Colors of every tone and shade, to the number of 1,400, are displayed in an index recently issued. There are no duplicates in the list, which was compiled from the productions of dye makers all over the world. Many scores seem exactly alike to the eye, but tests show that they are not. America sent samples from twenty-nine factories, while England and Germany were each represented by thirty-two.

It’s in the Bottle (Oct, 1937)

It’s in the Bottle

WHEN one sees large wooden objects in a bottle, one often wonders how the articles were placed into the glass containers. Often, those viewing the objects express the opinion that the “glass was blown around the object.” Such, however, is not the case.

Unless we act, 1 in 8 will die of Cancer (May, 1947)

Well, apparently we acted, because in the U.S. cancer is now responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. Globally it is 1 in 8. (yes, I know that this primarily has a lot to do with people living to an older age and not dying of other things)

Unless we act, 1 in 8 will die of Cancer



A Machine with a “Memory” (Oct, 1937)

At first I thought this was a kind of Williams Tube, an early type of computer memory that used a grid of illuminated dots on a cathode ray tube to store data. However, according to the summary of this paper, it is basically what it looks like: a system that uses a camera to take a picture of an oscilloscope. Which made me wonder why they would call it a “memory” when it’s just a camera.

The reason I think, is that it uses the short term persistence of the oscilloscope image as a sort of buffer. When the event you’re interested in happens it will trigger the camera, giving you an image of the activity from before the event.

This is actually pretty handy and reminds me of the modern high-speed digital video cameras used on nature shows. They have to capture very unpredictable phenomenon that happen incredibly fast. By the time the photographer noticed, the event they care about has already happened. The trick to the cameras is that they are continually recording footage, keeping it for a short time in a buffer and then overwriting it. When an event happens that the photographer wants to capture, he presses the button and the camera just stops throwing away the old footage. This means the actual recording starts a few seconds before the button was pressed. This video from David Attenborough’s Life in the Undergrowth explains it perfectly. (I remembered the clip from watching the “making of” videos when I saw it a few years ago and wanted to link to it with this post. Apparently my google-fu is weak because I just spent the last hour searching before I found the right combination of keywords.)

By the way, if you haven’t seen Life in the Undergrowth, you should get a copy. It is mind-blowing and possibly my favorite nature documentary.

A Machine with a “Memory”

THIS machine has the faculty for picking up the results of electrical disturbances and registering them in its “mind.” A short time later they are illustrated on an oscilloscope, where photographs are made. The entire operation is automatic.

Focal Point Art (Oct, 1937)

A hemisphere is just geometry, but a semisphere, that’s art.

Focal Point Art

THOSE who have not developed that esthetic sense of art so necessary to appreciate a “fur-lined cup and saucer” which the surrealists exhibited (and which was illustrated in a previous issue of this publication) will acknowledge that Robert H. Blickenderf has developed something equally striking— yet, when properly viewed, possessing all those elements of art which have been expounded by the great masters.

Shilling to Earn All World’s Gold (Feb, 1932)

This reminded me of (what I thought) was an episode of Duck Tales where Scrooge McDuck decides to make a ton

Shilling to Earn All World’s Gold

WHEN Dr. Leopold Bauer, noted Vienna architect, recently deposited a shilling in the Bank of England, to be compounded quarterly and paid to his descendants in 1500 years, we wonder if he realized that he was attempting to corner the world’s wealth.

Fire Box Foils False Alarms (Oct, 1937)

Obviously any prankster would be utterly dissuaded by an ear-shattering siren.

Fire Box Foils False Alarms

A NEW type of fire alarm box, equipped with an ear-shattering siren that sets up a wail audible for blocks (much to the discomfiture of anyone using it unlawfully) made its debut recently at the Fire Chiefs’ annual convention in Washington.

The photo shows Sergeant Clarence Quick pointing to the siren.

A Curious Industry (Sep, 1936)

I like that in the same paragraph they write “it is so completely impossible to grasp the basis for the weird ideas and beliefs” they also write “Religion is practiced as it was, originally, thousands and thousands of years ago.”. It implies that Hindu beliefs are weird, yet the second sentence would bring howls of dirision from Young Earth Creationists, who’s ideas are of course perfectly normal.

A Curious Industry

Buffalo chips once served as fuel in this country. Cow dung has many uses — besides that of a fertilizer — in the Far East.

SOME of the most peculiar customs in the world originate in India, where beliefs and religions have flourished from ancient times, without any change from contact with the civilization of the rest of the world. To the average traveller, India presents a glamorous and fascinating study, inasmuch as it is so completely impossible to grasp the basis for the weird ideas and beliefs which are firmly fastened in the Oriental mind.

CAREER GIRL (Feb, 1951)


WE’RE continually running picture of lovely young ladies and writing; that their ambition is to get into the movies or television—which it usually is. But somehow. we never do hear whether they succeed in their ambitions or not. They drop into a silent limbo of girls who* want to go places but apparently never do.

Blind Men Make Radios (Oct, 1937)

This reminds me of a crazy Russian film I posted to YouTube a few years ago. It’s all about what appears to be an entire town complete with school, resort and television factory to cater to the blind. It all looks rather futuristic and amazing and has the feel of propaganda but I have no idea what it says because the entire film is narrated in French.

Blind Men Make Radios

THE world’s most unusual radio factory is in operation in New York City where 304 blind men build radio sets on a production scale. Every operation is performed by them, even to soldering, and it seems that these men make fewer mistakes and do a better job than workers not handicapped with a loss of sight.