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NEWSROOM for August 13, 2001

Aired August 13, 2001 - 04:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

TOM HAYNES, CO-HOST: Hello, everyone, welcome to the new week. I'm Tom Haynes. We have a full agenda this Monday. Here's a look at the rundown.

First up today, birthday wishes for the personal computer. Details in today's "Top Story." We'll also recap the big stories making news last week. That's coming up in the "News Reel." Moving on to "Environment Desk" today, we have a tale of shellfish vs. algae. We stay close to the water in "Worldview" as we explore the Hawaiian Islands. Then we end up proving that one man's trash is another man's art. We'll explain that.

But first today, can you believe it, 20 years ago this past weekend the wild-eyed passions of some hobbyists and engineers went mainstream. IBM marketed its first personal computer. Since that time, more than 500 million computers have been sold. The rest, as they say, is history, including smart TVs like this one where you can actually access the Internet.

Well, with a look at what the PC has promised, delivered and where it's headed, here's Steve Young.


STEVE YOUNG, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's relatively small so you could say the Bendix G-15 back in the 1950s almost qualified as a personal computer, but its price tag was 60,000 bucks. In the 1970s, the Altair hobbyist computer kit put a gleam in Bill Gates' eye. Then some guys named Jobs and Wozniak thought different. But it wasn't until 1981 that the PC became legitimate.

RICHARD SHAFFER, TECHNOLOGIC PARTNERS: If it came from IBM it was a serious business product and that, at the time, was where the money was coming from was business buyers.

ROD CANION, FOUNDER, COMPAQ COMPUTERS: When IBM introduced their PC, one of the things that just really became clear was this is going to change the industry, it's going to cause it to explode and I was at about the right age if I'm ever going to start a company, I better do it now. YOUNG: The PC promised us the paperless office. Well, get a load of a colleague's office next to mine. Analysts say what happened to the paperless office was, until recently, we never had technology we could put in our pocket and carry away. Economists used to have pillow fights about whether PCs increased productivity, but this economist and most others now agree mission accomplished, except for two hitches.

ESTHER DYSON, RELEASE 1.0: The guy next to you is more productive, too, so it doesn't give you a competitive advantage, it just means you have to do more to catch up. And the second is, from a company's point of view, the same issue, the competition exists.

YOUNG: Despite the increasing gaggle of handheld gizmos, most experts agree 20 years from now the PC will still be around, it just won't look like or act like anything we have today.

ROB ENDERLE, GIGA: It is more of a partner, it's less of a hurdle. It is virtually invisible as far as an obstacle and I probably can't live without it.

YOUNG (on camera): The acronym DWIM sums up the dream computer of 2021. It'll be a PC so smart it'll be able to do what I mean.

Steve Young, CNN Financial News, New York.


HAYNES: While personal computers have been a force driving America for 20 years, the technologies that led to the PC's invention date back much further. From the loom, green scans and floppy disks to bulky mainframes, the PC's evolution has been a long on-going process.

Garrick Utley looks at a few people and inventions responsible for the high-speed Internet PC world we live in today.


GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the next big thing back in 1981, that first IBM PC with its glowing green screen and large floppy disks. But it did the job, bringing the digital information age into our homes and workplaces.

(on camera): And who should get the credit for changing our lives with this thing? Is there the equivalent of the Wright Brothers or a Thomas Edison? How about a weaver working at his loom? We'll get to him in a moment.

(voice-over): First, we should acknowledge that Apple and others were already making computers in the late 1970s, but they could not interact with each other, so IBM can claim credit for allowing their competitors to make their computers IBM-compatible, which made the PC the dominant computer.

Intel can claim credit, because its chips drove that first PC, even if today's chips are 300 times faster. And, of course, there was the young Bill Gates who provided the operating system which created his fortune.

But what would Bill Gates and others be without those who went before them, way before them? Those who built those bulky room- filling mainframes and the first electronic computers back in the 1930s and '40s.

(on camera): And why stop there? The origins of the computing power that we have today are so much older than we might think. How old?

(voice-over): A weaver works at a loom, a demonstration of the first time that the programming of information, the heart of computers today, was used to run a machine. Information on punch cards controlled the patterns woven on the cloth. Where? In France. When? In 1805.

And then there are those digits we never see, the zeros and ones on which all computing operates. That key to our information age was devised by the mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz in Germany in the late 1600s, who saw it's potential for calculating machines.

