Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/444

This page has been validated.
430
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

hours, and be fairly warm after seven hours. Some of the hot water can be given to the injured person to drink, with the addition of beef-extract, spirits, cocoa, etc. He mentions also a particular pattern of kerosene stable-lamp, which, if placed inside a covered ambulance-wagon, would materially raise the temperature of the interior.

 

Boys' Color-Knowledge.—Some test examinations recently made in one of the English board-schools indicate that too much may have been made out of color-blindness, and that want of instruction rather than want of discrimination may be at fault in many of the cases where disability is supposed to exist. Some of the pupils at the examination in question were awkward at first, and made great mistakes, but needed only a little setting right to prove that they could distinguish the colors correctly. One boy was in the habit of calling black white and white black; as for the other colors, he had never been particular to name them, or think about them exactly, supposing it to be a matter of little importance. Of a hundred boys examined upon the seven principal colors, not one showed any real suspicion of color-blindness. Of two hundred boys examined in graduating and matching shades, none found any difficulty after practicing for about an hour; and every one was soon able to distinguish all the ordinary colors without the least difficulty.

 

Vitality of Microbes in Water.—According to Prof. Frankland's relation of experiments on the vitality of various microbes in water, great differences in behavior are observable. Of Koch's comma spirillum of Asiatic cholera, Finkler-Prior's comma spirillum of European cholera, and the Bacillus pyocyaneus, which produces the greenish-blue coloring in abscesses, the latter exhibits much greater vitality than either of the other two. It lives and increases many times for more than fifty days. Koch's comma spirillum disappeared from pure water in nine days, but flourished and increased in London sewage; while Tinkler's spirillum disappeared in less than one day. In some cases when organisms not the natural inhabitants of water are introduced into it, a large proportion of them are at first destroyed, but a multiplication in numbers takes place afterward. The Bacillus anthracis in its bacillus form is destroyed with comparative ease, but the spores have remarkable vitality. Mr. Arthur Downes has remarked how, in tubes containing more than one form of microbe, the first dominant form will gradually grow more and more feeble until it seems to become extinct and is succeeded by races of a different kind.

 

The Arts of Life in Anthropology.—The one great feature which it is desirable to emphasize in anthropological museums, said Lieutenant-General Pitt-Rivers, in the British Association, is evolution. To impress upon the mind the continuity and historical sequence of the arts of life is one of the most important lessons to be inculcated. It is only of late years that the development of social institutions has at all entered into the design of educational histories. The arts of life have never formed part of any educational series. Yet, as a study of evolution, they are the most important of all, because in them the connecting links between the various phases of development can be better displayed. Laws, customs, and institutions may, perhaps, be regarded as of greater importance than the arts of life, but for anthropological purposes they are of less value, because in them, previous to the introduction of writing, the different phases of development, as soon as they are superseded by new ideas, are entirely lost, and can not be reproduced except in imagination; whereas in the arts of life, in which ideas are embodied in material forms, the connecting links are in many cases preserved, and can be replaced in their proper sequence by means of antiquities. For this reason the study of the arts of life ought always to precede the study of social evolution, in order that the student may learn to make allowance for missing links, and to avoid sophisms and the supposition of laws and tendencies which have no existence in reality. To ascertain the true causes for all the phenomena of human life is the main object of anthropological research, and it is obvious that this is better done in those branches in which the continuity is best preserved. In the study of natural history existing animals are regarded as present phases in the devel-