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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 02, 1937, Image 12

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3?HE EVENING STAR
With Sulay Mamin* Edltlee
I -
THEODORE W. NOTES, Editor
WASHINGTON, D. C.
THtJRSDAT.December *, 1317
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uvinu imu m* w I casi f cu<
IWhen Interests Conflict.
No wages and hours bill—no farm
bill. This is the ultimatum announced
by members of the House from indus
trial districts. Particularly do they
resent the activities of the Southern
members of the House, who have
opposed the wages and hours bill as a
measure that strikes particularly at the
growing industries of their States. Gen
erally speaking, the South and the West,
the great agricultural areas of the coun
try, are for the crop control bill.
The chaotic conditions on Capital Hill
which are bringing such ultimatums
threaten both these legislative panaceas.
House and Senate members are puzzled
when the American federation of Labor,
through William Green, its president,
attacks the wages and hours bill, and
the Committee for Industrial Organiza
tion, through its chairman, John Lewis,
demands the passage of the meas
ure. They are more confused when Sec
retary of Agriculture Wallace assails the
crop control bill, now before the Senate,
on the ground that it does not go as far
toward compulsion as it should go.
It is again apparent that the funda
mental interests of the farmer and the in
dustrial worker are, from the more selfish
point of view, directly conflicting. The
farmer wishes to sell his products at the
highest prices he can get. The indus
trial worker wishes to buy these products
as cheaply as he can. The farmer, like
wise, wishes to buy as cheaply as he can
tne products oi min ana iactory, wnue
the Industrialist must make his prices
cover rising costs of production.
In a country dependent both upon
agriculture and industry, it is clear that
both must be successful or the nation
as a whole suffers. Sick agriculture
necessarily infects industry and weakens
the whole structure of the country. The
same is true if industry lags.
Nevertheless the struggle continues,
with Industry seeking the advantage
over agriculture and with agriculture
seeking an advantage over industry. The
more nearly the two can work together,
the better for everybody. The disciples
of the theory that prices must be high
if there is to be prosperity, however, con
tinue to muddy the waters. While it is
true enough that too low prices are ruin
ous, the demand for high prices, If it
succeeds, merely reacts against both
agriculture and Industry, for high prices
mean less buying and less distribution.
The wages and hours bill, coming at a
time when industry already is suffering
and recession of business great, and the
_ crop control bill at a time when foreign
- competition threatens the markets in
* Which American farmers have been
accustomed to sell, are out of place.
Many members of Congress realize
that and, for one reason or another, are
opposed to the farm bill or to the wages
and hours bill or to both. It is possible
that the combined opposition may be
sufficient to throttle both.
I,,nn*c Wo* Rill
-- —
Japan’s known anxiety for cessation of
bloodshed in China and early peace—
naturally, on Tpkio’s terms—is motivated
neither by humanitarian nor altruistic
reasons. It springs from urgent eco
nomic causes. The islanders are far
from the end of their resources, but that
these are being progressively strained to
' the breaking point is no secret to author
ities with access to authentic informa
tion. It is the considered judgment of
> come of these observers that unless the
Japanese achieve decisive victory over
China during the winter, their military
successes may be abruptly and com
pletely nullified by economic collapse.
This theory is predicated on the sup
position that Chiang Kai-shek’s strategy
contemplates a stubborn defense designed
to draw the Japanese farther and farther
into the interior of China and corre
spondingly ever more remote from their
sources of supply. Those were the tac
■ tics of exhaustion Kuropatkin pursued
in the Russo-Japanese war and which,
f many military students have long
thought, would eventually have doomed
< Japan to defeat if the Mikado’s armies
had been lured only a little more deeply
into Siberian territory. Nathaniel Peffer,
: one of America’s leading Asiatic spe
cialists, has just written that “it can
be said with dogmatic certainty that
' there Is no prospect of China’s resist
v ance diminishing to such a point that
¥ Japan can reduce its force of occupa
9 Hon in China to less than 250,000 men
r for another year. A conservative estt
* -mate would be nearer 400,000.”
4 As her war of conquest is said to be
•^costing Japan 15,000,000 yen (roundly,
**g4£00,000) a day, and the Empire’s Ye
■m fnalning liquid assets are estimated not
g to exceed $200,000,000, it is easy to calcu
■* Jala that the prospect of prolonged hos
* IQlties conjures up disquieting posslbill
ties. These are not minimised by current
Toklo claims that only 6160,000,000 of
bonds has been Issued out of an author
ised $730,000,000.
