Saturday, July 18, 2020

Postlbogging Technology, April 1950, I: Low Down Dishonest Paperchase

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

I hope this finds you well, because I am going to be so brief that you will probably be very disappointed in me. Please don't be, as I have to save my energy in order to sell blood to pay for my phone bill this month! (If Nationalist China ever has a working phone system, I will have paid my share!)

Your Loving Son,

PS: Ronnie's exams went fine, but I'm sure she told you that herself. First year Law, done! 

Time, 3 April 1950


Peter Green and George Ludwig of the University of Colorado is upset at Time for showing bias against Immanuel Velikovsky (he of "God plays pool with Mars"), as shown by quoting scientists and historians and such like. what do they know? On the other hand, Arthur Kohlenberg and John Nollen think he's a few figs short of a full fruit loaf. Speaking of, Barbara Balfour of New York City is pleased so see some scientists come out against the "natural childbirth" camp, and Richard Hertz is quite upset that Time was mean to Arthur Rimbaud, for which Time apologises, as it only thought he was some kind of dirty old man, and not a really terrible person, like a communist. R. J. Lauer defends the honour of the Naval Academy after Time says that West Point produces more rounded individuals. But what about football? Frank Stern, Frida Halwe and Dick Grogan are all upset at Joseph Breen for trying to cut The Bicycle Thief because morals. (Where "morals" is spelled "Ingrid Bergman finding a way  out of her studio contract.") Two plastic surgeons write to caution against reckless use of the "sandpaper" method for treating acne scars and such. 

National Affairs

"Absent Voice" Arthur Vandenberg sent a letter to Paul Hoffman, which is the most heroic thing anyone has ever done. Time has to stop for a smoke before it can finish. It's because it's a criticism of Senator McCarthy and the people who support him (not naming any names or anything, but Taft and Bridges) if you read between the lines. 

"Stand or Fall" Time really doesn't like McCarthy very much. Time finds it very suspicious that McCarthy never named his 57 names. Now he's just about to reveal the name of Russia's top man at the State Department, or top man in America? Top man in the world? Evil Communist mastermind? I hope his name turns out to be
Why did the pipes disappear after '45?
Dr. Von Evil. Oh, wait, no, it's Owen Lattimore. Well, that's disappointing! Also, it turns out that Herbert Hoover is also still not in the McCarthy camp. What with one thing or another, McCarthy's probably all washed up now!

"Fair or Not, It's Legal" Dorothy Bailey is out of her job at the US Employment Service because she failed the loyalty test, says the Court of Appeals. While it may be that she has 60 supporting affidavits versus nothing but anonymous denunciations from FBI files, if that's what it takes to smoke out a dirty Commie saboteur, it doesn't matter that she's not, because no-one has a constitutional guarantee of a job. 

"Backdown" W. Walton Butterworth won't be Assistant Secretary of Far Eastern Affairs any more. Dean Rusk will be, because he is less pink. Or not pink at all. I'll have to check with random anonymous sources to be sure. Oh, wait? He's a dirty communist? Thanks, monster that lives under my bed! Butterworth versus Rusk. I bet Time wouldn't be able to make up half these stories if  Mrs. Time didn't send it out to the grocery store before dinner for a quart of milk. 

"Traveller's Tale" Able American diplomat Philip Jessup, back from his tour of South Asia, thinks that a war between India and Pakistan would be bad, that the Burmese are worried about their Chinese border, that the Siamese are sissies, that Bao Dai is the only man standing between Communist China and what it wants from the Hundred Kingdoms, which is either hundreds of millions of robotic communists or maybe rice. He suggests that America should exploit anti-Chinese prejudice and send guns to support "guerrilla-like counter-attacks." A Marshal Plan for South Asia would be pointless because, well, they're all Asians. 
I guess we're grading on a curve.

The President has been on vacation in Florida, and Thomas Murray is the new AEC commissioner. A box insert ranks the ten most important senators. Vandenberg is in the lead! A long story about the Appropriations Committee follows, which is about how those good old congressmen are working together to cut funding for this and maybe sometimes increase it for that, unless it is housing for veterans, in which case the Republicans give it lip service and then vote it down, and the Majority Leader screams at them in the house. Also, Secretary Johnson has had to give the Marines 4 squadrons (and extra planes) back, so they are being cut from 23 to 16 squadrons and not twelve. The money will come out of closing down the Naval Air Station in Seattle. It seems like an air training station in Seattle could have been closed a long time ago, but what do I know? And Governor Dewey got a rent control bill through the New York legislature by log-rolling, as the expression goes. Time is so impressed that it takes up two columns explaining the details. Eisenhower has decided to run on more guns in '52.Claude Peppers' ex-protege is challenging him for his Florida Senate seat, more details than you want. 

(Pepper crossed Truman by spearheading the "Dump Truman" effort to draft Eisenhower in '48, hiring an actor to impersonate the general and sing . . . )


"Stalin on Stalin" An unpublished 1930 letter from Stalin to Maxim Gory has turned up in the twelfth volume of his collected works, which I guess means it's not unpublished any more. At least, that's how we'd do it in engineering, but we're simple folk, so what do we know? Anyway, important point is that Stalin said a bad thing. Something about wars being bad in general but possibly some wars being good. The sky is falling! Also, a Polish DP in Oklahoma was having paranoid delusions and then committed suicide last week, and it is communism's fault. 

"Mutiny in the Air Lanes" Three Czech Airlines DC-3s were commandeered last week and flown to Munich so that 16 people could flee to the West, 10 more could join them, given the chance, and 59 people could go home to Prague after a week's delay. 

Harold Laski has died. Time manages to be polite, and notes the death of Frederick Cobb in the same week, bringing Atlee's majority to only three seats, since two Labour MPs have died and one has resigned. Time thinks that the Yugoslav elections were even more rigged than they seemed to be rigged, and Franco's Spain is also bad because it censors theatre reviews, which seems almost more ridiculous than evil, to me. Belgium continues to argue with itself about who should be king. Italy is having demonstrations

"Siam: Garden of Smiles" This week's cover story goes to an entire country. In Siam, the king looks like a schoolboy and everyone wears odd hats. The "18 million cheerful, childlike citizens" like both. Siam is a "never-never land . . a land of what-might-have-been,
a jewel of (almost) unblemished Easternism shining on the junk heap of wrecked empires." They're also very docile, have Siamese cats, and export 1.3 million tons of rice a year. Time visits all the sites: A temple (with feminine temple statues), canals, a Buddhist temple, a brothel, a Chinese restaurant, the throne room of the White Umbrella. Hoo-boy. 

