests: Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi in TNG, Voyager); Virginia Hey (Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan of Farscape); Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith of Doctor Who); and others. New England's premiere fan-run convention. For more information and tickets:

November 24 - 25, 2001 31st Annual Creation Convention at the Hotel Pennsylvania, 33rd & 7th Avenue, New York City. Guests: Virginia Hey (Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan of Farscape); Manu Intiraymi (Icheb from Voyager); and Grace Lee Whitney (Yeoman Janis Rand from TOS). Celebrities signing autographs: Richard Herd (Admiral Paris on Voyager, L'Kor on TNG, Captain Galaxy on "Quantum Leap"); Stewart Moss (Joe Tormolen "The Naked Time" & Hanar "By Any Other Name"); Robin Atkin Downes (Byron on Babylon 5); Carolyn Seymour (Romulan Sub-Commander Taris, TNG; Romulan Commander Torath, TNG; Science Minister Mirasta Yale, TNG; Mrs. Templeton, VOY); Barbara Luna (Lt. Marlena Moreau in "Mirror, Mirror"); and others!

June 24 - July 2, 2002 Cruise Trek 2002: "Alaska Adventure III." Sail from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with stops at Juneau Alaska, Skagway Alaska, Glacier Bay National Park, and Ketchikan. For more information, visit Cruise Trek.

For a comlete list of conventions, visit the Northeast Science Fiction Conventions Web site, Creation Entertainment, or Cruise Trek.

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Below are several items received via e-mail from around the Web:

Chocolate Sweetens Swiss Stamps
The chocolate stamps will be calorie-free
May 2, 2001
Web posted at: 1:39 PM EDT (1739 GMT)

ZURICH, Switzerland -- Swiss mailboxes will be smelling sweeter next week with the advent of chocolate-scented postage stamps for letters and packages. Besides smelling like chocolate, the new brown stamps look like they are made from the confection and will be sold in blocks of four or 15 on paper designed to look like a foil candy wrapping.

Though tempting, the stamps are calorie-free and their scent is purely artificial, stored in millions of minute pellets held on by a slim layer of varnish. Swiss Post initially mulled plans to issue chocolate-flavoured stamps, but they were dropped for hygienic reasons and because extensive licking could remove the adhesive and cause the stamps to disintegrate.

Swiss Post announced on Wednesday that the stamps marking the centenary of Chocosuisse, the association of chocolate makers and importers, would be valid from May 9. A Swiss Post spokesman told Reuters he expected the stamps would actually be used since buyers stood in such long queues to snap up last year's knitted stamps -- another Swiss Post world premiere.

"The feedback has been enormous -- this does not happen every time we issue a stamp. But then chocolate is one of the Swiss cliches just like the Alps, clocks and cheese," he said.

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2387 1:45 PM
To: USS_Ronald_E_McNair_Crew
Subject: Chocolate

Ladies and gentlemen:

  1. Chocolate is a vegetable. How, you ask? Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Beans are a vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
  2. To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health food.
  3. Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.
  4. If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
  5. The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot.
  6. Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite, and you'll eat less.
  7. If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of the fridge. Calories are afraid of heights, and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.
  8. If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually counteract each other?
  9. Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger. Therefore, you need to eat more chocolate.
  10. Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.
  11. A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn't that handy?
  12. If you can't eat all your chocolate, it will keep in the freezer. But if you can't eat all your chocolate, what's wrong with you?
  13. If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated. You can't let that happen, can you?

The Kennebunkport Hillbilly
(sung to the tune of The Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song)

Come and listen to my story 'bout a boy name Bush.
His IQ was zero and his head was up his tush.
He drank like a fish while he drove all about.
But that didn't matter 'cuz his daddy bailed him out.
DUI, that is. Criminal record. Cover-up.

Well, the first thing you know little Georgie goes to Yale.
He can't spell his name but they never let him fail.
He spends all his time hangin' out with student folk.
And that's when he learns how to snort a line of coke.
Blow, that is. White gold. Nose candy.

The next thing you know there's a war in Vietnam.
Kin folks say, "George, stay at home with Mom."
Let the common people get maimed and scarred.
We'll buy you a spot in the Texas Air Guard.
Cushy, that is. Country clubs. Nose candy.

Twenty years later George gets a little bored.
He trades in the booze, says that Jesus is his Lord.
He said, "Now the White House is the place I wanna be."
So he called his daddy's friends and they called the GOP.
Gun owners, that is. Falwell. Jesse Helms.

