Many people undoubtedly feel that your article, Mortgaging the Old Homestead (Feb. 2), had very little to do with sports. Nevertheless, it was probably one of the most important stories ever published by SI. The irresponsibility of industry, the apathy of the citizen and the ineffectualness of our government in the face of the rapid decline and destruction of our environment is the greatest threat to the U.S. today.
Little Silver, N.J.

From one nonscientifically oriented citizen who is deeply concerned with the state of our environment—bravo! Lord Ritchie-Calder's frank report was as effective a piece as I've ever read (and I've read many) in getting across to the layman, interestingly and understandably, some of the many facets of this dilemma.

I applaud your posture in presenting this vital subject, which, of course, will be criticized as being beyond your editorial scope. As far as I'm concerned, this could be the beginning of a great series—the objective of which should be to give the average American citizen some hints as to what he personally can do. Not everyone, unfortunately, can be a Ralph Nader. I always leave such articles wondering what I can do besides to stop breeding [see SI, Feb. 16, My Struggle to Help the President].
Syracuse, N.Y.

After reading the article, I made up my mind to do something about water pollution. It took your article to wake up a lot of people. My thanks to Lord Ritchie-Calder for his excellent research and for his contribution to the field of science.
Phoenix, Ariz.

Thank you for the hard-hitting article. Your statement that this article deserves the widest readership aptly sums up my feeling. Hopefully, many of the sports addicts who rarely read anything else will strain their scope of interest by reading this along with the rest of the magazine.
San Diego

My thanks, appreciation and congratulations to you for accepting a responsibility that, eventually, all Americans must realize if our life is to "have a quality, a zest, which transcends bare—or even plentiful—survival." May others in positions similar to yours not be too late in accepting this responsibility and obligation of emphasizing the deteriorated state of our environment. Only when we have mass awareness will we have effective retaliation.
St. Paul

Among the growing number of articles about the environment I have read during the last five years, Lord Ritchie-Calder's stands alone in its scope, conciseness and persuasiveness. Its closing two paragraphs remind us, as many such articles fail to, that one of the distinguishing features of the species is to perceive and plan for the future.

The article does indeed deserve the widest readership. Certain audiences especially must be reached soon. We have such an audience at the University of Minnesota. Each year 250 young engineering students study thermodynamics under my direction. Many will be concerned with energy-conversion devices during their professional practice, and the performance of these devices exerts a strong influence on the environment. I want to be sure they receive Lord Ritchie-Calder's message, so I ask for your assistance. I would like to purchase 250 reprints of Mortgaging the Old Homestead for distribution and discussion in our engineering classes.
Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Dean, Graduate School
University of Minnesota

I'm glad to see that all of you "older folks" aren"t sitting by the river on Sunday afternoons with your empty beer cans, rotten insecticides, filthy oil slicks and the rest floating by and murmuring how ("us") kids will be the death of you. Thank you, SI, for opening a few more eyes to our ever decreasing timetable for survival.
Newport, Ore.

The LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER (Feb. 2) about Lord Ritchie-Calder reminded me of the days I spent in the Scottish town of Forfar. However, I am not sure that Lord Balmashannar is much of an improvement on Lord Topflat. If my fading memory does not play me false, the local name for Balmashannar hill is Bummie.
Durham, N.C.

Back in November I must admit I laughed out loud at your prediction that the Milwaukee Bucks would take first place in the NBA East this year (Pro Basketball's New Season, Oct. 27). But my visions of a cellar-dwelling Milwaukee team have now vanished, I am contrite and I beg your forgiveness.

It took not only keen insight but a great amount of courage to predict that Alcindor would be the one added ingredient that would bring the Bucks from the bottom to the top, or even close to the top. If it were not for the incredible year the Knicks are having, your prediction would have hit it right on the nose. As it is, the prediction seems to be just one year early even though the Bucks might still win—in the playoffs. Congratulations. I stopped laughing long ago.
Cortland, N.Y.

In your Feb. 2 SCORECARD you publicized the need for abolishing the practice of soring Tennessee walking horses, an extremely cruel method of inflicting pain to the animal's pastern area to artificially exaggerate the natural gait. Such devious pursuits are abhorrent to anyone of taste and beyond the scope of comprehension in a civilized society.

Hopefully the Tydings Bill will eliminate this horror in the near future. I have supported the bill and shall continue to give aid to any bills designed for the protection of animals.
Souderton, Pa.

Congratulations to Give Gammon for his excellent article (Cymru Am Byth! Feb. 9) on the Wales-France rugby match. He has captured the spirit of rivalry and good fun that has made rugby such a popular sport in the U.S. We at Dartmouth are looking forward to playing the Racing Club de France when it tours this country during the spring.
Dartmouth Rugby Football Club
Hanover, N.H.

I become a little bit more confused about the intent of your Jan. 26 article concerning basketball at BYU (The Other Side of "The Y") each time I read it. A few more readings could conceivably get my thinking as fuzzy as that of Veikko Vainio or Larry DeLaittre, whom you quote.

Veikko feels somehow compelled to represent a school that, in his mind, has racial policies for which he sees absolutely no justification. His moral stance somewhat eludes me. He can hardly wait to get back to Finland and abhors the idea of his son growing up in Provo yet finds himself quite happy. As for DeLaittre, one has to marvel at his magnificent moral conviction of wanting to grab hold of someone and yell, "I'm Catholic, I'm Catholic" when he finds himself in the position of having to do so only because he chose to attend BYU for the noble purpose of having a good chance to play regularly.

