INTERCOM NCC 74657
The Official Communique of the USS Ronald E. McNair
Boston, Massachusetts

February 20, 2002 ---------- Vol. 8 No. 3/4 ---------- Star Date: 37307.7

CONTENTS

Editor's Note
Captain's Log
TV Schedule
The USS McNair's Mission
McNair Ready Room
Chief Medical Officer's Log
From Data's Humor Chip
Comm Channel News
Code 47 via Subspace Radio
United FanCon 11
Planets of Star Trek
Maintaining a World View
10,000 Black Men Named George
Fun On The Internet
Minorities & Women Get Better Auto Deals Online, Study Concludes

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EDITOR'S NOTE

Yes, it has been a while since our last issue. Plenty has happened in the world.

We are at war.

American is at war.

Sometimes, when I repeat this silently to myself, I get little shivers up and down my spine. It’s like the first time Captain Picard and his crew engaged the Borg. You knew that the battle was seriously important. You knew that the stakes were high. You knew that you had to fight.

America is at war. We are engaged in a war we didn’t ask for. The enemy thrust it upon us on September 11, 2001. Doing nothing is not an option. If we were to do nothing, our enemy would continue to carry out terrorism against us on our own soil. And the deaths would mount.

Picard couldn’t reason with the Borg. Negotiation was futile. We face a siilar situation. Our enemy wants the land of Israel returned to Palestine (e.g., pre-1948) and to Palestinian Muslim Arabs. Our enemy wants Israelis killed. Our enemy wants to kill Americans whenever possible. Our enemy wants all non-Muslims out of the holy lands in Saudi Arabia. Our enemy does not tolerate people with other religions or faiths. Our enemy does not value the freedoms we value.

There is no negotiation with our enemy on these points. Anything short of these goals, our enemy feels are unacceptable.

So, we are at war. We have engaged the enemy and the fight is for our survival.

Since the war has been carried to our soil, it means that we are all soldiers in this war. It means that we each have a responsibility. As Gandolf said it well in the "Lord of the Rings" movie, "You only have to decide how to live with the life you have been given."

What do you decide?

In the film "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," McCoy said, "I choose the danger." He chose the path he considered the right thing to do. It wasn’t the easy path or the safe path. And he knew it. Getting Spock’s katra out of his head and back into Spock’s body was the right thing to do.

What do you decide?

I choose the right path, too. For me, that means to continue to live life as I would have before September 11th. That means, to continue to travel both within and outside the United States. If I have to travel on business, I go. If I want to travel for vacation, I go. I travel by plane, train, car, ship, or whatever method I choose.

That means, to continue shopping, both online and offline at shopping malls. That means, to continue to visit sports stadiums and any other public places I choose to visit. Israeli and Eurpean citizens have learned this. They go about their lives. Now we Americans have to learn the same lesson.

It also means taking responsibility to educate myself about the world. Where do you get your news? Do you get it only from your local newspaper or your local TV station? Do you get your news only from CNN? I prefer a variety of international sources.

Responsibility also means educating yourself about the history of the Middle East and the formation of Israel. It means understanding the concerns of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and of Israel. It means understanding why some Arabs hate Americans. It is difficult to understand today's events without a knowledge of the history. There are many sides to the story. Fortunately, there are many good Web sites that will describe the history of Israel, Palestine, Saudia Arabia, Egypt, and the other Middle East countries.

This approach provides me with enough information to form a worldview. It helps me understand the opinions and goals of people from other cultures, regions, and countries. It prevents me from being isolated and naive. It helps me understand that we Americans now live the way the rest of the world has been living for quite a while. People in other countries have learned to live with terrorism. Now, we face the same lesson.

To choose otherwise, is to live your life in fear. If I live my life in fear, then I let fear rule my choices and the enemy has won. I don't want the enemy to win.

I am willing to endure a few sacrifices to maintain the freedom I value. I don't mind the longer lines at airports. I value a few inconveniences in exchange for the ability to travel freely and safely.

As a soldier in this war, part of the responsibility means being vigilant while traveling. If something or someone looks suspicious, report your concerns to the appropriate authorities. The F.B.I. and local police phone nubers are already programmed into my cell phone.

The responsibility also means giving blood, donating your time, cash donations or whatever you choose to give to the organizations of your choice. You can assist some of the relief organizations in the U.S. and abroad. There is a lot of work to be done. Doing nothing is not an option.

Another part of the responsibility is to be a smart consumer. If certain travel companies employ lax security processes, select your travel with their competitors instead. If you don't like the safety proceedures an industry employs, part of the responsibility is to write to your congresional representatives and express your concerns. Democracy means participation.

Continuing to travel and live my life doesn’t mean ignoring recent terrorism events. It means paying attention to the warnings. It means maintaining a world view. Right now, it seems prudent to wash your hands after opening our surface mail. It’s a mild inconvenience and one I’m happy to live with.

Robert Steinback, a good friend of mine and columnist for the Miami Herald, said it well, "In a free society, good information travels quickly -- and it's the best vaccine against fear."

George Jenkins
First Officer
Stardate 37304.6. February 17, 2002 - Boston, MASS.

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McNAIR'S MISSION

INTERCOM is published quarterly. Copyright © 2002, 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.

If you decide to link to this web site, to an INTERCOM newsletter issue, or to an article within an issue, please register with the USS McNair Guest-book. Otherwise, the INTERCOM Editor will not be able to notify you when links or pages change.

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'S LOG

Captain Kevin Johnson reporting
Captain's Log February 15, 2002
Stardate: 37302.5

Hello everyone and happy New Year. I hope you all had a good holiday season. During the winter months, our ship had several movie-night away missions. Thanks to Ken Dumas for organizing these activities. If you have an away mission you'd like the club to participate in, please let me or Ken know.

Last month, we B5 fans saw the TV movie "Legend of the Rangers." While it wasn't everything we'd hoped for, there are several scifi films in the theatres. At our next monthly meeting, we will plan specific dates.

