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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/444

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

nudity, was of the best. "It challenges our treatment of to-day, for it gave out-of-door life without stint, permitted the greatest activity, and employed neither mechanical, chemical, nor manual restraint. . . . Nothing could be truer to Nature and the daily manifestations of the insane than the account of the recovery of the king; the coming out of chaos or self-absorption; the looking upon things about him and seeing them gradually assume their correct proportions; the return of the understanding; the full return of reason; and then a heart overflowing with thankfulness, thankfulness that only those feel who have walked long in the valley of the shadow of death. If we take this chapter from the sacred canon, and study it with some knowledge of the far-off past, and in the light of insanity as manifested to us to-day, we shall discover that it is one of the most beautiful and concise descriptions of the premonition, the onset, the course, and the termination of a case of insanity that is recorded in any language."

 

Aluminum Violins.—Describing the aluminum violins before the American Association, Mr. Alfred Springer said that the sound-boards from that metal are analogous to those made of wood, and differ from the sound-boards made from other metals. They are analogous to wood, because they do not produce secondary tones that are not in harmony with the prime tones. Such secondary tones are found largest in elastic metals of fine uniform consistence, because the mass of such metals gives them a tendency to continue in any particular state of motion. The author had found that his experience with aluminum during the past three years was attended with many difficulties. For instance, he could find no satisfactory solder with which to fasten the plates, and was obliged to resort to rivets. In order to overcome the essential condition of uneven thicknesses of belly and back he was obliged to resort to sheet metal, ribbed and arched, and he found that in the aluminum instruments there were not the uncertainty and lack of individuality to be observed in those manufactured of wood. The wooden ones, however, were superior, and the reason the old wooden instruments were better than new ones was not in the elasticity of the wood or the composition of the varnish, but in the peculiar warping of the wood to a higher arch. He never saw a good old instrument that was not warped. Immediately after the lecture an aluminum violin was produced and played on. The tones were very full and resonant.

 


NOTES.

We owe our readers an apology for the absence of the illustration from the article on Pithecoid Man, printed in the December Monthly. The writer of the article sent a photograph with his manuscript from Germany, and after the number was printed we discovered that the picture had been copyrighted in this country. The owner of the copyright refusing to permit us to publish the illustration on any terms, we were obliged to throw it out, and through an oversight the needed correction was not made on the cover of the magazine.

The importance of forestry is urged by Prof. W. T. Thiselton Dyer on account of the probability that the supply of timber may be exhausted before that of coal. It further appears in view of our complete dependence upon the products of the vegetable kingdom for the necessaries of our existence.

Five genera of mammals living in the south of France are named by M. Mingaud to the Scientific Society of Nimes as nearly extinct. They are the wolf, the genet, the beaver, and the thoroughbred horses and cattle of Camargue; the last two species being in course of breeding out by crossing. The author considers it important that the natural history museums provide their collections with typical specimens of these animals.

The programme of the winter's lectures of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, for the season now beginning, promises a lecture on every Friday evening from November 2d to April 5th. The subjects are various, and the lecturers are masters of them. They include illustrations of travel, bacteriology, the coal mine, the photochromatoscope, watch manufacture, the relation of forests to the surface of the country, the metallurgy of aluminum, electricity and its applications to different arts, the mineral resources of the United States, sanitary engineering, and other topics.

M. Forel recently showed the Scientific Society of Lausanne some curious balls of animal hair which had been agglomerated by the waves, and were scattered over the beach of the Gulf of Morges, near the great tanneries. In some places these balls are numerous enough to form a continuous stra-