In this hemisphere (north and south of the border, anyway), people are silly and boring, not silly and effeminate. I know we seem less ambitious, but it's because our continent is newer, and we haven't had time to work on our eccentricities yet. That's the story, anyway! El Salvador has had an election, slightly marred by the fact that the winning candidate is said to be the illegitimate son of the last president, Mexico has been seeing flying saucers; Ottawa's Board of Trade warns city drivers not to splash tourists, as they might not stay, while Quebec now has a surprisingly liberal archbishop. 


"A Helping Hand" Roberto Solberg of Armco has signed contracts to build continuous strip rolling mills at the Cornigliano plant near Genoa and the Fiat plant at Turin, and gets a share of the Cornigliano venture. This investment was partially funded by the ECA, and Time notes that two other big deals were signed this week, without benefit of ECA aid. These are General Tire and Rubber Company of Akron's Haifa plant, and Socony Vacuum's deal to build an oil refinery at Coryton with Powell Duffryn, which will allow Socony Vacuum to sell into the sterling area. 

"On the Beam" Time has TWA lined up for a perfect landing in stormy weather thanks to the steady hand of President Ralph S. Damon. In other words, once I'm done stealing Time's line, it made a profit this year. Budweiser, just in case you were wondering, is also doing well. And Ling Warren of Safeway isn't just the company's $368,000/year president, he is also a Safeway customer when he is not overseeing the company's five-year expansion programme that aims to replace some thousand of its old, small stores with much bigger ones at a cool $200,000 each. To keep cash outlay low, it will sell the new stores to "private investors, colleges and insurance companies" and then lease them back, an arrangement that it already follows with many of its existing 2,136 stores, so that it doesn't have too much capital tied up in real estate. The new stores will have "not" new features like frozen sections and fresh meat wrapped in Cellophane. Warren delegates authority, allowing him to work 35 hours a week and keep up with his golf game. His biggest current worry is a strike at 139 stores.

In the field of what we are worried about, it looks like, in spite of subsidy cuts, the American wheat and corn harvests are going to be record-sized, in spite of which futures are up, while the various Congressional committees that compete to help small business are worried that not enough new small businesses were started during the recession, which is probably due  to the banks not loaning them enough money, and not the recession, as you might think. Solution, a big old bucket of money via the RFC! The railroads, which also have to deal with unfair competition and various sinister forces, don't have Congress on their side, and are up and about complaining about the highway system again. While Chicago is overrun with onions after farmers tried to hold their crops off the market during the high prices last fall in hopes of getting even higher prices before being caught in the inevitable crash. How dumb are people?

Science, Education, Medicine

"Call to Arms" Dr. Frederick Seitz of the University of Illinois has the latest scientific breakthrough for us. It is that American scientists have to get over their guilt and buckle down to building h-bombs because of "warmed mover Burckhardtism" (I have a very smart girlfriend who knows what that is. I sure don't!) and because Russia is bad. Why, they had a Tsar named Ivan the Terrible, and they liked him! (My girlfriend also says that that isn't the right translation of the word.) I think he's just upset because he is prematurely balding. 
Expert on Russia, the Renaissance
and all around asshole

"Hard Words" Psychologist Don Charles of the University of Nebraska has an article out in Educational Forum out showing that American literary figures are very mean to teachers, especially female teachers and even more especially male teachers, who are dull, fussy, pedantic and shrill. 

"No Limit" Meanwhile the Department of Education says that there will be 8 million more students in US primary and secondary education in 1960 than the current 37 million, while the country, which has built 150 new two-, and four-year colleges since 1945, could still stand to have 75 more in 1950, giving it 1808 colleges and universities and 2 1/2 million students. 

"Source Saver" Columbia University historian Allan Nevins is out to interview businessmen, politicians, judges, friends and relatives who didn't bother to write memoirs and thus otherwise would go to the grave with all the gory secrets of American politics. He also collects letters, diaries and private records. 

"No More Sneezing . . . " The FTC has had it up to here with anti-histamine makers advertising their pills as cures for the cold, and is charging Anahist, Bristol-Meyers and Whitehall Pharmaceutical with false advertising. It is suggested that there is also a fight to be had with the FDA, since the FDA has certified anti-histamines as safe, while the FTC still has its doubts.  And Dr. Elise Strang L'Esperance has been made a full professor of medicine at Cornell University at the age of 70 because she is a famous doctor and deserves it. 

Radio and Television, Press, Art

Arthur Godfrey is in trouble again for making dirty jokes on the radio this time. Time thinks that the Kraft Television Theatre s pretty good, while the BBC Quarterly did a big story about American radio that concluded that the "American cultural level is so low" because American education isn't doing its job. 

Time wants everyone to know that while the Hearst International News Service did contribute to the capture of FBI Ten Most Wanted fugitive William Raymond Nesbit, it didn't have a part in the capture of Orba Elmer Jackson, and anyway it was a bunch of kids who really put the collar on Nesbit by recognising him as the man living in a cave in a downtown park. 

The first German freighter to dock in America since 1941 was greeted by the first accredited German news correspondent in America since Pearl Harbour, Detlev Friedrich Achaz, Reichsgraf und Graf von der Schulenberg. Time thinks "Schuley" is swell! Also swell, or maybe even peachy, the fiftieth anniversary issue of Natural History and the Miami Herald, which swore off hating the President for his entire Florida vacation. Ottawa Board of Trade take note!

 In exhibition news this week, Auguste Renoir and Marc Chagall are getting theirs, while Queen Mary's million stitch needlepoint rug, sold off for Yankee dollars to plug the dollar gap, has arrived in America for a tour on the Queen Mary, of course, been exhibited for three days at the Met to 30,000 visitors, before heading off to Ottawa and a 22 city tour. 


