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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

is fortified against his inclement sky by an abundant development of the adipose tissue; and, though his sea-otter or guanaco cloak is somewhat scanty, in admiring his handiwork, we must not forget that inside his skin he wears a thick underclothing of non-conducting fat. Hence these islanders sometimes exhibit feats, the recital of which is enough to make us shiver. In the coldest midwinter they may be seen diving for sea-eggs; and it was on a dark night, when the thermometer was at 25°, that some of them swam from the shore, and from its mooring alongside cut away the ship's boat of the Adelaide."

 

Drought and the Potato-Disease.—A writer in the Gardeners' Chronicle observes that every outbreak of the potato-disease, since 1845, has been preceded by a long term of dry, warm weather, followed by heavy rain late in July, or during August. Hence he concludes that this disease must be caused by the carbonic, sulphuric, nitric, and other acid matters, which are constantly accumulating in the atmosphere during dry weather, until they unite with showers of rain, by means of which they are deposited upon plants and soil. As the leaves of plants are their lungs, and the potato is a tender plant, the poisonous atmospheric acids of summer droughts, thrown down by heavy rains, quickly act upon the holms. The surest remedy appears to be, to dig the potatoes, and store them before the summer rain commences, provided they are nearly ripe—that is, when the stalks begin to wither, or when the skin of the tuber cannot be rubbed off with the thumb.

 


NOTES.

During the Khivan expedition, the Russian army was fed chiefly on biscuits composed one-third of rye-flour, one-third of beef reduced to powder, and one-third of powdered sauerkraut. The men are said to have had a great relish for this food, and their good health during the expedition is attributed, in great part, to the use of it.

In his address before the Congress of Orientalists, Max Müller claimed that, during the last 100 years, Oriental studies had contributed more than any other branch of scientific research to purify the intellectual atmosphere of Europe.

An exhibition of very considerable interest is to be held in Paris in September and October. It will consist of all the useful insects and their productions, and of the noxious insects, and specimens of the injury they do. Each species is to be shown, when possible, in its several stages of egg, larva, chrysalis, and perfect insect. The exhibition will be under the auspices of the Central Society of Agriculture and Entomology.

Prof. Jeffreys Wyman, of Harvard University, died at Bethlehem, N.H., September 4th, aged sixty years. The deceased was, for twenty-seven years, Hersey Professor of Anatomy at Harvard, and of Comparative Anatomy in the Lawrence Scientific School. His published works consist of numerous articles on anatomy and physiology contributed to scientific periodicals and learned societies.

The Austrian Polar Expedition, which, for some time, has caused such anxious apprehensions, has at last been heard from. The expedition was shipwrecked, and spent two winters upon the ice. The highest latitude reached was 83. Hall's highest latitude was 82° 16'. A large tract of land was discovered northward of Nova Zemlia. Only one death occurred during the whole time from the sailing of the expedition, in 1872, to their arrival at the Norwegian island of Wardoe in September of the present year.

Tissandier finds the quantity of solid matter contained in a cubic metre of Paris air to vary between 6 and 23 milligrames. Where this matter consists of débris of wood, coal, or the like, the corpuscles reach sometimes a length of 1/10 millimetre; where of mineral matters, silica, etc., the diameter varies from 1/100 to 1/1000 of a millimetre. Analysis of the dust shows: organic matters, from 25 to 34 per cent.; mineral matters, from 75 to 66 per cent. Iron was found in notable quantity.

M. Gréhaut, of the Paris Biological Society, has, for some time, employed a method of producing anæsthesia by means of chloroform, which gives very satisfactory results, and produces complete anæsthesia, for any required length of time, without danger to life. To this end, he administers to the person or animal to be anæsthetized a quantity of vaporous chloroform accurately determined. He fastens to the muzzle of a dog, weighing say 20 pounds, a rubber bag holding 100 quarts of air mixed with 20 grammes (about 300 grains) of chloroform in the state of vapor. The animal breathes this confined atmosphere, and anesthesia is produced in the course of from five to ten minutes. It may be protracted for over two hours. With this amount of chloroform the anæsthesia is complete, and, in pro-