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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/590

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the ground by the roots of the tree, and a mound on the side of the pit toward which the tree fell, formed of the earth which was thus pulled up. They are commonly called "Indian graves" by the people, and are supposed to be spots where Indian burials have taken place. Where they are numerous, as in the path of Mr. Campbell's cyclone, they are supposed to mark the place where a fierce battle has occurred. In the wild forest these marks are, though more than three hundred years old, as well preserved and as distinct in outline as many made by trees that have fallen recently. But if the land is cleared and cultivated they disappear in a very few years under the action of the plow and of exposure to frost and rains. The preservation of the little mounds in the woods, which under the continuance of the conditions might last for five thousand or even ten thousand years, is due to the thin coating of forest leaves that lies upon them. "The leaves act as shingles in shedding the rains, so that they are not washed or worn down by the falling rain or melting snow. The frost does not penetrate through a good coating of leaves, and therefore they are not expanded and spread out by freezing and thawing. I can see a great difference between the mounds in the wild forest and those on land that has been set to grass and pastured a few years. The tramping of stock, and the frequent expansions from freezing, which the grass does not prevent, flatten them perceptibly. The grass, however, does preserve them against rain-washing?."


Fossil Fish in New Jersey Trias.—The triassic shales beneath the overflow of the trap-rocks of the Palisades of the west shore of the Hudson River have frequently been searched for fossils, but little besides dim tracings has yet been found in them. Mr. L. P. Gratacap says, however, in a communication to the "American Naturalist," that Mr. F. Braun, of Weehawken, New Jersey has lately found a number of fish remains in these slates, of which he has extracted specimens of considerable beauty, together with vegetable fossils. Among the remains are casts and impressions of plant-roots or root-like fragments, the lobate divisions of an aquatic plant, an enigmatical nut displaying its coaly and black nucleus, and numerous fishes in various stages of preservation, and in positions that seem to throw a light upon the local circumstances of their entombment. The fishes are apparently identical with Palæoniscus latus. In the sandstones below these shales, Mr. Braun has found tracks, ripple-marks, and rainfossæ.



Emma H. Adams, in an account of "Salmon-Canning in Oregon" which is published in the Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission, says: "In the four large houses I visited, Chinamen were doing all the work of canning, under an American superintendent; and I believe every firm employs them. The process, consisting of not less than a dozen or fifteen different steps, requires at some stages great skill and celerity. For such work the lithe Celestial is well adapted. He is attentive, exact, prompt, faithful, and silent. Garrulous as a parrot with his countrymen usually, he is speechless if set to precise tasks, especially where his wages are to be proportioned to the amount of labor he performs."

The war against the phylloxera in France has been waged with wonderful vigor, and has resulted so far in redeeming more than half of the infected country from the attacks of the pest. The methods of fighting employed are first, submersion of the whole land until the invaders are drowned—the most effective method, but applicable only to low lands; second, carbon bisulphide, which kills by direct contact and by its vapor; and third, potassium sulpho-carbonate. In 1885 submersion was applied to 24,839 hectares; carbon bisulphide to 40,585 hectares; and the sulpho-carbonate to 5,227 hectares. Professor W. Mattieu Williams remarks on the way the French farmers have barred this visitation and succeeded in staying it, that it affords a clinching proof of the success of the system of peasant proprietorship, which has converted every rustic, even the very poorest, into a capitalist with a sufficient reserve to battle against such a calamity.

Fixed color-standards are in demand for anthropological purposes. Those which were issued by Broca several years ago show a tendency to fade. Mr. Galton, looking about him for something more durable, has decided upon the imperishable enamel which is employed for Roman mosaic-work, and has recently visited the Vatican manufactory for the purpose of obtaining typical colors among its products.