Rich Galen

America, he said, would continue to lead the world so long as we continue to bring the intellectual power to bear on new ideas.

Notwithstanding our fascination with the death of Anna Nicole Smith and the life of Britney Spears, Barrett said, "There is still only one nation in the world which has the capacity to attract the best and the brightest in every scientific discipline - the US."

Another exec told me that Intel employees provide "a third of a million hours per year" doing good works in their community. "That's the equivalent of 1,500 full-time employees doing nothing but," he said.

I suspect there are other great American corporations which can make a similar claim; but none of them were celebrating 40 of the smartest high school science students in the country last night.

The top prize was won by Mary Masterman of Oklahoma City, but the 39 other young Americans will go off to college, then earn advanced degrees, then invent and discover marvelous things.

According to the first law of thermodynamics, the total amount of energy in the universe is constant. A good deal of it was in the Ronald Reagan building last night and all of it was positive.

On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A short explanation of the three Laws of Thermodynamics, a history of Intel; another in the series of license plate Mullfotos; and a Catchy Caption of the top prize winner in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at