• U.S.

# Letters, Jan. 7, 1935

TIME

“Waste of Paper”

Sirs:

In TIME of Dec. 17 . . . under heading Science, there was an article on prime numbers.

“A prime number is one which is divisible only by itself and 1. Thus 7, 13, 17 and 23 are prime numbers. In Chicago, one Samuel I. Krieger covered 72 sheets of foolscap paper, wore six pencils to stubs. Last week he announced a 72-digit prime number, challenged the world to show him a bigger one. His number: 231,584,178,474,632,390,847,141,970,017,375,815,706,539,969,331,281,128,078,915,826,259,279,871.”

… the I wish above to state exactly that the number 3 will go 7,719,472,615,821.079,694,904,732,339,125,271,902,179,989,777,093,376,026,305,275,419,759,957 times. Therefore, Krieger’s waste of paper and pencils was Therefore, for naught.

(Miss) VALERIA BRONSON

Minneapolis, Minn.

Likewise wasted were Reader Bronson’s paper & pencils. Samuel Krieger’s number is not divisible by 3; and if it were, the quotient would be about ten times greater than Reader Bronson’s. — ED.

Sirs: .

. . Most grade students would give you a larger prime number … by simply adding 2 to the one shown. . . .

H. L. VAN ALSTYNE

Waterstown, N. Y.

Wrong. Adding 2 to the Krieger number makes it divisible by 3. —ED.

Sirs:

West Hartford entertains serious doubts 231,584,178,474,632,390,847,141,970,017,375,815,706,539,969,331,281,128,078,915,826,259,279,871 is the largest known prime number.

. . .With Mersenne,* we would favor a numberalmost a million times as large, viz: 231,584,178,474,632,390,847,141,970,017,375,815,706,539,969,331,281,128,078,915,168,015,826,259,279,871. . .

CHARLES A. SPOERL

West Hartford, Conn.

As every mathematician knows, the size of a prime number is theoretically unlimited. — ED.

Man of the Year

Sirs:

PLEASE CONVEY TO 60 JOB SEEKERS WHO WROTE ME AFTER MY NOMINATION OF POSTMASTER GENERAL FARLEY AS MAN OF THE YEAR [TIME, Dec. 3] MY REGRETS THAT UNIVERSITY WITH WHICH I AM AFFILIATED ALLOWED NO OFFICIAL TO ENDORSE CANDIDATE FOR POLITICAL OFFICE STOP THIRTY TWO COPIES OF NEWSMAN KENT’S ARTICLE CONDEMNING FARLEY FOR USING FIVE YEAR OLD SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTING APPROVED BY POSTMASTER GENERAL BROWN AND REPUBLICAN CONGRESS ALSO RECEIVED. . . .

MAURICE S. SHEEHY

Survey Council

Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.

TIME-Readers submitted “Man of the Year” nominations for 75 candidates ranging from TIME’S “Man-of-the-Year” Roosevelt (see cover) and Benito Mussolini to Papa Dionne and Mickey Mouse. A wide selection of “also ran” nominations is presented in the Jan. 7 issue of the fortnightly LETTERS, a copy of which will be sent to any TIME-reader on request. Yearly subscription: 50¢.—ED.

Red Terror

Sirs:

Congratulations to TIME! Yours was the most courageous, most interesting, and most comprehensive account of Stalin’s latest Red Terror campaign (TIME, Dec. 17) to appear in the American press.

ISAAC DON LEVINE

New York City

Sirs:

. . . Will you be so kind to explain to one marooned in the illiterate gumbo of Virginia, just why you-all are excited over a few justified executions for the protection of the Proletarian State? If one has been found out to be an enemy of society, of advancing society if you please, is there any logical argument why this enemy should not be removed with as little ceremony as possible? I find you offering no objections to the fact that in America the ruling class has been in the habit of executing thousands by the simple manner of keeping them without jobs and starving them slowly to death. . . .

JAMES HARRISON

Alexandria, Va.

Sirs:

TIME, Dec. 17, does not make the best use of the Russian story as an object lesson, because of its preoccupation with personalities. Judge Ulrich and Dictator Stalin may or may not be bad men. The chances are that people everywhere are much alike, and that human nature has not changed much in recorded time. It is the values that have changed. . . .

When witchcraft was considered a menace to the body and soul of man, persons, ordinarily kind hearted, burned “witches” at the stake. We don’t burn them now—not because we are more tolerant, but because witchcraft has lost its importance. Still, some of us burn Negroes because of alleged menace to the chastity of our women.

The Russian experiment has been undertaken by average men, but it has brought out some particular values which loom of surpassing importance. … To them the harvest, the factory, their measures of protection and defense are most important; and sabotage, neglect, indifference and disloyalty, or the suspicion of them, in these matters are treason, heresy and blasphemy, to be dealt with as such.