The Germans proved that a great na
tion can fight Interminably, even though
pinched for money, raw materials and
food. But Japan's position, precarious
in high degree long before the “China
incident,” is notoriously not such that
she can bear Indefinitely the burden of
maintaining combatant forces on the
mainland of Asia, believed at present to
exceed the enormous total of 800,000 men.
Every hour of sustained Chinese re
sistance lengthens not only the Invader’s
lines of communication, but extends the
economic shadow that dogs his “victo
rious” advance.
Welcome Aid.
Washington welcomes the forthcoming
survey of its health and hospital problem
by the. United States Public Health
Service. For there is perhaps no unit
more competent to make a complete, in
formed, impartial and comparative In
vestigation than the Federal health
agency.
Other current investigations are at
tacking the situation, each from a spe
cific angle which will contribute to but
not give a picture of the status of public
uemui in waMiiugwMi.
The inquiry by the Budget Bureau
in thirteen local hospitals, for ex
ample, is being made by administrative
experts, not by doctors, and with a
view to determining comparative per
capita costs per patient. The inves
tigation of Gallinger Hospital by the
committee of local physicians, on the
other hand, will look at the problem from
the point of view of maintenance of med
ical standards. Both of these efforts will
be of material assistance in ailing out
the District health picture, but neither
alone will suffice.
The Public Health Service, on the other
hand, has both the facilities and ex
perts to make the sort of Investigation
which will make the local health situa
tion stand out in bold relief as to whether
it is Above, or below or just average.
It will be conducted impartially and with
complete disinterest. Its effort will be
to furnish a yardstick for the measure
ment of adequate public health protection.
The States have often availed themselves
of the service of representatives of the
service for similar Inquiries, not with the
idea of baring scandal, but in their ca
pacities as experts diagnosing a situation.
The Capital community is gratified
that the Surgeon General has consented
to undertake one here.
Civil Service Report.
The Brookings Institution is highly
critical of President Roosevelt’s plan for
the “reform” of the Civil Service. In a
report released yesterday it declared:
“A merit system politically administered
is worse than no merit system at all.”
Government employment in recent
years, as everybody knows, has been
dependent upon “political clearance,”
and the Brookings findings call atten
tion to the fact that the emergency
agencies generally have been exempted
from the control of the Civil Service
law because “the boys wanted the gravy."
Even in the so-called "regular service”
ways and means have been discovered
for appointments of purely political
character.
The philosophy represented in the
practice of the New Deal never has been
concealed. Postmaster General Parley
honestly believes that “you get just as
good personnel one way as the other.”
He repeatedly has testified to that
effect. The President's proposal was
to abolish the existing commission of
three and to centralize all Civil Service
jobs in the hands of a single officer.
Such a move, the Brookings Institution
insists, “would invite political encroach
ment rather than repel it.” The report
argues: “The one-man administration
would be affiliated with, or be suspected
of affiliation with, one political party.
He would almost of necessity be identi
fied with one particular section of the
country. Whether he had or had not
sectional interests or sectional prejudices,
he would be suspected of having them.”
The Brookings Institution, in other
words, fears that the Chief Executive,
whoever he might be, would dictate
Government hiring and firing in minutest
detail through an appointed delegate.
It is not satisfied that the spoils system
would not continue to exist under an
other name.
More Muddled Than Ever.
Two Virginia governmental agencies,
within a period of twenty-four hours,
have, in effect, washed their hands of
responsibility for the muddled state of
affairs at Washington Airport. This
creates a fresh impasse which appar
ently only the National Congress can
surmount.
For years Washingtonians have been
forced to stand by apprehensively while
one proposal after another to alleviate
universally recognized and constantly in
creasing hazards has failed. Once more,
despairing of relief from any other
source, local civic and aviation interests,
with the backing of aroused national
groups, are preparing to turn to a Con
gress which for eleven years has neg
lected the safety of those who fly to and
from the National Capital.
The Arlington County Beard and the
Virginia State Corporation Commission,
in tabling, pleas for action to remove
existing dangers at Washington Airport,
have placed responsibility for the situa
tion upon Congress, it appears that
they base their failure to act upon a
belief that so long as the National Con
gress has under consideration legisla
tion which might invalidate any action
on their part, it would be futile for
them to proceed.*
The Virginia developments, coupled
with President Roosevelt’s recent veto
message calling for passage of legisla
tion to meet local airport needs, effec
tively put the National Legislature “on
the spot.” The Federal Bureau of Alr
Commerce, the Virginia government and
the county government apparently have
reached the limits of their abilities to
Improve local conditions. The issue has
become dean cut. It is up to Congress.
