From LATimes:

Recipe for Victory: Hard Work and Pigeon

African soccer teams
rely on medicine men to ward off evil spirits and enemy shots, to the dismay
of some game administrators.


NAIROBI, Kenya — When the
four soccer teams from sub-Saharan Africa take the field for their World
Cup matches starting today, they will receive the usual support from coaches,
trainers and, in all likelihood, “team advisors” who are actually traditional
healers known as juju men.

    The juju
men won’t be offering tips on game strategy. Their job will be to facilitate
a win by discreetly scattering charms on the field, putting hexes on opponents
and smearing their teams’ goalposts with magic potions to keep the ball

juju men are commonplace at African soccer matches, their presence–and
influence–has been such an embarrassment that the sport’s governing body
in Africa recently banned such “team advisors” from being part of a squad’s
official entourage.

is everything,” stated the Cairo-based Confederation of African Football
before the African Nations Cup in January in Mali. The group said it instituted
the ban to avoid presenting “a Third World image” during the continent’s
premier sporting event.

    “We are
no more willing to see witch doctors on the [field] than cannibals at the
concession stands,” the CAF declared in a statement that caused juju men
from Senegal to South Africa to howl in protest.

are throwing out the baby with the bathwater just because some soccer administrators
wish to appease the white man more than honor African culture,” one traditional
healer from Swaziland responded.

    So far,
only the South African Football Assn. has announced that no traditional
healers would “officially” accompany its World Cup squad to Japan and South

    But soccer
commentators doubt that South Africa and the three other African countries–Nigeria,
Senegal and Cameroon–would leave their juju men home.

    “To depart
for an international competition without consulting or including sorcerers
is akin to going to an exam without a pencil,” the authoritative African
Soccer magazine said in a recent issue.

    The CAF
and, indeed, many Africans frown on juju, saying it has no role in modern
soccer. Since the CAF ban, columnists, soccer analysts and fans have been
debating in newspapers, Web sites and chat rooms about the efficacy of
juju and its history in African soccer.

fans agree that for the teams to be successful, they need to combine skill
and rigorous training with soccer savvy. But those who discount soccer
sorcery do so at their own peril. Just ask the Elephants.

    In 1992,
Ivory Coast, whose soccer team is nicknamed the Elephants, won the African
Nations Cup in a nail-biting penalty shootout against Ghana. Many Ivorians
credited the victory to a band of juju men enlisted by the sports minister
to give the national side an extra advantage.

the minister reneged on promises to pay the juju men, they promptly slapped
a hex on their national team. The result: a dismal 10-year slide for the

last month, Defense Minister Moise Lida Kouassi went to the juju men’s
village to beg forgiveness and make amends.

offering a bottle of liquor and the sum of” $2,000, he said, “so that the
village, through the perceptiveness of its wise men, will continue to help
the republic and, in particular, the minister of sport.” Africans are quick
to point out that players from Western nations practice their own form
of juju when they wear lucky charms, pray before an important match, cross
themselves after the national anthem or form a ritual huddle.

basketball superstar Michael Jordan could be accused of practicing a little
juju for wearing his old University of North Carolina shorts under his
NBA uniform.

    But in
Africa, there is little subtlety when it comes to superstitions.

    In a
10-page special report, African Soccer magazine recently documented how
teams splatter pigeons’ blood around the dressing room to ward off evil
spirits, bury the remains of animals in their opponents’ half of the field,
and sacrifice cows, goats and other animals to collect blood for players
to bathe in.

teams even slash their own players’ bodies with razor blades to rub a “magic
dust” into their bloodstream.

    “I used
to get cut so much I was just like a ventilator,” a former South African
player said. “They used to cut us everywhere…. They would use the same
razor blade on everyone.”

former Ivory Coast star recounted how at a previous African Nations Cup,
about 150 juju men set up camp in their hotel rooms, making players take
baths in large pots filled with various concoctions. Despite the elaborate
juju rituals, the Ivorians were kicked out in the first round, losing to
Egypt and Cameroon.

of soccer sorcery say that juju men merely psych up players. They are no
different from the sport psychologists that many U.S. professional teams
maintain on their staff.

Ambani claims to have motivated some of the best players in East Africa
during his 40-year career as a juju man.

