Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Postblogging Technology, May 1950, II: Is The World Warming Up?

R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada.

Dear Father:

Not much to report from steamy Formosa, where all the news is about Koumintang evacuations of offshore islands and everyone is waiting for Congress to come through. Chiang apparently thinks that he can twist MacArthur round his little finger, same as Chennault. The connection is probably GOP politics, which the Madame plays like a maestro. 

I know, I know. No-one reads this for my political opinions. I'd like to update you on the latest family news, but I'm down here on Formosa and I'm as much in the dark as you! Or more! 

Your Loving Son,

Time, 15 May 1950


David Hanna of Columbus thinks that the President is a bad President because he is too cocky about his successes.  Faith Baldwin didn't like her last review. Gordon Bush points out that the Betty Hutton covered painted guns wrong. Several Time correspondents are in love with the way that the new Governor of Utah likes to steal food from orphans and kick widows into the gutter. (Mrs.) Denison Hurlbut Hutch advises that America needs a successful businessman as President, and not another politician. Several people think that the Time writer who didn't know who Thomas Parr was are just dumb. Joe McCarthy gets an apology out of Time for confusing the Institute of Pacific Relations with the Institute of Public Relations. The Publisher's Letter tells us that this issue's in depth look at the Pacific Northwest and the water projects on the Columbia is a new kind of story that Time is doing more and more. Unlike spot news (McCarthy, flying saucers, the pension strike at Chrysler, the high level of steel production, the shooting of Charlie Binaggio), this isn't a momentary story. It will continue to develop for years to come, but it is still news. Etc etc, see how we slipped a gangland slaying in St. Louis into the "news" category? God, we hate the President. Recent similar investigations covered Tito's police state; and "free" versus "socialised" medicine; the defence of Europe, and the Voice of America. Coming up is a story on old age pensions, "one of the most difficult and controversial problems now facing the U.S." So that's what Time is doing. Spinning out stories I don't have to cover 'cuz they'll be around forever. 

National Affairs

"Good Humour Man" The President is still talking about cutting the defence budget, because, he says, he is an optimist. No, says Time, he's some dumb farmer at the carnival betting the farm on a shell game. Also, the President is on campaign against the Republicans in Congress again. And McCarthy was up and down the Senate floor running from Democrats. Did he have a list of 57 Communists in
Let ne tell you about moral degeneration
and Lattimore's "Union Square methods"
that won't play in the Midwest.
State Department? 81? 205? Who knows? Now McCarthy says he just needs one: Owen Lattimore. He can't even vaguely prove that Lattimore is a Communist, but that didn't matter to the Midwest Council of Young Republicans, who shouted and pounded applause as McCarthy denounced the "complete moral degeneration" of America and the "prancing mimics of the Moscow party line." And William Remington is back on the hotseat. And congress pushed through a cut of the foreign aid budget, taking money out of the ECA and the remaining 10% of the budget that goes to South Korea and other non-Communist areas in Asia. The President's Point Four programme for technical aid for backward areas and American investment there, got through Congress, but with only $25 million and not the $45 million requested. And also took some time to wrap the Russians' knuckles over the Privateer shootdown. Plus the Chrysler pension strike is over, with a UAW "win" at the cost of three months of striking. 

"A Look at the Books" The NRLB says that companies have to open the books so that unions can see payrolls for negotiations, and the Supreme Court upheld the Taft-Hartley provision for anti-communist loyalty oaths, which used to be unpopular, but which is now like "taking an aspirin." 

"The Pacific Northwest: Land of the Big Blue River"  Several pages in which Time tiptoes up to the idea that the Grand Coulee Dam was a good idea, before recoiling. It's all government money flowing to Boeing and Bremerton and Hanford, and there'll be tears in the end. (Plus, we lost China.) Claude Pepper has lost the race for the Florida Democratic nomination. Time has decided that it was a blow to the President, because George Smathers is a very conservative Democrat, and the President doesn't like that. Don't get me wrong. Smathers is no friend of the left. He campaigned against Pepper's "Red" ties, and against universal health. But everyone but Time agrees that Truman put him up to run.

Faced with the fact that Frank Graham is comfortably leading in the opinion polls in Georgia, Time falls back on extra Red-baiting. They might both be pro-civil rights-and-labour Fair Dealers, but Graham never (gasp) visited Moscow. So who cares if he is a Presidential loyalist? Loyalists also won in Alabama, while a GOP congressman was elected in Texas(!), while in Oregon Democrats now outnumber Republicans. 


Trygve Lie is flying to Moscow to  have dinner with old Uncle Joe and thrash out the Soviet boycott. Dean Acheson is off to Europe for a round of conferencing. The only thing so far agreed is more American money for Bao Dai and the war in the Hundred Kingdoms. The Argentinian ambassador to India is in trouble over a bar fight. Really.

"The Sun Never Sets on Cocacola," it says here, under the Economics header. So it's International, Economics, and, most importantly, a Cover Story, meaning that I can skip it.

"CISL" Time is super-excited about a new Italian anti-communist labour organisation and doesn't know what to think of Marshal Rodolfo Graziana's 19 year sentence for collaborating with the Germans and the decontrol of British restaurants, the latest step in food decontrol.  The picturesque and colourful story of the Spanish Armada treasure drowned in Tobermory bay in the Hebrides is even more colourful now. It used to be that the Campbells and McLeans disagreed about who controlled Tobermory Bay,  where the treasure ship was lost. Now, the Duke of Argyll (the Argylls are Campbells) has arranged for the Royal Navy to dive for treasure. No sign yet, and the McLeans say that that's because they brought up the treasure in the dead of night four hundred years gone, and also there's a witch involved. Never mind whiskey, they should make a movie out of this! 

"Chill from the East" Last January the Germans announced that there were still 400,000 German prisoners of war being held in the Soviet Union. Allied officials thought that the actual number was about half that, but last week the Soviets announced that all German prisoners had now been returned to Germany. German officials are "almost too stunned to speak," since by this count 200,000 prisoners are unaccounted for, which is evidently code for "The Russians killed them all." Turkey is having its second free election this year, which is how Time puts it, since Time says that the last election was "free but not fair," meaning everyone got to vote, but the governing party cheated. Will that happen again? who knows? And there's an "atomic" cult in India, which seems to involve practitioners swearing "atomic" vows to not put water in milk and so on. Also, there was a train accident in northern India that killed one hundred passengers. An inspector says that the tracks were sabotaged, and Time helpfully suggests that it was probably Communists. The Philippine ambassador to the United States can also be the ambassador to the United Nations, but can't be the foreign minister, too, says the State Department, so he is flying home to Manila to be just the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. Also, all American diplomats have now left Red China. 

Venezuela is having an oil strike, which the junta is trying to suppress on the grounds that the unions re led by Communists. Even Time has to protest that that's because the junta jailed all the non-Communist leaders. Also in Communists in Latin America news, Chilean communists wee set to protest their President's return from Washington, but then the President canceled his parade, because he is just such a swell guy. Peron, on the other hand, is not. That's the story. (Well, Argentina and Chile are both negotiating loans, so that's a story, but it was really hard to hang the "bad Peron" anecdotes on the loan hook.)


Wall Street is up again, with GM turning in the highest quarterly profit in US history. The President is trying to buy small business ahead of the election with some loan support. Lever Bothers has hired Jervis Babb to replace Chuck Luckman as head of US operations because he is the opposite of Luckman.

