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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, August 18, 1947, Image 8

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Re gening Jsfaf
With Sunday Meriting Edition.
WASHINGTON. D. C.
Published by
Tht Evening Star Newspaper Company.
FRANK B. NOYES, President.
B M. McKELWAY, Editor.
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A—8 ** MONDAY, August 18, 1947
The National vjuara s Koie
In designating September 16 as Na
tional Guard Day, President Truman sig
nificantly stressed the importance of build
ing up and maintaining the Guard not
only as a trained component of our mili
tary forces but as an instantly ready
mobile force in time of great domestic
crisis. He may have had in mind the
value of such a disciplined organization
of citizens in the event of .an atomic bomb
attack on this country. While such an
attack may be regarded by most people
as a possibility of the remotest sort, mili
tary authorities must consider that possi
bility and plan accordingly.
It has become apparent that the role
of the National Guard in an atorfiic era
will be vastly more important than that
assigned it in the past. As Mr. Truman
says in his proclamation, the militiamen
always have been a bulwark of our fight
ing forces. Federalized in two world wars
they have served with great distinction on
many bloody battlefields abroad. The next
war, if one should come while atomic
bombs are still a threat to the world, un
doubtedly will find the National Guard
facing the grim prospect of fighting on
home soil. With the limited Regular Army
-and reserve units of the Army, Navy and
Air Forces, the Guard will share the re
sponsibility of restoring order, aiding the
stricken populace and repelling any in
vaders arriving by sea or air.
Guard officials, fully cognizant of the
enlarged part which the militia will play
in future conflicts, are striving diligently
to reorganize tne national uuara miu
something more than the skeletonized out
fit which it is today' It was necessary tl>
begin almost anew after World War II. In
fourteen months the Guard has raised only
15 per cent of its goal of 682,000 men.
War Department officials had hoped that
by this time universal military training
would be sending recruits to the National
Guard, under the Army-National Guard
joint training proposal, but Congress failed
to act. Now the Guard is going ahead
with an intensive volunteer recruitment
program, designed to enroll half a million
men by January 1, 1951.
This is an ambitious undertaking, the
success of which will depend in large meas
ure on the support which the public gives
to the drive. The American people should
respond wholeheartedly to the President’s
urgent appeal for their co-operation in
making the National Guard stronger than
ever.
A Rutgers professor hopes to improve
acting by hypnotizing the cast. But if
ham acting is thus improved, who is going
to put the audiences to sleep?
U. N. 'Capitol' Again
Several months ago the original sketch
for the “new world capitol” intended to
house the United Nations in New York
was described as a “diabolical dream.” The
fifteen architects responsible ior the draw
ing replied: "We expected criticism.” What
seemed indicated in the circumstances was
a thorough revision of the whole picture.
Wallace K. Harrison and his associates ap
peared to agree that they ought to “try
again.” In any case, a new composition
has been prepared and now is under dis
cussion.
But the substitute proposal still repre
sents "a complete change of taste” and in
that respect is faulty. The United Nations
headquarters ought not to be so striking a
tn ht in pfTprt. nn est.hpt.ir revn
lution. It is supposed to shelter a concep
tion of human society which is frankly old
rather than radically new—the conception
of fellowship among nations and peoples
and individuals which dates from the
mission of Christ in Galilee nineteen hun
dred years agp. If it means anything
practical in the earth today, it obviously
must appeal to the spirit of mankind as
that spirit has developed under Judaic
Christian teaching. The great error of
the designers of the “new world capitol’Mn
both of their projections is that of being
starkly materialistic, rigidly pagan in their
vision. No important structure anywhere
may be cited as a “companion piece.”
Neither, the Parthenon nor Saint Peter’s,
Canterbury nor the Houses of Parliament
at Westminster, the Capitol here in Wash
ington nor the League edifice in Geneva
has been in any sense model for Mr. Har
rison and his colleagues. On the contrary,
they have defied the past. The conceptions
they are urging for acceptance are a con
tradiction of the standards of beauty with
which ordinary folk are familiar. Bas
ically, they likewise are a denial of tested
4-viaW A+Vti/tc iHoolc nrmrpn Hv
experience.
