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UNCERTAINTY— “It may seem a paradox that one of the cornerstones of modern physics is something called the principle of uncertainty. The idea of indeterminacy as a rule of science does, in fact, disturb many 20th-century philosophers. But the uncertainty principle has proved a powerful answer—so far the most fruitful—to important questions in present-day physics. During the past decade the validity of the uncertainty principle has been argued voluminously, both by writers who understand the problems at issue and by writers who do not. Up to the present this so-called ‘Copenhagen interpretation of the quantum theory’ has stood its ground. In my opinion and in the opinion of many other theoretical physicists, the uncertainty principle will stand its ground indefinitely. —George Gamow”
KRILL— “The whale’s example shows that we can reap vastly increased returns from the biological economy of the oceans. The 270 million tons of krill on which the Antarctic whales fed in their heyday would be more than enough to supply the annual requirements of the entire U.S. population. There are growing indications that krill may be a timely subject. Some 250 ships and 16,000 men—the largest whaling fleet in history—are now operating in the Antarctic Ocean. They depend mainly on the fin whale. If and when this species follows the blue and humpback whales into near-extinction, whalers may find it worthwhile to turn their attention to krill.”
FARMAN’S FLIGHT— “M. Henri Farman, on Monday, January 13, before the officials of the Aero Club of France, won the Deutsch-Archdeacon prize of 50,000 francs for the first flight by a heavier-than-air machine of one kilometer in a closed circuit. By Farman’s recent successful flight in a circle, the record of the Wright brothers made in this country over two years ago has in this respect been duplicated; however, Farman has found that his machine in its present condition is incapable of long-distance flight, because of its inability to lift any perceptible quantity of fuel. Also, he has not demonstrated its capability of flying with safety against a wind having a velocity of 20 miles an hour—a feat which the Wright brothers accomplished with their first motor-driven machine in 1903.”
The entire article from 1908 is available.
SHAGGy SHEEP— “One of the oldest materials used in the manufacture of fabric is the wool and hair of animals. The scissors or shears used for this purpose were very primitive indeed, being only two blades and a spring back; and with this simple implement sheep have been sheared for thousands of years past; it is but lately that a new implement has been introduced which can be worked by power, thus leaving the operator all his strength to manage the sheep and guide the shears. Our engraving represents a sheep being sheared by one of these machines, which is suspended from a beam.”
NIGHT INTO DAY— “Whale oils are in comparatively limited use for illumination, and are becoming more limited every year. Sperm oil has no superior among all the burning fluids, but it has become so dear that cheaper substitutes have been sought and obtained. The most common of these is a compound of alcohol and turpentine, commonly known by the name of burning fluid, which is very cheap and cleanly. This fluid was first brought into public use in 1830. Were it not so volatile, no burning fluid could be more desirable. Horrible accidents, causing death in many instances, have occurred from the explosion of lamps, hence a safer substitute
BLACK HILLS— “The St. Louis (Mo.) Republican states that a party has just recently returned to that city from an exploring expedition in a wild region known as The Black Hills. It is a vast country of movable sands, sterile, bleak and inhospitable. There are small streams at remote distances in it, upon which there is spare vegetation; sufficient, however, for the subsistence of the Indians’ horses and some buffalo. The party consisted of sixty men, and the Sioux, who are numerous there, forbid the return of any more white men. They said that this party might pass, because it was the first, but no others may come, as they scared away their game, and would discover their strongholds and hiding-places.”