• 'The Handwriting Of God'

    There's no dearth of creation myths, from Easter Island's bird god that laid a world egg to the Old Testament's six days of genesis. But for the truly weird, imagine the big bang. An explosion of space, not in space. A kernel of cosmos inflating so wildly that, faster than an eye blink, a blob smaller than a proton grew as big as today's entire visible universe. This infant world developing ripples of energy in the fabric of its space. The ripples stretching as the universe expanded and creating the sparkling necklaces of stars and the pinwheels of galaxies that bedeck the night sky. ...
  • Smart Woman, Foolish Choices

    As the teenage target of Robert De Niro's seduction in "Cape Fear," Juliette Lewis won a thumbs-up from critics. Now, instead of a sicko ex-con, she's making it with a bowling-alley hood. That's the premise of "One Hot Summer," in which Lewis, 19, plays a good girl who meets the wrong boy (C. Thomas Howell) and ends up pregnant and unwed. Isn't Lewis tired of playing, um, impressionable teens? "They're people, too," she sniffs. Her next costar: Woody Allen, who's all thumbs at bowling.
  • An Amateur Sport?

    For three years, Pat Conway's Cleveland tavern has served its home-browed Heisman beer - named after footballer John Heisman, who grew up just down the block But Conway's plan to distribute it regionally was derailed when the Downtown Athletic Club, the Heisman trophy sponsor, said "cease and desist:' Conway, who's out $4,000, calls the DAC a bully. He can't afford to fight, so he'll change the name.
  • Mickey Matters

    Nobody ever heard much from the French Association of Little People until Euro Disneyland asked if it would help recruit dwarfs "to parade around in Mickey costumes." Group leader Patrick Petit-Jean called the request "an affront to our dignity" and asked, "Why only think of us for that sort of job when there are also jobs for gardeners or secretaries?" Euro Disney spokesman Nicholas de Schonen explained that the park was just looking for "qualified" people. "Mickey is not played by a dwarf," de Schonen said, "but by a person [who is] five-three. That's not a dwarf. Donald Duck is a dwarf."
  • Just Too Good To Be True

    Michael Her Many Horses remembers the first time he doubted Chief Seattle's famous speech about caring for the planet. It was a TV program about the Northwest rain forest. The narrator quoted the 19th-century Suquamish Indian's plea for living in harmony with nature. "My reaction was that here's a guy that understood what the environment could provide for his people," recalls Her Many Horses, executive director of the Oglala Sioux tribe on the Pine Ridge (S.D.) Reservation. But somehow the chief's words didn't ring true. "It made me feel good, but it seemed too perfect." ...
  • The Open Barn Door

    It's tough enough these days for American companies to compete with their Pacific Rim rivals, even when the playing field is level. It's a lot tougher when your trade secrets are peddled by competitors. One Dallas computer maker, for example, recently spotted its sensitive pricing information in the bids of a South Korean rival. The firm hired a detective agency, Phoenix Investigations, which found an innocent-looking plastic box in a closet at its headquarters. Inside was a radio transmitter wired to a cable connected to a company fax machine. The bug had been secretly installed by a new worker-a mole planted by the Korean company. "American companies don't believe this kind of stuff can happen," says Phoenix president Richard Aznaran. "By the time they come to us the barn door is wide open." ...
  • A New 'Life' For A Jazz Great

    Nearly 30 years ago, tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson arrived on the jazz scene with a voice remarkably free from echoes of contemporary superstars John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. A leading member of the Blue Note Records stable, he appeared on such classic '60s albums as McCoy Tyner's "The Real McCoy," Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" and his own "Mode for Joe." Although his off-center improvisational genius never faltered during the '70s and '80s, his records almost always sold poorly. Now he's suddenly getting his due; last week, his 27th recording as a leader rose to No. 1 on Billboard's jazz chart. "It's great, highly unusual for me and I'm trying to convince myself that I deserve all of this," he says. Other musicians don't need convincing. But what happened? ...
  • Scorecard

    Remember those black armbands the Yankees wore after Thurman Munson died during the 1979 season? Every year it seems more and more teams feel compelled to wear some sort of tribute or memorial on their Here's an arm-patch guide for this young season: A gaudy patch commemorating the team's 25th anniversary in Oakland.Diamond marks the deaths of front-office assistant Sheri Berto and Maureen Schueler, wife of team vice president Ron Schueler.An initial for the late Bill Shea, an attorney who headed the group that brought the Mets to New York in 1962.A commemorative patch marking the team's 100th anniversary.The initials of late majority owner Jean R. Yawkey, widow of longtime owner Tom. She died following a stroke earlier this year.A blue patch marking that momentous event: the opening of Dodger Stadium 30 years ago.An All-Star Game insignia reminding us that San Diego is hosting the midseason classic this year.
  • A Goof-Proof Deal?

    Did Time Warner goof when it paid Madonna a reported $60 million for a seven-year pact? A 1990 concert was the highest-rated entertainment event in HBO history, and her albums have sold more than 70 million copies. But the Material Girl, 33, has a mixed film record (remember "Shanghai Surprise"?), and she'll be 40 when the deal expires. She'll have to show remarkable longevity to justify their love.
  • Shutterbug In The Shadows

    There are few stories in the annals of American art as strange or beguiling or troubling as that of Marion Post Wolcott, one of the Depression-era photographers who worked for the Farm Security Administration. Along with such betterknown contemporaries as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Carl Mydans, she was hired, to be blunt about it, as a propagandist for Roosevelt's New Deal programs. Working nonstop for three years, between 1938 and 1941, she produced an astonishing number of first-rate photographs (her total output was somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 prints). Then, at the age of 31, she quit, not just government service but professional photography altogether. Three years of exemplary, wondrous pictures, and then 50 years of silence. Wow. ...
  • Playing A Losing Game?

