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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/299

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287
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contracted, with the knees drawn up to the breast, even when the chamber was long enough to hold them extended; and they were not mummified No pottery was interred with them, except one or two rough vases in one tomb. This treatment was not due to neglect, for the deceased were always placed with great care and regularity, with the head to the north, the face to the east, and the body lying on the left side. Such essential differences in the mode of interment, and the provision for the deceased, point to a difference of race. The contracted interment may have pertained to one of the prehistoric races, and the extended interment with provision of vases, etc., to the dynastic race. The skeletons were well preserved, but tender and friable; the bones lay in their places, and the linen cloth wrapped around the body was intact. Rheumatic disease and other maladies of the bones were already well known at that period.

 

Non-drinking Sheep and Cows.—The facility with which animals can adapt themselves to altered conditions of existence is illustrated by Dr. A. J. Crespi in an article in the Gentleman's Magazine on Curiosities of Eating and Drinking. He quotes from Miss Betham Edwards's account of her excursions in the barren, stony, wilderness-like region of the Gausses of France the description of some of the interesting facts which it affords to evolutionists. "The aridity, the absolutely waterless condition of the Larzac has evolved a race of non-drinking animals. The sheep, browzing the fragrant herbs of these plateaus, have altogether unlearned the habit of drinking, whilst the cows drink very little. The much-esteemed Roquefort cheese is made from ewe's milk—that of the non-drinking ewes of the Larzac. Is the peculiar flavor of the cheese due to this non-drinking habit?"

 


NOTES.

Mr. H. A. Hazen maintained in the American Association that the opinion that tornadoes whirl is a mistaken one. Of the two ways of learning the shape of tornadoes, that of observing them directly is burdened with difficulties, and is neither satisfactory nor accurate; while the study of them by observation of their débris is easy, and will lead to correct conclusions. Reports of such observations of between two hundred and three hundred tornadoes have been received at the Weather Bureau during the past two years, and the evidence from them is overwhelmingly favor of the view that there is no whirl.

A description of the methods pursued in the Geological Survey of the United States was given, with graphic illustrations, by Major Powell to the International Geological Congress. The speaker explained that, inasmuch as the Survey is a national institution, supported by taxes paid by the public, the results of its work are made intelligible to the people, and are not prepared so as to be understood only by men of science.

The Committee on Forestry in the American Association reported that, under a recent law authorizing the President to withdraw from sale or other disposal such public timber-lands as he may deem fit, the boundaries of Yellowstone Park had been enlarged. A necessary enlargement of the Yosemite Valley reservation was anticipated, and a number of other reservations in Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, and California, comprising several million acres, would be asked for in a memorial prepared by the American Forestry Association.

The next meeting of the International Geological Congress will be held in Berne, Switzerland, in 1894. The Geological Survey of Russia, supported by the Czar, invites the Congress to hold its meeting in 1897 in St. Petersburg.

According to a paper by G. L. Spencer and E. E. Ewell, in the American Association, wheat flour and bran mixed with molasses seem to be the favorite materials for the manufacture of imitation coffees. It is hardly probable that the manufacturer selects a good quality of flour, for a bad or damaged article would be cheaper. Refuse crackers and other waste of bakeries probably supply a portion of the material employed. A factory recently seized in France employed a mixture containing 500 grammes of ferrous sulphate, 15 kilogrammes of chiccory, and 35 kilogrammes of flour. With the exception of such mixtures as this, imitation coffee is not detrimental to health, but especially affects the purse of the purchaser.

A curious feature of old-time life is recalled in Mr. Freshfield's paper before the British Society of Antiquaries on the wrought-iron sword-stands in the churches of the city of London. These sword-stands, of which two leading and various subordinate types were described, appear to have come into fashion in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; but only one or two of the older ones survived the great fire, and most of those now existing are of the eighteenth century.