. . . We in this country will also have to make economic readjustment which may be diffi cult and perplexing, but through it all, we must hold to our ideal of democracy, so as to pre serve our conception of values, and not be stampeded either into Fascism or Communism. . . .

N. SCHOOLMAN

Chicago, Ill.

Sirs:

Under Medicine, TIME, Dec. 17, quoted the discrepancy pointed out by Dr. William R. Nicholson of Philadelphia, between the mortality rates of women delivered by midwives and by obstetricians. . . .

The paramount reason for this discrepancy is the belated referring of complicated and of ten neglected cases to specialists. This relieves midwives of considerable statistical responsibility.

WILLIAM M. WEINER, M. D.

(Obstetrician)

San Francisco, Calif.

Sails & Curtains

Sirs:

May I suggest that on p. 14. col. 1 of TIME, Dec. 17, sentence 3 might be improved as follows: “Last week, therefore, they hoisted their sails and began the second act.”

MARY ELIZABETH ROBBINS

New York City

To alert Reader Robbins, credit for neat metaphor-mixing, equal to TIMES inept: “Last week . . . they rang their curtain up again and set out on a new tack.”—ED.

You started something that will be difficult, if not impossible, to stop. I should like to regard the addition of the reproductions of American paintings [TIME, Dec. 24] as a handsome seasonal gift. . . . The reproductions can, however, be considerably improved. Certainly, Marsh’s New Gotham Burlesque was not done justice.

But, good or bad, keep on providing them.

MURRAY M. HALWER

Brooklyn, N. Y.

Sirs:

TIME cannot be too much thanked and praised for its Christmas gift, the reproductions of American art—a shrewd selection that speaks for the self-respect of our best work. But why insist on its independence from Europe? Authenticity of subject and feeling are a good kind of independence, well marked in your selection. But independence of the technique is another matter, and it is no shame to the best of these men that they have learned what the Europeans could teach them. No art critic I, yet I like to think that Grant Wood’s American Gothic (TIME’s print of it) hangs comfortably on my wall near 15th-Century Umbrian Piero della Francesca’s portraits of Federigo da Montefeltro & Spouse—authentic local worthies, too, and formalized much as Grant Wood has formalized his pair. . . .

MARSHALL A. BEST

New York City

Sirs:

Thank you for giving us the excellent reproductions of pictures. . . . Grant Wood’s Dinner for Threshers is truly an “arresting” picture. . . . The detail, realism and rhythm are superb— until Mr. Wood gets to the kitchen. There his depiction is purely theoretical.

I can hear every woman who has ever been near a farm in threshing time gasp over that kitchen scene. The orderly cupboard with not a dish missing! The sink with not a dirty dish or pot on it! Only three kettles one coffee pot on the stove—and 17 men to feed! And where’s the table with three kinds of pie?

Of course we’re not surprised. No wise man ever goes near the kitchen when threshers are being fed.

JANET M. GEISTER

Newark, N. J.

Sirs:

… If this was supposed to be TIME’S Christmas gift to its subscribers, it was surely a welcome one. . . .

Louis B. THORNTON

Buffalo, N. Y.

Sirs:

I would like to obtain two copies of the center spread of TIME, Dec. 24, without, if possible, the crease and especially the staple. . . .

FERRIN B. MORELAND

Nashville, Tenn.

Sirs:

Please inform me if it is possible to procure copies of the reproductions. … I should like to have them among my collection.

K. C. ZWERIN

San Francisco, Calif.

Gratified by the enthusiasm of its readers, TIME has made 2,500 reprints of the Dec. 24 color insert, each reprint consisting of two separate sheets with pictures on one side only. While the supply lasts, TIME will send one set to each reader so requesting, with compliments of TIME and the artists, galleries and museums who courteously gave the rights to reprint. Address : Circulation Department, TIME Inc., 350 East 22nd St., Chicago, Ill. —ED.

Missing Hopper

Sirs:

WHERE IS EDWARD HOPPER THE NOBLEST AMERICANA PAINTER OF THEM ALL?

KATE STERN

Poughkeepsie, N. Y.

. . .Why … no mention of Edward Hopper? [He] certainly deserves to be ranked with Benton, Burchfield et al.

JACQUES OZANNE

New York City

Deserving indeed of a place on TIME’S list of U. S. artists is New York’s Edward Hopper. Bald, shy, studious, 52, he started as a figure painter, earned his living for years as a magazine illustrator. He now devotes himself almost exclusively to landscapes, painting the same sort of villas, lighthouses, railroad yards as does Charles Burchfield, with whom he is usually coupled in the public mind, but with brighter color in a lighter, cheerier key.— ED.

*Marin Mersenne, 17th Century mathematician.