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Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Must Reclaim Dutch Lands 

Flooding of European lowlands means long and costly 
reclaiming of farm soil by ion exchange process. Catastrophic 
storm was result of unscheduled rendezvous near Iceland. 

> HUNDREDS OF acres of Dutch farm 
lands will have to be reclaimed from the 
salt waters of the North Sea, an expensive 

Fundamentally it will be a chemical proc- 
ess whereby the sodium of the sea salt, 
sodium chloride, will be replaced by cal- 
cium. The process is known as ion ex- 

When the dikes broke and the salt water 
flooded the rich lands, the sodium in the 
sea salt, by a process of ion exchange, re- 
placed calcium in the land. The salt itself 
is less likely to invade the earth in toxic 
quantities, experts said. 

Now this process will have to be reversed. 
The dikes will be repaired as quickly as 
possible. Then pumping will begin. Many 
pumps were built after the dikes were 
broken during World War II. How many 
of these withstood the storm and the waters, 
and how many can be repaired quickly is of 
vital importance in the reclamation job. 

Once the salt water is pumped out, fresh 
water will be pumped through. Gypsum, 
or calcium sulfate, will be spread over the 
land. The calcium, through the process of 
ion exchange, will change places with the 
sodium and the land will be made fresh 
and fertile again. 

During the process, care will have to be 
taken that the earth does not puddle, that 
is, become sticky when it is wet and hard 
as concrete when it is dry. Straight lime 
can do this job. 

The Dutch learned centuries ago how to 
make fertile the land reclaimed from the 
North Sea. But it was only 40 years ago 
that a Russian soil chemist named Gedroiz 
found the chemical process involved. Now 
the Dutch have many soil scientists. 

The devastation of so much of the low- 
lands was caused by the unscheduled ren- 
dezvous near Iceland of an extra-tropical 
cyclonic storm, born north of the Azores, 
and a high-pressure anticyclonic area, born 
near Thule Air Base in Greenland. 

The meeting of these two storms gen- 
erated the terrific winds which built up the 
flood in England and the European low- 
lands at the end of January. 

The low, which was first noticed on the 
map near the Azores during the week of 
Jan. 25, was not unusual. It was weak, 
probably never would amount to much. 
The high, born over the icy wastes at the 
top of Greenland, was more unusual and 
therefore more noticeable. It prevented 
any storms which are always revolving 
counterclockwise around lows from mov- 
ing out into the Atlantic from over North 
America. The anticyclonic high blocked 

any movement westward of air across the 

Between Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30 and 
31, this high moved to Iceland. The low, 
still weak, approached Iceland from the 
south on Friday. Abruptly, from Friday to 
Saturday, stopped by the high, it then 
turned about and began to move south- 
eastward toward the North Sea. 

The relatively weak winds moving from 
the north around the low on its west side 
were strengthened by winds moving from 
the north around the high on its east side. 
The low moved east of the high and the 
two streams of north winds came together, 
becoming terrifically strong. The strong 
winds pushed the waters of the North Sea. 
These billions of tons of water struggled to 
get through the narrow English Channel. 

But, just as a funnel overflows if you 
pour too fast into it, so the water over- 
flowed the coasts of England and the hard- 
won, below-water-level farm lands of Hol- 
land. Thus, out of a rendezvous between 
a high and a low off Iceland came tragedy 
for thousands. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 



Saturday, Feb. 21, 1953, 3:15-3:30 p.m., EST. 

“Adventures in Science” with Watson Davis, 
director of Science Service, over the CBS Radio 
Network. Check your local CBS station. 

Winners of the 12th Annual Science Talent 
Search for the Westinghouse Science Scholar- 
ship will describe their projects, speaking from 
various parts of the country. 


Men Chief Victims 
Of Cluster Headache 

> A NEW kind of headache, called “clus- 
ter” headache, was announced by Dr. E. 
Charles Kunkle of Duke University at the 
meeting of the American Federation for 
Clinical Research in New Orleans. 

Men are the chief victims. 

The headaches come in “clusters” of from 
one to five a day for weeks or months. The 
headaches themselves are usually brief, often 
lasting less than 30 minutes. Nasal conges- 
tion on the same side as the headache, red- 
dening of the eyeball and watering of the 
eye are common accompanying symptoms. 

Treatment has been difficult and results 
inconclusive, Dr. Kunkle said. No cause 
has been found but enlargement of sensitive 
arteries either inside the skull or on its sur- 
face is suspected as the cause. 

“Cluster” headache is allied to migraine, 
he said, but differs from it in lack of warn- 
ing signals, rarity of nausea and vomiting 
and the briefness and closeness of attacks. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Three-Dimensional X-Rays 

tion pictures, marking a new milestone in 
medical diagnosis and research, have been 
achieved by radiologists at the University 
of Rochester, N. Y., Medical School. 

The new process, announced as the first 
such, gives a much better picture of actual 
conditions inside the body and of the rela- 
tive positions of internal organs. It requires 
no modification of the existing cinefluoro- 
graphic camera. The film produced can be 
used for conventional, as well as stereo- 
scopic, motion picture projection. 

The pictures are expected to be of special 
value in the study and diagnosis of con- 
genital heart disease, in which the heart is 
sometimes transposed from its normal posi- 
tion or where there is abnormal overlapping 
of heart chambers or vessels, as well as in 
joint and chest diseases. The process is now 
ready for clinical trials. 

The special apparatus was developed by 
Sydney A. Weinberg of the University of 
Rochester Medical Center, assisted by Dr. 
Raymond Gramiak. The project was sup- 
ported in part by U. S. Public Health Serv- 
ice funds under the direction of Drs. George 
H. Ramsey and J. S. Watson. 

One camera, either a 35 mm. or 70 mm., 

is used to photograph the subject. The 
stereoscopic effect is obtained by a moving 
X-ray tube synchronized to move in an arc 
maintaining the position of the X-ray beam 
on the subject. The moving X-ray tube, 
and the synchronized rotation of the sub- 
ject on a revolving chair operated by an 
electric mechanism, give the necessary 
image shift to create the binocular effect 
necessary for stereoscopic visualization of 
the image. 

Two prints of the film are made, and are 
run through two standard motion picture 
projectors that are mechanically linked to 
run synchronously. The images are pro- 
jected through polaroid filters on to a me- 
tallic-surfaced screen, and viewed through 
polaroid glasses. 

The new process augments the conven- 
tional one-plane X-ray motion picture ap- 
paratus developed at the University of 
Rochester several years ago. 

Another important study now being car- 
ried on at the Rochester Medical School 
with the aid of cinefluorography is on the 
mechanism of swallowing, a subject on 
which there is considerable medical dis- 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Oppose Doctor Speed-Up 

Forecast doctors, on basis of experiences during war, 
will oppose speed-up in training of medical students that 
President's Committee is expected to recommend. 

> THE PRESIDENT’S Health Resources 
Advisory Committee is expected to recom- 
mend a speed-up of the medical school 
course to get more doctors trained for the 
Armed Forces, Science Service has learned. 

This will bring immediate opposition 
from deans of medical schools all over the 
nation, but not because they want a slow- 
down or easier medical training. This op- 
position will come because of the great fear 
that medical education will be set back by 
a so-called speed-up. 

It’s just a medical fact that the educa- 
tional process needs time and some of what 
has been called “divine idleness” to really 

Doctors cannot be made, the medical 
deans know, by cramming information into 
young heads 12 months every year. The 
students need the eleventh month out of 
every 12 for complete freedom from study- 
ing. Without it they may crack up. Ex- 
perience with shortened, speeded courses 
during World War II showed that after 
a year and a half the medical students had 
become “rebels,” as one authority put it. 

They were sloppy, careless and unable to 
do good work. 

Medical school deans will be insisting on 
vacations for their students not with the 
idea of vacation good times for young men 
and women, but to give them leisure to 
assimilate what they have learned. 

H. A. Overstreet, author, educator and 
philosopher, called attention to this need 
for leisure in the educational process in his 
book, “The Mature Mind.” 

“The process of psychological maturing,” 
he wrote, “is more than the process of re- 
ceiving impressions, one after another. It 
is the process of savoring these impressions 
until they yield up their meaning. It is the 
process of letting new experiences turn 
around and around in the mind until they 
find the angle at which they want to settle 
down among old experiences.” 

Medical students need to acquire psycho- 
logical maturity as well as knowledge of 
diagnostic tests and disease remedies. 

If we do not give them time for some 
“divine idleness” we may in ten years have 
medical artisans, carpenters and plumbers 

ROCKETS FOR FRONT LINES—A Marine helicopter prepares to unload 

a rocket launcher at a site somewhere along the First Marine Division front 

in Korea. Supplying combat units by helicopter is part of a vast land, sea 

and air transportation service that must deliver about a ton of supplies to 
each front-line man every 30 days. 


as doctors themselves would say, but no 
real physicians, and no men and women ca- 
pable of doing good medical research for 
ways to save and lengthen human life. 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


New Stomachs for Old 
Successful in 20 Cases 

provided approximately 20 persons through 
a new surgical technique developed by doc- 
tors at the University of California at Los 
Angeles Medical School and the West Los 
Angeles Veterans Administration. 

The surgical technique was designed for 
cases in which cancer of the stomach de- 
manded complete removal of the stomach, 
and in some cases, parts of other abdominal 
organs. It was developed by Drs. John M. 
Beal and William P. Longmire. 

The operation involves removal of a seg- 
ment from the upper portion of the small 
intestine (jejunum) and transplanting it be- 
tween the esophagus and the duodenum. 

In all cases the new stomach has appeared 
to be adequate, and the operation is much 
simpler and less hazardous than other surgi- 
cal techniques designed to provide substi- 
tute stomachs. 

Providing a substitute stomach after re- 
moval of the organ is not always necessary, 
said Dr. Beal. Many patients adjust them- 
selves eventually to a normal mode of living 
without a gastric reservoir. 