I know that many of us are watching the new Star Trek TV series, "Enterprise." Hopefully, that series will grow into the future. I hope that all of us are enjoying the many educational and entertainment events that Black History month offers every year.

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

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TV SCHEDULE

Here's the latest information available:

The new series, Enterprise, premiered on Wednesday, September 26, 2001. Here's the latest information:

# Air Date Episode # Production # Title Star Date
1 & 2 9/26/2001 ENT101 & ENT102 001, 002 Broken Bow --
3 10/03/2001 ENT103 003 Fight or Flight --
4 10/10/2001 ENT104 004 Strange New World --
5 10/17/2001 ENT105 005 Unexpected --
6 10/24/2001 ENT106 006 Terra Nova --
7 10/31/2001 ENT107 007 The Andorian Incident --
8 11/07/2001 ENT108 008 Breaking the Ice --
9 11/14/2001 ENT109 009 Civilization --
10 11/21/2001 ENT110 010 Fortunate Son --
11 11/28/2001 ENT111 011 Cold Front --
12 1/16/2002 ENT112 012 Silent Enemy --
13 1/23/2002 ENT113 013 Dear Doctor --
14 1/30/2002 ENT114 015 Sleeping Dogs --
15 2/06/2002 ENT115 014 Shadows of P'Jem
16 2/13/2002 ENT116 016 Shuttlepod One --
17 2/27/2002 ENT117 017 Equilibrium --
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CODE 47 VIA SUBSPACE RADIO

By George Jenkins, XO
Star Date: 37303.3 (February 16, 2002)

Rumor has it that the sequel to the 1999 film "The Matrix" has been delayed due to competition from other films. Consider this. Warner Brothers expects to release "The Matrix Reloaded" in the summer of 2003, after it was delayed twice (from Dec. 25, and later from spring 2002). Warner Brothers Pictures is concerned about the juggernauts "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers" from AOL Tie Warner. They should be concerned. Don't be surprised if the Harry Potter 3 installment pushes the Matrix 3 out even further.

Speaking of sequels, what's a greater villain than a metallic, shape-shifting cyborg? Well, we'll all find out in the next Terminator 3 movie. According to an interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a British magazine, the enemy in his next terminator film will be a female terminator that has control over all other machines. In "T3: The Rise of the Machines," Arnold will reprise his role as the cyborg he played in the first two films. However, the female terminator will be able to control his character. Hence, Arnold's character will shift back and forth between good and evil. The lead actress has not been selected yet. U-571 director Jonathan Mostow will direct this film.

Whoopi Goldberg, Christopher Plummer, Kevin Pollak, and Zoe Warner will star in the independent film "Blizzard" to be directed by actor LeVar Burton. Shooting started this month in Toronto and Quebec City, Canada. Written by Murray McRae, the project is a Christmas story about a young girl (Warner) and her relationship with Santa's most magical reindeer, Blizzard, voiced by Goldberg. When her heart is broken after her love of skating is taken away from her, Blizzard comes to help the girl find her way back to what she loves most. Props to Burton for his PBS "Reading Rainbow" TV series.

In the upcoming Spiderman film, Tobey Maguire )"The Cider House Rules") will play Peter Parker a/k/a Spiderman. Willem Dafoe will play arch enemy the Green Goblin, and a redheaded Kirsten Dunst will play girlfriend Mary Jane. The film wil release on May 3rd.

Props also to the African-American actress Gloria Foster, who died on September 29, 2001 at the age of 64. Yes, you know the Chicago-born Foster. She played the part of the Oracle in the 1999 film, "The Matrix." Or you may also know her from the 1995 Broadway play, "Having Our Say," based on the memoirs of the black centenarian sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delaney.

As the Village Voice wrote, "Her heyday, unsurprisingly, spanned the 1960s and 1970s, a creatively fervent time when producers like Joseph Papp fearlessly experimented with progressive casting. By the time Reagan took office, such liberal artistic practices waned and the roles dried up." While most of her work was on the stage, Foster's TV and film credits included: Percy & Thunder (1993), City of Hope (1991), Separate But Equal (1991), Leonard Part 6 (1987), The Atlanta Child Murders (1985), Files on Jill Hatch, The (1983), Man and Boy (1972), The Angel Levine (1970), The Comedians (1967), Nothing But a Man (1964), and The Cool World (1963). Foster portrayed generations of black women in such plays as "In White America" and won an Obie and a Theater World award for her portrayal of Medea. Foster studied at the Goodman Theater School of Drama and made her professional debut in the County Theater at the University of Chicago.

Also in memoriam, New Zealand actor Kevin Smith, who played the leather-clad God of War, Ares, in the television series "Xena: Warrior Princess." According to newswire reports, Smith, 38, died Friday in China after a fall. He had been hospitalized in Beijing with head injuries. The New Zealand Herald reported Smith's next role was to have been in a Bruce Willis movie, "Man of War," to begin filming in Hawaii next month.

Last month, a federal court has refused to block the sale and distribution of an X-rated, animated "Star Wars" spoof. Lucasfilm Ltd. had sued Media Market Group Ltd., the New York producers of "Starballz," for copyright and trademark infringement last October.

In December, the court had granted a temporary restraining order preventing further manufacture, sale, release or distribution of "Starballz." George Lucas alleged that similarities between "Starballz" and "Star Wars" could confuse consumers into thinking that Lucasfilm sponsored or produced the X-rated movie that mocks the "Star Wars" story line.

How is this any different than, "Thumb Wars: The Fantom Cuticle" film short? Relax George. Your SW property will do just fine into the future. That is, if you don't develop any more stupid characers like Jar Jar Binks.