Perhaps the mistake of the architects
traces back to their wish to reflect the
present age of chaos out of which the
United Nations organization is expected to
bring order. Their “slabs” of walls, their
“lumps” of supplementary structures, their
ramps and runways, may be modernistic,
• functional, up-to-date. What is wrong
with their “diabolical dream” is its isola
tion from historic thought, its indepen
dence of the accumulated feelings of cen
turies. They have sketched the “new world
capitol” as if it were something completely
out of touch with the achievements, the
hopes and the prayers of humanity since
written records first were kept. Such a
t
i
notion, patently, Is wrong. Mr. Harrison ]
and his associates should start all over
again.
Between the Devil—
The staunchest advocate of the free
enterprise system must have -felt twinges
of misgiving as he read the details of
Winston Churchill’s attack on the new
program which the Attlee government is
preparing to put into operation in Britain.
Mr. Churchill was at his eloquent best
as he ripped into the extraordinary peace
time powers which the Labor govern
ment has secured from an uneasy Parlia
ment. ‘‘I warn you solemnly,” he told the
British people, "that if you submit your
selves to totalitarian compulsion and
regimentation of our national life and
labor there lies before you an almost
measureless prospect of misery and tribu
lation of which national bankruptcy will
be the first result, hunger the second and
the dispersal or death of a large pro
portion of our population the third.”
That is .indeed a solemn warning. And
it may be that Mr. Churchill is right.
But what has he to propose as an alterna
tive to a hard-pressed nation? "I am
sure.” said Mr. Churchill, "that it is only
by personal effort, free enterprise and
ingenuity” that the people of Britain can
stay alive.
It would require a considerable stretch
of the imagination to say that this
deserves to be called a program for a
nation that is on the brink of economic
IHrtf VVlO foot ie Vi rl
able the reasons for it, that the British
people as a whole have not been exert
ing that degree of personal effort which
is essential to their economic recovery.
And it is because this effort has not been
forthcoming that the Labor government
has asked for and obtained the power
to regulate the individual worker.
Mr. Churchill singles this out for par
ticular attack, declaring that the Labor
government is preparing to deny the
right—“for many centuries deemed funda
mental in a democracy except in time of
mortal war—for every man to choose or
change his employment as he thinks fit.”
This is the sort of criticism which
greatly weakens the wartime Pr\me
Minister’s argument. For the Britain of
today is faced with a crisis which is
hardly less menacing than mortal war,
and in which, as in the case of war, it
cannot afford the luxury of permitting
men to work where they please, or as the
case may be, to refuse to work at all.
When a nation is collapsing in the
economic sense, it is idle to talk df free
enterprise or freedom of choice f^r the
individual. To approach the problem in
terms of traditions that are centuries old
is to ignore the realities of the present.
The great question in Britain today is
how best to wring from the British
people the maximum productive effort of
which they are capable and how best to
induce them to accept the 'inevitable
privations. The methods which Mr.
Churchill seems to prefer have been tried
and found wanting. The methods which
Mr. Attlee proposes to adopt, while they
seem more in tune with the realities of
Britain's position, are not endowed with
great promise.
What we are watching in Britain today
is the sternest test of a free society. The
birthplace of the concept of the dignity
| and the freedom of the individual, which
is so dear* to us, is trapped Detween me
devil and the deep blue sea. Will the
British be able to work out their economic
salvation and still retain a substantial
measure of freedom? Or will freedom have
to be sacrificed in a desperate appeal to
an all-powerful state? We shall shortly
know the answer, and anything that we
can do to mitigate the current British
trend toward totalitarianism most cer
tainly should be done.
Military Training in Russia
In view of the blatant outbursts of
American Communists against proposals
for strengthening national defense, includ
ing adoption of universal military train
ing, it is interesting to learn that Russia
is giving increasing attention to indoc
trinating her people with militaristic ideas.
