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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 46.djvu/538

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Our present knowledge of diphtheria depends upon the discovery of its specific microbe by Klebs and Loeffler, on the proof that this micro-organism causes diptheria, on the isolation of the diphtheria toxine by Roux and Yersin, and on the discovery of the antitoxine by Behring. An immense field of research spreads out before us; for example, all but the last-mentioned fact is as true of typhoid fever as of diphtheria, and it is probably a matter of but a few months when physicians will be at work determining the scope of usefulness of a typhoid antitoxine.

 

WINDMILLS AND METEOROLOGY.
By P. J. DE RIDDER.

THE credit that has been given in all ages to the spirit of observation of sailors is only justice. There are other observers, however, no less sagacious and no less assiduous than sailors, whose powers have not been so conspicuously published. These are the millers of windmills. The number of these observers is necessarily diminishing rapidly in our days in consequence of the progressive disappearance of windmills before the advance of steam mills. Yet there are still in the lands of Holland and Flanders a considerable number of these old-fashioned millers, and it has occurred to me to give a few lines to the consideration of the way in which they observe the phenomena of the atmosphere.

They are real observers, as we shall show. The most intelligent of them observe, according to their own rules, all the changes of the weather. Those of a lesser degree of intelligence are satisfied with noticing the movements of the mills situated farthest in the direction whence the wind comes, and thus regulating the management of their own mills after the example set them by their fellows. These prepossessions of millers concerning the weather should not surprise us, for it is in the line of their direct interest to prognosticate atmospheric changes, and especially to be able to foresee how strong the wind will be, as much for the safety of their mills, which are exposed to all the storms, as in view of keeping on good terms with their customers by properly executing their orders.

So, after a considerable duration of calm weather, the miller, seeing the cirrus and the cirro-stratus appearing in the southwestern horizon, joyfully exclaims:

"To-morrow the wind will blow
And the mill will turn."