(No-one outside of Racine has ever heard of him.) It is the fiftieth anniversary of the crash that killed Casey Jones, which has everyone out celebrating the song. Tut-tut, says the Association of American Railroads, which thinks that the celebration veers into celebrating the crash, which was bad, leading it to promote a song about an accident where no-one died. But since you can't dance to it, no dice, Daddy-O!

The RFC is in trouble because chairman Harley Hise said that the loan guarantee they gave Texmass Petroleum was their first in oil, when actually there's been lots of them. The end of the complicated Fleetwood Shoes story might be the boxing up and shipping of 500 machines to Italy, where costs are lower than in New England. Newspaperman William Pinkerton, writing in the Harvard Business Review, says that the reason the press gets business stories wrong is that businessmen lie to them.  Chicken in the Rough is a really popular chain of fried chicken restaurants because it encourages people to eat their fried chicken with their fingers. The IMF has told South Africa to stop trying to sell its gold above the official price of $35/oz. South Africa is not happy, because it figures it can get $40/oz on the open market. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Hydrogen Dinosaur" Robert Bacher thinks that hydrogen bombs are like battleships (EXTRA! Battleships are obsolete now!) because they are obsolete before they even are. This is for two reasons. First, they probably have to use tritium, which is made in atomic reactors by burning enriched uranium, so you use up atom bombs to make hydrogen bombs, and there are already hardly any cities you can drop an atom bomb on because they blow up too much to be cost effective (like, for example, half the blast is wasted on the harbour or parks, and then your hydrogen bomb is a thousand times bigger, so what are you shooting it at, anyway? Dr. Bacher is a professor of physics at Caltech, so he should know.

He made it work in the end.

"Return of the Prop" Time has noticed that everyone is talking about the turboprop and especially the Allison XT-40, but this story is really about Hamilton Standard's new  propeller, which was designed, by George Rosen and his team, to retard shock wave formation and generate all the thrust that you can get from all these rotations. After fiddling with swept-back and wasp-waisted props, Hamilton Standard finally went with a "knife-edged blade of conventional, square-tipped shape" that maintains constant speed over the whole length. In other words, it's a Canberra-style propeller.

"Getting Warmer?" The American Meteorological Society has been arguing about whether the climate is getting warmer for years. In its Washington convention last week, it heard strong evidence that the city of Washington has warmed by 3.5 degrees since 1862, presented by Richmond T. Zoch of the Weather Bureau, backed by Harvard's John F. Conover, who presented a similar trend measured at the Blue Hill Observatory and nearby Milton Centre, which is in a large state park outside of Boston, and so immune to the heating up associated with modern cities. Herbert Thom of the Weather Bureau disagrees, but Ivan Tannehill, also of the Burau, thinks that the US is getting warmer, and probably also drier, probably due to a slow increase in solar radiation.

"Spoils of War" Doctors have been using nitrogen mustard (mustard gas) to treat cancer for awhile now, but it seems that triethylene melamine is even better, while nitrogen mustard works better and has fewer side effects, it turns out, in arterial injections. 

"Nerves of War" Dr. Lothar B. Kalinowsky of Columbia has used Nazi records to sort out war psychoneurotics. It turns out that it's not the horros of war that make men crack, it is a combination of the fact that they were crazy to begin with, and that there are nice pensions waiting. The key to treating shellshock, it turns out, is ending disability pensions. Yes, that does seem to me the kind of thing that Nazi records would say. 
Because this bullshit line is safely buried, and he is remembered
today as an "advocate of electroconvulsive therapy"

"Too Much Salt" This week Time celebrates the career of Dr. Frederick Schemm, who discovered that dropsy was caused by excessive dietary salt, which leads to water retention, doing away with the "low water diet" that had previously done such a fine job of putting dropsy patients out of everyone else's misery. He also wrote novels!

"No Job for Mollycoddles" That's what George Zook called his $18,000/year job as president of the "powerful American Council on Education." Now he's had to confess that he is a mollycoddle, so the job goes to the non-mollycoddling Arthur Stanton Adams. He will be in charge of "bridging" between education and the Government. A second story about the Council (I think it had its convention last week) makes it a bit more clear. The Council lobbies for federal aid for education, and it also explained why federal aid to education isn't some kind of Catholic conspiracy. I didn't even know it was! And its hazing season, with the usual lot of freshmen being abandoned on ice floes, abandoned in corn fields, and so on. Way down at the bottom of Education, the boring old National Educational Association has a boring story about how there aren't going to be nearly enough primary school teachers soon. 
James Ensor, Entry of Christ into Brussels

Radio and Television, Art, Press, People

"Shrill Entry" A relatively long story introduces us to Belgium's "most famous modern artist," who died at 89 last year. At one point (eight years ago), he did a canvas called The Entry of Christ into Brussels, which was very controversial, so he kept it and refused to sell it, but now he's dead, and it went for forty grand to a casino owner. 

"Double Trouble" Hananiah Harari usually works in advertising doing Coke and Southern Comfort ads, but he is also an abstractionist in his spare time, and he just had an exhibition, which is just the thing, because "Six million Jews were killed in Europe." I'm sure it makes sense to someone. 

Baltimore is the first city in the United States where more people watch television than listen to radio. Dragnet is a real thriller of a detective show because its cast are police officers, and the listener "doesn't know any more than the cops do. It makes you a cop and you unwind the story." Also, the National Rifle Association was very upset at the episode where a kid gets a rifle for Christmas and uses it to kill a playmate.

"What About Eleanor?" The AFL teletyper strike has manages and staffers on the machines, with the result that Eleanor Roosevelt columns are getting sent to trucking companies. 

"Moscow's Pen Pal" Larry Todd, the Washington correspondent of Tass, isn't that bad a person just because he works for communists and is himself a communist. On the other hand, he covered the Washington reaction to the Baltic shoot-down, so he's partially responsible for it. Also, former war correspondent Charles Arnott is now the director of Amerika-Dienst, where he carries out the noble duty of distributing counter-propaganda. (Which is like propaganda, only good.) Red Smith's latest collection of humour/sports columns is out, and Time loved it. Truly, he is a writer for the ages. 

Montana Governor John Woodrow Bonner went down to New Orleans, had a fine time, ended up in the drunk tank for, he says, completely "non-mysterious" reasons that have nothing to do with checking out all the girly shows. Perle Mesta and Arturo Toscanini are still alive and doing colourful things. Earl Wavell had abdominal surgery and Princess Elena of Rumania fell down the stairs. Elizabeth Taylor has married Conrad Hilton, and Gertrude Moran is . . . in the news.

She plays tennis, and said that she's not engaged, as far as she knows. Also in the column, the new King of Siam, Roger Nash Baldwin, Bernard Baruch and Shirley Booth, for reasons "too tedious to relate." The youngest daughter of Chancellor Adenauer has married "Hermann Josef Werhahn, sone of a Ruhr banker." That makes me feel better about the new Germany! Mischa Auer has also married; while, a party pooper as always, Agnes Smedley has died, instead. So has William Rose Benet, Clarence A. Dykstra, Frank Tichenor of Aero Digest, (in body, anyway, as the brain went long ago), Victor Manuel Roman y Reyes, Joseph Hampton Moore and John Defarrari. 

