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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 4/November 1873/Notes

< Popular Science Monthly‎ | Volume 4‎ | November 1873


Prof. Strong, of the Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, N. J., is organizing an expedition to Egypt and the Holy Land. It will start about Christmas, and will embrace in its personnel, engineers, artists, scientists, and a select party of tourists, all under charge of Prof. Strong, assisted by Prof. T. Norman and Mr. George May Powell.

the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal reports a case of semi-asphyxiation from the inhalation of coal-gas, which was very successfully treated by the administration of oxygen. Four men sleeping in one room had inhaled coal-gas. Of these one died before medical aid arrived; the other three were taken to the hospital. Here fresh air and stimulants were resorted to, but the most marked effects followed the administration of oxygen gas. The inhalation of this agent was followed by an almost instantaneous improvement in the condition of the patients. It was found that the supply of oxygen had to be kept up for some time after the appearance of improved respiration, for, when the administration of the gas was discontinued, a relapse occurred. Soon, however, the improvement became permanent, and the patients were discharged well.

a writer in a French scientific periodical states that by feeding silk-worms on vine-leaves he has obtained cocoons of a magnificent red, and, by feeding them on lettuce, others of a very deep emerald green. Another silk-grower has obtained cocoons of a beautiful yellow, others of a fine green, and others again of violet, by feeding the silkworms on lettuce, or on white nettle. He says that the silk-worms must be fed on mulberry-leaves when young, and supplied with the vine, lettuce, or nettle leaves, during the last twenty days of the larva stage of their life.

a london Times correspondent bestows merited praise upon the ventilation of the opera-house at Vienna. On the occasion of the shah's visit, though the house was filled in every part, and though the temperature outside was no less than 85° after sunset, still in the overcrowded house the temperature was just agreeable. The thermometers in the house were under continual inspection, and the temperature regulated according to their indications. What facilitates this regulation is that the gas-lights are under glass globes, which are so arranged that the smoke and heat are carried out by the flue which is above every flame. This arrangement has, besides, the advantage that, even when the house is fully illuminated, the light is never glaring.

carbolic-acid paper is now much used for packing fresh meats for the purpose of preserving them against spoiling. The paper is prepared by melting five parts of stearine at a gentle heat, and then stirring in thoroughly two parts of carbolic acid, after which five parts of melted paraffine are added. The whole is to be well stirred together till it cools, after which it is melted and applied with a brush to the paper, in quires, in the same way as in preparing the waxed paper so much used in Europe for wrapping various articles.

from the official report of Captain G. A. Stover, British political agent at Mandalay, it would appear that Upper Burmah is richer in metals and minerals than any other country in the known world. Gold exists in profusion in the rivers and streams, and in many districts the gold quartz is found in abundance; but the localities are generally malarious, and the mines are not developed. Silver, too, is found in considerable quantities. Rich deposits of copper exist, but are unutilized. Iron abounds in the Shan states and the districts south of Mandalay. Lead is plentiful, and, though tin exists in the Shan states, the mines have never been worked. Coal equal to the best English coal has been discovered in many parts of the interior.

a berlin correspondent of the London Times gives an account of the extraordinary performance of the new Prussian infantry arm, the Mauser gun. The writer says: "On a distance of 1,500 metres (1,640 yards), out of 480 shots, 399 hits were effected in five targets placed behind each other; and on 1,400 metres (1,564 yards), out of 480 shots, 460 hits are reported. To attack a line in a good position, defended by disciplined soldiers armed with the Mauser, would be the greatest blunder."

o. feistmantel, of the Austrian Geological Institute, lately read before that body an essay on "The Fossil Plants of Germany and Austria," which will attract the earnest attention of the students of paleontological botany. The author first visited and thoroughly studied all the chief collections of botanical fossils existing in the two countries, and then set about a revision of the species described. He shows that at present the science of phytopaleontology is in a state of confusion, the same species being often described under different names. Different portions of one plant too often figure under sundry names, being sometimes referred to widely diverse genera. Thus we find in some cases the fruit of a plant attributed to one species, while its leaf, trunk, etc., are attributed to others.

the performance of the "Woolwich infants," or 35-ton English guns, will probably bring about a revolution in the art of naval construction. Experiment has shown that, with the service-charge of powder and the 700-pound shot, these enormous engines can send the projectile through 15 inches of iron at 200 yards, through 14 inches at 300 yards, through 12 inches at 1,700 yards, through 11 inches at 2,600 yards, through 9 inches at 4,000 yards, through 8 inches at 4,500 yards. In each case the usual backing of hard wood has to be added to the thickness of the iron target. Thus, at a range of nearly three miles, a shell one-third of a ton in weight can be made to pierce the sides of some of the heaviest iron-clads, which, a few years ago, were thought to be well protected by 8 or 9 inches of iron.

his excellency Chérif Pasha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, has made an order, in behalf of his government, on R. Habersham, Son & Co., Savannah, Georgia, through R. Beardsley, Esq., consul-general of the United States at Alexandria, Egypt, for fifteen tons of Sea-Island cotton-seed for culture in Egypt, under the express direction of the ruler of that country, Ismaïl Pasha.