ISU gets $1 million to study tornado wind

Sunday, June 11, 2006

AMES, Iowa -- Think Bill Paxton chasing tornadoes in "Twister" was phony? Think again. Much like Paxton in that 1996 movie, Tim Samaras leaves his home each spring and travels tornado alley, which includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Iowa, in hopes of placing probes directly in front of tornadoes. The probes -- cone-shaped orange devices with the flat side the size of a dinner plate -- house sensors to measure barometric pressure and wind speed, among other things. Others have video cameras to record swirling debris inside a tornado funnel. Samaras is currently working with scientists and students at Iowa State University, which received a $1 million federal grant to compare ground-level tornado winds in nature with those created in an ISU laboratory wind tunnel and tornado simulator.

Elderly gay population fuels housing market

SAN FRANCISCO -- Welcome to Rainbow Vision, a just-completed senior community in Santa Fe, N.M. Everything about the 146-unit retirement village was designed with the comfort of graying gays and lesbians in mind. As the generation of gay men and lesbians who came out in the 1960s and '70s reaches retirement age, about a dozen specialized senior developments across the country are either up and running or in the works. In such senior-heavy locales as California, Arizona and Florida, builders have found a market in a segment of the gay population that worries getting old will mean going back in the closet.

Clowns parade to honor Red Skelton in hometown

VINCENNES, Ind. -- Nine years after Red Skelton's death, hundreds of clowns paraded through his southwestern Indiana hometown Saturday to celebrate Skelton's legacy and the theater that bears his name: Vincennes University's Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. The weekend-long celebration in Vincennes, about 50 miles north of Evansville, Ind., kicked off a multimillion-dollar fund-raising campaign to build a Red Skelton museum that organizers hope to fill with the actor's scripts, costumes, songs, writings, paintings and props.

Iran to make counteroffer to incentive package

TEHRAN, Iran -- Tehran will make a counteroffer in response to a Western incentive package aimed at persuading Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, the foreign minister said Saturday. The counteroffer may be a variation of the proposal made by Europe, the United States, China and Russia or could be an entirely new package, Manouchehr Mottaki said, according to the state-run news agency IRNA. The package put forward by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany aims to restart negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. It has some significant concessions by Washington aimed at enticing Tehran to freeze enrichment. The United States would provide Iran with peaceful nuclear technology, lift some sanctions and join direct negotiations with Tehran.

-- From wire reports

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