YOUTH AND THE SEA
“Captain Sylvia,” aged 6 weeks, and her
mother, Mrs. J.E. Williamson upon the cover of
this week’s issue look at a strange world full of
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fishes, corals, sharks, morays, and other
denizens of the deep. The youthful scientist,
symbolic of science itself and its aspirations,
was a member of the Field Museum-Williamson
Undersea Expedition to the Bahama Islands,
which brought back tons of corals collected after
cruising many miles under the sea.
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SCIENCE STRIDES FORWARD DURING 1929
In the air, under sea, and on the surface of the earth, man’s searchings into
the mysteries of the universe have progressed during 1929.
The earth was circumnavigated by airship for the first time. Airplanes flew in
the Antarctic, one of them reaching the South Pole. The depths of the sea
yielded new secrets. Telescopes reached farther and more searchingly into
the depths of the universe. Less spectacular but perhaps more important to
posterity were investigations on life, chemistry, and the constitution of
matter conducted in quiet laboratories.
Aeronautics: The plane “St. Louis Robin” made a record refueling flight of
420 hours, 21 minutes, or more than 17 days.
Anthropology and Archaeology: Two human skulls and other bones were
found associated with the remains of American camel and other Ice Age
animals in Conkling Cavern, N.M., raising the question of whether the men
and animals were contemporaries.
Astronomy: Four comets were discovered during the year. All were new
comets, with the possible exception of the last, as only one observation
was obtained of it and its orbit could not be determined.
Biology: The Mediterranean fruit fly, one of the most destructive of all insect
pests, was discovered in Florida in April.
Chemistry: The Nobel prize in chemistry for 1929 was awarded to Dr. Arthur
Harden of London University and Prof. Hans von Euler of the Stockholm
High School for their work on yeasts and sugars.
Engineering: The largest earth-filled dam in the world on the Saluda River,
South Carolina, neared completion.
Geology and Geography: The “Carnegie,” a nonmagnetic yacht of the
Carnegie Institution of Washington, was destroyed by fire following a
gasoline explosion while lying in Apia harbor, Samoa.
Medicine: A poisonous sugar, the only known sugar that has a toxic
reaction, was discovered in tuberculosis bacilli by Dr. R.J. Anderson, Yale
Physics: The Nobel prize in physics was awarded to Prince Louis Victor de
Broglie of Paris for his studies in wave mechanics.
Psychology and Psychiatry: Experiments in the progress of human
development conducted with twin babies at the Yale Psycho-Clinic indicated
that babies do not begin to practice new activities until their nerve structures
are ripe for them.
Radio and Television: The Federal Radio Commission assigned special
bands, each 100 kilocycles wide, for radio television, and a number of
stations made regular broadcasts.
INTERESTING EVENTS FORESEEN IN 1930
Solution of problems of new diseases and also of some of the old, familiar
ones are hoped for by medical scientists during 1930. The ever-widening
extent of undulant fever, the threat of a meningitis outbreak, the increase in
malaria and pellagra in the South will be subjects of study and investigation
in laboratories and in the field during the coming year. Progress in the
control of one or all of these is to be looked for, public health experts
In the view of the earnest scientific effort being expended throughout the
world in cancer research, progress will undoubtedly be made in this field,
though it is perhaps too much to hope that the discovery of a “cure” will be
made in the new year….
Several interesting astronomical events are scheduled for the new year.
Chief of these are two eclipses of the sun. Two comets will almost certainly
put in their appearance, while three others may possibly reappear. And,
while comets are notoriously irregular, it is most likely that two or three new
comets will be found.