The New Pictures

A Ticket to Tomahawk is a "western railroading epic" turned into a comedy. Time liked the actors (anne Baxter and Dan Dailey), the director, and even the writers, Mary Loos and Richard Sale, who hardly ever get mentioned in a Time review. D.O.A. is about a guy who has been poisoned by a nice, polite poison that gives him a few days to solve his own whodunnit. It has good shooting, but "nothing is much help to second-rate actors trying to find their way through a confusing script." No Sad Songs for Me is also about a dying lady, this time, though it is ten months and cancer, and the plot is that he has to keep her husband's almost-mistress in town, ready to step into the shoes, without burdening her husband with tedious details like the cancer diagnosis. Yuck, I say. No Man of Her Own has Lyle Bettger, the "no man," tracking the "her," who is Barbara Stanwyck, because he is a bad man, and because, let's face it, it's a Barbara Stanwyck movie. 


Frances Winwar thinks that it's been far too long since there's been a book about Robert Browning Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "the immortal lovers." So here's another. (I wouldn't buy it, because it's very misleading. It turns out they're actually both dead.) Marcel Ayme's Barkeep of Blemont is a very pessimistic tragi-comedy about how the French Resistance wasn't actually white hats versus black hats. Time thinks it's all a bit much. J. Frank Dobie's The Ben Lilly Legend is about a "rough-hewn eccentric who lived only for the kill." Though the introduction to the review is about a three-year-long episode in which Lilly claimed to be tracking a grizzly bear from California to Mexico to Arizona for a millionaire who would get the kill, but without success. Three years for one grizzly bear? An indulgent millionaire? This is "living for a" certain kind of "kill," I says. One that involves a millionaire's wallet. But that's not where Dobie takes the story. Lilley is a hardy man, athletic, a "brutal exterminator" of wildlife. Peter Taylor's A Woman of Means is about how a sensitive literary boy grows up almost to the point of writing a novel while teaching English at a woman's college in North Carolina while at the same time his stepmother goes crackers. 

 Aviation Week, 15 May 1950

News Sidelights reports that the President and the Defence Secretary are singing from different sheets on spending, with Johnson saying that increases in defence spending are likely due to both American and European needs. Aviation Week goes to its own sources to report that the defence budget is likely to increase from $5 to $6 billion, and that strategic air power will be the primary beneficiary. The President may or may not wield his pocket veto against the National Science Foundation, which he thinks has too much industry involvement. A Shell Oil newsfilm showing the Viscount, Apollo, Hermes, SR-45 Brabazon, Comet crossing the screen one after another made a big impression on Congress, which is persuaded that government aid is needed to catch up. ALPA is fighting to maintain staffing requirements on transferred routes. 

News Digest reports that Dan Kimball thinks that America can't afford to match Russia plane for plane, given how much it spends on reserve training, research and development, and so on to back up its airpower. Also, he thinks battleships are obsolete. More F-89s have been ordered, and Stratos, a subsidiary of Fairchild, has sold a quarter-million in cabin pressurisation equipment to PanAm. United has been cleared of negligence in the Mount Carmel DC-6 crash. De Havilland wants the CAA to get with it and grant airworthiness certificates for the Dove and the Heron, because it's not all Comets. 

Industry Observer reports that Wright says that if Truculent Turtle had been engined with Turbo-Compounds instead of regular 18s, it would have flown to Mars instead of Washington. (An additional 2000 miles on the world record.)  The Martin XB-51's ridiculous undercarriage somehow makes it a better ground attack type. Avro Canada thinks everything is just fine with the Jetliner. The peculiar explosion at Wright Field was caused by a test pilot in a jet fighter (probably the F-95A) opening the afterburners just in time to get an unusual acoustic situation. So no explosion. Reports of Russian long-range missile sites aimed at America are probably completely phony. Glenn L. Martin's new fire-resistant resin compound is very fire resistant. NACA did a lot of work on the quadricycle undercarriage of the new Fairchild C-120. The Allison T-40 and Armstrong Siddeley Mamba are both on display in Washington right now. 

"Prototype Fund Need Set Before Senate" Aviation Week explains that the US needs to spend much more than $12.5 million to catch up with British outlay, and provides a detailed accounting of the way that the existing allocation is to be spent. 

"Avon for Australia" McGraw-Hill world news reports that Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, now building the Nene, may move on to the Avon, next.

"Redesigned Wing Marks New Jet Fighter" The Republic YF-96A is a development of the Thunderjet with a new wing and swept empennage.  

The RCAF has ordered ten CF-100 Canucks to evaluate them against the F-89, while Blackburn and Fairey are having a fly off for the carrier ASW plane. Both aircraft will have the dual Mamba installation, finally fulfilling the Fleet Air Arm's dream of a plane with an engine you can turn off.

"Automatic Control of Air Traffic Far Off" What it says here, straight from MIT, where C. R. Weiser thinks that computers simply aren't reliable enough. While new digital computers with up to 1000 vacuum tubes or relays are in development, they're still experimental, and it is  hard to imagine a computer control system that can manage calculations for up to 100 aircraft at the same time. 

"Great Lakes Radar Fence on the Way" Finally, protection from the Canadian menace. 

Winnette Boyd, "Transport Best Bet: Axial Flow Jets: Turbojets Now Offer Speed and Simplicity: Yet to Come is Cure for 'Fuel Hunger' " Boyd is an engineer at Avro Canada, this is a precis of a paper at the SAE, and he's involved with the Orenda axial turbojet, and this is an article dedicated to the theme of Boyd being right about everything. It's also not very technical. All about how the North American traveller wants speed and luxury, with one of those Avro up-and-down charts at the beginning to show that jets won't run out of gas, before moving on at the very end to what jetliners will look like in 1956, when they have mighty Orendas instead of wispy little Ghosts. 

With a column of space to fill, Aviation Week looks at Douglas trials of a miniature model carrier catapult, the "debate" over when to retread tyres, and GE's latest tantalum "electrolytic" capacitor. Tantalum, if that don't beat it all! 

Avionics gas "'Miniature Omnirange Helps AA" American Airlines has built a small, portable same, based on the H-14 Signal Generator. It has ten stationed at various American airports, giving range only figures on fixed bearings, because that's all the CAA requires. 

I skimmed Aircraft Financials very quickly, but a report on the high expenses of the Stratocruiser jumped out at me. 

New Aviation Products reports on SAAB's magnet sump plug, which gives advanced warning of engine failure by detecting metal fragments in the oil. Curtiss Wright is skeptical, because it would just block up with fine particles, which don't indicate engine failure. American Electroneering has a sealed, electronically regulated power supply. Frederick Flader's new Teledyne electric pressure transmitter is the best yet, perfect for rocket and missile motors, since it is resistant to the assorted nasty fluids that the rocket scientists are keen to try. Grimes Manufacturing of Ohio has the latest pocket navigation computer, which turns estimated ground speed and a built in timer into a course. Barber Coleman has another electric thermometer which won't fail in difficult conditions. I like this kind of blurb, because it tells you what the problem is with the competition! 

A blurb at the bottom advertises Saunders-Roe's plan to build an even bigger follow-on to the Princess with turbojets, perhaps with Tasman Airlines, better known as the only airline that can be persuaded to buy flying boats. 

Editorial is on about how the only way for the airline industry to stand on its own feet is to get rid of all those annoying regulations. 