Russia’s children today, for example, are
required to begin military training as
early as the fourth grade.
Professor George S. Counts of Columbia
Teachers College, in New York City, is au
thority for the statement that, if propa
ganda coloring activities in the classroom
and on the playground is included, the
training really begins as soon as the chil
dren enter the first grade. Pupils in the
earliest grades are encouraged to play “Red
soldier,” he said in a recent lecture. Boys
are urged to develop their hearing because
a Red soldier must “have a good ear.”
Organized military training is a definite
part of the curriculum from the fourth
grade on. Dr. Counts asserts this is a mill
*- n «•! rtpnrrenm i n IVm fllllocf COD CP Dfit
just a physical culture course. Yet Amer
ican Communists profess to see only evil
imperialistic designs in conservative War
Department proposals, for a six-month
military training program for boys of col
lege age. There is no point in trying to
see how the Reds in this country reconcile
the all-out Soviet military training pro
gram with their opposition to the cur
tailed American plan. American Com
munists do not feel called upon to recon
cile their peculiar policies with anything.
They would not be acting naturally if they
tried to be consistent
Gambling Law Hypocrisy
The Queens County grand jury which
recommended legalization of race-horse
betting outside the tracks has tossed a hot
potato into the laps of New York City offi
cials investigating the gambling racket
there. One does not need to be a bookie
or a customer of a Bookie to see the logic
in the bold presentment handed up by the
jury, which has been inquiring into reports
of * collusion between police and book
makers.
The grand jurors called to public atten
tion the “absurdity” and “hypocrisy” of
permitting betting on one side of a race
track fence and forbidding it on the other
side of the fence. New York does just that.
Seven years ago the State legalized pari
mutuel betting at race tracks on the
ground that it would ‘‘promoie agriculture
generally and the improvement of breed
ing of horses.” Recognizing the tongue
in-cheek aspect of the reason by which
the State Legislature sought to justify the
legislation, the grand jury said it i3 only
natural to conclude that “that alleged
beneficent purpose is promoted not only
by permitting pari-mutuel betting at the
tracks but by legalizing pari-mutuel bet
ting off the tracks.”
Taking note of the charges that police
have been winking at bookie activities, if
not actually abetting them, the grand jury
asked: “How can the average citizen be
lieve that the very policeman who directs
traffic to the track, watches persons en
tering the inclosure of the track and then
legally supervises conditions at the track,
can with common sense and the main
tenance of his equilibrium stop that very
same citizen from doing that very same
thing outside the track?”
This is a very pertinent question and one
that it is not easy for the New York legis
lators to answer to the satisfaction of the
jury or of their consciences. The grand
jury made it plain it is not commending to
their fellow citizens the practice of betting
on the horses. But there is merit in its
contention that the present law is hypo
crideal, not only in its statement of ob
jectives but in its one-sided application.
And such hypocrisy inevitably breeds dis
respect for law, >even among law-abiding
citizens.
Lamp Lighter
He went along the village street in late
afternoon—just a humble, elderly man
with a wheelbarrow, stubby ladder and
five-gallon can of coal oil. In little elm
shaded towns where white church spires
pointed toward the stars, the iron-framed
glass cages sat on cedar posts at regular
intervals along tjie street. Fifty years ago
when night’s curtain dropped over hills
and valleys the lights along the village
street were a long necklace of halo-edged
golden beads, held taut on an invisible
string.
Small boys were the lamplighter’s faith
ful retinue. The work itself was routine:
Set the ladder, fill the lamp inside the
cage, trim tfie wick and light it. Once a
week the old man polished the cages and
chimneys with peculiarly gray-black cloths.
“Don’t know how old Ben keeps the lamps
shining so brightly,” more than one good
housewife has said. “Have you seen his
cleaning cloth?” Along the street went
the man and boys, doing the daily task.
