The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on November 14, 1949 · Page 2
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 2

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Blytheville, Arkansas
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Monday, November 14, 1949
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PAGE TWO BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS Russia's Atom Claims Refuted Reds' Use of Blasts To Move Mountains Is Doubted in U.S. (Editor's Note: Andrei Y. Visliin- sky, Russia's foreign minister, told the United Nations tlie Soviet Union is harnessing the power of the atom for peaceful purposes — to irrigate de-serfs, cut through mountains and jungle, clear land for Che future, in the follo'.vmg article, Howard \V. Blakeslee, Associated Pre.ss science editor, analyzes this declaration,, in the light of American knowledge of atomic energy) By Howard W. Klakesli-c Associated Press Scioncc Kitllor NEW YORK, Nov. R (AP)—Tlie uses ond handicaps of atomic energy for biasing canals and mountains, the peaceful \vork claimed by Anrlrel Y. Vishinsky, are well known among American atomic scientists. They were discussed by engineers immediately after tlie war. They were dismissed, cot as useless, but as limited to very special purposes. For blowing up mountains ancl mining the channels of two rivers, an equal amount of TNT would us ually be better than the bast atomic explosive. The facts, as made public in the United States, cover the Russian claims, so far as published. Fust—N'o atomic explosive whtcli is smaller than our ilrst acorn bombs, will explode at all. It tafces as much of any kind of atom-splitting, stuff as made those bombs to get;any explosion. There 15 no way of slowing down an atomic i explosion. It is either big or none at all. Second—There is no way ol spitting an atom bomb or iiny j atomic explosive, Into small parts, ( This is one fif the real ha.ulicaps ,' for atomic blasting fur construe- [ (ion work. 'Military authorities re-' peatcdly have said Lh.il atom i; bombs would be more effective for \ .many purposes If they could be j split Into smaller parcels, lltlle I A-bombs. When split they would \ cover a wider area. They would I actually do more damage. \ Third—One atom bomb, or its t equivalent In atomic explosive, cau-tj not make more than a little dent in I a mountain. How .many ifc would i . take to topple a mountain, or even j to blast a channel through a low mountain spur. Is unknown. But there is a clue, in the first atom bomb, which was exploded In" 1945 in New Mexico. That bomb detonated 100 feet above the ground. The blast pushed the. earth down in the shape of a shallow saucer, 1200 ieet wide and 12' feet deep at the center. lUwas no crate-with steep sides, the , perimeter sloped gently downward. , . The blasted ground was mainly sand and pebbles, closely packed, and wet from rain tlie morning of the , expplsion. Fpr niountain "and canal, blasting the atomic explosives' wouid:be'buried in the earth. They would'-^blow wide craters, and tlic depth-of-the crato would be'about the'depth the explosive was, burled. It wbuld~not.be greater. This atomic explosive 1 would not do much of any more': ripping open, than burying 20,000 tons of TNT. This tonnage Is the official equivalent of the smallest possible A-bomb. - Too CnsMy Fourth—there is the precious nature of atomic explosive which might sharply limit use for blasting. It wwMUi be like using gold instead ol powder for digging ditches. Atomic explosives, in the United states, cost more than gold. However, the cost, so far as is known. Is not a factor in Russia. Fifth — in the special circumstances where an atomic explosive might be preferable, there is an added handicap of making the ground radioactive. The New Mexico crater Is still radioactive/ after four years. This radioactivity would not necessary prevent atomic blast- Ing. Soon after a blast, men could work in the crater for short periods —perhaps not more than 10 minutes once each 24 hours. Later this time could be greatly lengthened- But the radioactivity would hang on for years, always presenting some hazards. A river diverted lliroiiffli such an atomic channel would, carry away large quantities of radioactive n Loins anrl spread them . wherever it was used for irrigation,- T!ie water would ncilhcr qucncli (he radioactivity 11 o r shorten its life. How much risk such spreading would cause is still unknown in the United Slates, and is the subject of one of the Atomic Energy Commission's major .studies. A few bulldozers pushing away the surface of an atomic blast 'evacuation could greatly reduce the amount of radioactivity, by burying the hot atoms under a few Inches of earth. If the Russians are doing atomic blasting on a large scale they have solved some problems which still trouble the United States. One of these is discovering how to use small amounts ot atomic explosives to make blasts. If they have produced atomic explosives cheaply enough to use on large scales, as intimated by Visit- Do You Suffer With COLONJQPBLES? Causes—Effects—Treatment Told in FHEE BOOK JUSTICE SITS UP—Justice William O. Douglas (above) of the Supreme Couit, ttomied clothes and sat up at tlic hospital in Yakirna, Wash., for tlio first time since hp suffered seventeen broken ribs when his horse fell on him during a mountain trip lisl month. (AP Wirephoto). Yale-Princeton Debate Subject Gains Popularity PRINCETON, N. J., NOV. 14. (if) —Skirts may climb higher and necklines may plunge lower, but—by gadfiey, sir—Princeton men still believe every woman should defend her honor to her dying breath. Longer, If necessary. Tlie Princeton men's views on the subject o( honor were made plain this weekend after a three-man Nassau debating team took on z trio from Yale. Subject of the debate was: "Resolved, a Woman Shduld Choose Death Before Dishonor." Princeton defended the resolution,, The Yale men (the cads) look the negative side. The verbal tussle, which was held In said old Whig Hall, drew a capacity-plus audience. Watching 300 students fight their way Into an auditorium designed to hold 250. one English professor expressed amazement over the sudden interest in debating. He said ''debate have played to empty houses here since 1763 when Uams from Princeton and Harvard debated the same dishonor vs. death resolution. There was standing room only then, too." Just for the record,' Yale won the debate Insky, they have made discoveries in production methods which are unknown in the United States. If they have enough atomic explosives to expend on blasting. tlioy have discovered sources of uranium far exceeding anything they had before the war, and possibly exceeding anything else In tlie world. 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North Pole Termed One of Earth's Most 'Entrancingly, Terrible Sights' or ^JS^mSS^V^- ' M the Ce " Ur Ot lhl5 mass ' ° ne rlnli**. „„ l\_ ., 'O'J I W I 1M*V f It,* r.lncf rfnc-nln In I I«_!..-._ _.. . , err e sights on earth," sa v s the Rev Bernard R. Hubbard,', the North Fa(,her Hubbard, known as "The Glacier Priest," hu spent 23 years " £' rY^ HC ™ st retur " " to the United States to teach geo- The ei-year^old priest -gave * graphic description yesterday ol the North Pole area, which he said probably never has been reached by anyone on foot. "At 80 degrees north latitude, where the pole should be, there Is only a nightmare Jlfsaw puzzle ol ce floes." he said. "Year around the Ice Is about 20 feet thick It floats In an ocean averaging 600 feet deep. Buffeted by strong currents and tremendous circular ninds that whirl across the polar Ice pack, these jigsaw pieces make "o fixed pattern. "Some are rouha, otners are flat and many-sided like , a - fantastic geometric dream. 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