I hear from John that you are thinking about coming here next year. You might therefore be interested in the following comments
about Pasadena and Caltech. The first concerns living in Pasadena -- so far I find it a living hell -- largely though not
entirely due to the smog. It is like living in a perpetual London Fog -- My eyes are continuously smarting and at times it
gives me a nervous feeling. The newspapers are full of talk about the wretchness [sic] of the situation but as yet little
is being done to control the oil refineries (the origin of most of the fumes). About 2-3 days out of the week, the skies
clear, the nearby mountains appear and this seems like a very attractive place to dwell -- however the smog regularly happens
and the region returns to its normal choking hellish flavor. Naturally the smog can be avoided by driving 150 miles into the
desert but this proves impractical on most days. I thus conclude that Odile will not find Southern California as alluring
as she might think.
Secondly I'll mention Caltech -- so far my contacts have only been in Biology and Chemistry. In Biology there is Max,
-- otherwise fairly dull (from your viewpoint and also mine). In Chemistry obviously the great Man -- however it is unlikely
that you'll eat lunch (et al.) with him and so I'd suspect you would tell him more than he would tell you. Then Cobey
[?] -- he is very [?] nice and helpful but not in a theoretical way. This effectively leaves Werner Shucmaller [?] who is
very good and talkative -- his interests however are not very biological and so he probably would not be intimately involved
in what your doing. So far I have not come across any younger person who seems unusual in the sense of attempting intuitive
work. This seems to be left to Pauling. I thus conclude that from the viewpoint of protein crystallography -- Cambridge
is more attractive, obviously experimentally, but also scientifically
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Perhaps I being obstruse in my opinion but I donot [sic] think you would find the equal of Max, John, Hugh, Tom Broad, etc.
My own future is very much in doubt. The Army is hot on my tail and it is highly possible that I shall not be here next year.
To escape the army I may join the Public Health Service and be stationed in Bethesda (near Washington). I should have to
serve three years and so the immediate future seems cloudy if not just plain dismal.
Experimentally I've done almost nothing -- RNA interests me more than genetics and so my little effort have been along
these lines. I (with Alex Ries) are able to repeat my Cambridge RNA ratio -- using RNA from calf hair [?] -- Hence a unique
RNA structure exists!!!!!. However so far our photographs are largely powder (diffuse) and only yesterday did I obtain a
picture with any orientation (only slight) (spacing very binefringent [?]) -- This pattern is strongly affected by H2O content
(nothing quantitative as yet) -- whether equal to or less than 2 forms exist I'm not sure. Naturally I've tried model
building and at times (including now) believe I'm learning something. By Christmas we should know more than a little.
I have just seen Maurices note in Nature. It reads very well -- I found the note on hydration by the Swede at Berkeley announcing
is its present form though obviously some such scheme must exist.
Naturally my best regards to Odile -- I should like to know her reactions to Brooklyn.