Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/588

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
570
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

white woman. According to the Aztecs, Dr. C. Farrington, of the Field Columbian Museum, tells us, this woman was a goddess who for some crime had been struck dead and doomed to lie forever on this spot. Popocatepetl was her lover, and had stood by her. Tastes differ as to whether it or Popocatepetl presents a more striking view, but either is a beautiful enough object to look upon. The first authenticated record of an ascent to the summit of the mountain is that of Mr. H. Reniere Whitehouse, who reached the top November 9, 1889, and found there undoubted evidence that an ascent had been made five days previously by Mr. James de Salis. Prof. Angelo Heilprin and Mr. F. C. Baker attempted an ascent in the following April, but were turned back when about seventy-five yards below the summit, at a height of 16,730 feet, by two impassable crevasses. "The ascent of Iztaccihuatl seems, therefore, pretty generally to have foiled those who have attempted it. Dr. Farrington, who ascended to the Porfirio Diaz Glacier in February, 1896, describes the route as steeper than that which leads up to Popocatepetl." The brilliant and varied flora, picturesque barrenness, and beautiful cascades lend everywhere a charm to the scene which contrasts favorably with the somber monotony which characterizes the route by which Popocatepetl is ascended. The slopes of the mountain are cultivated to a considerable height—10,860 feet. The lower slopes are largely covered with soil, and the andesite rock, of gray and red colors, differs completely in character from that of Popocatepetl. The aiguillelike character of many of the spurs extending at right angles to the course of the mountain is a prominent feature. Many caves in the rock furnish shelter to cattle and persons attempting the ascent. Dr. Farrington examined the Porfirio Diaz Glacier, and concluded that it formerly had a much greater extent than now.

 

The Adulteration of Butter with Glucose.—The following is from an article by C. A. Crampton in the Journal of the American Chemical Society: In domestic practice the addition of sugar to butter for purposes of preservation is doubtless almost as old as the art of butter-making itself; salt, however, is the usually preferred preservative. Sugar appears in several of the various United States patents for so-called "improving" or renovating processes for butter, being added to it along with salt, saltpeter, and in some cases sodium carbonate. Within the past few years glucose has been used in butter specially prepared for export to tropical countries, as the West Indies or South America. It is usually put up in tins, and various means are resorted to for preventing the decomposition of their goods before they reach the consumer. Very large quantities of salt are used by the French exporters, as the following two analyses show:

Butter for Export.
To Brazil. To Antilles.
Water 10.29 10.19
Curd 1.24 1.81
Ash 10.29 10.06
Fat 78.18 78.44
100.00 100.00

Chemical antiseptics, borax, salicylic acid, etc., are sometimes used, but the method found most efficacious by exporters in this country seems to be the use of glucose in conjunction with moderately heavy salting. The glucose used is a heavy, low-converted sirup, known as confectioners' glucose. The detection of glucose in butter presents no difficulty. The butter is thoroughly washed with hot water, which will readily take up whatever glucose is present. This solution is then tested by means of Fehling's solution. The following is an analysis of the so-called beurre rouge, or red butter, which is exported to Guadeloupe. It is a peculiar highly colored compound, containing large quantities of salt and glucose:

Water 21.60
Curd 0.81
Ash 16.42
Fat 51.15
Glucose 10.02
100.00
 

Decorated Skulls and the Power ascribed to them.—A collection of sixteen skulls—eight of men, seven of women, and one of a child—from New Guinea, is described by George A. Dorsey in the publications of the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago. They were received from a native