Saturday, February 20, 2021

Postblogging Technology, November 1950, I: Neutrino Week!

R_. C_.,
The Mayflower,
Washington, DC

Dear Father:

In the sincerest hope that you haven't been shot by Puerto Rican nationalists, I write to report that I haven't been shot by any Red Communist forces, either. Would that the 8th Cavalry were so lucky! Formosa is of course in a tizzy over the news of CCF forces fighting in Korea and is keen to see WWIII break out this very minute. It makes a change from the Reds being on the march in Indo-China and Central Asia. 

You will be glad to know that I am in perfect health and not experimenting with herbal medicine and in general taking good care of myself. The food situation has improved since Mrs. T. arrived to cook for us and now my only problem is finding someone willing to take collect calls! What? Us young couples have to watch our dimes! 

I expect this one to reach you in Washington, but I imagine you will be returning to Vancouver since there's no way of forestalling a war with China over Korea now that it is actually happening. We can probably rule out an Indian diplomatic intervention, too. The only question remains whether the war will spread to the South China Sea. My father has written several times to let me know that everything is ready should I need to return to Chicago. I've written back to say that as long as there's a Democrat in the White House he has nothing to fear, which is just my way of being the same old Ronnie, alas.  

Your Loving Daughter,


Time, 6 November 1950


Robert Barton, Joseph Rawls and George Allen have a bone to pick with General Hershey about the idea that older men in the draft bracket "haven't seen much service" and should be the first to go in Selective Service, as all three have at least two years war service and think that that's quite enough to be "much." Charles Wertenbaker is upset that Time's reviewer put the made-up city in his novel in the wrong state and writes to tell it so. A. C. Neilsen is upset at Time, too! William Burton of the Student Teaching Apprenticeship of the Graduate School of Education of the University of the Harvard agrees that teachers' colleges are full of dunces. Our Publisher reports that the Russian embassy in Pyongyang had a big pile of back issues of Time thanks the State Department, which pays for thirteen subscriptions to the Russian embassy in Washington, and that the Afghan is the most popular American purebred for Time subscribers. 

National Affairs

Did you know that there's going to be an election in November? Time is cautiously optimistic that the forces of reaction and revanche will make gains in Congress. I can't wait! (That's sarcasm. I can wait.) Speaking of elections to come, General Eisenhower popped into the White House on his way to be the Emperor of Europe to confirm that there won't actually be an Empire, just a Supreme Headquarters Atlantic Powers in Europe -Hee! That spells "SHAPE!") which he would be more upset about if he weren't coming back in 1952 to kick Taft's bony old rear and become President of America instead. (Campaign gets a separate heading. The GOP might gain 30 seats in the House and even take control. It might gain 4 Senate seats or lose 4, with the talk again being of Lucas in trouble in Illinois and Taft in Ohio. There's some state coverage, not enough considering how important it is, but more than enough to glaze my eyes over, so I have some sympathy with Time in fighting to cover it. On the other hand, hearing that the former Captain Crommelin, of the B-36 leak, is running as an independent in the Alabama senate race and aiming for the support of the States' Right crowd is the kind of political news that gets eyes while being completely irrelevant. I mean, it confirms everything that Reggie says about Crommelin but this is just quixotic.)

"A Career for a Young Man" The President says that America wants a military of three million men, or, "if peace looms up big," will settle for 2.3 million. Besides that, it wants  millions of reservists as a "stand-by force." The European garrison will be five divisions and 800 planes, drawn from Korean War veterans. It hasn't settled on what it will do with National Guard divisions, and can call on 1.1 million young men turning eighteen every year, of whom about 70% would be fit to serve. Time is now definitely against the six-month Universal Training alternative. Meanwhile in industry the Administration has tapped Marion Willard Boyer and K. T. Keller of Chrysler to be general manager of the AEC and Special Advisor on Guided Missiles and Rockets to the Secretary of Defence. Also everyone agrees that the Marines and General MacArthur are now the best of buddies, not like in WWII. 

Weirton Steel's employees have rejected a CIO-affiliated union again in favour of an independent union.

Manners and Morals 
reports on competing bids for Edgewood Junior College (it's in Rhode Island) from the Bible Institute of Providence and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in Woonsocket in which one bid went $330,100 and the winning bid went $330,101, and manages to lay out the case for it being a coincidence with such a complete straight face that I almost think Time believes it. Or, at least, believes that the judge who let it past, believes it. Then it is off to Henry Stimson's lying in state. 


"Back to Reality" Well, this is a fine how-do-you-do. Seven Latin American republics and the Philippines got up in the UN and pointed out that Franco isn't a Fascist at all, and that this whole thing about keeping him out of the UN just isn't realistic, which what with all those very distinguished countries saying this out of the goodness of their hearts makes America think that they just might have a point. Uruguay's Special Delegate might point out that nothing has changed in Spain, and all the Communist countries might have their problems with it, but, come on, we're men of the world, here. 

I seriously do not understand how American politicians can put their credibility on the line backing Franco's Spain, but that might be because I am being too naive by half. Next story: "Stalin's historian" says a mean thing about President Truman, which is bad because only Time gets to say mean things about President Truman, so keep your nasty mouth off our chew toy, you damn, dirty Reds!

"Slight Delay?" The Korean War will be over when certain unnamed American soldiers "dip their sabres in the Yalu River," but it hasn't happened yet due to bad roads and bad maps. Oh, and also a counterattack against the 6th South Korean Division by "Reds" supported by tanks, artillery and mortars. The ROK commander says that the counterattacking forces were Chinese, but Time is skeptical, claiming that North Korean forces are still strong enough to counterattack the ROK, the Commonwealth 27th Brigade, and the Marines in their drive towards the border. 

