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The Mail

Grade A

Posted 9/12/2001

Words cannot express my joy in reading your article about the integration of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute ("Course Correction," Sept. 5). My congratulations to Aaron Glazer and your staff.

Carl Clark
Poly Class of 1955

Orangeburg, S.C.

Marsh Note
My compliments to Tom Scocca for his story "The Marsh of Progress," (Aug. 29). He explained the importance of native plants and wetlands well. He did not exaggerate the success of this effort, or minimize the work involved. This in-depth story puts other media to shame. I gave copies of this story out to members of the Baltimore Bird Club at our recent monthly lecture. County residents especially were astonished at how good City Paper is. A great conservation story!

Want to do another conservation story? I'd like to see someone seriously examine how I can cut my home or office electricity bills. With all this talk about energy blackouts, energy needs, and the rising cost of energy, I've not yet seen a good story anywhere about ways to conserve energy. Should I be turning off my computer system when not in use for an hour or three? They used to say it's better to leave computers on. When at Roland Park Country School in the evening for classes, I see the whole computer lab is left on for the night, when not in use. I have a home copier, occasionally used. Does it leak electricity when not in use? Maybe I should unplug it. California managed to cut energy use dramatically this past summer, but how did they do it? The major media do not want to let us know how, so the job is yours!

Again, many thanks for all that you do.

Carol Schreter

Purple People Eater
Gee, all that purple jism that Tom Scocca was forced to swallow after last year's Super Bowl must have really muddled his brain (8 Upper, Aug. 29). Ravens going 9-7 this year? No way.

C'mon, Tom, it's OK to root for the home team. The Purple Legion forgives you!

Bill Thrift

Dumb Is as Dumb Does
I must be made of sterner stuff than Wiley Hall III's friend's friends (Urban Rhythms, Aug. 29). If someone ordered me to hand over car keys, drunk or not, I sure as heck would have demanded 1) to see ID and 2) a receipt for my keys. I cannot imagine that someone would meekly fold under this guy's bark and give him the world. How dumb do you have to be? This story is a lesson to all of us--don't be an idiot, no matter how drunk you are!

Oh, and one more thing: I don't know what prompted you to change your typeface, but this font is not good for this middle-aged, bifocaled female. Please reconsider. Thanks.

Dorothy Doepke

Animal Logic
David Brainder's letter concerning animal exploitation in medical research was not inappropriate but was a somewhat intemperate overreaction to a problem that is controversial and morally suspect (The Mail, Aug. 29).

The use of animals is widely pursued in the biological sciences, not to mention various commercial operations, and not necessarily with compassion. But it is human nature (and more to the point, the nature of whoever has the power) to relegate other forms of life--even, at times, other humans--to a less important role for the goals of the study and for those running it.

The rewards of research do redound to the advantage of the march of knowledge, but also to those in charge. Generally, for example, the work at Johns Hopkins is as good and relatively blameless as that of any other reputable research institution, and possibly better.

People are always trying to get an edge over something or someone else. To win, excel; be best, get better, know, love, feel good, deprecate, rationalize--whatever. That's life. Selfness is paramount in human behavior and is biologically based.

Having been there and done that, I support the need and benefit to humankind for which animal research is a clear-cut necessity. After all, society is human-oriented. But I deplore the lack of concern for animal life of which studies are guilty. Many exist only to foster someone's name or career.

At source, everything we think, feel, and do derives from elemental self-interest, biologically driven. It is the survival instinct at work.

Glendon Rayson, M.D.

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