However, those patients provided with 
substitute stomachs by the new technique 
seem to adjust more rapidly and without 
the marked lack of capacity for food, upper 
abdominal distress and inability to regain 
their former weight that often characterize 
the adjustment period. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Antibiotic Available 
For Amebic Dysentery 

> FUMAGILLIN, AN antibiotic or so- 
called mold remedy specifically effective 
against the germs of amebic dysentery, is 
now available for doctors to use in treating 
patients with the intestinal form of the dis- 
ease. Capsules of it to be swallowed are 
being put on the market by Abbott Lab- 
oratories, North Chicago, III. 

The antibiotic was originally isolated 
from an Aspergillus organism by Drs. F. R. 
Hanson and E. Eble of the Upjohn Com- 
pany, Kalamazoo, Mich. Its first promise 
of becoming good medicine for amebic 
dysentery has now been followed by re- 
ports of good results in more than 200 pa- 
tients. (See SNL, March 3, 1951, p. 133.) 

The drug is unusual because it does not 
act against the bacteria normally found in 
the intestinal tract nor against viruses and 
fungi, but only against amebas, the germs 
that cause amebic dysentery. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 



Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Test Mountain Winds 

To discover how world’s glider record was achieved, 
a moving mountain in a ten-foot tank has been set up. Another 
model will aid study of atmospheric temperature differences. 

> OTHER THINGS than faith are mov- 
ing mountains. In a laboratory at Johns 
Hopkins University, Baltimore, a model of 
the mountains of the Sierra Nevada range 
near Bishop, Calif., is being moved back 
and forth to try to discover how the world 
glider record of 45,000 feet was achieved in 
wind currents set up around the mountain. 

This work was revealed by Dr. Robert R. 
Long at the American Meteorological So- 
ciety meeting in New York. His moving 
mountain is in a tank ten feet long, two 
feet high and five inches wide. The air 
around the mountain is represented by 
layers of three different fluids, the bottom 
fluid being heaviest and the top lightest in 

Not only does he hope to discover how 
the fast-moving vertical wind current that 
can take a glider up to 45,000 feet is set up 
near the mountain, but also he hopes to 
find out some of the seasons for the differ- 
ent kinds of turbulence around such moun- 
tain chains as the Rockies, the Andes and 
the Himalayas. 

Dr. Long’s mountain, a smooth round 
object, is moved back and forth along the 
bottom of a channel. Thus, relatively, the 
liquid atmosphere is moving against the 
mountain. The denser “air” in the bottom 


moves up and over the top of the mountain, 
then it tumbles down the other side, gath- 
ering speed as it goes. 

Down at the bottom it is in a highly un- 
stable condition, and sometimes takes what 
is called a hydraulic jump, extending high 
into the troposphere about 40,000 feet. The 
faster the air speed across the top of the 
mountain and the less dense the air near 
the ground, the better chance there is for a 
terrific hydraulic jump. From observation 
of these jumps in the laboratory will come 
new knowledge of how our weather is gen- 
erally affected by mountain chains. 

At the University of Chicago, Dr. Dave 
Fultz is getting ready to measure tempera- 
ture differences in a model of the atmos- 
phere of the entire Northern Hemisphere. 
The model, with a radius of seven and 
one-half inches from the “North Pole” to 
the “equator,” shows a change in tempera- 
ture of about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, a big 
jump in such a small space. 

By measuring temperature differences at 
various places in his model, Dr. Fultz hopes 
to find out more about how cold air moves 
down from polar regions in the winter, and 
warm air moves up from the equator dur- 
ing the summer. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

3 Tons for Each Person 

> AMERICAN LIVING standards require 
almost three tons of products from farms 
and forests each year for every man, woman 
and child in the nation. 

To meet the constant and growing de- 
mands on agriculture to supply enough food 
and fibers for the American people, the re- 
sources of science have been called into play 
on an enormous scale. 

The annual report of the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant In- 
dustry, Soils and Agricultural Engineering 
is a veritable encyclopedia of advances in the 
science of agriculture. The report lists some 
50 new and improved crop varieties released 
during the year, including varieties resist- 
ant to disease, with higher yields and with 
wider growth ranges. 

Among the long-term advances of science 
in agriculture are the development of hy- 
brid corn; the use of more and better fer- 
tilizers; the coming of DDT; production of 
disease-resistant varieties of plants; use of 
mechanization, electricity, and soil conserva- 
tion techniques. 

Scientists have their job cut out for them 
in their search for new ways to increase 
American agricultural production, in the 
race between food supply and population 
increase. Here are some of their points of 

(1) Insect damage and disease destroy 
billions of pounds of food and fibers each 
year. Insects cost the U. S. $4,000,000,000 
a year in crops and livestock. Ten percent 
of all farm animals are lost to disease and 
parasites. Science must find new weapons 
against these enemies. 

(2) Ways to use fertilizers more effec- 
tively must be found. Farmers use $1,000,- 
000,000 worth of plant nutrients a year to 
get present production. But scientists admit 
that the full benefit of fertilizers is not ob- 
tained because of lack of knowledge about 
how they work. 

(3) New varieties of plants and animals 
with high food yield and resistance to dis- 
ease, adverse weather and soil conditions 
must be developed. 

(4) Chemistry must continue to add to 

the productiveness of the soil. Chemical 
weed killers, soil conditioners, antibiotics to 
increase plant and animal growth are just 
a few of the contributions of this science to 

(5) Agricultural engineers must find bet- 
ter ways of cultivation, soil conservation and 
irrigation. New machinery for farms must 
come forth every year. 

The race for food is a race against time. 
American standards of living depend di- 
rectly on the productiveness of this nation’s 
soil. If America’s agriculture fails to keep 
pace with the increase of population, our 
standards must drop. But the promise of 
science is that this will never happen. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


VOL. 63 FEBRUARY 14, 1953 No. 7 

The Weekly Summary of Current Science, pub- 
lished every paturday by SCIENCE SERVICE, Inc., 
1719 N Si W., Washington 6, D. C., NOrth 
7-2255. dite by WATSON DAVIS. 

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The Institution for the Popularization of Science 
organized 1921 as a non-profit corporation. 

Board of Trustee—Nominated by the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science: Karl 
Lark-Horovitz, Purdue University; Kirtley F. Mather, 
Harvard University. Nominated by the National 
Academy of Sciences: Harlow Shapley, Harvard 
College Observatory; R. A. Millikan, California In- 
stitute of Technology; Homer W. Smith, New York 
University. Nominated by the National Research 
Council: Ross G. Harrison, Yale University; Alex- 
ander Wetmore, Smithsonian Institution; Duane 
Roller, Hughes Aircraft Co. Nominated by the 
Journalistic Profession: A. H. Kirchhofer, Buffalo 
Evening News; Neil H. Swanson, Baltimore Sun 
Papers; O. W. Riegel, Washington and Lee School 
of Journalism. Nominated by the E. W. Scripps 
Estate: Frank R. Ford, San Francisco News; John T. 
O’Rourke, Washington Daily News; Charles E. 
Scripps, E. W. Scripps Trust. 

Officers—President: Harlow Shapley; Vice Presi- 
dent and chairman of Executive Committee: Alex- 
ander Wetmore; Treasurer: O. W. Riegel; Secre- 
tary: Watson Davis. 

Staff—Director: Watson Davis. Writers: Jane 
Stafford, A. C. Monahan, Marjorie Van de Water, 
Martha G. Morrow, Ann Ewing, Wadsworth Likely, 
Allen Long, Horace Loftin. Science Clubs of Amer- 
ica: Joseph H. Kraus, Margaret E. Patterson. Pho- 
tography: Fremont Davis. Sales and Advertising: 
Hallie Jenkins. Production: Priscilla Howe. In 
London: J. G. Feinberg. 

Science News Letrer for February 14, 1953 

PARACHUTE RECOVERY—Shown here being examined for damage by 

U. S. Air Force and Ryan Aeronautical Engineers is a comparatively light- 

weight recovery parachute used for high-speed, heavy-weight drops in the 
New Mexico desert. 


Parachute Robot Plane 

Robot plane about half the size of a jet fighter can be 
parachuted back to earth after its use as a military target 
plane, thus saving wear and tear on the electronic equipment. 

> AN AIR Force radio-controlled “fighter” 
plane, used in military target practice, para- 
chutes to earth when its flight mission is 
ended, the Air Research and Development 
Command has reported. 

Known as the Ryan Q-2, the robot plane 
is about half the size of a jet fighter and 
flies at regular fighter plane speeds. It is 
controlled remotely from a box on the 
ground at the Holloman Air Development 
Center, Alamogordo, N. Mex., and acts as 
a target for the guns of fighter planes and 
anti-aircraft artillerymen. 

Because of its delicate and expensive elec- 
tronic stuffings, it is desirable to use a para- 
chute to bring the plane to earth. The 
parachute can land the plane with less risk 
to the electronic equipment than can the 
remote-control system. 

No bullets are fired at the plane during 
target practice. Instead, the plane gives air- 
borne and ground-based radar something to 
lock on and to track as it maneuvers at near- 
sonic speeds through the skies. 

Especially lightweight for its size, the 
parachute is unhitched automatically when 
the plane touches the ground. It has been 
successfully used in the past to lower some 
of the heaviest objects ever dropped from 
aircraft. Some of the objects, such as big 
guns, plummet through the air at near- 
sonic speeds, yet are undamaged by the fall. 

Although they are a novelty, parachuting 
airplanes are not new. As early as 1927, 
aeronautical engineers attached parachutes 
to planes and proved that the craft could be 
lowered safely by ‘chute in emergencies. 
It was thought in the 1930’s that all com- 
mercial aircraft eventually would be 
equipped with them. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Cosmetics Dangerous 
To Inquisitive Children 

> KEEP THE cosmetic bottles, metal pol- 
ishes, paint removers and insect repellents 
securely closed and out of reach of the chil- 
dren, warns Dr. Morton J. Rodman of 
Rutgers University College of Pharmacy, 
New Brunswick, N. J. 

