Thursday, September 24, 2020

Postblogging Technology, June 1950, I: No Coke

R_. C_.,
Shaughnessy, Vancouver,

Dear Father:

You will have heard from Uncle George, but I'm still going to repeat what he told me. The North Koreans --and not the Russians or Chinese-- are going to invade the South in the first week of summer. This is through the family network, although I'm sure Uncle George told you more than he did me about sources! He also didn't share how he passed on the information, but I'm not surprised to hear that he didn't get a hearing from MacArthur's staff or the Generalissimo. Other quarters of the Koumintang are a different matter, but basically everyone who is in the know on Formosa, which isn't a long list, sees this as a last minute reprieve. I do wonder if someone has got it out, because there's a long story in Time about how the South Koreans are ready to receive the north and send it home. Uncle George's sources don't agree, but it goes beyond that, because he figures  the South Korean army will fold like the Koumintang, for the same reason. The officers are a lot more attached to the skim than to their "careers."  That's why Uncle George is staying in Hong Kong, and why he's telling me to dig in for a long stay. 

I really hope that I'm not running mining missions against Shanghai any time soon. The latest Russian fighters are pretty hot stuff, and that's not even getting into their fighter jets, which as usual with the hottest new ships might be a far off vista at the flight development unit, or in service by the dozens. 

Your Loving Son,

Time, 5 June 1950


Writers have a variety of opinions about Coca-Cola. Just so you know. And since that's not silly enough, we follow with a letter from Norman Hurst of Montreal about Welsh pronunciation; R. C. Steeple of San Francisco fellating the Navy (yes, I know that character; I blame bad influences and not the Navy); Two people giving the Pacific Northwest the same treatment, and someone explains what a grease monkey is. Our Publisher writes to let us know that the Great American Public has gone from being too left-wing to too right-wing, due to that Joe McCarthy fellow and all. Time is worried about this, but reminds everyone that it is still okay to be hysterical about Communism in Asia. 

National Affairs

"Conversion of the Pentagon" The whole giant-mob-of-Communist-youth-overrunning-Berlin thing failed to happen. (At least Time notices these things. Better than The Economist!) Anyway, the conclusion is that this is because the West stood firm, although rain probably had something to do with it. On a completely unrelated note that seems like it ought to be related, the Pentagon now says that it can hold the Elbe line for six months, and that every six months of peace extends that by 30 days. The President is still standing behind Dean Acheson. Rumanian Communists are even worse than other Communists. The State Department wants a Japanese peace treaty soonest. The Pentagon disagrees, but only because the occupation allows it to keep bases in Japan. It has been suggested that the peace treaty would let American troops stay in Japan. The Senate is in a commotion over Robert Taft's claim that the Point Four provision in the foreign aid bill imply that the US government is insuring businesses that invest abroad under Point Four. Also, the GM strike is over and everyone is happy. The UAW gets a billion dollar raise and GM gets labour peace through 1955. 

"Ahead of the Country" The Pentagon's report on integrating the armed forces says that the only real problem is that white people are racist. And Manners and Morals reports that the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad has given up on its attempt to banish tipping. 

"Precarious Victory" Franklin Graham has won the Democratic primary in North Carolina, but by such a narrow margin that there will be a runoff election, due to his being all Communist and pro-Coloured. 

"Quit or Be Fired" Is what Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer said to William Remington and Michael J. Lee. Both have passed repeated loyalty investigations, but people keep accusing Remington of being a former Communist, and Lee can't deny being born a White Russian Jew in Manchuria and changing his name and marrying an American before getting his citizenship (on the third try.) All of this (his old name was Levi!) is, of course, perfectly irrelevant (Ephraim Zinovi!) and what matters is that he held up gasoline supplies to the Nationalists one time.  Also, Mrs. John T. McCullough (or, we learn way down in the story, Hester, wife of Times picture editor) of Greenwich, Connecticut, went on trial for libel this week for accusing a harmonica player and a dancer of being communists. Time is a bit on the fence on this, as the men are Communist fronters. On the other hand, Hester also hates "liberals" and Roosevelt. I bet she's invited to all the office parties. 

So then the jury decided it couldn't decide and everyone said they were right and went home. Also, the FBI has arrested some guy no-one's ever heard of because he was Fuch's courier. Sounds like he was right for the job. Except the part about confessing by mistake

"Double Trouble" The cost of living has almost doubled since 1938, based on the price of a bag of groceries. 

"State and 63rd" Thirty-three killed and 40 injured when a streetcar hit a gasoline tanker in Chicago on the 26th.


"Berlin in the Rain" The big Communist demonstration that was no big deal gets a story. The New York Times sent Anne O'Hare McCormick so that she could have a fit at how communist youth were just like Hitler Youth, and then there were hot dogs and fireworks. No world revolution, though, which is the important thing. But rain won't save us forever! Or Trygve Lie, who is very naive, just like the United Nations. Some say that the British are becoming very disenchanted with Communist China, which serves them right for recognising the Reds. Meanwhile, since the European powers are going great guns at integrating French and German heavy industry, they decided to branch out and tell the Middle East what to do. Specifically, they should buy guns for self-defence(!), settle up, stop making faces at each other, embrace internal development and join the He-Man Communist-Haters Club. 

"Ebb Tide" Manila has recovered from the war and is very nice, but the Huks are on the warpath, the national budget has a deficit (horrors!), there's not enough US dollars (join the club), and people are upset at President Quirino because they think he's corrupt. 

"Progress Report" South Korea is a US-backed republic that is about to have its first independent general election. No more Communist raids, no more threat of invasion; It has a first-rate ground army of seven divisions, trained by the US Military Advisory Group. Korea is already self-sufficient in small arms ammunition. "No-one now believes that the Russian-trained North Korean army could pull off a quick, successful invasion of the south . . . Only lack of air power might tip the scales against the South." The economy has been successfully deflated and industry and exports are picking up, with Korea exporting rice to Japan. On the other hand, "Police terrorism" has only "abated," although it is only ordinary Koreans who suffer.

The Buddhist temples are doing fine! (Pure Land, anyway.) Speaking of which, Burmese Prime Minister U Nu (Time used his old nickname, Thakin Nu) has promised to become a monk just as soon as all the Burmese insurgent groups are pacified.