Come November 7, the election ran late.
Kin folks said "Jeb, give the boy your state!"
"Don't let those colored folks get into the polls."
So they put up barricades so they couldn't punch their holes.
Chads, that is. Duval County. Miami-Dade.

Before the votes were counted five Supremes stepped in.
Told all the voters "Hey, we want George to win."
"Stop counting votes!" was their solemn invocation.
And that's how George finally got his coronation.
Rigged, that is. Illegitimate. No moral authority.
Y'all come vote now. Ya hear?

Paid for by the Katherine Harris Foundation for Corrective Plastic Surgery.
-- Author unknown

Funny car names:

Accord - Axles Crack, Coolant Overflows, Radiator Drips
ACURA - A Car Under Recall Action
ACURA - Always Cursing Untimely Repair Appointments
ACURA - Another Contemptable Use of Recycled Aluminum
ACURA - Another Crummy, Useless, Rotten Automobile
ACURA - Awful Crappy Unreliable Rusty Automobile
AMC - A Major Cost
AMC - A Mutated Car
AMC - A Morons Car
AMC - Another Major Catastrophe
AUDI - All Unsafe Designs Implemented
AUDI - Another Ugly Duetsche Invention
AUDI - Always Undermining Deutsche Intelligence
AUDI - Automobile Unsafe Designs, Inc.
BMW - Beautiful Masterpieces on Wheels
BMW - Beautiful Mechanical Wonder
BMW - Barely Moving Wreck
BMW - Big Money Waste
BMW - Born Moderately Wealthy
BMW - Bought My Wife
BMW - Brings Me Women
BMW - Brings More Women
BMW - Broken Money Waster
BMW - Broke My Wallet
BMW - Broken Monstrous Wonder
BMW - Brutal Money Waster
BMW - Blastphemous Motorized Wreck
BUICK - Big Ugly Import Car Killer
BUICK - Big Ugly Immitation Chrome King
BUICK - Big Ugly Indestructible Car Killer
BUICK - Big Ugly Indestructable Compact Killer
BUICK - Big Ugly Indestructible Car Killer
CADILLAC - Crazy And Demented Idiots Like Large American Cars
CADILLAC - Cars Are Driven In Long Lines And Crashed
CAMARO - Crappy American Machine Always Requires Oil
CAMARO - Crapped Another Motor, Another Rear Obliterated
CAMARO - Calling All Mechanics - Another Required Overhaul
CHEVROLET - Car Has Extensive Valve Rattle, Or Loud Engine Ticks
CHEVROLET - Cracked Heads, Every Valve Rattles, Oil Leaks Every Time
CHEVROLET - Crackd Heads Every Valve Ratlles Oil Lost Engine Totaled
CHEVROLET - Can Hear Every Valve Rap On Long Extended Trips
CHEVROLET - Car Has Extensive Valve Rattle On Long Extended Trips
CHEVROLET - Cheap, Hardly Efficient, Virtually Runs On Luck Every Time
CHEVROLET - Cheap Hazardous Expensive Vehicle Runs On Luck Every Time
CHEVROLET - Cheap Heaps Erratically Vibrate Running On Level Even Terrain
CHEVROLET - Constantly Having Every Vehicle Recalled Over Lousy Engineering Techniques
CHEVROLET - Cracked Heads, Every Valve's Rotten, Oil Leaks Every Time
CHEVY - Cheapest Heap Ever Visioned Yet
CHEVY - Can Hear Every Valve Yell
CHRYSLER - Can't He Repair Your Slow Leaky Expensive Rustbucket?
DODGE - Damn Old Dirty Gas Eater
DODGE - Dead On Day Guarantee Expires
DODGE - Dead On Delivery, Go Easy
DODGE - Dead On Delivery, Guarantee Expired
DODGE - Dead Or Dying Garbage Emitter
DODGE - Dead On Delivery Gasoline Eater
DODGE - Designers Occasionally Do Good Engineering
DODGE - Dorky Outside - Damn Good Engines
DODGE - Drips Oil Drops Grease Everywhere
DODGE - Driven Only During Grey Evenings
EAGLE TALON - Engine Always Gives Low Elapsed Times, And Lives on Nitrous
ECLIPSE - Eagle's Cousin Likes Intercooler Pressure Supplied
