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Why Not Study Barking Dogs Instead?

The occasions of natural extremely low frequency (ELF) signals have random, time-of-day, and seasonal characteristics that have, on occasion, been falsely tagged (as have barking dogs) as precursors to such phenomena as floods, droughts, infestations of grasshoppers, and earthquakes ("Spotting quakes hours before the shaking starts," Developments to Watch, June 23). There is no scientific reason to believe -- and no reproducible evidence -- that the ELF signals recorded hours before the California earthquake are other than a random event. The future program discussed in your article is most assuredly a waste of funds that could have been better spent on topics of earthquake mitigation.

Wallace H. Campbell

National Geophysical Data Center

Solar Terrestrial Physics Div.

Boulder, Colo. While 54% of all college students are women, this is because 62% of college students over age 35 are women ("The new gender gap," Cover Story, May 26). Women earn relatively more than do men by pursuing education. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, a woman working in 1997 in the "sales" occupation category that requires no college degree earned $10,600, while a man in the same field earned $27,600. A woman with a college degree working in a "professional specialty" occupation earned nearly $30,000 in 1997, and a man $46,000. A woman would have increased her income by 183% by obtaining a college degree, but a man's income rises by only 70%.

This is why my three daughters will be pursuing a college and/or post-secondary degree. It is still a man's world...and a girl's best friend is her college degree.

John Reeder

Arlington, Va. In 1969, a skinny kid from Northern California traveled to Sweden to spend a year abroad, living with a family and attending high school ("From Sweden with love," BusinessWeek Investor, June 16). AFS Intercultural Programs made it possible for me to have an unforgettable experience, and 34 years later, the lessons are still with me. The friendship with the Ostberg family endures. Each year when the Nobel Prize winners are announced, I remember the winners from my year because we AFSers were there to see the awards presented. Thanks for your article on an incredible program.

David Graves

Napa, Calif.

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