If you missed the "Whiz Kid" story that appeared on the first page of Monday's Style section, you missed one of the most interesting dispatches we have published recently.
The story was about 5-year-old Alicia Witt of Worcester, Mass., who appears to be a genuine genius. Alicia hummed lullabies with her mother when she was just a few hours old and spoke her first word one month later. At the age of 3 she read the IRS instructions for filling out the complicated 1040 tax forms, and now at 5 she recites Shakespearean plays and sonnets, reads college textbooks, writes novels and says she'd like to a be president some day.
In recent years, scientists have learned much about the human mind. There has been special interests in parapsychology. Each new experiment in telepathy, extrasensory perception and clairvoyance has been studied with interest by a growing group of believers in psychoic phenomena.
Many people think that scientists have just barely begun to learn about the incomparable minicomputer known as the human brain. The brain's potential may be so great that modern man is not yet capable of comprehending its possibilities.
And beyond the brain their may be a soul, a rememberance of things past, a link with another life or lives that preceded or will follow.
We do not yet have scientific proof of many things we think are true, and for some we may never find proof. Some of life's secrets are probably beyond the limits of man's imagination.
But surely the story of Alicia Witt must stir the imagination of every person who hears it. One learns of this little girl's astounding accomplishments and wonders," "What makes one child in a million a prodigy and the other 999,999 'normal'? And just what is 'normal' if some children can be so abnormally superior?"
Heaven only knows what is still hidden from our view and how much of it man will learn before he and/or the earth become extinct. But it certainly would be an interesting subject to contemplate -- if only the human brain were capable of understanding an organism as complicated as the human brain, or the human soul. THESE MODERN TIMES
On Monday, for the first time in weeks, I was in the National Press Building. I had to attend a National Press Foundation board meeting at noon.
I knew I wouldn't be finished at the office until long after midnight, so I had no choice. I had to drive my car downtown. I though I'd park it in the garage between 14th and 15th streets, on F, across from Garfinckel's.
However, when I got there, I found cables strung across all the entrance lanes. I recalled that the garage had been scheduled for demolition.
Oh, well. I knew there was a PMI garage on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 14th and 15th, so I drove around the block to it.
I found nothing but rubble. This garage wasn't just closed; it was gone.
I turned right on 15th, went back to F Street, then along F to 13th, down 13th to E, and right on E to the site of the old Washington Post Building. 1PMI had put up a garage there, too, after The Post moved out.
If you've been in that area recently, you already know what I found. That PMI is also rubble now.
I began working my way up from 14th and the Avenue toward the new Post building, meanwhile keeping a lookout for garages and lots. No luck.
Finally I headed for the garage that is next to the L Street side of the Stateler. But I found it completely full.
There is another parking garage right next to it, and I turned in there. After I had gotten 100 feet into the alley that serves as its entrance, I was waved off by an attendant. That one was full, too.
Eventually, I found a garage on 15th Street that had room for my car, and I walked down to the National Press Building for my meeting. Afterward I told a friend what I had gone through. "I know," he said. "If you haven't visited a section of downtown for a week or so, there's just no telling how many of its buildings will still be standing the next time you go there." COMPLAINT DEPT.
A Northeast resident writes: "Your paper ran a 2-for-1 coupon for Wendy's hamburgers, so I bought two of them for $1.09. The bill was $1.27. The girl behind the counter explained, 'You have to pay tax on the regular price.'
"So I paid 18 cents tax on a $1.09 purchase. What a rip-off. The merchant doesn't turn over to the District of Columbia the precise amounts he collects in taxes; he pays on the basis of his gross sales. So if that is really the law, it puts the doubled sales tax into the merchant's till, not the District government's."
It also defies logic. If a garment is marked down from $100 to $69, the tax is levied on $69, not on the regular price. Why is the tax law different for food?'