Dean's Corner, May 1928

Open Your Windows

Dean O. J. Ferguson

SUPPOSE you were limited in all fields of observation and sensation by the direct application of your senses; by the same physical boundaries set for men two thousand years ago. Suppose no man had lengthened your arm, that you might control distant ob-jects; or had made your hearing more acute that you might listen to far off sounds; or had strengthened your voice that you might talk to friends hundreds of miles away; or had increased the power of your vision that you might see beyond the horizon. Suppose man had not multiplied the powers of his senses, or increased their ranges of operation. What changes would occur in our present-day lives ?   How would civilization itself be altered?

One of the most powerful of man's levers is his ability to extend the boundaries of his senses and by indirection bring all sorts of objects and phenomena within his ken. We are astounded by the narrowness of the range of our senses. In the field of radiation of energy, there is a well-recognized spread of fre-quencies of variations from zero up to about 3xl020 cycles per second. Recent scientific publications sug-gest a considerable extension of this series. Using 16 cycles per second as a starting" value, we have a series of about sixty-five octaves of known frequencies. We "hear" within the range of 16 to 30,000, covering about eleven octaves. We "feel" the heat radiation within the range of some five octaves. We "see" the luminous radiation over a well-defined range of one octave. The large part of this series which is imme-diately productive of sensation lies in the low or "coarse" end of the range. Our senses are gross. But we have learned how to find, recognize, study and produce practically the whole gamut—infra-red, ultra-violet, Hertzian waves, radio, x-rays, gamma rays, etc. Perhaps the cosmic rays will lie next.

How else could we receive by radio the music of artists in far cities' How else could we converse across the Atlantic, by radio? How else could we throw upon a screen and view the moving image of a face of a friend who is talking to us from a thousand miles away? How else can a few spoken, words operate devices to start or to stop machines, as if they were living beings—or to control airplanes in their un-attended flights ?

The powerful magnifying glasses — microscope, telescope — bring to our vision objects which we could never hope to see otherwise. It is only an ordinary laboratory which provides instruments magnifying by 1.000 diameters.   But without them we never should have known the elements of crystallography, physiological structure, micro-organisms —we never should have seen the face of the sun nor the moons of Jupiter. With-out them such widely separated fields of medicine and metallography, astronomy and archeology would suffer incalculably.  Without them science itself would be marooned in the Sargasso Sea of the dark ages.

You can easily add to my few words many other examples of the power of the mind to extend its ac-tivities away beyond the range of its feeble physiolog-ical agents. In fact, modern science has been made possible by this divine spark in man, whereby he suc-ceeds in amplifying infinitesimals, changing frequen-cies, and otherwise opening the windows of his being, to the limitless body of knowledge about him.

Let me be a little kinder;
let me be a little blinder
To the faults of those about me;
let me praise a little more;
Let me be, when I am weary,
just a little bit more cheery;

Let me serve a little better
those that I am striv-ing for.
Let me he a little braver
when temptation bids me waver;
Let me strive a little harder
to be all that I should be.
Let me be a little meeker
with the brother that is weaker;

Let me think more of my neighbor
and a little less of me.

Ten per cent of your first pay check should be put into savings. As your income increases, this percent-age should also rise. If you do not know how safely to  invest small sums of money to advantage, you should learn at once.