"Late Entry" Considering that Peking has been warning everyone who would listen that they would intervene in the Korean War if UN forces continued pushing north, alleged Chinese counterattacks are just a bit newsworthy, you might think. Especially if assorted China hands had rushed to Washington to shout at everyone they know about it! So Time has to say something about it. But what? Well, first, there are only a "handful" of Chinese prisoners from a single army, so only 40,000 Chinese troops have crossed the border. One Korean general suggests that the Chinese have come to secure the dam at Supong, which provides power to both North Korea and Manchuria. Well, that's a relief. I thought it might be the full scale intervention to roll the UN right out of the Korean peninsula that Peking has been promising. But clearly it's not, because it's just too late in the game. (As we all know, games, like wars, go exactly two hours. Plus maybe overtime. Unless it's baseball. Those games go as long as the Hundred Year's War.)

"We Are Jealous" Time rounds up the Allied contribution to the Korean war effort.  Another brigade of British troops, advance elements of a 10,000 man Canadian force and a 1200 man Siamese force are in the country, as are 650 Dutch infantry volunteers, and a South African fighter squadron. Still to come are a Greek brigade, 4000 Australians and an 1100 man French battalion. The Turks are reported to be jealous that almost all the fighting is already done. 

"Last Outpost" Laokay is the last outpost covering the Red River delta. If it falls, the French will have to retreat all the way to the Hanoi-Haiphong beach head.

"By Full Moonlight" The Reds are invading Tibet, which I cannot believe is the fourth story here, behind colourful details of minor Allied contingents in Korea. (Did you know that the Philippine force gets a special "F Ration" based on rice, and the Turks get a pork-less "M" ration?)   Coverage is mainly devoted to the Indian reaction, which seems to deserve all the gloating that Time can dish out. 

Background for War is a new header for stories that are the "Background" to World War Goddamn III. I get it. The Reds are aggressive and expansionist. But they're not nearly as aggressive and expansionist as Time makes them out to be, and this kind of thing looks an awful lot like warmongering. 

Ahem, so, anyway, "Alaska: Airman's Theatre" is a visit to the Alaskan Territory which is on the "frontlines," because it is between Russia and America. We're reminded once again that the Air Force is pulling out of Nome and concentrating in the "heartland" of Alaska, which is basically the triangle

Kodiak-Valdez-Fairbanks, with two ports, a railroad and the Alaskan terminus of the Alcan Highway. Time notes that Alaska is primarily important because interceptors there might catch Soviet bombers headed towards Washington state, but that it is also a refuelling point for B-36s. Which misses the point that most American atomic bombs (and all American photographs) will come from B-29s that can only fly out of Alaska or Europe. Which makes Alaska more of an offensive base than a defensive one. You will be amazed to learn that the Alaska garrison needs more men and planes. 

"Missing Fissionist" Italian-British nuclear physicist Bruno Pontecorvo has disappeared, probably defecting to Russia. Other British news includes the opening of the renovated House of Commons and a byelection in Glasgow in which a Conservative succeeds a Conservative, but by such a slim majority that it confirms that the British electorate is evenly divided and that an election now would just return either a weak Labour or Tory government. (So don't do it!) A very long and interesting article on the Italian land reform follows, sadly gradually turn into one of Time's little morality plays about Italian communism as it goes along.  Also, Communism is bad and the Philippines are bankrupt. The Americans have sent an expert to tell the Philippines to raise taxes on the rich, reform the tax office, redistribute land, tax imports, encourage trade unions, raise civil service pay, and ask for an American loan of $250 million. President Quirino liked it so much that he declared a national emergency and suspended habeas corpus. And in Japan, the Communist Party protested against police shadowing on the grounds that they're not actually doing anything wrong, while issuing some helpful anti-shadowing tips.

In this hemisphere, Ambassador Florman gets the credit for pushing the government of Bolivia and the tin cartel into a settlement and Colombia's papers can't say anything about Colombia politics so they make fun of Peron, instead.  (I think this may be now the Canadian press works.)


The stock market is down. No-one really knows why. 

"How to Make a Buck" Du Pont ran the Hanford plant during the war, only finally settling the pay out of the management contract last month, and is now lined up to run a hydrogen bomb plant, or, as the letter to stockholders says, "new production facilities for atomic materials." The site has not been selected, and du Pont wants everyone to know that it is only doing it because the Government asked so nicely, and not because it is a bunch of merchants of death or anything like that. 

"Dust Storm" Inland Steel's Chairman, Edward L. Rylerson, gave a big speech last week at the American Society of Metals meeting in Chicago, denouncing sinister forces for trying to force socialism on America in the form of increased steel production. Speaking for the sinister forces, GM President Charles Wilson blistered him right back observing that the steel industry has expanded only eight times since 1900 while the auto industry has expanded 2000 times, and telling steel to "get the dust out of its eyes."

Earnings week has been huge for everyone, but especially television makers. 

"Out of Plumb" The Bureau of Labour Statistics reports that the cost of living is up another 0.5%, but one key element, the price of food, is down 0.2%. This has everyone wondering of the BLS measures are out of plumb, and the BLS promises to double check before the wages of millions of workers with wages indexed to the cost of living, go up automatically. 

Champagne importer Bernard Glagovsky is in trouble for being a rascal, while everyone loves Harry Gerguson for being a scamp. (Important difference!) The NSRB has introduced accelerated depreciation for war plants, allowing them to be written off in 5 years instead of fifty, and while prices are up, especially of metals, the worst might be over given huge corporate profits that might suggest that manufacturers could absorb some of the price increases in raw materials.  

Medicine, Education

"Father to Son" A new generation of Rockefeller has taken over at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. I don't know. Should the directorship of a research institute really be hereditary? It doesn't seem scientific to me! 

"The Wounded" 7000 WIAs from Korea are back in the United States. The Army credits air ambulances, better (more specialised) doctors and better drugs and transfusions. Penicillin is available by carloads, more whole blood is available, and so are the new antibiotics that serve where penicillin fails. 

"Research and Reward" The three medical researchers who discovered cortisone are the winners of this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine. 

