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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 20, 1936, Image 8

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THE EVENING STAR
With Sunday Morning Edition.
WASHINGTON. D. C.
THURSDAY__February 30, 1936
THEODORE W. NOYES....Editor
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Member of the Associated Press.
The Associated Press Is exclusively entitled to
the use for remiblicatton of all news dispatches
credited to It or not otherwise credited in this
paper and also the iocal news published herein
All rights of Duillcation of special dispatches
herein are also reserved.
This Troubled World.
While midwinter finds the United
States struggling with nothing more
serious than unusually severe weather,
many parts of the world are seething
with political turmoil of revolutionary
character threatening grave conse
quences. The Western Hemisphere is
not immune from the epidemic, for
Paraguay, still bleeding from the wounds
of its protracted. conflict with Bolivia,
has been plunged into strife akin to
civil war.
Overthrow of President Alaya's gov
ernment at Asuncion coincides with
plans to bring the twenty-one Americas
Into “extraordinary conference” for
peace preservation. While the meeting
projected by President Roosevelt is con
cerned with relations among the Ameri
can states and not with their domestic
affairs, it does aim at establishment of
conditions that will render improbable,
if not impossible, a sanguinary contro
versy like the Paraguayan-Bolivian
war, which is the direct cause of re
bellious developments at Asuncion. Revo
lution, in'' the light of history, seems
Indigenous to the Latin American soil.
It is not likely to be obliterated by even
the closest scheme of Pan-American
solidarity.
Cnoin ie vnnUmn m-UU f
recurrent upheavals chronic since
establishment of the republic on the
wreckage of Alfonso's throne. Earlier
In the week it appeared as if President
Zamora was doomed to fall, in conse
quence of an army plot to prevent for
mation of a Leftist cabinet in pursuance
of that party’s recent election victory.
There has been destructive rioting in
numerous population centers. Arrests
of military officers suspected of foment
ing an anti-government coup, have
taken place and other precautions in
voked which for the moment leave the
government in Arm control, but pas
sions are running high, with Rightist
leaders reported ready to mobilize their
cohorts for extreme action. They oppose
In particular the Leftist program of
amnesty for participants in the 1934
Socialist rebellion. To what extent tran
quillity will be restored by resignation
of the Portela government is proble
matical. Spain is likely to remain a
hotbed of political unrest and potential
revolution for some time to come.
In France the government has insti
tuted drastic repressive measures against
the Royalists, following their recent sav
age demonstration against the Socialist
leader, M. Blum. Between Royalist and
Fascist maneuvers, the French have their
full portion of woe, coupled with per
aistent controversy in Parliament, where
just now the question of ratifying the
mutual assistance pact with the Soviet
Is a bone of bitter contention. Egypt
is writhing amid a recrudescence of
Anglo-Nationalist turmoil. German
Swiss relations are strained by a decree
ordaining the suppression of Nazi
organizations within the Alpine republic.
New Soviet-Japanese clashes darken
Asian skies.
Thus, East, West and South of these
placid American latitudes Mother Earth
presents a picture of stress and strife
which, by comparison, makes Uncle
Sam’s trials and tribulations look trifling.
Perhaps the one bright circumstance in
the world-wide vista of turmoil is that
the Italo-Ethiopian war seems less
likely than for some time past to pro
voke a European conflagration. That
Is something to be thankful for.
A reliable program approved by Presi
dents throughout the Western Hemi
sphere will insure peace for half the
earth which any candid observer will
admit is at least a very good start.
Serious naturalists are frankly discon
tent with the manner in which cocktail
hours are asserting themselves as studies
In “wild life.”
Uniform Fares.
The Capital Transit official* say that
one of the benefits to follow merger of
the bus line with the street car com
pany will be free, interchangeable trans
fers. That is good.
The Public Utilities Commission is
understood to feel that the general ques
tion of fares cannot be made a part of
the hearing now in progress on the
purchase of the bus line by the street
car company. That may be reasonable.
But if the purchase is approved and
Is completed, the first and the most
pressing question confronting the com
mission will be the fares to be charged
on the bus line. These fares, as Peo
ple’s Counsel Roberts argues, should be
the same as those charged on the street
car line.
Washington has a variety of different
fares for street car and bus service diffi
cult to reconcile with any gi. \t differ
ence in the services to the pubic. The
Pub’ - U. ,,H“s Co-__ as it has
in* mated it wuu.u do, should strive to
bring uniformity in fares as well as
transfers. With the exception of some
bus lines which actually offer extra
service, there is no good reason for
charging the passenger more when he
rides on a bus than when he rides on
a street car. The bus fare on the lines
to be acquired by the street car com
pany—a transaction involving the sale
of one subsidiary of the North Ameri
can Co. to another—should be the mini
mum fare, which is street car fare.