Time, 22 May 1950


Some people think Voice of America is great, but other people think it is one long "commercial" for America. John Bowle thinks people shouldn't worry about the trade in value of British cars, because who trades in a Rolls Royce? Some people like Gian-Carlo Menotti, but other people really like him. Time defends its accuracy. It was Gracie Fields who premiered The Biggest Aspidistra. A regular at Ludlow's Restaurant reports that the new management is fine. Harry Hamilton praises Dr. William Kerr of the University of California for his brave fight against the idea that colds are "infectious," and caused by a "virus." Austin Nelson reasonably points out that Dr. Kerr sounds like a bit of a nut on the subject. The Bureau of the Budget is not impressed with the fight that Governor Lee of Utah is trying to pick with it. Jesse Berry of Seattle has some reservations about putting bats in the fridge. Our Publisher is tickled to help an old resistance fighter who used to mimeograph drawings of German aircraft as "grotesque monsters" off some Time publication or another, and wanted details. They were covers of Life by Boris Artzybasheff. Betty Hutton really liked the story about her. Nicaragua is making strides on the free press. From now on, cables aren't to be censored, unless they are critical of General Somoza, Time's reporter reports. 

National Affairs

"Another Slice" The Administration has decided to defend another slice of the world against communism. Specifically, it's Southeast Asia, and we're going to help by giving them money, some military aid, and engineers and technicians to explain how American ingenuity can help. Moving on, the President is the cover story this week. The moral of the story is he'll be tough to beat in November and in '52, Even though a couple stories down we find out that his agenda is being checked in Congress, left, right and centre. The Democrats are still fighting over the Fair Employments Practices bill, which Dixiecrats are fighting on the grounds that with all the progress they're making, it's not needed. Meanwhile, the President has made Leon Keyserling the new chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, which is bad news because he is a leftist who believes in government planning. Cuts at the Post Office were probably a manoeuvre to get increased funding out of Congress, say political observers, who look to be right with a bill giving the USPS another $28 million coming up. And there's fairly long coverage of the new rail strike. 

Under the heading Communists, Time covers Eugene Dennis going to jail and utterances from the Supreme Court suggesting what their decision on Judge Medina's "Communism is illegal" ruling will be. Not under Communism is Senator Dennis Chavez (D. New Mexico), who mostly keeps to himself, speaking out about this whole communism thing. He says that you can't be a Catholic and a Communist, and he is a good Catholic, so there's that. But, on the other hand, Senator McCarthy is making a big thing of Louis Budenz's testimony, and Budenz is a louche little squealer who is "using the cross as a club." This produced McCarthy to denounce Chavez as a "dupe" in a sinister Administration plot, and the president of Fordham University, the "Very Reverend Laurence J. McGinley," to say that Chavez was even lower than The Daily Worker. 
Speaking of "fine times had by all . . . "

And a fine time was had by all. Better than Dominick Atteo, the well-digger who was trapped at the bottom of the 18ft shaft he was digging in Brooklyn last week, and who died at the bottom of the unshored shaft due to fatigue and also the after-effects of a fire caused by the lit cigarette that someone helpfully passed him. 

Follows a big "box" story about old age pensions, which I am going to clip so I can read it in 1990. Wow. That's a long time from now!


"Breakthrough?" The Big Three foreign ministers met last week at Lancaster House in London to talk about France's plan to integrate the French and German coal and steel industries (the arrangement is explained in much greater detail below, and sounds a whole lot more like "the United States of Europe" than anything anyone else has suggested). Everyone agreed was a big breakthrough, especially with France taking the lead. It might also have had something to do with the American decision to help in Southeast Asia. The foreign ministers also agreed to worry about Africa and "excess population." Over in the Assembly, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman had another German surprise to drop. He wants a German army in the western European community. Then everyone gathered around Dean Acheson and commiserated with him about McCarthy. "[A] strange and confusing dissonance has crowded the transatlantic frequencies from America . . ." And it turns out that while Greeks don't like relief food if it is canned, they will make an exception for canned milk. 

"Invasion Season" According to Time, May to August is the best season for invading Formosa. "For the rest of the year weather conditions, including typhoons, protect the island." That's low, even for Time. It seems like it'll say anything if the Koumintang is in trouble, even hand the job over to MacArthur, as. Chiang has suggested. In further aid thte case, Time's William Gray is off to our tight little isle to report that Formosa is a country with no beggars, where "the trains run on time" --again, yes, Time says that-- and where legions of Koumintang troops swear that this time they will fight. Why, they could have held Hainan if they  hadn't been ordered to withdraw, said one young Captain. I'm convinced! After all, the "mass evacuation" of Hainan wasn't marked by "mass defections." Apart from the ones where the defence collapsed, I guess.

All that defending Formosa will cost is yet another $30 million, which after all is probably less than the Russians are giving the Reds. 

And in the Philippines, an American Jesuit missionary is being some kind of rabble rouser, while in India Seth Ramkrishna Dalmia, owner of the Times of India, is making a spectacle of himself. A newspaper tycoon? In the news! It must be the heat, because I'm faint!  Even more amazing, Turkey's ruling party seems to have lost the election. And a nameless Ukrainian exile tells a story about this girl he knew in Kharkov who performed anti-communist acts with a goat. (Get your mind out of the gutter. She sold it.) This allows us to introduce the Ukrainian Partisan Army, which was founded by the Nazis (but that's okay), and which is still fighting the Communists and need American aid. Also, the Czechs, being communists, are very ungrateful for American liberation and one loyal, smalltime Italian Communist was recently humiliated by the party, which is heartless and knows no loyalty, because it is communist. Someone sure likes this kind of story!

Over in this hemisphere of ours, the Venezuelan military government, having "brought the oil workers' strike under control," is going to celebrate by banning the Communist Party. Argentina is very pleased by its new US loan, and the Canadian Army has sent Brigadier Ronald Morton, a D-Day veteran, to Winnipeg to head OPERATION RED RAMP (for "Red Rampage," because everything is about communism), which is the fight against the massive flooding on the Red River. Eighty thousand people have been evacuated from Winnipeg; thousands of others are in shelter in downtown Winnipeg, which I guess is actually up, a bit; and plans have been made to evacuate the other 320,000 under martial law if the river kept rising. It didn't, but people are glum and pessimistic in its wake. Can this kind of flooding be prevented? flood experts don't think so. Manitobans will just have to live with it every twenty-five years or so, and then worse every fifty or century or so. 

1950 had amazingly little confidence in public engineering. 

 Also in Canadian red rampages, Canadian pastor Dr. James Endicott is wandering around being a pinko. Time is appalled. On the other hand, the coup in Haiti was just another of those things, and Mexico's new 2000 mile Texas-to-Guatemala highway is very silly and Mexican with a six-day auto race to celebrate and numerous very entertaining crashes along the way, except for the one where someone died. 


"In the Stockholder's Interest?" Abraham Pomerantz, in the news recently for defending Russian spy Valentin A. Gubitchev, normally sues corporations on behalf of small investors, alleging inside dealing and such. His latest case, against "Textron Incorporated's Royal Little," involved the usual disentangling of complicated ownership arrangements, and extracted $600,000, of which he keeps $100,000. He has done the same to Manhattan's City National Bank, American Tobacco and Hearst, among others. Not bad for a Communist-adjacent person! And speaking of bad-faith insider dealing, Braniff, Pan-Am, South America, etc. 

"New Chief for the CED" All around swell-guy (read, friend of Time) Marion Bayard Folsom is the new chief of the Committee for Economic Development, coming straight from Kodak, where he made all the money he needed to go into publicish service-sort-of. There are also stories about a Cleveland-area architect, Standard Oil's investment in two Italian refineries, continuing the trend to refine oil in the destination country, and United Paramount's good quarter. Somewhat more suspicious, it looks as though news of Western Union's good quarter leaked on Wall Street, where the stock rose 33% ahead of the news. It is because of mechanising with "electric brains" it says here. Isn't science wonderful? No word on whether electric brains have anything to do with the shareholders getting cut out, although Western Union is in trouble with ITT and American Cable and Radio Corporation, which say that Western Union was supposed to divest of its international telegraph cables as a condition of its merger with Postal Telegraph, and hasn't. Meanwhile, the Feds have moved on to Standard Oil (again) for price fixing on the west coast. 