There are two proposals pending be
fore Congress—one to build an airport
at Camp Springs, Md., the other to
complete the filling and development of
the Gravelly Point site as a downtown
air terminal. President Roosevelt, in
his veto message, definitely recommended
the Gravelly Point site for immediate
development and asked for authorization
to develop a larger, all-weather terminal
farther out, mentioning Camp Springs
as a logical location.
Congress must act or accept the blame
for possible consequences of its failure.
■ ■ — » » --
Irritating inddents will overtake the
greatest fortitude and James J. Parley
must not be surprised when so many
politicians think they could run the Post
Office better both for other people and
for themselves.
Washington, D. C., needs fortitude to
take care of its local conditions with
reference to health. Many students owe
this community much in the way of early
education and welcome opportunities to
meet the obligation.
Question arises as to whether a foot
ball game can be properly described with
out the use of slang, which still holds an
advantage. A new language is not so
bad if you are not compelled to take a
strange vocabulary seriously.
Qreenbelt is showing Maryland an
ideal town with one man to represent
the local and the general interests. It
will be interesting and perhaps helpful
when its economics are candidly figured.
Nobody apparently enjoys associating
the career of Justice Black with that of
the K. K. K. Enough troublesome re
search is now provided by the three
simple letters A. A. A.
Life would be more conveniently ar
ranged, if bootleggers carried plans for
measurements which would regulate a
holiday supply, instead of trusting the
guest to a process of self-glorification.
Communication with China is hin
dered by the Japanese as they claim to
be victorious and Oriental standards
continue to figure many methods of
! progress upside down.
Colleges have numerous games to cele
brate and hearty greetings to exchange.
But even they have lessons to be learned
in the requirements of plain toil and
subsistence.
Once a Cuban President, Machado is
to be under arrest in New York City, the
town expected to provide political head
quarters for the entire world.
Wonderful things are beingsdone with
machinery, but it may be asked whether
the management of human power is
conducted with so much skill.
As credit must be used, its employ
ment calls for further intelligence. The
deferred obligation is one of the greatest
of all modern problems.
Shooting Stars.
BY PHILANDER JOHNSON.
Slipping Along.
Slipping along—slipping along—
Now with a sorrow and then with a song.
The world seems to sigh as so gently it
grieves
Where the wind softly sweeDS through
the old autumn leaves.
Slipping along from the summertime
glow
To the gathering clouds and the hur
rying snow,
’Neath the glittering stars through the
long silent nights
That seem to reflect this earth’s myriad
lights.
Slipping along! Though an hour may
be slow.
The weeks and the months with strange
swiftness will go.
Well patiently wait for the robins to
sing.
We’ll be slipping along very soon into
• spring.
Repudiated Theory.
"So you deny that a chimpanzee was
your ancestor?’’
"So far as I am personally concerned,”
answered Senator Sorghum, "I do. No
creature that couldn’t talk could possibly
hove been the ancestor of a politician
in my State.”
Jud Tunkins says mince pie is a .homely
delicacy that is liable to require a doc
tor’s prescription before and after.
Commercialized Saint
Santa, in the windows yonder,
Wins an admiration great
He’s so numerous, we wonder
If he is a syndicate.
Modern Legality.
“You may send for your lawyer."
“Wot’s the good of a lawyer," said Bill
tha Burg. “Send for my psychoanalyst."
*
“There may come a day when fighting
must cease,” said Hi Ho, the sage of
Chinatown. “It will arrive when women
are no longer beautiful and men cease
to be avaricious.”
—— \
Get ting the Facts.
Thought I heard a robin sing.
Snowbird aaid, “Remember,
Though the summer flowers cling,
This Is now December.”
Robin on a summer day
Makes a handsome showbird.
But when winter skies are gray,
Don’t forget the snowbird.
*1 says my prayers,” said Uncle Kben,
“but X goes to work at • am. to help de
answers coma' true."
i t
Further Correspondence
On Rapid Transit Question
To tbo Editor of Tbo Star:
Mr. James E. Chinn’s articles and va
rious letters have told us all about the
street cars. I think that those who
caused the discussion, the riders, are
making a lot of ado about nothing. On
the principle that “many mickles make
a muckle.” The company has raised the
price of a fare from 7V4 cents to 8*/3.