These substances may contain chemicals 
that can poison a small child if he drinks 
them. Since in many cases the ingredients 
are not listed on the label, the doctor called 
to treat a child who has taken a swallow 
or two out of curiosity does not know what 
antidote to give. 

Dr. Rodman predicts that 600 children 
will die of poison in America during the 
next 12 months. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Women Keep Teeth 
Better Than Men 

> BECAUSE WOMEN visit their dentists 
more often than men, they lose fewer teeth, 
the American Dental Association an- 
nounced in Chicago. 

One out of each 10 grown men has lost 
all his teeth but for grown women the 
figure is one out of each 15, an association 
survey shows. 

Perfect dental health was found in about 
one out of 12 of the patients examined. 

The survey was made by more than 4,000 
family dentists and covered 39,679 patients. 
Other facts from the survey, appearing in 
the Journal of the American Dental Assocta- 
tion (Feb.), are: 

Tooth decay was found to be the princi- 
pal reason for the loss of teeth up to the 
age of 39 for women and 34 for men. After 
these ages, periodontal diseases (ailments of 
the gums and other tooth-supporting tis- 
sues) were primarily responsible for loss of 
teeth. Almost 50%, more men than women 
were found to be in need of extractions be- 
cause of diseased gums, further indicating 
more dental neglect by males. 

Teen-agers between the ages of 15 and 19 
were most in need of dental fillings. Dental 
patients in this age group were found to 
have an average of five decayed teeth each. 

About one-fourth of all boys and girls 
between the ages of 10 and 14 were in need 
of orthodontic (realignment of teeth) treat- 

One out of each ten adult dental patients 
needed immediate treatment for diseases of 

the gums. 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Eight Jet Engines Power 
Air Force’s New Bomber 

See Front Cover 

on the cover of this week’s Science News 
LETTER is the U.S. Air Force’s super-secret 
bomber, the XB-52. The big plane is pow- 
ered by eight Pratt and Whitney J-57 turbo- 
jet engines, believed the most powerful in 
the world. The engines are slung in 
double pods under the plane’s swept-back 

Ordered into production in March, 1951, 
the plane is 153 feet long and has a wing- 
span of 185 feet. The curious wing shape 
shown on the cover is due to three things: 
the angle at which the photograph was 
taken, the atmosphere, and the normal up- 
ward flexing of the wing tip at the moment 
the picture was snapped. 

Although the Air Force says little about 
its new plane, onlookers at Boeing Field, 
Seattle, reported the big ship cracked seven- 
inch-thick concrete runways there during 
ground tests. Its engines made so much 
noise that nearby buildings shook. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 



Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Strong Atmospheric Tides 

Moon causes strong tides in atmosphere similar to 
those in ocean. Energy equivalent of about 1,000,000 atomic 
bombs is stored in these tides, physicist reports. 

> THE ENERGY equivalent of about one 
million atomic bombs is stored in the atmos- 
pheric tides caused by the attraction of the 
moon on the earth’s outer envelope. 

These lunar tides in the atmosphere are 
similar to those in the oceans, A. G. Mc- 
Nish of the National Bureau of Standards 
told the Philosophical Society of Washing- 
ton in his presidential address. They are 
found both high in the atmosphere and 
close to the earth’s surface, he reported, and 
are at their strongest at the equator. 

At the earth’s surface, the speed of these 
tides, known as lunar winds, is only about 
one-twentieth of a mile per hour, too low 
to be felt or measured. They can, however, 
Mr. McNish stated, be detected by statistical 
treatment of a lengthy series of meteoro- 
logical data. 

A study of the lunar winds, both in the 
upper and lower atmosphere, is leading to 
a better understanding of the variations in 
the earth’s magnetism. 

High tide and low tide in the air come 
twice daily, just as in the oceans. There 
are also, Mr. McNish said, high points in 
the atmospheric tide that are equivalent to 
the ocean’s spring tide. These extra strong 
changes in the earth’s lunar winds come 
twice in every lunar month, four days after 
the new moon and four days after the full 


New Vertical 

> A NEW scismograph that can follow 
earthquake waves eight times around the 
earth may settle once for all whether this 
planet’s core is molten or solid. 

Developed at Columbia University’s La- 
mont Geological Observatory, the “Ultra- 
long Period Vertical Seismograph” received 
its first major test by recording the Kam- 
chatka quake of Nov. 4, 1952. This earth- 
quake, which was as powerful as the one 
that destroyed San Francisco in 1906, was 
first recorded on the seismograph 12 min- 
utes after the first shock, 5,260 miles away. 

Dr. Maurice Ewing, who designed the 
seismograph with Dr. Frank Press, de- 
scribed the earthquake as seen on the seis- 

“For the next 20 hours our seismograph 
recorded the shock waves as they continued 
to circle the earth in both directions. We 
detected 15 trains of waves in all. This 
last group of waves had gone completely 
around the globe no less than eight times, 

From the presence of the low speed lunar 
winds near the earth’s surface, the presence 
of “greatly amplified” upper atmosphere 
winds is inferred theoretically. Their effect 
can be spotted, Mr. McNish said, by chart- 
ing the changes required in the wave- 
lengths used for good reception of long 
distance radio under similar conditions in 
regions near the equator. The frequency 
necessary to get through clearly may vary 
as much as 30% in one week between the 
same two points, he stated. 

These radio waves are reflected by ion- 
ized layers in the earth’s outer envelope, 
and one layer, known as the F-2, has been 
known to rise as much as 20 miles an hour. 

Often “conspicuous in a day’s record,” 
these vertical motions are associated with 
the moon. By a complex interaction of 
forces, the vertical movement is connected 
with the horizontal motions of the ionized 
layers, which run to similar velocities of 
about 20 miles an hour. The energy which 
causes this motion, Mr. McNish stated, is 
“pumped out” of the lower atmosphere. 

The lunar winds rotate around the clock, 
in the Northern Hemisphere, in a clockwise 
direction if one could look down on the 
atmosphere from above. They go to the 
east in the morning and to the west in the 
evening, he said. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


having traveled altogether about 182,000 
miles. Its wavelength was over 1,000 miles 
and its period between 400 and 500 seconds, 
or about seven minutes. 

“This particular wave was traveling at 
a speed of 2% miles per second, and we 
believe it felt the earth’s core.” 

The seismograph is designed to measure 
special shock waves of very long lengths 
that are governed by the mantle of the 
earth, instead of by the crust of the earth 
as in the case of shorter waves. 

These waves, called mantle Rayleigh 
waves, can be used to measure the degree 
of solidity of the earth’s core, Dr. Ewing 
said, and thus may finally decide the ques- 
tion of whether liquids or solids fill the 
center of the globe. 

First indications from the new seismo- 
graph indicate that the earth’s core is 

“The great interest of the longer waves 
is that their velocity ceases to increase with 

wavelength, contrary to the trend in shorter 
waves,” Dr. Ewing said. “Since the depth 
of penetration of the surface waves increases 
with wavelength, we interpret this failure 
of the longest waves to increase in velocity 
to mean that they are ‘feeling’ the liquid 
core of the earth. If the center of the 
earth were solid, we would expect a con- 
tined increase in velocity with wavelength 
as the transmitting medium became more 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

17-Foot Anaconda 
Oldest Captive Snake 

> A SOUTH American anaconda holds 
the longevity record for snakes kept in cap- 
tivity in the United States. The giant water 
snake, kept in the Washington zoo, was 17 
feet long when he died at the age of 28 

Runner-up in the reptilian old-age con- 
test is a rainbow boa, still alive in the Staten 
Island zoo, 27 years and 4 months old, re- 
ports Dr. C. B. Perkins of the Zoological 
Society of San Diego in a list of 60 longevity 
records for snakes. 

Other records: 

A cobra, in the San Diego zoo, 23 years 
and 3 months; an American corn snake, 21 
years and 9 months, Philadelphia zoo; and 
a reticulated python, 20 years even, at the 
St. Louis zoo. 

The oldest rattlesnake is a Texas rattler, 
15 years and 7 months, in the St. Louis zoo. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Turbocompound Engine 
To Outfly British Jets 

> THE SUPER Constellation transport 
now on Lockheed’s assembly line “is the 
plane the jet has got to beat,” company offi- 
cials have declared in what is believed to be 
a challenge to Britain’s jetliner. 

The Super Constellation can cruise 350 
miles an hour, powered by four turbo-com- 
pound engines that create 13,000 horse- 
power. Its “unusually long range, coupled 
with extra speed of the turbo-compound, 
enables them to outfly jets by avoiding re- 
fueling stops,” the company said. The new 
plane can carry 99 passengers. 

Britain’s  much-talked-about Comet jet- 
liner now cruises 350 miles an hour and 
carries 36 passengers. Powered by four de 
Havilland engines, the plane has a 1,500- 
mile range. 

The de Havilland Aircraft Company is 
now under contract to Pan American World 
Airways to build three modified Comets for 
delivery in 1956. The Comet III, as it is 
called, is to cruise 500 miles an hour, 
powered by four turbojet engines. Each 
plane is to carry 58 first-class passengers or 
76 tourists, and is to have a cruising range 
of 2,700 miles. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Ww" Loe 

CONTRAST CANCEROUS LIVERS—Laboratory photographs show the 
startling contrast between enlarged, cancerous rat livers and the normal rat 

livers from two groups, both fed the same cancer-inducing chemical. 


pituitary gland had been removed from the group of rats whose livers were 
found to be normal. 


Research Hospital to Open 

> THE CLINICAL Center, new 500-bed 
combined research hospital and laboratory 
of the U. S. Public Health Service’s, Na- 
tional Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., is 
scheduled to open “sometime in April,” 
Science Service has learned. 

The exact date has not been announced 
and probably will not be. The first pa- 
tients will be received quietly, without even 
the screaming siren of an ambulance to 
herald their arrival. 