New Products reports that US Rubber is excited by maleic hydrazide, which kills crab grass dead. Burlington Mills' new nylon and Vicara sock is stronger than wool and resists shrinking. (Vicara is the wool-like synthetic made from corn.) The Millium process, of metallising fabric with aluminum solution, is said to make a topcoat as warm as a winter coat, and a sheet as warm as a heavy blanket.  

Science, Medicine, Education

"Lap of the Possible" The AEC continues to play down the possibility of actually building a hydrogen bomb. 

"Weather Report from Mars" Mars has an atmosphere, so it has weather. Seymour Hes of the Lowell Observatory has set out to describe it. Mars is really cold on its winter side --about minus 40, but got up to 50 degrees at the equator during the summer, and sometimes as high as 86 degrees. It has clouds, and prevailing westerlies, and summer lows in the equatorial zone. Because the atmosphere lacks oxygen and water, it can't be breathed and doesn't produce rain or snow, but the wind does push you around. 

"Rocket Away" The USS Norton Sound has launched a Viking rocket (body by Glenn L. Martin, engine by Rocketdyne) to 106.4 miles, only a little short of the V-2 record, in spite of being much smaller and carrying 1000lbs of scientific payload for studying cosmic radiation. Viking could also carry a bomb more than 200 miles. Time explains that from a certain point on the east coast, Norton Sound could hit New York, Philadelphia, or Washington, and so could a submarine with the same rocket. Rockets can be launched from underwater, so naturally the first sign of WWIII would be  a barrage of "rockets bursting at night out of an unruffled sea." 

"Baby Bombs" The Associated Press had a story last week about new atom bombs small enough to be carried by jet bombers, but not necessarily less powerful than the old-style A-bombs. The story was sourced to unidentified "officials." But, Time says, whatever the source, it is probably true. It only takes 25lbs of plutonium to make a bomb. The rest of the weight is the conventional explosive that compresses the plutonium and the "tamper" that reflects the escaping neutrons. Both can be reduced in weight, and even made less important, by better design. This would make rocket-mounted atomic bombs possible.

 "Draining the Patient" Two Cleveland surgeons, James Gardner and Donald E. Hale, have a hair-raising proposal in the current issue of American Journal of Surgery. In cases of profuse bleeding during surgery, the blood should just be removed, even to the extent of 3 quarts, and then replaced as needed. This is, in effect, what surgeons do  now, and often fails as putting transfused blood in through the veins works the heart too much. They propose to bleed the patient first, via the wrist, connecting the body to a receiving flask where the blood is held with the anti-clogging agent, heparin. Valves and flasks would keep the patient's blood pressure steady (and low), with the patient's own blood slowly flowing back in. Admittedly risky, it seems to work for dangerous operations like brain tumour reduction. 

"The Siamese Twins" Time briefly tells the story of Siamese, or, to use the technical term, "conjoined" twins, before getting on to the recent case away up in Edmonton where Dr. William Freebury separated Brenda Carol and Beverly Lynn Townsend. And killed them, as it turned out that the junction at their chest involved the two girls' hearts protruding into each other's chest cavities. Damn, that's depressing. 

"Status Quo" The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that US teachers are seeing no wage gains after cost of living. Also, one teacher in a place that had television was so upset by the fact that her students were watching television that she resigned three months into the school year to go live in television-less Nevada with her new husband. Or maybe this has something to do with the first story? Also a seventh grade social studies class sent its students out to do a survey. They reported back in that they had found slums and pollution, which shocks everyone. Also, Antonin Besse is a hugely rich Frenchman who has endowed a new Oxford college, to be called Antony College. There's more details about how colleges work at Oxford, which I assume you know, and know that I don't care about. Also even more, now that Martha Lucas has unexpectedly resigned as President of Sweetbriar College, the college had hired Anne Gary Pannell to replace her. Details follow. 

Radio and Television, Press, Art, People

The BBC's Bird Song of the Month show is very popular, because the British are strange and so is the MC, Dr. Ludwig Koch. Hopalong Cassidy, or, rather, William Boyd, is something else, what with all the work he puts into promoting the Hopalong Cassidy show, which is his movies, rereleased to television and cut for program length.  The Hopalong craze has now inspired lots of Hopalong merchandise, and Boyd is working it like a trooper. 

 Time wants you to know that Life is doing a big story on the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson. For even more than two and a half columns, buy Life! Time is amused to report that the New York Newspaper Guild has called three newsmen from "left wing publications" on the carpet for supporting management by violating pay scales and employment contracts. Also, the Rocky Mountain News has a new headquarters in Denver and Birmingham, Alabama's two papers have merged to stay afloat

"Old Favourites" "The $80 million Habsburg collection" is touring again, while Richard Gump's portfolio of sport prints, drawings, sculptures and paintings is on exhibition, as is a collection of ancient bronzes from the "island civilisation of Sardinia," from back in Bronze Age times, back before Carthaginian occupation "reduced the population to barbarity." Oh, those Carthaginians. And "Portraits, Inc" is America's portrait gallery. Of portraits. 

Frank Sinatra is romancing Ava Gardner. Groucho Marx is getting divorced from hi 29-year-old wife. Bing Crosby is not estranged from his wife, Dixie Lee. He says. Errol Flynn wants his alimony payments reduced, because he's got no money. Iran's Princess Fatmeh Pahlevi is getting married to a Californian, Judith Coplon is engaged to one of her lawyers. Senator Paul Douglas (he's so dreamy!) lost his shoes on the train and had to pad off to a shoe store in Chicago to get another pair. Myrna Loy has been named a special advisor to UNESCO, and Albert Einstein and Mae Murray are in the news for etc. Seretse Khama and wife, Ruth, have had a baby, Jacqueline. Marshall Field, Jr, Eugene Ormandy and Paul Reynaud have married, or at least revealed their marriages. (Reynaud is 71, his wife, 36. Better kept secret, if you ask me.) Sir Cedric Hardwicke is divorced after 23 years of marriage. Anthony Bingham Mildmay has died of drowning --seems like a detective story in the making, and so has Bertha "Chippie" Hill, after being hit by a car. 

The New Pictures

Conspirator is about a British army officer who is a Red spy for some reason, but marries Elizabeth Taylor, which is strictly against The Communist Manifesto. (It's in the back. No-one reads the back. That's why Elizabeth Taylor keeps getting married.) So then he tries to shoot her, and doesn't, and then commits suicide. And, Cut! In conclusion, Elizabeth Taylor is very pretty. The Sundowner is a western vehicle for John Barrymore, Jr, who definitely deserves a movie career by virtue of his Dad getting him the job. 


The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Snore snore. Leslie Greener's No Time to Look Back is a story of life behind the barbed wire at a Japanese internment camp for British prisoners of war that is somehow related to Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. My brow is middling! Christopher Lloyd has edited the available papers for The Voyages of Captain Cook. He can't have been very thorough, because he never wrote to us, not that we'd have handed anything over. He settled for just Cook's papers. Come on, man, do some original research! Charmian Clift and George Johnston write about High Valley, which is up in Tibet and features star-crossed lovers who, I am guessing, died tragically. 