Cannot the traction officials take a
leaf from the book of experience of the
power company and seek to popularize
service by making it efficient and cheap?
Reduction of fare on the Sixteenth 6treet
line and interchangeable, free transfers
with the street cars should increase pa
tronage and eventually increase profits.
Townsend Plan Inquiry.
A sweeping inquiry into all proposed
old-age pension plans has been ordered
by the House of Representatives. The
vote on the resolution providing for such
an inquiry, by a bi-partisan committee
of eight, evenly divided, was over
whelming, 240 to 4. The debate in
volved bitter denunciations of the meth
ods of the promoters of the so-called
Townsend plan, which, originating in
a ' veritable vision of an elderly local
office-holder in California about to lose
his municipal employment, has swept
the country until it has included a vast
number of advocates, allured by the
promise of comparative affluence with
out labor of any kind. It was de
nounced as a veritable racket, with huge
sums pouring into the treasury of the
organizers.
The economic fallacy of this plan has
been repeatedly demonstrated in the
course of the agitation for its adoption.
It has been shown that the “transac
tions tax” proposed as the source of the
funds to be doled out to beneficiaries,
at the rate of $200 a month for each
individual pensioner over 60 years of
age, all of which must be spent, would
amount to a staggering sum. It has
been shown further that the adminis
tration of such a scheme, requiring a
minute examination of the monthly ex
penditures of all beneficiaries, would en
tail the organization of a great army
of supervisors. And it has been clearly
indicated that under the loose terms of
the distribution the working forces of
the country, in all branches of industry,
would be depleted to the point of the
virtual paralysis of numerous lines of
productive and necessary labor.
The utter fallacy of the scheme does
not require further demonstration, and
yet so great has been the response on
the part of the people in all sections
of the country in support and even de
mand for the adoption of this measure
of relief that a thorough exposure of
the delusion is required. The House of
Representatives has acted to that end,
commendably placing the investigation
upon the basis of non-partisanship. The
cost of the proposed investigation may
be viewed as a sound investment in
economic security. Incidentally it may
develop that there has been profiteering
in the promotion. Charges to that effect
were yesterday voiced in the House. If
the scheme has become a racket, as has
been declared, the exposure of the man
ner in which the honest supporters of
this fantastic proposal have been duped
will effectively put an end to the game.
The Great Well Mystery.
How the Corps of Engineers of the
United States Army, which built the
Panama Canal, and is now engaged in
harnessing the tides of the Bay of
Fundy, the construction of a canal
across the State of Florida, and other
notable and stupendous undertakings,
can stump its toe over such an appar
ently simple job as digging a well to
supply water to the hospital at Glenn
Dale is hard to understand.
The engineers are represented by Col.
Sultan, Engineer Commissioner, one of
their best. The actual well digging at
Glenn Dale is being done by a con
tractor. But that well seems to be the
source of more trouble than water, al
though Col. Sultan and the Geological
Survey both agree that plenty of water
lies underground. The question of a
possible blunder in selection of the site
for a hospital arose some time ago, when
there was trouble with getting an ade
quate supply of well water. Now the
digging of a new well seems to have
been delayed since December because
the well digger dropped the drill bit in
the well and has been unable to rescue
it. And the expensive proposition of
running a new main from the hospital
to tap the mains of the Washington
Suburban Sanitary Commission—at an
additional cost of $100,000 to local tax
payers—is again under consideration.
There seems to be something of a
mystery about the well digging at Glenn
Dale. If the water is there, why can
the well not be dug? If the water is not
there, somebody is apparently guilty of
a rather grave blunder. What is the
trouble?
The distresses of those who need hos
pital care are such that they cannot be
expected to follow with minute intel
lectual discrimination the reasons for
delay during an argument.
Modern Pottery.
One need not know a great deal about
the art of pottery in order to appreciate
it. The appeal of beautiful ceramic work
is essentially democratic, arising as it
does from a folk instinct ages old and
fortunately still unspoiled.
But perhaps there may be some ef
ficiency in pointing out that pottery at
present is enjoying a renaissance. The
hand-craft movement initiated by Wil
liam Morris and John Ruskin in England
has created a revival of interest in those
products of the potter’s genius which re
flect the esthetic impulse of the race.
Of course, an ugly plate or bowl or cup
might serve a utilitarian purpose quite
as well as a lovely one would meet the
need. Dinner eaten from the crudest
dishes nevertheless is dinner to a hungry
man. There is no occasion for argument
about the pragmatic values involved.
Even connoisseurs are willing to concede
I
that much to critics who prefer to meas- 1
ure life by the yardstick of economic de
terminism.