Sparing the feelings of the patients and 
their relatives is the reason for the compara- 
tive hush-hush over the first arrivals. 

This new hospital, it is explained, is a 
research center for study of the major health 
problems of the nation. Mental and nerv- 
ous diseases, stubborn infectious diseases, 
cancer, heart and blood vessel diseases, and 
arthritis are the chief of these problems. 
Many patients, however, would not want 
the relatives or the neighbors back home 
to know they had come to this hospital if 
it would immediately label them as having 
one of these diseases. And even today 
many patients do not want it known that 
they have cancer or a mental disease or a 
serious form of heart disease. 

The patients who do come to this hos- 
pital, in April or later, will be admitted 
after lengthy and careful negotiations with 
their doctors back home to make sure they 
have the particular type or stage of disease 
under study, and that they are of the age, 
sex and other characteristics that fit the 
particular study. 

No patient will be admitted except when 
referred by a cooperating physician or 

medical group, such as the staff of a teach- 
ing hospital. 

This hospital is not just another hospital 
to care for patients. While the actual care 
will be the best that can be given, the hos- 
pital’s prime objective is to help find ways 
to conquer diseases that afflict not only its 
500 patients but hundreds of thousands or 
even millions of Americans all over the 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Patent Heating Unit 
For Wounded Soldiers 

> A HEATING unit which may be slipped 
into casualty evacuation bags to keep 
wounded soldiers warm on their trip from 
the front to the aid station or hospital has 
been invented. 

Insulated with Fiberglas, the unit is so 
arranged that one flat side is porous and the 
other is non-porous. An inner layer of 
Fiberglas holds a catalyst such as carbon 
black which is distributed among the fibers. 
In the middle of the unit is a fuel reservoir 
which feeds fuel to the Fiberglas. 

The heating unit, the inventors claim, can 
keep a wounded man warm without danger 
of too much heat. Donald M. Stadd, New 
York, and Raymond P. Schreiber, Washing- 
ton, received patent 2,627,266. They specify 
that the government may be allowed to use 
their invention without making royalty 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Clue to Cancer Seen 
In Pituitary Gland 

> THE PITUITARY gland in the head is 
now under suspicion as playing a villain’s 
role in the development of cancer. 

The suspicion comes from rat experiments 
at Stanford University, California. In the 
experiments, rats that had their pituitary 
glands removed failed to get cancer when 
fed a cancer-producing azo dye. Other rats, 
with pituitary glands left in their heads, 
developed large cancerous growths in their 
livers after 14 to 19 weeks of the diet. 

The pituitary gland, at the base of the 
brain, influences other glands of the body, 
including the adrenal glands. Next step 
in the research is to learn which function or 
gland influence of the pituitary is involved 
in the cancer picture. 

The research so far has been carried out 
by Prof. A. Clark Griffin, Drs. A. P. Rin- 
fret and Charles Robertson, Mrs. Marjorie 
O'Neal and V. F. Corsigilia. Results are 
reported in Cancer Research. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Little Drops Bump 
Bigger Water Drops 

> LITTLE DROPS of water bumping into 
bigger drops of water may be the most im- 
portant factor in producing rain. This was 
a theory tossed out to weathermen at the 
meeting of the American Meteorological 
Society in New York by Wendell A. Mordy 
and Laurence E. Eber of the Pineapple Re- 
search Institute in Hawaii. 

Several years ago, most weathermen 
thought that most rain came from clouds 
which reached high enough altitudes to 
be cold enough to produce tiny ice crystals. 
The ice crystals, this theory went, became 
large enough to fall through the clouds, 
melting when they got low enough and thus 
hitting the face of the earth as rain. 

Weathermen knew that some rain was 
coming from warm clouds, clouds that did 
not reach freezing and sub-freezing heights, 
but they thought this was only a minor 
factor in the production of rain. 

Mr. Mordy and Mr. Eber presented a 
record of 10 typical days of trade-wind 
weather in Hawaii. On six of those 10 
days it rained, and in no case did rain come 
from any cloud colder than 7.2 degrees 
Centigrade, about 45 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Although they merely presented these ob- 
servations, other weathermen picked up the 
implication that warm cloud rain may be 
more important and of greater volume than 
cold cloud rain in most other parts of the 
earth. If that is so, rain drops large enough 
to reach the ground without evaporating 
are probably formed by coalescence—by 
little drops of water in the clouds bumping 
into slightly bigger ones until large enough 
drops are formed to reach the earth. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Danger of Frostbite 
For Elderly Persons 

> A WARNING on the danger of frost- 
bite, especially to older persons who con- 
tinue at outdoor work, has been given by 
Dr. Gerald H. Pratt of New York City. 
Such persons are “dangerously susceptible 
to cold,” he points out in a report to GP, 
the journal of the American Academy of 
General Practice. 

Men whose work requires them to go in 
and out of refrigerator cars or iceboxes are 
in danger of suffering exposure, Dr. Pratt 
says. A variety of conditions made a person 
vulnerable to freezing cold. The presence 
or lack of wind, the humidity, the person’s 
clothing, his age, and his general condition, 
all play a part in the degree of frostbite. 

Dr. Pratt warns, “Most often the first 
symptom is a painful burning sensation 
followed by numbness and cold.” Napo- 
leon’s chief surgeon described the sensation, 
“as if the feet are made of wood.” 

The prevention of frostbite in civilian life 
is a big job, Dr. Pratt feels. An elderly 
person, or one who has diabetes or some 
circulatory disturbance should not be ex- 
posed or permitted to work out of doors 
in cold or wet weather. Shoes and socks 
should be changed as often as possible after 
exposure to wet or cold. 

Exposed people must be kept moving and 
not allowed to fall asleep in the cold. Seeing 
that the body is clean before going out in 
the cold or wet is important too, since in- 
fection will occur and tissue loss will in- 
crease if the skin is unclean and the skin 
broken because of frostbite. 

Proper treatment of frostbite is very im- 
portant he points out. Wounds should be 
cleansed, if they are dirty, with great care 
to prevent any tissue injury. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Patent Issued TV System 
For Transoceanic Service 

> A FLYING chain of commercial air- 
liners, cargo planes and other aircraft may 
be used in the future to get television from 
continent to continent. In a system pat- 
ented this week, the planes would relay the 
line-of-sight signals over oceans that the 
signals cannot span by themselves. 

Invented by Clarence W. Hansell of Port 
Jefferson, N.Y., and Donald S. Bond of 
Princeton, N. J., the system is based upon a 
transoceanic aircraft schedule that would 
keep planes flying 24 hours a day over the 
seas. Each plane would trail its predecessor 
by 250 or 300 miles, and all would fly about 
10,000 or 15,000 feet high. 

Television signals leaving England for 
America would be transmitted first from a 
land-based station, presumably in London. 
The program would be picked up by the 
plane nearest England and would be re- 
layed automatically to the next plane in the 

Science News Lerrer for February 14, 1953 

series flying toward America. Through 
such an airborne chain of relay stations, 
the program would skip across the Atlantic 
at the speed of light. It would be picked 
up by a TV station in New York and tele- 
cast to America the regular way. 

The patent also provides for a similar set 
of flying relay stations to carry a television 
program from America to England at the 
same time. 

Through electronic directional devices, 
the television signals can be pointed directly 
at the plane ahead so that good reception 
is assured. Called a “service channel,” 
these devices also permit verbal communi- 
cation between planes. 

The inventors assigned their patent, num- 
ber 2,627,021, to the Radio Corporation of 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Synthetic Hormone Helps 
Breast Cancer Victims 

> EIGHTEEN WOMEN with advanced 
inoperable breast cancer have been helped 
by a new hormone drug, Dr. George C. 
Escher of Memorial Hospital and Sloan 
Kettering Institute, New York, reported at 
the meeting of the southern section of the 
American Federation for Clinical Research 
in New Orleans. 

The drug is a synthetic hormone called 
androstanolone. It is a male hormone type 
of chemical but has weak masculinizing 
effects. For this reason it seems preferable 
to testosterone, male hormone used for some 
years in treatment of inoperable breast 

Although only 43%, of the 42 patients 
treated showed objective improvement, a 
larger proportion showed improvement in 
symptoms such as pain, lack of appetite and 
generally unwell feeling. This sympto- 
matic improvement occurred in 31 of the 
36 out of the 42 treated who had symptoms. 
In 19 of the 31, however, the symptomatic 
improvement came without objective im- 
provement, or signs of the drug affecting 
the cancerous condition itself. 

Androstanolone was originally prepared 
by two European chemists and Nobel Prize 
winners, the German, Dr. A. Butenandt, 
and the Swiss, Dr. L. Ruzicka. Because of 
its weak male hormone action, it was not 
given much attention, but Prof. A. Lip- 
schutz of the Santiago laboratories of the 
Chilean Public Health Service found it had 
anti-tumor effects in laboratory animals. 
Dr. Escher and associates tried it in a 
screening of various hormones that might 
be more effective than testosterone. 

The drug is now being made under the 
name, Neodrol, by Foundation Laboratories 
of New York, an associate of the Syntex 
laboratories in Mexico. 

Working with Dr. Escher in its trials 
were Drs. Joseph H. Farrow, Dorothy W. 
Sved, Guy Robbins, Helen Q. Woodard and 
Norman E. Treves. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Rotating Beacons 
For Airliners’ Tails 

> ROTATING BEACONS that finger the 
night from hilltops soon will have mechani- 
cal brothers flying in the sky. 

At least two commercial airlines are 
equipping their fleets with new 50,000 
candlepower rotating tail lights. The lights 
should reduce chances of two-plane colli- 
sions at night and in conditions of poor 
visibility. Other airlines are expected to 
follow suit. 

The light is mounted on top of the verti- 
cal fin of the airliner’s tail. It rotates slowly, 
warning nearby planes of the airliner’s 

Developed by General Electric Company 
engineers in Cleveland, the lights are of the 
sealed-beam variety. They are about 50% 
brighter than automobile headlights. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Way to Pack Lemons 
Saves $9,000,000 Yearly 

> THE PUBLIC should enjoy a $9,000,000 
saving in its annual lemon bill if a packing 
technique developed at the University of 
California at Los Angeles is adopted. 

