A RECENT front-page story by Sun staff...


A RECENT front-page story by Sun staff writer Rafael Alvarez on the City Life Museum's search for objects d'Bawlmer got us to wondering:

With so many folks living in the suburbs, someone is bound to start a Suburban Life Museum. But stocked with what?

* A strip of vinyl siding.

* A tiny hexagonal sign warning that children and pets should keep off the freshly chemically treated lawns.

* Orange pylons from kids' soccer leagues.

* Supermarket register tapes for school computer funds.

* Happy Meal gewgaws and/or Chuck E Cheese tokens.

* Sack of Kentucky Fescue 31.

* Community pool pass.

* Pair of tennis shoes worn out by a senior citizen mall walker.

* Classroom trailer from overcrowded school.

* Can of deck preservative.

By preparing for this exhibit now, officials could save a lot of money in the suburban collectibles market down the road.

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NO CANDIDATE for a presidential nomination ever admits in advance a willingness to accept the vice presidential nomination. But Pat Buchanan may have broken that rule on "Good Morning America" this week.

Here is a Q-and-A exchange with commentator Forrest Sawyer:

MR. SAWYER: Is there any possibility, Pat -- now, I know we're way, way early in this thing --


MR. SAWYER: -- that you would consider anything besides the presidential nomination?

MR. BUCHANAN: Listen, if I go for the presidential nomination of my party, I'm going to say if I lose, I will support the man that beats me. I think you've got to do that, and I will also work to help our party defeat Bill Clinton in whatever way people ask, and so I think you've got that obligation if you go through a party struggle like the one we're going to go through.

* * *

THE United States is going back to the moon, but this time it'll cost only about a nickel for every $100 spent three decades ago.

The National Aeronautical and Space Administration recently announced plans to fly a small spacecraft around the moon as part of the agency's Discovery program, a series of low-cost, unmanned flights to explore the solar system.

Dubbed the Lunar Prospector, the 513-pound spacecraft is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in June 1997. It will fly 60 miles above the moon, mapping and analyzing the chemical make-up of the surface, and studying its magnetic and gravity fields.

NASA is budgeting $59 million for the project vs. $25 billion spent on the Apollo program -- or about $104 billion in current dollars.

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