Meanwhile primitive savages obey the
compulsion of a universal urge. Some
thing in the soul of barbarian and civ
ilized peoples alike prompts the decora
tion of even the most commonplace
utensils and instruments. The museums
of the world are filled with objects to
prove a spiritual bond between humanity
and its artifacts.
Nor does the so-called machine age
signify any termination of that con
nection. On the contrary, the porcelain
and china of today witness to its perma
nency as a cultural form. Thomas Toft
of Tinkersclough, John Dwight of Ful
ham and the Wedgwoods and the Min
tons are dead and gone, but their works
live after them to inspire modern pottery
of whose texture, glaze, line and color
they would not be ashamed.
Thus a visit to a pottery, porcelain
factory or china shop may encourage any
doubter who apprehends a decline in
civilization. So long as people can make
and appreciate such fragile but gracious
things the race is not doomed.
Prettyman’s Resignation.
The many expressions of regret which
have followed announcement of Cor
poration Counsel Prettyman'a forthcom
ing resignation indicate the high value
placed upon his services by the Commis
sioners and the members of the commu
nity. Mr. Prettyman has been a good
corporation counsel. He brought to an
office which assumes increasing impor
tance in municipal affairs a fresh view
point and a willingness to work. The
fact that he is a good lawyer whose
pleasant personality enables him to get
along with people has strengthened his
effectiveness.
The corporation counsel is far more
than legal adviser to the Commissioners
and the municipality’s chief legal offi
cer. In recent years, especially, a large
part of his work has been the examina
tion of legislation affecting the District,
the preparation of reports thereon and
serving as a sort of chief liaison officer
between the District Building and the
District legislative committees at the
Capitol. These duties require a knowl
edge of municipal affairs and of local
public sentiment only to be gained
through study and experience. It is a
matter for general regret that Mr.
Prettyman is leaving the District service
to enter the more remunerative private
practice of law at a time when his serv
ices have become more valuable than
ever through his sympathetic under
standing of many local problems.
Every crime sensation reveals the
speed with which fame may develop
by introducing some prominent lawyer
who had not been heard of before.
Shooting Stars.
BY PHILANDER JOHNSON.
The Hoodoo.
•'There's something wrong,” said Hiram
Boggs
In his peculiar, gloomy way.
"There's something going to the dogs;
Just what it is I cannot say.
I own, the sky is bright and clear,
And placid is the atmosphere,
But trouble’s sure to come along.
There's something wrong! There's
something wrong!
“The country’s cares are not as great
As many it has braved before,
And Winter bids us celebrate
Her gifts as generous as of yore.
Yet some catastrophe will come
To render us exceeding glum;
And so I sing my warning song.
There’s something wrong! There’s
something wrong!”
Said Old Joe Struthers, “Hi, you’re right.
With folks like you a-hanging ’round,
We’re sure to face some dreadful plight.
Your voice’s melancholy sound
Is, as a hoodoo, ranked *way up,
Unluckier than a cross-eyed pup.
You’re It as you keep singing strong,
‘There’s something wrong! There's
something wrong!”*
Not Insisting on His Own Way.
“You can’t hope to have your own
way about everything.”
“I don't,” answered Senator Sorghum,
“especially when I say I do not expect
my friends to nominate me at the next
convention.”
Evidence of Superiority.
“Josh looks queer in his new clothes,”
said Farmer Comtossel.
“He wears ’em,” replied Josh’s devoted
mother, “to show that he is so highly
intellectual he can afford to be indif
ferent to public opinion.”
The Dull Teacher.
Experience, that teacher famed,
Still brings her questions out.
Our best endeavors she has claimed,
We linger on in doubt.
Great mechanisms we devise;
New marvels we discern—
And yet we view with sad surprise
The things we cannot learn.
We try to find the way to live
Which brings contentment true;
What credence to withhold or give
As rumors fly anew.
We say, in sorrow and unrest,
As to old tasks we turn,
“Experience, we have done our best.
Some things are hard to learn."
Temporary Arrangement.
“Which political party do you be
long to?”
“I doesn’ actually belong to no party,”
replied Uncle Rasberry, “but ’casionally
I hires out to ary one of ’em.”
The Rule of Existence.
The world keeps going swiftly still,
And rushing through the sky.
You’ve got to move! You can’t keep still,
Not even If you try!
“Of co’se you kin learn by experience,”
said Uncle Eben. “But remember, son,
you kin learn foolishness dat way de
i asm* m out o’ books.”
f 1*
THE POLITICAL I
MILL
By G. Gould Lincoln.
