Damn The Torpedoes. Full Speed Ahead!

2111 words - 8 pages

Gertrude Belle Elion met Leonard Canter, the love of her life, in July 1937, when she was 19 years old and full of bubbly charm (1). She had recently graduated in chemistry with highest honors from Hunter College, the women's branch of the free but fiercely competitive City College of New York (CCNY). Ever since her grandfather's death from cancer, scientific research had been her goal. The stock market crash in 1929 had bankrupted Elion's father, however, and she needed financial aid for graduate school.Despite her academic record, 15 chemistry departments around the United States rejected her application, largely because she was female. For almost a decade she would be confined to marginal jobs, and she was never able to earn a Ph.D. Yet in 1988, she shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of a scientific approach to drug discovery based on a knowledge of cell growth and purine chemistry. She also synthesized or developed compounds that helped make organ transplantation, chemotherapy, and antiviral pharmaceuticals possible.More than 300 love letters, written by Elion and Canter between 1937 and 1941 and discovered after her death, cast new light on how she developed the philosophy that enabled her to overcome personal tragedies and the lack of a doctoral degree.When Elion met Canter, he was a handsome and brilliant statistics student at CCNY. Smitten, Canter saw in the redheaded Elion "a brilliant woman ... sincerity ... a vital, fresh, spontaneous, sparkling spirit ... the soft loveliness in my life." Within weeks, Elion had gently dismissed two other beaux. Canter addressed his second letter to "Dearest Gertie," and she was equally forthright with him: "It would be like an ostrich hiding it's [sic] head in the sand to ignore the general tone of your letter.... A little confidence between us--I frighten away easily when people get too serious on certain subjects. I know that you have enough good taste and good sense for me to stop worrying about it right away."Over the next 4 years, the couple dated weekly, attending New York's concerts and plays, discussing thermodynamics and the Method of Least Squares, or visiting city parks and her parents' summer cottage in Suffern, New York. Between dates, they used the telephone to transmit prosaic data and the post office to analyze their growing love.Because a 2-cent stamp delivered a letter within hours, the correspondence has much the immediacy of e-mail. Thus, Elion sent Canter a penny-postcard saying that she loved music, poetry, spring--and him. And she reported in an 8 July 1938 letter, "I received a letter of rejection today from Penn State which elated me almost as much as if it had been an acceptance. It really deserves to be framed as a fine example of courtesy, kindness, encouragement and a score of other virtues."More disheartening experiences appear in her diary. A job interviewer at the Chemist's Unemployment Committee was "unnecessarily rude and made me feel...

Find Another Essay On Damn the Torpedoes. Full Speed Ahead!

The Battle of the Atlantic Essay

1616 words - 6 pages France and Britain. After only four months into the war, German U-boats, mines, airplanes, and surface raiders had destroyed more than 215 merchant ships and two of Britain’s largest warships. Over 1,500 people had been killed in this short time. “It was clear that despite the lull on land, a long war lay ahead on the world’s water” (Pitt 8). U-Boats Indeed, Hitler’s plan to defeat the Allies with U-boats was looking very good. For some unknown

Point Clear, Alabama Essay

1329 words - 5 pages when he damned the torpedoes and ordered his ships “full speed ahead.” Today, the Gunnison House still recognizes Point Clear’s role in the War between the Sates with a brass plate that covers a shell hole with an inscription reading “Compliments of Admiral Farragut” (Sulzby). Also, east of the Point Clear Hotel in the Point Clear Cemetery lay the graves of Confederate soldiers who were treated at the Hotel and died in Point Clear during the

Hall Vs Fischer

1058 words - 4 pages judgments aside while he was on a mountain, or a climb. "He had developed a reputation for a harrowing, damn-the-torpedoes approach to ascent" that sometimes caused him to get hurt or become close to near death experiences (p.66). Scott Fischer, on at least two occasions while rock climbing had crashed into the ground from more than 80 feet up (p.67); while he was a junior climber he fell 100 feet racing two expert climbers up the ice at Bridal Veil

A Change of Tides in America's Greatest War

2240 words - 9 pages Aubrey W. Fitch commanded Task Force 11, the Lexington carrier, and John Frank Fletcher was commander of Task Force 17, the Yorktown carrier. Even though they were outnumbered four carriers to three, Nimitz’ decision to take the offensive was a symbol of the new American spirit. This spirit could be seen in Admiral Halsey, whose style could be phrased as "full speed ahead, commence firing" (Shankar). Admiral Yamamoto expected the U.S