Aviation Week, 22 May 1950

News Digest reports that, well, nothing much. All financials, personnel moves, and stories scooped by Time. 

Industry Observer reports that KLM is the first airline to put a jet stack on the Constellation. No performance data is available yet. Turboprop engineers are very excited about their giant new engines, since they give more efficient reaction assist at low speeds. De Havilland Canada still can't sell its Beavers to US operators in spite of the demand due to "Buy American" laws. The Army is pressing for some kind of small plane, whether a "convertiplane" or a single-seat helicopter. The RCAF's Vampires are very fast, and Wichita, Kansas is getting a free runway extension to 10,000ft for XB-52 flight tests. 

David A. Anderton, "Lark Production Shows Missile Progress" Fairchild is pleased to report large scale orders for its "Lark" anti-aircraft rocket, showing that the guided missile programme is finally "moving along." More careful reading shows that it has been ordered as a component test vehicle, and not the promised, subsonic, medium-range, highly manoeuvrable surface-to-air weapon it will no doubt be improved into the moment war starts. Anderton's real interest is the aeronautics and structure. Intrerestingly, the Lark has what is claimed to be the world's largest closed extruded section. We may have been late to the extruded section, but we're doing it Texas style! The Lark has complete telemetering and a semi-active radar homer. Notice I've passed over the aeronautics? They're fine. The real problem is that a subsonic surface to air missile just is not that useful. 

Convair has a ramjet test unit, the civil airport plan and the omnibus money bill have passed the Senate and Congress, respectively, and people are talking about the light plane plan.  Upcoming air navigation confabs include talk of landing lights, crosswinds, and "voice versus key." Crosswinds are intractable. Too many airports were laid out without attention to meteorology, and solutions like castering wheels aren't really solutions. Voice is going to beat key; it's just more useful, no matter what us key jockeys say. 

Aircraft Production has a story about Greer Manufacturing, which has turned from subcomponents for planes to testing units. Aeronautical Engineering has F. H. Robertson, "Princess --Milestone or Millstone?" The designer of the Princess is already tired of it and wants a turbojet flying boat giant airliner instead. He throws out a lot of math in an absurdly long paper in an attempt to obscure the issues, but no airlines are buying flying boats, and they're not going to start. They're too slow, run into driftwood, and land out in the water. 

"Scope Scans Jet Flame Pattern" GE has a periscope for looking directly at the exhaust flames of jets on the test bench.

The lens end can withstand 2500 degrees thanks to being quartz, having water cooling, and an air jet blowing over the face of the lens. It's pretty keen!

"Plastics in Fuel" The National Bureau of Standards has commenced studying the effects of fuel immersion on plastic laminates approved for aviation. So far, a cotton fabric/phenol laminate has done best, a paper phenolic laminate worst, but first we need to explain fuel standards, and, in particular, toluene content. In somewhat related, and not actually new news, airlines are unimpressed with plywood-plastic-metal "sandwich" materials, which do not deliver the promised lightness in operation, and also tend to delaminate. Not all are disappointing, and the plywood laminates and honeycomb material in the Constellation is doing well. 

New Aviation Products reports on Westinghouse's Decellostat, a unit balance that automatically governs brakes to balance rolling friction against skidding, a lubricating additive for oil produced by Power Ball Oil Company of South Carolina. a lighter landing gear position indicator from Dowty, torque wrenches from Plumb Tool, Lovejoy Tool Company of Vermont's milling cutter, a spotwelder control from Robert W. Hoffman of Chicago and a silicone molding compound especially for electrical components from GE. 

MATS says that there's no reason to  hurry jets on its account, and this week's editorial denounces the railways for denouncing air subsidies while benefitting from subsidies themselves.  

Time, 29 May 1950


J. D. Forbes thinks that the fuss over gambling could be settled by a national US lottery, Norm Brisbin thinks that Hoover is right to think that the United Nations is just a pipe dream, Addison Smith has a long and pedantic explanation of a silly story from the Channel Islands (which are silly in their own right), an officer of the Indian Army can't believe there are lions in India, which there are, Jacob Wasserman, the "critically wounded" jeweller recently pictured in Time has died, his rabbii reports in response to reader questions. Some people disagree about the Time story on the Times, mainly on the grounds that it can't be that good a paper when int is so boring. Our Publisher wants us to know that Time takes its business coverage very seriously, because the business of America is business!

National Affairs

"The Good War" Atlantic union blah! Blah! Atlantic Treaty blah! I  hope there will be actual news at some point, since all of this is wrapped up with the decision to give the Air Force more money than the Army, which is HUGE!

"Tyranny or Blasphemy" The Administration's handlers were unable to get the FEPC past the cloture vote, which means that it can be filibustered, which is far too much work for Senators, so in effect the law against discriminating in employment fails to pass the Senate because it didn't get two-thirds of Senators to support not arguing against it. In other Senate news, the Senate killed three more Presidential reorganisation plans and received a report on homosexuals in the US government. A Washington police lieutenant says that there are "3750 perverts" working for the Government in Washington, and someone else says that 4% of the white US male population were "confirmed homosexuals." Which means that Washington is no worse than anywhere else, which horrified the committee, which is going to investigate. Uncle George just shakes his head. 

"Not All Devils" The American B'nai Brith are divided about Germany. Benjamin Buttenwieser says that, yes, Germany is full of ex-Nazis, but they're not all devils, and, anyway, Communism. This was the speech he was going to give to the B. B. The actual B'nai Brith says that the cold war has been the salvation of the same German assholes who gave us WWII. It was agreed that Mr. Buttenwieser wouldn't give his speech.

Time checks in with the Census. San Francisco is terrified that it will come in at less than 1940's 827,000 inhabitants and has sent out cops, firemen and meter readers to track everyone down. Other cities are just complaining in advance. Time reminds us that the Government is spending a million a month on powdered eggs and dried milk to keep the prices up. The CIO continues to purge Communist unions.Time also catches up with the bizarre story of Ellen Knauf, the German-Czech war bride that the Justice Department won't let into the country for reasons it refuses to explain. So she's stuck at Ellis Island while the courts run the Department's lawyers ragged over what it's all about. And the more predictable story of a socialist Czech politician who doesn't like the Communists any more, hurray. And with the Pennsylvania GOP, which likes to fight and fight and fight. The Oregon GOP doesn't like its senator, but also doesn't like to fight, so Wayne Morris is headed back to Congress, probably. Time has some space to fill, so it prints modern childrens' skipping rhymes, which are very topical. Betty Grable went to France!

"The Last Shipment" Time covers the ammunition explosion at South Amboy, in which 500 tons of munitions waiting on the wharves went up. One witness was watching Captain Video when it happened. Another thought that "Stalin had started it." "Atom bomb!" They were saying. Every house in South Amboy was damaged, and there was "no trace" of the 31 men working on the docks. The mayor, who had protested the movement of ammunition through the port  just the week before, is very bitter. 

"Through the Looking Glass" Two US Navy aircrew, Elmer C. Bender and William C. Smith, who had been held in Red China for two years on suspicion of reconnaissancing, have been released after confessing to same. Asked why they had committed pro-Communist treason, they pointed out that no-one was even trying to get them out, and, really, so what? And everyone agreed that it was a story that was best put to bed. Except Time.
Which can't help splashing it. Because that's what Time does. 