Senator William E. Borah takes to the
air the night of George Washington’s
birthday, Saturday, at 10:30 o’clock. This
will be the Idaho Senator’s first speech
since he appeared in Brooklyn at a
Borah rally some three weeks ago. He will
be speaking over a national hook-up, and
Borah-for-President boomers In many
parts of the country are expected to
listen in. It is expected that Senator
Borah will take the policies of George
Washington as his text and show their
value and pertinence today. This may
be “horse and buggy” stuff, but it is
likely to go well on Washington’s birth
day still.
* * * *
Although election day for the country
at large falls on November 3 this year,
there are two States in the Union which
will do quite a bit of voting on earlier
dates. One is in the Far South and the
other in the Far North, Louisiana and
Maine. It has been the habit of poli
ticians and others to say “as Maine
goes, so goes the Nation.” Louisiana, in
the Democratic solid South, has not
been considered a barometer—it always
went Democratic. This year the Louisi
ana election falls on April 21, when the
State will elect State and county officers
and a Senator to fill out the unexpired
term of the late Senator Huey P. Long.
Mrs. Long, who already is serving by
appointment in her husband’s place, is
slated to be elected to the Senate on
that date. The Maine election is set for
September 14, when it will elect a Sen
ator, three members of the House, and
State and county officers. Louisiana
differs from Maine in that it elects its
Senators and Representatives on Novem
ber 3.
* * * *
Thirty-six States elect Governors this
year. In fact, this is to be a big year
all around in the matter of politics.
In addition to the 435 members of the
House of Representatives who must be
elected, there are 33 United States Sen
ate seats in the political pot, or one
more than one-third of the Senate
membership. This extra seat is that
once held by the late Senator Bronson
Cutting of New Mexico, killed in an
airplane accident last Summer, a seat
now held by Dennis Chavez under ap
pointment by the Governor. And, finally,
there is the election of a President.
All of the candidates for these various
unices have still to be nominated—ex
cept in Louisiana, where primaries were
held January 21 which resulted in a
sweeping victory for the Long forces.
The list of State primaries and conven
tions for such nominations, their dates
so far designated and the Senators
whose seats must be fought for are as
follows:
State. Date. Senators.
Louisiana.Jan. 21 Long <D.)
Illinois .Apr. 14 Lewis <D).
Nebraska. “ 14 Norris (R.)
Pennsylvania ... “ 28
Maryland.May 4
Indiana. “ 5
Alabama. “ 5 Bankhead ^D.)
South Dakota... “ 5 Bulow <D.)
Ohio. “ 12
West Virginia... “ 12 Neely (D.)
Oregon . “ 15 McNary (R.l
New Jersey. “ 19 Barbour <R.>
Iowa .. .June 1 Dickinson (R.)
Florida . “ 2
North Carolina. “ 6 Bailey <D.)
Maine . “ 15 White, jr. <R.)
Minnesota . “ 15 Benson (F.-L.)
North Dakota... “ 24
Oklahoma .July 7 Gore <D.)
Montana. “ 21 Murray (D.l
Texas . “ 25 Sheppard (D.)
Kentucky.Aug. 1 Logan (D.)
Kansas ........ “ 4 Capper (R.)
Missouri . “ 4
Virginia . “ 4 Glass ^D.)
Tennessee . “ 6 Bachman (D.)
Arkansas . “ 11 Robinson (D.)
Idaho. “ 11 Borah <R.)
Wyoming ...... “ 18 Carey (R.)
Mississippi . “ 25 Harrison (D.)
California . “ 25
South Carolina. “ 25 Byrnes (D.)
Nevada.Sept. 1
Arizona . “ 8
Colorado . “ 8 Costigan (D.)
Vermont . “ 8
Washington .... “ 8
Georgia. “ 9 Russell, jr. <D.)
Michigan . “ 15 Couzens (R.)
New' Hampshire. “ 15 Keyes (R.)
Wisconsin. “ 15
Massachusetts .. “ 15 Coolidge (D.)
New York. “ 15
State Nominating Conventions—1936.
Connecticut ....
Delaware . Hastings fR.)
Rhode Island... Metcalf (R.)
Utah ..
NewMxico. Hatch <D.),
Dennis Chavez
(D.)
* ik * *
There are many ways of killing a cat
besides choking it to death with cream.
