Writing inside the box

The Flux Factory, an artists' collective in Long Island City, N.Y., is experimenting with an unusual concept: writing as performance. The project is called "Novel: A Living Installation." Three novelists have agreed to live in boxes in the gallery for a month, concentrating their efforts on producing works of fiction. During their 30 days in sem-isolation, each writer will try to complete a novel. During a limited number of weekly viewing hours, the public may peer in on the writers, who may only leave their pods for 90 minutes each day. Whether this strategy encourages free expression or a new form of writer's block remains to be seen.

Dirty military bases resist easy, inexpensive cleanup

In a move designed to save money and better position military personnel, the Pentagon has announced a plan to close 62 military bases. Past experience shows, however, that closing bases is no snap, especially when toxics are present. Of the 97 bases that have been shut down since 1988 in four previous rounds of closures and realignments, 34 were on the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund list of toxic waste sites, most for at least 15 years. Contaminants that pose dangers either through groundwater migration or direct human exposure are still not under control at 10 closed bases. The bases and their locations:

Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Calif.
Ford Ord Monterey County, Calif.
Mather Air Force Base Sacramento County, Calif.
McClellan Air Force Base Sacramento County, Calif.
Memphis Defense Depot Memphis, Tenn.
Moffett Naval Air Station Santa Clara County, Calif.
Tooele Army Depot Tooele, Utah
Umatilla Army Depot Hermiston, Ore.
Jacksonville Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.
Williams Air Force Base Chandler, Ariz. - Associated Press

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