"Fill 'Er Up" The British have a deal to buy gasoline in pounds from Standard Oil of New Jersey and California Texas, so they can  drop gas rationing, which is the lead in the story. I'm reversing the order because it's a good news story that rationing is gone, but it's important that the two big oil companies are taking pounds, which they will reinvest in Britain. Also in momentous occasions, General Smuts had his millionth birthday this year, and all the South Africans had a party where they pretended they didn't kick him out two years ago for not being racist enough. (Which, considering that he's Winston's best buddy in the whole world, is saying something!) France is also letting bygones be bygone by repealing the 1870  law that exiled the head of the French royal family, of which it turns out that they have a lot. It's a big country, so that makes sense, but I feel like the "House of Bourbon-Orleans" gets the most attention in the article. 

You know that article about the Italian village Communist who was a very loyal Communist until the Communists set their faces against some very worthwhile modernisation product, and then the villager becomes an ex-Communist, and the villager's former ex-Communist friends are very mean to the village, but the villager is very happy now that the villager is an ex-Communist? Here's that story again. Then for a change there's a story about another Italian village where a church procession of one village priest and 72 girls fell fifteen feet into the canal when the bridge collapsed. Fifteen girls and a baby in arms drowned, including two daughters of the bridge's builder and his niece. Needing some kind of balance, Time turns to the rivalry over Romeo and Juliet as between Verona and nearby Vicenza. They're stealing each other's fake relics! (Or, anyway, Verona raided Vicenza. Which seems right because I don't remember anything about Vicenza when we read Romeo and Juliet. Or much anything else. 

In this hemisphere, Time drops into Venezuela, which just received another 126 illegal immigrants from Spain, the latest of 60,000 European immigrants in the last three years. Which is a much better job of settling displaced persons than some other Western Hemisphere republics I could name. Or Time could name. There's also a story from Argentina where a jackpot winner said on air that he was going to give his winnings to the Argentinian Socialist Party, and now radio stations aren't allowed to put the public on air any more. And in Canada, the latest Alberta oil strike happened on land where the mineral rights didn't go to the province in 1930, so dirt farmer Bill Mulligan and his wife and eleven kids are rich. Which is good news, because they definitely weren't before.


Time is amazedly flabbergasted that the stock market is up again, so this time instead of just a short story at the lead of Business, it has a really long one. If you invested a lot of money in the stock market a long time ago and all your companies didn't go broke in the Depression, then boy are you loaded! Dad. And that's it for Business

Science, Medicine, Education

The top story in Science is about birds, and I've decided we don't care about those guys. 

"Silver Lining" What's keeping atomic power? It's been just years since Hiroshima! Is it because the AEC is listening to the military, which wants to keep all the atoms for blowing up Communists? In a talk to the Detroit Section of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Lawrence R. Hafstad, director of the Division of Reactor Development, said that if practical atomic power ever comes, it will be because of, and not in spite of, the military, because whoo boy is that uranium stuff hard to work with. The AEC's got an experimental reactor, and what with the pile shooting neutrons in all directions, they have trouble protecting shielding, piping and stuff like that from heat and corrosion. Right now, the best experimental reactor costs $2638 a kilowatt, whereas a coal plant costs $135. Private companies would have to be crazy to put up the money needed to narrow the gap. There's lots of examples like this. Would the Post Office have been able to find the money to develop the airplane? Submarines are useless for anything but war, but America's modern diesel-electric locomotives started out with submarine engines. 

"The Wicked Giants" Arteriosclerosis, which is when "plaques" of material form along the walls of the arteries, especially near the heart, is a common condition in people with heart problems, or who go on to have heart problems. It can lead to poor circulation and heart attacks and strokes. It has long been known to be associated with a very common molecule called "cholesterol." So, does the cholesterol come from the natural cholesterol in food, or is the cholesterol on the artery walls some of the cholesterol that is made by the body in its normal operation? People have been arguing, but Dr. John Gofman, a researcher in medical physics (who is one of the co-discoverers of U-232 as well as a medical doctor), has been able to do a combined study of thousands of patients to show that it is a bit of both, and that because at least some of it comes from food, especially some really big molecules, and we can trust studies that show that low-fat, low-cholesterol diets are good for you, at least when they focus on the giant molecule-containing foods. 

"The Useful Appendix" The appendix is a useless, vestigial organ, everyone knows that. Except it does produce some blood; so naturally, Dr. Leon O. Jacobson of the University of Chicago got to wondering about what would happend with the appendix in a nuclear explosion. (Since radiation sickness can kill by destroying all the bloodmaking cells.) That would seem to include the appendix, but not if you cut a rabbit open and put lead shielding around the animal's appendix, and then expose it to a massive dose of radiation. Surprise! This worked. Somewhat. Now we just have to cut everyone open and put lead shields around their appendices, and, hey presto, radiation-proof supermen for the new century. Okay, I guess we can't do that. But what we can do is theorise that there is some kind of regulatory hormone in there somewhere and find and extract it. 

"Ethics and Ghosts" You know what there's too much of, says Editor Steven Spencer of the Saturday Evening Post? You've got it! Medical ethics! Some doctors won't talk about miracle cures until there's some boring old proof that they work. Some doctors don't even hold with splashing the names of daring medical researchers across the headlines in 48 type. Those doctors are "conservative." And The Saturday Evening Post should know! 

"Sweeten to Taste" Speaking of those boring old ethicists, Chicago's Abbott Laboratories will put the no-calorie sweetener sodium cyclohexylsulfamate on the market soon as Sucaryl Sodium after 12 years of testing while diabetics and the pleasantly plump had to put up with the somewhat bitter aftertaste of saccharine. On the bright side, the ethicists didn't get in the way of the very glamorous mug shot of discoverer Michael Sveda at the top of the column. 

"NYU's Macaroni" NYU bought a macaroni factory with its endowment. Last week in Washington, the US Tax Court ruled that it has to pay corporate income taxes in spite of belonging to a university, as otherwise it would "have a vicious effect upon non-exempt competition." Also, the the national spelling bee ended in a draw after the judges reversed themselves on several decisions along the way, for the first time in the bee's history. Jock Whitney endowed an enormous scholarship fund for minority students who are victims of racism; Harvard students really enjoy the challenge of defeating the coin phones set up in their dormitories; and Time has fun quoting from a Handbook for College Teachers that is full of little gems about how professors should come across. 

