Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/590

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thimbleful of tobacco—enough for two or three whiffs—and we were kept busy filling and lighting; them. 15. Land-turtles with their eggs in castor-oil—abominable. 16. Ends of ham—good. 17. Breast of fowl with sour cabbage—no delicacy. 18. Stale eggs (these eggs had been kept one month in salt and two months in moist earth). The whites looked like burned sugar, and were transparent. The yolks had a greenish color, and the embryos appeared dark, rolled together, and perfectly recognizable—a terrible dish. Dessert: Conserve of sitzon, a red fruit that looks like a shadberry, and tastes like a kind of currant—good. Dark-green fruits, having oval seeds like those of the plum, preserved in brandy—good. Crabs' tails cooked in castor-oil. A green, oval fruit with a long, hard seed, resembling a large green olive, but sharp and sour, and disagreeable to the European taste. Light cakes—very fine. Nuts, almonds, and castor-oil seeds, roasted and candied with sugar—good, even to the castor-oil seeds. Macaroni with sesame-seeds and three-cornered cakes covered with castor-oil seeds—passable. Various bonbons very moderate; baked lichis. The lichi is the finest of Chinese fruits, having a white flesh with the taste of the best grapes—excellent. Shaddocks and mandarin oranges—good. The only drinks were tea, very weak and without sugar, and samion, a rice-wine, which is drunk hot like tea, and is wretched stuff.

Temperature of Germination.—M. Hellriegel has undertaken, in a series of experiments on eighteen species of cultivated plants, to ascertain the lowest temperature at which seeds arc capable of germinating. The seeds, sprinkled with distilled water, were planted in large receptacles filled with vegetable mold that were raised to constant temperatures of 48°, 40°, 38°, 35°, and 32°, and kept there from thirty-five to sixty hours. It was found that rye and winter wheat germinated at 32°. Barley and oats showed their cotyledons at 32°, but did not start till 35° were reached. Indian com required 48°. The turnip germinated at 32°, flax at 35°, the pea and clover at 35°, the bean and lupin at 38°, asparagus at 35°, the carrot at 38°, and the beet at 40°. The respiratory function requires little heat, and operates even in the entire absence of light. Heat and light are, however, most favorable for the assimilation of carbonic acid and its conversion into carbon. But little importance is attached to the color of the light.

Dust in Rooms.—Professor W. Mattieu Williams contends that minute particles of dust are repelled or driven away from heated bodies, and that the repulsion operates in the open air and confined spaces alike. Large bodies, he adds, arc similarly repelled, but as the repulsion acts only superficially and the inertia of a mass of given matter increases with the cube of its through dimension, and its surface only with the square of the same, the repulsion of such masses demands special and delicate arrangements to render it visible. Assuming this view—that dust is repelled from warmer to cooler bodies, be those bodies solid or gaseous—to be proved, then, "if the walls, floor, ceiling, and furniture of a room be warmer than the air of the room, the dust will be repelled from the walls, etc., to the air; while if the air be warmer than the walls the dust will be projected from the air to the walls." Hence those methods of warming rooms are to be preferred which heat the air rather than the solid objects; and this, in Mr. Williams's opinion, should exclude open fires.


The committee of the American Association on Indexing Chemical Literature, at the last meeting of the Association reported progress, by Professor William R. Nichols, on carbon monoxides; Professor L. P. Kennicutt, on meteorites; and Professor C. E. Monroe, on explosives. Dr. H. C. Bolton has published a catalogue of chemical periodicals, and Hans Wilder, independently of the Association, a list of nearly nine hundred chemical tests known by the names of their authors. Dr. Bolton's second index of the literature of uranium has been accepted. Dr. F. E. Engelhardt has offered to undertake an index to the literature of common salt. The committee's report presents a scheme for indexing scientific literature, in both author and subject indexes, prepared by Professor William Frear.

M. Demarçay, by means of an induction-coil made of comparatively large and