"Dissolving Disease" Last week, Louis C. Roetig and Howard G. Reiser of Harvard and Ohio State, respectively, reported to the American College of Surgeons on the use of the enzyme trypsin to dissolve the pus deposits that create the empyema (a gap between the lungs and the chest wall) in some tuberculosis patients. It is a promising advance in treating one of the leading causes of death due to tuberculosis. The College also heard about an "electric heart reviver" that is inserted by needle to within an inch of the "node" that regulates the heartbeat rhythm, and a "lung collapsing operation," because sometimes you want to do that, involving cutting out part of the rib cage and putting it back in upside down. 

Time is pleased to report that Harvard art students can paint live models now, and that everyone likes the new NBC half hour drama set in "Ivy College" and starring Ronald Colman so much that Time doesn't even have to tell us its name, which is a bit of a problem if you happen to be off in the South Seas, and Time is definitely getting my telephone bill. (It turns out that it's The Halls of Ivy.)  

Also, Ralph Bunche has been appointed Professor of Government at Harvard, just to make sure that he can say he is on the faculty. He may even teach there again someday, which should frighten the undergraduates, as he has a reputation for grading rich White boys hard, because he thinks they're "no good." This whole College Entrance Examination Boards thing seems to be going ahead as a partial replacement to the old College Entrance Daddy's Wallet Examination.  And Carnegie Tech is fifty years old. 

Press,  Art, Radio and Television, People

Nothing much else is going in in the world, so Al
 Capp of L'il Abner fame gets the cover. 

Sir Gerald Kelly, the president of the Royal Academy, said mean things about modern American art the other day. Ordinarily Time would be in a tizzy if a British person said a mean thing about an American person, but, come on, modern art! 

Not-modern art is very special, so it's time to talk about surviving Rembrandts before we have to do something about an actual artist who is living today, who turns out to be Bernard Loujou, because his Atomic Age is just the thing for this atomic age of ours. It's very confusing, but  pretty although Time seems to think he should stick to textiles. Also, Fabius Gugel sometimes puts shoes in his canvasses. Time thinks it might be a joke, one of those sophisticated ones that Time doesn't get, so just to be safe, it laughs anyway. 

Time liked H. V. Kaltenborn's memoirs enough to give him the whole of Radio and Television.

Barbara Hutton is tired of her fourth husband and Europe, too. Robert Fleming, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Anne (the one from 1700!), H. L. Mencken, Margaret Sanger, Dean Acheson, Fuller Warren, Sherman Adams, General Mark Clark, Jean Simmons, Admiral Nimitz, Joan Crawford and Al Jolson are in the column for some reason. Well, Sanger is in it for calling for the sterilising of the unfit, and Admiral Nimitz is in it because Jinx Falkenberg deigned to interview him,  but for everyone else it's just publicity. (Remember when Jinx got the cover of Newsweek the week India became independent?)

Captain Thomas Lombardo, the Captain of the Army '44 team, has been killed in action in Korea. Also dead, Yen Phi Shih, Muguel Mariano Gomez, Clement Wood, Albert S. Goss, Maurice Costello, Rentfro Banton Creager (which was a real name), and King Gustav. Who gets something halfway between a typical Milestones paragraph and a full obituary. 

The New Pictures

Not actually a New Picture is the new Italian import, Bitter Rice, which is worth special attention because Time has a crush on Silvana Mangano. Harriet Craig is based on the play, Craig's Wife, and the remake of a good 1936 movie. This one isn't good. Dark City is a "snail-paced thriller." That's not a good kind of thriller! Charlton Heston, a television actor, is  a good Bogart substitute and Lizbeth Scott and Viveca Lindfors are both in the movie, so that's nice for them. 


I got my People wish, as neither Shaw nor Russell were in the column this week. But the inescapable old Englishmen of the high middlebrow will not be ignored, and here comes a Wells biography by Antonina Vallentin, H. G. Wells: Prophet of Our Day. She is not really up to the job of writing a book about Wells, it says here. C. Virgil Gheroghiu's The Twenty-Fourth Hook is a "horrifying" concentration camp novel, specifically a Communist concentration camp, this time a Titoist one. It is not one of the good camps or the good novels. James Farrell's An American Dream Girl is a collection of 21 short stories. Time can get behind his woman-hating, but otherwise thinks that the stories are pretty awful. 

Aviation Week, 6 November 1950

News Digest reports that the Air Force has purchased another four Constellations, bringing its fleet to 23, and that the radio antenna on the SB-29 is being relocated to the top of the fuselage to make room for a rescue boat. The rest of it is industry people dying unexpectedly, record profits and a few strikes ending. 

Industry Observer reports that UAL might buy some Super DC-3s although on the other hand the recently announced purchase of more DC-6Bs more accurately suggests that UAL has given up on the Super. (I like to imagine the dueling press agents for the two aircraft lines staring daggers at each other across the Douglas plant cafeteria.) The Navy is slowing down its testing programme for the new Goodyear blimps because blimps are stupid and dangerous. No, wait, it is because the engine extension shafts are flexing. North American has taken delivery of its testbed Orenda-engined F-86, which it will fly a bit to determine if Canadair can build a safe version. Stanley Aviation of Buffalo has its first orders for ejection seats, probably for the B-47 or Boeing XB-52. It is the downward-ejecting seat. Pan American has purchased the prototype Stratocruiser to bring its fleet up to 29, and the latest project for the Lockheed F-94 is a ground support version with additional fuel tanks to fight the last war, as usual.  The de Havilland Comet flight time has hit 400 hours, and Convair is talking up the Turboliner again now that it finally has a testbed version ready to fly with the delayed delivery of the second Allison T-38 engine. 

Alexander McSurely, "Airlines Face Problems on Spare Parts" The latest wrinkle to the NPA's priority orders is that spare parts for civil airliners aren't getting a high priority rating. The industry expects the priority to be cancelled right after the election, but in the mean time the industry is sweating it out. There's also a detailed order on aluminum pieces, discussed in some detail. 

