learned something from this poem... or maybe I re-learned one of the
many things taught to me that have been forgotten - the definition of
a vinculum. Well, actually, I had to look it up after seeing it. How
about you? Do you know what a vinculum is?
June 1944 QST
of Contents]These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the
ARRL's QST magazine. Here is a list of the
QST articles I have already posted. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged.
A vinculum is a horizontal
line placed over a number or numbers to indicating repeating groups
(7/11=0.63), or for negation in Boolean
equations (d=a-b+c), and it is also
the dividing line between the numerator and the denominator ().
See all available
vintage QST articles.
by Simpson Sasserath, USNR
'WHEN I was in boot training
I met a specialist C.
Who whispered that Pre-Radio was just the
thing for me.
I listened to that sexless wave, that smooth GI Iago.
I took a test, I took a train - and now I'm in Chicago
a pencil in my pocket, a slide-rule in my hand,
And notebook full
of formulas I do not understand.
Oh, for the life of a qunnerl
Oh, for· the life of a cook!
They do their jobs, those lucky gobs,
and never open: a book!
Oh, to be a lieutenant - I'd settle for Junior Grade-
It's algebra each morning and it's algebra each noon,
homework every night until my head's a big balloon.
in my shaky hands I hold my little slipstick
The way an aging chorus
girl would clutch her rouge and lipstick.
With fractions, roots
and decimals I'm trained to fight the Japs
And I wrestle with equations
from reveille till taps.
Oh, for the life of a striker,
who sails o'er the bounding sea-
Not giving a damn about any exam,
his mind is clear and free.
A man named Ohm once wrote
a law to solve for any circuit.
They know it's true; I know it's
true - and still they make me work it.
They give me wiring diagrams
that cross in all directions,
And then I go into the lab and make
the right connections.
Resistor board . . . resistor board . . .
give me your answer true.
Oh milliamp, you little vamp, my future
rests with you.
care to comb his hair and polish up his braid.
George Washington received applause crossing
And Hannibal, who crossed the Alps, gave Ancient
J. Caesar crossed the Rubicon to make Pompey
a bum -
But all I get is zero when I cross the Vinculum.
poundings in my temples do not come from
colds or sinus;
They're memories of powers of ten I didn't change
Oh, to be a Coast Guard - or else a gallant Marine
Who need not pain to make his brain into an adding machine.
May Heaven please forgive me, that I've hurled such dirty
At Volta and at Ampere and at Mrs. Watts' boy James.
passed my comprehensives and my sleeve has one more stripe.
think my woes are over, that I've no further gripe?
Well, now in
recognition of my industry and ardor
They're sending me to Primary
- and that is even harder!
Oh, for the life of WAC
or SPAR! Oh, for the life of a WAVE!
They wear white roses; they
powder their noses, and never study or shave.