EDSEL - Every Day Something Else Leaks
FIAT - Failure In Automotive Technology
FIAT - Feeble Italian Attempt at Transportation
FIAT - Fits In A Thimble
FIAT - Fix It Again Tony
FIAT - Found In A Trench
FORD - Fails On Rainy Days
FORD - Famous Odor Resistant Dog
FORD - Falling Off: Rusty Door
FORD - Fast Only Rolling Downhill
FORD - Fatally Obese Redneck Driver
FORD - Fault Of R&D
FORD - Final Organ of Reproductive Discipline
FORD - Finally Obsolete Racing Device
FORD - Fireball On Rear Denting
FORD - First On Recall Day
FORD - First On Road to Dump
FORD - First On Roads & Driveways
FORD - First On Rust and Deterioration
FORD - Fix Or Recycle Dilemma
FORD - Fixed Or Repaired Daily
FORD - Flip Over Read Directions
FORD - Flipping Over Results in Death
FORD - Flipped Over Roadside Disaster
FORD - Flintstone Or Rubble Driven
FORD - Fords Only Run Downhill
FORD - Forced On Reluctant Drivers
FORD - Forward Only; Reverse Defective
FORD - Forgot Our Recommended Defaults
FORD - Forlorn, Old, Ratridden Dustbin
FORD - For Old Racecar Drivers
FORD - Four Old, Rusted Doors
FORD - For Only Retarded Drivers
FORD - Ford Owner Really Dumb
FORD - Fails On Rainy Days
FORD - Fork Over Repair Dough
FORD - Found On Redneck's Driveway
FORD - Found On Roadside Dead
FORD - Found On Rubbish Dump
FORD - Found Outside Refuse Dump
FORD - Found Outside Rotting Dump
FORD - Found On Russian Dump
FORD - Fouled Out Re-done Dodge
FORD - Fraternal Order of Restored DeSotos
FORD - Frequent Overhaul, Rapid Deterioration
FORD - Frequently On Ritalin, Designers
FORD - Free Or Reduced Drastically
FORD - Frequent Opinion: Really Disappointed
FORD - Fumes and Odors Readily Detectable
FORD - Fun Obnoxious Redneck Driving
FORD - Funny Old Rattling Dump
FORD - Funky Old Rebuilt Dodge
GEO - Good Engineering Overlooked
G. M. - General Maintenance
G. M. - Goshdarn Mess
G. M. - Generally Misunderstood
G. M. - Garbage Motors
G. M. - Generally Miserable
G. M. - Grossley Misconceived
GMC - Garage Man's Companion
GMC - Generally Mediocre Cars
GMC - Generic Made Chevy
GMC - Good Many Clunkers
GMC - Gotta Mechanic comming
GMC - Got More Crap
GMC - Grungy Mound (of) Crap
GMC - Get More Cash
GMC - Good Mechanics Cry
GMC - Gloomy Mechanical Contraption
GMC - Girlfriend's Mothers Car
GMC - Gas Mileage Crappy
GMC - Good Mileage Consistantly
GMC - Goofy Mangled Creation
HONDA - Had One, Never Do-that Again
HONDA - Hand Over Dollars to Asians
HONDA - Hang On, Not Done Accellerating
HONDA - Has Often Nice Dealer Accessories
HONDA - Highly Overpriced Non-Domestic Automobile
HONDA - History of No Dramatic Acceleration
HONDA - How Odd-No Damn Acceleration
HONDA - Hold Overs Not Doing Anything
HONDA - Hugely Obnoxious Nuclear Driving Accident
HYUNDAI - How Your Usual Nerd Drives An Import
HYUNDAI - Hope You Understand Nothing's Drivable And Inexpensive
IROC - I Run On Credit
IROC - I Run Over Critters
IROC - I Run Off Cliffs
IROC - I Reek Of Cologne
IROC - Italian Resting On Console
IROC - It's Really Only a Camaro
IROC - Ignorant Retard Out Cruising
JEEP - Jalopy Extrordinaire - Everything Piecemeal
JEEP - Junky Engines Eat Parts
JEEP - Junk Engineering Executed Poorly
JEEP - Just Eats Every Part
JEEP - Just Empty Every Pocket
KIA - Killed In Action
KIA - Kills In Accidents
KIA - Killed In Assembly
LeMANS - Look Everyone My Anus Noticeably Stinks
LeMANS - Least Enjoyable Machine - Always Needs Something
