Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/798

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

try of two distinctly marked races having the same rights and privileges, of unequal capacities of development—one long habituated to servitude, deprived of all power of initiative, of all high ideal, without patriotism beyond a mere weak attachment—is to be regarded as a blessing, is too absurd a proposition for serious consideration.

Respirability of Vitiated Air.—The breathing of air in which a candle flame will not burn is generally considered dangerous. In a paper by Mr. Frank Clones, read before the British Association, at the Ipswich meeting, the results of some interesting experiments were given. It was found that the flames of ordinary candles and lamps were extinguished by mixtures which contained, on an average, about 16·5 per cent of oxygen and 83·5 per cent of the extinctive gases. A flame of coal-gas, however, required for its extinction a mixture still poorer in oxygen and containing ITS per cent of oxygen and 88·7 per cent of the extinctive gases. These results have since been confirmed by a different method, which consisted in allowing a flame to burn in air inclosed over mercury until it was extinguished; the remaining extinctive atmosphere was then subjected to analysis, when its composition was foimd to be practically identical with that previously obtained from the artificial mixtures. An analysis of air expired from the lungs proved that it was also of the same composition as that which extinguished the flame of an ordinary candle or lamp. The average composition of expired air and of air which extinguishes a candle flame is as follows: Oxygen, 159; nitrogen, 80·4; carbon dioxide, 3·7. Now, an atmosphere of this composition is undoubtedly respirable. Physiologists state that air may be breathed until its oxygen is i-educed to ten per cent. The maximum amount of carbon dioxide which may be present is open to question, but it is undoubtedly considerably higher than three per cent. Dr. Haldane maintains that the above atmosphere is not only respirable, but would be breathed by a healthy person without inconvenience of any kind; he further states that no permanent injury would result from breathing such an atmosphere for some time. The conclusion to be drawn from these facts is that an atmosphere must not be considered dangerous and irrespirable because the flame of an ordinary candle or oil lamp is extinguished by it. The popular notion about such an atmosphere might often deter one from doing duty of a humane or necessary character.

Death of Hoppe-Seyler.—Ernest Felix Immanuel Hoppe-Seyler (his name was Hoppe; he changed it to Hoppe-Seyler in 1862) was born in Freiburg, on the Umstrut, Saxony, on December 26, 1825. At eleven he had lost both father and mother. He was taken in charge and educated by the governing body of an endowed institution in Halle. Beginning the study of natural science in 1816, he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1 850, and began practicing in Berlin. In 1856 he was appointed prosector in the University of Greifswald, and in 1858 was called to Berlin to act as Virchow's assistant; three years later he was called to the chair of applied chemistry in the University of Tübingen, and in 1872 was appointed to the only ordinary professorship of physiological chemistry in the German Empire, at the Kaiser Wilhelm Universität at Strasburg. Here he worked until the very eve of his death. He died on the forenoon of August 10, 1895. In 1857, while at Berlin, he published the filrst paper in a long series of valuable contributions to the physiological chemistry of the blood. In 1858 appeared the first edition of his Handbook of Physiologico-Chemical and Pathologico-Chemical Analysis. In 1862 he published one of his most valuable papers. On the Behavior of the Blood-coloring Matter in the Spectrum of Sunlight. The researches which followed on the chemistry of the blood-coloring matter probably constitute his highest claim to distinction. In 1877-'78 he founded the Zeitschrift für physiologische Chemie. Profs. Baumann and Kossel are, it is understood, to be the future editors of this journal. Although he did much to advance both physiology and pathology, Hoppe-Seyler is said to have been more of a chemist than a biologist.

A Colony for Epileptics.—The Craig Colony for Epileptics, named from the late Oscar Craig, of Rochester, is located on a tract of