Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/154

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

than are the flowers; if tender and young, they are pressed too hard, or later in the season are not pressed sufficiently to make the leaves dry flat. Too many use newspapers for the light sheets on the driers. The printed letters were made with oil, and such spots can take up little moisture. Plants are put in driers which are not thoroughly dried by the heat of the stove or the direct rays of the sun. The old-fashioned press made of tight boards is a clumsy device, but still in use. Plants are not changed two or three times a day on the start, and all this time kept in a warm place—hence the color is not good; they are too long for mounting, and must be broken or cut ofP or cut in two to fit the sheet of standard size. For the proper methods, novices are referred to certain articles in botanical journals, to a chapter on the subject in Gray's large text-book, "or, better still, to hang about and worry some good collector and see how he does it."

 

Bathing after Exercise.—The Lancet observes that "the popular notion of the injurious effect of a cold bath taken by one who is overheated from exercise must possess—as all such ideas have—some basis in experience; and yet it is falsified by the experiences of athletes from the days of the Greeks and Romans even until now, who find in this procedure a refreshing and stimulating tonic after the exertion they have recently undergone. And, physiologically speaking, a cold plunge or douche taken immediately after the physical effort, when the skin is acting freely and there is a sense of heat throughout the body, is as rational as in the experience of the athlete it is beneficial. It is paralleled by the tonic effect produced by the cold plunge when the skin is actively secreting after a Turkish bath, and finds its rationale doubtless in the stimulation of the nervous system, in the increase of internal circulation, and also in the renewal of activity to the cutaneous circulation after the momentary contraction of blood-vessels due to the cold. The popular belief, doubtless, rests on the injurious effects which may be induced by the bath in one who does not resort to it immediately, but allows time for the effects of fatigue to show themselves on the muscles and nerves and for the surface of the body to get cool. Taken then, the bath is more likely to depress than to stimulate; there is less power of reaction and greater liability to internal inflammations. At such a time a warm bath rather than a cold one is more suitable and more safe. It has been suggested, however, that the practice of indulging in a bath after violent exercise may initiate renal disease. Of this there is no evidence. The transitory albuminuria observed after prolonged cold baths may indicate the disturbance in the renal circulation which ensues upon them; but these cases are in a different category from those to which we are now alluding, nor are we aware of any facts to prove that, even in them, Bright's disease has been developed in consequence of the transient departure from the normal. Lastly, it must be remembered that those indulging in athletic exercises of all kinds are presumably sound in heart as well as limb, and that such persons may take with impunity and, indeed, with benefit measures which would be distinctly harmful to the weakly."

 

Recreations for City Children.—Struck by the fact that the present crowding of houses in cities is unfavorable to the free exercise of children in play such as prevailed when man lived iu a more scattered way, Prof. S. T. Skidmore, of Philadelphia, has sketched a scheme for the evolution of a new system of play. Even under the prevailing conditions, the way for the development of proper play, he believes, is just as open as for anything else, while its development requires the genius of thought and well-directed business enterprise. The author's plan rests upon the principle that "play is the exercise of the faculties as such; the doing is for the sake of the doing. It is Nature working toward her end in the child by prompting to the free, objectless exercise of those expansile powers which he sees at work in adult life. If he sees the way open and he has the needful facilities, he will imitate so closely, in miniature, the activities of the age to which he belongs, that his play will not be a nuisance, so discordant as to be intolerable; but if left entirely with his own resources, he can do nothing else than drag forward those relics of barbaric play which have descended to him by tradition-from barbaric children, who copied the simple