Dr. Roy J. Smith, associate professor of 
agricultural economics, who developed the 
new technique, estimates the new method 
will save lemon packing houses about 72 
cents a standard box, since it cuts down 
packing costs as much as 80%, and retailers 
about 35 cents a box because of easier han- 
dling. Such a saving would exceed $1 a 
box on the estimated 9,000,000 boxes of 
lemons shipped from California each year. 

In contrast to the conventional method 
of packing lemons, in which each lemon is 
sized, wrapped in paper and placed in 
wooden crates by hand, the new process 
allows the lemons to be literally “poured” 
unwrapped into chemically-treated card- 
board cartons which are half the size of 
old-type wooden crates. Before the carton 
is sealed by a special machine, the fruit is 
shaken into a solid full pack by placing 
the box on an electric vibrator. 

“The key to packing lemons in bulk,” 
said Dr. Smith, “was the development by a 
Florida company of a fungistatic material 
with which the inside of the carton is lami- 
nated. This material stabilizes fungi growth 
and sets up a vapor pressure which prevents 
spoiled fruit from contaminating others.” 

Dr. Smith worked with the Citrus Indus- 
try Research Association and several com- 
mercial firms. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


New View of Neurotics: 
They Want to Be Thus 

> A NEW viewpoint on neurotics, which 
will appeal to many of their friends and 
relatives if not to the neurotics themselves, 
has been developed by Prof. O. Hobart 
Mowrer, University of Illinois psychologist. 

If a person is neurotic, Prof. Mowrer 
thinks, it is because he wants to be that 
way. In a report at the Cooper Union 
Forum in New York he said that neurosis 
is not an illness but a way of behaving, and 
it is just as much the choice of the indi- 
vidual as any other form of conduct. 

Prof. Mowrer believes that neurosis is 
caused by “one’s own denied sense of shame 
and self-criticism.” His position differs 
from Freud’s in that it places more respon- 
sibility upon the individual than upon par- 
ents or society for the cause of neurosis. 

“This conception of neurosis, I am sure, 
has far less appeal to neurotics and other 
immature persons than does the strictly 
Freudian conception,” he said. “And it is, 
rather obviously, related to the traditional 
religious view in such matters, which is 
epitomized by the familiar adage: Be good 
and you will be happy, that is, normal, 

“The neurotic, far from having too much 
guilt, as the Freudian position implies, has 
too little—too little in the sense of not let- 
ting it enter consciousness and participate 
in the control of his decisions and actions. 

“Irresponsibility is perhaps the neurotic’s 
greatest offense; and one of the main objec- 
tives of therapy should be to get the patient, 
little by little, to reverse this trend and be- 
come increasingly willing to be responsible, 
to take rather than evade consequences, and 
in this way to be changed by reality instead 
of trying to live on in a false world of 

one’s own creation.” 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Electricity Captures 
Eels for Life Studies 

> SCIENTISTS ARE using electricity to 
capture elusive, although non-electric, eels 
for studies on their life history. 

A. M. R. Burnet of the Fisheries Research 
Laboratory, Wellington, N. Z., reported in 
the Australian Journal of Marine and Fresh- 
water Research (Oct., 1952) that he has 
successfully used electro-fishing techniques 
for population studies of the eels of New 

Mr. Burnet sets up a rapidly pulsating 
electric field in the water between two elec- 
trodes which are attached to the ends of 

Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

long wooden poles. Power is supplied from 
four 6-volt batteries and carried by highly 
insulated wires. Eels caught in this elec- 
tric field are stunned or they are chased 
downstream into a waiting net. 

For his population studies, Mr. Burnet 
selected representative areas about 100 yards 
in length in the Horokiwi, Wainui-o-mata 
and Mangaroa rivers, placing a fine-meshed 
net across the river downstream. Then 
starting upstream, Mr. Burnet and an assist- 
ant, both insulated by rubber boots and elec- 
tric linesman’s rubber gloves, moved down, 
covering the entire bottom with the elec- 
tric field. Mr. Burnet estimated that 81% 
of the eel population in the test area was 
captured when the bottom was scoured with 
electricity three times, the usual practice. 

This technique of electro-fishing, which 
marks an improvement over earlier at- 
tempts, may prove of great value in the 
study of fishes. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Torch Fabrics Banned 
By Commercial Standard 

> FEWER INSTANCES of clothing going 
up in flames are expected to result from the 
recent adoption of a “commercial standard 
for flammability of clothing textiles.” 

Elimination of highly combustible, or 
“explosive,” fabrics from the retail market is 
the standard’s aim. Although only a few, 
fly-by-night-type manufacturers of clothing 
fabrics put out the highly flammable mate- 
rials, tragic accidents result. 

Still needed is a federal law under which 
anyone violating the ban against flammable 
garments in interstate commerce could be 
prosecuted. Such a law, introduced by Rep. 
Gordon Canfield (R., N. J.), is now pend- 
ing before the House Commerce Commit- 
tee. His bill incorporates the standards 
adopted by the industry. 

Congressman Canfield has introduced 
similar bills since the 80th Congress, but 
they have never got out of committee. The 
adoption of the standard by industries con- 
cerned may speed passage of such a bill, 
since it sets a nationally recognized method 
for distinguishing between safe and unsafe 
clothing textiles. 

Work on the test method was spurred by 
last year’s “torch” sweater tragedies. Sev- 
eral years ago a number of fatalities re- 
sulted from the extremely flammable na- 
ture of long-napped chaps on children’s 
cowboy suits. 

The new standard is aimed at providing 
the public with the maximum protection 
from such dangerous fabrics. Representa- 
tives of cotton and rayon producers, fabric 
manufacturers, finishers, converters, whole- 
salers, retailers and consumers helped to 
develop the standard under the coordina- 
tion of the American Association of Textile 
Chemists and Colorists and the National 
Retail Dry Goods Association. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


Handicapped Concern 
Of New Administrator 

> HELPING MEN and women who are 
crippled or otherwise handicapped to get 
back on their feet so they can work and be 
independent will be a special aim of the 
new Federal Security Administrator, Mrs. 
Oveta Culp Hobby. This will be so if one 
can judge from her first public speech since 
her appointment, made to the Women’s Na- 
tional Press Club in Washington. 

Evidence of her interest in this work, 
carried on by the Office of Vocational Re- 
habilitation in her agency, is seen in the 
fact that the work of this office and that of 
only one other, the Social Security Admin- 
istration, were chosen for specific examples 
of the FSA’s work. Of course, this may have 
been because Mrs. Hobby has not yet had 
time to familiarize herself with the work 
of the other eight agencies in the FSA. 

As an “outstanding example of money 
wisely and productively spent,” Mrs. Hobby 
told of a man crippled in an accident, who 
for more than a year had been getting $182 
a month relief money for himself, his wife 
and five children. At an outlay of $261 of 
Federal Vocational Rehabilitation funds for 
surgical and hospital care, this man was 
“literally put back on his feet” so that he 
could get work paying him $87 a week. 

In the past year, Mrs. Hobby said, 12,000 
people who had been on relief at a cost of 
$8,500,000 were rehabilitated at a cost of 
$6,000,000. After rehabilitation, these peo- 
ple are able to earn at the rate of $22,000,000 
a year. 

Mrs. Hobby feels that she and the 34,800 
or so employees of FSA must consider them- 
selves “a peculiarly dedicated group of peo- 
ple” because their work has such great im- 
pact on the lives of all Americans. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

3-Dimensional Movies 
Without Optical Devices 

> THE CURRENT boom in three-dimen- 
sional movies may profit by an invention of 
Ralph L. Huber of Seattle, Wash. Mr. 
Huber’s invention promises the illusion of 
three dimensions without requiring the 
viewer to wear special optical devices like 
the glasses handed out in some movie 
theaters. The inventor also claims that 
any number of positive prints can be made 
from the negatives used in his system, and 
the prints can be distributed through regu- 
lar channels. 

In his system, the “right-eye” and “left- 
eye” views are projected on a special screen. 
The screen is built so that each view will 
be reflected, respectively, into the proper 
eye of each member of the audience, no 
matter where he is sitting. 

Mr. Huber received patent number 2,627,- 
200 for his invention. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 



Science News Lerter for February 14, 1953 

You Take Time To React 

Your auto moves forward several dozen feet while 

you try to stop in an emergency. 

It continues going forward 

even while you move to step on the brakes. 


> THERE IS a danger zone in front of 
every moving automobile. It is the dis. 
tance you travel between the time you spot 
danger and the instant your car actually 

As your reaction time becomes greater 
from fatigue, worry or eyestrain, the danger 
zone lengthens. As the speed at which you 
drive your car increases, the farther this 
zone of danger stretches out in front of you. 
Fog and snow, poor brakes and bad roads 
make it still longer. 

This distance within which you cannot 
stop is surprisingly long. With average 
brakes, if you are traveling at only 20 miles 
an hour, you probably move over 50 feet 
even after you have spotted danger. If 
moving 40 miles an hour, you go about 165 
feet before stopping. And if speeding along 
at 60 miles an hour, you will go forward 
over 335 feet before coming to a standstill. 

When a driver sees a car about to cross 
his path or a child dart out into the street, 
he must react quickly to avoid an accident. 
It takes time for you to realize the danger 
and move to avoid it; time passes while 
you step on the brakes which slowly bring 
the car to a halt. 

Time Lag Before Action 

Three-quarters of a second usually passes, 
with the car at unchecked speed, between 
the time a driver spots danger and steps 
on the brake pedal. A car being driven ten 
miles an hour normally goes forward a 
minimum of 11 feet between the time a 
driver becomes aware of danger and steps 
on the brakes. One going 20 miles an 
hour usually moves forward 22 feet. A car 
driven 60 miles an hour goes 66 feet for- 
ward before the driver, spotting danger, 
reacts to put on the brakes. 

