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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Beans should not be eaten unless one is really hungry—the appetite sharp.

Of course, there are many other articles of food which are good muscle, brain, and nerve feeders, and as a people we ought to consume more of them. I do not say that all people can eat baked beans as I do, they act as a tonic and strengthen the digestive powers in my case. I think most people can eat more of them than they do, and if properly cooked would soon find them almost indispensable. Baked peas stand next in value as a muscle and nerve food.

Before closing I wish to allude to apples again. I like them raw, but sauce is delicious made in the following way, by which method the apple loses less of its valuable qualities than in any other method of cooking them:

First, pare thin and quarter the apples, place in a stewpan over a hot fire, put in a few spoonfuls of water, just to keep from burning on the bottom—more than that injures the flavor; cook as quickly as possible; cover over when cooking, so that steam will cook the top. I have found that with a hot fire from eight to twelve minutes will cook them. Add a quantity of sugar before quite done and eat warm. When done; the apple will remain in quarters, and hardly have changed color. A fine red Baldwin apple cooked in this way and eaten before cold is delicious and very healthy.C. A. Hoppin.

Worcester, Mass., September 2, 1895.

 

 

INDIVIDUALITY IN THE NESTS OF THE ENGLISH SPARROW.

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

Sir: One of the great factors in natural selection is individual variation. The English sparrow in its struggle for existence has to contend with cats, boys with blowguns, and the hostility of a large class of people who believe it to be a nuisance. The strength and stability of a nest in which the young are to be reared are important features in the life of the brood, and it is interesting to note the variations in the form, style, and material of the nests, in this connection. Mr. John Robinson, of Salem, has communicated to me the following observations he has made concerning this subject:

"In June, 1893, a sparrow's nest was removed from the vine (Ampelopsis virginica) growing on the southern end of East India Marine Hall, Salem, composed exclusively of the twigs of Tamarix chinensis, a tree of which species was growing in the yard below the nest. The twigs were about five inches long, and, being young and tender, were easily bitten off by the birds. Over three hundred shoots were thus used in this one nest. A little hay was used as a foundation in this nest and in each of the others to be described.

"In May, 1894, all the nests in the vine, of which there were perhaps twenty, were taken down about the 1st of the month. About the 15th of the month four nests, all made after the cleaning at the 1st of the month, were taken down. Each had a slight foundation of hay. One was composed of feathers, no doubt collected in a neighboring yard where hens were kept. About a quart of these feathers were in the nest. A second was composed entirely of twine, picked up in the streets and yards near by. A third was made exclusively of strippings of fine bark from cedar posts, and very likely obtained from the lumber dealer's storage yards on Derby Street, not far away, or perhaps from some newly set fence nearer at hand. Another nest was filled with fluffy cotton wool, such as is used in bed puffs. In each case there was nothing else used except the hay foundation and the materials named."

Edward S. Morse.
Salem, Mass., October 36, 1895.
 


Editor's Table.

 

THE BORDERLAND OF NONSENSE.

THAT mental stimulation may produce marked physical results is a proposition which few would be found to deny or even to question; but it is an unfortunate thing when this simple and limited truth is converted into a pretext for virtually denying the laws of physical causation, where human beings are concerned. Yet, if there is one gospel which a large class of persons hear more gladly than another, it is that the laws of matter are illusory and those of mind or spirit alone substantial and valid. Hence the numerous schools which, under various names, and with more or less pe-