Robert Frost is 75, Robert Millikan is 82 and an H-bomb skeptic, Governor Dewey is 48, Toscanini is 82. Lily Doche's "man hook" is worn like an Easter corsage and only good for "hooking" a small man.John L. Lewis and Hewlett Johnson tend towards the red if not the pink, which is bad, so there! Also possibly also, Eleanor Roosevelt. On the other hand, former Grand Dragon of the Indiana Klan David Stephenson is out on parole, since while he nurdered a white woman, he was white at the time, which makes it okay. Frances Cloyd is the perfect Mrs. America, which means that she is "curvaceous" with eyes of blue, and is divorcing her husband and father of her three children (no, I have no idea, either) on grounds of extreme mental cruelty, since he is making it impossible for her to "do her full duty to her children and maintain the high position reached by her as the ideal mother . . ."
Franco's daughter is getting married and the Fon of Bikom is suing the newspapers for claiming that he has 300 wives instead of 110, and is only 83 and not 100. Emanuel Holdeman-Julius, publisher of the Little Blue Books, is up on tax charges, while Will Durant was very briefly robbed of the $264,000 in stocks and bonds he keeps in his safe. The burglar, who got more than he bargained for, practically turned himself in. Jane Russell tithes ten percent. Hannah Dempsey is getting married to Thomas Monaghan. Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Buck, Ralph Church, Arthur Melancthon Hopkins, Charles Collin Teague (of "Sunkist") and James Garfield, son of the President, have died.  , 

The New Pictures

Under My Skin is based on the Hemingway short story, "My Old Man," and is so terrible it even drags "Prelle" down. I guess the editor must have missed a cut, because I had to put in a call to Uncle George, who knows someone who knew in a flash that Time was referring to Micheline Presle. The Golden Twenties is a documentary about the ten years of the "big binge." I guess I missed out on something! Captain China is a "ghee-whiz sea yarn" with "typhoon and romantic dalliance with a supposedly exotic tramp (Gail Russell)." Time's one regret is that the typhoon didn't drown out the dialogue. 


Henry Morton Robinson's The Cardinal is bound for bestsellerdom under the careful guidance of a former Reader's Digest editor because the man never forgets to pander to his audience. Saint Cardinal is very saintly, and temptress "Ghislana Falerni" never has a chance. Robert Glass Cleland's The Reckless Breed of Men is what a librarian-historian at the Huntington chooses to learn about the early days of California in the deep stacks. Which is to say that it is about the mountain men and tells of their "orgy of sexual abandon with the complacent Indian girls and squaws" and of their eating buffalo and taking scalps. As opposed to, say, building grand mansions around the Presidio with blood money. And since this issue is going on and on without a sign of a middlebrow effort, it is time for Ennio Flaiano, the Short Cut, which has all of the necessary ingredients: Existentialism, sex, Africa, guilt. Oh, and the letters of Maxwell Perkins finally have an edition. I know you were worried. 

Aviation Week,  3 April 1950

News Sidelights reports that the CAA is working to standardise procedures for the new VQR high frequency omniranges. It is urgent, since they will completely replace the low frequency ranges by 1952. The House's cut to the CAB's 1951 appropriation is said to be driven entirely by Appropriation Committee Chair John Rooney's personal animosity towards CAB chair Joseph O'Connell. The Radio Traffic Control Association's Special Committee has formed a working group to make recommendations on an automatic block system for aircraft with lit displays in cockpits, private line communications, applications of airborne radar and television for navigation. The plan to move the USAF's Watson Electronic Laboratory from New Jersey to Rome, New York, has been bottled up in committee. The Air Force finds it needs $251,000 to buy out the grazing rights of ranchers on their new test range at Alamogordo. Rumour has it that Thomas Finletter will replace Symington at the Air Force when he moves on to the National Resource Production Board. 

News Digest reports that CAB has approved a scheme whereby Laurance Rockefeller, the "stockholder and director" of Eastern Air Lines, can also own Marquandt Aircraft of California. The only part that kept me awake was learning that war hero Eddie Rickenbacker's airline was actually owned by a Rockefeller! Figures. A mockup of the T-38 turboprop has been sent to Convair for fitting into a mockup Turbo-Convair-Liner. Now all they need is a real engine! Grumman has received a seven million dollar contract for Albatross utility planes, and Collins Radio of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a million dollar contract for "two-way" radios to go into them. The first Grumman F9F Panther has been delivered to VMF-131, replacing their P-80s. C. V. Whitney resigns as Under-Secretary of Commerce, General Dale Gaffney has died at 56. Canada's defence estimates for 1950 total $425 million, plus $200 million against later years. Bombay's airport is getting better approach lights, and Turkey's worst civil aviation disaster has killed 15. 

Industry Observer reports that a proposed swept-wing B-36 would be a tractor plane and will need more powerful turboprops than currently exist, perhaps developed from more powerful turbojets. The Air National Guard will operate as many jets in 1951 as it has safe runways for them. The USAF is allocating $5 million to modernise the 325 Wasp Major R-4360s used in "earlier" B-36s. The modifications mostly involve strengthening elements, improving the centrifugal load on the main bearing, and more  cooling fins around the exhaust. A forty-seat version of the Viscount will fly in July, and Vickers is still working on a jet Viscount with two Tays.
I guess the point of the Tay is that it's the first 
Rolls Royce after-burning engine. 
By Duch.seb - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
The USAF says that helicopters will need unstable rotor damping before they're allowed to exceed 125mph, either through a rate gyro or flapping hinges. High vibrations cause fires in planes, and might be resolved with more effective circuit breakers, says the NRL. A turboprop version of the B-47 is under consideration at the USAF. Jackie Cochran might soon try to set a new speed record in the modified P-51 she bought from Jimmy Stewart. Piasecki has delivered the first all-metal HRP-2, and MATS has modified its 10 C-121 Constellations to give an all up weight iincrease from 105,000 to 107,000lbs, allowing nonstop trans-Atlantic flights from Westover AFB to Frankfort. 

Charles l. Adams, "Airline's Mobilisation-Day Role in Dispute: Carriers and Military Argue Over Details of Emergency Planning" The M-Day plan calls for 2500 C-54 equivalents. There are 290 military C-54 equivalents, 675 civilian, leaving a wopping 1500 C-54 equivalent deficit. Since not all four-engined airliners are reinforced for military lift, ,the military wants the civil airliners to get right on that,although it won't come close to filling the deficit. The airlines, on the other hand, figure that if the military wants so many civil airliners, it can pay for them; and, when it does, it should allow the airlines to operate them on civil routes anyway, since that contributes to the war effort, too. In not related but kind of related news, Convair has "freed" Airfleets, its aircraft-leasing subsidiary, of the heavy burden of subsidies. Blah blah blah, this makes Convair stock look better, and Airfleet will probably be quietly liquidated. Anyone want a Convair Liner?

