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Hoyle on Matter -- Our Readers? -- Killing Beauty

Articles from past issues of Scientific American

APRIL 1958
THE MATTER— “Anti-matter may exist in our galaxy, but it cannot exceed about one part in 10,000,000 of ordinary matter if it is there. It is most unlikely that any of the stars in our galaxy can be made of anti-matter. Outside our galaxy, other galaxies in remote parts of the universe may consist entirely of anti-matter. The nearest approach to direct proof of the existence of such bodies is the presence of strong radio sources whose energy is difficult to explain by any known process but might be explained by the annihilation of anti-matter. On the other hand, if anti-matter does exist in the universe, we do not understand at present how the bulk of it became separated from matter. To explain this would apparently require a revolution in our thinking on cosmological problems. —Geoffrey Burbidge and Fred Hoyle”

APRIL 1908
SPA CHERNOBYL?— “In connection with the Austrian governmental establishment for the preparation of uranium products, there has been built in Joachimsthal, Bohemia, a laboratory for working up radio-active substances found in the tailings and by-products of the uranium minerals. There will also be erected a bathing establishment, where the radio-active mine water will be used for healing purposes.”

PUBLIC MENACE— “It is surprising that the turnstile door [revolving door] has not long ago aroused a strong protest, on the ground that it constitutes a menace to public safety. We say this with due appreciation of the ingenuity of this device, and the success with which it accomplishes its desired end of preventing the inrush of cold air which accompanies the opening and shutting of doors of the ordinary hinged type. The menace of the door lies in the fact that people can pass through the rotating pockets of the door only one at a time. In the event of any accident that would cause a rush for the door, it would take an interminable time for the population of a hotel to file out.”

VIEW FROM PUCK— “Our contemporary Puck has published, in one of its recent issues, illustrations which it considers typical of certain periodicals, among them the Scientific American. We reproduce the illustrations for the delectation of those readers of the Scientific American who wish to see themselves as Puck sees them. The coatless, bald-headed man of the dripping brow and intent mien is not the ideal reader that we have seen in our mind’s eye; but his furious activity has our fullest approval.”

APRIL 1858
WILD HORSES— “All kinds of theories have been formed in relation to the peculiar method of subduing the wild spirit of horses, so successfully practiced in Europe by Mr. Rarey, who is generally known as the ‘American horse tamer.’ It is well known that animals generally have an almost instinctive passion for certain odors, which appear to have a subduing influence over them. Mr. Rarey has intimated that his power over the horse is obtained solely through herbs or drugs which operate on the senses of smell and taste. We understand that Mr. Rarey has been challenged by D. Sullivan, also a horse tamer (grandson of the celebrated ‘Sullivan, the Whisperer’), to a trial of his powers in Cork, Ireland.”

FATAL ATTRACTION— “There is no custom so foolish and frivolous as that of painting the face, or endeavoring to obtain by artificial means an unnatural complexion; and this custom, which at first we are inclined to regard as simply childish, assumes the graver nature of a crime when we regard the means adopted to attain this silly end. For example: Arsenic is used in great quantities to produce a healthy look, ruby lips, and rotundity of form. Bismuth and antimony are also largely used in the manufacture of cosmetic articles, without which ladies do not consider their toilets complete. We would let every one know that some ladies actually, as well as figuratively, deal out to their admirers killing glances.”

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