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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/740

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the nectaries more closely than does that elaborated by aphides.

 

Horse Racing in Bosnia.—The Bosnians are very fond of horse racing. Their meetings were kept up for five hundred years under the native laws, and are supported with still more splendor by the Austrian Government. The horse is the favorite companion of the native, who celebrates it in his songs, and cares for it as he would for a child, guarding it.against the evil eye and malice. The Bosnian mountain horse possesses fine qualities, and is sober, agile, and hardy. Previous to being put in a race he is subjected to a very curious special training. For three or four weeks he is enveloped in thick coverings, and is bled repeatedly and thoroughly. He is walked all day, and especially in the evening and the morning, in the open air. No hay is given him, and as little as possible of barley and water. His legs are massaged time and again, and rubbed with a mixture of water, salt, and two yolks of eggs. He is given only a few hours of rest, and the treatment is kept up till the very moment of the race.

 

M. Daubrée.—By the death of M. Daubrée French geology has lost one of its most brilliant workers. Born at Metz on June 25, 1814, he soon developed a special interest in minerals. He passed in 1834 from the École Polytechnique into the Corps des mines. He already, while a student, began to display that breadth of view and width of sympathy which distinguished his later career. Gradually his attention was more and more directed to the experimental side of his favorite science. He studied the artificial production of various minerals, and entered upon a course of profound investigation in which he became the great leader, and did more than any other observer to advance that department of the science. The difficult problems of metamorphism had a peculiar fascination for him, and he devoted himself with admirable patience to the task of trying to solve some of them by actual experiment. The various researches collected in his Études synthetiques de Géologie experimentale have taken their place among the classics of modern science. He also devoted much time to the study of meteorites. His last important volumes discussed in detail the phenomena of underground water, and traced the various solutions and changes which water is now producing and has formerly effected within the crust of the earth. M. Daubrée spent the greater part of his scientific life in Paris, where he occupied official posts in the École des Mines and Museum d'Histoire naturelle. He retired from office two or three years ago, but still continued to interest himself actively in scientific research. He was one of the most regular attendants of the Académie des Sciences, and one of the most influential members of that distinguished body, serving on many committees and taking an active part in all its concerns. He began to be somewhat ailing before last Easter, and, though for a time he appeared to rally and hopes were entertained that his life might still be prolonged, he died peacefully at his house in the Boulevard Saint-Germain on May 29th.

 

Cacao Cultivation in Mexico.—The cacao tree is a native of Mexico, and long before the conquest the Aztecs used the cacao bean in making a beverage which they called chocolatl. "All nations subjugated under the Aztec eagle had to bring, among other valuables, a certain number of bags of cacao to the palace in the great Tenochtitla as an annual tribute to the emperor. It was so highly prized among the ancient natives that in trade it was utilized as currency among the lower classes. The varieties cultivated were quauhcahuatl, mecacahuatl, zochicucahuatl, and tlacacahuatl." The tree grows wild and in cultivation in the States of Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, and central and southern Vera Cruz, where the elevation is from a hundred to twelve hundred feet above sea level. Chiapas and Tabasco, however, contain the most favorable climate and soil for the cacao tree, and the finest cacao in the world is grown in these two States. The species most cultivated in Mexico are cacao or Theobroma ovalifolia, T. bicolor, and T. angustifolia. A warm, moist climate, having a mean temperature between 76° and 77° F., is necessary for its most successful cultivation. The best elevation is from three to five hundred