Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/591

This page has been validated.

twenty-two years old, from syncope brought about by cold and over-exertion attendant upon a bicycle-ride of forty miles, the Lancet remarks: "It appears that this young man was a practiced bicycle-rider, and to such forty miles could hardly be considered an excessive run in a day; but, besides distance, many things have also to be considered by the judicious rider—for instance, the nature of the roads, the weather, and perhaps, above all, the pace. We know that the new machines are capable of attaining a speed never thought of a few years ago. A high speed through such cold air as prevailed on Good Friday must often be very dangerous, as likely to cause pulmonary congestion, to overcome which the heart will work at a high degree of tension, and, like any other muscle, it is likely to become paralyzed from overwork; and herein lies the danger from swift and hard riding. It would be well if our young men would remember the advice that an eminent English physiologist gave to a young man some years ago, 'Observe your strength, and keep within it.'"



Between four and five acres have been assigned in the forthcoming World's Columbian Exhibition to the Educational Exhibit. This is a much larger space than ever was offered before to this interest at a World's Fair. In order that the most advantage may be derived from this large privilege, the Bureau of Education has published a circular of suggestions of details as to the arrangement of the exhibit, in order that it may be made as comprehensive as possible, and as accessible in all its parts. A statement concerning the National Catholic Educational Exhibit, which has been determined upon, is printed on the same sheet with the department's circular.

It appears, from M. W. Brennaud's studies of the Surya Siddhanta, a book which contains the astronomy of the Hindus, that they were acquainted with the precession of the equinoxes and its effects, and with the theory of lunar and planetary movements. They had determined with fair exactness the diameter of the earth and the distance of the moon; they could calculate the orbits of the planets by the aid of the moon's daily motion in its orbit; could calculate and predict eclipses of the moon and the sun; and had a respectable knowledge of most of the fundamental problems of astronomy.

Observations made by M. Obrecht, at the observatory in Santiago, Chili, since July, 1891, show that the ground in the northwest quarter rises daily between noon and nine o'clock in the evening, and then falls back gradually till seven o'clock in the morning. Furthermore, there is a continuous rising movement of the southeast quarter, and from September to November a continuous rising of the eastern quarter. The daily variations had been observed by M. Moesta at the time the observatory was built, and by Gillis.

A few months since the Kew authorities dispatched, per the steamship Atrato, a botanical commission to the West Indies with a number of Wardian cases containing vine cuttings and Gambier plants. Unfortunately, cold weather set in, and the efforts to convey these tender plants, which had so often ended in failure, threatened once more to result in disappointment. The difficulty was that if kept on deck they would be inevitably destroyed by the low temperature; while, if taken below, the absence of light, which is so necessary to the existence of the delicate Gambier plants, was almost certain to be equally fatal. Under these circumstances it occurred to Mr. Morris to avail himself of the electric light, of which there was an abundance on board the Atrato. The experiment proved in every way successful.

The extent of the influence a lake may exercise upon climate is illustrated by the statement of M. Forel that the quantity of heat accumulated in Lake Leman during the summer is equivalent to that which would be given out by the burning of fifty-one million tons of coal. A railroad train carrying this coal would be eighteen thousand kilometres long, or nearly the length of the earth's meridian from pole to pole.

A story is told of a brown retriever dog in London which was sent to carry a letter in its mouth to drop in the post-box at Piccadilly. It got to the box just as the postman, having emptied it, was starting away. The dog seeing him, ran after him, caught up with him, put the letter in his hand, and then went off with the satisfied air of a dog that had done its duty.

Of the "rare metals," didymium is quoted at $4,500 a pound; barium, at $3,700; beryllium or glucinum, at $3,375; yttrium, at $2,250; rhodium and niobium or columbium, at $2,000 each; vanadium, at $1,875; iridium, at $700; osmium, at $625; palladium, at $500; and platinum, at $350. The price of the last metal, however, fluctuates between those of silver and gold.

M. Berthelot has traced the derivation of the word bronze to the city of Brundusium, now Brindisi, where was the seat of