(A detail from Tony Youngblood's overwhelming pictorial of Careladen, Graves' "unique cinderblock" house, linked to the image. The house --it's really quite something-- seems like a more technological legacy than "Oregon," which you can view here.)
Art, Radio and Television, Press, People

The art world is all agog over a manifesto from 28 abstract artists posted to the MOMA. I politely decline to explore the details, but I'm guessing that some people want more abstract art in the big shows, and some people want less. Because I'm smart, that's why.

"How to Sell Boxes" Walter Paepcke likes abstract art and is the chairman of Chicago's Container Corporation, so he puts them both together and commissions abstract art that celebrates boxes. The latest campaign is one box-painting for every state of the Union, some of which are pretty good.  Gilbert Stuart is getting a show. About time.  

"Slow Dissolve" Two more radio soap operas have been cancelled, one in favour of a giveaway show, so it's definitely a trend now. 

"Uncle Come-Come" The Japanese are a strange people, Joe Hirakawa division. (He's a radio show host in Japan who teaches English, including the latest slang, on air.) Also, NBC has finally won one against CBS, signing Groucho Marx to an eight-year, three million dollar deal. 

"The Eleventh Man" Time makes it sound like talent is fleeing the Daily Mail because it is being run behind the scenes by --the horror!-- a lady! This is because a friend of Time's recently left the Mail for the Beaverbrook press. Also, the Belgians and Dutch are contemplating a professional license for journalists, which Time thinks is a really bad idea. I agree, but then it launches off the rails with a long article about how much it likes Le Figaro. No, no, no, says Ronnie. The Sacramento Bee has Muzak piped in to the editorial offices, even though journalists complain that it is distracting. 

Bernard DeVoto is a jackass. Elizabeth Bowen is so old and out of touch that she doesn't like our modern atmosphere. John Huston says we're getting more materialistic these days. Fancy that! Eugene Dennis is allowed out of his cell to talk to his lawyers. George Santayana is upset that the Catholic monks who are protecting him from going up for treason let his dinner get cold when they are busy. Mae West is going to open a restaurant and casino in Las Vegas. Paul Robeson has upset Time again, this time by flying to Paris for a "peace" rally. The Mayor of Chicago is in the hospital, and so is Dorothy Dix. Queen Mary isn't, the Aly Khans are in London for the Derby, the Dionnes quintuplets are sixteen, Marion Anderson performed for an overflow crowd, also in London. Judith Coplon is married. Frederick Chase Taylor of Stoopnagle and Budd is dead, along with Commander Earl Winfield Spencer, John Lesinski, Field Marshal Wavell, W. W. Yen and Benjamin Franklin Stapleton.  

The New Pictures

The Jackie Robinson Story "might have been a powerful motie stating the case for the U.S. Negro" but isn't, due to its "fumbling, overtactful treatment." But it does have some good stuff, including Jackie Robinson, who is pretty good for a non-actor who can't act.  In a Lonely Place is about how Humphrey Bogart is a pretty bad guy who is good, while his girlfriend is a pretty good girl who is bad. Since Humphrey beats people up a lot, when the police find a body in his apartment, it seems like the jig is up, but it isn't, because someone else did it. Time thinks it's a bad movie that is bad. 


Middlebrow advances to its proper place with Ralph Fletcher's Patria Mia: A Discussion of the Arts, Their Use and Future in America, which is actually an edited version of an old Ezra Pound --Cheque please, waiter! Derek Hudson's An Unrepentant Victorian is about a poet you never heard of who was poetasting a hundred years ago, which makes him a Victorian. I don't know about the "unrepentant" part.  John Gunther's Roosevelt in Retrospect is . . . a book about FDR. Finally! (Time doesn't like it because it is too nice to Roosevelt. Still looking for the book about Roosevelt that doesn't care about Roosevelt one way or the other!) Frank Norris' Nutro 29 is a satirical novel about what happens when a chemist invents a wonder food made out of seaweed. Nothing good, he says! 

Aviation Week, 5 June 1950

News Digest reports a TWA aircoach run with 77 adults, 32 children under 2(!!!) and 5 crew, Chicago to New York, and an F-86 run, San Francisco to LA, at an average speed of 625mph. Which gets us in a good mood for the report on the F-94A crash at Wright Field, probably due to high-altitude flameout of the Allison J-33 with Solar afterburner, and a Colombian Airline crash killing a reported 28. The rest of the news is all inside industry stuff, of which I'm only going to notice the 7% increase in North Atlantic faires effective 30 September. 

Industry Observer reports that a version of the Bristol Freighter with a giant hopper for "aerial distribution of topsoil and fertiliser" is available. Kerosene is the jet fuel of the future rather than speciality blends, because it is cheap and does the job. Various unexpected planes are getting auxiliary wing tanks, while the Piasecki XH-16 will have its first flight in mid-52. The first Allison T-38 turboprops will be delivered as experimental types, but GM is still pushing for a CAA certification as soon as possible. The first commercial use of the Westinghouse J-34 is expected to be in a pod at the wingtip of the Stratocruiser to "up" its performance to the point where it can fly the Atlantic London-New York reliably. The ECA is trying to sell a 4000hp version of the Pratt and Whitney R-4360 to France for the new SE 2010, but can't, because it hasn't been cleared for export yet. Colombian Airlines is looking at the DC-6 or Constellation to add to  its DC-4s. Surface-to-air missiles are really, really expensive. Enough Boeing GAPAs to shoot down 250 intruders attacking Washington would cost $40 million. How would that even happen in this day and age???

Alexander McSurely reports that Convair is giving up on the 240 in the nicest possible way. "Convair Builds new Turboprop Transport" This isn't the Liner with a turboprop. It's an entirely new plane, which is a good idea. Meanwhile, Aviation Week "has learned" that the Allison T-38 will give 3760shp at takeoff speed, and not 2750, as previously reported. So the new Convair turboprop will be one hot ship! It will be much better than the Martin 4-0-4 turboprop conversion, that's for sure. Everyone should understand that the Convair plane won't have the Northrop Turbodyne, being talked up as a 10,000shp engine, because that's crazy. 

Ben S. Lee, "SAC Sock" Someone is tattling on SAC, which doesn't actually have many B-36s operational, in spite of over 100 being built. (Three groups, none operational, a fourth being converted.) Instead, if it needed to bomb Russia into the Stone Age, it would have to use B-29s and B-50s and lots of tankers. All three SAC reconnaissance wings are flying B-29s, although two are scheduled to get RB-36s and one, RB-50s. One additional wing is training on RB-45s, mainly to be ready for the RB-47 when it shows up. Two bomber groups will get B-47s when they arrive.

