From the November 11, 1933, issue


Romantic squires and young knights of the sunset days of feudalism paid court to the lovely ladies of their fancy in elaborately built bowers set in corners of the castle grounds. Even in these livelier days, when troubadours carry saxophones and steel guitars instead of plaintive lutes and melancholy citherns, secluded bowers do not come amiss.

But long before the first love-courts were held in the Languedoc, the bower-birds of the tropics were bowing and scraping and displaying their finery before their inamoratas, in elaborately constructed bowers that they built and brightly adorned, and they may be at it still after the last lad has ogled the last lass. The cover-picture of this issue of the Science News Letter, showing a new group mounted in the Field Museum in Chicago, is of a species of bower-bird from New Guinea. It is the habit of this species to use bright berries and fruits as ornaments for his dancing platform. When they wither, he carefully deposits them on a trash-heap and replaces them with fresh ones.

Once the lady has accepted him, they set up housekeeping in a tree near by. But the bower is not abandoned. The male continues to use it for a play-room.


The automobile of 1933 consumes 30 percent less power in overcoming air resistance than its predecessor of 1928, wind tunnel measurements on models by R.H. Heald of the U.S. Bureau of Standards show. This improved performance comes as a result of the modern trend toward streamline form. The tests showed, however, that the air resistance of the 1933 car is still more than twice that of a completely streamlined car of the same frontal area.


American ultramodern alchemists working at the destruction and creation of new atoms from old have found that one of sciences newly discovered building blocks of matter called the neutron is much lighter than English physicists have measured.

Dr. Ernest O. Lawrence, addressing the Solvay International Institute of Physics at Brussels, told how he and his colleagues, Drs. M. Stanley Livingston and Malcolm C. Henderson of the University of California, have again used their whirligig atom-smashing machine to pry into the hearts of atoms. Accelerating the hearts of heavy hydrogen atoms, which are called deutons, up to the enormous energy of 3,000,000 volts, they have bombarded the rare light metal beryllium. A full report will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Physical Review, the American Physical Society journal.

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