Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/444

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

without nuisance. Suitable provisions were made to obviate the only valid objection to the process—that it might be used to destroy evidences of poisoning—and the first cremation took place on the 20th of March, 1885. Two others followed in that year, ten more in 1886, and ten more to the end of November, 1887. "The complete incineration is accomplished," says Sir Henry Thompson, "without escape of smoke or other offensive product, and with extreme ease and rapidity. The ashes, which weigh about three pounds, are placed at the disposal of the friends, and are removed. Or, if desired, they may be restored at once to the soil, being now perfectly innocuous, if that mode of dealing with them is preferred. One friend of the deceased is always invited to be present, and in almost every instance has expressed satisfaction with the way in which the proceeding has been carried out." The Cremation Society has no thought of making cremation compulsory, but simply by all the means in its power to encourage its voluntary adoption, and to enlarge the opportunities for those who desire it to have their wishes properly carried out. It, however, urges upon all that cremation is eminently preferable—whatever may be the feelings in other respects—in the case of persons who have died of small-pox, scarlet fever, or diphtheria. All cases where the cause of death is in doubt should be rejected at once, except after an autopsy. If the autopsy is objected to by the family of the deceased, the cremationists would avoid the doubtful case without raising an imputation.

India-Paper.—India-paper, which the Chinese call lehi, is made from hemp, mulberry-bark, cotton, bamboo, rice-straw, barley-straw, and from the interior membrane of silk-worm cocoons. Sometimes the whole of the stalks of bamboo of a year's growth are used. The pulp is mixed, after it has been prepared, with a given proportion of a vegetable gum called hotong in China. The paper is molded in molds made of fine bamboo filament. Those sheets, sixty feet in length, which the Chinese are said to make, are supposed to be fabricated by artfully joining several small sheets at the moment of laying the paper. When taken from the molds, the paper is stretched upon a wall, hollow inside and heated, the surface of which has been coated with a very thin mastic. The application of the mastic is made with a brush, and this accounts for the streaks and roughness that appear on the wrong side of this paper. India-paper, being too thin to bear handling or any strain, is mounted on vellum, which serves as a lining to it, and the white borders of which set it off as a frame would do. The sheets thus prepared are kept in a dry place, far away from the fire, and may be preserved for years.


Prof. Daniel S. Martin has announced a "Geological Map of the Environs of New York City," embracing a region of sixty-eight miles from north to south, and fifty miles from east to west. It includes the whole width of the Triassic belt of New Jersey, with its trappean ridges entire, and its relations to the formations around it; the northern part of the entire series of the New Jersey State Survey's divisions of the Cretaceous; the recent divisions of the New Jersey and Long Island coast region; the Great Terminal Moraine conspicuously laid down; the lines of deep sounding, which mark the submerged pre-glacial channel of the Hudson River; and all other geological features. It measures forty by fifty inches, and is published at a subscription price of ten dollars a copy.

The fourth session of the International Geological Congress will be held in London, September 17th to 25th. Prof. Huxley will be honorary President, Prof. Prestwich President, and the President of the Geological Society, the Director of the Geological Survey, and Mr.. T. McR. Hughes, Vice-Presidents. Messrs. T. W. Hulke and W. Topley are the General Secretaries, to the latter of whom communications respecting the Congress should be addressed, at 28 Jermyn Street, London, S. W.

A circular of the Educational Department of Scotland discourages attempts to give technical instruction in the primary schools till the boys have reached the higher standards, and not even then unless skilled teachers and scientific apparatus are attainable. In most instances the thorough teaching of elementary science is beyond the reach of the primary schools; but some of the difficulty may be overcome by several school boards uniting to employ a trained staff of teachers. School boards are advised to seek the aid of local committees composed of manufacturers who know what technical education is most needed in the district.