    The chalkboard
tacked up to the front door of his one-room shack in the sprawling Kangemi
slum outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, advertises Ambani’s day job as one
of the hundreds of thousands of faith healers throughout Africa. They use
herbs and prayer to ancestral spirits to cure malaria, gonorrhea, even

the soccer season, Ambani is in high demand. The top soccer clubs in Kenya
and even coaches from the national team come calling, supplying Ambani
with the names of the opposing teams’ players.

week, the 74-year-old Ambani demonstrated how he puts the names in a small
terra-cotta urn, pours in the blood of chickens, goats and other animals,
and sprinkles in some of his special magic dust, which he keeps in a plastic
Skippy peanut butter container. After plugging the holes in the urn with
some goat horns, Ambani fires up the brew on a kerosene stove.

I do this, even though the other team may have good players, they will
never perform well,” he said, breaking out in broad grin. “They will miss
the ball and see things that are not on the field. I am a spoiler.”

    On some
occasions, Ambani slips into soccer stadiums at dawn to plant bones and
parts of animals at “essential places” in the field.

    For his
services, Ambani charges from about $20 to as much as $2,000–depending
on the level of the game.

who said he wore No. 7 when he played for his village soccer team in western
Kenya, said he enjoyed working and talking sports with soccer players.
But since he purchased a cellular phone, his business has become a virtual
Dial-a-Juju. His clients now simply telephone in their order. When they
don’t pay, he reverses the hex on them.

Musonye, secretary-general of the Council of East and Central Africa Football
Assns., which runs soccer in 13 countries, said he has urged his members
to stay away from Ambani many times, to no avail.

Africa, Musonye said, football associations use their sizable “research
budgets” to hire witch doctors and keep them happy. Musonye lamented that
the same groups pay their players small stipends and fail to correct their
poor diet or replace their ragged uniforms.

doesn’t work,” Musonye said. “The road to success lies in hard work, hard
work and more hard work.”

    He chuckled,
then said: “If juju worked, then African teams would win the World Cup
every four years, but that still hasn’t happened once.”



Caminiti comes clean

Ex-MVP says he won award
while using steroids

Posted: Tuesday May 28,
2002 4:16 PM

ATLANTA ( — Former
major leaguer Ken Caminiti says he was on steroids

when he won the National
League Most Valuable Player Award in 1996, according to

an exclusive report in this
week’s issue of Sports Illustrated.

But even though it left him
with health problems that continue to this day,

Caminiti defended his use
of steroids and told SI’s Tom Verducci the practice is

now so rampant in baseball
that he would not discourage others from doing the

same. Caminiti told Verducci
that he continued to use steroids for the rest of

his career, which ended
last season when he hit .228 with 15 home runs and 41

RBIs for the Texas Rangers
and the Atlanta Braves.

“Look at all the money in
the game,” Caminiti said. “A kid got $252 million. So

I can’t say, ‘Don’t do it,’
not when the guy next to you is as big as a house

and he’s going to take your
job and make the money.”

Eight days after his release
by the Braves last November, Caminiti was arrested

in a Houston crack house.
In March, he was placed on three years probation and

fined $2,000 after pleading
guilty to cocaine possession.

“I’ve made a ton of mistakes,”
admitted Caminiti, who is also a recovering

alcoholic. “I don’t think
using steroids is one of them.”

Although he is the first
major leaguer to publicly admit using steroids,

Caminiti told Verducci that,
“It’s no secret what’s going on in baseball. At

least half the guys are
using [steroids]. They talk about it. They joke about it

with each other. … I don’t
want to hurt fellow teammates or fellow friends.

But I’ve got nothing to

Steroids are illegal in the
United States unless prescribed by a doctor for a

known medical condition.
But they are easily obtained, most commonly over the

counter at pharmacies in
Mexico and other Latin American countries. Former major

leaguer Chad Curtis, who
retired after last season, estimated that 40 to 50

percent of major league
ballplayers use steroids — sometimes supplemented with

joint-strengthening human
growth hormone — to suddenly become stronger and


see guys whose facial features, jaw bones and cheek bones change past [age]

Do they think that happens naturally?” Curtis told SI. “You go, ‘What

to that guy?’ Then you’ll hear him say he worked out over the winter

put on 15 pounds of muscle. I’m sorry, working out is not going to change

facial features.”

Steroids improve muscle mass,
especially when combined with proper nutrition and

strength training. But they
also have several side effects, such as heart and

liver damage, endocrine-system
problems, elevated cholesterol levels, strokes,

aggressive behavior, and
the shrinkage and dysfunction of genitalia.