One wonders just what everyone is protesting. If the prophet of the church received a revelation today allowing the Negro to hold the priesthood, it is hard to see how this would affect those Negroes and others who are protesting. Would there be an immediate rush to join the church, abide by its standards and achieve the priesthood?

Is the protest aimed at so-called racist practices of Mormon institutions such as BYU? The answer, particularly in the case of BYU, is that anyone can attend who meets the entrance requirements and agrees to abide by university standards, none of which have racial restrictions or connotations.

That Mormon doctrine with regard to priesthood qualifications is discriminatory is clear. It is the official church position. That it is a purely religious question is equally clear. Therefore, your article does little more than lend support to, and focus attention on, a blatant attempt to destroy a precious right guaranteed by the Constitution—that of religious freedom and the exercise of conscience therein.
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

We do not have many Negro members in our church because they do not choose to belong. There are also white people who do not choose to belong. A good many men who are already members of our church do not hold the priesthood because they do not choose to. The Negroes who are members of our faith (why don't you interview them?) are not upset about anything. They accept the premise that it is God's church, that they will eventually have the priesthood, but it is God's decision not man's. We are not asking you to believe this, but this is the way we believe. It might be compared to standing in line for a ticket to the big game. Just because there are a few people ahead of you doesn't mean you won't be admitted. We believe man is eternal, and eternity is a long time in which to find solutions to problems.
Orem, Utah

How many white people are members of the Black Muslims? The Mormons have always believed in equal rights for all people, regardless of race or religion, and BYU adheres to that policy.
Provo, Utah

I find your arguments against New York State Assemblyman Louis DeSalvio's request for additional racing days in New York (SCORECARD, Jan. 26) extremely specious, not that I in any way agree with the state's legalizing of this form of gambling. However, to defend horse racing on the basis of its being the sport of kings is idealistic, at best. I wonder how many of the 30,000 New Yorkers who go to the racetrack each day view racing as the sport of kings, and how many view it as "another number on a Bingo card," the approach that you so abhor. You are afraid that the additional racing days would "reduce the sport." I, on the other hand, fear that the sport in horse racing was reduced immeasurably long ago when that first pari-mutuel machine began punching out tickets.

In defense of able bridge journalist and player Victor Mollo, I feel obliged to answer the letter from Charles C. Dodd of Parkersburg, W. Va. (19TH HOLE, Feb. 9). Mr. Dodd claimed that Jeremy Flint did not err, according to the Rule of Restricted Choice, when he finessed dummy's 10 of clubs after dropping Omar Sharif's queen during the recent London bridge match (Sky-High Stakes on London Bridge, Jan. 26). It should be pointed out that the Rule of Restricted Choice was certainly one of the things that Flint was considering when he took the time to make his play. Briefly stated, a good player holding two equal cards—the ace-king king-queen, queen-jack, etc.—will vary his play, choosing sometimes to play one card and sometimes the other. But if he holds only one of the equal honors, he has no choice; he must play the one he has. Therefore, unless influenced by other considerations, it will pay the declarer in the long run to assume that the opponent does not have both honors.

The operative words, perhaps, are "unless influenced by other considerations," and Flint could have been influenced by two things. This was the hand:


[3 of Spades]
[Ace of Hearts]
[9 of Hearts]
[7 of Hearts]
[6 of Hearts]
[2 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[6 of Diamonds]
[3 of Diamonds]
[Queen of Clubs]
[Jack of Clubs]


[Jack of Spades]
[7 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[5 of Spades]
[4 of Hearts]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[5 of Diamonds]
[Ace of Clubs]
[King of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[4 of Clubs]
[2 of Clubs]


[Ace of Spades]
[King of Spades]
[10 of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[Jack of Hearts]
[10 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[King of Diamonds]
[8 of Diamonds]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[6 of Clubs]


[Queen of Spades]
[9 of Spades]
[4 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[King of Hearts]
[Queen of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[5 of Hearts]
[10 of Diamonds]
[4 of Diamonds]
[2 of Diamonds]
[5 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]




1 [Heart]
4 [Heart]


4 [Spade]


2 [Heart]

Delmouly (South) opened with the heart king and then led the heart 5, which was ruffed in dummy. Flint (East) lost a finesse of the spade 10 to South's queen. A heart continuation would have killed the contract, but Delmouly shifted to a diamond. Sharif (North) took the ace and continued the suit. Flint won with the king. On the next lead, to dummy's ace of clubs, Omar dropped the queen, and Flint then drew trumps and led another club from his hand. When he elected to finesse against South for the club jack he lost the finesse and the rest of the tricks for minus 1,100.

(Incidentally, unless the spot cards were somewhat different in the actual play, I should judge that Flint led the 9 from his hand and let it ride, since to finesse dummy's 10 would block the suit if the finesse worked.)

One consideration that Flint ignored was that Sharif had already revealed a singleton in spades. If he also had had a singleton club he might have made a slam try, or at the very least he would have competed to the five level rather than leave in the double. Then there was the second consideration that if the finesse lost it would cost 1,100 points. At £1 ($2.40) per point, this should have further weighted the odds in what could, at best, have been an extremely close point of judgment.
Miami Beach, Fla.

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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)