Alexander McSurely, "French Planes Completed by ECA" This is the same story that showed up in Industry Observer. The French want the R-4360 for their 2010s, and are buying them with ECA money, and the US airlines are mad about it. 

"Turbodyne Completes Test Run" Hmm. No byline. Could this story be direct from Northrop? Apparently, in spite of being the biggest air power plant in the world and hardly being tested at all, it has passed its 50-hr endurance test with flying colours and is really, basically, almost ready to go into an airliner. Not Thursday, but before Sunday, for sure. Unfortunately, the stupid backward lazy Air Force hasn't got a plane for it to go into. Write Congress today! 

The Tydings Committee is looking at legislation to streamline research, and the West Coast aviation industry has teamed up with labour to fight this whole "move industry into the interior" movement. Douglas must be confident, because it has just started building a Static Test Building at its El Segundo works. And Lockheed is building a giant "hydropress," or 8000t hydraulic press. 

"Bubble Free Laminates Stand Up Better" Goodyear sent in this article about the new generation of laminates for radomes that fight off rain better and last longer. The first generation of cloth-and-plastic laminates were pretty sloppy and had bubbles. Goodyear has discovered how to get rid of them with better manufacturing technique and matterials, notably a Neoprene coating. 

"New British Cabin Air Conditioner" This is a truck-borne air conditioner for keeping cabins comfortable during Middle East (I guess) layovers. It is by Sir George Godfrey and Partners, and would satisfy the recent interest at the Air Transport Association Engineering and Maintenance Conference in Kansas City. 

Also in apparently simple solutions to complicated problems, Industrial Sound Control of Connecticut has a portable muffler for turbojets being run up on the ground, there is a new finding guide for German patents so you can actually find those German patents everyone is telling you to look for, and Aeronautical Research Laboratory of the University of Kentucky has come up with a better screen grid for jet air intakes that can stop debris, specifically .50 calibre shell casings, at 625 mph at a cost of 6% loss of thrust, compared with the current 4% loss at 275mph. They believe they can get it up to 4% at 700mph. 

"British Turbine Progress Outlined" Since I still can't get at Flight in the wild, it's nice of Aviation Week to summarise G. Geoffrey Smith's presentation to the Aeronautic Meeting of the SAE in New York. ON the other hand, it is G. Geoffrey. Geoff says that new turbines are very expensive to develop, and companies will hardly do it without orders. Nevertheless, with reheat and methanol-water injection, 10,000hp is in sight. The military, he says, has not given up on centrifugal power, but axial is being pushed in the form of the Avon and Sapphire. Fuel consumption is going down gradually, although manufacturers might underestimate the efficiency of turbines, especially axials, because they run auxiliaires more efficiently than piston engines. The Ghost (the Comet's engine) might get another 5% reduction soon. RAE's new high-energy ignition system sounds promising, and is described in excruciating detail. The reason that Geoff makes room for methanol-water injection is that commercial planes need a lot of assistance to get off the ground, and reheat burns a lot of fuel. Britain is very confident in low power turboprops but is expecting smart American competition in high-power. Since I'm a bit of skeptic on the high power gadgets, I am going to go right ahead and pretend that Geoff is being quietly skeptical about the T-38.

Westinghouse has a "smog box" for testing lights in realistic conditions,  and Sikorsky invites Aviation Week inside to see it assemble the H-19A in a little pictorial.

New Aviation Products  
Turco Products has a "novel and practical approach" to stripping integral fuel tanks (removing the sealant layer) that involves injecting some solvents that work by "bond release" rather than "the dissolving principle." Lear has a new line of intermittent and continuous duty 400Hz motors working at between 1/7th and 2hp. They weigh up to 5.2 lbs. Richardson-Allen's new rectifier is for current testing. Barber Colman has a new thermostat for heater control. Southwestern Industrial Electronics of Houston has a potentiometer for precise measurement of electrochemical cells and electronic tubes and circuits for currents between 0 and 3 volts, to be measured in 3 ranges. 

"Reverse Thrust Scrap Flares Anew" The CAB and ALPA are fighting over the safety and economy of reversible-pitch propellers. ALPA is a big fan and wishes that they were installed on all airliners. CAB says that the accidents that ALPA thinks could have been avoided were actually crew errors. CAB thinks that it would be hugely expensive, and that DC-3s, the most important aircraft to be considered (still!) would be actively unsafe with reversible pitch props due to its tailwheel landing gear. 

Short Lines confirms that BEA is ordering 25 Viscounts. Turboprop is go! 

Editorial is blah-blah airlines followed by a blast at publicity men for papering over the misdeeds of "bad businessmen."

Time, 12 June 1950


The cover story about Truman gets more than its share of negative letters printed. I don't know if that's Time, or if the President's in trouble. I mean, it shouldn't matter at the mid-term, because the President's not running, but, somehow, it does. Clayton Lane of the American Institute of Pacific Relations writes to patiently explain that the Institute is a 100% loyal, American institution, and that disagreeing with Senator McCarthy isn't treason. Unfortunately, they disagree with Time, and that's a whole other kettle of fish! Everyone liked the really worthy article on old age pensions. Dick White, of the Rawlins Daily Times and Mildred Estelle Carson of Monmouth are both disgusted by the way that Big Nose Parrott was treated seventy years ago, and the way that Time flippantly handled the story of the man who was lynched, had his body mutilated, and who was denied burial for a year after his murder. Our Publisher doesn't really have anything to say, so he sets up a shaggy dog story. 

National Affairs

"A Woman's Conscience" Senator Margaret Chase Smith thinks that it is high time that the Senate took Joe McCarthy out behind the woodshed. Then she said it was kind of understandable because the Democrats are pinkos. A swing and a miss! Dean Acheson went to the House to give a report so that John Rankin wouldn't think he was a commie any more. No dice, though, as Ranking announced that Trygve Lie, "a known Communist," was trying to "get control of the US through the United Nations." The Supreme Court, out of patience with this nonsense, told the railroads they had to stop segregating the dining cars on interstate trips, the University of Texas that it had to let Heman Sweatt in until such time as Texas had a separate-but-equal Coloured law school, and ditto graduate students at the University of Oklahoma couldn't be segregated. That daft stuff out of the way, it ruled that the Federal Government has jurisdiction over tide lands and denied aliens in American overseas prisons the right to appeal to US courts. 