"AJ-1 Gives Navy Increased Punch" The AJ-1 is the North American carrier bomber with two R-2800s and an Allison J-33 for combat speed. Now that the Navy has a job that doesn't involve atom bombs, it has its press spokesmen out telling the world that it was just a-joking about those nuclear whatchamacallits and the real advantage of the AJ-1 is that it has range to go with its punch. 

"Research and Development Command" Dayton gets a whole new Command devoted to SCIENCE! It will share offices with Air Materiel Command before moving into its own atomic sky station in the spring of 1955, from which silver lame toga-clad Air Force officers will dispense food pills and bacteriological warfare bombs on a grateful world. Okay, I might be making that up, but only because the body of the article has mainly to do with sorting out who gets what bases, and whether Edwards Air Force Base gets to keep its status as America's Air Science Palace.  

The Allison plant has been hit by a fire, which will affect jet production, Chase Aircraft is saying goodbye to New Jersey now that it has won a production contract, and will be building the XC-123 in Birmingham, Alabama. 

Washington Roundup is back! An anonymous insider reports that there is a boom in research and development, that the USAF is putting a new emphasis on guerilla warfare, by which is meant fighting guerillas, since it is a bit hard to imagine air guerillas; that the Banana River Long Range Missile facility will cost $75 million by the time it is up and running, yet more wind tunnels, more money for the CAA (and new programmes to spend the money). There's a boom in lightplanes. Again. It says so here. And a weird, weird closing piece about how Langdon Marvin, Junior got Georgetown University to place a low bid to study "separation of air mail pay from subsidy." It was rejected because it didn't meet "Chairman Edwin Johnson's" specifications. What? Why is this news? Who are these people? What is that bit of lint I see at the back of my bellybutton?

"Bell's Big YH-12B Put Through Paces" Bell's latest helicopter is being tested, Bell reports for Aviation Week. 

"F-89s may Put Northrop in Black" And it is a night fighter! Good news for the shareholders, which is why Northrop is making sure we hear about it. 

David A. Anderton, "Viscount to Enter BEA Service in 1953" 

The Viscount will be in regular service by the spring of 1953 in two 40 seat and one 53 seat versions (three person crew, two person crew plus extra freight space, high density tourist traffic version). They will be about the same size as the 240 and the 2-0-2, but with a Rolls Royce Dart turboprop engine developing 1400 shaft horsepower and an additional 365lb of jet thrust with 10ft Rotol constant speed, feathering props, will be faster, quieter and more economical. It is very roomy, has full cabin air conditioning without recirculation giving 5000ft equivalent at a 25,000ft cruising altitude. All windows can be pulled in for escape. Fuel load is 2065 gallons plus 75 gallons of water-methanol for three minutes of extra power and full thermal de-icing. There's the usual talk of complete power installations and design for maintenance. It might fly a New York-Miami service in 4 hours with an operating cost of 15--25p an hour in the sterling area, and be available for $473,700. It is possible that the Convair Turboliner will be available by the time Vickers has completed the BEA order and has planes available for sale to other airlines. 

Convair wants us to know that its new all-weather docks have licked the problem of working on the B-36 in all weather, in the fine aviation journalism tradition of not acknowledging a problem until there's a solution to talk up. 

Avionics reports that "Surveillance Radar Gets Unique Antenna" Airborne Instrument Laboratories, which was making its money off paper cups or something while waiting for its ship to come in, finally has something to tell the shareholders. Its double curvature airport surveillance radar has better distribution of the vertical beam radiation energy emitted by the antenna. This gives a constant signal from an aircraft flying a constant approach path, unlike the varying signal strength given by current radars with lobe emissions. 

"Low Cost 'Brain'" It seems like everyone has an electronic analogue computer to solve difficult equations and address letters. (Okay, it was an IBM cardpunch computer, and  it was doing payroll calculations. Still.) Now Boeing is promising a cheaper 'brain' based on the one that is has doing missile calculations. Like all electronic analogue computers, you have to set the potentiometers to the specific equation you're going to calculate, unlike the IBM machine, but on the other hand they can do more complicated calculations, and more cheaply, too.

George L. Christian, "Romec Expanding Line of Aircraft Pumps" This week it is Romec that comes across to get out of New Products, and George Christian who is in charge of massaging their copy. And that's all I'm going to say, because I hereby proclaim pumps to not be "technology." Also, a new heating pad de-ices B-36s faster and Pan Am has its own life vest, because Pan Am has a lot of experience with life vests. (Maybe you don't mention that in the advertising?) It's actually pretty interesting, because the situation is, well, you know. For example, the Air Force life vest has an underleg strap, which imagine putting that on a cabin full of panicky passengers! No straps, it is simple, it will support an adult and an infant, you can put it on wrong way around and it will still work, it can be loosened. I can't think of a single cynical thing to say. Well, except for that bit about it being unfortunate advertising. 

New Aviation Products has the Hydro-Aire "electro-mechanical linear actuator," good for temperatures down to -105F. Vinson Manufacturing's aircraft hydraulic relief valve works without chatter. Ripley's explosive rivet gun is the best explosive rivet gun. Federal Tool has a variety of non-metal stampings (plastic, phenol, vulcanised fibres, insulation paper). American Non-Gran Bronze has a variety of bronze castings that aircraft manufacturers might like. 

Air Transport has yet another of those hopeful articles about how helicopter passenger travel might be just around the corner for you to mock cruelly, if you're so inclined. I'm getting a bit tired of it all. (They can land on the roofs of postal offices! Yes they can!)

What's New reviews Alexander Seversky's latest, Air Power: Key to Survival. Seversky thinks that a 500,000lb global bomber is a better economical bet than hordes of groups of shorter-ranged bombers. 

Editorial is upset about how the aircraft manufacturers are keeping their backlogs and even their profits secret in the name of national security, is impressed with the latest National Travel Association ads in LA papers promoting coach rates, for obscure reasons that will impress journalists and leave everyone else a bit bored. And then it is off to snipe at the poor railroads again. Did you know that flying from LA to San Francisco is faster than taking the train? It's true!

