Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/588

This page has been validated.
570
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

is matter in the right place, will take any trouble not to injure books if they are accumulated in any numbers. . . . We suppose the true reason is that, as all men respect knowledge, and especially knowledge of which they only dimly perceive the use, they regard a library as a deposit of bottled wisdom, by which they can hardly profit, indeed, but which they had rather not injure or disperse." There are evidences that the same feeling of respect for books as books has influence also with cultivated people.

 

A Hopi (Indian) Baby.—After a child is born to a Hopi Indian (says Mr. J. G. Owens, in an article in the American Journal of Ethnology and Archæology) the mother bathes her head in a suds made of the amole root, and an attendant bathes the baby in a suds of the same, and rubs it, except its head, in ashes, these being supposed to kill the hair on the body. The baby is then put in a cradle, and an ear of corn is placed by its side to watch it. The regular Hopi cradle consists of a wicker base, woven of small twigs of Rhus trilobata, about two and a half feet long and a foot wide. Six or eight inches from one end, the head, is a bow of the same material, about two inches wide and nine inches high in the center. This is to keep anything thrown over the cradle from falling on the face of the baby. Covering three quarters of the base is a mat of cedar bark. Several small blankets are laid across the cradle and the little one is placed upon them, with its head generally lower than the rest of the body. The arms are laid straight by its side, and the blankets are folded over and kept in place by lacing a heavy woolen cord with loops of the same material on either side of the cradle. Frequently the presence of a baby in a house would be entirely unsuspected; but should you attempt to sit upon what appears to be a pile of blankets in a corner, the protests of the watchful mother will at once admonish you of your mistake. Until the fifth day the mother must not see the sun or put on her moccasins. On the morning of that day she bathes her own head and that of the baby with amole, puts on her moccasins, and is then at liberty to go out of the house. She resumes charge of the household affairs, and by the tenth or twelfth day seems to have regained her normal strength. Sometimes a mental record of the age of the baby is kept, with the aid of the fingers; in other cases scratches are made by the thumb-nail on the wall. On the tenth and fifteenth days, respectively, the mother again washes her head with amole, and bathes and rubs the baby with ashes, just as on the first day. On the twentieth day the chief ceremony takes place, which includes the purification of the mother, the naming of the baby, and the presentation of the baby to the sun. These are described in detail in Mr. Owens's article.

 

The Crustacean's Shell.—No group of animals, says Prof. W. K. Brooks, is more favorable than the Crustacea for the study of the significance and origin of larval forms, for these animals possess a number of peculiarities which serve to render the problem of their life history both interesting and significant, and at the same time unusually intelligible; nor are these peculiar features exhibited in the same degree by any other great group of animals. The body of the arthropod is completely covered, down to the tip of each microscopic hair, by a continuous shell of excreted matter, and as this chitinous shell is not cellular, it can not grow by the interpolation of new cells, nor can it, like the excreted shell of a mollusk, grow by the deposition of new matter around its edges, for there are no such edges, except in a few exceptional cases, such as the barnacles. Once formed and hardened, the cuticle of an arthropod admits no increase in size, and as soon as it is outgrown it must be discarded and replaced by a new and larger one. The new shell is gradually excreted, in a soft condition, under the old one, and as soon as this is thrown off the new one quickly becomes distended and solid. As a result, from the very nature of the chitinous shell and the method of renewal which its structure entails, the growth of an arthropod, from infancy to an adult condition, takes place by a series of well-marked steps or stages, each one characterized by the formation of a new cuticle and by a sudden increase in size. In most arthropods the newly born young are very different in structure from the adults, and growth is accompanied by metamorphosis. As the changes of structure are neces-