LTD - Last To Die
LTD - Last Try from Detroit
LTD - Little Tin Dream
LTD - Long Term Debt
LTD - Lousy Transportation, Dammit!
LTD - Long, Thin Dumpster
LTD - Long Time Driving
MAZDA - Most Always Zipping Dangerously Along
MAZDA - My! Another Zany Detroit Assassin!
MERCEDES - Most Eccentric Rich Capitalists Enjoy Driving Expensive Sedans
M.G. - Money Guzzler
MITSUBISHI - Mostly In The Shop Undergoing Big Investments, Sometimes Halfway Incomplete
MITSUBISHI - Motor Is Tough, Sounds Unbelievably Bad, Intimidates Slow Hondas Incessantly
NAPA - Never Any Parts Available
NISSAN - Nine Idiots Standing, Saying Absolutly Nothing
NISSAN - Needless Innovations, Silly, Stupid, Automotive Nonsense
NOVA - No Offense (it's) Very Average
NOVA - New Owner Very Ashamed
NOVA - Noticeably Outstanding Vehicle Award
NOVA - Noticeably Outstanding Visible Abhorrence
NOVA - Nightmarish Occult Vehicle Apporition
NOVA - Nine Old Vagrant Alcoholics
OLDSMOBILE - Oh, Look, Dammit! Some Massive Oil Burning Idiot's Leaking Everything
OLDSMOBILE - Old Ladies Driving Slowly Make Others Behind Infuriatingly Late Every day
OLDSMOBILE - Old Loose Dented Sheet Metal Out-dated By Infamies Like Edsel
OLDSMOBILE - Overpriced, Leisurely Driven Sedan Made Of Buick's Irregular Leftover Equipment
OLDSMOBILE - Old Ladies Drive Slow - Mostly Over Bridges Into Lake Erie
PINTO - Put In Nickel To Operate
PINTO - Paid Inspector Nicely To Overlook
PLYMOUTH - Please Let Your Mother Out (from) Under The Hood!
PLYMOUTH - Police Laugh, Young Men Ogle, All Underestimating This Heap
PONTIAC - People On Narcotics Think It's A Chevy
PONTIAC - Poor Old Nitwit Thinks It's A Cadillac
PONTIAC - Puts Out Noxious Toxins In All Cities
PORSCHE - Piece Of Rubbish, Saps Continually High Expense
PORSCHE - Proof Of Rich Spoiled Children Having Everything
PRELUDE - Pistons Rattle, Engine Locks Up, Diff Explodes
PROBE - Plainly Runs Only By Exception
SAAB - Send Another Atrocity Back
SAAB - Send Away Ass Backwards
SAAB - Send Another Automobile Back
SAAB - Swedish Automobiles Always Breakdown
SAAB - Swedish Automobiles Are Beastly
SAAB - Sad Attempt At Beauty
SAAB - Sorry Auto, Always Broken
SAAB - Swedish Automobile-Always Broken
SATURN - Sounds Absolutly Terrible, Unbelievable Rattling Noises
SUBARU - Screwed Up Beyond All Repair Usually
SUBARU - Sorry Unreal Bonzai Attempt at a Russian U-boat
TOYOTA - Too Often Yankees Overprice This Auto
TOYOTA - Torturous On Your Old Tired Ass
TRABANT - This Rediculous Automobile Breaks Annually Ninety Times
TRIUMPH - This Really Is Unreliable Man, Please Help!
TRIUMPH - Tried Repairing It Until My Parts Hurt!
TRIUMPH - The Risk In Useless Machinery Pays Heavily
YAMAHA - Yet Another Mechanical Atrosity Happens Again
YUGO - Yugoslavian Unreliable Garbage to Ovelook
YUGO - Well, maybe you won't!
VOLVO - Very Obsolete Looking Vehicle Oddity
VOLVO - Very Ornate Luxury Vehicle, Originally
VOLVO - Very Outlandish Looking Vehicle Overhaul
VOLVO - Vagrant Owned Lousy Vehicle Organization
VOLVO - Very Overated Loaded Vehicle Owners
VOLVO - Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
VTEC - Valves Tick, Engine Cracks
VW - Vehicle Wackiness
VW - Very Weird
VW - Vehicular Waste
VW - Virtually Worthless
VW - Virtual Wannabee
VW - Vintage Whirligig
VOLKSWAGON - Very Obsolete, Losers Knowingly Suffer With All German Engineered Nonsense
-- Author unknown