Reportedly, Jolene Blalock (T'Pol on UPN's Enterprise) told SCI FI Wire that she auditioned for the role of Elektra in the upcoming Daredevil movie. Blalock is one of several actresses trying out for the role. "Alias" star Jennifer Garner was also in the running. Variety reported that Garner is expected to close a deal quickly to play the role, the love interest of Affleck's Matt Murdock/Daredevil. The paper also reported that Colin Farrell has been negotiating to play Bullseye. Mark Steven Johnson wrote the script and is directing the film.

What do you think of the new Trek TV series Enterprise? Is it any better than the Voyager series? I am not happy about how the sole African American character on the show has been written so far. This unhappines is something I've read on several sci-fi e-mail discussion groups.

DRCSaid@netscape.net summed up the situation quite well: "Explain to me, ENTERPRISE o'kay? The brother on the bridge grew up on spaceships, knows the ins and outs of a ship, yet he's just an Ensign? He's not worthy of being a number 2? Kirk had a Vulcan, Picard had a white male, Janeway had.... wait, was he supposed to be Indian? (o'kay he doesn't count.) And Scott Bakula has a Vulcan... yet his ensign is the one WHO GREW UP ON SPACESHIPS, knows their inner workings and he's just an Ensign? Wesley Crusher was barely a cadet and they wrote episodes around him, but our man on ENTERPRISE is "the push the button guy?"

DRCSaid exapnds on how African Americans are often treated on sci-fi shows: "We're always the side-kick, get no love/affection scenes (i.e., Blade) unless it's with soemone of another race (Much love to [Captain] Sisko and his family on Deep Space 9); always sacrificing ourselves for the cause (i.e., Terminator 2); have some kind of defect/enhancement (i.e., Worf for the defect, Geordi for the enhancements [in ST'TNG]); the "rough, savage races" are always presented as being dark (Cardassians, Jem H'dar, Klingons). But the "civilized" ones are always slightly tanned and Anglo-looking (i.e., Vulcans, Romulans, the Founders). We're always "spiritual advisors" to the white people (but never have the knowledge to solve the problems ourselves: Morpheus). A white guy created the warp drive, but correct me if I'm wrong but didn't a brother create the computer that runs StarFleet's ships?"

"We can go thru two worm holes, one time warp, three space continuim's, a slip stream, and a Borg created portal and can't even arrive on even ONE planet where there's aa majority of Brown, Latino, Asian folks?"

"As it relates to our own people. Black folks in Media don't give us Brown folks in sci-fi/fantasy any love; none whatsoever. All the black magazines list the Morris Chestnuts, the Vivica's, but what about RICHARD BIGGS (5 years on Babylon 5), MARJEAN HOLDEN (a regular on Crusade, now a regular on BeastMaster), GINA TORRES (Hercules, Cleopatra 2025), THE BROTHER WHO PLAYS TUVOK (Star Trek Voyager), the young brother on ENTERPRISE, AVERY BROOKS (his woman and son) on Deep Space Nine? DAMPHOUSE (the sister) from "SPACE: ABOVE & BEYOND?" Writers like Nola, Stanley, and Octavia. We stressin' an Oscar and we have brown folks winning Hugo awards!?"

"When do/did they ever get love from black media? I know Octavia gets love, but she doesn't get run like Walter Mosely or E. Lynn Harris (I'm not dissin' them mind you, becsue they do have skills) but Jet, Ebony, Sister 2 Sister, Essence, BET, Ophra, etc., etc, give us nothing."

"Yet Kwesi Mfume and the working brown talent in Hollywood/Media are complaining about the lack of brown folks on TV, but don't even acknowledge the ones playing lead/recurring roles on sci-fi/fantasy television shows...? How about that tight animated sci-fi series (Amel Lerioux voices the lead) on Sci-Fi,com? Nothing."

"They act like we don't exist in that medium and that folks like us don't like that [sci-fi] medium. That really irritates me. I know a few brownfolks that write science fiction like myself and we always say that, "it's one thing for Hollywood not to give us love, but when our own brown producers don't..." Like all we can do are comedies?"

"Kwasi Mfume and his folks think "The Diaries of Desmond Phiefer" was bad? We brown sci-fi/fantasy folks had "Homeboyz From Outer Space!" Where was the outcry then? Where were the protests?"


FYI, in case you didn't read this recent article:

Black Writers Bringa A Different Perspective to Sci-Fi
by Kristina Nwazota
Black Issues Book Review
Vol 4 No. 1, Jan-Feb, 2002. Page 29
www.bibookreview.com

"The history of slavery reqritten with Africans as masters and Europeans as slaves. African warlocks, and other fantastic themes have become the stuf of new science fiction, often refered to as "speculative fiction." For decades, science fiction writers have stuck to traditional themes like aliens on earth, immortality, time travel, and alternate worlds. Today, black writers from diverse backgrounds have begun adding layers to speculative fiction, drawing from a history of pain, loss, joy, and even religion. The introduction has stirred white science fiction readers and begun to draw a whole new audience of black readers to the genre."

" "Until fantasy came into it, it was really a white, teenage boy type of audience," says New York City's Coliseum Books buyer Jay Grace. Now, with increased visibility, publishers and booksellers alike are discovering that black writers can offer an exotic twist to a genre hungry for new ideas."

" "For me, it's a whole new audience," says editor Betsy Mitchell, whose Warner Books imprint, Aspect, publishes five of the genre's siz award-winning black authors. She says the introduction of a new perspective into the field has appealed to a black audience, an audience that once thought science fiction didn't related to them. "What I've heard a number of times is that blacks weren't reading science fiction because they couldn't find any characters that reminded them of them," Mitchell says."

"That the black story has not been told is not to say that blacks have not been writing science fiction. In 1976, Octavia Butler, perhaps the most well-known black science fiction writer, published her first novel, Patternmaster. Her contemporaries Steven Barnes and Samuel Delaney also published successfully to a white audience, developing universal characters... Among the newer writers are Barnes' wife, former journalist Tanaanarive Due, whose stories of suspense weave love with the supernatural, and Canadian author Nalo Hopkinson, who injects memories of her childhook in Jamaica, Guyana, and Trinidad into history and fantasy."