If this advance means financial stability
then they ought have it. Those who
can afford to pay the lesser sum should
also be able to swing the slightly larger
amount. This means good wages for
the employes, new equipment, good up
keep, dividends for the stockholders and
interest for the bond owners. Other
wise, maybe, failure.
Many of us know what happened
In Baltimore. Receivership, new certifi
cates issued with a face value of $1,000,
but a present market value of about
$100—10 cents on the dollar. The 5-cent
fare was tried out, but no luck. More
riders, but less receipts and, of course,
more work for the motormen. Right
here financial difficulties landed the
W. B. & A. In the ditch—400 pernlanently
out of a Job, and big losses to stock—and
bond holders.
Why not three tokens tor a quarter?
Because the customer, after taking three
rides, might invest in a wheelbarrow and
have his half-grown boy trundle him
to his destination. But under the six
token system he must at least patroniae
the company a half a dozen times be
fore he may resort to such desperate loco
motion.
Our old friend, human nature of course,
is at the bottom of most of this. We
hate to fork out. A necessary article
ought to bring a reasonable price. And
mass transportation is a necessity.
FRED VETTER.
* * * *
To the Editor ol The Star:
Judging from the criticism from differ
ent sources there are some who are not,
in a constructive way, trying to aid the
District of Columbia Public Utility Com
mission handle the transit problem to
the best interests of the riders. Most of
the critics do not seem to take a prac
tical view of the situation in that they
do not appear to think that an adequate
credit base for the Transit Co. is at all
necessary to make the improvements they
demand. On the other hand they have
no objection at all about Increasing the
debit side of the company's accounts,
some demanding that all large cars and
buses be operated by two men.
Unfortunately, the nature of the
Transit Company’s business does not
make friends for it. The peak loads,
which come in the morning and late aft
ernoon, move only in one direction at a
time. This inveitably means crowding
for the passengers, who crowd into the
first car or bus that comes along, and
added expense for the company because
much expensive equipment has to be
provided for limited use only.
What is wrong with the local street car
and bus system is apparent to any ob
server provided, of course, he is not a
confirmed opposition advocate. The trou
ble lies in the fact that the Capital
Transit Co. has lost much of its profitable
short-haul business due to cruising taxi
cabs and people generally moving fur
ther away from the business section of
the city together with increased cost of
lnkot. tnVAc TU** + 111,
truck, does not actively compete for the
not so profitable long-haul business, but
leaves that to the established transpor
tation companies. As a matter of equity
the local Utility Commission may have
to establish a zone system, but it will
meet with considerable opposition from
the suburban organizations, who nat
urally wish to maintain their fare equal
ity with the short-haul patrons.
Public ownership of the local trans
portation system, which is being agitated
by some people, would be of decided ad
vantage to the regular patrons because
the approximately half of the District
residents, who depend largely on pri
vate automobiles and taxicabs for their
transportation, would have to assume
their share of the purchase price. The
owners of the Capital Transit Co. would
also be fortunate in being able to col
lect on the appraised value of their prop
erty rather than on its earning power,
which is very low.
In the end all this criticism should
make for a better understanding of the
problems the District Public Utility Com
mission is trying to solve and demon
strate to all who are open to conviction
that the only way the Commission can
help the public is by helping the Transit
CO. J F RXfT'TM
* * * *
To th* Editor of The Star:
Permit me to join in thanking you
for the candid portrayal by Mr. Cbinn
of the afTairs of the Capital Transit Co.
A friend remarked recently, that,
though having lived in many cities, con
ditions here were different from any place
in which the? had previously resided.
Reference was to the use of the public
highways as free garage space with its
many-fold resultant evils, and to the use
of the local transit system as a butt
or target for every citizens' group, or
labor union with a grouch, regardless of
facts or reason, or just plain publicity
seekers with no other means of break
ing into public print.
I have often wondered why certain
Individuals devote so much time and
trouble over the years in stirring up and
creating every possible difficulty for the
organization, admitting its Inperfections.
This is an angle which I have never seen
mentioned in the newspapers, and there
follows a few facts which I have been
able to glean concerning a few of these
self-appointed “champions of the people”
as follows:
A few years ago a certain late gentle
man cleaned up a tidy sum—a quarter of
a million or more—on W. R. E. Co., com
mon stock. Only after disposing of his
holdings at this tidy profit did he sud
denly become extremely agitated con
cerning the financial welfare of the par
ents of Washington school children; be
coming, perhaps, the foremost agitator
for the 3-cent fare, which costs the com
pany a loss of an equal sum on each pas
senger carried, if I am rightly Informed.