WWII and the Road to Midway

2680 words - 11 pages ; this lead to a much greater effectiveness than the inexperienced Americans. Technologically, Japan was also ahead of America at the outset of the war. This, partially, is due to experience and having been involved in recent wars, but the technological advantage can not be denied. Bombing squads, essential to the air-based warfare in the Pacific campaign, were capable of good torpedo strikes from the outset of the war7. Utilizing torpedoes

Women Who Made an Impact During the Civil War

987 words - 4 pages materialize at field hospitals at midnight with a wagon full of supplies carried by a four-mule pack. She would shadow the cannon and travel all night pulling ahead of other medical units. Clara eventually accomplished managing the Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army and controlled it out of her rooms in Washington for four years. Her assistants acquired and responded to over 63,000 letters, and

Failure at Pearl Harbor

2396 words - 10 pages attack, gave the American’s a giant lead on what was to come. As quoted in Kobayashi’s repository, “Many Washington officers saw it as the most significant warning to the theater commanders and a clear signal for a full alert.” The Americans sadly chose to neglect this lead due to what they thought to be an unreliable source. That assumption, being very understandable, this non-trustworthy but accurate message put the Americans ahead of the game

the Kursk

2181 words - 9 pages duration cruises (capable of 60 day cruises), the Kursk carried two OK-650b nuclear reactors, generating steam for the propulsion of two seven blade propellers. Kursk had a top speed of 32knots submerged and 16knots surfaced and carried an assortment of torpedoes and cruise missiles, some capable of carrying nuclear warheads.7 Vladimir Putin of the Russian political party Unity is sworn in May of 2000.8 Shortly there after Russian Naval exercises

HMAS SYDNEY

534 words - 2 pages battle which followed, Colleoni was wrecked and later sunk by destroyers' torpedoes. Only the very high speed of Bande Nere saved her from a similar fate. While serving the Mediterranean, Sydney was also credited with the sinking of the Italian destroyer Espero and shared honours in the sinking of the destroyer Zeffiro during the Battle of Calabria. Sydney met her end on November 19, 1941 on the journey back. (150 miles of West Shark Bay, Western

The History of Submarines

4916 words - 20 pages and carrying a handful of men and a few torpedoes have grown into massive, sophisticated and deadly weapons systems. These displacing as much as 26,000 tons, carrying a crew of over a hundred and armed with missiles which can destroy large areas of the world. Every day hundreds of submarines are patrolling the oceans of the world. Many of them are on routine training, but some are armed with strategic missiles and for them every patrol is as

The Effect of New Weaponry on the American Civil War

1936 words - 8 pages parts in the American Civil War were the Ironclad ship and torpedoes. The Ironclad ship was developed in defense against the wide amount of artillery that was used during the war. Extremely difficult to take down, these formidable warships made naval battles more testing and changed the idea of the warship. Torpedoes, on the other hand, were created in response to the Ironclad warships to destroy them by targeting their weak spots; their submerged

Similar Essays

Full Speed Ahead! Essay

1413 words - 6 pages spend more hours working on the Hamburg-Tilden Bridge. Most members of the community, like myself, are happy to see they are finally restoring the bridge and understand there are some consequences. But the longer it takes to complete the bridge, the worse these conditions are becoming. The construction must continue and must continue with an expeditious pace. We need Admiral David Glasgow Farragut to help us yell, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed

A Brief Biography Of David Farragut

1757 words - 8 pages Farragut’s dismay. Farragut cried “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” The Union navy regained speed and rushed ahead to meet the Southern Admiral Buchanan’s CSS Tennessee. The Tennessee retreated, but later returned to challenge Farragut’s USS Hartford. The two vessels sailed toward each other at full speed, and many thought that they would both crash and sink. However, the Tennessee’s captained altered the ships course, and the two skimmed passed

Alabama's Natural And Historical Attractions Essay

892 words - 4 pages Gaines at the mouth of Mobile Bay will be of interest. These forts defended the Gulf Coast of Alabama from Federal attacks during the Civil War. One of the most famous lines of naval warfare, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” was quoted here by Union Admiral David Farragut. In addition to these fortresses that have become historical museums telling the story of the naval struggle of the American Civil War, there is also the historic Blakely

Pearl Harbor Essay

2559 words - 10 pages accomplished, and the tankers withdrew.21The fleet was now 640 miles due north of Oahu. With the slow tankers now gone, the remainder couldsurge ahead. Shortly before noon, Kusaka was ready to go full speed ahead.Late on the night of the 6th, they received word that intelligence could detect no Sea or Land alerts. Therewere no barrage balloons sighted by the scouting subs either. At 1:20 A.M. the last message came saying:December 6 (local time