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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/542

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528

Crossing

��Dangerous Rivers Goatskin Floats

��Popular Science Monthly

with

���The inflated goat skins are used by the na- tives either as Hfe-buoys or as river-horses

THIS is not, as might be sup- posed, a photograph of a ■man with his performing seal climbing over hi shoulder, but onl\- a picture of a Kashmiri with his goatski ii swimming-skin.

The skin to he used for this pur- pose is taken off with as little (lil- ting as [Kjssible, al- ter which the hair is removed and the hide softly tanned by hoursof patient scraping. Then the feet and neck open- ings arc coated with pitch — tree balsam is iisi'd in the Himalayas and

���asphaltum in Mesopotamia — and sewn up so closely as to be impervious to the water. A small hole — usually at the nose — is left for inflation, and this is afterwards closed by folding over and tying with a thong.

The inflated skins are used in se\eral ways, the simplest and most common one being as a support for the body while the vigorously kicked legs propel it across a river. In fairly smooth slow- flowing streams a paddle like the one shown in the photograph is often em- ployed, the paddlcr in such instances riding his buoy like a horse. In fording the swift mountain torrents that flow into the upper Indus, a much smaller skin than that shown in the illustration is employed. The swimmer sprawls over this and uses both arms and legs as com- bination propellers, steering gear and buffers against the ever imminent rocks.

Where Beautiful Hair Is Not a Crowning Glory

THE man in the accompanying pho- tograph, who is shown in his per- petual furs of human hair, is a striking illustration of what medical science calls a case of hypertrichosis, or excessive growth of hair on the human body. This man not onl}' has locks which are the envy of chorus girls, but he has a beard and below it a hairy mat which makes him look like a pre- historic ca\e-d\\ellir.

\\'ar1s and too much hair

seem to go hand in hand.

•On the other hand, there

s no truth in the

t heory prevalen t that

abundance of hair

��The h;iir of llic hcud und beard is soft and beautiful. The rest is short and furry

��\ sajis one's strength, \ or that it signifies

��a great reserve of strength. People wiio are exccssive- ]>■ hairy, such as the man shown, are perfectly nor- mal except for their uncomfort- able hairiness. They are not nec- essarily weaker or stronger than the rest of us.

�� �