The Knowledge Bulletin
This journal was published every two weeks. It was started in 1903 and lasted until 1918, then re-appeared under Soviet ownership in 1922 until 1930. Its editor from 1922 to 1928 was the famous Russian psychologist and neurologist, Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev. Bekhterev was a leading Leningrad intellectual, and many of his discoveries and observations were named after him. He died in 1928 in highly dubious circumstances, whilst away in Moscow on a conference. If you wish to learn more about that incident, please look here.
The next editor was Sergei Fyodrovich Platonov, another prominent member of the Leningrad intelligentsia. His editorship ceased in 1930, when he was arrested and imprisoned for ‘active anti-Soviet activity and participation in a counter-revolutionary organisation’.
The Knowledge Bulletin was an easy-to-read, popular science and cultural digest.
The cover design of this issue is somewhat mysterious. It appears to depict tropical huts against a background of New York skyscrapers. The design does not refer to any of the contents, neither is its presence explained. However, this enigmatic ensemble of buildings is not without merit. It is pleasing to the eye and neatly finished off with the dynamic ‘Vestnik Znaniya’ logo.
The back cover is an avant-garde/constructivist design, advertising the new Encyclopedic Dictionary, also edited by Bekhterev.
The theme of this issue is the sun, radiation and connected subjects.
Sunspots and their effect on the weather and agriculture.
According to the latest data from USA scientific and experimental stations.
During the period of maximum sunspots, the sun radiates an especially large amount of heat. Heating up the air in equatorial countries, it produces rising currents of air, allowing cold air currents from northern polar countries to flow into the free space created on the surface of the earth, giving rise to lower temperatures and cloud in the central latitudes.
The harvest of grain during years of greater sunspot activity will decrease, due to the cloudiness and weakened night-time insulation. However, conversely, the growth of trees in these years is increased, which may be explained by the special effect on tree growth of the increased quantity of ultra-violt rays during years of high sunspot frequency.
This article is, from a distance of around 87 years, rather frightening. It includes discussion of treating cancer with radium.
Factory equipment for the processing of radium ore.
1. Room for the soda boiling of radium-containing uranium ore
2. Room for the grinding crystallisation of the products of the processed ores
3. The yearly production of radium in one of the largest chemical laboratories in Europe a total of just 2.7g of Radium.
The magazine looks at the latest technical achievements of the USA, including the periodic photographing of cows in order to record and measure the progression in their growth according to specific diets, a special sledge used for transporting post and people in Alaska, which appears to have spiral cylindrical rollers, and a ‘New tractor’ for moving in deep snow’, which works on the principle of lightweight tank tracks.