Representative Bell of Missouri evolved
the bright idea of throwing a monkey
wrench into the Townsend $200-a-month
old-age pension plan by having an inves
tigation by a House committee into the
operations of the Townsendites. The
sentiment built up for the Townsend
plan has been enormous in many States
and congressional districts. The Town
sendites proposed to put the members
of the House and Senate up for re
election on the spot. Now Mr. Bell
comes forward with a proposal to put
the Townsendites on that spot. A lot of
charges have been made to the effect
that the Townsend plan is just a new
‘ racket” in its operation. No wonder
that the members of the House, many of
them convinced that the Townsend plan
is unworkable and would prove the ruin
of the people who ask for it as well as
the whole country, are falling over them
selves in support of the Bell resolution
for the investigation. They hope to
have a good alibi, when the investigation
shall have been made, for not supporting
the Townsend plan. The Townsendites
themselves were put in an awkward posi
tion. If they opposed the resolution for
the inquiry, it looked as though they had
something to conceal.
The demand for the Townsend plan
has been one of those unreasoning waves
that sometimes sweep over the United
States. It has been an emotional cam
paign. All the statistics in the world can
scarcely stem an emotional tide. But if
there has been any "graft,” if funds for
promoting the Townsend plan have been
used to enrich any of the promoters, the
blot on the Townsend plan will be
effective.
* * * *
An appeal for funds from Americans
to help pay the expenses of this country’s
rowing representatives at the Olympic
Games in Germany calls attention to
the fact that “Jack" Kelly won the single
sculls in the Olympic Games of 1920, held
in Amsterdam. Kelly was the candidate
for mayor of Philadelphia last year on
the Democratic ticket. He lost in that
fight, but by the narrowest margin
that a Democratic candidate for the
mayoralty of the City of Brotherly Love
has lost in such a race for many years.
Kelly has proved almost as resourceful
in the field of politics as in the rowing
game. It was Kelly who turned back the
great Hatfield of Australia in the semi
final, and In the final defeated Jack
Beresford of England, four-time winner
of tha famous Diamond Boulla.
*
THIS AND THAT
BY CHARLES E. TRACEWELL.
"Laurel, Md.
"Dear Sir: Por several years we have
been readers of The Star. And all that
time I have enjoyed ‘This and That.’
But this Ion? cold spell I have not been
able to do much out of doors, so have
been especially interested in your bird
talks.
Early in the Winter I put up a feed
ing box on top of a 9-foot pole. It has
a roof on it and sides about 2 inches
high and is about 8 by 12 inches. I
put scratch feed in it and watched for
English sparrows to come crowding
around.
“Por the first day not a bird came
near, so far as I could see. The next
day a starling and a jay came. Soon the
starlings and the jays were regular feed
ers. I spilled some feed on the ground
as I was putting it in the feeder, and
the very first day the English sparrows
came and picked that up.
“We soon saw that if we would feed the
birds and not our vanity we would have
to put the feed where the birds would
come and get it. I put some suet in the
feeder with the chick feed, and the
starlings took possession.
“We put chick, feed, coarse and fine,
on the ground, and the birds came regu
larly. It has interested me greatly to
see the first to come and the last to go.
“The tree sparrow and the cardinal
came together this morning. They seem
to try to see who shall get there first.
Soon the snow bunting, then the English
sparrow and, always last, the starling.
* * * *
"Jays and titmice are along almost
any time.
“The birds that come first stay longest.
“We have eight cardinals. Three of
the cardinals have lost their long tail
feathers. We have wondered if they '
got caught in the ice and lost them in
that way.
“Where do they go? I saw English
sparrows going one cold night under
the eaves of a bank building under a
drain pipe. The starlings are staying
around a cow shed on the outskirts of
Laurel—some of them are.
“We have some evergreen trees just
across the street and I suspect some of
the birds go there. When we lived in
the country we found the birds always
roosted in the com fodder around the
stables and in any sheltered place.
“The evergreens around where we have
lived have always been roosting places
for birds. I wonder if your readers
would not he interested in the roosting
habits of the different kinds of birds.
“I am interested in wild life of any
kind and I write this to thank you and
The Star for giving us so much along
the line of Nature study. Sincerely,
“I P R ”
* * * *
“Chevy Chase, Md.
“Dear Sir: Each eve I’ve read with
interest the kind thoughts passed from
you to others in the care of our lovely
birds.
“In each talk I’ve found no one has
mentioned this fact: That the greatest
love and appreciation is shown by all
birds to the person who studies their
comfort, not only by throwing feed, but
for a place made homelike for them—
trees and bushes, to rest in after eating.
“I've these, and a revolving, large
feeder, protected in every way from
storms, always backing the winds, rains
and snows, a glass back window showing
food to them. Back and front I have
every bird one can mention, and many
which wouldn’t dare stay here in such
weather if I hadn’t provided such an
inviting place.
“Cardinals and bluejays are so happy,
and if the jay isn’t content with special
care he never stays long. My trees have
dozens—very handsome, large fellows.