"Other writers include New York-based Linda Addison, who has published poetry and short stories in Science Fiction magazine, and Nisi Shawl, whose stories have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, the oldest sci-fi magazine in the U.S.. Both writers were featured in last year's "Dark Matter: A century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora," the first ever anthology of black science fiction writers."

"Tracey Minor runs SciFiNoir, a two-year-old online chat group for lovers of science fiction written by black authors. The group has over 300 members and includes fans from the U.S., Australia, England, the Caribbean, and even Holland. Minor says, "The age range is from 19 to 61. They come from all walks of life." "

To read the entire article, see your local library (remember those?) for a copy. The magazine is available on newsstands, or see the Web site for reprints.

George Jenkins
First Officer


Last Fall, USS McNair co-founder and Comander Walt Cooper attended the Slanted Fedora convention. Here's what Walt had to say about the con on November 19, 2001, "Went to a Trek con put on by Slanted Fedora yesterday. It was a 3-day event, but everyone I wanted to see was onstage yesterday so I only did the single-day thing. Kate Mulgrew was FANTASTIC! First time I've seen her "live", and the fact that I've had a bit of a crush on her since her "Ryan's Hope" days didn't hurt. Denise Crosby was boring at times (why did they give her an hour, but Takei and Koenig together only got a half-hour!), but not TOO awful. Kate came prepared with great filler. Crosby did not."

"Yes, I wore my [USS] McNair sweat shirt. Seems Janeway gets a cameo in the new Trek movie that's filming now. She also mentioned the Romulans being in the new movie along with something about a Picard clone. Seems young actors are being auditioned for a "young Jean-Lu" role. She's going to do a one-woman show on the life of Katherine Hepburn (natch!) in Hartford soon (that would be worth the trip), plus she's now married to the Democratic candidate for Ohio governor. Hey, if an actor can get elected President, why not a state's First Lady?"

The first season of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" will be available on DVD on March 26th. It will include a seven-disc box st containing all 26 episodes of the first season, along with four newly created documentaries. Paramount Home Entertainment said a new season of the series will be presented every other month. All the shows have been given a new surround-sound mix.

Disc seven of the first-season box set includes:

© 2002 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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CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER'S LOG

Somebody sent this to me. I thought that I'd share it. You or someone you know may find this of interest:

HOW TO STAY YOUNG. . .

  1. Throw out non-essential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches and complainers pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
  4. Enjoy the simple things. When the children are young, that is all that you can afford. When they are in college, that is all that you can afford. When you are on retirement, that is all that you can afford!
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Laugh so much that you can be tracked in the store by your distinctive laughter. (My personal favorite.)
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be alive while you are alive, don't put out a mailbox on the highway of death and just wait in residence for your mail.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it is family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health. If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don't take guilt trips. Go to the mall, the next county, a foreign country, but not to guilt country.
  10. Tell the people you love, that you love them, at every opportunity.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
-- Author unknown

How well do you balance work and home-life? We all make distinctions between work and home that includes how much time we spend at each and which is more important. Some people I know regularly mix work and home entertainment and events; so much so that it is difficult to separate the two. You may find the questions and reflections presented by Maggie Jackson in her new book: "WHAT'S HAPPENING TO HOME? Balancing Work, Life, and Refuge in the Information Age" helpful, if you are having difficult balancing work versus home demands.

In her reporting on the workplace for the Associated Press, Maggie Jackson became aware of the evolving tension between work and home and the blurring of the lines between home and work. Sensing a seminal cultural shift, she set out to explore the apparent changing role of work and its impact on home.

Jackson, the national workplace columnist for The Associated Press since 1995, has crisscrossed the country reporting on issues from corporate daycare to harassment to office romance. She has contributed to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, National Public Radio and other publications. In 2001, Jackson was honored with the Conference board's 3rd annual Work-Life Leadership council award for outstanding journalism. She has won three Front Page awards from the Newswomen's Club of New York, and a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to research and report on Centers on Working Families across the country. Before pioneering the workplace beat, she wrote from London and Tokyo for AP, and served as an editor on AP's foreign and business desks. She graduated from Yale University and received a degree in International Politics from the London School of Economics, with highest honors. She lives in New York City with her family.

Her book:
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO HOME?
Balancing Work, Life, and Refuge in the Information Age
by Maggie Jackson
SORIN BOOKS. February 2002. 192 pages. Hardcover. $19.95

We've all read about the problem of identify theft. How can you rotect yourself? here's one solution I received recently via e-mail:

"Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place."

"A corporate attorney sent this out to the employees in his company. I pass it along, for your information."

"We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed us in your name, address, SS#, credit, etc. Unfortunately I (the author of this piece who happens to be an attorney) have first-hand knowledge, because my wallet was stolen last month and within a week the thief (thieves) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more."

"But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know. As everyone always advises, cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them easily. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one)."

"But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never ever thought to do this) Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and SS#. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost 2 weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done."

"There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them in their tracks."

"The numbers are:

"We pass along jokes; we pass along just about everything. Do think about passing this information along. It could really help someone."

Editor's Note: If you have a cell phone, It's a good idea to program thse numbers into your phone. That way, if you lose your wallet (and not your phone), you can call all of the credit card companies imediately.

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MINORITIES AND WOMEN GET BETTER AUTO
DEALS ONLINE, STUDY CONCLUDES

From the Dec. 12, 2001 issue of siliconalleyreporter.com:

Minorities and Women Get Better Auto Deals Online, Study Concludes

"Minority and women car buyers have historically ended up paying more than others when they shop for cars, but while buying online the Internet serves as an equalizer, according to a new study. The study, "Consumer Information and Price Discrimination," was conducted by Fiona Scott Morton, economics professor at Yale University's School of Management, and Florian Zettelmeyer, marketing professor at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, in collaboration with J.D. Power and Associates."