The NFL, NBA and International
Olympic Committee all test their athletes for

steroids. Major League Baseball
has no testing program, but in February owners

presented the players’ association
with a comprehensive drug-testing plan that

covers 17 commonly known
steroids, as well as amphetamines, cocaine, LSD and


“We need to test,” commissioner
Bud Selig told SI. “I believe it’s in the best

interest of the players
long term. I feel very strongly about that.”

But the players’ association
has refused to include steroid testing in past

collective bargaining agreements,
arguing that it is an invasion of privacy.

Gene Orza, the union’s associate
general counsel, was noncommittal about the

latest proposal.

“We’re going to do what the
interest of our membership requires us to do,” he

said. “There will be a consensus
from the players’ association.”

One reason for baseball’s
slow response, players suggested to SI, is that by

making players bigger —
the average All-Star weighed 211 pounds last year,

compared to 199 in 1991
— steroids have contributed to one of the greatest

slugging booms in the game’s
history. The single-season home run record has been

broken twice in four years,
while the 60-homer plateau has been surpassed six

times. Even leadoff hitters
and utility infielders are hitting home runs in

record numbers.

“We’re playing in an environment
in the last decade that’s tailored to produce

offensive numbers anyway,
with the smaller ballparks, the smaller strike zone,

and so forth,” said Arizona
Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling. “When you add

in steroids and strength
training, you’re seeing records not just being broken,

but completely shattered.”

that’s what fans want, said Curtis. “If you polled the fans, I think they’d

you, ‘I don’t care about illegal steroids. I’d rather see the guy hit the

a mile or throw it 105 miles an hour.’ “

Caminiti told SI that he
began using steroids midway through the 1996 season

after injuring his shoulder
while playing third base for the San Diego Padres.

Then 33, Caminiti had never
hit more than 26 home runs in a season. But he hit

28 alone after the All-Star
break that year, finishing with 40 homers, 130 runs

batted in and a .326 batting
average. All were career highs, and he was a

unanimous choice for the

“I think it was more of an
attitude,” Caminiti said of the steroids’ effect.

is a mental edge that comes with the injections
. And it’s definitely

something that gets you
more intense. The thing is, I didn’t do it to make me a

better player. I did it
because my body was broke down.”

While his performance improved,
Caminiti encountered new health problems,

primarily because he initially
used steroids nonstop instead of in recommended

cycles. As a result, his
testosterone level dropped 80 percent below normal.

Still, he continued to use
steroids for the rest of his career, albeit in proper

doses. But he never again
approached his ’96 performance, in part because he

spent portions of each of
his final five seasons on the disabled list.

“I got really strong, really
quick. I pulled a lot of muscles. I broke down a

lot,” he said. “I’m still
paying for it. My tendons and ligaments got all torn

up. My muscles got too strong
for my tendons and ligaments. And now my body’s

not producing testosterone.
You know what that’s like? You get lethargic. You

get depressed. It’s terrible.”

Caminiti’s injury history
is not unusual, according to the SI report. Major

league players made 467
trips to the DL last season, staying there an average of

59 days — 20 percent longer
than in 1997. And major league teams paid $317

million last year to players
physically unable to play — a 130 percent increase

from four years earlier.

“It [baseball] was always
the sport for the agile athlete with the small frame,”

said noted sports orthopedist
James Andrews of Birmingham, Ala. “Over these last

10 years, that’s all changed.
Now we’re getting a bunch of these muscle-related

injuries in baseball. You’d
have to attribute that — both the bulking up and

the increased injuries —
to steroids and supplements.”



Anti-abortionists try
new weapon

 Pro-life protestors
use cameras, raise legal Issues, lawsuits

By Yochi J. Dreazen


DENVER, May 28 ˜ As soon
as he saw the blue minivan turning into the parking lot

of Planned Parenthood‚s
small abortion clinic here, Kenneth Scott grabbed his

digital camera, clambered
up his rickety metal ladder and started snapping

pictures. „You‚ll have nightmares
about this day the rest of your life,‰ he

bellowed, photographing
the blond woman gingerly leaving the minivan. Then he

turned his camera to her
escort. „Your sin won‚t be hidden or forgotten,‰ he


MR. SCOTT is doing his best to make sure of that. Within hours of his

photo expedition early this
month, he was home downloading the pictures onto his

computer so he could e-mail
them to Neal Horsley, a fellow activist in

Carrollton, Ga. Mr. Horsley
runs a Web site devoted to deterring „homicidal

mothers‰ from seeking abortions
by posting photos of women seen entering

abortion clinics. New pictures
he gets are often on the Web within days.

