Some of the results of archeological studies of modern refuse (yes, that's garbage) conducted by BILL RATHJE, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona and a visiting scholar at the Stanford Archeology Center, are not very surprising. For example, people tend to "over-report the amount of asparagus they eat and under-report the amount of beer they drink," said Rathje, founder and director of the Garbage Project. Other findings, however, seriously challenge what we think we know. Most people believe that landfills are overflowing with the plastic foam containers from fast food restaurants and disposable diapers, but in fact those items make up only about 3 percent of municipal solid waste, said Rathje, who has conducted landfill digs from Sunnyvale to Naples, Fla. Construction waste, including such materials as concrete rebar and wallboard, accounts for anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of the contents; about half of what is in landfills is paper. (Newspaper alone accounts for 19 percent, he said.) Rathje has written that he began the Garbage Project in 1973 to give his freshmen students a chance to "experience, hands-on, the panorama of behaviors archaeologists could reconstruct from everyday garbage."The Stanford Blood Center needs to collect 400 units a day just to meet the usual demand, said MICHELLE HYNDMAN, public relations manager. It's a challenge year-round to find donors, but it gets even harder in the summer, Hyndman said. The center is currently below its optimal supply of blood in almost all categories, she added. In response, Facilities Operations is sponsoring a Facilities Blood Drive in the conference rooms at 340 Bonair Siding this Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every registered donor will receive a voucher for up to four tickets to the Stanford vs. UC-Davis football game on Sept. 17. Blood Center locations in Palo Alto and Mountain View also will offer the football vouchers during August and a "Pint for Pint" program (donors receive coupons for a pint of ice cream). To make an appointment to give blood at the Palo Alto or Mountain View blood centers, register online at http://bloodcenter.stanford.edu or call 888-723-7831. To make an appointment to give blood at the Facilities Blood Drive, call AMY SAUNDERS at 723-3196. Seen on campus: In the pedestrians' version of the note left under a car's windshield wiper, someone left a message under a rock near a science building here last week. The lines scribbled on notebook paper read, "Lost your watch around here?" and included the Good Samaritan's e-mail address.
At the News Service lately, many have been called and a few chosen … for jury duty. Assistant Editor RAY DELGADO just returned to the office after serving on a jury for three weeks and regular Cardinal Chronicler MICHAEL PEÑA is currently serving as a juror. And I am able to fill as in as columnist only because Santa Clara County Superior Court granted a postponement of my own jury summons. (According to Administrative Guide Memo 22.7, regular employees receive time off with pay when serving on a jury.) When can we expect Michael back? It's up to the judge.