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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Oct. 30, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

SPACE CADETS

A record number of astronauts is expected at next month's Astronaut Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Florida.

Veteran shuttle commanders Bob Crippen, Joe Engle, Rick Hauck and Dick Truly will join 44 Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts already enshrined in the hall of fame, which is located in Titusville, near Cape Canaveral. The ceremony --- to be hosted by Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell -- is scheduled for Nov. 10.

Astronauts scheduled to attend include Buzz Aldrin, Andrew Allen, Bill Anders, Frank Borman, Vance Brand, KSC Director Roy Bridges, Scott Carpenter, Jerry Carr, Gordon Cooper, Brian Duffy, Sam Durrance, Owen Garriott, Fred Haise, Joe Kerwin, Jim McDivitt, Bruce Melnick, Ed Mitchell, Bill Pogue, Wally Schirra, Rusty Schweickart, Loren Shriver, Paul Weitz, Al Worden, John Young and the Max Q band, a quintet of shuttle astronaut musicians.

(Web site: kennedyspacecenter.com)


COME BACK!

As the Dean of the Business Management School at State Technical University in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, A Kadirov is a very respected teacher. But he can't answer the question: What happened to the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers who worked on campus?

Kadirov can only tell his worried students that the five Peace Corps volunteers, who were teaching English at the Business Management School, have been evacuated but he cannot tell them when, and if, they'll ever come back.

"The students and staff both miss them equally," Kadirov said.

The five were among 150 Peace Corps volunteers that were evacuated ahead of the U.S.-led coalition attacks on neighboring Afghanistan. A Peace Corps source told UPI that volunteers aren't allowed to operate in a country in which U.S. troops are stationed for military purposes.

"This place is not the same without the volunteers around," said Aziz, a student at the university.


IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DA VINCI

It's not every day that one can execute the unrealized vision of Leonardo da Vinci, but a Norwegian artist has done just that.

Half a millennium has elapsed since Turkish Sultan Bajazet II commissioned the Italian Renaissance master to design a bridge to span the Golden Horn, an estuary in Istanbul's harbor, linking the city to what's now the town of Beyoglu. Leonardo drew up plans for an elegant 720-foot "pressed-bow" stone structure that was 300 years ahead of its time.

Pressed-bow construction allows relatively slim, graceful arches to support great loads through the use of wide footings. But technology at the beginning of the 16th century could not guarantee the success of such an ambitious project. The sultan balked, and the bridge was never built.

Fast-forward 500 years to 1996, when Norway's Vebjørn Sand was smitten by a model of the bridge at a Stockholm, Sweden, exhibit devoted to da Vinci's engineering genius. He took the idea of building the bridge to Norway's Transportation Ministry, but a workable plan emerged only after years of collaborating with various architects and engineers.

A sleek timber version of the original design will open Wednesday. The scaled-down, 328-foot structure spans the E-18 Highway -- linking Oslo, Norway, with the township of Ås, Sweden, for pedestrians and bicyclists.

(Thanks to UPI's Lou Marano in Washington)


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

TUESDAY: This is Devil's Night, formerly an occasion for harmless pranks on the evening before Halloween. In recent years, however, Devil's Night has become an excuse for the destruction of property and the endangering of lives -- leading some cities to impose dusk-to-dawn curfews on the last two days of October.

(Thanks to Chase's 2001 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

In one of history's more notable coincidences, John Adams -- born on this date in 1735 -- and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What were Adams' last words?

Adams' last words reportedly were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." (Jefferson's last words: "Is it the Fourth?")

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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