Time, 13 November 1950


Hugh Beaton nominates General MacArthur for Man of the Year. William Faulkner writes in to support the critic who criticises the critics of Hemingway's new novel.  (The one that's bad, but you can't say that because his other novels are good.) There are many storiees about how the word "cop" was coined, and Time is guilty of only reporting one. William Jeffries Chewning, Jr. writes a letter where he signs himself "Hereditary Member, Society of the Cincinnati, Washington" that basically tops anything he could say in the letter forever and ever after. (It's about the story about the guy who claimed to be the Dauphin.) George Dock Our Publisher wants us to know that Time went to press 36 hours late to cover the election and made it up by sheer hustle. Then he tells us just how quickly
Time's reporters were at Blair House when the shooting started on the 1st.  It must have been quite the scene. The first Timesman on the scene was told that a team of assassins had killed the President and seven Secret Servicemen!

National Affairs

"Republican Upsurge" The bottom line is that the GOP came close to taking the Senate, not even counting Dixiecrats, and the House and knocked off the Democratic leadership. while Robert Taft won in Ohio. so much for Taft-Hartley being electoral poison. It wasn't as big a sweep as 1946, and for that we have to thank Heavens, but the Fair Deal is dead for two  years. No socialised medicine, no Brennan Plan, and so on. People are talking about McCarthy's influence on the election. He didn't defeat Lucas. That was the Chicago machine fighting over the spoils; but he does seem to have taken Millard Tyding's scalp, and, of course, there were a lot of GOP wins at the state level that maybe you can credit to McCarthy getting out the awful-people-vote. 

"Fanatics' Errand" The horrifying events in Washington get three columns, if anything, too little coverage. Did you know that Blair House opens right off Pennsylvania Avenue? It's one of those "What were we thinking" things that leave you scratching your head when it is almost too late. Especially when this makes six of 32 Presidents either assassinated or at least targeted by assassins.

"Run for the Hill, Boys!" The armed forces are now sending out notices to reserve units that have already mobilised, but which are now being stood down without going to Korea at all. Tough for men who had given up their jobs! The Pentagon is now trying to reform the reserve system because "after this experience, nine of ten out of them will run for the hills." Also being demobilised without going into service, SS United States. American casualties in Korea began rising again even before the recent counteroffensive, and now stand at 4403 dead, 18879 wounded and 4328 missing.  

"Big Shuffle" The 1950 Census is out. America gained a record 19,038,086 people to 150,700,000 people, with all but four states registering growth, led by California, which gained almost 3.7 million. This is a gain of 90 million people since 1890! There's also another population question. The House of Representatives needs to represent, so either there needs to be more members, or members have to be taken away from some state delegations and added to others. Since 433 is already a lot of members, it is likely that Pennsylvania, Missouri, Oklahoma, New York, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee will lose members to add to California, Florida, Maryland(?), Michigan, Texas, Virginia and Washington. New York will still have the largest House delegation, but increasing the California and reducing the Pennsylvania delegations will leave them tied at 30 Congressmen each. It has only been since 1929 that there has been a law requiring reapportionment, wich was passed because the Drys were refusing to add Wet seat. I didn't know that. I thought it was in the Constitution! Reapportionment is also likely to lead to a new round of "gerrymandering" as the state parties manoeuvre to secure safe seats for their party. See, I told you that the state level elections were important! 

Manners and Morals reports that the price of beer might be going up, and that the fashion in hair for this year is to be a few inches shorter, but with chignons. Faye Emerson has a chignon! (She's like Jinx Falkenberg, only actually famous and not just chesty.) Time also explains what a "chignon" is for those not addicted to the glamour rags, like your humble correspondent. Then it goes down to the haberdashers to get some really silly quotes about how Orientals can't wear chignons because their hair is too coarse, while American hair is too dry and damaged, whereas the style is perfect for Europeans, who don't wash, and also that no-one wants American women to grow out their hair when they could just wear hats and wigs instead. 

"Everybody Take Shelter!" So it turns out that the atomic attack panic in New York this last week was caused by a 23-year-old man left alone in his parents' apartment (it figures!) when they went out on the town. He hooked up a microphone to their radio speaker and began making "Office of Civilian Defence" announcements over the loudspeaker out of his third story window, causing a panic that spread several blocks. Hauled off to night court, prankster Stanley Gordon was given thirty days in the workhouse. They have workhouses and night courts in New York? Maybe they could use an atom bomb or two to shake them up!


"NATO Stall" Take an old "United States of Europe, What's Keeping It?" story, file off the serial numbers, you're good to go. Also, Russia wants peace, and the UN General Assembly wants Trygve Lie for another three years. 

"Expertocracy" Same story, only I have to waste time explaining the title. There was a conference in Rome on the Schuman Plan that didn't get anywhere because it was bounced back to some experts for a second look, and Henri Spaark of Belgium calls that "expertocracy," or "rule of the experts."

War in Asia

"Winter War" So it turns out that there are more than forty thousand Chinese in Korea, and they're not just there to protect a pumphouse. As General MacArthur's headquarters puts it, "the Communists" have sent "alien Communist forces" across the Yalu from the "privileged sanctuary of the Manchurian border." Remember when the Chinese would be obliterated by air power if they tried to advance into Korea and that they had their hands filled with poverty and hunger? Well, it turns out that their inexhaustible resources are inexhaustible and within "easy reach." Who could have known? WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN? Besides any Chinese newspaper reader taking in all the editorials demanding that the Chinese army drive the "US imperialists out of Korea," I mean. UN troops are digging in 45 miles north of Pyongyang, and the war will likely go on into the winter. If the Chinese send all of their troops in Manchuria across the border, the UN may be driven south of the 38th Parallel, in which case the UN will have no choice but to bomb Manchurian airfields and troop concentrations and bring on WWIII. What a shame, says Time!

