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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/321

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PHOTOGRAPHING ELECTRICAL DISCHARGES.

and the representatives of the Presbyterian and Baptist missions, was in favor of prohibition. On the other hand, the views of the Episcopal bishops and clergy of Calcutta and Lucknow, and of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Calcutta, were adverse to prohibition. Several of the former, however, frankly admitted that the evils of the opium habit, deplorable as they undoubtedly are, have been grossly exaggerated, and the good that it accomplishes has been but little recognized.

The use of opium in India and China is as much a natural habit as the use of alcohol among Western nations. It has been practiced in those countries for centuries, and it would seem impossible by legislation, and especially by the legislation of an alien nation, to do anything more than control the more manifest evils resulting from it. A policy of rigid restriction of the use of opium would unquestionably be a substitution of the use of opium by alcohol; and all the evidence given before the commission as to the evils arising from the opium habit showed, that as a source of social disorder, organic disease, insanity, and suicide, opium is not to be compared with alcohol.

Note.—For the full details of this most interesting inquiry, whether regarded from an economic, social, or medical point of view, reference is made to the First Report of the Royal Commission on Opium, with minutes of evidence and appendices, presented to Parliament in 1894, and to two final reports, Parts I and II, with historical appendices, etc., presented to Parliament in 1895, after the return of the commission from its visit to India.
 

PHOTOGRAPHING ELECTRICAL DISCHARGES.
By WALTER E. WOODBURY,

EDITOR OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC TIMES.

PHOTOGRAPHY plays many important parts in modern science. It assists the astronomer by revealing the existence of thousands and thousands of worlds veiled in the obscurity of immeasurable distance and invisible to the eye even when aided by the most powerful telescope in existence. The chemist has recognized the value of it in registering the belted zones of the spectrum. It aids the meteorologist by placing in his hands permanent records of the dark nimbus and the bright rolling cumulus clouds, the lightning flash, and the automatic registration of the rise and fall of the barometer and thermometer. The microscopist is able to photograph the disease-bearing generations of bacteria, vibrio, and schizomycetes, and to magnify their images a thousandfold for the benefit of the student. It determines the depth of the sea, the direction of currents, and the velocity of projectiles. It detects the spurious bank note or signature, the vibration of suspected bridges, and no traveler's equipment is