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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/403

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

stone, and slate. Holes two inches and three quarters in diameter and four or five feet deep are bored and the rock dislodged by means of dynamite. A narrow-gauge railway is used to remove the dèbris. It is expected that the tunnel will be completed in five years and a half. At the close of 1898, 300 feet had been penetrated on the south side and 1,300 on the north. The estimated cost of the complete double-track tunnels is 69,000,000 francs. This does not include the construction of the permanent way. The Mont Cenis Tunnel cost 75,000,000 francs, and the St. Gothard 59,750,000 francs. The work is practically controlled by the Jura-Simplon Railway.

 

Grant Allen.—The death of our contributor, Mr. Grant Allen, was mentioned in the last number of the Popular Science Monthly. Mr. Allen was born in February, 1848, the son of the Rev. J. A. Allen, of Wolfe Island, Canada. He attended schools in the United States, in France, and in Birmingham, England, and entered Merton College, Oxford, whence he took his degree of B. A. in 1870. He afterward spent a few years in Jamaica as principal of a college for the higher education of the negro, which had only a brief career. He returned to England and settled down in London for literary work, writing rather on social and scientific than political subjects, for various journals. While he loved and appreciated scientific truth, he rather regarded his subject from the æsthetic side, and this gave a peculiar charm to his articles. He published books on Physiological Æsthetics and The Color Sense, which did not prove profitable. Finding it hard to gain a livelihood from his scientific work, he turned to fiction, and soon found, as the London Times has it, "that his worst fiction was more profitable than his best science." His love of science, however, "approached enthusiasm," and he contributed frequent popular scientific articles to the magazines, so that "for years past hardly one of those publications has been reckoned complete "without contribution of this character from him. He removed from London to Dorking, and afterward went to southern France and Italy for his health. Then, having so far recovered that he could spend his winters in England, he made himself a home at Hindhead, Surrey. Here he died, October 25th, after several weeks' suffering from a painful internal malady. Among his scientific works, his books on Physiological ÆEsthetics, The Color Sense, and the Evolution of the Idea of God deserve special mention.

 

Japanese Paper.—The peculiar qualities of Japanese paper, most of them excellent ones, and the great variety of uses to which it is applied, are known everywhere. It is a wood or bark paper, and derives its properties from the substances of which it is made and the method of its manufacture. Several plants are cultivated for the manufacture, which, in the absence of English names, must be called by their Japanese or scientific ones, of which the principal are "mitsumata" (Edgeworthia papyrifera), the "sozo" (Brossonia papyrifera), and the "gampiju" (Wiekstroannia canecensis). Bamboo bark also furnishes a good paper, but is not much used. The mitsumata ramifies into three branches, and is cultivated in plantations, being propagated from seeds and by cuttings. It is fit for use in the second year if the soil is good. Its cultivation and exportation have reached an enormous importance, largely because the Imperial Printing Office uses it for bank notes and official documents. The sozo is propagated by seeds, and somewhat resembles the mulberry. The gampiju is a small shrub which is cut in its third year. To make paper, the bark is steeped in a kettle with buckwheat ashes to extract the resin in it. When it is reduced to a pulp, a sieve-bottomed frame with silk or hempen threads is plunged within, very much as in Western paper-making. This, letting out the water, holds the pulp, which, felting, is to form the future sheet of paper. This is pressed, to squeeze all the water out, and is left to dry. The uses made of paper in Japan are innumerable, particularly in old Japan, which treasures up its past. The papers, though all made in a similar way, are called by different names, according to the uses to which they are applied and their origin. Window lights are made of paper, and partitions between rooms, when it is stretched on frames, which work as sliding doors. The cele-