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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/905

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Popular Science Monthly

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���The animated clown assumes ridiculous poses as long as the string which controls him is pulled. The clowns illustrated are suspended from a pulley

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��Toy Clowns That Perform Acrobatic Feats

THE inventors of toys today are at their wits' end to devise toys of excessive activity and laugh-producing antics at the behest of the up-to-date youngster. The most effective of these toys are usually the sim- plest in principle.

The illustration shows an exces- sively active clown, or two of them, suspended from a pulley, over which they may be made to dance and perform any number of feats. The figures are flat, but with various indenta- tions and angles, so that they are capable of assuming many ridiculous poses, in- terlocking occasion- ally, and balancing one another in ap- proved clown style. The contortions are kept up just as long as the string which controls their action is manipulated.

The inventor of the daring acrobats is Henry A. Hart, of Flushing, New York.

���The colored wax is hoi flame and then

��Decorating Pottery with Sealing Wax

POTTERY can be decorated with sealing wax. A ready-made vase is cleaned thoroughly. Then the colored wax you have selected is softened in an alcohol flame. Holding the vase upside down, apply a daub of the wax. Move the vase verti- cally up and down in front of the flame to spread the wax. Apply additional daubs to the surface and spread them out in the same way until the entire surface of the vase is covered. The heat from the flame thins out the wax and glazes it. Thus a one-colored coat- ing is obtained.

More pretentious effects are made by "flowing" a wax of one color into an- other of a different hue. After the tonal color has been ap- plied over a portion of the vase, a daub of another color is, allowed to flow into the first color in such a way that no line of join- ing is formed. The secret of success lies in manip- ulating the flame.

��heated over an alco- applied to the vase

��Why Do Rifle and Shotgun Barrels Burst?

ALTHOUGH shotguns and rifles are tested with loads which give pres- sures far above those produced by ordinary ammunition, swollen or burst gun barrels are not uncommon. The cause is either attributed to defective ammunition or to an obstruction in the bore, such as snow or dirt. The pressure of the powder gases themselves are not to blame, for investiga- tion has proved that the swelling or rupture is caused by the compression of the air between the bullet and the obstruction.

��Queer Rivers Which Are Natural Curiosities

AMONG the natural curiosities may . be mentioned several rivers. There is a river of pure black ink in Algeria, formed by the union of two streams, the water of one being impregnated with iron and the other with gallic acid, drained from a great swamp. Kentucky has its Hidden River, the origin of which no one knows. It vanishes into a deep cave and is thereafter lost. In Siberia a tributary of the Lena River runs over soil deposited on a layer of ice nine feet thick.

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