Watching the World
◆ On November 6 the United States set off a nuclear blast on Amchitka Island off the coast of Alaska, one that was 250 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that devastated Hiroshima during World War II. The bomb was detonated in a 52-foot spherical chamber 5,875 feet below the surface of the ground. It cost $200 million. Although many feared that it would touch off an earthquake, none occurred.
Our Stable Sun
◆ Scientists are coming to the conclusion that our sun is one of the most stable stars in the universe. They have compared information that has been gathered by artificial satellites about the particles streaming from the sun with the tracks believed to have been left by such particles on moon rocks millions of years ago. The conclusion was expressed by Dr. James R. Arnold of the University of California at San Diego: “We have found to our surprise that the average values for the sun are the same today as they were millions of years ago. The sun has not changed very much, if it has changed at all.”
◆ Did you know that corncobs can bring a good price? There is a growing demand by industry for clean cobs. An abrasive is made from the hard inner ring of the cob. It can clean ball bearings without marring them. Cob dust can be used in place of sand for blasting buildings. Fine cob dust can be used in face powder. Cobs are processed into a chemical that is used for making plastics, tires, resins and auto engine parts. The pith can be used as an absorbent, able to absorb liquids up to five times its weight.
◆ Prominent among evolutionists is Louis S. B. Leakey. Regarding him and a new expedition he has been trying to promote, Science News of October 16, 1971, observed: “T. Dale Stewart, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution, points out that foundations are tight with money these days and says Leakey gets ‘carried away with his enthusiasm’ in trying to pry some of the money loose. . . . he lets his imagination run away with him. He often rushes in, making wild guesses and then has to come home and say that things didn’t pan out as well as expected.” When it comes to estimating the ages of his fossils, is it not possible that here too he lets his “imagination run away with him” and makes “wild guesses”?
Advance Earthquake Warning
◆ There seems to be evidence that geysers increase their frequency of eruption before a major earthquake. In Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful was observed to speed up anywhere from two to four years in advance of a major earthquake in that area. Even the stresses that precede a more distant quake seem to affect it, as was true before the major earthquake that shook Alaska in 1964.
◆ Much to the surprise of ornithologists, it was recently discovered that the bird known as the American finfoot actually carries its young in pouches on its body. One was observed in a remote part of Mexico. When the nest was approached the male bird guarding the nest fled, diving into the water of a nearby river and swimming underwater to make its escape. A boatman captured the bird, and the chicks were found in pouches, one on each side of its body, under its wings. The swim did not harm them.
◆ The problem that has developed among college graduates who are unable to get employment was well illustrated by a chemist who received his Ph.D. after nearly nineteen years of schooling. He sent out 250 letters of application in his search for a job. Replies have been received from most of them without one job offer. When chemists were sought last June to fill 23 university teaching vacancies, there were 819 applicants, all chemistry Ph.D.’s.
Effect of Rock Music
◆ When 14 bands played rock music at a festival in Rome, 5,000 neighboring chickens became frantic and piled up against the fence of their pen. Two hundred were killed in the pileup.
Paid to Destroy Food
◆ According to a report in the Toronto Daily Star of October 2, 1971, Prairie farmers in Canada are being “paid to leave thousands of tons of potatoes in the ground to freeze and rot.” The reason is apparently an oversupply. This destruction of food is unfortunate when millions of people are starving in other parts of the earth. It is one of the bad effects of the present economic system.
Surprises in Passenger Screening
◆ In order to spot potential plane hijackers passengers are being passed through a screening system. It has produced surprising results this past year—1,500 arrests for other reasons. Some were arrested for possessing illegal drugs, others for trying to board a plane with a gun or knife, others for being illegal aliens, and still others for trying to flee prosecution.
Warning from Medium
◆ A British spirit medium has warned his fellow Britons against the Ouija board, which is sold as a toy. He warned that the game can open the way to “evil spirit entities” and cause “irreparable brain damage.” He was moved to issue the warning because of the many phone calls he has received from parents and young people worried about their experiences with the boards.
◆ On Halloween children throughout the United States were going about threatening residents with a trick if not treated. Often they were accompanied by their parents. Some persons have viewed this as teaching extortion to children. Others view it as an innocent pastime. No matter how it is viewed, it has become dangerous to the children. There have been reports from all over the country of razor blades, needles, pins and drugs being put in some of the candy and fruit given such children.
