All these, of course, are observations subsidiary to the main purposes of the experiments. But they, unfortunately, are not far enough along to enable Blau and Gordon to predict what the golf ball of the future will look like. But Blau, hauling from his desk some of those curve-bedecked charts dearly loved by physicists, winks and says: "I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we start having softer golf balls."
SHOUTS IN BUCHAREST
Because of his big grin and easy going way, but most of all because he was an American and looked just like an American is supposed to look—jolly and strapping—Parry O'Brien was the people's choice in Bucharest last week. As the bulwark of a touring American track team which competed in a 24-nation meet in the Rumanian capital, Olympic Champion O'Brien set a new European record in the shot-put (60 feet 10 inches) and won the discus with a middling toss of 168 feet 7 inches. At the night-long postmeet dance in a restaurant in the Park of Rest and Culture, O'Brien was the delight of the onlookers. Although he could not match the fancy jiving of Sprinter Ira Murchison or Shotputter Earlene Brown, O'Brien made Russian Discus Thrower Nina Ponomareva, once celebrated for an equivocal shoplifting incident in London (SI, Sept. 10, Oct. 22), the radiant belle of the ball by allowing her to monopolize him for the evening.
But the greatest moment had come at twilight as the tiny American team—three whites, three Negroes—paraded the darkening track in Republic Stadium before the 50,000 who lingered for the closing ceremonies. As the American flag, high and rippling, passed the stands a full, spontaneous shout went up. "O'Brien! O'Brien!" chanted the crowd. And "SUA! SUA! [ United States]." It is not often that the Stars and Stripes is borne in Bucharest or that one has the opportunity to roar out SUA, or, for that matter, a grand old name like O'Brien.
SAINT FOR MILWAUKEE
During the heat of the stretch drive in Milwaukee, a sermon at a Wisconsin Ave. church was concluded with these words: "I'm sure many of you will be going out to County Stadium this afternoon and I just wish I could give you the name of a saint whose intercession you might seek in order to keep the Braves in first place. But I don't know of any saint who is a patron of baseball."
Nomination: St. Dismas, the Good Thief of Calvary, of whom the late Dempster MacMurphy, a Chicago newspaper man, wrote: "He roams the outfield of eternity, making shoestring catches of souls."
END OF A MYSTERY
The great Russian jumping-shoe mystery, which had the press of Paris and London cackling like chickens inspecting an ostrich egg a few weeks ago (SI, Sept. 9), isn't Russian at all, it turns out, and should never have been a mystery. Russia's two seven-foot jumpers, Igor Kashkarov and Yuri Stepanov, did wear shoes with extremely thick, spiked rubber soles this year in establishing their marks. The shoes did give them a decided increase in efficiency. But Scandinavian jumpers have been quietly using just such shoes for five years.
News, however, is a curious commodity; like water, it sometimes seeks underground channels, and sometimes moves faster by word of mouth than by electronic communications. Great portions of the world of athletics in both Europe and the U.S. seem to have remained completely ignorant of the newest thing in high jumping. Last week in New York, Finland's national track coach, Armas Valste—who is beginning a U.S. tour under the sponsorship of the State Department—explained both the background of the thick-soled shoe and its effect on high jumping with great clarity.