"AGCA Radar Clears Way for Jets" The new Gilfillan automatic landing radar can handle six planes at once, making for "all weather" operations. The system is automatic, which means that there is a separate circuit installed in existing GCA systems that allows the Gilfillan radar signal to bounce back to the airplane, allowing for automatic landing if the aircraft has the right autopilot. Talk down will still be available in an emergency, and an automatic circuit will trip ILS crosspoints as the landing aircraft reaches them. Automatic error checks are supposed to send an automatic waveoff if the plane gets off course, but it is all under human monitoring in the tower. Meanwhile, Wright Field continues to work on the "last 50 feet problem," and is hoping to get rid of the flare-out checkpoint soon. 

Alexander McSurely, "Turboprop is Step Before Jets" A new Convair study shows that turboprops are the easy-as-pie first step before jets. I notice the heading "Reduction Gearing" buried in the midle of a very long gear. That's a roger, dodger! 

"Operation SWARMER will Test Planes" The USAF is throwing a big shindig down in Georgia for 600 planes. MATS will move stuff, with the 82nd and 11th Airborne volunteering to be guinea pigs, and Tactical Command will prove that it really can support the army, once and for all. Over at NAA, the B-25J crash that cost seven employees may set bck the B-25J Trainer programme. Jack Steppe, lost in the crash, wa the project engineer on the P-51, vice-president of Globe Aircraft, designer of the Swift and vice-president, engineering at Culver Aircraft before its liquidation. The USAF has 1500 B-25s in storage and would really like to get some use out of them.

"Sweepback Effect on Box Beam Stresses: Tests at NACA Disclose Major Consequences only on Inboard Portion: Accurate Theory Developed" With the F-86 actually in service, you would think that there would already be an "accurate theory," but this stuff is hard. (It's like all those articles about wing spars in Flight from twenty years ago. We weren't born knowing this stuff, for Heaven's sake!) I'd go into more depth, but it's all civil engineering, and it's beneath my dignity as an electrical. (Also it's boring and hard reading.)

"Clutch for Tunnel" Duncan and Bailey of Buffalo have designed a magnetic clutch for the new NACA supersonic wind tunnel test models. (That's right, a test model to build the tunnel that will test models. It's that trick with fine iron particles suspended in lubricant that turns solid and clutches if you hit it with the right magnetic field, again. 

"Engineers View Flight Propulsion Future" The Fifth Annual Flight Propulsion Meeting of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences met in Cleveland, Ohio and discussed, for example, whether we need turboprops (we do), atomic energy for planes, which would be peachy-keen if it weren't for radiation, what a true long range airliner would look like (who knows?), whether the Brits have us beat all hollow on turbine airliners (they do), whether Convair is catching up on turboprops (I don't know, maybe?) when we can expect to lick icing (eventually) .

"Navy's New Exit Cabin" If you can't eject from the cockpit, the cockpit might eject for you! Or so thinks the Naval Ordnance Test Station.

"Proposals for Lightplane Stability" NACA has done some work to improve the centering of controls and system friction that will make controls less sticky. It was a pretty far-reaching study, for example fiddling with a longer tail on the test plane to give controls more leverage, which meant longer undercarriage. It's a problem for the whole plane design. Which seems like bad news for small plane makers, since there's not a lot of profit in designing new planes. I guess we probably still have more doctors, dentists and Texas oilmen than we need. 

New Aviation Products reports on a Denison Engineering Company (Cleveland, Ohio) valve designed for smoother fluid flow with a surge-dampening valve that reduces maintenance in the bargain. After that, there are shorter bits on a portable radio from Lear, a relief valve from the Hydraulics Division of Pantex, a thread cutting machine licensed from Belgium by the George Scherr Company, a micro-rivet miller from Aircraft Products of Los Angeles,  centrifugal castings from American Non-Gran Bronze, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, and a jet control device from Barber Collman for "eliminating overtravel" in the valves in afterburners and combustion chambers. 

"Comet Offered for Short Hauls" This is the 48-seat version for shorter trips, offered to Canadian Pacific. I guess this is aiming for the market that Avro thought it saw for the Jetliner, only more practical since the Comet is a hotter plane. Payload will depend on headwing, and "flight refuelling is possible," which I don't think so. Douglas, meanwhile, objects that a turboprop DC-6 will match the Comet on speed and altitude and get a greater range. That's the kind of magic you can do with a paper airplane, you ask me. Northwest Airlines says that it will be continuing its expansion of the Great Circle service to the Orient in spite of the Defence Department closing many of its Aleutian facilities. The CAA is asking for more bids on its "Airway Aids" programme, mostly radios, some beacons. Martin is almost ready to deliver the last 12 2-0-2s to TWA. They will be followed by the first 4-0-4s. The Post Office lost $86 million on airmail last year, while American Airlines is working on the DC-6B, which is like a DC-6, only bigger.  

Letters features a letter from William Stiglitz, the design engineer at the Safety Division at Republic, who points out that the recent article published in Aviation Week, "Why Crash Protection is Needed" isn't based on his work, it is his work. Aviation Week says it isn't plagiarising if it always plagiarises papers based on "staff briefs." That's not a defence!
New Books notes Harold Norold's new book about Rolls Royce and Editorial "Congratulates Aviation's Forgotten Men." They're not the guys we accidentally left on the tarmac in Iskanderbeg, East Kizilstan, they're the ground maintenance crew, who prefer to be forgotten, because that way no-one's yelling at them. That doesn't mean that they'r e not going to have an annual convention this year, but it does mean that it will be a very quite convention and everyone will keep their heads down

Time, 10 April 1950


Everyone enjoyed "The Eight Worst Senators," although some people thought Harry Cain shouldn't have been on it, and that Joe McCarthy ought to have been. Harry Hess writes to say that fashion is over its temper tantrum and is fine with tartan dinner jackets. William Fahey of the Seminary of Philosophy in Montrealis very upset with Sergio De Gloia for reasons which do not appear, whicl Dorothy Cohea of Waterloo, Iowa, is upset at him because he is Catholic, which she does mention. Assorted correspondents take an amused view of the great battle between Coca Cola and the spirit of France. Our publisher wants us to know how much work the research department gets up to, as in the recently published poem by James Whitcomb Riley that ends with a mysterious "T-Y-TY." Marjorie Burns ended up calling just about everyone in Indiana, ending with Riley's younger daughter, who explained that it was just a thing that Riley did in way of making fun of professors and educated men and all of their fancy airs. Indiana hasn't changed much!
Anti-intellectual, unreliable drunk, dialect
poet, Republican and leading voice of the
"Golden Age of Indiana Literature"

National Affairs

"The Big Count" The nation is getting ready for the very exciting 1950 Census, which will probably show that the population is up to 151 million, a gain of 9 million on 1940. 