“His special dish, which I supply by
the many pounds per week, must be
roasted peanuts in the shell. This he
loves. Sits in the tree, holds them
tightly and with his strong bill opens
one end as well as we could, pulls out
the nut and eats to his heart’s content.
"All day this goes on until 3 o’clock
just this time and no later. The cardinal
also loves peanuts, roasted, but some
one must shell them for him, which I do.
“These birds are so well fed they are
perfectly beautiful, so large and such
fine plumage. I’ve several tanagers,
another beauty, very red body with black
wings. They, too, love peanuts and sun
flower seed.
“I’ve counted as many as 20 sunflower
seeds taken and hidden somewhere In
the jay’s throat at one time, carried
away for safekeeping or feeding some
other bird. This to me is a remarkable
stunt, and how it’s done I cannot under
stand.
* * * *
“I’ve seen monkeys store banana in
their lower jaw and eat it later. Could
this be what the jay does?
“We had a battle cry the other morn—
all birds, particularly the cardinals and
jays, in a tree near their feeding
grounds.
“I located the place by a jay’s call,
continuously, at its fighting strength;
went to their help and found in a large
hole in the tree a beautiful, reddish
screech owl. He had discovered their
home and knew where his food would
be in the night search for small birds.
“This was all taken care of nicely.
I took the owl to the zoo; a nice home
provided for him by keepers, and my
birds happy after three mornings of
careful searching that same tree to be
sure no danger lay in store for any of
their family.
"I love taking care of such things and
hope you continue your fine work by
telling people how to make God’s crea
tures happy. It’s splendid, indeed, and
I never fail to read such. Yours truly,
“W. E. G.”
T T
The fine thing about the many letters
on birds printed here during the past
two months, from readers living in all
sections of the District of Columbia and
nearby Maryland and Virginia, is that
each one of them has contained one or
more points of genuine help to all inter
ested in the indoor-outdoor sport of
feeding the wild birds which Winter
with us.
Today’s contributions, as usual, are
interesting as well as instructive. We
see that in luring the birds to our gar
dens we must not be impatient, but must
study their habits and try to give them
what they want in the way they want it.
There can be little question that the
earth is, after all, with most birds, the
favorite feeding place, but this does not
mean that feeding devices are not nec
essary. They are helpful in many ways
and the birds like them, which, perhaps,
is most important.
The roosting habits of birds is a great
subject, about which we hope to have
more.
* * * *
The owl as a bird enemy has been
mentioned several times in these letters.
It is necessary, when birds suddenly
depart from a feeding ground and do
not come back, to look around carefully
and see if the reason cannot be dis
covered.
Small hawks will send every bird fly
ing and keep them all away for long
periods.
The need for evergreens, shrubs and
trees is stressed by one correspondent.
This is correct, although we wonder
about those scarlet tanagers. We did
not know they Wintered here. But per
haps that explains one particularly vivid
fellow we have.
Trees, especially evergreens, and
shrubs make wild birds feel at home as
nothing else can. One of the most pic
turesque sights in this sport is a huge
flock of sparrows rising from the good
earth '' take temporary refuge in the
bushes, where they chirp and shatter
as if discussing the intruder and what
to do about him.
STARS, MEN AND ATOMS
Notebook of Science Process in Field,
Laboratory and Study.
BY THOMAS R. HEMRY.
There are strong indications that the
present abnormally cold Winter over
most of the United States marks a
climatological turning point.
Since 1914 the mean annual tempera
ture of the country has been rising and
the mean annual rainfall declining.
Henceforth, it is likely, this trend will
be reversed. There will be colder,
snowier Winters and cooler, wetter
Summers.
Such is the belief of Joseph B. Kincer,
chief of the climatological division of
the United States Weather Bureau. Mr.
Kincer does not. he emphasizes, make
ihis as a prediction. The data are two
tenuous and elusive to form the basis
of any sort of forecast. The fact is,
however, that twice before in the past
125 years when the cumulative 10-year
temperature and precipitation average
reached about the point they had
reached in 1935 there was a quick turn
in the reverse direction. Betting is in
favor of a recurrence of the same phe
nomenon.
During the past 20 years of increasing
warmth there have been ups and downs,
with some of the coldest Winter weather
on record. The fact remains that by
treating the mean temperatures sta
tistically the accumulation of tempera
ture above normal and the deficit of
rainfall below normal have been greater
year after year. It is like the accumu
lation of a bank balance. At the end
of a month when there are bills to be
paid it may sink almost to the vanishing
point, but at the end of the year, if
times have been prosperous, it will stand
a little higher than at the beginning of
the year. In the same way heat sur
pluses are built up.
