Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/879

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Dr. Flagg followed the case up. "On reaching the crossing at the head of Hanover Street," he says, "where the traffic is large, the dog lost a little of his dejected air and occupied himself chiefly in getting the man safely across. When his charge was finally over, and meandering down the left-hand side of Hanover Street, then the dog slunk to the opposite side and resumed the shamefaced air I had at first noticed, keeping constant watch with furtive glances on the staggerer opposite. Where Hanover Street crosses New Washington Street, the dog again piloted the man with anxious care. This done, he again declined to be seen on the same sidewalk with him, but slunk along in the shadow of the building opposite. The master turned into Prince Street, when the sense of degradation seeming to be somewhat lessened by familiar surroundings, the faithful animal trotted ahead as pilot to the door. I could not perceive in the dog's attitude any sign of fear of his master, or any evidence of wrong-doing on his own part; everything seemed to show that the one explanation of the dog's behavior lay in his appreciation of the common disgrace caused by the man's condition."

 

The Use of Lightning Rods.—A discussion, by Alexander McAdie, of the question, Shall we erect Lightning Rods? (Ginn & Co., Boston), in which the arguments on both sides are presented, leads the author to an affirmative answer; and he suggests, to those contemplating the erection of a rod, that they get a good iron or copper conductor, weighing six ounces to the foot of copper, or thirty-five ounces if of iron, preferably of tape form. The nature of the locality will determine in a great degree the need of a rod, as some places are more liable to be struck than others. The very best ground that can be got is after all but a very poor one for some flashes, so that the ground can not be too good. If a conductor at any part of its course goes near water or gas mains it is best to connect it with them, but small-bore fusible pipes should be avoided. The tip of the rod should be protected from corrosion or rust. Independent grounds are preferable to water and gas mains. Clusters of points or groups of two or three along the ridge rod are recommended. Chain or link conductors are of very little use. Slight faith is to be placed in what is called the area of protection. Lightning is much more indifferent than has been supposed to the "path of least resistance." Any part of a building, if the flash is of a certain character, may be struck, whether there is a rod or not; but such accidents are rare with the comparatively mild flashes of our latitudes. The widespread notion that lightning never strikes the same place twice is erroneous, and plenty of cases are recorded to show the contrary of it.

 

Irrigation in Australia.—Australia, great as is its extent, has but one river system carrying any really important volume of water to the sea. This is the Murray and its large tributaries, which water portions of the three colonies of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, in the southeastern corner of the island-continent. Want of rain and the absence of perennial streams constitute one of the greatest difficulties that settlers on the land, whether pastoralists or agriculturists, have to contend with. Subterranean supplies are, indeed, being found in the form of running rivers from sixty to a hundred feet below the surface, but not hitherto in sufficient quantities to compensate the lack of rainfall and surface water for ordinary purposes in years of drought. Still less is there enough such water to be found to irrigate the arid plains. The only supply at all adequate for purposes of irrigation on any extensive scale is afforded by the surplus water of the Murray system, now carried to the sea, and this surplus is obviously a limited quantity. An attempt to fertilize by irrigation some portion of the land lying within reach of this supply of water has been made in the last four years at what are known as the irrigation colonies or settlements of Renmark in South Australia and Meldrum in Victoria. The scheme was started in 1887 by two brothers, the Messrs. Chaffey, who had had experience of fruit-raising in California, who have obtained the grants and means necessary to enable them to carry out their plans. The properties are subdivided with a view to settlement by individuals on small sections, each cultivator enjoying, upon a co-operative system, the use of the fixed plant of the settlements, not only