The site,, which Mr. Horsley claims gets almost two

million hits a month, marks
a tactical shift by the antiabortion movement.

Increasingly, protesters
are targeting women who seek abortions, not just

doctors who perform them.
The weapon of choice: the camera.

„Shame enough women into realizing that eternal damnation awaits them if

they murder their baby and
the abortionists won‚t have any work to do,‰ says Mr.

Scott, whose aging brown
van bears a small handwritten sign reading „Smile!

You‚re on!‰
(It‚s another Horsley Web site.)

Mr. Scott and his wife, Jo, are part of a loose-knit network of several

dozen activists from 24
states who send photos to Mr. Horsley‚s and a handful of

other Web sites. In Portland,
Ore., an affable man named Paul deParrie takes

photos of women entering
clinics for Mr. Horsley as well as for his own

antiabortion site,
Mr. Horsley hopes to have contributing

photographers in every state
by the end of the year. He also says he hopes to

start adding the women‚s
names and addresses. Some postings already show

license-plate numbers.

The tactic poses difficult legal questions that courts are just beginning

to tackle. Last year, an
Illinois woman whose photo and medical records were

posted online sued the activists
who took the photo and the man who ran the Web

site, a friend of Mr. Horsley‚s.
Her pending damage suit says the posting

violated her privacy and
subjected her to humiliation and potential harm.

A „right to privacy‰ doesn‚t appear in the Constitution or the Bill of

Rights, but for the past
37 years, courts have increasingly held that Americans

have a right to keep many
details of their lives secret. Among issues the courts

could someday have to weigh
with regard to this tactic is whether women going in

for abortions lose any of
this protection because they‚re in a public place-or,

to the contrary, whether
entering a clinic for a medical procedure affords

additional privacy protection.
Courts may have to consider whether the Web sites

implicitly threaten violence
against the women. And they‚ll certainly have to

weigh the claim of the activists
that they are journalists whose work is

protected by the First Amendment
right to free speech.

„This is a new area for the law, and there‚s no easy answer based on past

cases that makes this a
slam dunk in either direction,‰ says Jonathan Zittrain,

co-director of Harvard Law
School‚s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

In Denver, a Planned Parenthood clinic set in a low-slung gray building

in a poor residential area
is the site of a strange game of cat and mouse. When

protesters first began carrying
still and video cameras here last summer, clinic

employees strung tall gray
curtains alongside the parking lot to block the view

from the sidewalk. The protesters
brought in ladders. Then Planned Parenthood‚s

volunteer escorts began
carrying huge umbrellas to try to shield the women‚s


Stan Roebuck, Planned Parenthood‚s security director for the Colorado

region, says the presence
of the cameras „ratchets up the tension for women who

are already under extreme
stress.‰ To Kate Michelman, president of the National

Abortion and Reproductive
Rights Action League, „This is like drawing a

bull‚s-eye on the backs
of these women and inviting those who are irrationally

zealous to take action.‰
The activists say they‚re doing nothing to incite or

threaten violence.

One California mother of two says she was shocked when she was told by

friend that her photo was
on Mr. Horsley‚s site. „Getting an abortion was the

most difficult and personal
decision I‚ve ever had to make,‰ says the woman,

requesting anonymity because
she doesn‚t want friends and family to know she had

one. „I couldn‚t believe
that some stranger had the nerve to share it with the



One woman is fighting back in court. She suffered a cervical tear while

patient at the Hope Clinic
in Granite City, Ill., and needed to be rushed to a

hospital. As clinic staffers
wheeled her toward a waiting minivan, one of a

group of antiabortion protesters
outside, Daniel Michael of nearby Highland,

Ill., saw what was happening
and snapped a picture of her. Within days, her

picture as well as her medical
records-obtained through an unknown source-were

on a Web site called Missionaries
to the Unborn. It didn‚t name her but included

her age, the name of her
tiny hometown, the fact that she was married and the

age and sex of her only

Identified as „Jane Doe‰ in court papers, the woman alleges the photo

and records revealed her
identity, violating her privacy and opening her to

potential public humiliation
and physical violence. She said in a deposition in

state court in Edwardsville.,
Ill., that she feared an extremist could try to

track her down and harm
her. She declined to comment for this article.

