Popular Science Monthly/Volume 49/July 1896/Minor Paragraphs


The Bulgarians, according to the report of the United States consul at Annaberg, love music. They sing a great deal, at home, in entertainments, and in their occupations. The shepherds or the harvest-reapers on opposite heights often sing in alternation, stanza in answer to stanza. The attendants and armed escorts of traveling parties raise their voices in chorus, and soldiers sing on the march. Musical instruments are much in use—the primitive native ones, and the modern inventions which are taking the place of these. The predominant national instrument is the gajda, or bagpipe, the melancholy and monotonous tones of which are precious to them. Other instruments are the kaval, a very simple wooden shepherd's pipe, producing a shrill note; the gadulka, or cigulka, instrument of two strings, emitting melancholy tones; the gypsy fiddle, or kemené, a superior instrument; the bulgarina, a sweet guitar with four strings, which is played upon by means of a goosequill; and the drukja, or bajalma, a similar guitar, played with two fingers. All the instruments are manufactured by the gajdari, who formerly constituted in the town a special guild.

It seems that Prof. Fraser, of Edinburgh, who was recently announced as the perfecter of an antitoxine of snake poison, was anticipated in this discovery by Dr. Calmette, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Prof. E. Ray Lankester, in a letter to Nature, says: "In the Annales de l'Institut Pasteur, May, 1894, Dr. Calmette described in full detail his researches on snake poison, and demonstrated that not only can animals be rendered resistant to cobra (and other snake) poison by the injection into them of graduated doses of the poison (so that rabbits were rendered tolerant of sixty times the lethal dose), but that the serum of such immunized rabbits is found to contain a powerful antitoxine, which can be used successfully as an antidote to snake poison.

An address, delivered at a presentation to Sir Henry Ackland of a bust and some fifteen thousand dollars which will be employed in carrying on the work of the Sarah Ackland Home for Nurses, stated that the testimonial had been subscribed for in commemoration of the long and faithful service that Sir Henry Ackland had rendered to the university, city, and county of Oxford, and the part which he had borne in the advance of medical science in England, more particularly in the direction of sanitary reform and preventive medicine, during the forty years of his occupation of the chair in the university of Regius Professor of Medicine.

The west coast of Stromö, Faröe Islands, is described by Dr. Karl Grossmann as giving excellent opportunities for studying "how the erosion by sea and weather takes hold of the gigantic rock walls, which look as if built for eternity. The caves, which are produced at sea level by the washing out of dikes and cracks, have often most fantastic forms. Sometimes they are arched like a Gothic vault, resembling Fingal's Cave or Nuremberg architecture; in other parts we see a flat, horizontal roof, covering mysterious inlets, reminding us of the entrance to the lethal chambers of the Pharaohs. In many of these caves seals used to breed, but the irrational way in which the natives slaughtered them has finally driven them away altogether. As we row farther north, we encounter many a fine example of rocks that have been broken off and slid down as stacks, which are now separated from the main rock barely wide enough to admit our small boat."