Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/295

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

ferred, and, having secured them, each colony added a new pleasure to his life." Among other measures for making Walton Hall pleasant for his animal friends, he prohibited the use of any kind of firearm within the grounds. At last, however, the rooks and rabbits became so numerous that it was necessary to hunt them out with guns and dogs. Yet the waterfowl, "of which there was a beautiful variety. . . . floated leisurely away from the noisy reports and seemed to think themselves perfectly secure on the opposite side of the lake; while the herons—perhaps to get a better view of the sport—perched on the highest branches of the trees till the battue was over. This heronry was one of his most successful achievements, accomplished by the simple mode of attraction I have already described. . . One of his keenest enjoyments was to take his guests up to the telescope room, where the instrument was always set in the direction of the heronry, in order that he might the more completely study the habits of its interesting inhabitants, and observe the strange construction of their nests and the curious positions they would assume."

 

Hygiene of a Natural Life.—A view of the actual conditions of health under a substantially natural manner of living among the natives of Labrador was given by Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, chancellor of McGill University, in an address before the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. So long, the author says, as the natives keep to their own food and habits—they live largely on meat and fish, always cooked, and upon wild berries and fruits—they generally retain their teeth. But in the case of the natives from the interior, who adopted the food of the white men, they soon lost their teeth, and their lives were often shortened. Although the climate is severe and the summers are short, the country is healthy, and no doubt the open air conduces to freedom from disease. A form of Turkish or rather vapor bath has been in vogue among them as far back as we have any record. They rig up a small tent, put intensely hot stones inside, and pour water upon them, and then take the bath, which is regarded as very beneficial in many complaints. They have decoctions of herbs, and understand the preparation of nourishing foods, which are given in cases of failing strength and vitality. A decoction made from boiling crushed bones and marrow is largely used in cases of lung disease. Amputations are occasionally performed by the natives themselves, or by the European and Canadian residents, in a primitive way. What may be termed a primitive and somewhat rude form of antiseptic treatment was practiced in the district many years before Lord Lister introduced his great discovery. For the treatment of wounds, ulcerated sores, etc., a pulp was made by boiling the inner bark of the juniper tree. The liquor which resulted was used for washing and treating the wounds, and the bark, beaten into a plastic, pliable mass, was applied, after the thorough cleansing of the wound, so as to form a soft cushion, bending itself to every inequality of the sore. Scrupulous cleanliness was observed, and fresh material was used for every application. The incident shows that while discoveries and inventions are being made in centers of the highest civilization, they may yet be practiced in a primitive way in distant localities hard of access, while the world of science is still unaware of them.

 

Free Traveling Libraries in Wisconsin.—The institution of Free Traveling Libraries in Wisconsin was suggested to the Hon. J. H. Stout by the observation that the excellent public library at Menomonie was used by only a very small proportion of the country people entitled to draw upon it. Finding that the failure to take out books in larger numbers was due to the difficulty of getting and returning them and not to lack of appreciation of them, he procured five hundred books well chosen for popular reading, divided them into sixteen small libraries each containing thirty volumes, and distributed them, with rules and directions concerning the use of them, at suitable places in the country, to be sent, when that constituency had done with them, to some other, when one of the other libraries should take their place—and so on. The libraries went into operation in May, 1896. The demand that arose for the books encouraged the founder to make additions, and now there are thirty-seven traveling libraries in Dunn County, thirty-four