This kindly philanthropist would no
doubt be dubbed a liberal today in cer
tain quarters if still among us; a liberal
of a type only too common these days—
liberal with other people’s money. So I
mucn ror tnat.
Another present-day crusader, after
arriving here from a certain State, has,
during the past 10 years, managed suc
cessfully to keep himself in the public
eye by opposing on every possible occa
sion everything the transit company
wishes to do. Good or bad, right or
wrong, he’s "agin it.” His consistency
at least is consistent in that he is always
in opposition.
As for labor unions, nothing they might
resolve would surprise me after a con
versation 1 had with three members late
last year. One was a post office worker
(city) and he lived for over 20 years in
a near-slum, not only on account of
low rent, but because he could walk to
and from work. He had moved about a
month before, yet his denunciation of
street-car service was not only universal,
but lurid. The other two were brick
layers, and their ignorance on the sub
ject was awe-inspiring; particularly the
one who roundly denounced the ‘ high
fare,’1 yet another time expressed the
thought that high wages and yet hither
wages was desirable for mechimios -$20,
a
$25, or even $30 per day. And there you
are. Everybody looking out for Number
One. And how!
JOS. A. RICHARDSON, M.D.
* * * *
To th* Editor of Th* Star:
Being one of the unfortunate stock
holders of the Capital Transit Co., I nat
urally have been very much interested
in the controversy caused by the recent
fare boost approved by the P. U. C. Of
the many letters appearing In The Star,
none seem to even remotely touch on
the real issue.
When the merger of the W. R. St E. and
Capital Inaction was finally consum
mated (it having been held up for sev
eral years), they found they were faced
with the task of rebuilding Into one sys
tem two badly neglected ones. The pro
gram provided for rebuilding of tracks,
new switches, new crossovers, several hun
dred new buses, new bus bams, quite a
number of new cars, besides a large num
ber of second-hand cars. All of this ex
pense evidently has been charged to
operation of the system, and apparently
there has been no effort by the P. U. C.
to determine how much should be a capi
tal charge, and what portion should be
rightfully charged to operation.
One has only to turn back to the re
port of the result of the operation of
the Transit Co. for the first year after
the merger (which was before the pro
gram of changes got under way) to read
ily see that with the average passenger
traffic increased by more than two mil
lion monthly since then, and even allow
ing for the actual increase in the oper
ating expense, the company is earning
a good profit. The fare increase is noth
ing more than repeating a blunder that
was made before, which resulted In Wash
i ington having more taxicabs than Chi
1 cago, Pittsburgh and Baltimore combined.
In their efforts to make the traveling
public of Washington pay increased fare,
under the plea -that increase In cost of
operation demands it, the management
of the transit company has committed an
other blunder. Their efforts have resulted
In forcing the value of stocks and bonds
to a lower level on the market, thereby
making it increasingly difficult for the
company to borrow for extraordinary
expenses. The proposed investigation ol
the transit company by a committee ol
Congress, if it Is thorough, will be inter
esting.
B. EDWARD McCANN.
j Growing Cotton Market
lm th* oharieitoa (W. vs.) Mas.
Accident reports would seem to Indi
cate that the bandage demand would
miminata tha ootten surplus.
A
THIS AND THAT I
• ■*
MY CHARLES M. TRACEWELL.
The turtle dove is the nearest bird ve
have to the lost passenger pigeon.
A little heavier in the beam this Caro
lina dove, and somewhat differently
marked, but on the whole very much like
the famous extinct pigeon.
Five of them dropped into the yard at
exactly 3:30 o’clock on Thanksgiving
afternoon.
No doubt they were migrating a point
a bit farther South.
It is possible, however, for them to sur
vive a normal winter in this vicinity.
Two years ago we had a pair which re
mained all season, feeding at the station
with the smaller birds.
The five which dropped in Thanksgiv
ing day, adding a new note to the occa
sion, remained Just half an hour.
Part of this time they spent at the
feeder.
The last fifteen minutes or so they
rested in the grass at the rear of the
garden.
Here their protective gray coloration
concealed them very well, and they
stayed at rest for several minutes, until
one by one they took off and flew away.
* * * *
In grass this dove seems to have no
feet at all, so short are the legs and so
overhanging the fat body.
These birds had lived well, wherever
they had spent the summer and fall
days.
They were the fattest doves ever to
visit the yard.
