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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/445

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

bridegroom are tied together with a piece of string after they have eaten together, and an old man pronounces them duly married. The Hköns throw rice balls at each other and the couple during the ceremony. The newly married couple then go to their house, and split betelnut? are distributed among the relatives of the bride, who give money as a return present. Divorce is readily obtainable, but, except among young people of low rank, is comparatively rare. A man can have more than one wife if he can afford it. In case of divorce the property is divided according to the laws of Menu; and the applicant for the divorce, when the desire is not mutual, or the person through whose fault the divorce is applied for, always loses considerably in the division.

 

Psychology of Puppies.—A publication on the Psychic Development of Young Animals and its Physical Correlation, by Wesley Mills, embodies the results of the study of a litter of thirteen St. Bernard puppies—ultimately reduced to six—from birth to sixty days of age. The facts most striking in the first few days of life were the frequent desire to suck, the perfect ability to reach the teats of the dam just after birth, the misery evident under cold and hunger, and the fact that the greater part of existence is passed in sleep. Nothing is more striking than the efforts the animal makes almost as soon as it is born to place itself in a surrounding of comfort. Sucking is improved by practice, and is subject to modification with the increasing experience of the animal. The effects of stroking, smoothing movements of the hand are very striking. The temperature sense appears to be well marked from the first, and the muscular sense early present and finally well developed. Even on the day of birth the puppies would not creep off from a surface on which they were at rest if it was elevated a short distance from the ground. Taste and smell are very feeble at first, and are gradually developed. The "opening of the eyes" is a very slow process. It began in the St. Bernards on the eleventh day; but it is doubtful if the animal sees at all, in the proper sense of the word, till the lids are completely separated, if even then. The indications concerning hearing are indefinite and obscure; but the puppies were very early stimulated by concussions. No attempts were made to play while the eyes continued closed; but when play began, the observation of its development was very interesting. On the twenty-sixth and thirty-third days the sense of fun or humor seemed to be shown. The puppies were very readily susceptible to fatigue, in view of which the sleep they indulge in so greatly is seen to be very necessary to them. The first evidence of will, as marked in motions other than those described as reflex, was observed on the seventeenth day. The tail was not wagged while the eyes were unopened. Puppies usually cry like a kitten. Gradually this voice is changed to that characteristic of a dog. Before barking in any form, growling in sleep, and then in play, is observed. Prof. Mills finds two great periods of development in the puppy—one before the eyes are opened, and the other afterward. Development is slow in the first period and existence almost vegetative; an intermediate period is marked by considerable advance, though slow as compared with the progress made in the next few days. The period between the seventeenth and forty-fifth days is the one of the greatest importance; and after that a constant improvement from experience goes on till the sixtieth day. These periods, however, are not distinct, but glide into one another.

 

The Discoverer of Robinson Crusoe.—In a recent address before the Historical Club of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. William Osier related the curious history of Thomas Dover, of Dover's powder fame, whose contribution to therapeutics seems to have constituted the least of his claims upon posterity. Of the facts of Dover's life little was known. Munk states that he was born in Warwickshire about 1660. He was a Bachelor of Medicine of Cambridge. After taking his degree he settled in Bristol, and having made money joined with some merchants in a privateering expedition. Little is known of his life up to this time. He was associated in this undertaking with a group of Bristol merchants. The expedition went in two ships, and Dover was third in command. The days of the buccaneers were almost numbered, but there was in Bristol at this time one of the last