Wednesday December 15, 1999

UTAH V A tiny replica of the officers' quarters at historic Fort Douglas is part of this year's White House holiday decorations. The original structures were built in the 1870s.

FOUR CORNERS The nervous consider the Four Corners less vulnerable to Y2K. Some believe they don't have to predict the future to prepare for it. They are building interesting domiciles off the nation's power grid and off the domestic waer supply. [Ed note: a New Year's prediction -- fifty years from now, archaeologists will be recording, preserving and interpreting these "millennial pioneer" sites under Section 106 critera -- and then we'll make minature White House holiday decorations...]

NEW MEXICO Turmoil and divine faith are captured in 19th-century retablos, on display at the New Mexico State University. They originated in central Mexico and migrated northward along the Camino Real as Franciscan missionaries evangelized.

TEXAS The San Antonio Conservation Society proved that a news conference a day can keep the bulldozers away. All stressed that history and historic landmarks such as the Giles Building are among the reasons visitors love San Antonio.

HOMO CYBERIA INCREDIBLENSIS Sci/Tech A 2.34-million-year-old 'tool factory' has been unearthed in Kenya, the science journal Nature reports. The 'tool factory' could date back to small ape-like pre-humans from before the development of the Homo evolutionary group. The story of the origin of man looks likely to be rewritten yet again after the discovery in South Africa of a near complete skeleton of an ape-man thought to be three million years old. If confirmed, this would make the remains 500,000 years older than anything previously unearthed south of Tanzania. A legislative study is under way to find Virginia's Revolutionary grave sites and determine who should maintain them, and how.