Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/845

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Popular Science Monthly


��Making Comfortable

Quarters for the Pet


ONE of the special trea- sures of the average country boy is likely to be a pet snake, and one of his special problems is how to house it safely. According to L. S. Crandall (Pets, Henry Holt & Co., New- York) "no fixed dimensions need be set. Snakes are not particularly active creatures, and the cage need be only large enough to give its occu- pants room to move about freely. For the smaller species large glass aquaria, fitted with wire tops, make excellent homes and have the added advantage of plenty of light. If the cage is to be of wood, the front should be of glass rather than of wire, as snakes are likely to rub against the latter and injure their mouths.

"It is always wise to make the door of such a box in the top, which makes it possible to care for the captives with a minimum of disturbance. This door, or the entire top, may be of wire netting to allow ventilation. The furnishing of the cage may be varied according to the needs of the inmates. In some cases it is better left entirely plain. In others the bottom may" be covered with sand, loam, dry leaves, moss or rounded pebbles. Many snakes will take advantage of a shelf placed midway between floor and top, and others will drape themselves among branches set upright in the cage.

"Water should be provided for all species, and water snakes should have a good- sized bath, in which they will often be found immersed. Cages should be cleaned fre- quently and all excreta removed with care. Snakes are fond of sunshine and cages should be placed so as to admit it, but care must be taken to avoid overheating. It is important that the cage be absolutely dry, for snakes of most species will not thrive in damp quarters or even in a moist atmos- phere." Black snakes and garter snakes are interesting and harmless.

���Salvaging sunken ships with collapsible floats. As the floats swell they displace the water and cause the vessel to rise

Raising Sunken Ships with Collapsible Air Bags

A NOVEL method of salvaging sunken ships has been devised by Dr. Sylvio Pellico Portella, of Rio de Janeiro.

The invention consists of a specially built tender which carries collapsible floats made of waterproof material. The floats occupy very little space until they are put into use and inflated. They are constructed in such a manner that they will assume a number of different shapes when they are inflated.

Taken down to the wreck by divers they are attached to the vessel both inside and outside and are connected with the tender by lines of hose. When in place they are inflated by air pressure from the tender. As they swell they displace the water from within as well as from without, and their buoyancy causes the wreck to float upward to the surface.

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