Mexican Scientists Perfect Copying

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Issue 3112

Local Man Helped Every Day By Salad Shooter

CINCINNATI—A Presto Appliance advertising slogan was proven accurate Tuesday, when local resident Larry McCue announced that he is helped every day by the Presto Salad Shooter. "The Salad Shooter helps me every day," McCue said. "Whether I am shredding whole potatoes into hash browns at breakfast time, or preparing healthful salads and other entrees later in the day, no day goes by without help from my Salad Shooter." In addition to the culinary assistance provided by the appliance, McCue said that on one occasion he knocked an intruder unconscious with the compact, easy-to-clean appliance. Presto officials stressed that the Salad Shooter is not meant for use as a blunt weapon.

Clinton's Lower Lip 'Very Concerned' About Albanian Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC—In a move expected to cause a slight jutting of his lower jaw region, it was announced Monday that President Clinton's lower lip is "very concerned" about the ongoing civil unrest in Albania. A spokesperson for the president's lower lip told reporters that it would be "protruding outward with care, yet sliding slightly upward in a show of caution and prudence." It remains unclear whether this move will obscure the mucous membrane of his upper lip. "Clinton's lower lip is very aware that, considering the seriousness of the Albanian situation, complete upper-lip coverage is a possibility, but it is not making any decision at this time," the spokesperson said. Many insiders predict that Clinton's brow may also furrow slightly.

Creative Alcoholic Comes Up With Idea To Drink A Lot

GALVESTON, TX—Area alcoholic Joe Roush unveiled Monday a bold, counterintuitive plan for this weekend: to become intoxicated by the alcohol his body desperately craves. "After much rumination, I have brainstormed a plan to become thoroughly drunk through the consumption of beer and hard liquor," Roush said. "I created this plan myself, though playwright Brendan Behan was a source of inspiration." Key to Roush's plan will be switching from beer to scotch at around midnight.

Israel Agrees To Creation Of Palestinian Homeroom

WEST BANK—In a historic breakthrough in the struggle for peace in the Middle East, Israeli and PLO leaders settled on a large ground-floor room in a West Bank office building to be used as a Palestinian homeroom. "Finally, we, the people of Palestine, have a room to call our own, a place where we can go at the beginning of each day to take attendance and listen to announcements," PLO leader Yasser Arafat said. The PLO held out until the 11th hour of negotiations, insisting that all Palestinians be permitted to talk quietly in their new homeroom.

You're Doomed!

Several nights ago I couldn't sleep a wink due to an ongoing bout of the ague. Restless, I barked at my nurse to open the window so that some fresh air could clear the fetid odor of my bedchamber. As she drew the curtain, she revealed a sight that sent stark terror down my aged and malformed spine. A comet! The hairy-star of lore, the legendary harbinger of doom and portent of evil!

Nation's Homeless Less Important Than Ever

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a study released Tuesday by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the nation's approximately five million homeless citizens are less important now than they have ever been.
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Mexican Scientists Perfect Copying

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO—The world's scientific community is reeling in the wake of Monday's announcement that scientists at the University of Guadalajara have successfully copied a picture of a sheep.

Scientists at the University of Guadalajara announced Monday that they had successfully copied a sheep. This diagram shows how the new copying technology works.

"This is extremely exciting," said team leader Professor Manuel Cortines. "We have created a precise duplicate copy of a sheep picture, identical in every way to the original. Except that it is not color."

The University of Guadalajara team produced the copy Friday morning by placing a photographic image of the sheep onto a special copying device, which distributes countless dry ink particles onto a piece of paper.

"At the touch of a button," Cortines said, "we can have many sheep."

For the Guadalajara scientists, Friday's breakthrough represented the culmination of years of experimentation with copying. In 1991, Mexican scientists, working closely with local printers, achieved a successful "tracing," a drawing of an image on a clean sheet of paper over an existing image.

In 1994, the group almost successfully copied a sheep by applying ink to its body and pressing the animal against a giant sheet of paper, but the researchers were unable to hold the sheep still long enough to make a clear copy.

"The sheep would squirm and kick, often knocking over the ink wells, soiling the paper before a clean pressing could be made," Cortines said. He added that, under duress, sheep can exert surprising strength.

Previously confined to the realm of the imaginations of Mexican science-fiction writers, copying is now the subject of much debate across the nation, as Mexico's leading thinkers ponder its potential uses.

"Copying, if properly harnessed, can do much good," said University of Juarez professor Felipé Padilla. "For instance, if you were to have a party, and you wanted to invite 50 people, you could hand-write one invitation, and then make as many copies of it as you like."

Professor Felipé Padilla, seen here in front of the science building on the University of Juarez campus, believes that copying can do much good, if properly harnessed.

Padilla also touted copying's potential benefits for Mexican businesses. "Signs could be printed saying, 'Have your picture taken with this donkey painted like a zebra—only 30 pesos,'" Padilla said. "In theory, there is no limit to the number of donkey-painted-like-a-zebra acts which could utilize such a sign."

It may also be possible, some medical practitioners believe, to use copies to save lives on the operating table. A copy could be made of a kidney dialysis patient's good kidney, and then the copy could be inserted into the patient's body cavity, replacing the bad kidney.

While many are excited about the new technology's potential for good, others fear that copying could be badly misused.

"There is a great danger that copying could be used for evil," said Mexican author Roberto Palacios. "What if someone harnessed this new technology to create hundreds of copies of a single resumé? There would be no limit to the number of potential employers who could review the qualifications of such a person. Such an applicant would have an enormous, unfair advantage over other prospective applicants."

Will it someday be possible to copy a human? The question causes great concern among leading Mexican bioethicists.

"What if someone were to copy Hitler? There are many pictures of him in books and magazines. If such pictures were to fall into the wrong hands, I fear to think what might happen," said Emilio Vargas, head of Mexico City's Insitutia Por Los Thinking.

"There is even talk of an 'enlargement' button, which could double or even triple the size of anything," Vargas continued. "I pray each night that such a frightening button never comes to pass."

Despite the concern, the Guadalajara scientists stress that the copying of pictures of humans is still far off.

"There are many problems to work out with this new technology before we can even consider copying a human," Cortines said. "Just yesterday, an attempt to copy a second sheep was derailed because of a paper jam. We also have yet to develop a replacement cartridge for the toner. When the current one runs out, our work may be set back years."

The Mexican government has pledged $45 to the University of Guadalajara copying project, which will be used to pay the researchers' salaries and refill the paper tray.

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