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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/115

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Popular Science Monthly

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��Straw Raincoats of Japan

THERE are as many dilTerent kinds of alleged waterproof raiment in existence as there are straws in the grotescjue costume of the Japanese in the accompanying illustration. But there is just one raincoat which lives up to its rain[)roof claims, and, in fact, has lived up to them for a thousand years and more, and that is the rice- straw combination worn by the Nippon.

In addition to being light, porous and warm in cold, wet weather it serves as a "blind" for the war^' fish which can discern no danger lurking in a fishing- pole protruding from what appears to be a mere sheath of grass. A Nippon angler seated on a river bank wearing his rice-straw cloak resembles so closely a tuft of rank grass or a growing scrub that the most preyed-upon animals fail to detect danger.

From the score of waterproof materials and imper\"ious clothing there is a new Paris product which is said to be very effective, pro\iding one doesn't approach too close to the fire. It is highly inflam- mable on chance ignition, since its inner lining is composed of guncotton sheeting. There is also an English raincoat which weighs but nine pounds when dry, but

��which, when worn through rain, will absorb water as readily as a sponge. In an hour it has been known to absorb six pounds of water, adding greatly to its weight and accelerating physical ex- haustion. Yes, it's waterproof.

What? Only Three Kinds of Feet?

A RECENT meeting of foot doctors brought forth the information that all feet are divided into three classes, namely, inflared, outflared and straight — the first two classes being scientific divisions for the common afiflictions known as pigeon-toes and bow-legs. One doctor said: "Shoes are pro\erbially made to fit the eye and the pocketbook, but not the feet." In other words the manufacturers have not kept step with the times by making shoesof thrceclasses. The ordinary classification of boots, shoes and slippers does not fit with the inflared, outflared and straight classes of feet, stated the doctors, as was proved by the fact that most manufacturers ride in automobiles. To remedy the situation it is proposed that all shoes be manufactured to conform with the three general classes of feet, that both feet and shoes may advance side by side in the scale of civilization.

���The rice-straw cloak on this Japanese is the oldest as well as the most effective of all the various kinds of waterproof clothing extant

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