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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/884

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ings could have a new aspect; and again, round a family lantern, groups might gather to read, sew, or engage in games, and thus a home-felt pleasure could quiet restless spirits, craving questionable or illicit amusements. More true enjoyment might be observed in such groups than on the piazzas of fashionable resorts. Landlords could arrange for the periodical sweeping of roofs, as well as of the halls and stairways, and, among a very large class of the respectable poor, pride would stimulate to a tidy and decorative care of their home parks." By a little alteration in structure the upper stories of houses, now stuffy places enough, could be made light and airy, and attractive as resorts or play-rooms in inclement weather. This recalls the papers contributed by Mr. Bunce in "Appletons' Journal" several years ago, in which a similar utilization of the roofs of the tall houses just then coming into fashion, or their conversion into gardens, was advised and illustrated with pleasing descriptions of what might be.

 

Adolf Sutro's Water-Power.—Mr. Adolf Sutro's aquarium at San Francisco, though at a higher level than the ocean, is fed by sea-water in sufficient quantities to furnish a strong constant stream by the action of natural forces only. How it is done has been told, in the California Academy of Natural Sciences, by Mr. Theodore H. Hittell, who indicates also what may be a new economical power. The aquarium is on the lee side of a jutting rock. Through this rock, and leading out to its exposed face, is a short tunnel, while on the face of the rock most exposed to the rollers of the ocean is an excavated hollow place or basin, the bottom of which is several feet above high-water mark. As the rollers come in they dash violently against the face of the rock, rise in mingled water and foam to a very considerable height, and splash over into the basin. The water thus caught in the basin does not fall back into the ocean, but runs through the tunnel into the aquarium and maintains its high level. Between that level and the level of the ocean in the cove, where there is no rock to dash against and no splashing, there is a fall, as indicated by the running stream, of several feet—enough to furnish very valuable water-power. The principle of gaining a head of water thus applied may obviously be made of great importance at many points along the coast. Though the main body of water to be caught is thrown up only during high tide, there is hardly any limit to the amount that may be thus secured, provided the basin is large enough and not too elevated.

 

Fast Railway-Trains.—Some remarkably fast time has been made recently by trains between London and Edinburgh, in consequence of a rivalry between the Northwestern and the Great Northern Railways. The journey formerly took nine hours, but last summer the former road reduced the time to eight hours and a half. Its rival then made it eight hours, and, on August 6th, the Scotch Express, on the Northwestern, covered the distance in eight minutes less. The times of the runs made without stopping on this trip were: Euston to Crewe (158 miles), 2 h. 56 m.; Crewe to Preston (521/2 miles), 51m.; Preston to Carlisle (90 miles), 1 h. 38 m.; Carlisle to Edinburgh (1001/2 miles), 1 h. 45 m.; the average speeds attained being the highest yet reached. On the second day of the accelerated service, this train, consisting of an engine with six coaches, made the run from Crewe to Preston in fifty minutes, and that from Preston to Carlisle in ninety minutes. This is claimed as beating every previous record.

 

Sagacity of the Blood-hound.—The bloodhound is declared by Dr. Gordon Staples, from his own somewhat wide experience, to be one of the most sagacious of all dogs. His wisdom when quite a puppy is sometimes astonishing. When only six months old, he will often show to his master that he has already come to the conclusion that life is real and earnest, and not meant merely to romp and play in. I have had a puppy at this age take me quite in charge, as it were, giving himself all the airs and manners of a dog of seven years old, and going on watch at nightfall as serious as a sentry in an enemy 's country. He would look up in my face as much as to say: 'There's nobody in this wicked world worth a thought except you and me, master, and you don't count as far as defense goes; if you please, I'll do the watching for both.' As a rule, the blood-