The defendants include Mr. Michael, his wife, Angela, and Stephen Wetzel,

who runs the Web site. The
suit also names the hospital, recently renamed

Gateway Medical Center,
for failing to make sure her records stayed

confidential. Mr. Michael
and Mr. Wetzel say the records came to them


The woman is seeking more than $400,000, mostly in punitive damages.

State court judge George
Moran issued a temporary restraining order last summer

ordering removal of her
photo and medical records from Missionaries to the

Unborn and another Web site.
The case is pending.

Mr. Wetzel says the woman has no reason to fear for her safety. „Nobody‚s

going to go after a girl
for getting an abortion,‰ he says. „They‚re as much a

victim as the babies are.‰
Mr. Michael says the medical records shouldn‚t have

been put online. He says
the woman has a right to privacy but adds that it

wasn‚t violated because
the photos were blurry and the records were redacted to

exclude her name and address.
„This wasn‚t meant to harm her ˜ it was just to

let the world know what
happens at that clinic,‰ he says. The hospital didn‚t

return a call seeking comment.

One tough legal question likely to arise as these tactics continue is

whether posting women‚s
photos on a site such as Mr. Horsley‚s ˜ which likens

abortion to murder and speaks
of divine punishment for patients and their

doctors ˜ amounts to a threat
against their safety. A person making such a claim

could have a high bar to
clear. Courts have generally found that plaintiffs

alleging threats to their
safety must show the defendant directly threatened to

do violence against them.

In a 1982 Supreme Court case, NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware, black

activists working to enforce
a civil-rights boycott against several white-owned

businesses in Mississippi
stood outside and wrote down the names of blacks who

continued to shop there.
The names were read aloud at a public meeting and

published in a newspaper,
leading to several assaults and arsons. Later, an

organizer was quoted as
saying that if he caught anyone „going in any of them

racist stores, we‚re gonna
break your damn neck.‰ The high court said the

statement was constitutionally
protected because there was no evidence the

organizer had authorized
a specific act of violence or threatened to commit one


Mr. Zittrain and other legal experts say that current privacy laws don‚t

appear to protect a person
from being photographed while in a public place, but

that women could potentially
sue the photographers or the sites for intentional

infliction of emotional
stress or illegal intimidation.


The women could benefit from a recent appellate-court decision that

touched on another Web site
Mr. Horsley runs, Nuremberg Files, which carries

abortion providers‚ names,
addresses and photos and crosses out their names when

they‚ve been killed. It
was cited in a lawsuit against others-a group called the

American Coalition of Life
Activists-as evidence of intimidation.

Planned Parenthood, several doctors and a clinic in Portland, Ore., filed

the suit in federal court
in Portland. It alleged the Coalition had incited

violence and broken a 1994
federal law that allows doctors and clinic workers to

sue antiabortion protesters
they believe have tried to intimidate them into no

longer doing the procedure.

In 1999, a jury awarded the plaintiffs nearly $107 million, virtually all

punitive damages. Two years
later, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of

Appeals for the 9th Circuit
in San Francisco overturned the verdict, saying that

though the site and some
of the group‚s posters used inflammatory language and

imagery, they didn‚t contain
any explicit threats of physical harm to an


But this month the full 9th Circuit reversed that decision and said that

the activists had „made
statements to intimidate the physicians, reasonably

foreseeing that physicians
would interpret the statements as a serious

expression of … intent
to harm them.‰ The court said the doctors had begun

wearing bulletproof vests
as a direct result of the posters and Web site, and

concluded the protesters‚
activities „amounted to a true threat and not

protected speech.‰ The activists
promise to appeal, and many observers expect

the Supreme Court to take
the case because of the thorny questions of free

speech and abortion access
it raises.

Mr. Scott, the picture-taking end of the Scott-Horsley operation, says

had a personal experience
with abortion 23 ago, when he got a girlfriend

pregnant and paid for her
to have an abortion. Later he married, and he says

that after his second marriage
fell apart he became a born-again Christian. Now

he spends much of his free
time protesting at abortion clinics across the

country. He met his third
wife, Jo, at an antiabortion protest near the 1996

Republican convention in
San Diego.

