WHAT DOES a governor do all day?...


WHAT DOES a governor do all day? How does Maryland's chief executive earn his $120,000 salary?

Here are the one-week highlights, according to Gov. William Donald Schaefer's own press office:

"Attended a private breakfast and fitness rally with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. . . Visited the CHOICE Program's second office. . . Attended a Drug Abuse Resistance (DARE) Day fundraising breakfast. . . Dedicated new CSX Automobile Distribution Center. . .

"Received the top award from the National Women's Political Caucus for having the highest percentage of women named to Cabinet-level posts. . .

"Signed an amendment to the Agreement of Friendly Partnership with the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. . .

"Appeared at an environmental program with actor Ted Danson. . .

"Attended White House Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton. The governor was a guest of [Sun columnist] Roger Simon."

And to think comedians make fun of Dan Quayle's itinerary!

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IN A STORY that should have come out around Hallowe'en, Utah scientists have reported to a convention in Atlanta that the venom of garden spiders seems to block a toxic chemical that attacks the brains of stroke victims.

Hunter Jackson, a Salt Lake City neurobiologist, told reporters at the recent American Chemical Society convention that he and fellow researchers at Natural Product Sciences have conducted tests with rodents and found that several common spider venoms can be "very effective" anti-convulsants.

To that end, they are also conducting tests with rodents to see if the chemicals can suppress seizures and epilepsy.

Witch doctors, shamans and root workers have known that all along, of course. Many of their health-care recipes included crushed spider and other venomous crawlers. Modern medicine had pretty much debunked their claims of elixir-like effects, but who knows? Maybe they were onto something after all. Still, the M.D.s had a point. Who wants to drink some creepy old spider venom?

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THE OLDEST living former major leaguer, Chester "Red" Hoff, celebrated his 100th birthday the other day. He pitched from 1911 through 1913 for the New York Highlanders -- now called the Yankees -- and in 1915 for the St. Louis Browns, apparently his first comeback.

From the RaStelle Manor retirement home in Daytona Beach, Fla., Mr. Hoff told USA Today, "I think I could still pitch nine innings. Cripes, I might give it a try, considering the salaries they're making now." Which presumably means we can expect another 55 years of comeback talk from Jim Palmer.

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