"Do Not Josephine!" And it is not just infantry volunteers, as Russian-made MiG-15s jet fighters with swept wings and 600mph speeds are appearing in the sky and tanks, "automatic weapons," 76mm howitzers and Katyusha rocket launchers on the ground. MacArthur's headquarters now estimates that there are twelve Red divisions and five independent brigades in Korea. "Many" are Chinese Communist forces. 1st Cavalry Division and 24th Infantry have both been heavily engaged, 1st Cavalry having had to abandon about a battalion to Chinese horsed cavalry while retreating from Unsan, and the 24th Infantry falling back nearly 50 miles to Chongju. 2nd Infantry Division is now forming a stop line on the Chongchun River, while in the east, the Marines are having trouble along their lines of communication in their drive towards the Changjin Reservoir, with "Communist spearheads . . . [getting] its supplies by air drop." The 1st Cavalry fiasco is deemed worthy of a separate article, complete with a very tasteful and timely footnote about the origins of "Garryowen" and the Little Big Horn massacre of the 7th Cavalry that, I'm sure, would be very comforting to the men of the 8th Cavalry Regiment who were told to make their way back to Allied lines as best they could. I'm a girl and girls aren't very good at math (I'm told), but I'm pretty sure "7" and "8" are different numbers? On the other hand, we're good with words, so I'm absolutely sure that the 8th Cavalry quick time air, "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" is a different song from "Garryowen."

"The Enemy"

Time's Dwight Martin has been wandering around Pyongyang "looking for lessons which US liberators might learn from the pattern of Russian rule in North Korea." Which in effect means poking his nose into some missionary churches and chatting with some of the city's fifty thousand Christians and the American provisional government under Colonel Charles Munske, which since it consists of the colonel and three assistants, has no idea what it is doing and I'm not sure how much time it has to talk to journalists. Outside the city, the 18th Airborne RCT has thrown together a prefectural government that also doesn't know what it is doing. Martin points out that at least the Russians brought a provisional government with them. 

"Marx v. Buddha" Chinese invaders are currently five miles from Lhasa, having annihilated the Tibetan army at Chamdo, and there's nothing to be done except pray as hard as you can. Time, I think, wants the Dalai Lama and his government to flee to India, but it is more likely that the Tibetans will just sign the deal with Peking that they've been negotiating since forever.

George Bernard Shaw is dead, and gets a three page obituary and a news article. After everything I've said about him, I feel awful. I know that any time a 96-year-old is in hospital it is a serious business, but all those "George Bernard Shaw is on the mend" bits in People over the last few months have just seemed like self-promotion. So I guess I feel awful and dumb for not realising that 96-year-olds also tend to not know now sick they are. I'm sure that there are obituaries to spare in the Washington papers, so I won't summarise this one. 

"The World Has Changed" The King of Morocco is talking about lightening the load of French protection. Time assures us that he is much too modern and moderate to even think of the independent kingdom of Morocco actually being independent, as it is much too backwards for "full freedom in a modern state," but, at the same time, he thinks that some provisions of the Protectorate Treaty of 1912 might be relaxed, or possibly even replaced.
The French have promised to form a committee of experts to consider the matter. Yugoslav Communists are not as terrible as other Communists, are still terrible. 

"Hot Potato" The Burmese government looks to be trying to find an excuse for dropping the prosecution of heroic American mssionary Gordon S. Seagrave. (Who is a surgeon. A surgeon!) Has Time mentioned what a wonderful person Seagrave is, recently? Because he is! All his friends are the best, too!

In this hemisphere, Puerto Rico is no joke this week. The Nationalist Party launched an "Insurrection" (title of a three column article, not "sneer" quotes) last week, which seems to have inspired the assassination attempt.  Time calls it a desperate little affair, but although the attack on the Governor's Mansion was a desperate affair, the violence that broke out in at least a half-dozen other towns suggests something more, with "sharp, bloody battles" between National Guardsmen and Nationalist gunmen. Time suggests that it is still no big deal and that everything is getting better in every way in Puerto Rico. 

In Toronto, Canada, the board of Forest Hills Collegiate (that's a high school in a predominantly Jewish suburb) has given up on a plan to segregate some classes so that there would be more non-Jews in other classes, without ever really explaining why it thought it was a good idea in the first place. 


Wall Street is down, but this time there's a reason, which is that General MacArthur is trying to start WWIII. And there's a labour pinch, with unemployment down to 1.9 million. Lester Colbert is the new President of Chrysler, Henry Clay Alexander, of J. P. Morgan. The Atlantic and Pacific are this week's cover story. 

Medicine, Education (No Science, second week in a row)

"Itchy Town" Sault Ste. Marie is the world capital of ringworm! It is a fungus, not a worm, and it is definitely infectious, mostly by unsterilised hair shears. It is diagnosed by ultraviolet light these days, and treated with white skullcaps to prevent contagion and removal of hairs with infected roots by tweezer and application of detergents. The news story is so big because the authorities in town aren't closing schools to deal with the epidemic, but rather using official treatment centres, to which all victims must report under new health regulations that the Ste. Saint Marie Health Officer, Doctor Joseph Gimby, hopes will be turned into legislation.

"A Question of the Heart" Manhattan's Dr. Samuel Alcott Thompson has a new heart treatment involving "dumping talcum powder in the heart." So a Colorado businessman named Abell Bernstein went to Manhattan, had the procedure, and is back to working 18 to 20 hours a day in his warehouse hoisting 100lb crates. Time talked to Bernstein and a dozen other patients treated by Dr. Thompson since 1938 and gives Dr. Thompson's explanation of what the operation is supposed to accomplish. ("Two drams" of talcum, sewn into the heart sac, acts as a "permanent irritant" promoting blood vessel growth and circulation.) Time then proceeds to wonder why the surgery isn't carried out more often. I don't know, but a super, super cynical person (no-one around here by that description!) would suggest that only a relative of Louise May Alcott could get away with this quack surgery to start with!

