Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 3.djvu/672

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654

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

boat hands, 10; dray-drivers, teamsters, etc., 196; newspaper-carriers, 7; pilot, 1; undertakers, 20; bell-foundery operatives, 4; brass-founders, 102; brewers, 8; brickmakers, 14; carriage-trimmers, 32; charcoal and lime burners, 5; cigar-makers, 1,844; clock-makers, 75; curriers and tanners, 60; distillers, 6; engravers, 29; fishers, 35; gas-works employees, 4; gun and locksmiths, 33; printers, 1,495; shingle and lath makers, 84; tinners, 17; wood-turners and carvers, 44.

Effects of Freezing on Wine and Spirits.—Some experiments on the freezing of wines and spirits are recorded as follows by M. Melsens in the Comptes Rendus of the French Academy of Sciences. Brandy cooled to as low as minus 35° C. was pronounced exquisite, and some connoisseurs pronounced it all the mellower in proportion as the temperature was reduced. About -30° C., alcoholic liquors, containing 50 per cent, of absolute alcohol, become viscid, syrupy, and sometimes opaline. The author solidified spirits (cognac, rum) at -40° and -50° C., and says that if they be then taken as ices, or sherbet, with a spoon, it is surprising what little sense of cold there is. A spoonful of this ice when placed on the tongue appears to be less cold than ordinary ices, and many persons who have tasted such frozen cognac or rum could scarcely bring themselves to believe that they had on their tongues ices which might be served on dishes of frozen mercury. In fact these ices must be reduced to -60° C. before the one who tastes them pronounces them "cold;" and scarcely ever will any one pronounce them "very cold." The lowest temperature at which M. Melsens experimented with these frozen alcoholic liquors was -71° C. If a considerable quantity at that temperature be taken into the mouth, the effect is like that of a spoonful of soup a little too hot. In this case a wooden spoon must be employed, one of metal producing a blister. Placed upon the dry forearm this solid eau de vie produces a slight cauterization, without burning, as would a fragment of solid ether or carbonic acid.

The author's experiments on wines were undertaken with a view to discover the means of preserving them. On placing them in a vessel surrounded with a freezing mixture, they were reduced to the condition of a mass of ice-crystals permeated with a colored fluid. This he transferred to a wire sieve, and, by agitating it there, expelled the liquid. The ice on being melted was found to be tasteless, with the merest traces of alcohol. Thus the percentage of alcohol in the wine when deprived of its water is increased, and its keeping quality greatly improved. The author suggests freezing as a method of improving the body of light wines, which otherwise will not bear transportation, and says that if in France wine-growers will adopt the plan of heating their wines in order to check the "diseases" to which they are subject, and of freezing them, so that they may keep, the trade in wine will be rendered far less fluctuating than it now is. It will be possible to keep on hand a large quantity of wine, so as to offset the effects of bad harvests.

What Darwinism means.—From our esteemed contemporary, the Lens, of Chicago, we take the following correction of current misapprehensions as to the true meaning of Darwinism: "Prof. Edward S.Morse," says the Lens, "delivered, early in March, two lectures in Chicago, the one with the title 'From Monad to Man,' the other on 'Evolution.' In the lecture on 'Evolution' Prof. Morse makes two statements worthy of special note. In the one he alleges that the prejudice against Darwin, and the ridicule so freely expended upon him, are based on an entire misapprehension. Darwin has never taught that man is a development from a monkey, or from any lower species. Nor is there any thing in his philosophy that even admits of inference to this effect. He simply teaches, or suggests the probability, that man or monkey is simply 'evolved' from a lower basis of life. The several streams, all starting from one source, as they branch—the one goes to the monkey, and there stops; and the other to man, and there stops. It is not Darwinism that man himself, or the monkey itself, shall keep on till there is development into something higher and different. The other statement was to the effect that science deals with phenomena, not with the intelligent cause.