The Mens' Kick Line

Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Emeritus David Gordon Wilson has written an extensive and highly entertai

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The Mens' Kick Line

Table of contents :
FOREWORD
Some notes about how this saga is organized
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 GROWING UP IN THE THIRTIES AND FORTIES
Early experiences
Help for Mum
Marjorie’s death; closeness with Dad
Mum's hard life
Secret reading
Shopping and local travel
Chores at the shops
Mum's friends
Mum's cooking
The pressure of family vacations
The magic of camping
Lessons from Dad
Swimming lessons
The unwilling banker
Surrogate grandparents
Cousin Arthur’s munificence
Rejection at the dance
Give us that old-time religion
Like father . . .
The Crusaders
The great break
Nudism and sex
The problems of naïveté
Sexual ignorance
A shotgun marriage
Scots tutor
Sex education out in the cold
Interesting propositions
The maintenance man
Nigerian slide-show
Brother John
World War II
The campaign for a wedding present: the men’s kick line in Nottingham
Chapter 2 GETTING AROUND IN WARTIME
Parental decrees
Biking in wartime
Fast trip to Wales
The Blitz
Southern discomfort
Welcoming Scotland
Bitten alive
Something of a break
A short love affair with motor-cycling
Chapter 3 CARS, CLUTCHES AND CONE COUPLINGS
Morris Oxford burns its corks
The Carnegie library
The bicycle rival - dissecting engines
Climbing lessons
More tear-downs
The wonder of cone couplings
Wilsons of the world, unite!
A generous gesture from Dad and a hellish journey
A surfeit of cones
Mabel’s end
Chapter 4 INTRODUCTION TO AN ENGINEERING APPRENTICESHIP
The University of Birmingham
Cambridge – or Birmingham?
The lack of electricity in electrical engineering
No homework; no quizzes
Summer jobs, and battles with authority
The end of a promising career.
Let the battles commence!
Convex rations
The revolt at Met-Vicks
Ascent to heaven
Stupidity followed by the fall
Instruction in mechanical engineering
Cast overboard by the Royal Navy: is there life after Varsity?
Momentous decisions
Misplaced stoicism
At last some studying
Hiking in Snowdonia
Falling in love, showing off, and falling off
The end of the beginning
Chapter 5 APPRENTICESHIP, AND AFTER IT: WHY WANT TO GO TO THE U.S.A.?
Anti-Americanism
Americans close to home
A brush with Brush
Mates
The Belle of New York
Knee surgery
The chairmanship
The turning point
An after-dinner speech
A non-dancing jig
The foreman's conversion
The Brush Research Fellowship
Ian Goodlet
A Derwent V on reheat
Research at the University of Nottingham
Americans in London
The S.S. Corinaldo
The search for another fellowship
The cooling-fan caper
The order to lie
The Commonwealth Fund and freedom
Chapter 6 EUROPE AND THE DELIGHTFUL CONSEQUENCES OF LONELINESS
A Latin adventure
Am I ever fed up with – me!
The farm laborer
On the (romantic) road again
The Austrian Alpine Club
How to compliment your hostess
Snow blindness
Wine goes to your head, and elsewhere
Chapter 7 AMERICA!
The Commonwealth Fund and freedom, 1955 - 57
Harvard and M.I.T
The ways of Friends
The summer of ’56: Go forth and travel
Down home in Decatur, IL
Keep going west, young man
The Grand, and hot, Canyon
Rescue by barmaid
The Dunn deal
The Purple Onion
The gay boatmen and heat transfer
Alcoholic farewell
The casual worker in Lovelock Nevada
LDS missionary work
Bee farmers
Newsworthy planning
Baton Rouge politics
A high from hiking
Mountain rescue
Chapter 8 WEST-AFRICAN EDUCATION
Rusting at Rustons
Why else did I go?
The job search
The fate of “Old Garth”
Nigerian notebook
The trip out
First light
My first college visitor: Isaac “The Magnanimous Man”
Isaac’s married life
The Sokoto road
The police let me off
The attentive guide
Beautiful children
The past is prologue
College spring water
The missionary position
The mystery of the classes
The mechanical-engineering faculty
Some social life
Some students
Engineering practice
(Very) educational movies
Cops and robbers
American week
The Tempest
Another tempest
The VW Microbus and the CIA
Visits with Mallam Dogo
The Institute chauffeur
Sex and the ex-pats
A male and the night visitor
Naked and unashamed
Schools near Zaria and a subsequent campaign
Malaria and Man O’ War Bay
Snakes and rockets
Return to health and to offers of jobs
A dirty trick
Delightful development
How I (nearly) saved the Peace Corps
Chapter 9 JOINING THE NREC AND MEETING JACK RIZIKA
Love’s labors lost
How to impress big shots
Meeting the boss
Mum in London
Saved by Jack Rizika and Dr. Milner
A promotion
Environmental control
Multiple sponsorship
Tornado alley
An international education
Recommendations bore fruit - twice
A recording of note
Contributing to the design of the Boeing SST
A naval engine
Working as an engineer
The decorum policeman
Farewell to Northern Research
Chapter 10 BATTLING THE HOODLUMS: CRIME ON BRATTLE STREET
Nigeria to London
London to Cambridge Massachusetts
A US landlord, Fred Earnest
Parties
The Intercollegiate Girls’ Club of Greater Boston
Meeting and marriage
Missiles and insults