"Charge and Countercharge" Senator McCarthy spent four hours on the Senate floor last week, "continu[ing] his case against the man he called the top Soviet espionage agent in the U.S." Time makes sure to let us know that "[a]t frequent intervals, he sipped from a small brown bottle of cough syrup." You know what they put in cough syrup? Alcohol! It's true! Although Time doesn't need to tell us that. As he talked, the Senator kept rummaging around in his attache case in hopes of finding an affidavit that confirmed what he was saying. Nothing forthcoming, but he allowed that Louis Budenz and Alexander Barmine would back him up, and with swell fellows like that at your back, how can you lose? At the end he admitted that Lattimore wasn't so much a spy as guilty of being a loud-mouthed commie while architecting (that's the verb, right?) the nation's Far Eastern policy. Next day, the Senator was unable to continue his performance, as he was off to the naval hospital to have his sinuses drained or such. Lattimore, who had flown back from Afghanistan, pausing to give a press conference in every airport along the way, has so far only spoken to the press, but will be appearing before the Senate this week. 

"Hoping Against Hope" It turns out that McCarthy doesn't have to have proof, or spies, because he has Alger Hiss, and who likes Alger Hiss? The Democrats, up to and including the President, are afraid that he will be on their tail over this all the way to the election. There's talk that the Wisconsin press has  a fat file on the man, but on the other hand he has Styles Bridges and Kenneth Wherry in his corner, which counts for a lot. And besides, Time dug up a Wisconsin man who says that McCarthy is untouchable because he's the "northern Huey Long," and meant it as a compliment. 

"The Cutting Edge" Eisenhower went before the Senate this week to make his case for more guns definitive. He is particularly emphatic that there should be an infantry battalion on each of the three Alaskan air base. No-one disagrees with that, the problem being one of finding housing. He is also for a more-than-48-group air force, and has lately discovered that "we have been taking chances" on antisubmarine warfare. Bernard Baruch,
put on the spot at the Naval War College, managed to disagree with Ike by agreeing with him. For example, since we need all the arms in Europe we can get, we shouldn't be shipping them to Bao Dai. What is needed instead is a "General Staff for Peace," perhaps a revitalised National Security Council. Also, American tourists are now allowed to go to Yugoslavia.  

"High Ride for Gas" Bob Kerr's bill regulating the prices in interstate gas pipelines, or, more accurately, regulating what the FPC can regulate, passes the Senate. Everyone's happy, especially natural gas producers. Well, actually, only natural gas producers. Follows Time's attempt to get the GOP off the hook for killing the Administration's foreign policy, if that's what happens. Dean Acheson won't let the Republicans and the Republican press play this game ins front of an empty net, though, as he volunteers to take an actual, in-the-flesh Republican with  him to London for the Atlantic Pact conference. 

"Fogarty's Dream Boat" So it turns out that the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Sir Basil Brooke, is banning St. Patrick's Day parades at home and planning to visit the US to give a talk to the UN. Bill O'Dwyer is naturally over the moon at the chance to insult Brooke in public. Time, incredibly for a paper published in New York City, seems to be taking Brooke's side, and Congress has got into the act, voting to withhold Britain's latest ECA payment until, well, something. Dear old Ireland's free, I guess. Or until the revote, when all the representatives who are in it for the show, which was most of them, pulled out. 

(Talk about a self-inflicted wound.)
Time also catches us up with the Chrylser strike and the President's cabinet shuffle, as Symington leaves the Air Force for the National Security Resource Board, which hasn't really done very much since it was set up three years ago. Gordon Gray is out at Army, although he has volunteered to stay on until September as "special Presidential assistant," which I think means he's the guy you bum a cigarette off. Frank Pace, "independently wealthy Arkansan" and graduate of Princeton and Harvard (there is one?) goes from Budget Director to Army, Frederick Lawton moves up from Assistant Director to replace Pace, Cornelius Vanderbilt quits, too. Seems more like a purge than a shuffle. Also at army, it seems as though statistics bears out the suspicion that some units  handed out a lot more medals than others, which isn't fair to the units that were tight-fisted with medals. 

"A Chance to be a Hero" A fire at the Belle-Vista Sanatorium on the northwestern edge of Philadelphia gave attendant George Lewis a chance to be a hero by unlocking many of the violently insane, although not all, since "nine patients were out of reach," and five bodies wer later found "strapped to iron posts in a single 15-by-30 ft room." The Pennsylvania Welfare Department, which had repeatedly warned about the dangers posed by the restraints, is also eager to settle the matter of the $40--60 that the santorium charged per patient. The fire was found to be arson, committed by Nicholas A. Verna, a war veteran and pyromaniac. 

More people are lining up to be heroes in November. Or Arthur Coolidge of Massachusetts and Jimmy Roosevelt of (checks his notes) California. Yes, he is a Californian. And he will not run for Congress in San Francisco, to the relief of Helen Gahagan Douglas. He will run for governor, instead. And he promises to support the President if he runs in '52, too! IN comparison, all Coolidge is promising is a "Coolidge economy." November is getting so close that even the Crime beat is devoted to New Deal corruption, with some "sugar dealers" in trouble over kickbacks at the OPA.