"According to the study, offline African-American and Hispanic consumers pay approximately 2 percent, or about $500, more on the average car than white consumers, while women pay 0.2 percent (about $45 on the average car) more at the car dealership than men."

"This price difference may depend on socioeconomic factors such as education, income, and search costs, according to the study. Minorities tend to have lower incomes and lower education levels, and fewer own a car, which makes collecting information and comparison-shopping difficult."

"On the other hand, shopping online eliminates the factors that raise the cost of cars for women and minorities. The study found that minorities paid the same prices as non-minorities, regardless of their level of education, income, and search costs. "Since the Internet hides some of the information normally available to salespeople, price discrimination is likely to be less pronounced," according to the study."

"This importance of this study stems from its policy implications on bridging the digital divide. "If use of the Internet is likely to reduce the adverse effects of poor education and income, then the so-called Digital Divide is of even greater importance and concern," according to the study. "The very people who seem to benefit most from using the Internet are those who systematically are less likely to have access to it." "

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UNITED FANCON 11

By Ken Dumas

U.S.S. McNair members Todd, and myself (Ken) attended United FanCon 11 in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 9 and 10, 2001. The guests this year were Richard Biggs (Dr. Stephen Franklin) and Jason Carter (Marcus Cole) from "Babylon 5," Marina Sirtis from ST-TNG, Michael Forest (Apollo from ST-TOS) and Virginia Hey (Zahn from Sci-Fi Channel’s Farscape).

The attendance was it’s lowest ever. Too bad, because it was one of the best conventions I have been too in a long time.

The first speaker was Michael Forest. Despite his senior citizenship, he looked good and was in great shape. He told a funny story of how William Shatner was intimidated by his height and refused to speak to him during most of the shoot. If you watch the episode “Who Mourns for Adonais” from the Classic Trek series, you will notice there are very few shots of both of them together.

I felt a little embarrassed for Michael since few people asked him questions. He had an hour to speak and only used 40 minutes. It must be hard for him. He was a guest star in one Star Trek episode. You can only have so much to say.

The next speakers were Jason Carter and Richard Biggs. They were on stage together and they were a laugh a minute. Jason and Richard have great chemistry and brought the house down. I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. Jason and Richard did a faux Jerry Springer show. If someone had a question for one, the other would run into the audience and hold his microphone for the person. They spent the whole time running back and fourth, in and out of the audience.

The highlight was when Richard called his wife on his cell phone and had the audience all yell "Hi." We woke her up. Despite there on stage presence they were not very nice at the autograph table. They both seemed bitter and cold. Neither of them are working and this convention probably reminded them of how good it once was. Good luck to both of them. I hope they find good roles soon.

The star attraction was Virginia Hey from Farscape. She shaved her head and eyebrows for the role of Zahn and wears blue make up over most of her skin. I could not believe that this actress was the same person. She was sitting at her autograph table and I did not recognize her. She was this statuesque blond with long hair and a wonderful personality. She loved to talk to the fans. She just wouldn’t stop talking. It was only when she spoke that you knew it was Zahn.

Many fans know that Virginia left the show at the beginning of the third season. She said it was because she was allergic to the blue makeup. It was liquid plastic poured over her and it suffocated her skin. Because of the long shooting schedule of a weekly series her body never had time to recover from the side affects. However, she hinted that she might come back to the show in a limited way.

Todd and I had to leave at 5 pm so we missed Marina Sirtis. We were disappointed at the low attendance considering the quality and quantity of guests this year. The good thing though, is that it was only die-hard fans there. No wannabe’s. It made the con for intimate. I look forward to next year’s con.

© 2002 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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McNAIR READY ROOM

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, February 10, 2002 at Roxanne's
Attendees: Alison, George, Joan, Jocelyn, Ken, Roxanne, Taka, Todd
Minutes:

  1. February birthdays
  2. Future events: sci-fi conventions, Blue Man Group, The Time Mchine, Spiderman, LOTR-2. Specific dates to be announced later.
  3. Watched the film "Gattaca"
  4. March meeting at Brian and Tina's


Date: Sunday, November 12, 2001 at Frank and Maureen's
Attendees: Alison, Frank, Maureen, George, Joan, Jocelyn, Ken, Roxanne, Taka, Todd
Minutes:

  1. November birthdays
  2. Future events: Monstors Inc. (11/17/01), Harry Poter 1 (11/24/01), Lord of the Rings (12/22/01), Legend of the Rangers (1/19/02)
  3. Future meetings: December 2001 (Ken's); January 2002 (Todd's), February (Roxanne's), March (Brian & Tina's), April (Alison & George's)
  4. Brian and Tina will host the March, June, and October meetings


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)
May 1, 2002 (April 15th)
August 1, 2002 (July 15th)
Noveber 1, 2002 (October 15th)
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MAINTAINING A WORLD VIEW

Where do you get your news about national and international events? Do you rely on news from your local TV station? How do you know if you are getting the full story? How do you know if other viewpoints are accurately reported?

I prefer to use several international news sites for my news. None are perfect, but by reading several of them, I feel beter informed than by reading any one of these sites. Some of the sites I read:

Asahi News Service (Japan)
www.asahi.com/english/english.html

The Australian
www.theaustralian.news.com.au/

BBC
news.bbc.co.uk/

China Daily
www1.chinadaily.com.cn/

Daily Mail & Guardian (So. Africa)
www.mg.co.za/mg/

ITAR-TASS (Russia)
www.itar-tass.com/news.asp

The Taipei Times
www.taipeitimes.com

As informed individuals, we should be reading the available (e.g., free) news Web sites from a variety of other countries. Keeping an informed world view is now more important than ever.

© 2002 George Jenkins. All rights reserved.