Transformation after a block party
A cure for free parking
House remodeling
An alarm clock for the painter
Cypress siding
Not the gardens of Versailles
The new house
The dog tunnel
Persis Toppan
The mugging
Alarms and violence
Neighborhood bulletins
The Dwight Harkens
Chapter 11 POLITICS AND WILSONOMICS
Ralph Nader, Fred Lang and the DuPont caper
A pipeline problem
Du Pont detectives
Deep Throat at the ASME
An introduction to Ralph Nader
A victory for the public good
Why should a mechanical engineer be advocating policy?
The double-cross
Mentoring young faculty
Automated transportation, PAT
Blackouts in thermodynamics
Head of the Gas-Turbine Lab?
Big lies
An urban fellow
Commission technology advisor – or dogsbody
Clarity on the problems of the MBTA
The final press conference
Selfishness over public interest
The MIT trash man
Summer study on solid wastes
How to get bottles and cans recycled
Ups and downs
Commissions
A definite lift from Kenneth Boulding
Senator Proxmire’s Joint Economic Committee
Rules for presentations to RBSs
The energy "crisis" and TPR
The parable of the shared lunch
An appeal to leading economists
Another appeal – to Congress
The academic free-for-all
A restatement of the modern version of the policy
A postscript to this table
Regulations: bad examples
The polluter-pay principle has some good incentives
Guidelines for legislation
Chapter 12 THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Great and General Court of Massachusetts
The divine right of kings
Common Cause (CC)
An act for accountable politics
Clean elections and the Supreme Judicial Court
An immune speaker
Unfaithful Fidelity
The legacy of MASH
Resigned to reality2F
Chapter 13 MASH
A summons from on high
Patterns of culture and the weirdnesses of human behavior
The smoking hypothesis
The physicians’ rounds
Cures in Canada?
Smoke gets in my eyes
The start of MASH
Nonsmokers’ rights at MIT, 1972 - 1985
The Cambridge campaign
Anger and hostility
Trial by fire
The end of the beginning
Ready-for-framing certificates
Nonsmoking stinks!
Air battles
A declaration of victory
Chapter 14 THE MEN’S KICK-LINE AT MIT, 1994 - ?
The Grinnell case
Student suicide
Complaints to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Nastiness over drawings
Grinnell asks for help
Lies and perjury
Tyranny
The Wilson case
Summary of Dave Wilson’s difficulties at MIT
Return to gas-turbine studies.
An offer from Britain
Salary.
Why the treatment?
Possible reasons for the apparent vilification of my reputation.
Closing comments on my problems at MIT
A compassionate and honorable dean
Chapter 15 HUMAN POWER AND BICYCLES
Some bicycle technicalities
How to become a guru
Frank Rowland Whitt
Recumbent enthusiasm
An MIT news conference
The joys of publishing
Publishing complexity increases with length
Some negative economics in publishing
The bicycle cavalcade from The MIT Press
Better brakes on bicycles: wet-weather braking
The Positech brake
The world HPV land speed record
The Avatar 2000 recumbent bicycle
The birth and rapid growth of the IHPVA
Britain conquered again
Fomac’s fast-fading fortune
Tackling the bicycle-theft problem
The shots heard around the world
A highly successful lock
A depressing bike rack
Notes on bicycle failures
Delights and dangers on the bicycle
Bicyclists get no respect.
Lassoed on Mass Avenue
Respect for a TV person
Biking in Britain
End-to-end in Britain on a triple tandem: one-thousand miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Land’s End launch
The tail-wind tale
Hills
Promotion to “B” roads, then to “A”
John O’Groats
Human power on water, in the air, and for tool use
Human water power: the TOW boats
Shell production and sales
Sticking it to Harvard
The Harvard challenge
Air power, human
Human-powered tools
Lawn mowers
Snow removers
Chapter 16 THE BIG BANG(S): EXPLOSIONS IN ENGINEERING
Big bangs: explosions!
The bomb-maker
Undeserved punishment in the hills of Britain
A period of general explosions
Bombing in Victoria Square, Birmingham?
Another exploding fan!
The post-explosion cleanup
Explosion and near-explosions on the Hurricane Ride
The Holbrook explosion: professional rivalry
Collapse and settlement
Expert witness
An injured pedestrian
The star expert witness
Arguments from another attorney
Good shot!
Chapter 17 THE PORNOGRAPHIC VIOLINIST AND OTHER TALES
Gatherings, and the pornographic violinist
Introductions
Groups social dynamics
Fill in the blanks
Premarital socks
The Sophia Loren effect.
South American adventures: a rearguard action in Caracas
Caracas again: a keynote speech
A Colombian demonstration of the virtue of TV advertisements
Notes on back pain
How to skin sharks
The second virial coefficient
Treatment of old people: the Inuit and others
Some hiking yarns
A caring hike leader
Too old to join in
Acts of sacrifice and concern
Highs and lows in Norway’s Jotunheimen
The breaking of the language barrier
Animal magic
Appendix: Dates and some background of my immediate family
Other dates that seem significant to me
Table of Illustrations

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