(on camera): But Leibnitz was also a philosopher who felt that numbers should have some universal meaning, so he said that one should represent God and zero its opposite, the void.

(voice-over): Today we may not put much spirituality into computer technology as we tap out our zeros and ones via the keyboard, but before that first PC 20 years ago, the man who made it all possible did, more than 300 years ago.

Garrick Utley, CNN, New York.



ANNOUNCER: Tran Nguyen from Hanoi, Vietnam asks: Which country has the highest rate of Internet users?

ALLISON TOM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The United States has the largest number of Internet users. Experts say that's because most people are connected both at home and at work and the cost for Internet connectivity is often cheaper in the U.S. than in other countries. By 2005, close to a billion people worldwide are expected to be using the Internet. At that time, analysts say usage will become more widespread rather than being dominated by a single region. Rapid growth will be seen in Europe and Asia Pacific where people will access the Internet using their cell phones and other wireless devices.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) THOMAS NYBO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First up on the "News Reel," another week of violence in the Middle East, including a suicide bombing in Jerusalem and a missile attack on a Palestinian police station in Ramallah. Flooding in India displaced hundreds of thousands of people. American student John Tobin emerged from six months in a Russian jail.

JOHN TOBIN, AMERICAN STUDENT: It's great to be home.

NYBO: He was held on drug charges but his family claims the Russian government framed him when he refused to be a spy.

A big week for controversial medical practices.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Embryonic stem cell research offers both great promise and great peril.

NYBO: President Bush decided to allow federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that doesn't involve destroying new embryos. And a handful of scientists pressed ahead with their plans for human cloning. No human pictures yet, but there is video of a cloned Chinese goat and its new kids.

A plane crash in Florida caught 911 operators off guard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy landed it in the middle of the road. And he did a great job, but he just...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He bumped the back of the bus.

NYBO: On Wednesday, NASA launched the Genesis satellite. Its mission: collect solar particles to fill in the gap in the understanding of the universe. Here's a look at the blastoff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we have liftoff. The NASA Genesis space...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... on a mission to retrieve a piece of the sun.

NYBO: Millionaire Steve Fossett launched his latest attempt to become the first person to circle the globe alone in a balloon. Double amputee Ed Homer is setting out to climb Mount Everest. Also in Columbia, a daring group of bulls partook in the running of the humans and that's it for the "News Reel."

Thomas Nybo, CNN.


HAYNES: We add a little math to today's "Environment Desk" and look at what can happen when algae multiply. Now algae is Latin for seaweed. It's also the plural of alga, which means any of various chiefly aquatic, eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms, ranging in size from single-celled forms to the giant kelp.

As for the aquatic part, algae live in the sea, in fresh water and in moist places in land. Eukaryotic means they are composed of one or more cells with a distinct membrane-bound nucleus. And photosynthetic means algae can manufacture their own food using carbon dioxide, water and light. This translates into trouble in Long Island, New York's Peconic Bay. That's where a type of alga known as brown tide has over multiplied devastating the Bay's shellfish population. But there's hope in sight for those shellfish thanks to local residents and a group from Cornell University.

Brian Palmer explains.


BRIAN PALMER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Peconic Bays of Long Island, New York, cover about 100,000 acres and support thousands of species of plants and animals linked together in a complex ecological chain.

ADA HORTON: The scallops were just swimming through the water. I mean, you could just go out with a net and just scoop them out.

PALMER: In 1985, the chain broke. The bays' abundant fish and shellfish started to die, suffocated by a bloom of algae called brown tide.

JIM MCMAHON, SOUTHOLD EXEC., ADMINISTER: The brown tide devastated the scallop population in the Peconic Bays and it was a multimillion dollar industry that both recreational and commercial harvesters enjoyed for years and years. And after the brown tide it has really never come back to what it was.

PALMER: It's been ten years since the last major bloom. The number of fish has increased, but shellfish have had a harder time.

KIM TETRAULT, CORNELL MARINE CENTER: In nature, there are no oysters that are this size this year.

PALMER: Kim Tetrault runs the Cornell University Marine Program's shellfish hatchery...

TETRAULT: There's one of your quintessential fouling organisms.

PALMER: ... which raises oysters, clams and scallops to replenish the bays.

TETRAULT: What we're really looking at, the ultimate goal, isn't to subsidize the fishery as much as it is to provide new brood stock, so that nature will provide the product over time.