The two, devout Grace Christians, play the part of bad cop and good cop;

Mr. Scott screams at the
women about hell and damnation, while Mrs. Scott

quietly approaches cars
pulling into the clinic to offer women ultrasound tests,

financial help or advice
about adoption.

One afternoon earlier this month in Denver, Mr. Scott yelled at a woman

in a green jacket hurriedly
walking toward the clinic doors with a tall man in a

red T-shirt. „Don‚t kill
your baby,‰ he said. „You‚ll always wonder if it was a

boy or a girl.‰

His words had the desired effect: The man turned to swear at Mr. Scott

and raised his middle finger,
while the woman pivoted to see what the commotion

was. Mr. Scott, wearing
a placard around his neck reading „Life begins at

conception and ends at Planned
Parenthood,‰ quickly took several photos.

By the end of the day, he had snapped more than 90 pictures in all, the

scenes ranging from the
confrontational to the prosaic. In one photo, a woman in

a green jacket was running
toward the facility while her male companion, a tall

man with a pony tail and
goatee, raised his fist at the camera. In another, two

women stepped out of a parked
car. The women‚s faces were all clearly visible.

At home in a suburb of Boulder, Colo., Ms. Scott hooked the camera to a

desktop computer in her
basement and transferred the photos to an online

picture-sharing service
called Ofoto. Minutes later, they were on their way to

Mr. Horsley in Georgia.
There, in a home office cluttered with tripods, guitars,

an overflowing bookcase
and photos of his college-age children, Mr. Horsley soon

began downloading the photos
into a computer.

Getting them online takes time. The first step is choosing, sometimes

from as many as 500 pictures
sent him in a week, he says. Mr. Horsley says he is

a journalist trying to tell
a story, and wants to avoid using pictures with

poses or expressions too
similar to others he has posted on the site. He also

resizes the photos and edits
their color and lighting, though he says the

Scotts‚ photos rarely need
much retouching. „They‚re pros,‰ he says.

„From my point of view,‰ Mr. Horsley says, „this is a news report that

has the ability to send
a message. I want images that capture the look on a

woman‚s face as she goes
to a place where babies are being killed.‰

After picking the photos, the final step is to make duplicate versions

each photo, including a
miniature that will appear on a Web page full of other

shots from each state and
a full-size image that viewers can access by clicking

on the small one. The whole
process takes about 15 minutes per picture.

Maintaining the site costs about $10,000 a year. Mr. Horsley pays for

much of it through his day
job as a computer and Internet consultant. He also

gets donations from other
antiabortion activists. He tries to update the site

every day, and says he‚s
always looking for new photographers. „Get out there to

your local butchertorium
with your zoom lenses and get those cameras rolling,‰

he writes on his Web site.
„Point and click.‰



This Cosmic Background Imager
picture reveals faint microwave radiation from the

farthest reaches of the
universe. The colors depict different radiation

intensities, with reds showing
cooler areas and the light colors showing hotter


Image could show cosmos
at 300,000 years old

May 23, 2002 Posted: 12:56
PM EDT (1656 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — New
images of the early universe — a time before there

were galaxies, stars or
planets — show the cosmic ripples that eventually

became every bit of matter
and energy, scientists reported on Thursday.

    The pictures,
made by a scientific instrument called the Cosmic Background

Imager on a remote plateau
in Chile, are the most detailed images of the oldest

light ever emitted, the
researchers said in a statement.

    The light
the Imager captured is from perhaps 300,000 years after the

theoretical Big Bang explosion
that many scientists believe marked the start of

the universe.

    The Imager
detected tiny variations in the cosmic microwave background, the

radiation that has traveled
to Earth over almost 14 billion years, according to

the U.S. National Science
Foundation, which funded the research along with the

California Institute of

    The images
make the cosmic background radiation look like a blurred flame, but

they actually are the first
seeds of matter and energy that later evolved into

clusters of hundreds of

    “We have
seen, for the first time, the seeds that gave rise to clusters of

galaxies, thus putting theories
of galaxy formation on a firm observational

footing,” said Caltech scientist
Anthony Readhead.

taken by the instrument add to evidence supporting the notion of

cosmic inflation, a period
of furious expansion instants after the Big Bang.

findings may also help scientists learn more about “dark energy,” a

mysterious repulsive force
that seems to defy gravity and pushes the universe to

expand at an ever-quickening