You probably think you move rather 
quickly when alerted for danger—which is 
not always the case when you drive. The 
truth, however, may be otherwise. A sim- 
ple little gadget which you can easily make 
at home shows how really slow you and 
your friends are in your reactions. 

Called a gravity chronoscope, the device 
was designed by Dr. Harold Schlosberg, 
psychologist at Brown University, Provi- 
dence, R. I. To measure your time, simply 
have a friend drop an object and see how 
far it falls before you can stop it. 

The following table shows the time re- 
quired for an object to fall different dis- 
tances. The best object to drop is a yard- 

stick. It will save trouble if you mark the 
stick off in time units so the reaction time 
can be read directly from it. Thus oppo- 
site the half-inch mark put .05 sec. Use 
the following table, copying the numbers 
so you can read upward from zero. 
This table shows how far a free-falling 
object will drop during the first half second: 

Seconds Inches 
Start 0 
05 1/2 
10 1 15/16 
15 4 5/16 
.20 7 11/16 
25 12 
30 17 5/16 
35 23 1/2 
40 30 3/4 
45 38 7/8 
50 47 7/8 

Use a doorframe so you will have a sort 
of track to guide the yardstick as it falls. 

Mark a short horizontal pencil line at eye 
level on the frame. This is your index 
line, the place where your friend should 
hold the bottom, zero point of the yard- 
stick each time you perform the experiment. 

Ask him to press the yardstick against the 
doorframe with his thumb, standing so you 
can hold your thumb just below the end of 
the stick, ready to stop it by pushing it 
against the wall. Watch the yardstick and 
try to stop it as soon as you see it move, 
but do not touch it until it is actually re- 
leased. The index line will enable you to 
read your reaction time directly. 

Have a competition to see which one of a 
group has the quickest reaction time. For 
this, it is fairest to average about ten read- 
ings for each as sometimes a person is 
caught napping on a single trial. Always 
make a sudden release movement, or your 
friends will soon learn to beat the game. 

In these experiments you were on the 
lookout for the falling object or finger 
movement which released the yardstick, 
and you were set to make a single simple 
reaction. In driving, however, there are 
many distractions; it takes longer to size 
up the situation and make the proper one 
of several possible responses. You seldom 
immediately become aware of danger, and 

QUICK-STOPPING TEST—High school students, under the direction of 

Pennsylvania State College scientists, measure accurately the reaction time 

and the stopping distance of a test car through the use of a detonator device. 

A blank cartridge fires a chalk mark on the street at the start of the test and 

at the time the brakes are applied, making it possible to measure the danger 
zone in front of the car. 

when you do, your foot reaction is always 
slower than your hand reaction. 

When you expect trouble, it may take you 
only 0.4 to 0.5 second to step on the brakes. 
When you are required to steer the car as 
well, your brake-reaction time increases to 
around 0.6 to 0.7 second. In actual driving 
on the road, your performance is even 
more complex and 1.5 seconds or more 
usually pass before you react, as shown by 
studies at the Yale Bureau of Highway 
trafic by Dr. T. W. Forbes. Failure to 
recognize potential hazards is an outstand- 
ing cause of accidents. 

If you are a young and inexperienced 
driver, pay particular attention to your 
driving. Drivers under 25 years of age 
have more than their share of accidents, ac- 
cording to a number of studies of accident 
records by Dr. A. R. Lauer of Iowa State 
College and others. As a rule, drivers over 
35 and under 60 years of age have fewer 
accidents. If you are over 60, you do not 
react as quickly as you used to and must 
exercise more caution in driving. 

Not only does a car continue to go for- 
ward, however, while you move to step on 
the brakes but it takes time for the brake 
pedal to actuate the brakes, for the brakes 
to grip the wheels and for the wheels to 


After seeing 
danger, you go 
this far before 
stepping on the 



Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

stop rolling. The following experiment 
will give you a rough idea of how far for- 
ward even a slow-moving car goes between 
the time someone shouts “stop” and the in- 
stant the car comes to a standstill. 

Drive your car on a private driveway 
where there is no other traffic. If you do 
not drive, measure someone else’s stopping 
distance. Fill a small bag with sand or dirt, 
or use a bean bag, so it will stay where 
dropped. Ask a friend to hold the bag far 

out of the right window, and shout “stop” | 

at the very instant he throws the bag down 

Drive your car at ten miles an hour, and 
put on the brakes the instant your friend 
calls “stop.” Measure the distance from 
the car window back to the bag and you 
will discover about how far the car went 
after the stop signal was given. Actually, 
the car moves a bit farther because the bag 
of sand, while falling, moved forward with 
the speed of the car. 

A chart makes vivid the great distance 
covered in stopping after danger has been 
sighted. Designed by the American Auto- 
mobile Association for an average reaction 
time of .75 second and relatively good 
brakes (50% efficient), the following shows 
total stopping distances for various speeds: 


After applying 
brakes, you go 
this much 
farther before 
the car stops 

After spotting 
danger, you 
travel this far 
before stopping 

Miles Feet Reaction-time Braking Total stopping 

per hour per second distance (feet) distance (feet) distance (feet) 
10 14.7 11.0 7. 18.0 
15 22.0 16.5 15 31.5 
20 29.3 22.0 27 49.0 
25 36.7 275 42 69.5 
30 44.0 33.0 60 93.0 
35 51.3 38.5 82 120.5 
40 58.7 44.0 107 151.0 
45 66.0 49.5 135, 184.5 
50 73.3 55.0 167 222.0 
55 80.7 60.5 202 262.5 
60 88.0 66.0 241 307.0 



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People usually underestimate the braking 
distance of a car because they assume that 
if the speed is doubled, the braking will 
also be doubled. But braking distance in- 
creases as the square of the speed. So ac- 
tually if you are going along at 20 miles an 
hour and can stop within 30 feet, then 
speed up to 40, your braking distance will 
be four times as great or 120 feet. If your 
speed is three times as great, or 60 miles an 
hour, your braking distance will be in- 
creased nine times to 270 feet. 

Several very exact instruments for meas- 
uring actual stopping distances have been 
developed by the Traffic Engineering and 
Safety Department of the American Auto- 
mobile Association. Designed to be sus- 
pended from the car, they ride about six 
inches above the ground. Blank cartridges 
force a piece of chalk onto the pavement, 
permanently marking the point where the 
signal to stop is given, the brakes applied 
and so on. 

Gadgets for Indoor Use 

Other gadgets, designed for indoor use, 
also give a pretty good indication of your 
driving ability. Some, using automobile 
parts, measure how well your eyes, hand 
and foot coordinate. Others present actual 
trafic hazards in miniature on a small-scale 
road and record how well you avoid them 
by indoor driving. 

But even if you react promptly, the 
“grip” of your tires may not be too effec- 

Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

tive on the road surface. Or the weather 
may be working against you. Skid marks 
are mute witnesses to the distance a car 
slides on a wet pavement, mud or snow. 
Even at only 35 miles per hour a car will 
skid nearly a hundred feet on wet concrete. 
So watch your speed, the one factor over 
which you have greatest control. 

Arrange Own Demonstration 

Following the suggestions in this article, 
you can take the lead in arranging a safety 
demonstration in your community, perhaps 
in cooperation with your local newspaper. 

A detonator for showing delayed stop- 
ping time can probably be borrowed from 
your local AAA Club, progressive truck 
fleet company, high school offering driving 
instruction or police department. Advance 
practice will help your program go off 

Select a straight stretch of road that can 
be blocked off easily by arrangement with 
and under direction of the local police. For 
participants in the test, pick a high school 
boy and girl who have recently learned to 
drive, several adults of varying tempera- 
ment, a fleet or other professional driver, 
and one or two older people. To avoid em- 
barrassment, however, be sure to explain 
in advance to the older volunteers that the 
test may show them a little slow in reacting. 

Test reactions when alerted and when not 
primed for the “stop” signal to show how 
slow drivers often are in becoming aware 

of danger. Arrange for those watching the 
show to test their own stopping distances 
if they wish. The local fire department 
will probably be glad to wet the road for 
skidding demonstrations. Others also would 
undoubtedly like to cooperate in such a 
highway safety demonstration. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Large Shark Caught 
2,300 Miles From Sea 

> A SIX-FOOT shark has been captured 
2,300 miles from the ocean, in the Peru- 
vian headwaters of the Amazon river, re- 
ports Dr. George S. Myers, ichthyologist of 
Stanford University, Calif. 

Dr. Myers said he learned about the river- 
going shark from Senor Felipe Ancieta of 
the Peruvian fish and game department, 
who sent him a picture of the shark which 
was caught near Iquitos, 2,300 miles from 
the Atlantic Ocean. The shark belongs to 
the genus Carcharhinus, the ground sharks, 
Dr. Myers said. 

While sharks are known to travel some 
distances up rivers, this is the first authentic 
record of a shark from so deep in the Ama- 
zon, Dr. Myers said. Several unverified re- 
ports had previously mentioned sharks as 
far up the river as Manaus, Brazil, 1,000 
miles from the coast. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

Now. You Can Stop Saying 
“L Always Spend Too Much on My Vacation" 

No matter what kind of vacation you want this year or next or where you want to go, Norman D. Ford, founder 
of the world-famous Globe Trotters Club, can tell you exactly 

—where to go—what to see—what to wear, take, and tip 

and how to have the best vacation of your life and do it all for less money. 


In his new book, Where to Vacation on a Shoestring, Norman Ford 
shows where to get real vacation bargains from one end of America to 
the other, from Florida to California, and he doesn’t forget Canada, 
Mexico, Hawaii, Cuba, and other favorite vacation spots. He names the 
most delightful places to spend a day, a weekend, or your entire vaca- 
tion. He doesn’t expect you to spend a lot, so he tells you all the many 
things you can do within your budget and how to stretch that budget. 


