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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/590

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

How to be a Good Nurse.—Six things, says a doctor writing on the subject, are necessary to a good nurse: Strong, equable health; sound nerve; minute observation; a retentive memory; habits of neatness and cleanliness; and a calm, collected mind. A nurse must never disregard her health, because it is essential to her own well-being, and because, too, attendants on the sick should always be cheerful and hopeful. Sound nerve is often a matter of training, but its root lies in unselfishness. Any one who, in an accident or operation, forgets self in the desire to aid others, will not be troubled by trembling or fainting. The faculties of observation and retentiveness of memory can be developed by having interest in the work strong enough to make the nurse careful and patient in her observations. A calm mind is generally the result of organization. If a nurse has arranged her day's work beforehand, if she keeps everything punctually to this arrangement, and if everything needful is neatly disposed, she is not likely to be discovered in bustle and confusion at any time. The nurse should, furthermore, be mindful that she is under the doctor, and should respect and obey his directions even if she differs in opinion from him. It is extremely important that those who are sick and suffering should be treated with unfailing gentleness and patience; nothing can ever excuse a nurse for losing her temper with her patient. No duty is too little or trifling for her attention, and no work that is for the good of the patient can be degrading. It is further a good rule never to approach a case fasting; but always to have a good meal before going on duty.

 

Notes about Maple-Sugar.—According to a pamphlet on "Maple-Sugar and the Sugar Bush," by Mr. A. J. Cook, trees growing on high, gravelly soil are supposed to supply richer sap, while those on clay or muck yield more abundantly. Exposure to the open sunlight is favorable to a good yield. Concerning the influence of the preceding season on the supply, opinions differ. Vermont sugar-makers believe that an open winter is conducive to a good flow and richness of sap, while those of Indiana and Michigan think the reverse. North and west winds and clear skies are favorable, while east and south winds and the approach of a storm are unfavorable. An increase in the amount and richness of the sap has been noticed after a rain. A layer of snow or frozen ground over the roots of the tree is thought to be conducive to a bountiful yield. The deeper the bore of the tap, the longer the sap will continue to run; but a small hole gives nearly as much sap as a large one, with considerably less injury to the tree. While the sugar-maple is the best for sugar, the other maples are often tapped; but it is an objectionable feature in them that the buds start earlier, causing an increase in the amount of inverse sugar and other changes that give a bitter taste. The average yield per tree is probably two or three pounds, but single trees have been told of which gave thirty or forty pounds. Some sixteen or twenty quarts of sap are required to give a pound of sugar. Mr. Cook estimates the profits of his own sugar-bush at ten per cent on the capital invested, with no risk; and the business promises to become more and more a source of profit each year. For, "the maple-sugar industry is so limited by the very condition of things, and its product is so incomparably superior to all other like products, that we need fear no dangerous antagonism, no impoverishing competition. We have, and can always keep, the monopoly." The care and extension of maple-sugar plantations are therefore advised.

 

Curiosities of Guessing.—Some curious facts bearing on the "Eccentricities of Guessing" were communicated to the American Association by Professor T. C. Mendenhall The author had formed a standard probability curve which could be applied to any form of guessing, and which represented the law that governed the occurrence and recurrence of purely accidental things. This standard was seldom deviated from to any considerable extent. He had frequently tested the accuracy of the probability curve by experiment. A large number of persons guessed at the number of nails of various sizes contained in a carboy. The lowest guess was 43; the highest between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000. Eight guesses came within one of the actual number, six falling