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Matt Weinstock, Feb. 24, 1960

February 24, 2010 |  4:00 pm


Story of Stories

Matt Weinstock     The biggest story of the century, any century, would be the discovery that there is human life on another planet.
    While most of us can only contemplate such a thing, men at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in West Virginia, next month will aim an 85-foot radio telescopic "dish" at the stars Tau Ceti and Epsilon Eridani, 70 trillion miles away, and listen for a certain signal pattern.
    So take your Dramamine and get aboard.  Things may get a little dizzy.
    The search for life in outer space is known as Project Ozma, named for the queen in Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz."  Kiddingly, it is also known as "Project Little Green Men."
    Astronomers believe there could be from 100 million to 100 billion inhabited planets in the known universe.  They point out that the Milky Way, our home galaxy, is made up of a swarm of 100 billion stars, of which our sun is only one.  Some believe beings in space may have been sending signals for eons but we may have missed them.
 Feb. 24, 1960, Elvis 
    A BIG QUESTION arises.  If extraterrestials are found to exist, are we ready for them?  Albert Hibbs of Caltech isn't sure.  He says, "How do humans throughout history approach other humans of a strange culture?  They fight them."
    Newsweek, in a  study of the subject, commented, "The final, monumental irony of the great quest would be everybody listening and nobody sending."
    Otto Struve, observatory director, says, "Unless we try we will never know."
 Feb. 21, 1960, Guy McAfee
    Okay, kids, you can come down off the ceiling now.  I didn't mean to get carried away.  It isn't a local story, it isn't timely but it's big and it's something to think about.

believe in intuition?
     One Sunday in 1952 a man I know awakened earlier than usual and said to his wife, "Get up -- we're going to have an earthquake."  A short time later the big one, centered in Tehachapi, hit.
    Last week his wife asked what he'd like for dinner.  He said he didn't care.  "I'm so hungry I could eat chocolate covered razor blades," he said.  Next day he read that a police suspect had died from swallowing razor blades, without chocolate.
    Last Saturday, apropos of nothing, he wondered about Guy McAfee, former L.A. gambling boss who lit out for Nevada when the heat went on here in 1936.  Next day he read that McAfee had died at 72 in  Las Vegas of a  heart attack.
    He says he's going to keep his big mouth shut.  I doubt it.
    TWO middle-aged women were chatting briskly as they walked out of a doctor's office in the southwest section and  a man named Joe overheard one of them say, "She's a woman of around 80. Isn't that what you call an oxygenarian?"  Could be.
    ONE OF OUR buildings is missing, Joe DuPlain notes in the La Canada Valley Sun.  A photo shows a blank space in a grove of oak trees where a historic building, recently a closed restaurant, used to be, at Foothill Blvd. and Woodleigh Lane.
    Joe's pertinent epitaph: "Thus a landmark disappears, a bit of history fades, and La Canada may look forward to the erection of its 14th service station.  There just isn't any excuse, ever, for running out of gas in this town."
This frozen soup that
    now appears,
The stuff its maker
It isn't new, it's what
    for years
We've had in restaurants.
    AT RANDOM -- It is obvious to F.F. that things are better.  He opened a can of beans and found TWO pieces of pork . . . Rolland A. Spofford envisions a page one banner-line story on May 27, 1991, stating, "SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 -- California's Gov. Psmith today commuted the death sentence of Caryl Chessman to life imprisonment.  He is 70 years old today" . . . Meanwhile the pool hall set is making bets again -- will he or won't he?  
 Feb. 24, 1960, Abby