But to lads now grown to manhood and
scattered over a nation, there was much
more to it. Old Ben had been around in
his youth. He knew the Western plains
and Southern pinewoods; he had trapped
on the frozen tundras and worked in
Northern lumber camps. He had been
around the world on a slow freighter. As
he worked he told wide-eyed youngsters
stories of their own Nation’s history and
interesting tacts about tne distant places
of the world. Strange sounding names
ir^ the geography books came alive as he
painted word pictures of people and
places. Just a humble man performing
one of the community’s housekeeping
tasks, the lamplighter lit bright light of
ambition in the hearts of his listeners.
And if he no longer lights lamps in glass
cages, some of the lights that he kindled
are still shining.
This and That
By Charles E. Tracewell.
“ARLINGTON, Va.
“Dear Sir:
“Being a newcomer to the East and not being
familiar with Eastern birds, I should like to ask
some questions about some birds I have seen
in our yard.
“1. There Is a bird which I have never been
able to see close enough to give more than these
details. I have seen him in the trees mostly—
partially covered from view by leaves. He seems
very like an ordinary ^parrow though a trifle
larger and the head perhaps a trifle darker.
He has a wistful, plaintive' call which he gives
at intervals with sizeable pauses between. He
says what sounds to me like sit-chur-ease or
seat-chur-ease, with emphasis on the last syl
lable, which is very plaintive and drawn out.
“2. We have suet at our window sill feeder
and we have a regular customer. It answers
every detail of the description of a red-bellied
woodpecker except that it is extremely shy and
has never uttered a sound that we have been
able to tell. The book speaks of them being
such noisy birds. Also it says that even the
young birds have red heads and this bird
brought her family when they were hatched
and they had brown heads and brownish striped
zebra backs.
“3. Last week we had a mother and young of
a variety I cannot find in the bird book at all.
They were about robin size, maybe a trifle
smaller. The head, nape and side neck were
brownish—the back a bluish brown—the wings
and tail predominantly blue with slight traces
of brown. One of the birds perched a moment
near me with his back toward me. The rump
and upper tail were blue like a blue jay with
upper tail coverts white tipped giving the im
pression of white polka dots. The young bird
perched on a limb in the open and. immediately
the mother flew down from another tree and
nuagea uie jioung one ana ne movea very
slightly—she kept tlfls up until she had nudged
the young bird where it was protected from me
by leaves. They stayed there fof 10 minutes or
more, making no sound but preening them
selves and moving enough for me to see that
the wing feathers when outspread were a lovely
blue like the regular bluebird that we have.
During this time a third bird, evidently the
male, hovered at too great a distance for me to
tell any thing except that he was the same
lovely blue as the regular bluebird, had the
same red-brown breast but was a considerably
larger bird.
“Very truly yours, H. R. f."
* * * *
“CAPON SPRINGS, W. Va.
“Dear Sir: '
“One noon in August an unidentified biid
with blue body feathers and black and white
wdng and back feathers perched in a locust tree
near 18th and Harvard streets for at least half
an hour. His head and face could not be seen
easily, but he did not appear to have a pro
nounced bill.
“His face seemed to be grayish-white. The
tail was extremely slender and very long, ap
proxin^tely six or seven inches long. He' sat
very upright without much animation and
walked like a parakeet or love bird when he
occasionally advanced farther up a limb.
“The blue coloring of his body feathers was
unlike that of the jay or bluebird, seeming to
be chalky in tone and lighter. Occasionally he
uttered a simple call of only a few notes, rather
limpid in quality. His size was about that of
a catbird, but he was much more erect.
“Since he was within half a mile of the Zoo’s
bird house, it seemed that he might have been
a nondomestic bird from that collection.
"He did not resemble any bird illustrated in
any of the bird books.
"Very truly yours, L. J. M.”
* * * *
Our first correspondent's first bird was the
wood pewee.
The second may have been the flicker; but
red-bellied woodpeckers are not necessarily
noisy.
The third bird sounds as if this correspondent
were trying too hard to see a new one. It
may simply have been a female bluebird with
her young.
As for the one and only bird of our second
correspondent, if any reader has an idea aboul
it, send it along, as it is anybody’s guess.