"To Hang Together" Time takes a quick look at the North Atlantic Treaty, and yields the mike to Winston Churchill to explain how a multinational defence for Europe might allow Britain to get away with spending more on the Navy than the Army, and France, vice versa. Or, actually, the RAF, since the USN is so huge. Several stories follow, elaborating. Meanwhile, talks with a vague goal of something like this for Southeast Asia, continue. The Japanese are a curious people. Time catches up with the new Yugoslav ambassador to the United States, Vladimir Popovich, who is very fashionable right now because of Titoism. Just curious, Time asks: do Yugoslav Communists still eat babies? Of course we do, says Popovich! See, told you so, says. Time! Then it is off to the cover story, Emperor Bao Dai of the Hundred Kingdoms.

(After a shuddering look at the weak and corrupt Philippines, bound to be overrun by Huk communists any day now. )

"Tactical Withdrawal" In their latest retreat, the Koumintang have given up Chushan Island off Shanghai, while the head of Turkey's Democratic Party is reluctant to become the new President. There has been another of those Communist youth festivals in Berlin that Time is so worried about. They're clearly just like the Hitler Youth, says one former member of same whom Time rounded up for comment. Vienna's reluctant bishop will be bishop, after all. Just as Time was theorising, it was all about Communism. 

"Halt" The British Labour Party is moving towards moderation, the end of the point food rationing system is a relief for everyone in Britain, and the appearance of 30 Russian fishing trawlers in the Channel just ahead of the Western Union joint naval manoeuvres is very suspicious, because they're Communists and will probably watch the exercises, which is basically spying, which is bad, unless we do it. 

In our hemisphere, it has been three years since there were riots in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia, so time for some more, and there is crime news from Trinidad, as an alleged latter-day pirate is arrested. Also, Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital and a colonial-era city, was hit by an earthquake that levelled a fifth of the city. 

In Costa Rica, they lost a statue of Mary, Queen of the Angels and were very upset, but then they found it and were very excited. Throw in a coup and you've got the perfect Time story about down there where the palm trees sway. If  you go a little further south, you arrive at the land of Peron is Awful Stories. This issue has one. 


Leon Keyserling says that the 1949-50 federal deficit was to fight the recession, while John Snyder says that it was because of revenue shortfalls and unexpected expenditures, not planning. Business activity is still rising, Childs is a very successful food company, an insurance company is fronting railroad rolling stock buys because they have all this money and it's hard to know what to do with it, Filene's bargain basement in Boston has branched out to vending machines to go into the Greyhound bus terminal, Harry Morrison builds stuff, just like Uncle Henry, but with less press. 

New Products reports that Remington Records is getting a lot of business by underselling the big names with 90 cent discs, in spite of being short of performers. San Francisco Home Containers Corporation has the "Fresherator," a vacuum-sealing rubber and aluminum lidded glass jar that can keep food fresh up to 45 days. Manhattan's General Radiant Heater's new line of electric radiators plug into the wall socket and are very light. And a fire hazard in the extreme! But don't mind the engineer. 

The Glenn McCarthy/RFC story keeps getting smellier. Now he's off trying to raise a loan to pay off his existing creditors. That doesn't often end well, I hear!

Down under Cinema, which I ignore, there's a story about Phonevision that I can't pass by. This is the theatre television idea, promoted by Twentieth Century Fox's Spyros Skouras. He envisions theatres tied together by a television network, using sports events and other live presentations to replace second features, using large screen televisions to lure viewers from their homes. Meanwhile, there's a lot more consumer interest in first-run movies on television, which is Zenith's Phonevision plan. Just like the last time I saw this story, my mind went right to movies being sent down the telephone wires, which is technically practical, at least over short distances and if you don't have a party line. Alas, you call a number, get charged on your phone bill, and are left to intercept an on-air broadcast which has been scrambled with an added signal, which a "descrambler" subtracts. The Hollywood studios don't like the idea, but Time is on board. There's a potential to make far more money than the country's 20,000 theatres can rake in. Or the studios can just make movies for television. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"High Stream" The jet stream, that high velocity, high altitude wind flow, is being studied as never before because jet airliners will soon by flying in it. Sort of speaking of which, Wright gave a show of its Turbo-Cyclone 18 Compound engine, best known for its installation on my trusty steed, the Neptun, although not any Neptune I've flown, because they're doing that aviation journalism thing where they talk about something that hasn't actually happened as a done deed. 

And then an ornithologist gets his due. But not from rushed little me! 

"The Mechanism of Earthquakes" Hugo Benioff of Caltech has a theory, according to which all "great shallow earthquakes" have a common cause, or mechanism. He thinks that they are because of faults where "stress" "locks up." It sounds to me more like a metaphor than a mechanism, although if he's right that the earthquakes show regular patterns, it must be some kind of regular mechanism. 

"Blood and Disaster" The AEC is worried that there's not enough blood in storage to make it through an atomic attack. 

"Father and Son" When Bobby Lawrence of Oakland, California, suffered a head injury in a bike accident, he somehow developed a kidney problem. Doctors hooked him up to a double  transfusion with his father, which is effectively a way of letting his father's kidney do the work while Bobby's recovered. He was a suitable donor, but a week later, Sidney Lawrence developed liver and kidney problems and died thirteen days after the transfusion due to some kind of "explosive reaction" to an "unknown protein factor" in his son's blood. The only thing the doctors are sure of is that this sort of thing can't be helped, and it isn't their fault. 

Following up on ongoing stories,  it looks as though the  hormone ACTH is becoming available in more valuable forms, while researchers investigating a polio outbreak among Eskimos in Chesterfield Inlet think that it might be inhibited by nursing on mothers' milk. J. Sullivan and Thomas McKell, of New Orleans Ochsner Clinic spend a whole book expanding on the psychological factors behind ulcers. Why aren't all ulcer sufferers the driven and ambitious kind? Because the others are conflicted by internal neuroses. 

"Earliest Human" Dr. Arthur Tremain of Harvard studies embryos and thinks that 60 hours in is the first time you can talk about a human being. Dr. Pierre Rosa has recently discovered how to find out what kind of human they will be, every mother-to-be's dream, although his sex test involves rupturing the amniotic sac, which is very dangerous, so it isn't a practical test. Still, science progresses.  

"Wisely and Well" Time devotes a story to the seven members of the Harvard Corporation who manage its estate and its money, of which it has a lot. 

Little Bobby Gordon  of Cleveland (again, Cleveland!) is quite the precocious young savant, while Dwight Eisenhower is already sending out invitations to Columbia's big two-hundredth anniversary do in '54. Peekskill Military Academy has a coloured cook who sounds like a mighty nice . . . man.  Yale is going to solve its money problems by raising even more money. 

Radio and Television, Press, Art, People

"He Went That-a-Way" The latest upshot of Washington's "I Am an American Day, featuring President Truman and Hopalong Cassidy (as see last week's brief summary), is that it went off without Hopalong (or the President, but who cares about him.) Hopalong wanted festival money to airlift his horse, and, even then, backed out, citing previous commitments. Hopalong is in hot water!

"Cuddling the Communists" Time is very excited about how Voice of America is slipping its broadcasts into Russian channels, which the Russians cannot jam. Then Time drops in on The Ford Theatre, which seems like a very worthy television show. 

"On the Griddle" Time was invited to the Washington Press Gallery's exclusive Gridiron Dinner, and you weren't. But it's not all gala social dos. New York Mirror gossip columnist, Lee Mortimer, previously the victim of a beating at the hands of Frank Sinatra, is in hospital again, this time due to an unknown assailant. (The Hearst press says it was a gangland attack, but Walter Winchell doesn't believe it.)  Bruce Ingram of the London Illustrated News gets a profile, and so does H. J. Blanton of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Time heads over to the unveiling of the model and proposal United Nations building, to be built on Manhattan's East River. It is an architectural marvel by Wallace K. Harrison that will complement the Rockefeller Centre. Models are not to architecture as books about paintings are to paintings, but, oh boy that Albert Skira can write about paintings! Also, "Afro" is quite the abstractionist. 