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I thought that you might find these Web sites interesting:

World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
The third UN conference on racism, held in Durban, South Africa this summer, had the potential to be one of the most fractious and penetrating meetings ever held by the organization. While previous UN meetings on racism focused primarily on foreign policy, this was expected to address a much wider canvas of potentially divisive issues, including the treatment of immigrants and asylum seekers, the caste system in India, contemporary slavery in Africa, Europeans' treatment of Roma people, and racial discrimination in Latin America. The agenda for the meeting was hotly debated, and a large collection of related materials has been placed online at the official Web site. Online resources include resolutions, reports, statements, draft reports, and press releases. At the site, users will also find a program of events which links to related documents and general information about the conference.

Recently, President Bush recently made a decision about federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, agreeing to release federal funds for research involving existing stem cell lines. Obviously, television news reports can't convey all of the details relevant to a complicated issue like this. Newspaper reports, while often detailed, don't convey motion, interactivity, or the full range of images. So, what can you do?

The Internet is an efficient method to read about such issues in greater detail with graphics and images. Below are two good sites. The CNN site provides in-depth coverage with articles, analysis, video clips, and message boards.

Remarks by the President on Stem Cell Research (RealPlayer)

The stem cell debate -- CNN (RealPlayer, QuickTime, Window's Media Player, Flash)

Do you like cheese? If so, then here's a Web site for cheeseheads like you:


CheeseNet contains just about everything you'd want to know about cheese: it's history, facts about different types of cheeses, cheesemaking, cheese in poetry and fiction, and much more. One interesting areas is the world cheese Index (WCI), an illustrated guide to the geography, ingredients, texture, and flavor of over 100 cheeses. Some of the more unusual cheeses you'll find listed are Romanian Telemea, Spanish Manchengo, and German Bergader. The site also includes a cheese message board and cheese links.

Are you a frequent flyer? Do you fly on commercial airlines? If so, then we have a Web site just for you:

Was ValuJet really as bad as people claimed? Now you can find out for yourself.

Created by Air Safety Online, this site is "the Internet's first completely searchable database of every commercial airline accident with more than 10 fatalities since 1970." The site was designed for both the public and media and aviation professionals. You can search by airline, by airplane type, by date, or create a custom search. Crash information includes date, location, airline, aircraft, registration, fatalities, and a brief description of the accident.

Now that you know how safe the airplines are (or aren't), you probably want to know which airport is the best (or worst) at handling departing and arriving airlplanes:

Airport Capacity Benchmark Report 2001

Released by the F.A.A. (Federal Aviation Administration), this report provides the first capacity benchmarks for 31 of the nation's busiest airports. Capacity benchmarks are defined as "the maximum number of flights an airport can routinely handle in an hour." The report finds, among other things, that at a number of airports so many flights are scheduled that it is simply not possible for all of them to take off and land on time. The worst offender in 2000 was New York LaGuardia, with 15.6% of takeoffs or landings delayed, more than twice as many as the second-ranked airport, Chicago O'Hare. Eight airports have plans to reduce congestion and you can download their plans. You can also download the full text of the 195-page report in .PDF or Word format. The 15 airports with the most delays:

  1. New York LaGuardia
  2. Chicago O'Hare
  3. Newark
  4. Atlanta Hartsfield
  5. San Francisco
  6. Boston Logan
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Dallas/Ft. Worth
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Phoenix
  11. New York Kennedy
  12. Houston
  13. Detroit
  14. Washington Dulles
  15. St. Louis

How civilized are we? Are we as a society moving towards or away from the ideals as presented in the Star Trek universe? Here is one measure. Time Europe magazine ran an interesting article in August about the Timothy McVeigh execution. The article also compared capitol punishment in the U.S. compared to Europe. Here are some excerpts:

Sunday, August 19, 2001
A Matter of Life or Death
The McVeigh case shows how differently Europe and America view capital punishment

"If critics of the U.S. death penalty needed any more ammunition to prove that the system is unjust, flawed and unreliable, they got plenty last Friday. Five days before Timothy McVeigh was scheduled to die for a 1995 bombing that killed 168 people, the U.S. Justice Department postponed his execution until June 11. Reason: the F.B.I. discovered thousands of pages of interview reports and other documents that were, inexplicably, never turned over to McVeigh's lawyers before his trial. While there was no indication that the documents would have changed the outcome — the defendant has confessed to the bombing — his lawyers demanded extra time to examine them and reserved the right to seek a retrial."

