Gerson's disks were snapped up all right, but his premise, that the way to an engineer's heart is through his software, remains unproved. It rained heavily the day of the game, and though Carnegie Mellon won 13-12, attendance was no better than usual—about 2,000.
A rare species of Australian sandpiper was found last week on a remote stretch of Duxbury Beach south of Boston. When the news got out, American birders were all atwitter because Cox's sandpiper was first identified only five years ago and all previous sightings had been made in Australia. Terry Savaloja, a birder from Minneapolis, drove to Duxbury Beach, where he hoped to get a glimpse. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime event," he told the Boston Herald.
The sandpiper ended up in a net that had been set by the Manomet Bird Observatory in the course of routine research. Some experts speculated that the bird may have gotten lost while traveling from its hatching area to its winter habitat in Australia. In any case, the species is so obscure that the ornithologists who found this specimen didn't know at first what it was. They weighed, photographed, banded and released it without realizing that a bird in the hand is worth...oh, never mind.
The iron man of Japanese baseball, Sachio Kinugasa, who in June surpassed Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played, has announced he will retire at the end of this season, which concludes on Oct. 20. Kinugasa, 40, is the third baseman for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Central League. He had planned to call it quits last year, at the end of his 16th season, but the pursuit of Gehrig's 48-year-old record kept him going. Now, with that goal attained—his streak was at 2,197 games last week—and his batting average in the .240's, Kinugasa is stepping down. Of greater concern to him than his batting are his fielding and his endurance, which he fears might not be sufficient to get him through another season. "My confidence in continuing has collapsed," he said.
Florida is growing more than grapefruit these days. The offensive line at Miami Carol City High, reading from right tackle to left, is Willie Johnson, 310 pounds; Rudy Barber, 265; Cory Muldrow, 245; Edoris Cromartie, 315; and Lionel Jones, 315. The state prize for individual size belongs to offensive tackle Robert Russ of Deerfield Beach High. He is 6'8" and weighs 385. His teammates call him the Glacier.
HE MADE THE CLIMB TO FITNESS
Eight years ago Steve Silva, a 5'8" physical education instructor in Randolph, Mass., weighed 425 pounds. Doctors told him he wouldn't live more than five years. Silva's blood pressure was 206 over 135, his cholesterol count was more than 450, and he suffered from gout, a bad back and a degenerative joint disease in both ankles. He could not climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air. This week, Silva, now a 190-pound hunk, will attempt to run up and down the 1,652 steps of the Eiffel Tower 7� times in less than 2 hours, 1 minute and 24 seconds, the record for the so-called vertical mile, which was set by Dale Neil at the Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta in 1984.
Silva may not get the record; though he has covered the distance in training many times, his best unofficial clocking is 2:05. But his chances of living long enough to try again are excellent, thanks to a dietary and exercise regimen supervised by Health Management Resources (HMR), a Boston company that is cosponsor, with l'Association R�gionale de Cardiologie de l' Ile-de-France, of the Eiffel Tower climb. Silva, now 39, is HMR's star graduate and, since 1984, its director of fitness.
High school sports kept Silva's weight around 250 pounds, but when he finished college and began teaching, his weight ballooned. He tried every diet that came along and over a 10-year period lost 100 pounds six different times. Each time the pounds not only returned, they also increased.