No matter how you want to reach your vacation spot or if you want 
to spend your entire vacation touring, Norman Ford draws upon his long 
experience and the advice given him by thousands of travelers, so that 
you can save, while enjoying yourself more, whether you go by auto, 
plane, rail, or ship. On auto travel alone, his simple ways to cut costs 
can save most automobile parties $6 or $7 a day. 


Whether you want to spend a weekend at Jones Beach or a full week 
in Los Angeles or other big cities; whether you want to tour the national 
parks or take in the magnificent Colorado Rockies or swim in the un- 
believably warm waters off Nova Scotia, that Canadian paradise of low 
cost vacations—no matter what you want to do, you can find hundreds 
of ideas in this book for enjoying yourself more and filling your entire 
vacation with a round of fun. 


There’s a whole chapter, too, on the unknown vacation wonderlands 
almost at your front door. There’s all you want to know about low cost 
sailing ship cruises, about fantastically low cost mountain vacations, and 
many another idea to give you a wider choice in this year’s vacation. 
To top it all, you’ll find its detailed chart on whom to tip and how much 
to tip just the final touch to smooth your vacation, and make you feel 
this year’s was the best you ever had. 

Whether you want to spend $100, $200, $300 or more this year on your 
vacation, you want Norman Ford’s Where to Vacation on a Shoestring. 
It’s a big book, with well over 125,000 words, and it’s a bargain in it- 
self, especially as it will help you get a better vacation and save you 
many times its cost. 

For just one dollar you get this money-saving book. 

For your copy fill out coupon and mail with remittance to HARIAN 

Mail to Harian Publications, 
12 Vernon Parkway, Greenlawn (Long Island), New York 

I enclose $1. Please send me WHERE TO VACATION ON A SHOE- 
STRING. You will refund my money if I am not satisfied. 

Print MaMes: 16% cscs esr SY OV G4 MOG ER LOSER AENEID OO SER BRT 

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BARGAIN PARADISES OF THE WORLD, a new, big book about the 
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Indies, the Balearic Islands, and dozens of other vacation and travel wonder- 
lands. Both books, a $2.50 value, for $2. Just check the box and mail 
$2. Same money back guarantee if not satisfied. 

Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

- Books of the Week - 

For the editorial information of our readers, books received for review since last week’s issue are listed. 

For convenient purchase of any U. S. book 

in print, send a remittance to cover retail price (postage will 
be paid) to Book Department, Science Service, 1719 N Street, N. W., Washington 6, D. C. 

Request free 

publications direct from publisher, not from Science Service. 

A Guide to Its Operation—UNESCO (Columbia 
University Press), 21 p., paper, 20 cents. A 
pamphlet intended to acquaint interested indi- 
viduals and organizations with the UNESCO 
agreement and to aid them in deriving maxi- 
mum benefit from it. 

AnnuaL Review oF Nuc ear Science, Vol. 
2—James G. Beckerley, Martin D. Kamen and 
others—Annual Reviews, 429 p., illus., $6.00. 
Covering the most important developments in 
the field for the year that have been cleared 
with respect to security. 

Kosux River—J. L. Giddings, Jr.—University 
Museum, 143 p., illus., paper, $2.50. Report of 
a study of the present Eskimo-speaking popula- 
tion of this area which includes clear streams, 
rugged mountains, forests and a bay of the sea, 
as well as of the archaeological remains which 
show more than 700 years of continuity for 
these people. 

Weapons Tests: Thirteenth Semiannual Report 
of the Atomic Energy Commission—Gordon 
Dean, Chairman—Govt. Printing Office, 210 p., 
illus., paper, 50 cents. In the last six months of 
1952, production of fissionable materials was 
stepped up, construction was started on an 
atomic reactor for the submarine U.S.S. Nauti- 
lus, a contract was entered into for developing 
a reactor for an aircraft carrier and preparatory 
work advanced toward atomic airplanes. (See 
SNL, Feb. 7, p. 85.) 

4 mor 
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EpucaTIon AND Liserty: The Role of the 
Schools in a Modern Democracy—James Bryant 
Conant — Harvard University Press, 168 p., 
$3.00. As a text for these lectures, Dr. Conant 
selected a quotation from Thomas Jefferson: “It 
is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can 
never be safe but in the hands of the people 
themselves, and that, too, of the people with a 
certain degree of instruction.” 

Roberts and Doris Skillman Stockton—Addison- 
Wesley, 211 p., paper, $3.00. Designed as a 
text for college students who are deficient in 
secondary school mathematics. 

ExpaANDING Our INpustrIAL MicHT: The 
Build-Up of U. S. Industrial Capacity—Office of 
Public Information, Defense Production Admin- 
istration—Govt. Printing Office, 30 p., illus., 
paper, 30 cents. Giving statistics on our expan- 
sion program. 

Ferns oF Hawai NationaL ParkK—Douglass 
H. Hubbard—Hawati Natural History Associa- 
tion, 40 p., illus., paper, 50 cents direct from 
publisher, Hawaii National Park, Hawaii. An 
introduction to the more abundant species of 
fern which may be seen by the visitor. 

Formosa: A Problem for United States For- 
eign Policy—Joseph W. Ballantine—Brookings 
Institution, 218 p., illus., $2.75. Providing the 
reader with that background which will enable 
him to understand and evaluate U. S. policy 
toward Nationalist China. 

them, sheets of suggested experi- 
ments and complete explana- 
tions of them. There are now 
more than ten thousand mem- 


THoucHt—E, R. Stabler—Addison-Wesley, 268 
p., $4.50. Intended to present material for the 
study of the role of thought in mathematics and 
the role of mathematics in thought. 

Harry C. Parker—Yosemite Natural History 
Association, 53 p., illus., paper, 6o cents direct 
from publisher, Box 545, Yosemite National 
Park, Calif. Intended to introduce the visitor 
to the park to the 78 kinds of wild animals he 
is likely to see there. 

SuLFuR CoMpounDs IN O1ts—Richard A. Patton 
and Joseph H. Lieblich—Mellon Institute, 8 p., 
illus., paper, free upon request direct to pub- 
lisher, 4400 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh 13, Pa. 

Waters oF BeErRMupA—Fritz Haas—5 p., paper, 
10 cents. The reclaiming of marshes for agri- 
cultural purposes is putting an end to such 
marine fauna. 

Avery S. Hoyt, Chief—Govt. Printing Office, 
84 p., paper, 25 cents. Major accomplishments 
of the year included the practical control by an 
insect predator of the noxious Klamath weed 
in one California county, and the successful 
colonization in Mexico of parasites to control 
citrus blackflies. 

ard W. Lull and Bernard Frank—Govt. Printing 
Office, USDA Circular No. 910, 64 p., illus., 
paper, 20 cents. Although resulting generally 
from forest and range research, the findings 
here reported also apply to farm land. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


in Things of science for 1953 


ONCE A MONTH for a year we will pack a blue package with scientific fun, 
with mental stimulation, with hours of absorption, with future hobbies, with 
knowledge; but specifically we will pack the boxes with THINGS of science— 
real objects of science to be handled and looked at and owned. And with 



1719 N Street N. W. © Washington 6, D. C. 

Send THINGS of science for one year to the 
names and addresses on the attached sheet. 

bers of the group of friends of 
science who receive one of these 
exciting boxes each month. This 
unusual service comes one year 
postpaid for $5. (Outside U.S.A. 
addresses, add $1 per year for 
extra postage.) 

Send 25c for new mineral speci- 
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Use this coupon to send in 
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Science News Lerter for February 14, 1953 

Change Hawaiian Climate 

> ONE HUNDRED tons—200,000 pounds 
—of common table salt is being tossed into 
clouds over Hawaii in a three-month pe- 
riod in an effort to make rain. 

This is a result of Nobel Prize-winner Dr. 
Irving Langmuir’s suggestion that the cli- 
mate of tropical islands such as Hawaii and 
Puerto Rico can be considerably changed 
by tossing ground-up table salt into clouds 
which might not otherwise produce rain. 

No one directly connected with the ex- 
periment will talk about it to reporters, but 
Science Service learned about these vast 
amounts of salt being thrown at clouds from 
authoritative sources. Reason for reluc- 
tance to talk is the controversial nature of 
Dr. Langmuir’s theory as to the effects of 
throwing salt at clouds. Many scientists do 
not believe that such large scale effects can 
be obtained. 

The effort is being supported by one cat- 
tle ranch. The machinery for throwing it 
into the clouds is on the top of a 4,000-foot 
mountain situated on the ranch. 

The salt, bought from a company which 
makes the table salt usually sold in retail 
grocery stores for about 15 cents for two 
pounds, is ground up into quite tiny salt 
crystals. The effort is made to duplicate 
the crystals tossed up from the surface of 


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the ocean around which most rain is be- 
lieved to be formed. 

The experiment will be over at the end of 
this month. 

Only after several months of arduous 
pouring over statistics will those in charge 
be able to know whether or not the salt 
actually produced any change in the rate 
of rainfall over the ranch in question. This 
will also be true of more large-scale effects 
some scientists expect to be produced. 

The salt is not tossed into the sky every 
day. A strictly objective method of picking 
out random days in the three-month period 
was used. Only on those random days is 
the attempt made to make rain with salt. 
It is the theory that these days can be com- 
pared with similar days in past years to 
show whether or not an increase in rain- 
fall was achieved. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 



AGRICULTURE — How many tons of land 
products are required each year for each per- 
son in the U.S.? p. 100. 
DENTISTRY—Why do women lose fewer teeth 
than men? p. 101. 

GEOPHYSICS—What is the energy equivalent 
stored in the lunar atmospheric tides? p. 102. 


PUBLIC HEALTH—How are cosmetics dan- 
gerous to inquisitive children? p. 101. 

PUBLIC SAFETY—How long is the danger 
zone in front of an automobile moving 40 
miles an hour? p. 106. 