"That stunning development interrupted a process that had been heading smoothly toward a May 16 execution. It also added a baffling and embarrassing new example to the dozens of instances of judicial error, mendacious testimony, incompetent defense lawyers and sloppy lab work that have demonstrably sent innocent people to their deaths in recent years. Earlier this month, following an Oklahoma City Police Department report on multiple errors by local police chemist Joyce Gilchrist, the Oklahama State Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into all the cases — including 23 death sentences — in which she has been involved."

"Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, more than 700 prisoners have been executed in 31 states, and 3,700 are currently awaiting their turn on death row. That makes America the world's No. 4 executioner, behind China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. At a time when 108 nations have abolished capital punishment, legally or in practice, the U.S. remains the only major Western democracy to put prisoners to death. (Japan still does, but on a far smaller scale.)"

There are moral arguments for and against the death penalty — thou-shalt-not-kill vs. an-eye-for-an-eye. But in America capital punishment is often accompanied by injustices and inequalities that are troubling even to those who support it in principle. Statistics show that blacks and Hispanics are proportionally far more likely to be sent to death chambers than whites; that poor defendants are condemned more often than rich ones; that the existence of the death penalty, despite widespread beliefs to the contrary, in fact has no deterrent value. The execution in some states of minors and retarded inmates is profoundly shocking to many people in the U.S. and abroad, as is the multiplicity of judicial errors that have sent innocent people to execution chambers or long terms on death row. The accumulation of such errors last year moved Illinois Governor George Ryan, a supporter of the death penalty, to declare a moratorium on executions in his state."

"That the U.S. executes people is troubling to death-penalty opponents around the world. But nowhere, perhaps, does it pose such a problem as in the European countries that share America's democratic values and maintain close economic, military and cultural ties with their transatlantic partner. "Europeans are appalled at the unabated pursuit of the application of the death penalty in the U.S.," says Bianca Jagger, an official of Amnesty International U.S.A. "They cannot understand how the U.S. can claim to be the leading champion of democracy and continue to apply the death penalty." Belgian novelist and essayist Pierre Mertens similarly observes, "It is a tragic paradox that the deluxe country among the democracies resorts to this kind of barbarity." Concerning the question of capital punishment, the U.S. and its allies stand on opposite sides of a great divide. All 15 members of the European Union have banned the death penalty, and the organization actively promotes its abolition throughout the world. Brussels has made abolition a precondition to E.U. membership, as has the 41-member Council of Europe, thereby spurring most East and Central European aspirants to do away with capital punishment."

To read the full story, point your Web browser to:

A Matter of Life or Death,9869,109552,00.html

© 2001 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved. This article may be linked to provided it is presented in its entirety with this copyright message appended.

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Just in case you hadn't heard about this news item:

WOMEN and SMOKING: A Report of the Surgeon General - 2001 [released 27 March 2001]

An excerpt from the press release.

"Among U.S. Women and Girls
Women now account for 39 percent of all smoking-related deaths each year in the United States, a proportion that has more than doubled since 1965, according to a report on women and smoking released today by Surgeon General David Satcher. The report concludes that the increased likelihood of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and reproductive health problems among female smokers makes tobacco use a serious women's health issue."

"Meanwhile, increased marketing by tobacco companies has stalled progress in smoking cessation by women, and recent increases in smoking among teenage girls threaten to wipe out any progress that has been made in the last few decades, he noted."

"In the early decades smoking prevalence was more prominent among men, and it took nearly 25 years before the gap narrowed and smoking became commonplace among women," Dr. Satcher said. "Women not only share the same health risk as men, but are also faced with health consequences that are unique to women, including pregnancy complications, problems with menstrual function, and cervical cancer."

Answers to the puzzle: USS Cairo, USS Defiant, USS Endeavour, USS Enterprise, USS Excelsior, USS Faragut, USS Gorkon, USS Hera, USS Hood, USS Intrepid, USS Lexington, USS Melbourne, USS Pasteur, USS Reliant, USS Tutledge, USS Tolstoy, USS Tripoli, USS Vico, USS Voyager, USS Yamato, and the USS Zhukov.

© 2001 USS Ronald E. McNair. All rights reserved.

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