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January 26, 1998
How wondrously fortuitous it must be for managed-care execs, hard-pressed to show they can reduce health care costs without compromising quality or access, to be discovering that "spirituality can reduce health care costs" and "God or some higher power sometimes intervenes to improve the medical condition of a seriously ill person" ("Prayer Aids Healing, HMO Execs Think," Dec. 15). I am not closed to the idea that what is often vaguely called "spirituality" might help us heal. And I suppose it was inevitable that managed-care moguls would see the exquisite bottom-line potential in that.
Stopping for a moment from grinding her small ration of millet, the young woman smiles nervously and says, no, she's not sure exactly what she did to come to this place. All she knows is a little boy died. And she was blamed. And with accusations of witchcraft seething in her village, she was attacked by former friends and neighbors.
As she shakes off the fog of sleep and rolls out of bed each morning, Galina Penzurova tries to remember to touch the floor with her right foot first to ward off a day filled with troubles. The 26-year-old chemist is always careful not to obstruct the bedroom mirror with open closet doors or discarded clothing for fear of blocking the journey of a recently departed spirit to the next world. If she drops her knife while buttering toast at the breakfast table, she knows to expect a male visitor.
December 30, 1996 | MAL FLORENCE
Habits are hard to break and so are superstitions, especially if you're a member of the Denver Broncos. Take quarterback John Elway, for example. He has been in the same seat on an airplane for 14 years--second row from the back and on the aisle. John Henderson of the Denver Post writes of other pregame rituals of the Broncos. A sampling: Defensive tackle Maa Tanuvasa takes a green tea leaf, considered good luck in his native Hawaii, and places it in his sock.
May 30, 1996
The article on the mythological beast terrifying Mexico (May 19) illustrates one of the difficulties that conservation biologists have in their attempt to save endangered species. Fear of the imagined "goat-sucker" monster created a hysterical reaction in which colonies of bats were torched in their caves. At this time of year those caves are almost certainly nursery colonies containing mothers and their babies. To make matters worse, some bats are clinging to existence only by the presence of very few remaining roosting sites.
March 17, 1996 | VINCE KOWALICK
It goes without saying, when your team's pitcher is working on a no-hitter, keep your mouth shut. True to one of baseball's most-sacred superstitions, all players were mum in the Calabasas High dugout Friday as senior Tanner Trosper tried for a no-hitter in a Frontier League opener at Santa Clara. Trosper, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound right-hander, retired the first two batters in the seventh inning, notching his sixth strikeout, while preparing to bring down the curtain on the Coyotes' 5-0 victory.
December 4, 1995 | GEORGE WEIGEL, George Weigel is president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington
A friend, mildly in his cups, recently cracked that "There are two kinds of Europeans: the smart ones and the ones who stayed." I laughed, remembering with gratitude my great-grandfather, who got off the boat in April, 1861. But the current Balkan fiasco has made me think that my friend's joke contained a bitter truth: Europe, as a civilization, is in awful shape at the end of the 20th century. By any measure, Western Europe was the undisputed center of world civilization 100 years ago.
November 24, 1995 | DAVID GOMPERT, David Gompert is a vice president of RAND and former senior director for Europe and Eurasia on the Bush Administration's National Security Council staff
The House has cautioned the President not to expect Congress to agree to include American troops in the NATO force that will police a Bosnian peace settlement. Fair enough. Because this issue could divide the country, the President would be wise to set aside his prerogatives and seek a political mandate.
October 23, 1995 | K.C. COLE, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Scientists ask people to believe the strangest things. They say that the universe exploded out of nothing, and that 99% of the matter in it may be missing. They tell us that life forms bloom out of a simple solution of carbon and water; that the self-same carbon atoms, subtly rearranged, can sparkle as diamond, or dull the chimney as soot. And then they look down their noses at people who believe in palm reading and astrology. Somehow, it's OK to believe in light-devouring black holes but not past lives; DNA but not ESP; 10-dimensional space, but not visits from aliens.
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