During all the time of their visit they
made no noise at all.
They moved around in the yard like
little gray boats, seeming to swim rather
than walk through the grass.
* * * *
The turtle, or Carolina, dove is a
cheerful, fat fellow, an ornament to any
feeding center.
He and she are neat feeders, too, unlike
the sparrows and some others which de
light in scattering seed on the ground.
This may be due to the fact that the
dove is a ground feeder, pure and simple.
He is never known to alight on the shelf
of the station, but always seeks his sus
tenance on the earth below.
He is not a good flyer for short dis
tances. Once his powerful wings get
him well into the air, he sails along
as well as any, but until that happens
he is rather at a loss.
* * * a
For all his fat body, the dove is alert,
and seldom permits a cat or other enemy
to get close to him.
At the first alarm he is away, his
wings making a creaking or whistling
sound peculiar to the species.
This sound, together with his soft
notes, no doubt is responsible for the
popular name of mourning dove, by
which this creature is generally known.
It is not a good name, one may think,
because really there is nothing mournful
about the sounds, and the bird itself
is as Jolly a fat thing as the famous
nickname, "Fats," connotes.
Until 1913 this fine dove was regarded
in some Southern States as a “game
bird,” but the Federal bird law of that
year classed it properly as a migratory
bird, and it was given the protection of
that statute.
Since then many more of these birds
have come to the suburban areas, which
is good, for it is the only one of the
doves to so visit us, and It* beauty and
■oft notes, usually heard In early morn
ing and late afternoon, add a subtle note
of home which fits the situation.
* * * *
It is said that the male of this species
Indulges in a peculiar gyration, or flight,
at mating time.
It suddenly flies directly into the air
from its perch, attains a height of a
hundred feet or more, then holds its
wings motionless as it glides back.
The idea seems to be to impress the
female.
The famous "pigeon’s milk” is her
produce. She mixes this with the food in
her crop, from which the young birds
feed.
As to food habits, these doves are re
garded as among our most helpful birds,
which is one of the best reasons why
their unrestricted slaughter would be a
doubly great crime.
Orinthologists tell us that the dove eats
mostly weed seeds, but also likes Insects,
with a partiality toward grasshoppers.
• * * *
At the home feeding station these
birds will eat the cracked corn and oats
usually sold as baby chick feed, and
also like the seed mixtures generally
called "wild bird seed.”
They are not quarrelsome birds, de
spite their size, although occasionally
one of them will chase the English spar
rows away for a time.
Not even the most ardent advocate of
these sparrows could blame them for
iilOb*
At times the flocks of sparrows get on
the nerves of their best friends. This is
mostly due to their sloppy way qf feed
ing. Not content with eating all day
long, they dash in their bills at each mor
sel, and succeed in scattering a table
spoon of grain and seed at each stroke.
Such tactics soon coat the ground be
neath each feeder. Some enthusiasts
attempt to meet this by putting a big tin
plate beneath the platform to catch this
overflow, or spill.
It is really comical the way the spar
rows manage to throw out far more than
they eat. If each bird had a spoon, and
personally shoveled the seed out, it could
not empty the hopper more quickly,
leaving the graund beneath white with
food.
Maybe there is a method in their mad
ness, after all. Such prodigality enables
birds which have not managed to get a
toe-hold on the feeder platform to eat to
their hearts’ and stomachs' content.
* * * *
Simply “the dove” is a good name for
our turtle, mourning, or Carolina dove,
for it is the only one of the sort here
abouts.
Its relation to the pigeons is seen at a
glance, but it is a far prettier bird than
most of the latter, and its feeding habits
much nicer in every way.
Pigeons are great nuisances a{, the
home feeding station. They run up the
feed bill tremendously, and give no re
turn at all, for they are not interesting
to watch, unless, of course, one happens
to like pigeons. Some do. But the
person who feeds the wild birds in the
cold realizes, when he has pigeons, that
he is simply feeding somebody else's birds
for him and getting no return.
Shoo the pigeons away, if possible* but
treasure the turtle doves, if they come to
your place, for they are among the most
beautiful of birds, and the only link we
have with the passenger pigeons.
STARS, MEN AND ATOMS
Notebook of Science Progress in Field,
Laboratory and Study.
BY THOMAS R. HENRY.
New “tagged atom*” are showing how
the various elements In food go to make
up body tissue.
Reports before the American Chem
ical Society last month revealed that
heavy nitrogen and heavy hydrogen,
mixed with food and later recovered
from tissue, were making possible, for
the first time, study of the speed and
mechanisms of fat and protein utiliza
tion.