"The Strange Case of Amerasia" The Justice Department is still holding three boxes of documents seized from Amerasia's files five years ago. Campaigning in the Iowa primaries, Bourke  Hickenlooper says that assorted top secret government secrets ae in there. Hogwash, says Justice. But we can all agree that the real issue is the way that the Administration isn't coming clean about what's in the filesand charging people, just because they were obtained by an OSS second-story job on the Amerasia offices, and that's illegal. Since the documents never ended up in the hands of foreign spies, it's not espionage, and it's not much of a crime, and you can't get convictions with evidence you stole. So there was a plea deal. So far, so good. But some Democratic politicians and State Department officials read Amerasia, so Justice, says Hickenlooper and McCarthy, should arrest pretty much everybody and send them all to jail for spying on themselves. 
"The Roundup" The men convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to name names are starting to go to jail, starting with Communists and leading on to the Hollywood Ten, soon. 

"On Top of the World" Major General William Kepner is the new CinC Alaska Command, and search teams are still finding two American bodies a week in the Italian Apennines five years after the war ended. On the brighter side, Captain Willis Heath Proctor of American became the first American commercial airline pilot to make it to his 60th birthday and collect his pension. Because they haven't been flying that long, not because they all crash! Okay, some crash. Too many crash. But Proctor didn't! From the I'm-not-sure-how-to-take-this department, Time has a light-hearted (sort of, see above) take on the latest eruption of Mauna Loa. I think because no-one died, it's not a real disaster?

"World They Never Made" This actually came up in the Publisher's Letter. I was scratching my head about why I should include it, but turns out that the Puerto Rican colony in New York City is the subject of a big story this week.  It's very colourful and very earnest about correcting anti-Puerto Rican prejudice. 

Manners and Morals reports on a New York City bus driver who got so upset about a passenger who was yelling at him that he kicked all the passengers off and went back to the depot. Not under this heading, but maybe should be is Norman Thomas putting a motion forward at the Socialist Party convention that the party not run a Presidential candidate this year. The party disagreed, and will probably run Darlington Hoopes in '52. 


"Risks" The Schuman Plan for integrating French and German heavy industries is very worthy and the way forward, but it is also very boring, so Time has to work up an angle or the weekly story would be just word-glaze. This week's story is that it might run into trouble in the National Assembly. It's a risk! Also, negotiations about something or other related to Britain being in something or other related to the Western European Union are dragging on because British politicians are afraid of getting into trouble if a factory closes or something. My eyes bounced off the article a few times, The Economist style, and if you think I'm taking the trouble to read a "nothing's happened yet, but it might" article word by word, you've got another think coming! And there's another one just like it, right after, about the proposed European Payments Union. And some well-meaning Communists had a meeting in New York. Paul Robeson was involved. Since they're Communists, it's all quite clearly sinister, even if it's hard to put a finger on why. Also in "nothing's happened yet" news, King Leopold is still hanging around Belgium helping the Flemings and Walloons fight. Very civic-minded of him!  


"Police for the West" The (west) Germans want to form a federal police force that will be ever-so slightly militarised just like the (east) German federal police force. Also, Time swung by Berlin to find out what's happening there now that the world communist revolution didn't happen. It turns out that east German communist youth all visited west Berlin after the fireworks and had ice cream and looked at cars. 

"Heading for Hell?" Remember how Cyril Joad got the better of Randolph Churchill and the Oxford Union voted that "under no circumstances will we fight for King and Country" back in '33? Well, this week they were at it again, this time over "That this House regrets the influence exercised by the U.S. as the dominant power among the democratic nations." The moral of the story is either that you shouldn't put a not-too-bright drunk up to argue with Joad. Or you could go with "Joad is Satan." It's debatable. It shouldn't be debatable that Joad is pretty awful, too; but why should Time go to the trouble of going through its files when it can just harvest a few quotes from the freshman class. (Has it really been five years since I was a freshman?)


Queen Elizabeth launched the Ark Royal a month ago, and got a dustman in trouble, but now he's clean and clear and all I can say is I wish I could get The Engineer so I could read something useful about the latest British carrier. 

"Martyrdom Denied" Raymonde Dien, "a tough and unlovely Communist functionary of Tours" was on trial last week for trying to block a train carrying arms for Indo-China. Everyone agrees that a twenty-one year old girl can't possibly be an enthusiastic idealist, and that the one-year prison sentence she wsa given under the new anti-sabotage law is just right, and the reason that Communist supporters were upset at it is that it wasn't the martyrdom she sought. That's just awful, Time. 

"Bersaglieri Without Bugles" The Italian Republic Day military parade was a bust because the Bersaglieri didn't do a proper march past, and rode half-tracks instead, but American military advisors were pleased because the Italians are developing "machine age instincts" and will do a better job when the Russians invade with 45 divisions. Versus 8 Italian, things sound a bit desperate, but when you include Yugoslavia's 30, everything is fine, unless you shouldn't in which case they aren't. 

Yes, sure. The Russians are going to send 45 divisions across the Alps, and the Yugoslavs have an army that's three times the size of the Italian. Sounds about right! Though to be fair the Italian army is restricted in size and equipment by the peace treaty, which I suppose is what this is really about. Also, Time hears that there are some very nice restaurants in Moscow, but you have to have pull to get in, which proves that Communism is bad. Which is further proved when the audience roughed up some US Military Police at a rally in Tokyo. Eight attendees have received sentences of between five and ten years, leading to a nationwide general strike and rally in downtown Tokyo, the first of which didn't happen and the second, barely. This proves the Communists aren't getting very far in Japan, where the anti-concubine movement is taking the reasonable stance that, when wives stab concubines to death, it isn't really a crime. Meanwhile, if you're tracking Burma's civil war by keeping count of factions, you're going to get confused, and Time really should know better

"Popularity Poll" The new Korean National Assembly has a 160--50 anti-Syngman Rhee majority. Which seems a bit low to me. Speaking of dubious elections, Cuba is having one, while Brazil's traditional lottery game is very colourful and picturesque and Juan Peron is still terrible because he fired the guy he'd put in charge of censoring the press. Because he was censoring the press, you see.


