Hofheinz, of course, would be happy if his gilt-edge tourist attraction remained the only domed stadium in the land. But he may be right. If all the domed parks that have been talked about had actually been built, they would probably outnumber old-fashioned, open-air stadiums. Yet the Astrodome stands alone.
HOLD THE MUD
Don't know whether you ever saw New York City's East River, up close. An eminent writer who once took a small-boat ride along that dark-gray stream commented afterward, "You'd think all anybody does in New York is spill oil and eat oranges."
Nonetheless, Cyrus Adler, a physical oceanographer, Dr. George Claus, a marine biologist, and Sanford Moos, another marine scientist, are using that same East River to grow an experimental crop of oysters, clams and mussels. Last October they suspended their unsuspecting bivalves in a screened tray about six feet below the surface of the river. Once a week they bring their charges to the surface, wipe away the heavy coating of silt, check the identifying numbers painted on each shell, measure the shells for growth and put them back in the Stygian gloom.
The results? Ahhh! The scientists claim the experiment is bright with promise. For one thing—and a startling thing it is, too—the oysters, clams and mussels are still alive. This means, according to Dr. Claus, that "apparently there are no substances in the river that are harmful to the bivalves, despite such things as detergents and other pollutants that have been poured into the water."
Furthermore, not content with merely staying alive in their murky home, the mussels are actually growing, even though they should be dormant during the cold winter months. This, the experimenters say, may mean that the East River contains some vital growth nutrient.
Like automobile tires? Never mind, say the scientists. Bacteria counts indicate that the East River may be slowly getting cleaner, and one must not forget that it is a vast "unused water mass" very close to a huge market. Adler, Claus and Moos have not yet gotten to the point of eating one of their East River shellfish, but the moment cannot be too far off when some free-spending devil in "21" or the Colony snaps his fingers at the waiter and orders, "Oysters Queens Midtown Tunnel, my good man."
A MATTER OF DEGREE
A survey made recently of professional football rosters for last summer's training camps indicates that although practically all the players on AFL and NFL rosters have come to the professional ranks from college, slightly more than half of them (50.4%) have not yet earned degrees. Colleges with the greatest percentage of nongraduates in pro football are Minnesota, Houston, Arizona State, Colorado and Iowa State.
THERE'S NO PLACE
Curiosity about basketball's "homers" continues. Jim Hefner, assistant basketball coach at the University of Southern California, which has an outstanding freshman squad and, therefore, high hopes for the next few seasons, did a little research into the subject for the fun of it. What Hefner was looking for—possibly with intent to avoid—are places where a visiting team does not seem to stand a chance of winning.