"Balancing Act" Dr. Paul C. Williams, orthopedic surgeon of Southwestern Medical College, told the Oklahoma Clinical Society this week that doctors ought to forget about "correct posture," because correct posture is actually incorrect and causing "backache in about half the adult population." Dr. Williams blames upright posture for imposing a massive load on the lower back, and promotes lower body exercise as an alternative. 

"Find Your Own Answers" You know who we haven't heard from recently? Chancellor Hutchins of the University of Chicago. Well, T. S. Elliott has been doing a poetry visitation at the university for the last six weeks, and says that he is not very good at answers, so people should find their own and not look at the author for the answers. So that just goes to show something about Chancellor Hutchins and T. S. Elliott. Also, the Harvard Lampoon is in trouble for making fun of Midwestern college humour magazines. Imagine making fun of a rag just because you didn't like it! Also again, the Oxford University Players have been touring America for seven weeks, about enough time for one of its members, Robert Robinson, to form opinions about Americans and share them with Isis. (Which is an Oxford undergraduate magazine.) He doesn't like them; and, in a major departure for these pages, I am 100% behind Time implying that we don't like him, either! And something about New York University  having a Hall of Fame. 

Art, Press, Radio and Television, People

The MoMA's Soutine retrospective was disappointing because of staging. On the other hand, a Pascin showing in Paris is very nice even though his paintings were "as pale and flaccid as the man himself."

"News for the Home Office" Sixteen White House newsmen decided to take a breather on the afternoon of the first because the President was taking a nap, and that's how they came to miss the assassination attempt. The moral of the story is that early dispatches were chasing wild rumours, as we saw even in the Time coverage. Did you know that the Marine Corps has a magazine, called Esprit de Corps? It does! Wilder Hobson (which is a real name), after 22 years at Time and Life, is moving up to the big leagues to be editor of Harper's Bazaar, replacing Frances McFadden as "Sanhedrin of the fashion world." 

"Home Invasion" Raw popcorn sales have increased 500% in the last few years. It might be because of TV owners. News! The Eleanor Roosevelt Programme is quite the thing, and she's found work for her ne-er-do-well son, Elliot.  

Edna Rose Ritchings, the "'celestial' white wife of Negro Cultist Father Divine" gets a whole paragraph to explain that she is still a virgin, because that's how Father Divine does things. Hildegarde is off on a 30 state small town tour with an entourage of six cars full of maids, musicians and pressagents. 

Sir Oswald Mosley is visiting Argentina as opposed to Wormwood Scrubs, where I thought he still was. Ingrid Bergmann, Augustus John, Edna Ferber, Alice Longworth, Theodore Roosevelt, various Swedish royals, General Doolittle, Jacqueline Cochrane, Charles Rosendahl, Irene Dunn, Gloria Swanson, the President of France and US ambassador to France, Emmanuel Shinwell, Lynn Fontanne, Alfred Lunt, Willie Hoppe, Perle Mesta, and Henri Bonnet are in the column for whatever reason. Alben Barkley, Dwight Eisenhower, Errol Flynn, Ezzard Charles, Nelson Rockefeller and Leopold Stokowski are in it because they wear pyjamas well.  Governor Folsom is in it for protesting an article in Reader's Digest calling the Alabama prison system, "Devil's Island, USA." 

Frieda Lawrence has remarried. Michael Strange, General Koiso Kuniaki and Samuel Chandler Dobbs have died, and that's about it. 

The New Pictures

Louisa is bad comedy that tries to find something funny about a grandmother falling in love. It's also a vehicle for the College Man's youngest, trying to get back into the business from the union side. Doesn't sound like he's going to have much luck with this one, although Universal could use the help of someone who can pull strings out California way. Oh, and it has Piper Laurie. I don't know from her, but I like the sound of the name! Three Secrets is . . a melodrama. It starts well, then turns off the track into the dismal swamps, says Time. I'll Get By completes the triad of bad movies, although it is nice to hear assorted hit songs of ten years past again. 


Budd Schulberg's The Disenchanted is an okay novel. Boswell's London Journal, 1762--1763 is the latest fruit of the Boswell papers discovery and very interesting if you like that stuff.  George Orwell's Shooting an Elephant is a collection of essays. Time likes it. It's interesting to compare its review here to the long series of articles on the Seagrave trial, as some of the most searing material in this collection is from Orwell's early days in the Burmese colonial police, as you will well know from being relentlessly encouraged to read same by your grandfather --practically the only English "cultural" writing I ever heard him speak well of. 

Aviation Week, 13 November 1950

News Digest reports that the Texas A and M experimental crop dusting plane will be ready to fly soon, that the Allegheny Ballistic Laboratory has developed a smokeless RATO booster to be used on carriers, that the Airlift Task Force is to be disbanded 16 November.

Industry Observer reports that Canadair won't make any more F-86s until it has full specs for the F-86E, the latest type. Air Material Command will be experimenting with titanium as an aircraft construction material, that the Navy wants to put  more powerful engines into the Douglas F3D, that the next step in military assault helicopters will be twin-engined types, that if the experimental Wright R-3350 installation in the Fairchild C-119 works out, it is kiss goodbye to the R-4360. A long-ranger fighter-bomber version of the F-86 has been proposed. Aircraft manufacturers would like a look at the Lustron plant, which is next to the Curtiss-Wright works in Columbus, if the RFC is minded to sell. 

Alexander McSurely, "AF is Shopping for Troop Support Bombers" Interesting. The Air Force is letting the Canberra compete against three American types, the XB-51, B-45 and the North American AJ-1. What is even more interesting is that the American designs are all no-hopers on at least one ground --too many engines. Air Force sources say that the British design is a shoe-in for part of the Air Force order, with the B-45 probably getting the rest of the orders, although if it goes back into production to satisfy the order, there will be changes made. 

"UAL Sues Douglas for DC-6 Crashes" What it says on the tin. It's the two "fire" crashes, the Utah one caused by a fire, and the Pennsylvania one caused by trying to fight the fire that wasn't actually happening. 