The cover story is about Darryl F. Zanuck, and might as well belong here as under Cinema, which is where it is. 

Top of the news is more Wall Street, this time a GM stock split. The hog crop is a record-setting 37 million pigs, and the usual lot were ready for the price of pork to plummet, but it didn't, which proves that price supports are bad. Basing point systems, on the other hand, are at least sort of okay, says Congress, a year after the Supreme Court cleared its throat and asked for some kind of legislation on basing points and anti-trust. You had to be there. Alcoa, speaking of antitrust, is free and clear, mainly because Reynolds and Kaiser are making money, so what's the complaint, anyway. The judge did, however, tell Alcoa to sell off its Alcan shares, and gave the government another five years to make its case, if competition declines. And Judge Philip Forman is in trouble for daring to propose a remedy for the GE monopoly on light bulbs. GE has to sell off half the division and make its patents available to the rest of the industry. Shocked, the Daily News asks what would happen if GE decided to just shut all its plants.

"High Voltage" This week, Elmer Lindseth, outgoing President of the Edison Electric Institute, told the annual convention of same in Atlantic City that American industry will need three times as much electric power in twenty years, and this will require raising $20 billion in investment capital, which, Lindseth clarifies, is more money than a football field is long --I'm sorry. I'm not very good at colourful analogies. It turns out that Lindseth isn't just talking through his hat, because he is the son of immigrants who rose through corporate ranks, etc. Almost as important, he is the chairman of a really big utility and the President of the Institute, as I just mentioned. And you're now wondering why I went on at length. It's because President Elmer is better known as "a leader in the utility industry's fight against the encroachment of public power." He is fighting a cold war against the enemies of enterprise and freedom! And for more investment money than there currently is in the rest of American heavy industry combined. (Which is actually how big $20 billion is.) 

"Cry Uncle" The railroads still need new coaches and freight cars, but declining revenues means that they're not ordering them. The CIO says the Government should step in. The Wall Street Journal says it shouldn't, because that will just lead to "railroad ownership." Not owned by the government: S. S. Independence, America's latest fastest and sleekest and best luxury liner, which will compete with the British Queens for American Export Lines. 

Transamerica Bank is on a buying spree in insurance. There are clothes stores in Dallas. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Too Much Rainmaking" It's been a while since we've heard from Dr. Irving Langmuir, the rainmaker. New Mexico is facing a drought, and everyone's up dropping silver iodine all over the place, and it's still not raining, which, you know, might lend some support to all the killjoys who say that cloud-seeding doesn't actually work. Not a bit of it, says Irving. All these ignoramuses are seeding with too much silver iodide. Or too little. Either way! Point is, send your money to Irving Langmuir by return post. Money orders only. 

"Diminished Planet" When Pluto was discovered, some people thought it was as big as Earth, but Gerard Kuiper of the Yerkes Observatory caught it on a particularly clear night and has estimated it at only 3600 miles in diameter, which is half Earth's diameter, but means that it is probably about a tenth its mass, making it bigger than Mercury but smaller than Mars. 

"Delicacy Underground" Truffles are those mushrooms that grow underground in tree roots that people hunt for with pigs and dogs in Europe. Dr. Donald Philip Rogers of the New York Botanical Garden, where he is in charge of hoarding all the first names, says that Americans should get into the business, because America has plenty of truffles, especially in the Pacific Northwest, and we should learn how to find them, and then we could also have a truffle industry. The rest of the article explains how you train dogs to hunt for truffles. It involves hiding cheese. No smart remarks! 

 "No Brakes" Psychiatrists say that there is a "large group" of people in the United States who are legally sane but "socially irresponsible." They're going along fine, and then one day they "steal, maim or kill," and do so with "little or no remorse." Doctors have no idea what to do about it. They used to say that these people were "morally insane," and more recently have talked about"psychopathic individuals," but that doesn't get you very far because you can't put a person in jail for something they might do in the future. Well, this week some "laymen and experts" got together in New York and decided that they were the Foundation for the Emotionally Unstable, because they think that is"more enlightening and less derogatory" than "psychopath." Next up, some kind of treatment!

"Hungry Men" Time has tucked into the University of Minnesota's new The Biology of Human Starvation, at a very filling 2 volumes based on the university's wartime experiments on volunteer conscientious objectors. (Time says it is full of "nourishing facts.") Starvation, it turns out, produces lethargy and weakness, not hunger pangs and riots. Something about body fat and edema, and then it's on to what everyone's been waiting for, cannibalism! A full column about cannibalism that manages to say that i) "Geography is no bar to cannibalism," and, ii) Those Orientals are much more likely to be cannibals. Probably because they're heathens, you see. Science!

Fourteen of the 33 Phi Beta Kappas who graduated from Barnard College this week are married. This goes to show that being married makes you smarter. Or, as Ronnie points out in a very sarcastic tone, a bit older than their classmates. The Spokane School Board has had a "gentleman's agreement" not to employ married schoolteachers for the last fifty years. As you might guess, Spokane, Washington's schools are not in a position to be super selective, and it turns out that half of its women teachers are married, rule or no rule, so it h as decided to scrap the rule and give expectant teachers twelve months maternity leave. And then fire them. Kidding! Over in New England, the Education Policies Commission is worried that the schools aren't doing enough for gifted students. One thing people are doing for the young is making harum-scarum educational movies about the risks of driving while young. (Which are actually pretty high, but that's another story.) James S. Kemper's Last Date is really raking in the box office in the obligatory-safety-movie-showing set. 

And Harvard has swooped in and bought a big collection of Emily Dickinson this-and-thats from a family member, including a huge trove of papers, so people will finally know who her love poetry was dedicated to, after her family kept it secret all those years. Could it have been --a girl? I know, I'm horrible. 

Art, Press, People

America is sending some John Marin paintings to a big show in Venice to show what America is up to in the painting department. Hyman Bloom, Gorki and Rico Lebrun canvasses fill out the national side. Boring! You know what's not boring? Corbusier is building apartments now! Oh,and the Met has lined up the artist union in its fight with the Abstractionist Unpopular Elitist Front. (Not exactly, but it turns out that there is kind of an artist union. It's called the "Artists' Equity Association.") 