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COMM CHANNEL NEWS

March 15-17, 2002 Lunacon 2002 presented by The New York Science Fiction Society and the Lunarians, Inc. at the Rye Town Hilton in Rye Brook, New York. Guests: Alan Dean Foster, James Gurney, Val & Ron Ontell, Peter F. Hamilton, and others. For more information, visit the Lunacon Web site or write to: Lunacon 2002, P.O. Box 3566, New York, NY 10008-3566.

April 5 - 7, 2002 Jersey Devil Con 2 at the Raritan Center Sheraton in Edison, New Jersey. Guests: Terry Pratchett (fantasy), Jerry Pournelle (sci-fi), Charles Grant (horror), Jeff Menges (artist), Michael Kaluta (comics), Aetherco/Dreamcatcher (gaming), H. Paul Shuch (science), Roberta Rogow (filk), and many others. For more information, visit the JerseyDevilCon Web site or write to: JerseyDevilCon, c/o Steven Yoder, P.O. Box 403, Metuchen, NJ 08840.

April 19 - 21, 2002 I-CON 21: the Northeast's largest convention of science-fiction, fact, and fantasy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Guests: Richard Biggs, Julie Caitlin Brown, Jason Carter, Brian Downey, Herb Jefferson, Andreas Katsulas, Nutopia, Richard Stallman, and more. Some of the animae guests include Mandy Bonhomme, Rachel Lillis, Liam O'Brien, Stephen Pakula, and Toshifumi Yoshida. There are many more guests across categories (sci-fi, gaming, animae, science, fantasy, authors, horror, etc.). Visit the I-CON Web site for a complete details, prices, and registration forms.

June 7 - 9, 2002 Slanted Fedora Con at the Sheraton Tara Hotel in Framingham, MA. A really big Star Trek con with the following guests: Ricardo Montalban (Khan in ST2), William Shatner (If you don't know him, don't attend), Mark Alaimo (Gul Dukat, DS9), Casey Biggs (Damar, DS9), Jeffrey Combs (Weyoun, DS9), Apollo Astronaut Dick Gordon (Apollo 12), Jeremy Bulloch (Bobba Fett, Star Wars Ep. 2), Garrett Wang (Harry Kim, Voyager), James Darren (Vic Fontaine, the singing hologram, DS9), JG Hertzler (General Martok, DS9), and Robert O'Reilly (Gowron, DS9). Selected guests only on selected days. See Web site for details: http://www.sfedora.com/, For lodging, contact the Sheratorn Tara, 1657 Worchester Road, Framingham, MA 10701. For directions and discounted room reservations, please call (508) 879-7200. Be sure to mention you are coming for the convention to receive a discounted rate. Prices not including tax: Daily General Admission, $10; Convention Weekend Reserved Seating, $100; Saturday only Reserved Seating, $75; Sunday only Reserved Seating, $75. Call (913) 441-9405 to order tickets NOW.

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.

November 8 - 10, 2002 United Fan Con XII at the Marriott Hotel in Springfield, MA. Fore more information: http://www.unitedfancon.com

September 2 - 6, 2004 Noreascon 4: The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention at the Hynes Convention Center, the Sheraton Boston Hotel, and the Boston marriott Copley Place. Pro Guests of honor: Terry Pratchett and William Tenn. Fan guests of Honor: Jack Speer and Peter Weston. Check the Noreascon Web site for list of other guests and prices, or write to: Noreascon 4/MCFI, P.O. Box 1010, Framingham, MA 01701-1010

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

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FROM DATA'S HUMOR CHIP

I recently received this via e-mail:

THE TOUGHEST DECISION: SHOULD MY LOVED ONE BE PLACED
IN AN ASSISTED COMPUTING FACILITY?

For family members, it is often the most difficult and painful decision they will face: to accept that a loved one - a parent, a spouse, perhaps a sibling - is technologically impaired and should no longer be allowed to live independently, or come near a computer or electronic device without direct supervision. The time has come to place that loved one into the care of an Assisted Computing Facility. But you have questions. So many questions.

We at Silicon Pines want to help.

WHAT EXACTLY IS AN "ASSISTED COMPUTING FACILITY"?

Sometimes referred to as "Homes for the Technologically Infirm," "Technical Invalid Care Centers," or "Homes for the Technically Challenged," Assisted Computing Facilities (ACFs) are modeled on assisted living facilities, and provide a safe, structured residential environment for those unable to handle even the most common, everyday multitasks. Most fully accredited ACFs, like Silicon Pines, are an oasis of hope and encouragement that allow residents to lead productive, technologically relevant lives without the fear and anxiety associated with actually having to understand or execute the technologies themselves.

WHO SHOULD BE IN AN ACF?

Sadly, technology is advancing at such a dramatic rate that many millions, of all ages, will never truly be able to understand it, putting an undue burden on those friends and family members who must explain it to them. But unless the loved one is suffering from a truly debilitating affliction, such as Reinstallzheimers, the decision to commit is entirely personal. You must ask yourself:

To make things easier, we have prepared a list of Warning Signs which we encourage you to return to often, or, if you can't figure out how to bookmark it, print out. Also, please take a moment to read "I'm Glad I'm in Here! - A Resident's Story."

MUST IT BE FAMILY, OR CAN I PLACE ANYONE IN AN ACF?

Several corporations have sought permission to have certain employees, or at times entire sales departments, committed to ACFs. At present, however, individuals can be committed only by direct family or self-internment. The reason is simple: there are not nearly enough ACFs in the world to accommodate all the technologically challenged. For example, there are currently only 860,000 beds available in ACFs, but there are 29 million AOL users.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

ACF rents range from free up to $12,500 per month. The disparity is currently a point of contention in the ACF industry. Many residents are covered through government programs such as Compucaid or Compucare, but reimbursement rates are low and only cover a portion of the fees.

Exacerbating the situation are the HMOs (HelpDesk Maintenance Organizations), which often deny coverage, forcing residents to pay out of pocket or turn to expensive private techcare insurers such as BlueCache/BlueScreen.