Blah Blah United States of Europe defence department blah. What? The foreign ministers of the Atlantic Pact are meeting in London. That is the story! Everyone agrees that Europe has to increase its ready-use divisions from 15 to 20, even if it isn't clear how. There's only two US divisions in Europe,. while Britain's five are spread around half the world, France is having trouble sorting out its theoretical 400,000 man strength, and all the other countries are tiny, tiny countries. Except Germany . . . 
"Mosquito and the Sledge Hammer" Time's Wilson Fielder is in the Hundred Kingdoms finding out how the war is going, taking a tour of the Mekong delta country 70 miles from Saigon in company of a Foreign Legion company mounted in a US-made LCI. Two battalions swept the region, found no-one. Three P-63 Kingcobras circled overhead, and the troops accomplished something positive by blowing up any canoes they found, on the grounds that even though the peasants need them to get around, the Viet Minh will use them to move supplies. Up north, the French hold "Beau Geste" style forts on mountaintops, while the Viet Minh has built up a uniformed army of 70,000 with equipment approaching French standards, backed by a "popular army" of irregulars. The French have 130,000 men, not counting Viet Namese levies now being trained, three transport squadrons, perhaps a group or so of B-63s, and an 8500 man navy on the spot with a cruiser and 14 sloops plus 60 or so smaller craft of various sorts. The French are aware that no-one wants them in Viet Nam, but they are convinced that they are needed to give the country "backbone" or something. Bao Dai, in particular, is said to lack backbone. 

"Zigzags" Lin Pao, the red commander in Kwantung province, says that there are still too many armed insurgents in the province, but that he is making progress. Time hopes he isn't. 

"Extended Anniversary" The Hukbalahap communist muslim insurgency is back on again in the Philippines. 

"I am Helpless" Time rounds up stories of Hindu refugees from the Pakistans, and of Hindu outrages against Indian Muslims, and concludes that it is all on Nehru and Liaquat Ali Khan to fend off a war in the subcontinent. 

"Mecca for the Cows" An Indian government initiative to support and modernise Bombay dairies is making better use of India's most mismanaged resource and creating a "Mecca" for the cow industry. 

"The Kremlin's Huckster" Anastas Mikoyan is "like most Armenians, a born salesman." And what he is selling is a consumer economy for Russia. While in Hungary, the Communist Party has decided that there will be vanilla and rum-flavoured "Elite" chocolate bars for Hungarian children, since candy is no longer for capitalists only. I honestly can't tell whether that's Time being ridiculous, or the Hungarian communist party. 

"Taste of the Future" After a bizarre story about the final payment of a Bolshevik debt to Ireland, guaranteed with jewelry and now paid off, we move on to London, where a surprise motion to adjourn led to a well-organised defeat of the government in the Commons, which turned into farce, because the Prime Minister declined to resign, and the Tories declined to force the issue because it was such a dumb thing to go to the polls over. So instead everyone will wait for the fall, when it's better campaigning weather and some good issues can be rounded up. And the Economic Survey for 1950 shows that the British economy held its own last year, which The Economist condemns as "drift." Also, Robert Menzies appears to have broken the dock strike in Melbourne. 

It's a good thing that newspapers don't have to run on their record!

Leon Blum is dead, and Franco's Spain is a ridiculous place where ridiculous (and bad) things happen to people who lack pull. 

In this hemisphere, US Ambassador to Canada, Laurence Steinhardt, is dead in a plane crash. Details are a bit scanty, but it turns out to have been a USAF Dakota. Five killed aboard: three crew, the ambassador and a local boy. One crewman parachuted to safety but no-one else jumped. Which is distinctly odd. It turns out that it went down near RCAF Station Rockcliffe and I have it on good authority of air force scuttlebutt that there's some hush-hush stuff going on there, although it's Ottawa's main RCAF station (for anyone reading this who didn't know), so I'm going to make a crazy conspiracy theory out of it.  
And in Latin America, Peron is fighting with the newspapers again, depriving them of newspring, while the military government in Peru has finished putting all of Peru's communists in jail, which should end the whole threat of a Marxist rural uprising forever


"Up and Up" The Federal Reserve Board has raised the index of industrial productivity to 183, the highest in twelve months. This is the result of $1.1 billion in spending, the highest ever, the continuing boom in housing, totalling $4.4 billion, employment back up to 57,551,000, cutting unemployment to 4,123,000. After that, Time visits an onion farmer who figures he lost $90,000 on 30 cartloads of red and yellow onions off his 40 acres, which he tried to hold back from the market in search of higher prices. He tells Time that he is still opposed to price supports even though he could have made all that money on onions. Of course, he also raises 90 acres of potatoes and made gobs of money off potato price supports, but that doesn't change his principled objection to price supports. Get politics out of agriculture and bring back free enterprise. 

Yeah, sure. Abso-posi-lutely! Also, Time still loves Charles Sawyer, still hates foreign tariffs and regulations that hold back the flow of American capital, and still doesn't know what to make of the railroads. Shorter news has Pittsburgh's Dravo Corporation, builder of bridges and dams, denouncing accurate book-keeping and demanding that its books be rounded off to the dollar. Apparently they save a lot of money that way. Yes, I am sure they do. I showed this to Uncle George because I was hoping I'd learn some new British swears, but instead I learned new combinations of American ones. 

Totally unrelated: Wall Streeter Gerald Loeb thinks that corporate executives can never be too highly paid, because what about Walter Chrysler. Macy's is in a price war with discount sellers over electrical appliances, and the SEC is after a new kind of dubious security, the "open ended."

Science, Medicine, Education

"No Germ Warfare" After a rash of scare stories and Secretary Forrestal's statement last year that we were working on it, arrives an address from Perrin H. Long[*] of Johns Hopkins, who told doctors interested in civil defence that bacteriological warfare is pure "bunk." Washington hasn't commented. 

"Lost Passion" Albert Einstein is in the news, complaining that the physics community won't look at his latest "Generalised Theory of Gravitation," which he believes "unifies gravitation and electromagnetism.

"City Bird" This is the hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the English sparrow in America, the bird that first took over America, and then declined as it succeeded in eating up the landscape. 