"Street Fight" Seventeen newsboys have been killed in traffic in ten years in Los Angeles, causing city council to push an ordinance requiring newsboys to stay on the sidewalk. The real news is that the Hearst press is fighting it. As a Teamsters spokesman pointed out, the Hearst press will fight vivisection tooth and nail, but when it comes to pushing children into traffic to make up circulation, well, that's just fine. Also, one journalist is a friend of Robert Rossellini, and that's how he gets Bergman/Rossellini scoops, and another is a Nisei war veteran who went through the University of Nebraska's journalism school but graduated early and by mail because he's just so busy and not for any other reason. Billy Rose is in trouble for stealing an Evelyn Waugh story. 
Louis Untermeyer is getting divorced. Father Divine is not getting divorced. James Curley is running for mayor of Boston again, Mimi Benzell isn't a regular opera singer, Orson Welles is working on a play that makes fun of Hollywood, former best-selling author Ursula Parrott spend 30 hours in jail for passing a bad cheque, Ethel Merman was late to a party and the Archbishop of Canterbury is still some kind of pinko. Says the Daily Mail. That proves it!  

Renee Carroll, famous as New York's senior hat-check girl, is getting  married, and so is Admiral Arthur Hepburn. Dr. Johan  van Ophuijsen has died, along with William Lemke and Archbishop Perdomo, the 72 year-old primate of Colombia, who might have been conservative, but wasn't conservative enough to sit for the anti-Liberal pogrom. Too bad, because the Pope doesn't have any divisions, etc. (It's easy to be against things when you don't have any way of doing anything about it and it doesn't really affect you.)


(The New Pictures skips the week because of the huge Zanuck cover story.)

 Crawford Power's The Encounter is another American book about a Catholic priest who "wade[s] through a world of sordid crime and death" in order to become a better person and better priest. After the author has a chance to really talk up sordid crime and death, I bet. Stewart Holbrook's The Yankee Exodus is about how some of the Yankees who abandoned the farms around his childhood home went other places. Mainly Asa Mercer, who sounds downright colourful. Nevil Shute's The Legacy is the latest from this "middlebrow Graham Greene." Wait a second while I check in with Ronnie. Nope. Turns out Graham Greene is the middlebrow Graham Greene. Glad to get that sorted out! Even worse than being pipped out for the title of middlebrow Graham Greene is the fact that his latest book dips into "reporting," and Time will have none of it. Our heroine is "as unconvincing as a Horatio Alger novel." Oh, come on, Time. You do a "Horatio Alger" story in every second Business section! Amy Kelly's Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings is about a woman who was quite the Queen of France. And then of England. And then the mother of Richard the Lionheart. It seems like Eleanor ought to be the star of her own story, and along comes Amy Kelly to oblige. Time then does that thing where it summarises the life of the queen instead of reviewing the book, which is okay because it is a good book about a great subject and it doesn't really matter that she's not quite a great biographer yet, Time concludes. Uhm, okay, Time" Don't try this line of compliments on anyone important. Even a boy engineer can figure that one out. (Or Ronnie can "explain" it to him one time, which was enough!)

Aviation Week, 12 June 1950 

Industry Observer reports that Canadair has offered to build 15 more North Stars for Trans-Canada with Pratt and Whitney R-2800s instead of Merlins, so that Trans-Canada could sell the two-year old planes to Brazil and remain technically in line with its agreement with Douglas to sell new planes only in the Empire. Trans-Canada doesn't think the maintenance hastles are worth it. Avro is putting extra fuselage tanks into the Jetliner in order to beat the Comet as the first jet airliner to cross the Atlantic. Not to be outdone, Canadair is also going to fly the CF-100 across the Atlantic and will call its R-2800 Northstar the DC-5 or C-5, even though that will be confusing. Other Canadians who are communications exports aren't impressed by the RTCA "ultimate" system for all-weather flying because it won't extend into the north and will cost a bunch --$300 million in Canada. They also don't like Loran, and expect Canadian facilities to "break down completely" in the event of a national emergency military and civil air traffic load. North American will be in charge of putting the Orenda on Canadian-made F-86s. Canadair also thinks a turboprop would go on the Northstar just fine, while De Havilland Canada thinks that the Beaver would be a great crop duster in the American market and that standardising safety measures is just a big bother when you look at the Comet and shipbuilding, which doesn't bother. Also, Trans-Canada is putting silners on its Merlins. 

You would think that someone would explain how an entire Industry Observer column is straight from Canada, but no. 

News Digest reports that the Air Force Secretary has been confirmed, that the AOA-PAA merger has been extended until the end of the month, and that a C-46 has crashed at sea on the way from Puerto Rico to Wilmington, N.C., with six confirmed dead and 22 missing out of 65 persons aboard.

William Kroger, "More USAF Business to Go to Canada: New Meaning put on "Buy America Act" May Send About $25 Million Across Border" The new interpretation says that the Air Force can buy stuff in Canada. It "seems certain" that the Air Force will order Beavers for Arctic rescue work, and there's talk of a CF-100 buy. As for the new interpretation, it's that America needs to spend some money in Canada for continental defence to work. Makes sense to Canada. And to the Air Force, which can get C-54 spare parts cheaper in Canada than from Douglas, although Douglas is beside itself. The rest of it is mainly about Canadian stuff being cheaper, which is especially not going to fly with the industry. 

Thomas M. Self, "Douglas Skyshark makes First Flight"

Douglas is super pleased with the XA2D, which showed hardly any bugs in its first week flying. It is a development of the Skyraider, so that's not too surprising. I notice no-one's talking about the engine, another big Allison job. They are talking about the props, which are contra-rotating, constant-speed, fully feathering, and reversible pitch, by Aeroproducts. Incredibly, even with all of that Douglas isn't satisfied and talks about how an "improved" prop would get the plane up to the speed of sound. Which seems pretty ambitious in a prop plane! 

"Turboprop B-36 Flight Date Set" The turboprops are everywhere! Also, it will have swept wings, because why should Boeing have all the fun. The Air Force wants to order 100 out of 1952 funds, enough for two groups. The Air Force thinks this will be much cheaper than the B-52. The part of the Air Force that's tanked on benzedrine and bourbon, sure. Anyway, it's also going to have the T-40 and fly 550 at 55,000ft. 

"Financial Air Asked for Foreign Plants" This would be defence assistance money for European and Canadian aircraft plants that wouldn't be funding competition with American plants until later. 

