This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Van Doren introduces key members of the audience. A drawing for free books.
James MacDonald - "My Mission in Israel" - First US Ambassador to Israel.
Rachel Carson - "The Sea Around Us". She talks about the sea where one gets a sense of the antiquity of the earth. Evolution and adaptation didn't stop in prehistoric times; it is still going on right now. Then plays some recordings of the deep sea provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The sounds, which were recorded by hydrophone, include the snapping of claws of thousands of shrimp; moans, groans and shrieks of unidentified fish; "echo fish" and white porpoises.
Jimmy Durante talks. Says he's not a speaker, he's an entertainer. Tells stories about his childhood. Talks about being made fun of because of his nose. After making a picture called "Get Rich Quick Wallingford," he was advertised as "Schnozzola." Received over 1,000 letters from young kids who were proud of their own "schozzolas" because of him. Plays and sings a song with Jules Buffano and Jack Roth.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 5956
Municipal archives id: LT2314
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Our next speak up. Has become known to most of us only recently though she published a lovely book in one thousand and forty one under the sea wind and in recent years has had articles in a number of magazines. It was the publication in The New Yorker however of a three part profile of the scene that introduced us to a large audience. I have followed the book from which the New Yorker article is well taken the scene around us and it claimed poet in. All this is a book about which it seems safe to predict that it will become a classic of the sea. Like only great natural history it has that rare combination of qualities scientific exactness and an exciting literary style it is because of this rare combination that the editor in chief of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service at his most costumes professional title has been engaged by R.C.A. Victor to write the commentary for Tuscany Symphony the Save the symphony recording of Debussy's love math. In working on the Sea Around Us. Literally made to see how laboratory she took part in an oceanic graphic expedition in North Atlantic waters she don't have a monkey the Florida car. Observation was Frank the knowledge sound magination lively The result is a book full of fascinating material most of it new to those of us who are not valid just. How the young earth got its oceans which make up report has other as figured out from the testimony of rocks two billion years ago how the first form of life a stranger skulk young like creature crept out of the waters on to the land three hundred fifty million years ago. How a volcano will come up and on the floor of the Atlantic the top of which we now call them. How the blood flows in our veins contained in the same component parts as the soda in the ocean a wonderfully suggested I do and in the history of our long descent from the sea. These are missed samples from a book that records whatever is humanly interesting and significant about the biggest part allowed planning the vast complex plex and infinitely mysterious scene. We have privileged to have on this program the author of that distinguished book the seal around us Rachael Kohn Yes. You can be surprised that a woman can have written a book about the. This is particularly true I find of. Going to custom for a long time thinking about the more exciting fields of science as exclusively masculine domains in fact one of my correspondents a few days ago addressed me as dear sir. Explaining I knew perfectly well what I was a woman he simply could not bring himself to acknowledge the fact. I seemed to have been born with a fascination for the scene for years before I ever saw it I thought about a dream about it and wondered what it would be like I love Masefield and Swinburn and all the great poets I had my first prolonged contact with the sea at the Marine Biological Laboratory. There I never tired of watching the tidal currents racing through the whole that wonderful place of whirlpools and had to use swiftly running water and I love to watch the waves breaking at knobs to point after storm it was too late I first discovered the rich and exciting literature of the sea but it is fair to say that my first impressions of the sea were sensory and emotional and that the intellectual response came later. Recently I have discovered that a great many people feel just as I do about the ocean and there really overwhelming number of them have written to tell me so this summer I've been traveling along the Atlantic Coast gathering material for a new book. And I have been looking at people as well as at C.N.N. most. I was very much impressed with what I saw that it was hard for everywhere among the crowds there were people who simply sat or stood and gazed out at sea. Whatever they were consciously thinking this bill with a cast over them was plainly written on their faces and. I've been trying to analyze some of the reasons for that fascination. This is a place where one gets a sample of the great antiquity of the earth seems to link the deal in beginnings of time with the present. The same sort of waves that we watch today must a role be in from Paleozoic season. I suppose the surface of the ocean looks about a day and a half a billion or a billion years ago when the first primitive forms of life or staring in and. And even some of the shorelines must look about as Lady and perhaps more than three hundred million years ago. When the first animals were coming out on land to take up a strange new life. I was reminded of that last summer when I stood on one very beautiful point on the rocky coast of Maine. We had come down to the point through an evergreen forest that had its own sort of and championed all its trees the living in the day and of. The still regret of losses and lichens but it was a foggy day and when we reached the point the mist came between us and the forest. And all we could see were those great primeval rocks and the sea. Except for our own presence the scene might almost have been one of the closing periods of the Paleozoic Era. And some of the animals clinging to the tide pools might have been those first pioneers that came out on land and. Now here is the particular magic of the sea where exciting things are happening there today just as they did millions of years ago. Evolution and the adaptation of creatures to new surroundings didn't start back in prehistoric time they're going on right now and that day only a few weeks ago. We could see hundreds of small in conspicuously animals that were in the midst of a great experiment the transition from a sea life to a land life. Those animals were small snails known as carry one called I'm sure most of you have seen them on rocky coast and many places there are so abundant You can hardly take a step without treading on them. The