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June 03, 1978 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 8-Saturday June 3, 1978-The Michigan Daily
A tale of
atomic
terrorism
By Steven Bennish
The Judas Squad, by James N. Rowe. Little Brown
& Co., 325 pp. $8.95
C ONFRONTED BY THE frightening portents
offered by James N. Rowe's novel The Judas
Squad, I am reminded of Lester Del Rey's short
novel Nerves. Nerves was written early in 1942 and
details a disaster in an atomic power plant. At that
time the feasibility of atomic power was discussed
almost exclusively in the science fiction magazines
and Nerves could not, by the standards of most
citizens, be called reasonable speculation. So
believable, so possible was his plot, the FBI actually
investigated Del Rey
The Judas Squad is a reasonable speculation. In
fact, what makes it so alarming is the indisputaly
factual methodology of its execution. The author
evidently did not have to rely on his imagination to
draw a realistic portrait of a modern atomic power
plant and the disaster which subsequently befalls it.
He used information readily available to the public.
Rowe is not satisfied with depicting a random
disaster; he has written of how the security of an
atomic plant may be breached by a band of
profiteers in order to press extortionist demands.
WE HAVE ALREADY seen how three graduate
students at various institutions have, using infor-
mation found in public facilities, drawn plans for
home-made atomic bombs. This is alarming, but
less so when one considers that the nuclear material
must first be obtained. A blueprint for this appears
in The Judas Squad.
The conspiracy is hatched by an international
cabal of illegal arms merchants. The principal con-
spirator, naturally, is a former Nazi munitions
manufacturer. He has been given a contract by a
representative of certain "third world" nations to
secure weapons-grade nuclear material which will
ensure for them a measure of self-determination.
The former Nazi says, "while the small nation is
trying to carve out an identity for itself, it is being
played as a piece in the superpower chess game ...
See A TALE, Page 14

S O, HERE I AM in one of the most sought-after work
positions for science-loving types (especially pre-
meds) at the U. And I was tying rubber bands together,
while one of the post-doctoral lab researchers was telling
me that many would sacrifice much to be where Iam today.
That's probably true.
But this is the saga of how I managed to slowly climb that
ladder of recognition, finally to be handed a position, and
with a subject in which I was interested as a bonus. Not
many are as lucky as I.
The quest began when I decided that I would have enough
time from my studies one semester to work part time. Ever
since elementary school there had been a little voice inside
me that kept saying "research". Research what or who I
didn't know, but it was a welcome phrase when I was con-
stantly harangued by peers and relatives with that
traumatizing question: "Sonny? What are you going to do
with your life?" I slyly smiled and answered "I'm going to
work in a lab doing research." "ohhhh. . . " and the sub-
ject was dropped.
ANYWAY, it was the top of my junior year and I didn't
know where to begin looking. A friend of mine, already well
established, recommended a Dr. Sparks, head of un-
dergraduate research. "Well," I thought, "This is my big
break. Surely this person will be able to find me something,
anything. Once I'm in the door, I can move around, make
my presence known." Wrong. I met with Dr. Sparks, called
him several times, but he had nothing to offer. Months went
by. Still nothing. Finally, he felt so sorry for this pining un-
dergraduate that he offered to take a computer project out
of the mothballs and let me work on it for at least twenty
hours per week, no money and no credit. I thanked him and
politely declined.
Frustrated and angry, I became depressed and dropped
the idea altogether. However, I still used my catchphrase
when approached with "the rest of my life" question, and
started feeling somewhat uncertain. How can I go into
research when I don't even know what research is like? the
thought kept reoccurring, gnawing at me like vultures
tearing at a freshly-killed carcass. Finally, in the summer
before my senior year, I decided to try again. I even knew
what subject I was interested in-reproduction, specifically

contraceptives.
SO I STARTED making phone calls. I called
heads of any subject remorely connected wit
wanted: Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Anatomy
were much help, except for one young lady, wt
don't remember; she was of great help. She to
the SCRIPT service at the University of Mi
whom to call.
"SCRIPT?" I asked, feeling quite ignorant.
It seems the questionnanires have been s
professionals working at the big U. These cs
mation including name. address and phone a
most important, what fields they are interestedi
they are currently doing, whether it be r
publishing or practicing acupuncture. Son
professionals are nice enough to take some time
busy day and fill out yet another form and send ic
formation is then processed and stored in a comp
key words. For example, a lawyer doing legal a
kiddie porn might be referenced under "obs
"pornography." The terminal operator can t
search for a client, and gather all the infon
anyone remotely connected with the key word.
THEY RAN a search for me under the keys
TRACEPTION and REPRODUCTION and thei
with quite a few pages of doctors, some clinici
practicing, some researching. Unfortunatel
working in Troy and could not come to Ann Arbo
fice hours to pick up my printout, and I wanted it
It turned out that the woman who so competently

Oh! my goodness! i

Daily Photo by JOHN
Another clutter-strewn scene from the Reproductive Endocrinology lab.

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