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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 34/February 1889/Notes


Prof. Frederick Tuckerman, M. D., of Amherst, has examined two specimens of tape-worm (Tænia saginata) of unusual length, sent him by Dr. John G. Stanton, of New London. The first specimen consisted of a long ribbon and several smaller pieces, measuring together over 7 metres, and comprising 711 joints. The head and the neck-joints were not obtained. The second worm had 727 joints, and a length of a little more than 8 metres. Leuckart, the distinguished helminthologist, says, "According to Bremser and Diesing, the famous Viennese collection of helminths contains chains 20 to 24 feet long, very much longer, therefore, than the preserved specimens I have measured, which were at most only slightly above 14 feet." Hence, Prof. Tuckerman's two specimens, of 25 and 271/2 feet are remarkable.

Mr. James Constantine Pilling has undertaken the compilation of bibliographies of various North American languages, which are now in course of publication by the Bureau of Ethnology. In preparation for this task he visited the principal public libraries of the United States, Canada, and northern Mexico, corresponded with librarians, missionaries, and other persons interested in the subject, and examined printed authorities. Every effort was made to take titles at first hand, with the result that a very large percentage of the books enrolled are described from the compiler's own sight. The bibliographies of the Eskimo and Sionan languages have been issued, and that of the Iroquois is to follow.

Bathing upon a full meal has long been considered dangerous. The physiological explanation of the peril is, that the blood in digestion tends toward the alimentary tract, leaving the brain proportionately anemic, and the action of the heart and lungs impeded by a distended stomach. A cold immersion at this stage naturally inducing a tendency to syncope, and concentrating surface blood still more about the central organs, the heart finds the labor imposed upon it too great, and finally succumbs.

The make of American salt, it is said, has more than doubled during the last ten years. Within the same period two new salt regions have enjoyed a rapid development. According to the "Saginaw Courier," 3,944,309 barrels of salt were made in Michigan in 1887, against 2,673,588 in 1880, and 561,288 barrels in 1869. More salt was made in Michigan in 1887 than had been made in all the time previous to 1869. A strong rival to the Onondaga district has been developed in the Wyoming region of western New York, where a most extensive salt-manufacture has grown up within the last five or six years.

There are still, according to the Rev. J. Batchelor, prophets and prophetesses among the Ainos, but they limit their powers to telling the cause of illness, prescribing medicine, using charms, and the like. The person prophesying is supposed to sleep or otherwise lose consciousness, and not to know what he is uttering. The burden of the prophecy sometimes comes out in jerks, but more often in a kind of sing-song monotone.

A dexterous management of the roller shades of windows may be made to go a great way in promoting the coolness of rooms. Let the upper window-sash be lowered, and the inside blind or curtain placed outside and secured in position by passing its tassel-cord beneath the lower sash. Thus the window-glass is protected from the direct rays of the sun, and is at the same time cooled by the current of air that passes between the blind and window. An additional merit of the plan is that it promotes ventilation.

While the value of kindness in discipline can hardly be overestimated, it must be admitted that suasion alone will not avail for every instance in which a pupil's will is idle or obstinate. Boys are well aware of this, and are apt to look for something more as constituting an authority worthy of obedience. Hence, it is argued by experts in training that it is unwise, and in the end unkind, always to spare the rod. But all striking at random must be condemned, and particularly such barbarity as boxing the head and cars. Nature has furnished a part, well cushioned, but sensitive enough, well adapted to the exercise of chastisement, upon which any punishment within reason will fall harmless.

Annatto thrives in Guadeloupe at heights of from 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the sea, while greater heights are progressively more unfavorable to it. The seeds are planted in holes prepared to receive them, or in nurseries, and the young plants require most careful attention during the first year; but afterward they grow fast and need but little care. A few pods may be gathered in one year after the plant has been transferred from the nurseries. Annatto bears twice a year, the spring blossoms always yielding the largest crop. As soon as the pods in the bunches begin to dry and open, the bunches are cut, packed in baskets, and carried to the shed prepared for the purpose. The picking of the pods is very tedious.

Two French gentlemen are constructing a terrestrial globe for the exposition of 1889, on the scale of one millionth. It will be thirteen metres in diameter and forty metres in circumference, and a kilometre will be represented on it by a millimetre. Paris will occupy a space of about a square centimetre. It is believed that the contemplation of this object, whose size is a measurable fraction of that of the earth, will help, better than any other existing apparatus, to convey a realization of terrestrial magnitudes and distances.

An attempt last year to cultivate the cotton-tree near Taganrog, on the Don, in European Russia, is said to have proved successful.