Papers Just published by the National
Academy of Sciences tell of similar
experiments with two other elements,
sodium and phosphorus, both of which
are essential to the human and animal
body. Both of these elements can be
made radio-active by bombardment with
deuterons, or atoms of heavy hydrogen.
These radio-active isotopes act chem
ically in precisely the same way as the
normal elements. In the great chemical
laboratory of the body they enter into
the same combinations at the same rates.
But they emit powerful radiations
which can be recorded and counted by
delicate instruments. Hence they can
be followed in their progress through
body tissues. The physiologist can tell
what has happened to them after they
have gone through the process of diges
tion. Where do they turn up? How
long does It take them to get there?
A significant report to the National
Academy is by Drs. S. F. Cook. K. G.
Scott and P. A be Ison of the University
of California Medical School. They
mixed radio-active phosphorus in the
food of chickens. This element is par
ticularly abundant in bone and brain.
At one time it was much tooted as a
“brain food” because so much of it
eventually found its way into the cere
bral tissues.
xuc uuugmit uociors iea me radio
active phosphorus to chickens. Some
of the birds were killed at the end of
four days and most of the organs of
their bodies were tested with “ray count
ers” to find out what had become of the
element. It was found rather generally
distributed through the body at this
time, although approximately 32 per cent
of it already was deposited in the bones.
The other chickens were killed at the
end of two months and some striking
changes in this distribution were noted.
Then more than 70 per cent of the ele
ment was concentrated in the bone and
the amounts which had found their way
to the brain and spleen were much
higher. The amount in muscle and
other tissue was correspondingly less.
The other report is on the distribution
of radio-active sodium given to human
beings, in some cases as a treatment for
leukemia. Most of the sodium in the
body is contained in the blood and
lymph. Hence it is pretty well distrib
uted throughout the organism.
The radiation counters showed that
the distribution was quite rapid. The
absorption of the sodium, it was shown,
began within a few minutes after the
material was administered and is appar
ently completed within from three to ten
hours.
* * * *
Two hitherto unknown minerals—pre
sumably among the rarest constituents
of the earth’s surface rocks—have just
been described from the collections of
the Smithsonian Institution.
They appear as lichen-like, greenish
growths on rock specimens brought back
from Chile by Mark C. Bandy, who con
ducted a joint Harvard-Smithsonian
expedition in 1935. The first of these
minerals has been named antofagastite,
after the Chilean district in which it was
found, by Drs. Charles Palache of Har
vard and W. F. Foshag of the National
Museum. Of it a combination of chlo
rine and copper which forms mould-like
splotches on rocks. Curiously enough,
it is a combination often made in chem
ical laboratories, but its existence in
nature had not been suspected. It dis
solves completely in water, forming a
beautiful pale blue solution. It colors
flame green.
The second new mineral was named
• _ J 111. . Am ifd T t ie
UBUUJUI^y --- —
undoubtedly one of the rarest substances
In nature, occurring in button-like crys
tal formations seldom over a centimeter
In diameter. The mineral is deep blue
in color, with a suggestion of greenish
fluorescence. It is a combination of
boron, chlorine and copper, of a type
never before represented in minerals.
Before a blowpipe it colors flame green.
It cannot be completely dissolved in
water, but in ammonium hydroxide it
yields an intense blue solution.
l
* - —
ANSWERS TO I *
QUESTIONS
BY FREDERIC J. H ASK IN.
A reader can get the answer to any
question of fact by writing The Evening
Star Information Bureau, Frederic J. *
Haskin, director, Washington, D. C.
Please inclose stamp for reply.
~ •#
Q. Who are the most popular radio
entertainers?—J. K.
A. According to the latest program
survey in 30 key cities, Edgar Bergen
and hh dummy, Charlie McCarthy, are
the most popular radio entertainers on
the air. They lead by nlre points Major
Bowes and his amateurs, while the third
choice is the Monday night Radio Thea
ter directed by Cecil B. De MilTe.
Q. How did the United States reim
burse Germany for German boats taken
in American waters when this country
entered the World War?—N. T.
A. The German government was not
reimbursed for ships taken in United
States territory. They were considered
contraband of war. 1
Q. What States have a system of sav
ings bank life insurance?—M. H.
A. Massachusetts is the only one. It
has had its system since 1907. It is one
of the major accomplishment* of Mr.
Justice Brandeis.
