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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/439

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

The March of Fever and Ague.—Dr. G. H. Wilson, of Meriden, Connecticut, reviewing the history of epidemic intermittent fever in Connecticut and other parts of New England, traces in it the evidence of a regular progress in a particular direction, and by successive advances from year to year. The advance appears to be "independent of any known or recognized influence, whether atmospheric, telluric, magnetic, or climatic, and through the most diverse conditions of surface, soil, humidity, and temperature, general and local." The direction of the movement appears to be toward the northeast; and in its invasion of Connecticut "the ague crossed, diagonally but decidedly, every one of our main rivers. Starting on the coast, west of the Housatonic, it crossed its valley the next year, but did not ascend it more than about fifteen miles in as many years. It next crossed the Naugatuck, within five miles of its mouth. The Quinepiac it first reached and crossed in South Meriden, sixteen miles from East Haven; the Connecticut at Middletown, twenty-five miles from the Sound; and the tributaries of the Thames in Coventry, forty miles from the sea." In Rhode Island, also, it entered at Westerly and passed through the State to the northeast, leaving the southeast and northwest parts unaffected. The northeast course was pursued during fifteen years, or till 1875, when the malarial influence had reached Windsor, on the Connecticut. After that time, the radiation, or lateral spread of the disease, became more decided, and it finally covered every town in the State, passing the line of Massachusetts at Agawam in 1878. In the next four years it had attacked all the towns in Western Massachusetts, and a few scattered over the eastern part of that State, and had invaded Vermont and New Hampshire, as well as Rhode Island. "It is not too much to suppose that it came over from Long Island and New Jersey, and possibly farther south, as well as from the same region over Westchester County; that its front extends from the Hudson on the west to Buzzard's Bay on the east; that it has moved a hundred miles north and east, and still reaches out its favors to those belated north-men and down-Easters who have hitherto mocked us."

 

Hygiene in Schools.—An article on this subject in "The Sanitary Record," by John W. Tripe, M. D., contains the following: "Children are now taught, in public, elementary, and other schools, a number of facts concerning the rivers, mountains, coasts, etc., of foreign countries, and many other things which do not immediately concern them, while the merest outlines of the relations existing between the blood and the various organs of the body, and of the changes occurring therein, rarely form any part of their education. It is not necessary to tell children about the size of the liver, the average weight and muscular power of the heart, the diameter and length of the great vessels of the body, the structure of the eye, or any other similar facts; but surely it would be better for children, at any rate in the advanced classes, to be taught as to the action of fermented liquors on the system, and on the organs by which they are excreted from the body, the injuriousness of excesses in eating and drinking, and such like facts, than commit to memory a mass of information which they forget almost as soon as learned. They would also be the better for being instructed in the relations that exist between health and the social habits and customs of those among whom they will pass their lives. They might also be told the reasons why high-heeled boots, constricted waists, unwashed skins, accumulations of refuse, and many other things, are injurious to health as well as opposed to comfort."

 

How Buzzards find their Prey.—On the debated question as to the particular sense by which turkey-vultures are directed to their prey from great distances, Mr. Samuel N. Rhoads brings strong evidence in the "American Naturalist" in favor of the sense of smell. In digging some sweet-potatoes, he partly uncovered a spot where a horse and cow had been buried some years before. In a few hours afterward the spot became the center over which buzzards hovered by scores, during the whole of the following day, and less numerously for several days afterward. It was a strangely interesting spectacle, he says, "to behold them swoop within a few feet of the horse-hades, and rise again with slow, reluctant flaps,