Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/298

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passengers and three hundred and twenty-seven million mile-tons of goods and grain, and paid 697 per cent upon its capital.

Six Hundred Shots a Minute.—The Maxim machine-gun has a capacity for firing six hundred rounds a minute, or at least three times greater than that of any other machine-gun. It has only a single barrel, which, when the shot is fired, recoils a distance of three quarters of an inch on the other parts of the gun. This recoil sets moving the machinery which automatically keeps up a continuous firing at the extraordinary rate of ten rounds a second. Each recoil of the barrel has therefore to perform the necessary functions of extracting and ejecting the empty cartridge, of bringing up the next full one and placing it in its proper position in the barrel, of cocking the hammer, and pulling the trigger. The barrel is cooled with a water-jacket, is adjustable in every direction, and has a maximum range of eighteen hundred yards. The gun weighs only one hundred and six pounds; it can be taken apart, folded up, and put together again, the latter operation being possible in ten seconds.


How timber can be intelligently cultivated on farm-lots of from sixteen (o twenty acres was explained by Mr. Benjamin Hathaway at the Michigan Forestry Convention. While the timber is young the ground can be used for pasture, and even for wheat and oats. After the shade has grown dense, the temporary value of the land is reduced; but in eight or ten years afterward the timber becomes marketable. Trees planted in border screens, ten feet apart, will support a wire fence, afford a supply of fire-wood from their trimmings, and add positively to the attractiveness, value, and profitable cultivation of the farm.

The French Association met this year in March, at Oran, in Algeria. M. Laussedat was chosen president, and delivered an address on the civilizing influence of science. The meeting was held in the spring instead of the summer, on account of climatical considerations. One previous meeting of the Association—that of 1881—was held in Algeria,

The great Bressa prize of 12,000 francs, or $2,400, has been awarded to M. Pasteur by the Academy of Sciences at Turin.

Mr. Vincent Jackson, senior surgeon of the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire General Hospital, who is also Mayor of Wolverhampton, presided recently at a "Burial Reform" meeting, and defined the reforms required to be: coffins of the most perishable and lightest material, all lasting substances being rejected; interments as early as possible; the pall to be discarded as an unnecessary and baneful covering, and burial in plain earth with total disuse of vaults and bricked graves. Vaults were condemned by Dr. Malet, medical health-officer for the borough, as tending to the spread of disease, and injury to the health of persons attending burials.

A collection of objects relating to religion—altars, priests' robes, and kindred objects—made in the course of several years by M. Guimet, was some time ago presented by him to the municipality of Paris on condition that a building should be specially devoted to them. The building, which is close to the Trocadéro Palace, has just been finished, and will shortly be occupied as a museum of religions.

"Railway-brain" is a term applied by Dr. Thomsen to a neurosis or general derangement of the nerves produced by a shock received by the head on a railway-car. In the particular case described, no wound was received, and consciousness was preserved at the time of the injury. Afterward the patient became melancholic, and complained of insomnia, headache, spinal pain, weariness, and failure of appetite. A hygienic and palliative treatment was given.

An interesting experiment was recently made by a Dr. Durand, in reference to the relative power of imagination in the two sexes. lie gave to one hundred of his hospital patients a dose of sweetened water, and shortly afterward entered the room, apparently greatly agitated, saying he had by mistake administered a powerful emetic. In a few minutes four fifths of the subjects were affected by the supposed emetic, and were mainly men, while every one of those not affected were women.

M. Bonnetoud, a French engineer, employs the explosive force of dynamite to drive out, for a brief period, the water from portions of wet ground in which foundations are to be made. A hole is bored in the wet ground, ten or twelve feet deep, and about an inch and a half wide. By exploding cartridges of dynamite in this hole the water is driven far out beyond the sides of the yard-wide cavity which is produced, and does not reappear till after half an hour at least. The workmen thus have time to clear the cavity and introduce quickly-setting concrete.