[EAS]Polygraphs Lie (gasp!)
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Oct 11 19:18:32 EDT 2002
Mail*Link¨ SMTP Polygraphs Lie (gasp!)
At first I just wanted to send you the first item. But then I figured
the rest might be of interest too. You can subscribe to Robert Park's
weekly "What's New" mailings at <http://www.aps.org/WN/>. --PJK
Date: 10/11/02 4:07 PM
From: What's New
WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 11 Oct 02 Washington, DC
1. LIAR, LIAR: ACADEMY PANEL DISCOVERS THE POLYGRAPH TELLS LIES.
The polygraph looks for abrupt increases in heart rate, blood
pressure and perspiration. The polygraph is, therefore, a highly
reliable detector of orgasms. But does it detect lies? Only if
you're lying about having an orgasm. After a hundred years of
exonerating the likes of Aldrich Ames and ruining the careers of
nameless thousands, the Wen Ho Lee case led the Administration to
call for a huge expansion of polygraph testing. To its credit,
the DOE called instead for testing the polygraph. The National
Academy of Sciences convened a study panel, and its report was
released this week. The report confirms, as WN has maintained,
that no spy has ever been caught using the polygraph(WN 05 Apr
02). "Too many loyal employees may be falsely judged deceptive,
or too many major security threats could go undetected," the
report said, warning against reliance on the tests. The next
day, New Mexico senators, Jeff Bingamen (D)and Pete Domenici (R),
called on DOE to abolish the tests. And that's no lie.
2. THE PRIZE: OPENING NEW WINDOWS ON THE UNIVERSE. This year's
prize went to senior physicists. Riccardo Giaccone, a US citizen
who was born in Genoa and studied in Milan, was awarded half the
prize for founding X-ray astronomy. He was the first to detect a
source of X rays outside the solar system and constructed the
first X-ray telescope. He is a Fellow of the APS and President
of Associated Universities Inc. The other half of the prize was
split between Raymond Davis Jr and Masatoshi Koshiba. Davis was
the first to detect solar neutrinos, thus proving that solar
energy comes from fusion. A Fellow of the APS, he is Professor
Emeritus in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at the Univer. of
Pennsylvania. Masatoshi Koshiba, a citszen of Japan, confirmed
Davis's results, constructing Kamiokande, the world's largest
neutrino detector, leading to the field of neutrino astronomy.
3. HERBAL LOW: FDA STOPS SALE OF STREET DRUG SUBSTITUTES. The
dietary supplement industry has been almost above the law since
passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act.
The only restriction is that natural substances not be marketed
as cures for anything. But the FDA says that herbal substances
marketed as street drug alternatives are not meant to supplement
the diet. The FDA now says selling a combination of ephedra and
caffeine as "herbal ecstacy"(WN 16 Aug 02) is against the law.
4. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: IT'S NOT EASY BEING BLUE. When anthrax
struck, we were assured AM could help. Short on antibiotics?
Take colloidal silver. There are a few teensy side effects: you
can develop argyria, a permanent condition that turns your skin
blue. The Libertarian Senate candidate in Montana was one of
those who turned blue. Oh, and it doesn't prevent infection.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND and THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY
Opinions are the author's and are not necessarily shared by the
University or the American Physical Society, but they should be.
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