4
Europe’s Festering Sore
American Soldiers Becoming Acutely Bitter
Toward Jewish Displaced Persons
By Nat Barrows
Displaced persons shown foraging for food before the Army took over their care.
HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 18.—Over Europe
today lurks a sickness that festers and spreads—
the problem of displaced persons.
Each new day woefully understaffed and
under-financed relief measures increase the
threat against economic and psychological
recovery implicit in this two-year-old sickness.
It is impossible to visit the camps of these
thousands of homeles* without realizing, as
many relief officials are frank to say, that they
can become the spark which sets off new fires,
of racial hatred and persecution.
The problem of these 225,000 Jewish and
nearly three times as many other refugees,
stateless exiles and so forth, whether it is
divorced entirely from the manipulations of
big-power policy or linked blatantly with
pdlitical expedience, remains of the utmost
seriousness.
As one member of the International relief
organization In Munich told me:
"If. the people of America and other countries
removed from Europe were only aware of the
implications behind the DP tragedy they would
awaken from their slumber of callous Indiffer
ence with an extremely bad conscience.
“These DPs, especially the Jews, are the real
victims of the war and even now, more than
two years after V-E day they are still living as
if they, and not the Nazis, were the guilty
parties.’’
Two major conclusions have struck me
forcibly after seeing the kind of aimless exist
ence in which the Jewish DPs in Germany
and Austria are struggling.
1. It is only too true that anti-Semitism is
on the increase in occupied areas.
2. The problem of resettlement for Jewish
DPs is complicated by their sheer inability to
assimilate normally, after many years inside
wartime barbed wire and two years of living
without social responsibility inside of DP
camps.
One shocking revelation for any visitor to
the American zone in Bavaria is the way
Yankee soldiers are openly developing a feeling
of acute bitterness toward Jewish DPs.
It almost appears that these American
youngsters, most of whom were too young to
serve in the war, have been allowed to think
tpat these DPs are former enemies, and there
fore, something to be despised and pushed
around.
The low state of morale and high state of
surliness among Americans is another story in
itself. But it fits into the sorry picture of the
way the DP problem is being handled in both
British and American zones.
And the Germans, unable to take out their
repressions on the occupiers, have transferred
their pent-up and unmitigated spirit of arro
gance to the easiest targets at hand—the
ragged inmates of DP camps.
Here in North Germany, the heart of the
British zone, anti-Semitism apparently has not
reached the state of bitterness obvious in Ba
varia. but those who know sav that it is a
big worry to both the British army and the
international refugee organization.
The answer, of course, lies far from Germany
and Austria. It lies with countries that are
closing their doors and shutting their eyes to
one of the great tragedies of our time.
The Jews freely admit that one major diffi
culty is the fact that so many of these Jew
ish DPs are not first-class citizens as a re
sult of their enervating experiences in the
vacuum.
But the situation has reached a point where
it cannot wait much longer without a vol
canic eruption.
No matter how the United Nations decides
the Palestine problem, this autumn, it cannot
Ignore the fact that Jewish DPs are conclu
sively linked with Holy Land settlement by any
yardstick of humanitarian motivations.
(Chicuto r>»llr New* Forctcn Service.)
Letters to The Star
A Better Way Than Drygs
To the Editor of The St»r:
Any one with an alcoholic history is bound to
be excited by George Kennedy’s, articles on
treating alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a disease, like canceg or tuber*
culosis.. A person addicted to alcohol is a sick
person. Consider the plight of the "hung-over,’’
Thousands of butterflies flutter about in his
stomach on the morning-after; his mouth
tastes like a wad of cotton; the chances are
he has the jitter? and even if he wants a cup
of coffee, which he most probably does not, he
can’t get the thing to his lips; he can’t see in
the mirror to shave; even before he has a
chance to recollect a few things about the
night before, his wife, mother or mother-in-law
is on his neck berating, scolding, begging, ac
cusing. going through the old song and dance
without any variation to lighten the ritual.