Dying Catholic Publications
◆ In a report in the New York Sunday News of October 31, 1971, it was noted that 180 Catholic publications have discontinued publishing since 1965. Many of those remaining are just barely hanging on in the face of dropping circulations.
Fewer Spaniards Seeking Priesthood
◆ On November 2, 1971, the Barcelona newspaper El Noticiero Universal reported a substantial drop in the average number of seminarians in Spain. Between 1962 and 1971 there were 58 percent fewer persons in Spain seeking to become priests. In some dioceses the drop was as much as 80 to 90 percent.
Smoking Is Killer
◆ According to George Godber, Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Health and Social Security in Britain, smoking causes the death of one quarter of the British men who die between the ages of 45 and 64. He observed: “The mortality from smoking-related disease in Britain is among the highest in the world.”
Drugs in Germany
◆ According to a report appearing in The German Tribune of August 26, 1971, one out of every twenty teen-agers over 16 years of age have tried smoking hashish at least once. When questioned as to willingness to try hashish, 63 percent of the German youths in this age-group said they would be willing to try it.
Celibacy Affirmed by Synod
◆ The third Synod of Bishops gathered at the Vatican reaffirmed the doctrine of celibacy for priests despite the fact that the Bible nowhere lays this requirement upon Christians. On the contrary it foretold that in the “last days” there would be men who would “speak lies, marked in their conscience as with a branding iron; forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving.”—1 Tim. 4:2, 3.
“Kiss of Death”
◆ For two girls in the Philippines, one 19 and the other 21, blood transfusion proved to be what chief of the Philippine General Hospital’s blood bank called the “kiss of death.” The girls had undergone simple operations and then began to hemorrhage. Immediately after blood transfusions were given them they developed the symptoms commonly associated with incompatible blood and died.
◆ More and more doctors are beginning to recognize the value of light for combating jaundice. In an article appearing in the medical magazine CMD of October 1971, Professor J. Edmund Bradley observed: “Research on light and its effect on human infants, as well as on older persons, has been limited mostly to the things we can see, skin and eyes. That light has significant and even profound effects beyond just the superficial tissues is being suggested through animal experiments.” Of special interest is its healing effect upon babies with jaundice. The article commented on how very effective blue light is in lowering bilirubin levels in babies with jaundice, and it observed that bright sunlight is even more effective than artificial blue light.
◆ After viewing 130 hours of TV broadcasting in the course of a week, three medical students concluded that 70 percent of the health information on TV was either inaccurate or misleading. Much of the remaining 30 percent was too vague to be helpful or had to do with problems of little concern to the majority of viewers.
Lutherans Losing Members
◆ An official of the Lutheran Church in America reported that during 1970 the church experienced a net loss of 29,356 members. The number of congregations dropped by 35.
◆ Near Raleigh, North Carolina, a strain of rats has been found that survived from two and a half to six times the dose of poison considered lethal. A genetic trait apparently permits them to survive. An official of the National Pest Control Association stated: “There appears to be no immediate simple solution.” Also, an official of the British Ministry of Agriculture reports that half the farms in Scotland have rats, and that 40 percent of them cannot be destroyed by presently used poisons.
Smallpox No Problem
◆ The danger of contracting smallpox has been reduced to the point where only twenty-three countries reported any cases of smallpox in 1970. Now there is greater danger of death due to the vaccination than due to the disease. For this reason the U.S. Public Health Service has recommended that routine smallpox vaccination be discontinued. It may be that the requirement for travelers to have this vaccination will also be dropped.
Motorcycles More Dangerous
◆ During 1970 motorcycles claimed a record 2,330 lives in the United States, nearly 19 percent more than the previous year. That is about double the rate of new registrations. Two thirds of the fatalities were persons between 15 and 24. The death rate for motorcycle travel is four to five times as high as for automobile travel.
Leader in Highway Congestion
◆ According to the British Road Federation, Great Britain has become the world leader in highway congestion. There are 62.6 private, commercial and public vehicles for every mile of roadway in Britain, and there are 20,000 new vehicles a week that are seeking road space. The next most congested country is the Netherlands, with 57.3 vehicles per mile of road. The figure for the United States is 28.6.