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.
This cover is a real pleasure – it shows Atlas, holding the world on his back. This represents the knowledge and strength of the ancient world. In the centre, we see an internal combustion engine, a black, powerful, monolithic block. To the right – a locomotive, speeding right out of the page and into the future. The typefaces, colours and perspectives harmonise successfully to produce a fine example of avant-garde graphic art and design.
How and What to EAT
The main feature of this edition of Vestnik Znaniya is about food, its calorific content, and the amount of carlories required by humans to perform certain tasks. The whole article is 9 pages long with many good quality illustrations. If this article were to appear in an edition of the New Scientist today, it would not be out of place. (Apart from the potential accusation of encouraging rabbit abuse – see below).
Drawing 1. – A calorimetric method for determining the amount of heat generated by an organism in a day.
In the drawing in the centre is a water calorimeter; the double walls are filled with water; the tubes D and D are for the provision of ventilation to the interior space of the apparatus; T and T are thermometers; across the top of the apparatus is a mixing blade, turning from time to time in order to ensure the equal distribution of temperature through the water.
The human body generates 2400 calories per day, the amount of heat sufficient to heat two buckets of water to boiling point.
The article then goes on to examine different foods such as rye bread, milk and white bread, commenting on the fat content and the calorific value.
Various human activites and professions are discussed and the amount of calories required to do a day’s work for different jobs is presented in a table. We give some translated examples:
Description Calories required
Healthy man, not
Metal worker 3000
Wood cutter 6000
Racing cyclist 9000
New British Radio Stations
The magazine also analyses the new British achievements in trans-atlantic communications.
It points out that the British have devised a way of connecting domestic telephones to the radio system and thus trans-atlantic phonecalls are a possibility.
The article is accompanied by a graphic explaining the whole process.
It is probably the one and only time that the Soviet press mentioned the name of the Cornish town, Bodmin.