Now. sftmed with Mr. Kennedy's articles the
fond relative undoubtedly will feel equal to the
occasion and 99 chances out of 100 the un
fortunate alcoholic will be importuned to go to
Freedman's Clinic so they can cure him by
making him sick. Some of the more subtle
relatives .will throw Mr. Kennedy’s articles,
. ■ i _i.__ ... .1 a 4- nrtcir
SdVCU 1UI juot ouvn on vvvwusw.., - *
"hung-over” one and shout "Read this!” more
or less In the tone of "Arise and walk!”
Whereupon the "hung-over” one probably will
get sick on the spot without benefit of emetine
hydrochloride.
No, alcoholics cannot be cured with drugs.
Such an admission is made in the Kennedy
articles. Of course, the alcoholic wants a drink
of whisky for his hang over. He’ll go to any
length, even to taking hydrochloride in his
whisky, in order to get a lift out of his jitters
and away from the butterflies. You can create
in him a revulsion to liquor and condition his
reflex so that even the smell of after-shave
lotion will make him throw up. But when he’s
been treated and the patient leaves the clinic
hell be back again in a few weeks just about
three times as drunk.
Why? Because all the while the revulsion
lasts or his condition is reflexed the alcoholic
will build up a tide of resentment against the
doctor, against Mr. Kennedy, against the pa
tient’s relatives, society and everybody. So
when his reflex is dulled and his memory of
the taste of hydrochloride is dimmed you can
count on his going on the one binge to end all
binges. He’ll remember while going on this
last binge that at the end of it he is likely
to have to take the "drug” cure and then
you’ll have a terrible time getting him to go
through with it a second time. laterally, he’d
rather drink himself to death.
A real vote of thanks would be due you for
nnhiiririns this "drue” method foi treating
alcholics, if this were the only known treat
ment or even if it were a good treatment. But
it isn’t good and it is so outdated that it is lit
tle short of surprising that there are qualified
medical people who still fool around with it.
It is all the more surprising since there is a
total “cure’’ for alcoholism that for ten years
has been gaining adherents all over the coun
try; this cure guarantees the “hung-over” his
all-necessary tapering-off shots of pure and un
adulterated whisky. But instead of tackling his
disease through the stomach, it hits the
alcoholic where he is sickest when he is sickest.
No one who is not an alcoholic knows what
physical and mental anguish besets the path
ological drinker, for alcoholism is without ex
ception the crudest and most painful disease
that ever beset man because it attacks the
total man and penetrates the inner reaches of
his physical and spiritual being. Alcohol wages
total war against the total personality. For this
disease the remedy suggested by Mr. Kennedy
hasn’t got the chance of the proverbial snow
ball.
To those who are beset with the alcoholic
problem (whether afflicted personally or con
cerned lor another whose addiction is like
A
Letters for publication must bear
the signature and address of the
writer, although it is permissible for a
writer known to The Star to use a
nom de plume. Please be brief.
a twisting tornado) let us bring a message of
hope and cheer instead of the sordid message
of an upset stomach. If the alcoholic really
wants to stop drinking—then there is a cure
and that a total one. It is available free. It
is a pass to the finest fellowship in the world.
In short it is AA—Alcoholics Anonymous. Chap
ters exist in all large centers and are found in
the phone book, mfty thousand cured drunks
are living testimony to the effectiveness of the
A A way. You can’t beat a body of men every
one of whom helps himself stay sober by help
ing an .alcoholic friend cure himself without
medicine and without restraint. AN AA.
Reactions to News From Palestine
To the Editor of The Ster:
I should like to make a few comments on the
inquiry of John Green, printed July SO, as to
why when funds are being solicited for needy
Jews throughout the world a considerable sum
should have been expended for a full-page
announcement of the death of William Bern
stein.
I am not a spokesman for the sponsors of
the ad, but speaking aa an individual, I can see
some very excellent reasoning to justify the
insertion of the ad. Its sponsors, Americans
for Haganah, Inc., are aware of the need to
rehabilitate Jews spiritually and morally, as
well as physically. They know that for large
parts of the needy Jews in'Europe and the
Orient today, this can only be accomplished
by allowing them to live in their own home
land—Palestine—rather than forcing them
again to become part of a minority elsewhere.