PALMER: Last year the center raised about 10 million of the mollusks.

TETRAULT: Raise your hand if you're gardening here.

PALMER: This year it started teaching ordinary Long Islanders to raise them, both at the hatchery and at their homes, part of what they call SPAT: the Southold Project in Aquaculture Training.

Shirley and Alan Watson are raising about 2000 oysters in the creek that runs past their house.

SHIRLEY WATSON: Everyday we look at them and make sure they're alright. We move them around, make sure that we don't have any predators getting into the cages.

PALMER: The Watsons and other participants can keep three- quarters of what they produce.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it would be nice to eat them.

PALMER: The hatchery uses the rest to continue replenishing the Peconic Bays.

Brian Palmer, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: We head to a tropical paradise in "Worldview" and a state known as Hawaii. When you hear the word, you probably think of lush flowers, beckoning seaside, sunshine and palm trees. Well, today, we take you beyond the beaches to examine the culture and cuisine of this magnificent state.

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CO-HOST: It's known as the Aloha State, a cluster of 132 islands. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that's separated from the North American mainland. Its unique position in the North Pacific Ocean gives it a major role in U.S. military planning. In Hawaii, all of the Pacific units of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are under a single command. The salaries of military personnel and civilian employees at these bases provide an important source of income in the state. Another key moneymaker: tourism. The state has long been a vacation hot spot with attractions from active volcanoes to stunning scenery to Hawaiian hospitality.

But as Gail O'Neill reports, the islands offer much more than the average tourist would think.


GAIL O'NEILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Blue water, black lava, the colors make a striking first impression. But it's green that draws duffers like these to the Big Island.

STEVEN HOOKANO, HEAD GOLF PRO, MAUNA LANI RESORT: When you come and play golf here, look at it. I mean it's beautiful. It's gorgeous. The aesthetics is unbelievable and people just love to be here.

O'NEILL: And with near perfect weather conditions year round, the western or Kona side of the big island, has become a golfing mecca. What started as an adult playground had evolved over the past decade.

HOOKANO: I would say they're catering more to families. Why it makes it easier for them is they can come on and golf and do their things and at the same time their families can do other things that would take their time and not stay at the hotel room.

O'NEILL: The hard part is choosing what to do.

(on camera): There's a lot of ground to cover on the Big Island and one of the most breathtaking ways to get an overview of it all is from above in what some locals refer to as a state bird.

(voice-over): Most helicopter tours take off from the Kona side, where nearly all of the islands major resorts are located. The Big Island is so named because it's the largest of the Hawaiian islands. In fact, it's almost twice as large as all the others put together. It's also the youngest. Volcanoes gave rise to Hawaii and the Big Island has three active ones in the central and southern areas.

DAVID GRIFFIN, BLUE HAWAIIAN HELICOPTERS: And that's where the volcano has been erupting since 1983. So it's one of the most awe inspiring things most people ever see in their entire lives. It changes all the time. We'll have the lava flows entering the ocean. It's a pretty amazing sight.

O'NEILL: Over time, the lava becomes rich, fertile soil and because the eastern or Hilo side gets most of the island's rain, agriculture is a key industry. But the ground can't absorb all the moisture, so dozens of rivers and waterfalls punctuate the coastline as the tour moves north.

PACHECO: If you want to come and you want to really see what Hawaii is about and understand its nature and get out, this is the island to do it. And it's just all these wonderful lessons of life that are just laid out, you know, before you, these lava flows and these lush, erosional valleys. And what really makes the Big Island different is just its diversity.

O'NEILL: And these differences extend to the island's culture as well. The northern region is known for its cowboys.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Climb aboard there.

O'NEILL (on camera): Most people don't know it, but cattle ranching is actually a big industry in Hawaii. While these pastures were once sugar cane plantations, all that's changed. And there's no better way to see this country than on mule back.

WALLY CHING, HAWAII FOREST & TRAIL: This is all farmland for the Hawaiians when they live here. Then 1900s, the sugar plantation came in. They planted all this cane. As far as you can see, all into the forest, there's all cane fields. OK, now they use it for raising cattle. My great grandfather came from China just a shirt on his back and a few seeds in his pocket, pumpkins seeds, squash seeds. So when he came to the islands here he could live, you know? He'd plant those seeds, he would have food.

