Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/295

This page has been validated.

dangerous in the case of wood of large dimensions. A concentrated solution of phosphate of ammonia, although expensive, is undoubtedly the best substance to apply by injection. Certain substances, notably chloride of calcium, should be rigorously excluded, because they would keep the wood constantly damp. This method may be applied to small articles by immersion, and the solution should be hot. In the majority of cases, including existing structures, applying some coating with a brush is the only practicable treatment. The wood thus coated should present a neat appearance, should be capable of receiving a coat of ordinary paint, nor should either coating deteriorate within a moderate time. The best substances for such application are cyanide of potassium and asbestus paint.


Tests of Eye-Sight, Band-Grip, and Breathing Capacity.—Some curious observations on men and women were reported from the Anthropometric Laboratory at Manchester to the British Association. Of members of the association who were tested at the museum for keenness of eye-sight, the men could see diamond type with their right eye at a distance of 19·6 inches, and with their left eye at a distance of 18·2 inches, showing a distinct difference between right and left. A similar difference was manifested among the women, who with their right eye saw at a distance of 19·2 inches, and with the left at a distance of 18·7 inches. The men averaged 41·7 years of age, and the women were between 23 and 25 years. In no case could one see (diamond type) more than 34 inches with the right eye, but with the left one could see beyond that distance. Among 102 men and 98 women, the right eye was equal to the left in 26 instances in the men and 31 in the women; in 35 instances among the men and 28 among the women the right eye could see further than the left, and in 24 cases in the men and 28 in the women the right eye was worse than the left. The strength of the squeeze showed that it was not uncommon to find a difference of 5 or 6, or even 10 pounds between the squeezing power of the two hands. The average squeeze of the men was between 35 and 45 kilos, and that of the women about 25 kilos. The average weight of the men was between 11 and 12 stone, and that of the women about two stone less; the height of the men 68 inches, and of the women 4 inches less. Speaking of the effects of stays, which Dr. Garson said interfere with the abdominal respiration, Mrs. Stokes observed that the statistics of the stay and corset makers and sellers of London showed that the average size of the female waist had decreased during the last twenty-five years by two inches. Concerning the breathing capacity of some who wore no stays. Dr. Wilberforce Smith said that one woman 59 inches in height, whose breathing capacity, according to the usual average, should be 100, had an actual capacity of 135; another, whose average should be 115, had actual 158; a third, average 130, actual 150; a fourth, average 130, actual 200; a fifth, average 162, actual 195. In one person, in feeble health, the actual was less than the average.


The Chinese and their Limbs.—The Chinese, according to the "North China Herald," are opposed to having amputations performed upon them, not because they are afraid of the pain, but because they look upon it as a duty to keep the body intact. If they submit to it, they ask for the severed member, and keep it in a box, to be buried, in due time, with the owner. Sometimes they will eat it, in the thought that it is right that that which has been taken from the body should be returned to it. So an extracted tooth will be preserved, or ground to powder and swallowed in water. They also have a notion that a sick parent can be cured by broth made from flesh cut from a living child, and it is looked upon as a sign of filial piety for a child to submit himself to an operation for that purpose. The child is supposed to be of the vital essence of the parent, and it is thought that, if a part of this essence is returned to the fountain-head, the parent will be greatly strengthened.


Water-Storage at River-Heads.—Mr. J. Bailey Denton proposed, in the British Association, a plan for replenishing the subterranean supplies of the underground strata by means of shafts to be sunk down to the line of their saturation. He computes that of the twenty-seven inches forming the mean