No man can stand radio engineering for long without being affected mentally in a serious and sinister manner. I have seen many crack under the strain. Most of these poor unfortunates become hams, and they never are the same again.
Last Wednesday night I saw a man crack completely, and it was a sad sight. A group of students were gathered around a radio in the lab. Two of the men were working on it, and the others looked on in silent awe. I could feel a nervous electric tension in the air. Suddenly one of the students leaped upon the lab table. His face was frenzied; his voice was high and strained; and he sang (to the tune of "MacNamara's Band" which happened to be on the radio at the time) this strange unearthly song.
It was a Radio Engineer,
He stoppeth one of three.
"By the gnashing teeth and glittering eye
Now wherefor stoppest thou me?"
His body shook like an R. F. Wave.
His left eyebrow was higher.
From his toes arose intermittent throes
Like a Class C amplifier.
He said, "I quote Ohm's Law by rote
And Kirchoff's Laws verbatim,
But yet I'm called in every week
For a tete-a-tete with Tatum.
"And Doctor Morris on the stand,
Like an actor in a show,
Squealed and squirmed, through a coil he wormed
Portraying a radio.
"Doc Githens took me for a ride
On a green rotating vector,
And after modulation he
Put me through a detector.
"My ration points are out of joint,
My stomach's getting 'hollower;
But Stockman says I need no food,
I'm a feedback cathode follower.
"Professor Wing can have his fling
While I'm his idle sport.
'A short's an open,' he says to me,
'And an open is a short.'
"Professor Cooke will chase it through
With powerful equations;
While I, poor fool, with an old slide rule
Have mental lacerations.
'Alone, alone, all all alone,
Alone with an L R C.
I moan a tone in a microphone,
And I operate in Class B.
"I do not crab down in the lab,
Though the works as tough Tophet;
For Chaffee is the only God,
And Tatum is his prophet."
At this point one of the secretaries from Cruft went by. The man broke out his song and pursued the secretary with a baleful gleam in his eye. The two rounded the corner on the dead run; the secretary leading by a wave-length. He didn't see the finish, but there is no doubt that radio has a strange and sinister effect on a man.
While it is not very recent news, Lieutenant Ralph Colby of the staff is still wearing that proud father look since the birth of his daughter, Katherine Reed Colby, 8 1/4 pounds.
Ensign Coffee is relinquishing his post of executive officer of the Navy staff to Ensign Kinelski. But don't worry-- Ensign Coffee isn't leaving us, he's going to move out to the classroom and laboratory.
Next time you see Mr. Sidney Soloway, civilian member of the staff, look for a bride in his wake.