Tuesday, September 25

Science briefs


Botanical garden’s new attractions

The Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden at UCLA opened its new
hummingbird and butterfly pollination bed on Aug. 10.

The new exhibit, located on the north end of the 8-acre garden,
features perennial plants, daisies and tubular flowers of various
sorts.

The 70-year-old garden also houses plants from tropical America,
Australia, Asia, Africa and parts of the Mediterranean.

Some notable attractions include the Chinese Dawn Redwood (which
towers over the garden), the dark Australian Willow tree, various
turtle and fish ponds and a hill teeming with cacti and succulents,
according to Botanical Garden manager Dale Witt.

The garden is continuously under development, Witt added, with
plans to build a new pond in the next few years along Tiverton
Avenue. There are also plans to build a possible water plant basin
on the southeast slope of the garden.

Students can visit or volunteer at the garden Monday through
Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4
p.m.

Repairs begin on Atlantis shuttle

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. ““ Intricate welding repairs began
Aug. 9 on space shuttle Atlantis, sidelined by three small cracks
in a hydrogen fuel line.

Atlantis is the first of NASA’s four shuttles to undergo
the unprecedented repair work. The entire fleet has been grounded
by the mysterious fuel-line cracks.

The cracks are on the liner of a 1-foot-diameter pipe just
inside Atlantis’ tail. The work was expected to last through
Saturday.

If all goes well, NASA hopes to launch Atlantis on a space
station assembly mission as early as Sept. 28. The flight had been
scheduled for late August.

Endeavour will be next up for welding.

NASA suspects the cracks ““ 11 across the fleet ““
have been present for years and possibly date all the way back to
the first space shuttle flight in 1981.

Big, beautiful, and ““ healthy

ATLANTA (AP) ““ When people see Phyllis Warr, a short,
stout woman who tips the scales at more than 250 pounds, they
assume she’s out of shape ““ until she starts getting
down on the dance floor.

Cathy Davis Pannone weighs more than 300 pounds, but in the
swimming pool she glides along with a grace that justifies her
nickname ““ Cat.

The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance has a new
message to sell at its annual convention this week: Being fat
doesn’t mean you can’t be fit.

“˜”˜We’re large, we’re in charge,
we’re out and we’re proud,” said Warr, a
Chicago high school teacher who is among about 200 people attending
the convention that runs through Sunday.

“˜”˜You have to show the world. You can’t change
the world unless you show them,” Warr said.

By throwing their weight around at yoga and water aerobics
classes, dance parties and fashion shows, NAAFA members are hoping
to wean the national debate on health away from its obsession with
weight.

“˜”˜What we’re being told now is that fat causes
every (medical) problem,” said Barbara Altman Bruno, a
counselor and former NAAFA board member. “˜”˜It’s
much too simplistic.”

Jeanette DePatie, a certified fitness instructor who proudly
advertises her girth by calling herself “˜”˜The Fat
Chick” in her exercise video, said she’s living
proof that health and weight equate: she ran a marathon last
year.

“˜”˜Take care of yourself the way you
are,” she says.

Bruno advises overweight people to avoid expensive health clubs
““ which tend to have thinner members ““ and instead look
to community gyms. While working out, she says, skip times that
attract teenage boys.

“˜”˜They’re the worst harassers,”
she said.

Sandy Schaffer, a certified fitness instructor from New York,
said doctors are stunned at how healthy she is.

“˜”˜They can look at my (test) numbers until
they’re blue in the face and they won’t be
convinced,” she said.

So call them fat, a word members use freely to help remove its
stigma. Just don’t call them couch potatoes.

“˜”˜We really need the medical community to focus on
ways of making us healthy and not on making us thin,”
said Frances White, a San Francisco public television consultant
and NAAFA board member.

Briefs compiled from Daily Bruin Staff and wire reports

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