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Her 110 Days in the Dark Shed Light on Biorhythms

For 3 1/2 months, Veronique Le Guen lived in total darkness 250 feet underground in a cavern in the Causses Mountains of southwestern France. Far from being a hermit or just a crazy coot, Le Guen, 32, was taking part in an experiment to test the effects of total isolation on the human body. During her 110-day stay, her only communication with the surface was by telephone. So disoriented was she that when her surface backup team told her it was time to come out, she thought she still had another month to go. Scientists said she had settled into a rhythm of 20 hours asleep and 30 hours awake during the experiment, which broke the record for voluntary underground isolation by three weeks. “I didn’t care if it was night or day. For me, it was eternally night,” Le Guen said. Scientists said the experiment will give them a better understanding of human biorhythms and sleep patterns, which will help doctors use drugs more efficiently. Le Guen said the first thing she wanted to do when she emerged was to “capture the perfume of the Causses.”

--As Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis surely knows, fame can be fleeting. So it was that Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks in London announced it would remove its image of the Democratic presidential candidate next week, after the shortest exhibition of a figure in its 218-year history. The Dukakis likeness went on display Oct. 30, alongside one of Vice President George Bush--now the President-elect. At the time, Madame Tussaud’s felt the contest was too close to call. It was the first time the museum had displayed wax works of both American presidential candidates. In previous election years, the museum correctly guessed the winner in advance, according to Juliet Simpkins, head of publicity for the museum.

--The Rev. Jesse Jackson shouldn’t feel too bad. The one-time Democratic candidate for President received 90 write-in votes in Broward County, Fla., more than Pee-Wee Herman, Elvis Presley, Mickey Mouse or any other non-candidate, according to an election official. Some absentee voters also gave the nod to Richard M. Nixon, Gary Hart or Oliver North, but less serious figures predominated the write-ins. Among them: cartoon characters Garfield, Bullwinkle the Moose, Goofy, Bill the Cat and Roger Rabbit. Musicians Frank Zappa and John Denver, actor Robert Redford, talk show host Morton Downey Jr., gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and movie hero Indiana Jones also garnered votes, according to county Elections Supervisor Jane Carroll.


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