"Quick Relief, Quick Relapse" Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) has been in the news before  and now a monograph, Clinical ACTH sums up breakneck research on the drug, suggesting its effectiveness against delerium tremens, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and lymphatic leukemia. It also has serious side effects. Due to its ability to "turn certain disease processes off or on oat will," Dr. Mott, editor of the monograph, believes that its discovery is comparable in importance to the discovery of the bacterial causes of disease. 
"Rat Poison" It will be recalled by those lucky enough to be alive in the boom decade that Robert T. Nelson discovered "vrilium," a radioactive substance he packed in brass cylinders and to which he attributed  "prodigious curative powers." Last week, the inventor's son was finally hauled before the FDA, where it was established to the satisfaction of all that these "vrilium" Magic Spikes contained a bit of rat poison, and weren't radioactive at all. Nelson, Junior argues that it is simply an "unrecognised form of radioactivity." 

"One More Clue" Last week, a 24 year-old graduate student at the University of Wyoming(!?), Rosalie Reynolds, published the research leading to  her Master's, which seems to show that the enzyme  hyaluronidase acts to accelerate the growth of cancer cells. 

Harvard's endowment hoovered up almost $3 million last quarter, which is nothing considering that it got $9 million the quarter before. Also, Kansas City has passed a big increase in the educational levy and Eastern Michigan University is very, very nice now that a lot of money has been spent on it. No, don't know why either. Would have to wade through a long article about what a guy the president is.

Radio and Television, Press, Art

 "Checkmate" A television cabinet with doors that lock is the ultimate answer to children watching too much television, because who ever heard of a kid who could figure out a lock! (I hope there's room for Dad's whiskey in there!)

"The Big Show" Time visits Your Show of Shows, is impressed. Now if NBC can just figure out how to sell the ninety minute package, while WOR-TV of Manhattan and WFIL of Philadelphia promise to follow the television morals standards as soon as there is one, and the Motion Picture Production Code until there is.

"Colour Guns" RCA has unexpectedly given up on its "dichroic mirror" approach to colour television in favour of an all-electronic system involving three "colour" electron guns. Which is a bit of a blockbuster. The advantage of the RCA system is that black and white sets will pick up broadcasts in black and white, colour televisions in colour, which pretty much gets rid of the whole conversion-back problem, even though it also means that existing black and whites can't be upgraded to colour. (Which, practically speaking, I never thought was going to come off, anyway.)

"Atomic Intervention" This week, the AEC ordered Scientific American to delete four paragraphs from a 5000 word article on the hydrogen bomb by Hans Bethe, wartime chief of theoretical physics at Los Alamos. Three thousand copies already run off, were burned, the type was melted and all galley proofs confiscated, even though, as Scientific American pointed out, all of the information was known to atomic physicists the world over. What survived is mostly a political exposition. Bethe says that the hydrogen bomb won't set the air on fire, but it will cause the almost complete destruction of buildings within a radius of ten miles of the blast. The AEC defends its actions by pointing out that confirmation of the facts by someone as eminent as Bethe would count as "confirmation" for the Russians. 

"For Proper Bostonians" Time visits the Boston papers, which are mediocre (except the Christian Science Monitor, which doesn't count) carry ads on the front page, have puzzles inside them, and print lurid stories. I never!

"Old Trickster"Francis Picabia is a painter from Cuba. He's a million years old and is having a show in Manhattan that Time doesn't think much of.  It does like Matthew Smith, the seventy-year-old British painter who lost both his sons in the RAF during the war and is now living quietly and showing late works. That's so sad! 


Remember how the 1948 Bollingen Prize for being a poet who used to do good work went to Ezra "I can't be a Nazi because I am crazy" Pound? Congress responded to that by taking away the Library of Congress' right to give out awards. It turns out that the Library gets 5 cents for every American every year, but the money is spent on books, a lot of books, not prizes. I guess the money for the Bollingen Prize comes from someone named Bollingen and it would be disrespectful not to give it out, so this year it was awarded by the trustees of Yale (common clay of the new earth, so good news!) and went to Wallace Stevens, who certainly qualifies for the award by virtue of being 77 Other awards went to the some clothes horses (because they were issued by fashion people) and General Marshall, who was honoured for fighting forest fires, and, yes, I'm on the square.
It turns out that the Bollingen Prize was created by 
Paul Mellon, who seems to have been one of the good ones.
CC BY-SA 3.0,
William Saroyan might do some scripts for the movies, Ernest Hemingway is back from Germany, where he ate well and drank a lot. Garry Davis, "erstwhile citizen of the world" is a story I never understood, but Time finally spills the beans. His dad is Meyer Davis! Charles Eaton is 82, and Michael Foot is bloody outraged that sodding Gregory Peck is going to be in a movie about Dunnkirk. I'd go on, but I only know two British swears. I was hoping my dictionary would have a cross reference, but it doesn't. John Meyer, Howard Hughes' wartime press agent, has married, as has Bishop Ivan Lee Holt of the Methodist Council of Bishops. Milton Berle is divorced. Charles Richardr Drew, Kurt Weill, Recep Peker and Julia Arthur have died. 

The New Pictures

Cheaper by the Dozen is the movie of the book, "a plotless string of mild, rambling anecdotes, with Clifton ('Belvedere') Webb miscast in the central role, it is not much more fun than leafing through somebody's photo album." That's disappointing! The Winslow Boy is a British film about a "teen-aged schoolboy" versus a "hidebound bureaucratic government." It is based on a play, and is perhaps too loyal to the play, in that the climax of the struggle, the boy's vindication on charges of stealing a 5 shilling postal order, happened off stage, and so offscreen. But it's well shot! Side Street brings back Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell as accidental young criminals in love. Melodramatic.


Ann Chidester's Moon Gap is a a novel about people growing up in western mining ghost towns. Time thinks it is unambitious. H. F. M. Prescott's Friar Felix at Large is a historical  novel about a fifteenth century friar who travelled across the world when that was something. Angus Wilson's Wrong Set is shortr stories. So there. And Max Shulman's Sleep Till Noon is a humour  anthology, you know the type. Time thinks it is passable but weak. And Charles William's The Greater Trumps is a --supernatural thriller? Where's my middlebrow book to make fun ot? I'm so disappointed!

