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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/736

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the case of several elements there is a band, consisting of three very bright lines, which it is supposed correspond to vibrations along the three principal axes of the molecule. But the agreement in the spectra of various metals does not extend to all members of the group. For instance, the spectra of beryllium and magnesium do not resemble those of the other alkaline metals. Lockyer supposed a fundamental basic line common to all the elements, but the author found no trace of it. Any line in the solar spectrum which is common to two elements Prof. Rowland considers to be so only by coincidence. Further dispersion would separate the line into two. Some elements give no lines, except in the ultra-violet—boron, for example. Probably most elements have lines beyond the limits of the photographic plate. The author doubts whether the platinum metals and uranium are present in the sun. Among substances not present are antimony, bismuth, arsenic, boron, gold, and nitrogen. On the other hand, many lines in the sun, such as D 3, correspond with no known metal.

 

Physical Development versus Consumption.—For several years Dr. G. W. Hambleton, President of the London Polytechnic Physical Development Society, has been publishing papers showing how physical development may be employed to counteract consumption. He has given the results of further researches in a communication to the British Association. His theory is that consumption is directly produced by conditions that tend to reduce the breathing capacity below a certain point in proportion to the rest of the body, and that it can both be prevented and recovered from by the adoption of measures based upon that interpretation of its nature. Tables were exhibited showing the measurements of one hundred of the two hundred members of the author's society who have already obtained an increase of chest-growth of one inch and upward. The average increase is a little over an inch and three quarters. A considerable increase was also obtained in range of movement. The increase has taken place in small as well as in large chests, whether the men were tall or short, under or over twenty-one years of age, and with or without gymnastic training. The subjects were engaged in more than fifty different trades and occupations, working in them from eight to twelve hours daily. The variations in chest-girth that took place during the year were also significant. Some of the members of the society were prominent members of the gymnasium, and as such had energetically prepared themselves for certain exercises there. On such occasions he had frequently noted a large decrease of the chest-girth. The girth also decreased when the men were much engaged in extra work, stock-taking, cycling, etc., or when they neglected to follow the directions given them. In fact, the increase or decrease observed was in direct relationship with a corresponding change in the conditions of their surroundings. But it is not only in the ordinary routine of daily life that this relationship between the chest-girth and the conditions to which it is subjected is manifested. In the treatment of consumption the author had obtained increases of from two to three inches and upward. This increase of the chest-girth is accompanied by a corresponding increase of the range of movement and of the vital capacity, and by a change in the type of chest from that of disease to that of health; for happily it could be said that the treatment of disease by this method had been invariably successful. What had been experimentally obtained had been also equally well obtained in the practical application of that research. One part of the investigations confirms the other, and the case as a whole is complete and practicable.

 

Fatness and its Treatment.—It is declared to be a misconception that fatness is in itself a disease. It only becomes morbid when, by mechanical pressure, fat impedes the functions of the organs, or by weight unduly burdens the body so as to exhaust the strength or make too large a demand on the resources of force and vitality. There is no certainty in trying to prevent fatness by any process of dieting, for there are many ways of fat-making, and those persons who have a tendency to its production will make fat, however they are fed—in truth, almost as rapidly on one class of diet as on another. There are idiosyncrasies which may, in a limited number of in-