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Johnson, Dwight A. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 51, Number 5 (Feb. 1950)

Badger arts,   p. 18


Page 18


         RESEARCH
 Bleed 'Em to Death
   BLEED 'EM to death-your rats,
 that is. It can be done, WARF re-
search says.
   The new rodent eliminator de-
 veloped in the biochemistry labora-
 tories of Karl Paul Link may now
 be shipped for limited experimental
 purposes, announces the Wisconsin
 Research Foundation (WARF),
 holder of the chemical's patent. It
 kills by causing rats to bleed to
 death or to strangel if the bleeding
 occurs in the lungs. Forty-six grams
 of WARF-42 well mixed in 100
 pounds of feed are sufficient to pro-
 duce a near 100 per cent kill of both
 Norway (brown) or roof (black)
 rats; in dosages used, it's harmless
 to humans and other warm-blooded
 animals.
   The way it works, the rodents
 d r i n k poisoned (but apparently
 pure) water which has no immediate
 adverse effect. No effect for many
 hours, in fact, so the rats come back
 for more. All this time the poison is
 working, finally causing fatal in-
 ternal bleeding. Big advantage is
 that onlooking rats aren't fright-
 ened away by seeing their brother
 in the prompt death throes of a fast-
 acting poison.
   Research concerning the effect of
 WARF-42 on other animals and on
 birds has not proceeded far enough
 to warrant distribution of the mate-
 rials to the public, as yet, according
 to the Fish and Wildlife service.
 BRICKS are another subject in
 which WARF has recently become
 involved.
 A new step in brick-making, which
 simply consists of adding a certain
 amount of soda ash to the clay, has
 been taken by University Profs.
 George J. Barker and Emil Truog.
 Barker is professor of mining and
 metallurgy, Truog is professor of
 soils.
 The process has been patented by
 the professors and they have turned
 over the patent to WARF. Sounder
 clay products, smaller production
 costs, and fewer building headaches
 will be the result of the Barker-
 Truog development. B-T bricks will
 look better, stand up better, last
 better, and be a better building prod-
 uct in 10 other more technical ways.
 Profs. Barker and Truog       dis-
 covered their clay improvement proc-
 ess just before World War II, and
 several brick and tile plants put it
 into use immediately and with good
 results. Then soda ash became a cri-
 tical war-time item. That stopped
 further progress until the past year
 when the chemical came back on the
 market.
 MILK TESTING is another
 WARF activity (Yes, the Founda-
 tion does more than administer pa-
 tents and endow research activities).
 And WARF'S milk testing keeps
 18
the state's small dairies from going
broke from building and equipping
their own laboratories.
  Under a new Wisconsin law, every
plant receiving milk directly from
producers may be required to have
each producer's milk tested as often
as twice a month. WARF -will do the
testing job; all the dairies have to
do is send their samples in.
  Services are offered to all but two
Wisconsin counties. The dairies, all
within 24-hour shipping distance of
Madison, are put on a regular sched-
ule for testing purposes. Special
sterilized bottles and packing cases
are furnished so the specimen milk
comes to WARF in the same condi-
tion the consumer would get it.
  Underlying the whole testing pro-
gram (begun two years ago) is the
motive, "improvement of quality,"
says Dr. Henry T. Scott, director of
biological research for the Founda-
tion. Individual certificates of qua-
lity are awarded monthly by the lab.
No Suspicions
  Dr. Scott and his staff inaugur-
ated the service after consultation
with state Department of Agricul-
ture officials. Over the two years,
boards of health around Wisconsin
have requested WARF's assistance.
  TWO WEEKS ago the West Bend
Aluminum   Co. sent four colored
aluminum party cups to the Wiscon-
sin Alumni Association office. "Can
you tell us who on campus can test
the possible toxic effects of the dye
in the colored coating?" an accom-
panying letter asked. A reporter was
set on the trail, was shunted from
engineering research, to chemistry,
to biochemistry-finally to WARF.
"Tell them to send us their cups,'
exclaimed Dr. Scott; "maybe we
can't do the job, but if we can we
will."
Student vs. Gravity: $1,000
  FOR THE BEST essay on possi-
bilities of discovering some partial
insulator of gravity, David B. Wit-
try, mathematics junior from Green
Bay, won the top prize of $1,000 in
a contest conducted by the Gravity
Research Foundation, New Boston,
N. H.
      BADGER ARTS
 Pen and Plow
   IN THE EARLY summer of 1948
 nine persons from   various rural
 areas of Wisconsin came to the
 College of Agriculture at the Uni-
 versity to talk about creative writ-
 ing. Not just any kind of writing,
 but writing of and about themselves
 and their countrysides.
   They argued that the people in
 rural Wisconsin had important
 things to say. They reported that
 there were hundreds of farm men
 and women scattered across and up
 and down the state from Manitowoc
 to La Crosse and from Walworth to
 Superior who were eager to write
 poems and stories and plays.
 These nine people convinced Wake-
 lin (Ranger Mac) McNeel and Rob-
 ert Gard of the College of Agricul-
 ture staff that there should be a
 state-wide association of rural folks,
 and others, too, especially interested
 in rural subjects. These people, it
 was contended, could give a new,
 fresh literary interpretation of the
 state.
 Out of that conviction has grown
 the Wisconsin Rural Writers Asso-
 ciation, a force which is encourag-
 ing and publishing this native rural
 expression. It is an enterprise pro-
 moted by the University of Wis-
 consin.
 This young organization, under
 the sponsorship and guidance of the
 University's Wisconsin Idea Theater
 and College of Agriculture, is now
 planning its second annual literary
 contest. Typical manuscripts are
 about country life, "the things the
 writers see and do every day, the
 people they know, and the country-
 side in which they live," says Direc-
 tor Edward Kamarck. But city resi-
 dents are not ruled out.
 The best short writings were last
 year published in a pocket-size mag-
 azine, Pen and Plow, circulated with-
 out charge by the College of Agri-
 culture. Both magazine and the As-
 sociation have since become so popu-
 lar that another publication is being
 considered for longer pieces of work.
 In its first year the Association
 membership exceeded 1,000. The first
 contest brought in   hundreds of
 poems, short stories, and plays.
 Writers clubs sprang up in eight
 counties, and the first all-state con-
 ference at Green Lake brought writ-
 ers from many corners of the state.
 The Pen and Plow selections are
 a picture of rural Wisconsin-the
 land, the people, the winds, the rains,
 the faiths. Wrote Editors Gard and
 Kamarck, "This is Wisconsin in
 terms of the people who live on the
 land and love it, who understand
 the true meaning of the seasons and
man's relationship to man and his
God."
         WISCONSIN ALUMNUS


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