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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/444

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ment for several months. In the next horse much larger quantities of the serum toxine were used, with the addition of a certain amount of antitoxine, to avoid the risk of constitutionally injuring the animal. The horse was bled on the thirtieth day, and the antitoxic value of its serum tested. It was found that one one-thousandth cubic centimetre protected completely against ten lethal doses of the toxine; and finally, after nine weeks' treatment, one twenty-five hundredth cubic centimetre protected against ten lethal doses.

 

Japanese Rice.—Rice is the most important of all Japanese crops; the cultivation takes up moi-e than half of the total surface of arable land. The report of the Chevalier de Warpenarst, Belgian vice-consul at Yokohama, is authority for the following details, which we find in the Journal of the Society of Arts. Japan produces two kinds of rice, viz., rice of the lowlands, which is watered by an ingenious system of irrigation, and the rice of the mountains. The latter requires very little water and sun, while it is impossible to have too much for the former. Lowland rice is subdivided into two kinds—ordinary rice and glutinous rice, the latter forming about eight per cent of the annual crop. The ordinary rice is of three varieties—early, medium, and late. The total rice crop of 1892 was 41,379,000 koku, which is equivalent to 205,360,000 bushels. About the end of May the winter crop is gathered in, and some time between the end of September and the end of October the summer crop is ready for harvesting. About 34,000,000 koku of the annual production are for home consumption. It is the upper and middle classes who eat rice, the poor being seldom able to obtain it, their food consisting of the leavings of the rich—stale fish and fish entrails, which are cooked all together and sold about the streets on stalls. The farmer himself eats barley, corn, millet, and the sweet potato, but rice only on fête days. Besides the 34,000,000 koku used for food, there are about 500,000 koku used for brewing purposes, and 3,000,000 more in the manufacture of the drink known as saké.

 

Science as a Help to Agriculture.—Much was made of the work of the United States Department of Agriculture in the discussion in the British Association of the question, "How shall agriculture best obtain the help of science?" In the course of the discussion Prof. Marshall Ward said that it was of extreme importance that the results of any investigations should be made known at once and accurately to the practical man, and this was work that might very well be undertaken by the Government; but he deprecated any direction or control from a Government department in any matters of original research. There was at present in existence a large mass of information as to agriculture and forestry which had never yet been made available for the practical man. Criticising some of the methods of agricultural teaching as at present carried out, Prof. J. R. Green said that the farmer was apt to regard chemistry as comprising only the chemistry of soils, whereas it was of even greater importance to pay attention to the chemistry of plants, and generally to give the plant organism the same attention from various points of view that was now given as a matter of course to the animal organism. Prof. Perceval, of Wye College, also emphasized the importance of paying attention to the chemistry of the plant and not of the soil only. Lectures on scientific agriculture were successful if the elements only of the science were explained in non-technical language, and the farmers were then taught to make experiments for themselves. Mr. M. J. B. Dunstan thought much of the prejudice against science arose from the mistaken idea that it was meant to replace experience instead of supplementing it.

 

Marriage Customs of the Shans.—Marriage celebrations among the Shans are rather unpretentious affairs. The ceremony varies from the simple arrangement of taking each other's word for it to feasts lasting several days among wealthy people; but even in these cases the actual ceremony is a minor feature in the proceedings. The usual form among western Shans is for the couple to eat rice together out of the same dish in the presence of their relatives and the village elders. The bridegroom then declares that he marries the lady and will support her. More ceremony is observed among the Lü. The hands of bride and