Q. Are there other Goat Islands be
sides the one in Niagara River and the
one in San Francisco Bay, now known
as Yerba Buena Island?—A. N. W.
A. A third Goat Island in the United
States is in Narragansett Bay, R. I., Just
off the city of Newport. The United
States Naval Torpedo Station is situated
on it. Mas-a-Tierra, the nearest to land
of the Juan Fernandez Islands off the
coast of Chile, was formerly called Goat
Island. It was On these islands that the
experiences of Alexander Selkirk led to
the story, “Robinson Crusoe.”
Q. How old is George Marshall, owner
of the Redskins, professional football
team?—W. H.
A. Mr. Marshall is 41 years old.
Q. Is it true that only the female quail
utters the bob-white call?—F. L. J.
A. Sylvester D. Judd in “The Bob
white and Other Quails of the United
States,” says that the call “bob-white”
is the nuptial call; the male uses manv
other calls, imitating other birds and
animals. This call is not generally used
after the breeding season, although it
has been reported as late as October 20.
The answer of the female is a single
clear whistle.
Q. Who was Deadwood Dick?—M. G.
A. He was an adventurous character
found in many dime novels. In real life
he was Robert Dickey, Indian acout,
trapper and fur trader.
Q. Does painting done on linen can
vas last longer than on cotton?—B. S.
A. The life of cotton canvas ia about
half that of linen.
Q. What are the best feathers for
stuffing cushions?—G. L.
A. They are, in order, goo6e, duck,
chicken and turkey.
Q. What is the Bloody Tower?—E. H.
A. It is the name given to (me of the
towers of the Tower of London, in which
Richard III is said to have caused the
murder of the young sons of Edward IV.
Q. Can you locate a quotation for me
about religion's being what a man does
In solitude?—A. N. R. 1
A. Religion is what the individual does
with his own solitude.—Dean Inge.
Q. Where is the oldest hospital in the
United States which has been in con
tinuous operation?—E. D.
A. The main building at Pennsylvania
Hospital, Philadelphia, is the oldest
building in the country employed con
tinuously for the care of the sick.
Q. What is a filibuster?—N. G. 8.
A. it is the act of a member of the
legislative or a deliberative body who. in
opposition to the proposed action of the ,
majority, obstructs or prevents action by
the extreme use of dilatory tactics such
as speaking merely to consume time.
Q. Please give some information about
the Borda Gardens in Mexico—J. W. •
A. The famous Borda Gardens are at
Cuernavaca, Mexico's most noted holiday
resort. Some historians say they were
laid out in 1716 by Joseph de la Borde,
who came from Prance and later changed
his name to La Borda. Emperor Maxi
milian made Cuernavaca the summer
capital of his court and occupied the
Borda Gardens as the official seat of the
government. The gardens were planned
to reproduce those of Versailles and
French landscape gardeners were
brought to Mexico to make them as per
fect as possible. They abound in trop
ical plants such as mango trees, poinset
tia, bougainvillea. The islands in one
of the pools are planted with coffee, ba
nana, and Maiclllo trees. Blue morning
glories and to the color of the gardens.
Tiled seats, fountains, wrought iron
gates, pergolas, and arcades are some of
the most beautiful features.
Q. Do all C. C. C. camps have libraries?
—R. N.
A. They do. There are 1,849 of the
small Government libraries now func
tioning.
Q. For whom was Wallack's Theater in
New York City named?—J. H.
A. It was named for James William
Wallack, an English actor. In 1818 he
visited New York, where he appeared
with success in Macbeth and other roles.
He settled permanently in the city about *
1850 and opened Wallack's Theater at
Broadway and Broome street in 1852,
and the theater of the same name at
Broadway and Thirteenth street in 1861.
-_
A Booklet '
On Care of Pets.
This 32-page booklet is a compilation
of the best Information and suggestions
obtainable from governmental and other
authoritative sources on the care of all
kinds of pets—how to feed them, house
them, train them, exercise them, breed
them, and look after their minor ail
ments. If you have any pets in your
home you will And this booklet of real
practical help. Order your copy now.
Inclose ten cents to cover cost and
handling.
Use This Order Blank.
The Washington Evening Star
Information Bureau,
Frederic J. Haskin, Director,
Washington, D. C.
I Inclose herewith TEN CENTS in coin
(carefully wrapped) for a copy of the
booklet, “CARE OF PETS."
Name_....
Street or Rural Route___„
i 1 *
State____
(Please order by mail only J
t a

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