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Oddly Compelling Headlines From Fifty Years Ago

A sampling of strangely evocative headlines from the Sept. 27, 1957 Washington Post:

Algerian Commandos Machine Gun City

Athlete Jailed As Forger

Atom Tests Subject of Talk Before Club

Banking Parley Speaker Puts English On Greek

Beef Pot Roast Has Sunday Airs

Berserk Father Kills 3 Children

Boy-Crazy Girl Hostile to Parents

Cheese is All-American Entry in Fall Party Line-Up

Dragonish 'Thapsms' Harassing Airmen

Editors Okay Ike's Choice of Chicken

Fruit Cocktail Varies Menu, So Do Walnuts

Gene Tierney Makes a Comeback

Ghana Minister Makes a Threesome of Bank Parties

2 Groups Are Declared Red-Front Organizations

Harris Raps Hill Critics of Airlines

5 Held in Fairfax, Prince Georges On Charges Involving Abortions

Herb Tomato Soup and Hamburgers Team Up

Hosts Share Name With House

Ike's Smile Masks Back-Stage Rows

India Aid-Seeker Calls U.S. Reception Reticent

Integrated Class Hails Negro Tutor's Birthday

Iraqi Premier, Syrians Confer

It's New: Lemon Custard Angel Food Cake

Jacked-Up Car Kills Mechanic

Jet Missile Sets 3 New Speed Marks

Jock Hutchison Proud of Son's Golf Prowess

Kiwanis Unit Rues Slur At Flag Pledge

Labor Quiz Delay Won By Hoffa

Log-Sitter Bags Deer For 4th Year in Row

Malta Urged to Quit Britain For Tie to U.S.

Mama, Make Room for Teen Daughter

Markers Adopted for New U.S. Road Numbers

Masked Gunmen Invade Home in Chevy Chase

Mayor Wagner Will Seek New Team If Bums Go

3 Men Drowned Here As River Barge Sinks

Men Have No Beef Here -- Sirloin Steak's A Buy!

Mystery Blast Rocks District Area On Heels of Belvoir Bomb Explosion

Nats Magic Number Is Three

O'Malley Tells Los Angeles To Decide on Dodgers by Monday

Pamir Sailors Tell How 80 Died in Sea Tragedy

Polly Bergen's Splendid But She's Handled Badly

President Takes Cruise In Nuclear Submarine

"Queen" Stops At Sea, Ousts Party Group

Red Refusal To Return Gold Noted

Scientist Finds Another Hazard

Second Day of Integration Passes Quietly; Troops' Use An Error, Gov. Faubus Asserts

September Salad Mold

She Dreams Up New Ideas For Frozen Foods

Some Areas To Set Clocks Back An Hour

Soviet Press Chides U.S. On Little Rock

54th Polio Case Listed By District

Tuna and Peas Good Buys Now

Typhoon Sweeps Okinawa, Catches Army Napping; $10 Million Damage

U.S. Arms Offer Aired by Tunesia; Bourguiba Affirms Western Tie, Bars Deal With Czechs

Usurpation Protested

Verse-Loving District Woman Leaves Her Will In Both Prose and Poetry

Wife Asks: Is Social Drinking Habit Or Disease?

Now guess which ones were on the front page.


From my email inbox:

I am somebody! I got an email from George W. Bush. I'm not kidding. The actual president of the actual United States of America! (I wonder if he saw that item on fishbowldc about my new job.)

He is asking me for money for Republican candidates. Here's an excerpt:

Republicans have a solid record when it comes to protecting the United States of America.
After the enemy attacked us, I vowed I would rally this nation and use our resources to protect you. And that is exactly what we have done. We have reformed our intelligence services to make sure we can find the enemy before they strike. We have fought to deny them safe haven in Afghanistan and Iraq so they cannot plan and plot

The fight for freedom in Iraq is the fight for the security of the United States of America and we must prevail. If we leave before the job is done, the enemy that attacked us would be emboldened. I believe if our candidates take the message of doing what is necessary to protect the American people, we will win in 2008.
Republicans also have a solid record when it comes to growing this economy.
Republicans cut taxes for everybody who pays taxes. We understand that if you have more money in your pocket to save, spend, or invest, the economy will grow.
If you look carefully at the budget the Democrats proposed, they want to return to the days of tax and spend. They will raise your taxes and figure out new ways to spend your money.


Now this, from reader Victor Nelson, responding to my mind story:

'You asserted the quest to understand the mind rivals the quest to understand the origin of life. There's no comparison. Understanding the evolution of life involves only gathering facts about the chemistry of the ancient oceans. But understanding our minds is like expecting a computer to figure out how computers work. We understand things with our minds, so to understand our own mind we must understand how we understand our mind, which means understanding our understanding of our understanding of our mind, and so on. An infinite regression. We will never understand mind because that involves a paradox. Kurt Godel proved that no system, no matter how all-inclusive, can generate all true propositions about the system. My mind is a system I am inside of. Everything I know about anything is a product of my mind. This is the first time in history people have tried to understand a system that included themselves. When they studied the atom, even though they were themselves composed of atoms they were much more that, so they were able to look down on the system from outside and see it as a whole. But now there is no such vantage point. We are like a computer trying to deduce the principle that makes computers possible.

'Try to define the word "consciousness" without using any words that presuppose the existence of consciousness. It's like describing the color red to someone blind from birth. How would learning about the wavelength of light and about optic nerves be of any help in understanding the color red?'

'So what is consciousness? Some feel it is a result of sheer complexity. Any sufficiently complex system, human, machine, whatever, has consciousness of some degree. Even a rock has a low level of mind. We of course could never understand how this comes about for the above mentioned reasons. It's just part of the mystery of existence. Somehow matter has the capacity to give rise to mind when it is arranged appropriately. It's beautiful, and should give one pause the next time one is tempted to look down on "dead, inert matter."

' We will continue to gather facts about neurons and brain chemistry and so on, but it won't bring any closer to seeing what it all has to do with consciousness. But like with pornography, even though we can't define it we all know it when we see it.'

By Joel Achenbach  |  September 27, 2007; 2:41 PM ET
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