March 21, 1994 |
Some were old people, others severely ill or schizophrenic. Many were patients at university medical centers or Philadelphia General Hospital, the hospital that once was a last resort for the city's poor. Many were injected in the calf or uterus with radioactive phosphorus or sodium. And babies of staff members at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children were fed cereal laced with radioactive iron. In all, dozens of Philadelphia patients were given low doses of radioactive materials by injection or in their diet during a nationwide burst of nuclear research that mushroomed after World War II. The research of that period has come under heavy national scrutiny since late last year, when news accounts detailed heavy experimental doses of radiation in other cities: Highly radioactive plutonium was injected into 18 patients in Chicago, Rochester and San Francisco.
June 5, 2012 |
Though vespers tend to be among the most open-ended platforms for religious music, the latest one to be unveiled in the Crossing choir's Month of Moderns festival Saturday was so wide-ranging that words like unorthodox, eccentric, and crazy seem pathetically inadequate. The hour-long Vespers Cantata: Hesperus Is Phosphorus by Lewis Spratlan encompasses so many schools of thought that it even gives a sloppy kiss to agnostics. The composer uses certain chord structures one associates with mainstream English choral composers and bits of the standard Magnificat text.
November 21, 1994 |
Mayor Edward Rendell drinks 12 glasses of Diet Coke a day. "I like the taste," he explained between meetings last week. "They're still not the same as regular soda, but I don't drink coffee, and given my schedule, I need a good way of getting caffeine. Diet Coke provides that," said the energetic, fully caffeinated mayor. He gets his daily transfusions from a soda fountain in the mayor's office, installed by a previous administration. The mayor, of course, is not alone. Increasingly we have become a nation of soda guzzlers.
December 28, 1992 |
CHARLOTTE, N.C. BAKKER LET OUT TO SEE SICK DAD Former televangelist Jim Bakker was allowed to leave a Minnesota prison briefly yesterday to visit his elderly father, Raleigh, 86, who was hospitalized in Charlotte with a broken pelvis. Raleigh Bakker was injured in a car accident. Bakker, accompanied by a supervisor from the Federal Medical Prison in Rochester, Minn., briefly visited with his father at Carolinas Medical Center. Later, he flew back to Minnesota. TITUSVILLE, FLA. GAS CLOUD PERIL CUT AT SOURCE Emergency crews yesterday shut off the source of a dangerous gas cloud that passed over a neighborhood and forced the evacuation of about 450 residents, authorities said.
September 21, 1998 |
John Page Williams stopped wading in the Severn River and pulled up his net slowly, intently inspecting his catch. He was still for a moment and then he yelped in triumph. "We got a pike . . . oh, we got a pike!" Among the pumpkinseed sunfish, grass shrimp and Atlantic silverside minnows lay an eight-inch brown torpedo of a fish, a chain pickerel. Williams, senior naturalist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, gingerly cradled the pickerel - frequently called a pike - in his palm.
November 20, 1991 |
The crew in the locomotive saw the explosions from a mile away, as they were chasing their runaway freight down a Montana mountain. They had stopped on a steep grade to rearrange engines. They were lax about setting brakes. And when the engineer turned on a headlight, he saw that his train was gone. The result was hell in Helena as the 49-car freight slammed into another locomotive and unleashed two chemical explosions. The blasts caused $6 million in damage and hurled bits of tank cars half a mile.
November 20, 1991 |
Ray Forestal says the longest moment of his life was spent running in deep snow, still feeling the heat from a flaming tank car of phosphorus. Forestal, the fire marshal in Falls Township, Bucks County, had just helped move a rail car of potentially deadly chlorine away from the fire. Now he was running to jump aboard a locomotive that was slowly pulling away from the cars in Conrail's Morrisville yard. "I was afraid. I'm not kidding you, I've never been that afraid in my life," Forestal recalled.
May 31, 1990 |
A public-interest group yesterday sued McGuire Air Force Base in Burlington County, charging the base with 661 violations of the federal Clean Water Act. The suit, filed in federal court in Trenton, said the Air Force was discharging phenol, ammonia and phosphorus into Crosswicks Creek, a tributary of the Delaware River. Phenol has been tied to cancer, and ammonia and phosphorous can harm marine life. The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) seeks unspecified civil penalties and an order stopping the discharges.
February 10, 1987 |
About 1,500 people were evacuated from homes and workplaces in lower Bucks County for several hours yesterday when a railroad tank car loaded with white phosphorus caught fire and threatened to explode. Officials said that an explosion at the Conrail yard in Falls Township could have blown apart a second tank car filled with chlorine about 200 feet away and sent a lethal cloud of chlorine gas through the area. "We were a hair away from a disaster," said Falls Township Fire Marshal Raymond Forrestal.
May 31, 2012 |
Alternative visions of heaven are nothing unusual in concerts by the Crossing choir. But the one that will unfold this weekend, by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan, portrays heaven in what looks like a 21st-century recession: Gaunt angels play bent harps, the sky is smoggy, and God is rumored to have Alzheimer's. Ostensibly a religious work, Vespers Cantata: Hesperus Is Phosphorus reflects the 71-year-old Spratlan's unwillingness to use a traditional religious text, especially when Crossing founder/director Donald Nally kept handing him unconventional writings by David Eagleman, whose 2009 book Sum contains 40 highly unorthodox visions of the afterlife.