"British Trainers Vie for RAF Bid" Last week I completely ignored the USAF light plane competition that's apparently going to the Beaver. (You heard it from unnamed Canadian sources, so it must be true.)

This week I cover the competition between the Percival P. 56 and Handley Page HPR 2, both using the latest version of the Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah, which is  up to Mark 17. The HPR is actually from the Reading (formerly Miles) works. They are side-by-side types, again, just like with the Balliol. 

CUPOLA is the nickname for the first Western Union air exercise, which will feature USAF B-29s flying from continental air bases for the first time. 

Production reports that "New Saw Speeds B-47 Skin Fitting" It is a 17lb circular saw with a flexible steel track and a 1.5hp pneumatic motor with tungsten-carbide teeth that do not gum up with dural. The track is fixed to the piece to be cut with Neoprene suction cups, and the depth of the cut set by a gaging wheel so that it will cut to an accuacy of plus or minus 0.005". Each piece of skin is put in place, riveted, and the saw is then used to cut off the waste portion, giving a knife-edge, smooth edge of requisite depth against which to butt the next piece of skin. 

George L. Christian, "Applications Extended for Zero Reader" The Zero Reader is now in "quantity production." See what I mean that you never know when "now" is when you're reading industry literature. From the ads I would  have thought that the Zero Reader has been in pretty much everything for two years now! The "applications" are planes that actually have the Zero Reader, which seems to be 17 executive aircraft, as the first actual installations will be in South African Airways Constellations next year, although the Reader is in several prototypes and will go into a Navy R5-D soon. Sperry also sendsd along a pamphlet entitled "The Inter-Relationship of Approach Success, ILS Tolerance and Aircraft Coupling Requirements." This is either completely trivial (the more accurate the instruments used for ILS, the higher the success rate), or an attempt to find a place for a deeper and more theoretical understanding. "Coupling" is the way that an aircraft's instruments readings are turned localising information. I guess an example is my evergreen complaint that cockpit radar is useless because the pilot can either look out the window or at the radar scope, not both, and the window is always a better choice except in dry fog. (Which is why we did all that testing in dry fog. Otherwise, Congress wouldn't have bought us our toys!) I'm pretty sure that the transcriber didn't understand the article and is just copying notes "Manual conventional gave little performance change . . ." I'm not sure where we are with this problem. I don't think anyone is. The instruments give us more accuracy than we can use, and if we adopt a standard practice of reading them, we're going to get fooled into flying into the ground. You know what I'm reminded of at this point? Norbert Wiener and his cybernetics. I don't think Wiener knows what he means by cybernetics, just like I don't think Aviation Week knows what this pamphlet says. Either the authors know what the pamphlet means, or they don't. Honestly, their language leaves me wondering if they've confused themselves. Either way, what we need is a cybernetic approach. There! Solution. Now we just have to figure out what "cybernetics" is. 

New Aviation Products Hevi Duty Electrics has a CCRBL brightness control with high speed switching for use in series runway lighting systems. This eliminates the old blackouts where the lights turned off when you changed the brightness setting. Wihtol Industries of New Jersey has a foot-operated hydraulic jack for use with rams and arbor presses that gets up to 20 tons. Perfect for disassembling large parts, forced fitting and other shop activities. Brown Industries, a division of Minneapolis Honeywell, has a new 400Hz converter for high altitude operation in electrical equipment and servoes in aircraft and guided missiles. (Converter means low-power dc voltages to 400Hz alternating.)

Aeronautical Engineering has Irving Stone, "Engineers Advance Turbine Aircraft Data" which is a story about the recent IATA turbine-powered aircraft symposium. It's actually about runways. Runways don't have to get longer if water-methanol injection becomes standard. Debris is a problem because of power loss when it is ingested. Oil on the runway will definitely cause debris to stick; water and slush may. Asphalt should also be maintained with an eye to overheating by jet exhaust or just direct radiation from the engine pipes. Avro Canada denies it will be a problem. The Air Force points out that noise is also a problem. Restarts shouldn't be a problem at normal operating altitudes. Jets probably have enough power to go around after missed approaches but we have to keep an eye on engine power variations. Wheel prerotation is unlikely to help much. Reducing taxiing will. Start times will be a huge issue on many planes, although not the Viscount with its tiny little Darts. Cabin pressurisation raises some concerns. The Comet is pressurised to 8000ft at 40,000ft. De Havilland concedes that  a door popping would be a serious problem, although not a window. it has designed the doors to open inward so that they will seal with pressure. At least one technician is worried enough about windows to think they should be got rid of entirely. Oxygen masks need to be readily available, and the military would be more comfortable with separate pressurisation for cabin and cockpit. Everything is  fine with props and maintenance. 

Engineering Forum has a feature from a light plane designer who is tired of having to sell today's light planes when his competitors are selling tomorrow's. You can't fly the plane of tomorrow, today! 

Avionics has R. C. Robson, "Need Improved ILS Monitoring," which is basically what I, and, probably, those Sperry engineers were talking about. But the author is also worried --probably too much-- by excessive inaccuracy in various systems. He also has a long list of specific concerns about over-reliance on radio waves, which can misbehave. Also, Electro Products Laboratory has the Electro Dynamic Micrometer which uses potential measures to determine turbine blade elongation at rotation speeds. It can also measure dynamic or static displacement due to eccentricity, whip, bearing clearance, frequency and amplitude of vibration and thickness of metal coatings. 

Beechcraft has issued a warning to pilots about "standing waves" that can form in the lee of obstacles like mountain peaks, and describes cloud conditions that may indicate their presence. 


Keith Baker writes to defend the Navy against "K.S.B.'s" accusation that it is reduced to a single airplane (the Corsair.) Baker is with the publicity division of Chance-Vought, and takes the chance to mention the F7U, which is now replacing the F6U. I guess a better way of making the point would be to ask what planes the Navy gives the run of the carrier deck to, and there K. S. B. has a point. Jim Sharman of PAA writes to defend Panagra against an (imagined, says Aviation Week) slight, E. B. Newill of Allison slaps Allison on the back for going ahead with its own turboprop testing process. Several Congressmen and lobbyists in Washington were quite taken with Aviation Week versus the railroads. 

All pictures of crowded coach cabins are the same picture, only with different models. What's New is very unimpressed by J Koseph Liston's
 book about aircraft powerplants, but liked Horace Byers' The Thunderstorm  

Editorial is still against stunt flying and railroads. 

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