    Ross Perot said farewell to towel snapping and steam rooms last week-and learned the truth of the axiom "The personal is political." On April 16, a caller to the "Larry King Live" show asked the presumptive presidential candidate if he belonged to a club that excludes Jews or blacks. Perot replied with typical candor: " Yes, I do. All my Jewish friends in Dallas, they've had a great deal of fun with me over this. If it bothers the people, I'll quit immediately." It did. A few days later, after complaints from blacks on his political staff, Perot resigned from Brook Hollow Country Club and the Dallas Country Club. ...
  • Another Big Bone Find

    They've struck again. The Black Hills paleontologists who in 1990 unearthed the most intact Tyrannosaurus rex ever have found a second T. rex at a different South Dakota site. The new find, identified in January and left until a spring thaw permitted a secret excavation, is smaller and lighter-boned than the 95 percent-- intact skeleton found earlier. So far, the scientists have isolated a femur, vertebrae and teeth. The excavations suggest the new rex, thought to be a male, is 60 percent intact and perhaps 1,000 generations younger than the 1990 find.
  • A Day On The Concrete Battlefield

    It began with a routine press release, followed up with a phone call. Before I knew it, I found myself in a program that anoints California businessmen and community leaders "Principals for a Day." My assignment: Miles Elementary in east L.A. With nearly 3,000 students, it is the nation's biggest-a sprawl of yellow concrete buildings. That most of the kids speak Spanish makes it an educator's ultimate challenge. After a brief swearing-in where I promised to "eagerly do the most important job in the world with no resources, inadequate staff and rundown facilities," I swigged a cup of coffee and reported for duty. ...
  • No Accident?

    President Alberto Fujimori apologized for the strafing of an unarmed U.S. drug-surveillance plane by Peruvian military jets last week, but Pentagon sources suspect the attack was not an accident. Peruvian Air Force officials claim the C-130 had strayed 300 miles off course and was fired on when it didn't respond to repeated warnings. Pentagon officials, however, say the plane was flying in an approved area. Washington has been highly critical of Fujimori for assuming dictatorial powers earlier this month, and the sources say the attack was meant as a message: " This is our country. These accidents will continue if you keep complaining."
  • The War Among The Greens

    A sparkling cascade of water, jagged peaks and pink primroses: that's the gorgeous picture on the Sierra Club's desk calendar for last week, which included Earth Day. It's enough to inspire a donation. But it's what you don't see that might make you wonder what compromises Sierra is willing to make to keep the money ($20.8 million in 1990) rolling in: there's no symbol for "recycled paper." ...
  • Clinton's Rhodes Brain Trust

    When Bill Clinton wants economic advice, he usually turns to a pair of Rhodes scholars, Harvard professor Robert Reich and international business consultant Ira Magaziner. ...
  • Talk Show Host Edition

    Everyone has a talk show now; even Ivana Trump is negotiating for one (no kidding). When they're not hyping kinky sex, they're the new political kingmakers. GABBERS Conventional Wisdom L. King Would anchor town meetings as Secretary of Teledemocracy in Perot admin. P. Donahue Own audience sided against him on Gennifer jabs. Is the caller still there? R. Limbaugh Sure he's a blowhard, but he brought down the House of Representatives. J. Jackson What if they gave a talk show and nobody came? You skipped the race for this? J. Carson Jay Leno's bark won't have as much bite. Johnny, we really knew ye. J. Sununu Playing pussycat on CNN's "Crossfire." Where's the old s.o.b. we loved to hate?
  • A Disaster In Mexico

    One after another, a string of midmorning explosions demolished a working-class neighborhood in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. More than 200 people died - half of them children - and at least 1,500 search for the cause of the blasts soon became embroiled In politics. At first, officials blamed volatile wastes from a cooking-oil plant. Then the head of the city's sewer system said leaking gasoline caused the explosions. Pemex, the powerful government-owned oil company, denied that its nearby refinery was responsible. President Carlos Salinas de Gortari ordered a quick investigation to determine whether "there was criminal negligence by public servants:' But with Pemex in the picture, the government was forced to investigate itself, never an easy task in Mexico.
  • Attention, Willard Scott

    At 100 years and 5 months old, Claire Willi takes a dance class every day and is as elegant as she is energetic. Accidentally nudged into a deep pothole recently, she climbed out on her own and proceeded to her hairdresser, who obligingly cleaned her white suit. At 101, Harry Schneider is so sharp he can recall the weekly salaries of his youth. " You want me to start with when I came to America? My story takes a long time," says the Russian emigre. Ask Lizzie Norman how it feels to be 100 and a slow smile spreads over her wrinkled black face. Does she regret not getting a card from the president on her birthday? Norman deadpans: "Put a 50 in it and I'll take it." ...
  • Pork For Perot

    When George Bush signed the transportation bill last December, possible presidential candidate Ross Perot attacked it as "all show business." Now, it turns out that Perot and his family are major beneficiaries of the legislation. More than $30 million of the $151 billion appropriation is earmarked for two highway projects that will connect Perot family land near Ft. Worth's Alliance Airport (itself a Perot family project) with an interstate highway. One $17.8 million project is a new highway interchange connecting the Perot family's Basswood development with Interstate 35. The second project, worth $12.7 million, is a boundary road and overpass that will open the Perots' Hillwood development to I-35, too. Perot's office declined to comment.