Fun with old Science News Letter article titles

I’ve been finding older (1930s-1940s) era articles from the periodical “Sciences News-Letter”; what could very well, in my opinion, be called the National Enquirer of the sciences.  I thought I’d share some of these titles, which might tickle your fancy this Friday.  Of course there are some interesting ones regarding fat but also other topics which just bring a double-take (at least for me as I flip through the pages).  I’ve also noted after each title the issue for each of these in the off-chance that anyone wishes to read the actual article and knows a library with access to some digital/microfilm storage location for this journal.  Sometimes the articles are as fascinating in a retrospective review as the titles!

In the true and continuing tradition of the variety of… ‘interesting’ things studied and in my unending quest to find fascinating historical perspectives I give you the following.

“Put Olive Oil into Veins to Help Babies Gain Weight” (Jun 22, 1935) Hmmm do you figure they just inject it straight in?  Will store brands have different results than name brands?

“Destiny of Man can be Controlled through Diet” (Jun 22, 1935)  Wow, forget fatness; I want a lower-calorie diet to dictate my DESTINY!

“‘Death Ray’ for Roaches; Not Ready for Home Use” (Citation missing, ~ 1940s) Which, of course, begs the question: When WILL it be ready???

“What Happens Inside a Hot Potato is Investigated” (Jul 6, 1935) Starch!  Starch happens!  Right??

“Scientists Like Their Jokes” (July 20, 1935)  Um…really early “Slow News Week” article??

“Vegetable Fats Found Digestible and Nutritious” (Aug 24, 1935)  Yeah, meat fats are SOOO last decade!

“Confusion of Causes Hampers Treatment of Mental Ills” (Sep 15, 1935) I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that treating any illness is exponentially more difficult if the causes of said disease is confusing to suss out.  Hmmm….like fatness perhaps? Or anything really.

“College Girls Don’t Like Cauliflower or Coffee” (Sep 28, 1935)  Um…maybe some intrepid researcher was just also and English major and couldn’t resist going for an alliterative hypothesis to test???

“Place of A at Beginning of Alphabet is Explained” (Nov2, 1935)  Okay, this one merits a quote of the first line too: “In lands of the Near East, a man does not start on a journey of begin work without calling God’s name. And that, says Dr. George Lamas, is why the alphabet begins with A.”  Sounds like someone wrote their final project in an all-nighter session the day before it was due, nay?

“Fly Reverses Role; Catches Spider in Web” (Jan 4, 1941)  Okay damn.  Now I should be afraid of flies too?  Freaking A.

“Core of the Earth Like Bowl of Jelly” (Jan 4, 1941)  Awesome-sauce (can’t recall where I heard this first but I love this phrase now).  Can I get some of that on toast? Or is Earth the new Santa Claus?

“Cosmetics Not to be Rationed, Regardless of War Emergency” (Apr 26, 1941)  Well sure.  I mean food shortages and starvation/malnutrition are one thing but Ugly Chicks?  Whole ‘nother bag of beans there.  Don’t want to see no Ugly Chicks while we’re at war y’all….

“Googol? It’s a New Word For Larger Vocabularies” (Feb 12, 1938)  This just caught my eye because I thought it said “Google”.  But then since Google does just come from a misspelling of “Googol” I found it fascinating to stumble upon one of the first mentions of this new word.  (BTW: a “Googol” is a one followed by 100 zeros)

So that’s what is on my mind as I stumble into another weekend when I will be working on Saturday.

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3 thoughts on “Fun with old Science News Letter article titles

  1. No wonder I didn’t go to college! I adore both coffee and cauliflower. Clearly college would have been one too many ‘c’s in my life!

    I’m with you on the burning question of potato contents, too. Oh, and I don’t think I’ll mention that fly/spider thing to Mr. Twistie. I already deal with all the spiders, and I don’t need him developing more of a thing about flies. Bugs are totally my domain at Casa Twistie due to his phobias, but at least he usually considers flies to be a nuisance rather than a mortal terror.

    The start of that essay on why A goes first really sounds like someone drank too much coffee they didn’t like right before starting to write. And maybe added something a little stronger to it.

    • @Twistie: Yeah at Casa D I’m the spider-phobe. I can usually handle squishing them but when I look somewhere and suddenly see a giant one all ready-to-jump looking I just can’t help this reflexive “Eeep!” sound and twitchiness in my body. I’m therefore totally willing to let Adam D handle squishing unless I really have to 😉

      And I enjoy cauliflower but hate coffee…well no, I like coffee fine but it wrecks my digestion hard-core so I usually avoid it unless I’m willing up front to deal with the consequences… yet I’m in college (graduate school even) so clearly I must be an outlier on that study…

  2. Oh my goodness these are so funny! I guess I wasn’t a real college girl because cauliflower is one of the foods I CRAVE if I don’t get it at least once a week and I love coffee! And okay, I am TERRIFIED of flies (I think they are disgusting and they dive-bomb people and one once got stuck between my hair and the back of my neck EWEWEW!) and I love spiders (partly because you can predict where they’re going to go next and they can’t move that fast compared to flying creatures). That fly web thing is horrifying. They are crafty!

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