paralegals are now in the process of leaving the sea and turning into land animals they are cutting the times that bind them to the sea one by one and some of made more progress in this direction than others. Here on our northern Atlantic coast there are three species of carrier lintels. One of them is still almost completely Marine lives down along the rock we. Where it is always away or at least very damp it lays its eggs on the weeds and the young hatch out there and develop another species called the common carrier and go as you know media to. It comes from up on the shore by the stars the waters of the high tide. It can stand a good deal of exposure to the air. But it is still linked with the city for it sure did eggs in the water and all the babies passed first period of their existence swimming about in the waters of the ocean. But the third species is now almost a lion animal it is called the rock there and when. You often find up in crevices in the rocks workers went only by the spray of stormily. That can live without any contact with the sea water for a week or more. And even in its method of reproduction it has cut its ties with the sea. For the young developed completely within the body of the mother and they emerge as a perfectly formed little snails ready for adult life and so these three species of parallel goes Give us a beautiful demonstration of the pattern of evolution as that pattern has been working out in the sea over the ages. That sort of thing is part of the fascination of the ocean. But most of all I think the sea is a place of mystery. One by one mystery of yesterday have been saw but all the very solution seems to bring with it another and perhaps a deeper mystery. But I doubt that the last moment was because of the sea will ever be resolved. In fact I rather cherish the hope that they will nothing. One of the greatest mysteries was at the present time the nature of the light of the middle regions that are far below the surface but also far above the bottom we always thought of the region as comparatively found. They lie down beyond the reach of even the strongest rays of the strong. Where there is no Sun Life no plan to family of. And it seems reasonable that food would be too scared to support a very abundant animal population. But now rather recently in concentrations of some living creature discovered spread like a cloud over much of the deep ocean basins of depth of a quarter of a mile or more no one is sure just what they are. As yet they have been seen only with the impersonal echo sounding instruments. As you probably know automatically record the depth of water under a ship as does moving. Trace the contour of the ocean floor as a continuous line on this group of paper but they also record and. The bottom surface of the schools of. Hundreds of ships have found this layer of living creatures. Spread over the deeper parts of our oceans of the world. It's sometimes called the fan on the bottom of this. Because at first it was mistaken for shells or sunken islands but not everyone agrees that the layer is composed of living animals. At night in darkness it moves up to the surface of the water before daybreak it goes down again deep water or the like. Now there are some small shrimp like animals are known to behave this way. And also some of the weird issues of the day come up to the surface at night like those with the higher goal described so rudely and Kon-Tiki. Have tried to sample was later with napped. But you never can be sure the troops are catching everything and perhaps the very creatures that are key to the mystery may be too swift moving to be caught in the nets so if you have the results are not birds have us back then. We used to think of the deep sea as a place of silence the idea of that could be sound underwater had never entered most people's minds Normally I do you equate almost face up corpses have voices. Most common misconception was corrected during the Second World War But when maybe technicians began to put their hydrophones into the water was not for submarine play heard a most extraordinary uproar in fact the two out of understood voices were so great but whole think their submarines could have passed by undetected the later of course they learned how to filter out the sound and separate the. Animal produced sounds from Lee County. Today I thought it might be fun for us to take a trip on the water and listen to some of the sounds of it in. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has some remarkable recordings of the sounds made by shrimp and fish and point eels. Institution has very kindly loaned me some of those recordings and in a moment we'll listen to them. But first a word about the map and. The recordings were made by Lauren on how the foam. Into the water usually at depths of one to two hundred feet. The sound frequencies are exactly the same as would be heard by the human ear on the rod and most of these recordings were made in the open ocean where the water is two or three miles deep. Sometimes we can tell you the identity of the sound makers and sometimes not. The first recording was made by the vessel cam near Bermuda the sound you will hear is made by shrimp it is sort of a sizzling crackling sputtering noise and it is produced by the snapping of the claws of thousands of shrimp. Or R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R. This next recording was made over one hundred two I have Miles been about thirty miles from Bermuda. No animals were sitting at the surface at the time and we do not know. What particular kinds of fish are other Marines babies produced these sounds you will hear a series of curious moans and groans shrieks which apparently are characteristic sounds of what once called the silence. This next recording in some ways is the most fascinating and I hope it will carry satisfactorily it was made by the vessel a plant of about a hundred miles north of Puerto Rico this particular sound was heard only where the water was about three miles deep. It is a big your crowd followed by a second finger cross exactly like that now that second sound has been interpreted as an echo of the first and for that reason was on the creature has been given the name echo fish. It has been suggested that the sage whatever it is may use this echo of its own voice for navigation or perhaps to locate in this region of darkness. The use the use is the this is listener. Out the last recording brings us the voice of the quite popular I've heard a lot like my real world Quebec's these recordings were made as part of a study of marine mammals by women we have all and bob around. The insiders have described the voice of the property as a medley of her unique and Canary Microland with occasional clowns like a crowd of children shouting sometimes the sounds are reminiscent of crass heard in the consequent jungle I will let the problems now have the last word or another. The size. Was. The. Was. The. I. I. I. I have heard children that so called play. Mr MacDONALD suggested maybe by himself.