It is practically certain, Mr. Kincer’s
figures show, that climate moves in
cycles. He has been unable, however, to
find any time factor in these cycles. It
cannot be said that warmth accumula
tion period will change to a period of
increasing deficits after running a defi
nite number of years. The climate hops,
skips and jumps. It doesn’t swing like
a pendulum. So the statement that the
world has come to a climatological
turning point doesn’t necessarily mean
that next Winter will be colder than this
one, or as cold.' It may be very warm,
just as the Winter of 1918 in the period
just passed was very cold. But the aver
age for the next 20 years, it is likely,
will be colder than that for the last 20
yeans, with warm Winters, normal Win
ters and abnormally cold Winters all
bunched together.
One of Mr. Kincer’s most valued long
time records is that for St. Paul. This
station is about as representative of
climatological trends in the United
States as could be asked for, due to its
position in the track of descending cold
waves. Just before the middle of the
last century there was a long, hot, dry
spell. There are no authentic records
to show how far It extended into the
past, but it probably went back for at
toast 20 years. In tj^e early Ns the
rainfall average had fallen to 24 inches
a year. There has been a proportional
temperature accumulation. Then came
the turning point and the precipitation
average, accompanied by declining tem
peratures, went up to 32 inches. Then
the hot, dry trend set in again and con
tinued until the early 90s. Once more
the 10-year average reached 24. Then
came the turn. The cold, wet period
lasted until approximately 1910 and a
10-year average precipitation of 24
inches again. Then started the hot,
dry period from which we are just
emerging. The rainfall average fell to
the 24-inch mark again last year. There
is every reason to expect that history
will repeat itself.
The United States Weather Bureau
is a co-operating member of an inter
national organization which collects and
publishes the records for 500 stations
scattered over the world. These records,
extending from 1910 to 1927, have just
been published by the British meteoro
logical office. They show clearly, Mr.
Kincer says, that these alternating
trends are world-wide. They might not
be apparent at any one place. Strictly
local conditions have a profound effect
on climate. But taken over a period
of 20 years or more almost any station
tends to fit itself into the world picture.
By and large, the trend in Washington
will be about the same as the trend in
St. Paul, although in any particular year
Washington may be having an abnor
mally warm Winter and St. Paul an
abnormally cold one. Given time, this
all will even itself out.
There is doubtless, Mr. Kincer says,
some world-wide factor involved. Me
teorologists can come to no agreement
as to the nature of this factor. It is
something sufficiently powerful to domi
nate widely different local conditions
and may have a definite time swing.
Records are too short to determine
whether this is true.
Superficially, meteorologists can give
a reason why this Winter is abnormally
cold. An excess of cold air has been
piling up somewhere in the Arctic basin.
Very likely it has been accumulating
thqre for 20 years. Now it is spilling
over. Great masses of it are rushing
down the valley of the Mackenzie River
just east of the Canadian Rockies, over
the central plains area of the United
States, and then eastward through the
Central States to the Atlantic. It is as
if somebody had pulled out a plug to
let out the cold air. But what the plug
is, where it is or who pulls it are com
pletely unknown. Physically the Mac
kenzie Valley has been just as clear
for the past 20 years as it is today, but
for some reason or other, it hasn't been
letting the cold “highs” through in such
quantities.
It might be compared, Mr. Kincer
agrees, to a cold tide coming in. Prob
ably some time in the next 20 years the
high cold mark will be reached, but
there is no way of predicting when. Ever
sicca 1933. the climatological expert
ANSWERS TO
QUESTIONS
By Frederic J. Haskin.
A reader can get the answer to any
question of fact hy writing The Wash
ington Star Information Bureau, Fred
eric J. Haskin, director, Washington,
D. C. Please inclose stamp for reply.
Q. Please give a list of the training
camps of the National and American
Leagues.—H. M.
A. National—Giants, Pensacola, Fla.;
Reds, San Juan and Tampa, Fla.;
Pirates, San Antonio, Tex.; Cubs, Cata
lina Island, Calif.; Phillies, Winter
Haven, Fla.; Dodgers, Clearwater, Fla.;
Cardinals, Bradenton, Fla., and Bees,
St. Petersburg, Fla. American—Red Sox,
Sarasota, Fla.; White Sox, Pasadena,
Calif.; Indians, New Orleans, La.;
Yankees, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Tigers,
Lakeland, Fla.; Browns, West Palm*
Beach, Fla.; Athletics, Fort Myers, Fla.,
and Senators, Orlando, Fla.
Q. Has the artificial lake formed by
construction of Boulder Dam been
named?—E. G.
A. It has been named Lake Mead,
honoring the late Dr. Elwood Mead. Dr.
Mead was born January 16, 1858, and
died January 26, 1936. He was commis
missioner of the Bureau of Reclamation
1924-1936, and it was under his super
vision that the dam that impounds the
lake was built.
