UM's Nobel winner joins the upper crust

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October 26, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

You spend your life cooking up a theory to explain everything from Cold War nuclear strategies to the prices at Best Buy. And what do you get for it? The Nobel Prize. Not bad. But wait, there's more!

Thomas Schelling also had a peanut butter sandwich named for him at the University of Maryland.

Two aspiring dietitians who are doing their food service rotation in UM dining halls had loftier fare in mind when they proposed naming a sandwich for the newly minted Nobel laureate.

But when Anne Murken and Peter Williams asked the 84-year-old UM economics professor what he likes to eat, he answered, "Peanut butter."

Murken and Williams made the most of it. So "Schelling's Nobel Prize" is no run-of-the-mill PB&J.

It's a triple-decker that combines crunchy and creamy peanut butters with grape jelly on cinnamon raisin bread.

"Dr. Schelling was delighted with his sandwich, and even considered mailing one of the extras to his grandchild," according to a university news release.

The release goes on to quote Schelling: "Having a sandwich named in my honor is the nicest thing that has happened to me since receiving my award."

Guess that check hasn't arrived yet from Stockholm.

Where the in-the-know go

Baltimore was a little surprised - flattered, but surprised - when Arthur Frommer ranked the city among the world's top 10 travel destinations a few months back.

Now we get it.

The travel guru is coming back to town to talk up one of Baltimore's hidden charms: public bathrooms.

Frommer has assembled an offbeat guide on where to answer nature's call in 20 U.S. cities and four national parks.

Put out by Novartis, maker of a medication used to treat overactive bladders, the free book is titled Where to Stop & Where to Go.

Frommer, who comes to town later this week to promote the guide with a urologist at his side, said he was a little uneasy about the project when Novartis first approached him.

"I was sort of embarrassed even to talk about the subject," he said. He notes that he is not among the 33 million Americans who suffer from the condition and are reluctant to travel because of it. But like all travelers, Frommer has sometimes found himself searching for a bathroom in unfamiliar territory.

"This is a normal human function," he said. "No one is exempt from it."

The guide - a slim 76 pages, so it's easily toted around - weaves information on tourist attractions with the 411 on nearby restrooms. It notes which museums have facilities outside the ticket gates, where they can be used for free.

A sneak preview on Baltimore sites: The restrooms are inside the gates at the American Visionary Art Museum, but outside the gates at the Maryland Science Center.

Running mate? What running mate?

Towson University Professor Richard Vatz fancies himself a good enough arm-twister to teach a class called "Persuasion."

But the Great Persuader failed to get yesterday's guest lecturer, Bob Ehrlich, to divulge who will be his 2006 running mate - or even to say if the choice has been made.

"Do you know who it is?" Vatz asked.

"Next question," Ehrlich said, hours after his current No. 2, Michael Steele, had declared for U.S. Senate.

Vatz tried again.

"I have some ideas," was all Ehrlich would say.

The governor did disclose that he considered going it alone when he ran four years ago.

Used to running his own show as a congressman, and mindful that many "short-term political marriages" go bad, Ehrlich thought about running without a mate.

"What's this lieutenant governor thing?" he said he thought at the time. "The constitution gives the lieutenant governor no duties. None."

Sounds like a cushy gig.

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