Offsetting the costs are technology companies themselves, many of which subsidize ACFs. Firms such as Microsoft, Dell, Qualcomm, and America Online will pay up to 100 percent of a resident's monthly bill, but there is a catch. ISPs, for instance, require residents to sign service contracts lasting a year or more. Microsoft, meanwhile, prohibits the installation of any competitive software, while Priceline requires that residents buy shares of its stock, which seems onerous but saves residents on lavatory tissue.

HOW OLD MUST I BE TO HAVE SOMEONE COMMITTED?

Until very recently, you had to be 18 or older to legally commit a family member. However, the now famous British court case Frazier vs. Frazier and Frazier has cleared the way for minors to commit their parents. In that case, 15-year-old Bradley Frazier of Leicester had his 37-year-old parents committed to an ACF in Bournemouth after a judge ruled Ian and Janet Frazier were a "danger to themselves and the community." According to court records, Bradley told his parents about the I LoveYou virus and warned them not to click attachments, then the next day his parents received an I LoveYou email and clicked on the attachment because, they explained, "it came from someone we know."

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN ACF?

First, make sure it's a genuine Assisted Computing Facility, and not an Assisted Living Facility. To tell the difference, observe the residents. If they look rather old and tend to openly discuss bowel movements, this is probably 'assisted living.' On the other hand, if they vary in age and say things like, "I'm supposed to figure that out? I'm not Bill Gates you know!," this is probably 'assisted computing.'

Also, at a well-run ACF, residents should lead full, independent lives, and should be allowed the use of many technology devices, including telephones, electric toothbrushes, and alarm clocks. However, only a facility's Licensed Techcare Professionals (LTPs) should perform computational or technological tasks such as installing programs or saving email attachments. And LTPs should NEVER answer residents' questions because studies have shown that answering user questions inevitably makes things worse. Instead, residents should simply have things done for them, relieving them of the pressure to "learn" or "improve."

CAN A RESIDENT EVER GET OUT?

No.

OK, THIS SOUNDS PROMISING. HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?

For your enlightenment, we offer extensive information on Silicon Pines and the ACF lifestyle, which can be found by clicking one of the links in the navigation bars found at both the top and bottom of this page. But whatever you decide, keep in mind that due to demand, ACFs now have long waiting lists. WebTV & AOL users alone will take years to absorb.
-- Author unknown


Subject: Tips for Healthy Eating: Frequetly Asked Questions

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it...don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable slop.

Q: Is beer or wine bad for me?
A: Look, it goes to the earlier point about fruits and vegetables. As we all know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories: animal, mineral, and vegetable. We all know that beer and wine are not animal, and they are not on the periodic table of elements, so that only leaves one thing, right? My advice: Have a burger and a beer and enjoy your liquid vegetables.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain - Good.

Q: If I stop smoking, will I live longer?
A: Nope. Smoking is an individual choice to achieve peace of mind. If you stop, you'll probably stress yourself to death in record time.

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: You're not listening. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated with it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: What's the secret to healthy eating?
A: Thicker gravy.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? Cocoa beans... another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. Have a cookie... flour is a veggie! And don't forget, "When life hands you lemons, ask for a bottle of tequila and some salt." -- Author unknown


The eleven-year-old daughter of a friend told me this riddle yesterday. I thought that I'd pass it along. Question: What do Star Trek's Captain Archer and toilet tissue have in common? (Remember, an 11-year-old told this joke.) Answer: They both fly around Uranus looking for Klingons.


THE PERKS FOR BEING OVER 40:

  1. Kidnappers are not very interested in you.
  2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.
  3. No one expects you to run into a burning building.
  4. People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"
  5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.
  6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.
  7. Things you buy now won't wear out.
  8. You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.
  9. You can live without sex but not without glasses.
  10. You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.
  11. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.
  12. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.
  13. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.
  14. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.
  15. You sing along with elevator music.
  16. Your eyes won't get much worse.
  17. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to payoff.
  18. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the national weather service.
  19. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.
  20. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
  21. You can't remember who sent you this list.

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FUN ON THE INTERNET

I thought that you might find these Web sites interesting:

The Ultimate Science Fiction Web Guide
www.magicdragon.com/UltimateSF/SF-Index.html
Links are organized by topic: aliens, authors, book titles, cons, definitions, ecology, general interest, magazines/newsletters, movies, poetry, popular, publishers, stories, television, and timeline. Add this to your bookmarks!

Americans For A Fair Chance
http://www.fairchance.org/
Americans For A Fair Chance (AFC) is a non-partisan consortium of six of America's leading civil rights legal organizations: including Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc., National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, National Women's Law Center, and the National Partnership for Women and Families. AFC was founded on the belief that the measurable gains accomplished by affirmative action contribute to the prosperity and health of our families and communities. AFC seeks to educate the public and the media on the ways that affirmative action benefits women, minorities and the nation. AFC believes it is imperative to refine the ways in which we communicate our views and the facts to policymakers, opinion leaders and the general public. AFC aims to transform the debate so it is grounded in a factual understanding of both the progress made and the continuing racial and gender discrimination.

Do you have any hidden biases? Somebody once said that the only thing worse than a bigot is an unaware bigot. Here's a Web site that can help you determine whether you have hidden biases or not. There are several tests available, including Arab Muslims, weapons, race, skin-tone, and Asian Americans. Visit:

Test Yourself for Hidden Bias (Tolerance.org)
www.tolerance.org/hidden_bias/

Are you looking for a "green car?" Do you want to buy a car that is environment friendly? Do you want to reduce your dependence on foreign oil? If so, then here is a Web site you should visit:

Green Vehicle Guide
www.epa.gov/emissweb/
Produced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this site can help you choose the most fuel-efficient and clean vehicles. Users can download vehicle lists, look up vehicle ratings, learn more about reducing vehicle pollution, and use the links section to find further information.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
www.undergroundrailroad.org/
Before 1863, the Underground Railroad was a system of cooperation among Black slaves, abolitionists, sympathetic Whites, and Native Americans to help slaves escape the bondage of American slavery. Sponsored by the Federated Department Stores Foundation, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center seeks to educate the public about the legacy of the Underground Railroad and its historic struggle to abolish slavery. The Freedom Center is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in Cincinnati, Ohio during the summer of 2004. The center's mission is to teach lessons of courage and cooperation from the Underground Railroad history in order to "promote collaborative learning, dialogue, and action to inspire today's freedom movements." Exhibits will include history galleries on pre-slavery African Kingdoms and post-slavery freedom movements in North America, Poland, South Africa, India, and more.

