- Suddenly: by Josh Pearson, with GD on VS2004.
For days now, the job at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County has been to follow the order from the White House through the Secret Service and down to the park workers:
"The president's feet are not to touch the dirt."
So all yesterday, large crews drawn from all county parks worked to ensure that, as always in his life, George Bush's feet do not touch the ground when he appears in the big park today.
Bush arrives for a fund-raiser at a restaurant in the park. That is indoors and he doesn't have to worry about his feet there. But he has to go over ground to an administration building where he is to meet with families of 9/11 victims. After that, he has to go over more ground to get to the site of a memorial to the victims.
He doesn't want his feet on the ground and he will be at a groundbreaking ceremony.
[...] They put up a concrete sidewalk from the parking lot to a ramp leading into a side entrance to the building. The rain and sleet made it impossible for the concrete to dry. So they changed from concrete to the asphalt used on streets. They hoped the president wouldn't mind this. After all, it would protect his feet from touching the earth. Gravel and hot steaming asphalt.
Bruce Lahn, a biomedical researcher at the University of Chicago, has found the first clear indication of the genetic changes that led to the rapid expansion of our brain.Flowers for Algernon!
Lahn found that the ASPM gene in humans has undergone 15 important mutations since we last shared a common ancestor with chimpanzees, about 5 million years ago. [...] It seems to control how many times cells in the cerebral cortex can divide, which controls how much space there is for neurons. A variant of the gene that allowed additional cell divisions, Lahn surmises, gave some hominids the additional neural infrastructure that eventually let them develop abstract reasoning and language skills.
In future experiments, Lahn will insert the human ASPM gene into mice to see what affect it has on brain development.