Photographs: Cover, U. S. Air Force; p. 99, 
U. S. Marine Corps; p. 101, Ryan Aeronauti- 
cal Co.; p. 103, Stanford University; p. 106, 

Pennsylvania State College; p. 112, Saxl 

Instrument Co. 

Diphtheria Immunization 

> OLDSTERS, WHO in recent years have 
become the primary target of diphtheria, 
can now be immunized against the disease 
without the usual painful local and general 
body reactions. 

This is reported by a group of doctors of 
the University of California School of Medi- 
cine, San Francisco, who have successfully 
tried a new technique of immunization in 
163 persons, most of them elderly. 

Thirty years ago diphtheria was a disease 
primarily of childhood, the great majority 
of cases occurring in the first few years of 
life. Since then, however, immunization 
programs have made diphtheria uncommon 
in childhood. 

As a result of decreased incidence of the 
disease, the California doctors point out, 
there is less chance to acquire or maintain 
natural immunity by exposure to the diph- 
theria agent. 

Older persons thus have become the 
prime target of diphtheria, and complica- 
tions and mortality are at a maximum 
among the elderly. In San Francisco at pres- 
ent, about 60%, of diphtheria cases are over 
30 years of age. 

Large scale immunization of adults to 
diphtheria by the methods used for children 
has never been feasible because of the high 

incidence of severe local or general reactions’ 

to the immunizing material. The dose for 
children is usually three monthly injections 
of one cubic centimeter each, under the 

The California physicians used three very 
small doses at monthly intervals—.1 cubic 
centimeter per dose. The doses were in- 
jected into, not under, the skin. 

Blood tests showed that all but seven pa- 
tients were successfully immunized. There 

were no severe reactions, and only six 
minor reactions. 

The California research team consisted of 
Drs. Henry D. Brainerd, William Kiyasu, 
Mirra Scaparone, and Louis O’Gara. Their 
report was made in the New England 
Journal of Medicine (Nov., 1952). 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

A-Power No Help 
For Space Travel 

> ATOMIC ENERGY will not help in 
powering space rockets, Dr. Fritz Haber of 
the U. S. Air Force School of Aviation 
Medicine, Randolph Field, told the Insti- 
tute of Radio Engineers meeting in San 
Antonio, Tex. The atomic power source 
would be as heavy and bulky as chemical 
fuels conventionally used. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 


20 for 
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Fine for HOME WORKSHOPS, etc. 

Write for New Leaflet SNL-TPB 
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Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

Prevent Ingrown Toenail 

> DO NOT blame badly fitting shoes or 
stockings or faulty foot balance for ingrown 
toenails. Such conditions can cause plenty 
of trouble and should be corrected, but the 
ingrown toenail has another cause, in the 
opinion of Dr. David I. Schwartz, chief of 
the orthopedic section of the Veterans Ad- 
ministration Hospital, New York. 

In the average case, ingrown toenails re- 
sult from infection brought on by improper 
trimming of the nails, in Dr. Schwartz’ 
opinion. At a meeting of the American 
Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in Chi- 
cago, he said: 

“Tt has been my custom for many years to 
tell my patients that it should take no longer 
than one minute to trim the toenails on 
one foot and if it takes longer than that 
they are probably doing it improperly. The 
nail should be trimmed across the distal 
(outer) end so as not to injure the skin. 
The sharp corners on each end of the distal 
most portion of the nail can then be 
rounded off with scissors or emery board, 
but under no circumstances should the nail 
be trimmed into the tissue.” 

He said that the usual procedure for the 
average toenail victim is to dig deeply and 
the more deeply he digs and cuts the more 
thoroughly he thinks he is doing the job. 

This is the wrong procedure. In many 
cases, the skin is broken and infection 

“It is surprising to find,’ Dr. Schwartz 
said, “that many work days are actually 

The Knack of Using 
Subconscious Mind 

Sucu great men as Darwin, Edison, Ford, 
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UPDEGRAFF PRESS, LTD., 12 Harwood Bldg., 
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lost and much pain and disability is expe- 
rienced by those suffering from ingrown 

“The growth of the nail,” he explained, 
“is continuous during the life of the indi- 
vidual, being more active in the young and 
during the summer season. From 100 to 
160 days are required for the reproduction 
of a finger nail and three times that period 
for a nail of the toe. That means that it 
takes a minimum of nine months to regrow 

a toenail.” 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

De You Teal 

Musicians in Aztec society were exempt 
from taxation, but mistakes in performance 
of ritual music, such as a missed drum beat, 
brought the death penalty. 

One out of every 13 chemists in industry 
today is a woman. 

About 20,000,000 pounds of clams are 
harvested yearly on the Atlantic coast. 

Beavers weighing nearly 80 pounds have 
been trapped in Missouri. 

The entire collections at the Smithsonian 
Institution’s National Museum are esti- 
mated to be worth over a billion dollars. 

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Science News Letter for February 14, 1953 

e New Machines and Gadgets ° 

For addresses where you can get more information on the new things described here, send a three-cent stamp to SCIENCE NEWS LETTER, 1719 N St., 
To receive this Gadget Bulletin without special request each week, remit $1.50 

6, D. C., and ask for Gadget Bulletin 661. 

4 TEACHING AID for physics instruc- 
tors explains the present scientific theory 
of magnetism from the make-up of a “mag- 
netic atom” of iron to the finished bar or 
horseshoe magnet. The chart is illustrated 
with seven drawings, each accompanied by 
brief text. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

4 FIRE ALARM bell for the home clangs 
loudly in the master bedroom when a fire 
breaks out in the house. Individual rooms 
are monitored by detector cells, set for 125 
degrees Fahrenheit, which sound the alarm 
when overheated. The system can be ob- 
tained to work on batteries or on standard 
electric current. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

{ FORM-FITTING MASK of aluminum 
is held over the nose and mouth by an elas- 
tic headband, weighs less than one-half an 
ounce and is comfortable to wear. It filters 
particles of cement, lime, gypsum metal and 
dust from air inhaled by the wearer. Not 
recommended where fine silica dust, lead, 
arsenic and other toxic dusts are present. 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

4 ROTATING MERCURY switch is a 
lightweight glass tube-like affair designed 
to work at very low temperatures, as shown 
in the photograph. It shoots a pulse of elec- 
tricity up to 1,000 watts through a circuit 
for a split-second while a globule of mer- 

cury rolls past the current-carrying wires 

inside. Good for airplane beacons, neon 

signs, and electric vending machines. 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

4 ELECTRIC JUICER grinds up tough 
vegetables into a pint of liquid in two min- 
utes. Pulp from celery, carrots, apples, 
spinach, cabbage and other vegetables and 
fruits is separated from the juice by a built-in 
strainer. The rugged device is powered by 

for one year’s subscription. 

a quiet motor that is completely enclosed 
for safety. 
Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

& GRASS SPRINKLER attachment for 
garden hoses features a special cast-iron 
base that rests evenly on two edges, keeping 
grass from being mashed beneath it. The 
sprinkler’s rotating arms are made of cop- 
per-clad tubing coated with a tough buty- 
rate plastic. Nozzles on the whirling arms 
can be adjusted to throw water in any direc- 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

4 RESEALING TOOL for the kitchen 
allows the housewife to put metal bottle 
caps back on the bottles of carbonated bev- 
erages factory-tight. The device opens and 
then reseals bottles so that the liquids “re- 
tain for indefinite periods” their sparkle, 
flavor and zest. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

4 FREEZER KIT provides the housewife 
with packaging materials for freezing foods 
in the home. The kit includes assorted 
cartons, plastic bags and boxes, poultry bags, 
aluminum foil, a marking pencil, freezer 
tape, an ice-cream scoop, 50 sucker sticks, a 
funnel and a 32-page booklet describing 
freezing techniques. The plastic boxes have 
tiny “legs” which let cold air circulate com- 
pletely around the containers. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953 

- Nature Ramblings -: 

> BESIDES THE animals he keeps in or 
about his house as working partners, food 
sources or pets, man has an assorted array 
of hangers-on that have lived with him so 
long that their common names reflect the 
association. As a rule, these names are in- 
dications of the part of man’s habitat they 
have chosen to be their habitat as well. 

“House,” the widest and most inclusive 
of man’s habitat-names, has been added as 
an adjective to the names of quite a diverse 
list: house mouse, house cricket, housefly, 
house sparrow, house wren, and, in the 
tropics at least, house snake. 

Parts of the house, or of its outbuildings, 
have also been incorporated into animal 
names: chimney swift, wall lizard, bedbug, 
barn owl, barn swallow, stable fly. And 
since a ship is in a sense a floating house, 
perhaps shipworm should be included in 
this category. 

Some smaller animal forms have become 
so characteristic as infestants of man’s pre- 

Undomestic Animals 

pared foods and fabrics that they are named 
for them. One thinks readily of such dis- 
concerting beasties as cheese skipper and 
cheese mite, flour beetle and mealworm, and 
that humble worm dignified as the vinegar 
eel. Add also clothes moth, carpet beetle 
and book-louse. 

Many persons, too squeamish to call a 
cockroach a cockroach, call it a waterbug, 
not so much because of any aquatic pref- 

erences on its part as because this particular 
pest seems to invade houses by way of 
plumbing lines and sewers. 

Less artificial than houses and barns but 
still man-made rearrangements of nature 
are his gardens, orchards and other plant- 
ings. These parts of the human habitat also 
have their characteristically-named fauna: 
orchard oriole, garden snail, garden snake, 
garden spider, hedge sparrow, hedgehog 
and field mouse. 

Obviously, these unbidden guests in and 
around man’s house receive the widest 
imaginable degrees of welcome. Orchard 
oriole and house wren we are always glad 
to see; house mouse and house sparrow 
are barely tolerated nuisances; housefly and 
clothes moths are intolerable pests. But 
whether we like them or not, most of them 
have been with us a long time, and they 
are more than likely to remain with us for 
a long time to come. 

Science News Letter, February 14, 1953