Q. Are silver dollars now being coined?
—J. H. S.
A. No silver dollars are being coined
at the present time, but the Office of
the Director of the Mint says that such
pieces will be coined later in the year.
Q. What service has the commander
of the Queen Mary had?—H. K. L.
A. Commodore Sir Edgar Britten’s sea
service began 40 years ago. In 1901 he
went with the Cunard Line as junior
officer of the Ivernia. In 1914 he was
skipper of the Phrygia, his next ship
being the Campania. He has been staff
captain of the Acquitania and skipper
of nine other Cunarders. Knighted two
years ago, he is married and has one
daughter.
Q. In what subjects is visual instruc
tion given in the public schools?—
j C.M.K.
A. Most visual instruction in schools
| today is in geography, history, health,
j travel and safety education, although
superintendents and principals report
using visual aids for teaching of eco
nomics, English, guidance, industry, lit
erature, biology, music, agriculture, read
ing, crafts and drama. News reels, fea
ture pictures, foreign language films and
religious education visual aids we also
becoming more widely adopted.
Q. Did Emily Dickinson, the poet, have
a tragic love affair?—L. K
A. On a visit to Philadelphia, in 1854,
she experienced an unhappy love affair.
In a spirit of self-abnegation she re
nounced her love and immured herself
| in the family home for the rest of
I her life.
Q. Was Elihu Root an attorney for the
notorious Boss Tweed, and was he
charged with contempt of court in con
nection with the Tweed case?—L. K.
I A. Mr. Root was one of several attor
! neys for the defense when Tweed was
prosecuted. He and five of his associ
ates were cited for contempt after
Tweed's second trial for having pre
sented a petition offending the trial
judge, Judge Noah Davis. Pines were
imposed on three of the attorneys, but
Root and two of his colleagues were not
held in contempt.
Q. Who first made a study of the
process of digestion?—R. P. H.
A. Digestion was first regarded as a
purely mechanical process. The German
professor, Sylvius (1614-72), looked upon
it as a chemical fermentation and recog
ognized the importance of the saliva
| and pancreatic juice. The Italian scien
I tist, Spaiianzam t1729-03), discovered
the digestive power of saliva and re
affirmed the solvent property of the
gastric juice, showing that it will act
outside the body and that it cannot only
prevent putrefaction, but will inhibit
it when once begun. Spallanzani failed,
however, to recognize the acid character
of the gastric juice, a point which was
brought out by the American physiolo
gist, Young, in 1803.
Q. Do Negroes in the South still be
lieve in the efficacy of charms and other
forms of voodooism?—E. H.
A. Belief in various forms of super
stition still flourishes in parts of the
South. In Louisiana, Mississippi and
Alabama it is said that no less than
$1,000,000 a year is spent for charms,
hoodoo bags, love potions and philters.
Q. Please give some information about
the beauty expert, Helena Rubinstein.
—M. R.
A. She was born in Krakow, Poland.
After a career as a medical student, she
went to Australia for a visit, and there
saw the ruinous effect of sun and dry
ing weather on the complexions of the
I Australian women. A cream which she
• perfected was found to be highly bene
ficial, and this led to the foundation
of the first laboratory and salon in Mel
bourne. She has studied chemistry and
dermatology in the great universities
of the world, and spends six months of
every year in her own laboratories and
in European clinics.
Q. What part did the Romans take in
geographical discovery?—R. L. G.
A. The Romans did little in the field
of scientific geography. For the purpose
of conquest and organization, however,
surveys were made of practically all the
territory surrounding the Mediterranean
Sea, as well as France, part of Britain
and Asia Minor. Nero dispatched an
expedition in search of the source of
the Nile River about 60 A.D. In the sixth
century A.D. Justinian sent two monks
to China, who returned with eggs of
the silkworm concealed in a hollow cane.
The culture of the silkworm was thus
introduced into Europe.
points out, he has been predicting that
the climatological turning point was
just around the corner and combating
dire forecasts that the United States
was on the way to becoming another
Sahara Desert. Now he is just as cer
tain that we are on the edge of another
ice age. The cold trend will reach its
peak and turn just as suddenly into a
warm trend.
There might be some possibility of
prediction, Mr. Kincer says, if an ade
quate observing service could be main
tained in the Arctic region, especially in
Northern Siberia. There a good deal
of the Northern Hemisphere’s “weather”
probably is made. Considerable prog
ress has been made in this direction in
the past few years, but there have not
been sufficient observations to tel)
whether there has been a measurable,
cumulative upbuilding of high pressure.
Maybe such a service will be functioning
by the time another change in climato
logical trend is due.
A A

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