Author Arthur Elliot got drunk and said very famous-author-y things about French women. Senator Edwin Johnson told movie bigwigs that he's not against a bit of love and kisses, just shameful moral exploitation and sensation. Curtis Roosevelt is married, Gertrude Moran is back from her fabulously successful international tour. Cecil B. DeMille, Benjamin Franklin (He's dead, isn't he>), Owen Lattimore, Eleanor Roosevelt, Clare Boothe Luce, Abraham Lincoln (also too), King George VI, Prince Philip and Ninette de Valois get their names in print. In fact, there are so many names to cram in that, page over, James Fitzpatrick, John McCloy, Stephen Young, George Bernard Shaw, Trygve Lie, Henry Steel Commager and Evelyn Waugh all show up. And if you expect me to explain why, well, there's not enough ink in Formosa! Princess Kazuko's marriage has happened. Susan Reed, Lowell Thomas Jr and Marva Trotter have married. Marion Hargrove is divorced. Alfred Julien Lomen, General Giuseppe Garibaldi, Marvin Goodrich and Aurelio Miro Quesada have died. 

New Pictures

Father of the Bride is Elizabeth Taylor's latest, and perfectly timed to her marriage. Time spends three columns summarising the plot, so I think it liked it. "The fun rarely lets up." Adam and Evalyn is about how a man's friend takes care of his daughter after his death by packing her off to a Swiss boarding school, from whence she returns all glamorous and grown up and they marry. I have questions. 


Laura Z. Hobson, The Other Father hits the sensitive spot I felt when I read that movie review and drills, drills, drills. Stop it already! Lloyd Lewis's Captain Sam Grant is the first volume of a planned biography of General Grant. Romain Gary's The Company of Men is another pessimistic novel about the French Resistance. Have the French lost heart? It seems so to Time! And then, oh goody, a life of D. H. Lawrence, by Richard Aldington. 

Aviation Week, 29 May 1950

Industry Observer reports that Wright is coming back into the military engine game rapidly with the Turbocompound Cyclone, that Jetliners will be cheap to operate, safe to fly on one engine, and that a second Jetliner will be completed soon. Meanwhile, flight trials of the Viscount continue. The USAF is abandoning towing  helicopters with fixed wing planes because it is dangerous and dumb and slow. Texas Aggie is working on cutting bars for crop dusters so they won't be shot down by barbed wire fences so much. Because some pilots go to Texas A and M, you see. Blah postal helicopters France blah. Air Material Command promises an electronic homing crash beacon on planes in 1954. 

"Atlantic Pact Means More Plane Buying" There's gold in them there hills! Between three and six billion dollars. Oh, and it'll stop the Commies dead, promise. Forty eight groups! The National Science Foundation has been approved, and IATA had a session on passenger jets. Takeoff, icing and traffic control present problems, and designers are sorting out what to do about antennae.  G. L. Christian III, reporting from the same meeting, says that airport "systems" need a lot of work. There's a lot to be said about organising airports better, in other words. Also, Stuart Symington is in the news at the National Mobilisation Board, where he is tightening planning, America and Britain are working on joint standards, as if joint screw threads weren't enough.

The meat of this issue is every government air contract. American Mineral Spirits Company of New York got $1100 to study kerosene!

Aeronautical Engineering has Irving Stone reporting on the Wright Turbocompound. "Compound Engine Goes Into Service Use: First Details Disclosed on Turbo-Cyclone Now Flying in Navy Planes" Since everyone's being honest, and I hope to be away from liaising on clapped out B-26s and back on Nepturnes Stateside soon, I will be, too. The Turbocompound is a dead end. It's too complicated, and it is being coupled to propellers that are being driven too hard via shafts and valves that are also worked too hard. Solve the prop and turbine problem and there's no  reason not to use turboprops, and then you won't have to solve the valve problem at all. When compound engines got under way, we had solemn promises from the car crowd that the diesel was the way to go, and that  the aero-diesel was the  next logical step, but between engine power, thumping and control, it hasn't worked out that way. Even if Wright solves these problems --and, let's face it, we're talking about Curtiss-Wright, here-- it will be too late. 

My two cents.

Holding over from the IATA sessions is a summary of maintenance requirements for jetliners. Not much, is the summary.  They're pretty simple. 

Avionics has "Ticket Machine with a Memory: Electronic Reservation Unit Being Built for American Airlines Gives Instand Data on System-wide Bookings" The "Reservisor" was developed from a patent filed years ago, and a pilot model has been in use in Boston for four years. The machine records a million seats on 10,000 flights and costs a penny per passenger with amortisation. It consists of a room-sized master unit and typewriter-sized agent units and can be expanded to book 125 seat aircraft! Also, antenna are getting smaller. News!
By Z22 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.

New Aviation Products has Simmonds Aerocessories' new linear-reading capacitor type fuel  gauge. That's because you can't just dip a stick in a wing fuel tank, so you need an electrical system that "senses" the amount of air and gas in the tank by changes in capacitance, and then outputs a readable signal that minimises altitude, temperature, tank shape and fuel type errors. The upshot is a motor-driven needle gauge in the flight engineer's console that might be mistaken for the whole "Pacitron." It can also operate pumps, warning lights and other kinds of indicators.

Simmonds has got rid of the rectifier and separated the amplifier tube for easy replacement when it catches fire. (Flying is fun!) The electronics guarantees accuracy with parallel circuits. Pressure Products of Chicago has small hand welding torches, Chicago Metal Hose has, well, . . . In financial news, the airlines may be headed for a record year, but that doesn't mean that United is going to retire its fleet of DC-3s, which are ideal for shuttling passengers to their Model Ts. United does not believe that coaching is all that profitable, and will use turboprops to send its DC-6s to air freight when they arrive. Four airlines have filed to enter the England-New Zealand race. Italian aircraft makers are sad that they can't place domestic planes with domestic airlines, while Canadair is studying a turboprop transport. 


J. McEwan King says that the Comet's inward-opening doors will be practically impossible to open in flight. John Robertson, Major, USAF, Operational Engineering Section, 7th Bombardment Wing, writes that it is getting the horse before the cart to worry about engine fires instead of sources of fire around the engines. Control combustibles, he says! And don't send him flaming letters! The Vice-President of United writes to condemn "government aid" for airlines as just more "government regulation," which is bad. (Airmail excepted.) W. L. Lemon of GE reports that the time between servicing for those wing-tip jet engines is 150 hours, not 72, but Aviation Week points out that it is jut quoting the air force. Kollsman is upset that someone said that its control installation in the DC-6 is more complicated than its other cabin pressure control system. 

If you're wondering What's New in the way of aviation books, How to Speed up Soldered Assemblies with Solder Pre-Forms, by Soldered Specialities, New Jersey, that's what. 

Editorial is on about the Johnson-Lee Subsidy Proposals, and unless you're invested in the "feeder" versus "trunk" airline debate, you can pass. (The Lee-Johnson proposals would replace ad hoc air mail subsidies with a subsidised feeder network so that the grassroots could get air service, while the profitable trunk airlines would fly to and from major centres. Seems a bit unreal to me. I mean, sure, Europe. But America? United's reaction tells you what to expect.) 

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