For this reason, the members of Americans for
Haganah, Inc., are engaged in helping the fight
to enable Jews to go to Palestine, leaving their
present relief needs to other worthy organi- .
zations. • [
With thii aim in mind, nothing could be
more fitting, in my opinion, than the ex
penditure of funds to bring to the American
people the case of an American Jewish seaman,
one who fought for freedom during the Second
World War, was continuing the fight on one of
its fronts today and who was slain by the
British Navy upon his ship on the high
seas. Americans for Haganah have faith
enough in the justice and humanity of the
American people to know to-.t by bringing
such a case to them, they are investing in one
of the most precious commodities in the world
—the righteousness *nd sympathy of a free
people. CELIA WICKS.
1
To the Editor of The Star:
From time to time my family and I have
read of the atrocities committed by the Jews
against the British in Palestine, and we have
marveled at the patience of the British. And
now we are filled with horror and loathing at
their latest brutal performance in the hanging
of the two sergeants.
DISGUSTED AMERICAN.
1
Russian Issue Simplified
To the Editor of The 8t»r:
Russia is controlled by a dictator, and is
just one generation from serfdom and is a
world menace.
The free peoples of the world must realize
and face this menace or the world soon will
be thrown into another gigantic struggle for
freedom.
Communism is a dangerous instrument for
any nation to tolerate.
Stalin and his cohorts represent but another
form of Hitlerism.
What the world needs today is another
Teddy Roosevelt. GUY W. HANNA.
Birmingham, Ala.
Stars, Men and Atoms
Star With 'Coat of Iron'
Is Found Near Antares
New Discovery Enveloped by Particles
Took Seven Years to Photograph
By Thomas JR. Henry
A star with a coat of Iron has Just been found
In the southern sky.
, It Is the smalf blue star which is the com
panion of the great red Antares, the heart of
the constellation of the Scorpion and one of
the brightest objects in the heavens.
Discovery of the iron envelope of this star,
which is about three times the size of the sun
and is composed largely of heiium, has just
been announced through the American Asso
ciation for the Advancement of Science here
by Dr. Otto Struve, director of the McDonald
Observatory at Fort Davis, Tex.
Spectrum Photographed.
Dr. Struve was able to obtain a photograph
of the spectrum of this strange object only
after waiting seven years for a sufficiently clear
and quiet night when it could be separated
from its giant companion. Antares and the
star are inseparable except with a very power
ful telescope and even then their luminosities
run into each other so that it 'is difficult to
reach any conclusions. Antares is about 50,000
times the size of the sun and is about 150-fold
brighter. Its light floods everything else in
its vicinity.
Once having isolated the companion star,
however, Dr. Struve found that on each side
oi tne radiation wave lengths, which come only
from luminous helium, were bands which could
be attributed only to iron in a highly unstable
condition. Each element, when made luminous,
emits wave lengths which are characteristic
of itself alone and identify it anywhere in the
universe.
His interpretation is that these "iron lines’*
come from an envelope surrounding the star.
The diameter of this envelope is about ten
times that of the solar system.
“Envelope” Contains Dust.
Certain peculiarities of the spectrum lead
Dr. Struve to the conclusion that this envelope
is not composed entirely of iron in the form
of a gas, such as is encountered in many
stars, but is largely in the form of very fine
iron dust from some of whose atoms one outer
electron has been stripped. It may be roughly
analogous, he says, to the fine dust ionized by
the light of the sun which is responsible for
the light of the solar corona, visible only during
the total eclipse, and for the rarely seen zodia
cal lights. A curious circumstance is the
complete absence of hydrogen lines in this
nebulosity. So far as the spectrum shows, it
might come from iron alone.
"An attractive idea,” he says in his report
to Science, the official organ of the associa
tion, “is that the nebulosity is not strictly gase
ous but that it consists of solid, perhaps even •
meteoric particles which long ago have lost
most of their hydrogen and are rich in iron.
