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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/298

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the recognition of correct principles by the people, it is primarily necessary that correct principles should be constantly impressed upon the attention of the people. The great need of the nation today is wise leadership—unselfish men, who appreciate the necessity of being governed by immutable divinely appointed principles, to act as leaders, to keep the minds of the people centered in the right direction." Coming to the main subject of the essay, we have, as to the expediency of taxing ourselves to have sugar made here: "If the farmer's profits must come from the consumers of sugar as a bounty or tax, and not from the inherent profitableness of the business, then the farmer's profits are the consumer's loss. The business is inherently unprofitable, and no farmer, or any one else, has a right, 'inherent' or otherwise, to carry on an unprofitable business, except at his own expense.… It may be assumed that the farmers who are growing the sugar are now growing crops which, if not as profitable as they desire, are at least sufficiently so to keep them from being burdensome to the rest of the nation. And how can the prosperity of the nation be increased by having these same farmers engage in a new business which will require them to draw on the productive capacity of the rest of the people to the extent of many millions of dollars annually, in order to keep their heads above water?"

 

Bacteria of the Dairy.—An investigation of the relation of acid fermentation to the flavor and aroma of butter, made by C. H. Eckles at the Iowa College Experiment Station, has given the results that the flavor is produced by the bacterial fermentations which have taken place in the milk and cream. The kind of flavor depends upon the class of bacteria causing the fermentation. The ripening of a good quality of acid cream is mostly a development of acid bacteria. Four species of acid-producing bacteria, tested in ripening pasteurized cream, were found to give the butter the typical flavor and aroma. Of the species tried, the most common milk-souring organism (Bacterium lactarii) was found to give the most satisfactory results in ripening cream. Cream ripened with common bacteria found in hay dust (Bacillus subtilis) gives a very undesirable flavor to butter. The superior flavor of summer butter is due to the greater number of bacteria of the acid class found in milk during that season.

 

For Outdoor Improvement.—The American Park and Outdoor Association has taken up and aims to nationalize the important work of the improvement of outdoors. Not that it expects to improve upon Nature, but it hopes to be able to neutralize or remedy the devastation and disfigurement which man has wrought upon her face. At the third annual meeting of the association, held in Detroit in July, 1899, preliminary steps were taken toward offering prizes for the improvement of grounds about manufactories and homes—both front and back lots—and especially about the homes of artisans. A standing committee was instituted to consider the best way of checking abuses of public advertising. A paper read by Mr. F. Law Olmstead, on the Relation of Reservoirs to Public Parks, concerned such construction of reservoirs and the surrounding them with suitable settings as would bring them into closer harmony with the park landscape and make them more a part of it. Another paper, by Mr. R. J. Coryell, of the Detroit parks, might be described as an effort to show how a similar service may be performed for the parks and the people—in other words, how to make the people at home in the parks. Its points were illustrated by citing what had been done in Detroit. Respecting means of preventing depredations, Mr. C. C. Lancey told of good results accomplished in Rochester, N. Y., by the distribution of circulars of information on the subject; and Mr. F. L. Olmstead, Jr., of the interest taken by the children in the school gardens in Cambridge, Mass.

 

Where Physical Investigation Fails.—From the discussion of the physical method, with its descriptive laws and applications and hypotheses. Prof. J. H. Poynting was led, in his address at the British Association, to the consideration of the limitation of its range. It was developed in the study of matter which we describe as non-living, and with non-living matter it