A Short History of Computing (Jul, 1978)

A Short History of Computing

A few weeks ago a master’s degree candidate in computer science confided, with an embarrassed laugh, that he had never seen a computer. His experience with the machines of his chosen vocation had consisted entirely of submitting punched cards through a hole in a wall and later getting printed results the same way. While his opportunities to see equipment are restricted due to his student status, there are also thousands of working programmers and analysts using large scale equipment who have no contact with existing hardware and will never have a chance to see any first or second generation computers in operation.

MODERN SCIENCE DECIPHERS Ancient Love Letters (Sep, 1939)



MILLER FOUR THOUSAND years after a man wrote a love letter, a bookkeeper, a chemist, and a scholar got together and deciphered the missive of adoration.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what happened. The story goes like this.

Ever since scientists began digging up the contents of Babylonian wastebaskets, they have been trying to work out some simple system for preserving and deciphering this ultrapersonal correspondence.

Of course, the secret of cuneiform writing on clay tablets, with its odd-looking, wedgelike marks, was discovered years ago, but that was just the beginning of trouble for the archaeologists.

The Pain Seeker (Oct, 1965)

“Dreadnaught Seamen’s Hospital” sounds like some kind of steampunk sex clinic.

The Pain Seeker

by Clifford Alien, M.D.

The bizarre story of the man who gave his name to the sex deviation masochism.

The term masochism—the condition wherein pain or humiliation is necessary for sexual satisfaction — was taken from a real person. It has become so lodged in psychology that it has been impossible to displace it by algolagnia (interest in pain) and similar words invented by specialists.

What sort of person was this who gave his name to such a deviation? How did it come about?

U.S. Buries 6 Billions in Gold (Apr, 1934)

U.S. Buries 6 Billions in Gold

Protected by water, gas and electricity.

Uncle Sam guards six tons of yellow metal from gangland and foreign foes.

by Ollie M. James

WITH utmost secrecy, Uncle Sam has buried the largest gold cache in history —192,000,000 ounces of the precious yellow metal worth $6,000,000,000. Where he has buried it, however, is no secret.

MAPS Spur New HUNT For Kidd Treasure (Nov, 1936)

MAPS Spur New HUNT For Kidd Treasure

Author of “Modern Buried Treasure Hunters”

I AM laying plans to land on a mysterious island in a far eastern ocean, to which a modern and seaworthy steam, or Diesel engined yacht will transport an old sea captain and navigator and myself many thousands of miles across two oceans from the quays and wharves of London and New York.


Sadly this headline is just as applicable now as it was 45 years ago.


Many voices have been raised recently calling for liberalization of our abortion laws, unchanged since 1803. These include doctors, churchmen, attorneys, newspapers and persons in all walks of life. Some of these have joined together to form the “Association for the Study of Abortion.”

According to CBS Reports, April 5th, 3000 illegal abortions are performed in the U.S. every day. The majority of these are sought not by single girls seeking to escape the penalty of promiscuity, but by desperate married women who are forced to this unhappy solution because of our restrictive abortion laws.

Native Tells of Great Quake (Jan, 1924)

This is an account of the last truly devastating earthquake to hit Japan, the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. That one was so bad that they considered moving the capitol.

Native Tells of Great Quake

From Popular Mechanics Magazine’s Japanese Correspondent,

[Popular Mechanics Magazine believes it need offer no apology for presenting an account of the Japanese earthquake at this late date, when it is the experience of a native eye-witness, N. Sakata, this magazine’s special correspondent in Tokyo. The tale is a moving one and written from the native point of view. In the stress of his emotions, Mr. Sakata seems to have suddenly developed a fluency ill English, which former contributions lacked to some extent. His “copy” has been edited in order that his pitiful adventures may be more readily grasped by the reader.—Editor’s Note.] THE morning of September first was stormy. A strong wind was blowing, and I could scarcely hold an umbrella. It was raining heavily, but when I reached my office it began to clear up, and the dark sky changed to a cheerful blue.

At 11:58 o’clock I heard a strange sound from the earth through the building wall, but since it was so slight, and, because I afterwards learned that other men did not notice it, I paid little attention. Soon afterwards, the building began to shake very softly. Inasmuch as we Japanese are familiar with small earthquakes, I paid little attention to it and felt that it would soon pass, but, alas! it grew into an uncomfortable shock.

I heard the crying of women and the sounds of the cracking of the adjacent building walls. We had in our room a large case for filing papers which measured about 10 feet high and 20 feet wide.

Mechanics of Killing (Apr, 1948)

Mechanics of Killing

From the first torture rack to the latest gas chamber, science has transformed the criminal’s execution from a human butchery into a skilled profession.

BY Lester David

WHEN the world was younger, the law’s method of exacting an eye for an eye and a life for a life was crude. Today the mechanics of executions have been made both deadly and scientific.

Not so always! In ancient Rome a condemned man, clad only in a loin cloth, was shoved by his executioner into a large sack. Into the sack also was placed a dog, a rooster and a poisonous snake. The writhing bundle was hurled into a swamp, and the execution had been carried out.

Adventurers of Science Explore Mankind’s Past (Sep, 1931)

Adventurers of Science Explore Mankind’s Past


Archaeologists, who are as much adventurers as they are scientists, are every day striking out into remote parts of the world in search of relics of mankind’s mysterious past. The dangers these explorers encounter, the scientific methods they employ, and the treasures they have unearthed are described in this article.

Washington’s Brassy Influence Peddlers (Mar, 1960)

Sadly, this seems pretty tame by comparison with what is considered normal today.

Washington’s Brassy Influence Peddlers

Retired generals and admirals cozy up to their old buddies to swing billions of dollars in defense contracts!


LAST JULY, three of the largest defense contractors in the nation readied plans to entertain Air Force Lt. General Bernard S. Schriever, head of the Air Research and Development Command. Party invitations described the affair as cocktails and dinner with an off-the-record chat by General Schriever about his plans and problems.