The radiations may be, in a sense, a counter
part to what in the solar system we know as
‘comet radiations'.”
Other stars are known with surrounding en
velopes, he explains, but these consist of hydro
gen. It was from the Similarity in the
arrangement of their spectra that he deduced
that the iron emission lines must come from
an iron coat rather than from iron gas in
the star iteelf.
Questions and Answers
A reader sen obtain the anawer to any question
fefaet by writing The Cronins Star Information
■eau. 316 I street N.I., Washington 2, D. C.
ass Inclose t oents for return-.postage.
By THE HASKIN’ SERVICE.
Q. How is wind measured?—E. Mol.
A. Wind velocity is measured by an anemom
eter, which consists of four cups (half spheres)
four Inches in dame ter, attached to cross arms.
These are fastened to a spindle connecting a
system of dials which register by the rotation
of the cups the number of miles traveled by
the wind. The dials are arranged to register a
mile for every 500 turns of the spindle.
Q. What is the largest organisation of vet
erans in the United States?—T. E.
A. The American Legion has the largest
membership. In the past two years nearly a
thousand new veterans' organisations were
formed in the United States.
Q. What is the status of unemployment in
the world as a whole?—W. 8.
A. A survey of 24 countries by the Interna
tional Labor Office showed that in the first six
months of 1947, the number of persons without
work was at a relatively low level.
Q. Why is a handsome young man often
referred to as an Adonis?—3. D. R.
A. In Greek mythology Adonis was a beauti
ful youth beloved by the goddess Venus. For
his sake she left the abode of the gods on
Olympus and came to dwell on earth.
Q. Why are goats said to be detrimental to
the land?—B. Q.
A. Goats, by over-grazing, denude the land
of vegetation which causes erosion. They de
stroyed the fertility of Greece and other Medi
terranean regions, damaged vast areas of East
Ainca, ana in me uihwju oihict tiwiru «
semidesert of the Navajo Indian Reservation of
Arizona and New Mexico.
Q. Are the oranges with greenish rinds
rip* or unrip*?—S. P.
A. The Department of Agriculture says that
the color of the skin is no sure guide to ripe
ness and that fully ripe, sweet oranges on
summer"markets may have skin that is tinged
with green or even wholly green.
Q. Why does a robin seem to have difficulty
in pulling a worm from the earth?—C. McG.
A. The worm is able to hold its ground by
reason of the many small hairs on its body.
Also it can thicken its body when necessary.
Q. Is it advisable to mix varnish with paint
to produce a more durable gloss?—J. B.
A. The National Bureau of Standards says
that, generally speaking, it is better to buy a
ready-mixed, high-grade paint or enamel of
the typ* required for the job than to attempt to
improve a single property, such as gloss re
tention, by the addition of varnish. An excep
tion to this general rule may be noted in the
case of the addition of compatible spar varnish
to soft-drying exterior house paint to be used
at the seashore.
Q. How can an aluminum saucepan be bright
ened on the Inside? It has become darkened
from use.—J. E. E.
A. Pill the saucepan with water, add a little
vinegar or cream of tartar and heat for a few
minutes. Aluminum also may b« brightened by
cooking mildly acid foods like rhubarb, toma
toes, tart apples or sour milk. Pood thus cooked
is not harmed.
Old Church in an English Village
Now shadows fill this holy place,
Soft music steals along the gloom;
The ghost of music, like a trace
Of angel choirs. An ancient tomb
Lies in a shaft of light—the gold
Of flame from lanterns quaint and old.
The knight whose effigy lies here
With folded hands upon his sword,
Lived in the far, dim yesteryear;
Engraved on stone the written word
That tells his lineage and, name—
The story of his valiant fame.
Upon the altar, Gothic, dark, ■
The cross, uplifted, shines in light
Of many candles, and the stark,,
But lovely crucifix is bright;
The worshippers in silent prayer
Are conscious of the 'Presence there.
MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE.
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