O'NEILL: We picked guava, another import, delicious but pesky. This fast growing fruit threatens native plants.

(on camera): Very good. High in vitamin C, right?

CHING: High in vitamin C. OK, everybody, lean forward now.

O'NEILL (voice-over): Because mules are sturdy and sure-footed, they helped open up the Big Island's treacherous back country.

(on camera): What's the benefit of riding a mule around as opposed to a horse?

CHING: A mule, for one thing, is smarter than a horse.

O'NEILL: Are they really?

CHING: Oh, yeah. You teach a mule how to do something and he won't forget it, not like a horse. He forgets. You've got to constantly train him.

O'NEILL: You're strong, J.J.

CHING: Yeah, you can feel the power of the mule right now.

PACHECO: So now people get to get on these mules and do something that's been going on up here for over a hundred years.

UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST: To be real honest with you, it's kind of I've always been a little afraid of horses and mules and I've gotten over that part of it today. So it's fun. And it's beautiful country and this is a lot of fun on the mule.

O'NEILL: To the tourist who comes and says look, Wally, I've got two weeks a year, I'm spending a lot of money to stay in a fabulous resort, I don't want to leave the grounds, what do you say?

CHING: Come up on our mule ride and see all of this beauty and hopefully, you know, after the mule ride I can teach them a little about the land and they might appreciate it a little bit more.

O'NEILL (voice-over): But not all Big Island fun happens on shore. The name says it all. We're going fishing.

TAYLOR: Today we're going to be going out for Pacific blue marlin, striped marlin, spear fish and we use a number of different lures. This type of lure here is, you're basically for your big blue marlin. The buoys remain lower because of the sound of the motors, the prop wash, they think it's a school of fish feeding and they come up into the pattern and they see the lures and start attacking. CAPTAIN BRIAN WARGO, BITE ME SPORTFISHING: Well, Kona is the Pacific blue marlin capital of the world. There's been 58 marlin here caught over 1,000 pounds. So there's some monster fish and in this business, this is the mecca of it all. It's where it all happens and that's why we're here.

O'NEILL: It doesn't take long for our first animal sighting or, rather, splashing of a humpback whale.

UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST: I've never seen anything like that.


O'NEILL: Not to worry, we're told our fishing lures aren't enticing to whales. And these dolphins won't bite, either. The ocean seems to teem with life. Soon we encounter a school of pilot whales. Still, no bite yet. But when it happens, we'll be ready.

TAYLOR: So basically the key word in fishing is tight line, OK? You can never crank too fast and you're going to forget 80 percent of what I just told you. And it's not a race. It's not a sumo match. It's a chess game, OK? You don't have to be a real strong person to catch a big fish. Just pace yourself and take your time, OK?


TAYLOR: Big giant fish are going to come in when they're ready.

O'NEILL: But on this day the fish aren't ready. As the captain searches, we wait. And after six hours on the water, we head back to shore with good memories, but no catch, just a determination to try our luck another time.


WALCOTT: More from Gail O'Neill on Hawaii as we shift our focus to cuisine. Fresh fruits like papayas and bananas are popular and many islanders eat poi, a food made from the taro plant. And maybe you've heard of a luau, a Hawaiian feast featuring roast pig, singing and dancing. In Hawaii, Mother Nature serves us the bounty and chefs do their best to serve it up Hawaiian style.


O'NEILL (voice-over): When East met West on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the most delectable results was that mealtime was never the same. And now the rest of the world is catching on.

PETER MERRIMAN, OWNER, PETER MERRIMAN RESTAURANT: To me Hawaii regional cuisine is two things. It's a reflection of the cultures which have contributed so much to Hawaii and so there's license to use a lot of different cultural techniques. But the other component that's so important is the use of the fresh, locally grown and raised products.

O'NEILL: An agricultural bounty that gives chefs creative inspiration every day.

MERRIMAN: Making a Caesar salad out of this is easy. And this corn is also the number 10 sweet corn. It's really fantastic. We have people from Nebraska telling us this is the best corn in the world.

O'NEILL: A fact not lost on Peter Merriman's biggest fans. But not all farming is done on solid ground.

STEVEN KATASE, PRESIDENT, ROYAL HAWAIIAN SEA FARMS: You think something like this could take off on the East Coast?

O'NEILL: Seaweed isn't exactly replacing potatoes on tables across the mainland, but it does have its benefits.