Ben S. Lee, "Army Due to Buy More Planes" The Army is back in the plane business for artillery spotters, about which we do not care, and helicopters, which we do. The Army is putting an aircraft development centre in at Fort Bragg to figure out what else it can do with helicopters. Put guns on them? It seems like the next step! It is also sticking its nose into Air Force business to ask for those ground support planes everyone is talking about all the time. The Army is sold on the XB-51, which I think has more to do with Glenn L. Martin's sales team than anything the aircraft has going for it. It seems like they're going to get the Canberra, because it is just so much better than anything the American industry can scare up. There's also an argument about fighters (the Army prefers the F-88 to the F-94) and the next purchase of transports. 

Washington Roundup reports that the Navy is getting another 600 planes. As part of its press push, it reminds everyone that this will only bring it to the same strength as at the time of Pearl Harbour. The Air Force, not impressed with Navy special pleading, presents its buildup to 70 groups as "a modest expansion." The Navy is also talking up carriers, pointing out that even if the missile is the future, it will be launched by carrier air wings, which will fly from a gigantic aircraft carrier that will be in no way "super" or "a sitting duck." However, unless it is a giant, flush deck ship, the Navy won't be able to use shiny new jet aircraft that can't be accommodated by existing catapults and decks.  

William Kroger, "AF and Industry Study Production" A big meeting in LA will study . . .production! The industry is going to trot over and pitch precision castings, non-destructive weld tests, electronic control of routing and drilling, strech measuring devices, template-cutting machines, simultaneous tapering and contouring, welding of heavy aluminum, "prevention of distortion," die quenching, constant tolerance die mold material, stretch forming of tapered sheets, stainless steel tapered sheets, and countersunk head screws. 

Letters has a long one from Dole Anderson of the Department of Public Utilities and Transportation at New York University that gives "the PhD view" of the nonsked argument for unlimited competition in air travel. Utilities, he points out, are regulated for good reason. If those reasons don't apply to aviation, then fine. But if they do, then you can't make some kind of political claim that the nonskeds have a "right" to fly. Especially when the competition is still subject to those rules! The President of Los Angeles Airways is so impressed by all those "passenger transport helicopters have so a future" articles that he wants another 25 copies that you can deliver to his business address that is coincidentally his parents' garage but make sure you put the bill in the mailbox of the main house.. Robert Holz, writing from the press desk of Pratt and Whitney, says that the new Turbo-Wasp is doing a great job in combat on the F9F-2.

Irving Stone, "How the XC-120 Pack Plane Is Engineered" That's another of these planes with a cargo pallet projects. The article even recycles the same pictures from the last article before going into detail about the fittings that join the pack to the plane and the quadricycle undercarriage. 

"More Accuracy for V-G Recorder" NACA's velocity-gravity recorder is for studying atmospheric turbulence. You put it on a plane, it flies its normal operations, and if it hits turbulence, the recorder measures the resulting accelerations. The original recorder was not really up to the job because it required regular adjustments by an experienced field crew, which got in the way of the whole "send it out on the milk run and find out what happens" idea. The new one replaces friction damping with oil damping, and gets rid of the adjustments. It is also more accurate and hunts less. 

"Red Defender: MiG-15 Interceptor" This is the big aviation news of the week as MiG-15s take the fight to the Allies and force them into a "No Josephine" order, which is to say, save some ammunition for self defence. The article was teased at the front, probably because it is a late insert. There's also not a lot to say. You can tell that the article was written before the Korea news broke, because it is the British Air Ministry confirming the plane's existence, and not Our Boys Over There. It's a "sleek, mid-wing, tricycle-undercarriage" job with starkly swept wings. The engine type isn't known, but from the look of the plane, it is the Cheloney version of the Rolls-Royce Derwent. It has an ejector seat, is probably short ranged, and likely has good climb, roll and turning as well as a good turn of speed and probably lower wing loading than the F-86. 

"Princess Readied for Long-Range Role" That's the giant Saro flying boat, of which it can be safely said that:
i) No-one wants a flying boat;
ii) No-one wants a Saro (the company's last successful aircraft was a biplane!!!);
iii) No-one wants a Ministry of Civil Aviation giant. 
iv) No-one wants one of these stick-a-turboprop-in-a-prop-plane jobs. 

But aside from that I'm sure it's doing great.

"Icing Clouds Simulated in Tunnel" NACA's boys and girls at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory want you to know that just because what they do is super boring doesn't mean it isn't worthy. And everyone likes playing with water hoses!

Equipment has George L. Christian cleaning up for Smith-Morris of Detroit, which makes screens for "axial-type engines." It's literally a screen, that wire mesh they put in the front inlet to keep debris out, which is why it is important that they work on axial-type engines. Those have smaller inlets, you see. The screens are also retractable, so they get to talk about how their hydraulic actuators work.

R. L. Nissen has to write its own copy to explain how its  "Flexoniflex" expansion joint works, and Continental tells us that its Mobile Test Stands "Satisfy." 

New Aviation Products has Jack and Heintz's new lightweight generator for starting jet engines, Century Geophysical's oscillograph airborne recorder, which they're aiming for the test missile market, and a small fire truck from Cardox, which is mostly a carbon dioxide carrier. 

LaGuardia is doing a radar control test operation that will hopefully prove a CAA proposal for a 25% increase in traffic volume under radar control with a very simple improvement of existing GCA equipment (a repeater screen to allow a second operator to monitor air traffic while the first operator talks a plane down.) 

What's New reports that some nice industry pamphlets are nice. 

Editorial is very angry at "Murray D. Lincoln of Columbus, Ohio" for saying in print that aircraft prices are up 287% when actually they're down or maybe up 7%. Editorial suspects that "the National Mobilisation Policy Committee of the National Security Resources Board" is some kind of low-down, no-good railroad front group. Editorial is happy to report "Salesmen Welcome" signs at the UAL maintenance base in San Francisco and the Cessna works in Wichita, which is just the American way. Editorial continues its battle with stunt pilots. 

(I'm not sure why this turns up in a search for "Vivica Lindfors," but I'm still going with it.)


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