Aviation Week, 10 April 1950

News Sidelights reports that Piasecki is apologising to everybody it offended with its recent ad saying that since it won the big helicopter contract, all the engineers at their competitors should come to work for it, because it didn't have enough engineers (to finish the contract?) The Pentagon is distracted, because it has more important things to worry about. Flying saucers are everywhere! US News and World Report says that the saucers are a secret Navy project, while Henry J. Taylor answers that they're actually "Army Air Force." Secretary Johnson reminds everyone that he has seen all the paper work and there is no secret saucer project in any branch of the armed forces, and no reason to think that a foreign power is building them. US News and World Report stands by its story, which it would verify if it could release its sources of information. Carl Vinson has stopped even pretending he doesn't like Secretary Johnson, while the Air Force will be surveying all Continental Air Command airfields for suitability for jet fighters and bombers in the event of war. 

The National Air Races have cancelled the "War Babies" speed races and the Bendix cross-country race. The next National Air Day will see only timed trials of Air Force and Navy jets, and a midget planes closed-course race, sponsored by Thompson after Goodyear withdrew. 

News Digest reports that pretty much nothing much is happening except for Vice Admiral Lynde McCormick being named vice chief of Naval Operations, Charles Kidder dying, Chislea supposedly getting a South American order for an "unspecified number" of Skyjeeps, and four Olympia Eon gliders being delivered to Belgian and Danish customers by being flown in tug. Also, various air services are getting bigger, better and more (or sometimes less) profitable. 
Fairchild (formerly American Helicopters) XA-5A. The noise can only be imagined. American went on to offer the Army a "collapsible helicopter" in 1952

Industry Observer reports that the HRP-2 is being sent home for fins, to further improve its stability for ASW operations. Bell is still hoping for an off-the-shelf order for its H-12s. The Marine Corps is replacing liaison planes with small helicopters, which are more flexible, United Helicopters has finally sold a helicopter to the Navy, the Top Sergeant XA-5 pulsejet helicopter fires 100 pulses a minute and will be sufficiently developed for USAF trials in another year. Bell's 47 has new landing gear consisting of a simple skid, which is enough. Everyone is watching jet helicopter experiments, and the British are satisfied enough with the S-51's instrument flying that they are going to give it an IFR rating for half-mile visibility and a 500ft ceiling. 

"Pressure Builds Up For More Plane Funds" Everyoine wants more guns, and Johnson seems to be giving way. Vinson has steered a 70 group scheme through Congress with the support of the Appropriations Committee. 

"Slick Asks for $30 Million Damages" Slick Airways is suing three airlines, the ATA and Air Cargo for conspiracy to run them out of business by competing in coach. Also, Finletter is finally for sure Air Force Secretary. New topics have been introduced for the maintenance meeting, the next SAE session will focus on jet transports, and Aviation Week fills some space by publishing the salaries of all the chief executives of the aviation industry. Forget fifty-thousand-a-year men, try one-hundred-fifty-thousand! (Still not quite as much as the Safeway guy who gets $350,000 and boasts about his 36 hour work week!)

"New 'Foot-Print for B-36" By new, Aviation Week means the caterpillar track undercarriage it reported two years ago. It will also go into the XC-99 transport version of the B-36 that the air force has decided not to order after all. 
It's even the same picture that ran in July '48
"SEC Reveals Stock Sales" Some aviation companies  have sold stock, split stock, distributed stock, or just plain built big beds of stock to lie in while throwing stock at each other in stock fights. 

"ACA Transport Plan Unlikely;" and "Research Gains Consolidated by NACA" are two more non-stories that wouldn't run if April weren't so quiet around here. (The ACA is a coordinating organisation with industry and government people that had some kind of plan for air transport; NACA's 35th annual report gets a summary. NACA was particularly interested in wing shapes, testing airfoils with Reynolds numbers up to 25 million, experimenting with ways of ameliorating sudden stall in very thin wing sections, such as leading edge slats, and trying to understand the effects of sweepback on aerodynamics. It is working on boundary layer control and supersonic aerodynamics, as much as it can without the wind tunnels. It is looking into temperature control for very high speed flight because of all the friction, and automatic controls. The engine section is mostly working on well-defined lines, although supersonic turbines sound interesting. (That is, turbines in which the air flow through them is greater than Mach 1, I guess due to forcing, or maybe I misread it?)Materials research includes work on fatigue, and about time, and fire prevention and icing prevention are both important, so fire and ice!

I guess that was a worthwhile article after all!

"Lab Speeds Electrical Proving" Boeing has a new electrical lab to replace most electrical system related developmental flying. They build a geometrically accurate mockup of the electrical system in a 50x60 hyperbaric suck the air out of it, and check voltages across all the gaps. It is actually the second Boeing lab with the same job, but it is a better one, and it is looking for outside work. 

New Aviation Products leads off with a "flexible metal hose," and doesn't get much better, although very small electronic parts are definitely here to stay in advertising as well as planes. There's even a sub-miniature relay on offer from Potter and Brumfield of Princeton, Indiana. 

Boeing gets another story out of its miniature turbine, which is really for sure now ready for sale, and the best men in helicopters and air transport all agree that there is no barrier to using helicopters in transport for something or other. 

"High Cost of Reverse Thrust" Speaking of things that come in with all that hype and then just quietly disappear, it turns out that equipping all US scheduled transports with reverse thrust propellers would cost $37 million, and, anyway, TWA has wired the reverse thrusters on its Constellations shut, supposedly because they would confuse pilots. And, actually, the numbers I cite are for tricycle types, which is important because at the end the latest news is that the DC-3 will be obsolete by 1953.

"Faulty Procedure Blamed in Accident" The loss of a Convair Liner in Memphis last 22 June was caused by the pilot being an idiot and climbing too steeply with the flaps down. 

In airline news, nonskeds carried 1 in 100 passengers last year, freight carriers are getting  a break on foreign runs, and Midway Island is being closed on 1 May due to the Navy pulling out. 

Letters has LeRoy Iverson of LA suggesting that the B-36 should go to the Navy as an ASW plane, which would "save face for the Air Force" since it is obvious that the B-36 can't carry out its mission, and it only appears to the contrary because inferior air force fighters can't intercept the B-36, and superior navy fighters can. The inferior Air Force fighters would then go to the Navy for use from carriers in suicide atom attacks on Russia, while the superior Navy fighters would go to the Air Force to defend against Russian bombers. Tongue is pretty far up the cheek on this one! Louis Musco of the Aviation Training School of Boyton, Massachusetts, writes to defend the National Flight System con. 

No Editorial this week. 

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