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THE OIL DIET
Those oil spills that have wrought havoc with beaches all around the country may one day be a minor nuisance. Dr. Carl H. Oppenheimer, director of marine research at the University of Texas, is working on the development of a strain of bacteria that eats oil.
He is setting up a field test to begin in September. Main problem is to get the bacteria to multiply fast enough. When they can be mass-produced they will be freeze-dried and stored for use in oil-spill emergencies.
"It looks very promising," Dr. Oppenheimer says, "although it won't take a half-inch- or an inch-thick oil film and chew it up per se. But it will work on thinner films very rapidly. And oil, unless it is contained, usually has an affinity for spreading itself out."
ON WITH THE GAMES
This bulletin is for those sport fans who have been fretting through the long, hot summer waiting for word from Avery Brundage: Yes, there will be a winter Olympics in 1972. Moreover, the Games in Sapporo next February will include all those Alpine skiing events he has been threatening to throw out.
The International Olympic Committee president made the announcement in Moscow, letting his decision drop with what could only be called Olympian detachment. In fact, it seemed downright anticlimactic after all the ruckus Brundage raised over the 10 world-class ski racers who had work d at California's Mammoth Mountain training camp last summer. Brundage claimed they had been coaching for pay, thus violating Olympic rules. Not so, replied the skiers, including such notables as France's Georges Mauduit and Jean-No�l Augert, the world slalom champion; Franz Vogler of West Germany, Jean-Daniel Daetwyler and Dumeng Giovanoli of Switzerland; Malcolm Milne of Australia and Canada's Rod Hebron and Peter Duncan. When Brundage stood firm—out they go, he said brusquely—the dispute escalated to the point where the distraught nations involved threatened to pull out of the Olympics, perhaps to stage a rump world-championship all their own in Italy.
Well, all right, Brundage grumped, all penalties waived but don't let it happen again. But the trouble with all this is that, in fact, nothing was really settled at all. Brundage still holds firmly that his criticism was fully justified; the racers say they acted in good faith, since their national federations okayed their jobs.
Meanwhile, the superconservative IOC and the ultraliberal F�d�ration Internationale de Ski (FIS) keep sidestepping the issues of training, broken-time payments and amateurism—exchanging angry bulletins and appointing study commissions. So much for 1972. Come 1976, another Olympics, another crisis.