Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/624

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
602
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

planned his cat on a large scale, a huge cat face with gray radiant whiskers looking directly at the beholder. Most of the others thought of the cat in lateral view or profile. These variant and vagrant individual impressions naturally appeared on the camera before the ether waves were co-ordinated and the reflex influences came back from all to one, regulating and co-ordinating the thought of the cat. Thus these preliminary impressions are recorded as ghost pictures in various places about the plate before the ultimate composite view was achieved. The delay in this regard has darkened the center picture, interfering a little with its perfection of definition. This darkening would probably appear in other experiments on account of the long exposure (sixteen minutes) thought necessary for a picture of this kind, in which odic magnetism is made to take the place of light.

On the cat's cheek is a curious black spot or stigma which has not been fully accounted for. From its sharpness of definition it must stand in some relation to each of the seven persons whose thoughts were centered upon it. One suggestion was that this was the blind spot on the retina in each of the sympsychographers. But the blind spot marks the point of entrance of the nerve which goes back to the brain. While it may not have visual power, it is not unlikely that it is a point of special activity in ideography. This suggests that the black stigma may be the yellow spot, or the macula lutea, the point of acute vision, a region on the retina where odic forces would naturally be absent. Mr. Marvin himself inclines to the opinion that a microscopic examination of the negative will show that this stigma has likewise the form of a cat, and that it will be found to be an ideomorphic germ or centrum where the co-ordinate thought of the cat has first impinged on the plate and from which the image of the cat has concentrically arisen.

Meanwhile the cat of Mr. Thompson, the janitor, who alone could answer this question, lay in the darkness under the warm stove and purred softly.

 


 
Enumerating the uses made of the fan in Japan, Mrs. C. M. Salney says that the seven gifts of a Japanese bride to her spouse invariably include a fan—in fact, fans are the most frequent gifts in Japan, and are used to present gifts upon. They are much employed for juggling; singers modulate their voices with fans; they have served as news sheets—sometimes as seditious news sheets—and as vehicles of satire. Maps for travelers are printed on fans. Ceremonial fans are employed when houses and other buildings are finished. The fans made for the Japanese themselves are usually not the same as those intended for the Western market. The Japanese prefer smaller fans, quieter in tone and color, and more refined than those that Europeans like.