Finfacts Worldwide Cost of Living Survey 2001
www.finfacts.com/costofliving.htm
How much does it cost to live in your city? How would you compare that to other cities? Finfact's Worldwide Cost of Living Survey for 2001 compares prices of more than 200 items in 144 cities across the globe. Using New York City, which ranked tenth in 2001, as an absolute (at 100%), the survey compares relative costs of living in major metropolitan areas worldwide, particularly in major financial and commercial hubs. Ranking first, second, and third respectively are Tokyo, Moscow, and Hong Kong.

Black Press USA
www.blackpressusa.com/
The BlackPressUSA.com (BPUSA)is the joint web presence of America’s Black community newspapers and the NNPA News Service — the last national Black Press news wire service. It is a project of the Black Press Institute, a partnership between the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation and Howard University. BPUSA is the only national Web site featuring news exclusively from African-American journalists and Black community publications. The National Newspaper Publishers Association is a 60 year-old trade association of more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the nation.

Muslim Life in America
usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/muslimlife/homepage.htm
This new pamphlet from the State Department offers a basic introduction to some aspects of Muslim-American life. The front page takes care to emphasize the diversity among Muslim-Americans, and the links from this front page further amplify these differences. The site features a number of Photo Galleries, including Faces of Islam, Family Life, and Mosques and Prayers, among others. Users will also find related articles, a page of demographic facts, a bibliography with selected readings, links to Internet resources and nongovernmental organizations, along with other resources.


Who's Hungry: Hunger in America
www.secondharvest.org/whoshungry/hunger_study_intro.html
America's Second Harvest (A2H) is a nonprofit organization consisting of a network of over 200 food banks and food-rescue programs that distribute food to 26 million Americans each year. Their 2001 study on hunger in America surveyed A2H-affiliated emergency food providers and their clients. The primary objectives of the study were to describe the national demographic characteristics, income levels, food stamp utilization, food security status, and service needs of clients at the national level; to describe the demographic profiles of clients of local agencies and to examine the ability of local agencies to meet the food security needs of their clients; to compare results of 1997 and 2001 A2H research studies; to identify trends in emergency food assistance demands and relate them to welfare policies; and to compare local and national data on charitable response to hunger. The 16-chapter report reveals that 39% of the approximately 7 million different people receiving assistance in any given week are children under 18 years old. Approximately 45% of them are white, and 39% of households surveyed include at least one employed adult. Visit this site to learn about how hunger in America is not just a problem of the unemployed and homeless.

Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine
cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/nci_monographs/MONO13/MONO13.HTM
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently released this 251-page monograph detailing the dangers of "low tar" cigarettes. The monograph, the thirteenth in NCI's Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph Series, reports findings that reductions in cancer rates are due to decreases in smoking prevalence not to changes in cigarette design, which according to NCI, have done little to address public health needs in the past 50 years. NCI here reports on ways in which smokers compensate for lower levels of tar and nicotine, reasons why Federal Trade Commission (FTC) testing methods are inadequate, and marketing methods designed to give smokers a false sense of security regarding low tar and nicotine cigarettes.

© 2002 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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10,000 BLACK MEN NAMED GEORGE

The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum operates a national registry of African-Americans who were sleeping-car porters during 1863 to 1969. One of the first African-American unions was the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. My father was a former porter and union member. His name, funny enough, is George.

Part of the history is that in many films, porters were portrayed as subservient. They were anything but that. As a porter, you were responsible for the condition of your rail car; making sure it was adequately stocked, all parts were operational; and of course, that the passengers were properly serviced.

Last week, I visited the museum's Web site and entered my father into the registry. You may want to do the same if you have a relative who was a former sleeping-car porter. To enter a relative, call 1-888-460-8123 or surf to http://www.aphiliprandolphmuseum.com/.

During an era in this country when my Dad couldn't apply to many colleges or even think about attending a graduate business or MBA school, my dad learned his business knowledge as a Pullman Porter after WWII.

The TV special, "10,000 Black Men Named George" will air on Sunday, February 24, 2000 at 8 PM ET on Showtime Cable. There is also an advertisement about the TV special on page 83 of the February 2002 issue of Ebony magazine. The film stars Andre Braugher, Mario Van Peebles and Charles Dutton. It was directed by Robert Townsend.

George Jenkins
First Oficer

© 2002 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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THE PLANETS OF STAR TREK

Test your knowledge of Star Trek. The puzzle includes 21 planets from the televsion series and films. Planet 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:

INSTVOREMOTIHK
CFORGANIAQELYA
OEZOUVBGAULTCT
NRPYNARDANAXFA
IEMIAIDSJESDMA
ANUUCROJABLEPN
WGCSLOKANECTEX
CISPUDCRTNTRAZ
KNOWVNEFUZKARK
TALDEAZPHAXMTO
IRERKMVBORETHR
YGDROMULUSJRAI
MARIPOSAZVXYMS
GPRHAISSADRACA

Answers to the puzzle: Aldea, Andoria, Ardana, Bajor, Benzar, Boreth, Cardassia, Delos, Earth, Elas, Ferenginar, Gault, Iconia, Kataan, Khitomer, Mariposa, Organia, Risa, Romulus, Troyius, and Vulcan.

© 2002 George Jenkins. All rights reserved.

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