KATASE: It has all the elements that are found in the ocean, the zinc, the iodine, the calcium.

O'NEILL: Once the seafood of choice among royalty, these fish, called moi, are being raised using the ancient practice of aquaculture or fish farming, but with a modern twist.

CHOY: Back in the old days the only place you could catch it was all along the cliffs and now they have it right here in tanks going around in a circle, the famous circle that what happens is it makes them feel like they're swimming all day, because these guys have got to swim to get big.

O'NEILL: A huge fan of using only the freshest ingredients, Sam Choy is famous for serving comfort food with a big helping of aloha spirit on the side.

CHOY: And it has to come from the heart. We cook a lot of dishes from the heart and, you know, it's really important to understand the source of it and how to do the, you know, the findings of the recipe and stuff like that.

O'NEILL: With signature entrees like pork and cabbage and the loco moco, a fried rice melange with an egg on top. Another tradition that prevails even today, the luau, where the main attraction is the roasted pig cooked in an underground oven called an emu. But pigs aren't all that's roasting in Hawaii.

(on camera): To experience a coffee break Hawaiian style, you might want to stop in at one of several orchards on the Big Island, where an ideal climate and soil conditions yield the famous Kona coffee.

(voice-over): Kona is actually a district on the western coast of the Big Island and stretching along 27 of its 40 miles is what's known as the coffee belt, with Greenwell Farms falling roughly in the center.

UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST: Oh, it's great. And, in fact, coming by the budget where they're roasting it was just an unbelievable experience. The smell was phenomenal. O'NEILL: At $20 to $30 a pound, the cost of this crop is pretty impressive, too, primarily due to the labor intensive process.

UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST: I just have not a clue of what was going on. So to hear that everything is done by hand was, it was just unbelievable.

O'NEILL: But for those Java junkies who eagerly await the next sip...

UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST: You want to try the macadamia nuts?

O'NEILL: ... this black gold is well worth the wait. And just like Hawaiian regional cuisine, the perfect compliment to any social gathering.


HAYNES: Some landfills in North Carolina are fueling the dreams of some local artists there. Garbage from the dumps is being converted to energy and it's a cheap source of power for many art studios that otherwise couldn't afford the soaring costs of electricity.

Rich Brooks has details on this environmentally conscious program.


RICH BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nestled in the mountains of North Carolina, a place where artists with high-energy needs get a helping hand. The power to fire their vision comes from garbage.

TERRY WOODRUFF, SITE MANAGER, ENERGYXCHANGE: We're trying to offer a low-cost fuel and a - and a nice studio and furnish the major equipment so these folks will have up to three years to utilize this facility.

BROOKS: Power to fire the furnaces and kilns of the glass blowers and potters comes from the local landfill. Buried garbage produces methane. By tapping the gas and burning it, the crafts people have a steady fuel supply with an added benefit.

JOHNN ELLENBOGEN, PRESIDENT, ENERGYXCHANGE: The use of the methane in the way we are using it is the equivalent of removing 20,000 automobiles from the highways of western North Carolina. So by using this gas, we not only save money, but we make it a little easier for everybody on the planet to breathe.

BROOKS: Methane also heats the greenhouses of the sprouting agribusiness, part of the project that could generate enough funds to make EnergyXchange self-supporting.

GREG FIDLER, PENLAND SCHOOL OF CRAFTS: Well, the fact that we're actually helping to clean the environment by burning the methane, which is a pollutant, I definitely feel like that I'm giving back.

BROOKS: Giving back is what this project is all about. Formed in the community by the community to foster young craftspeople.

LIZ SPARKS, PROJECT POTTER: It's just nice to have the support. You know sort of the extra support like I'm not quite so much on my own.

BROOKS: Handcrafting their future and molding their opportunities, local artists get a head start and EnergyXchange may be a model for other landfill sites across the country.

Rich Brooks, CNN, Penland, North Carolina.


HAYNES: Finally today, space shuttle Discovery ends a two-day chase through space and docks with the international space station. The shuttle brings with it a new crew for the orbiting outpost and literally tons of food, clothing, replacement parts and hardware. The new crew consists of one American and two Russians who will live and work aboard space station Alpha for the next five months.

And with that, our work is done for the day. Thanks for watching this Monday and we'll see you back here tomorrow.

CNN NEWSROOM is part of Cable in the Classroom, a service of the cable television industry and your local cable company.




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