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Feb. 28, 1835.]
We have not yet received any satisfactory explanation of the cause of the inequality of the length of the limbs. Of course, more rapid growth of one limb than of the other may take place; but why this should be so, or whether it takes place in childhood or youth, is not known, and, as Dr Garson says, 'will always be more or less a matter of theory. Asymmetry,' he states, 'is almost invariably found throughout the whole skeleton. For example, it is extremely rare to find a skull the two sides of which are absolutely symmetrical.' Right and left handedness are, we know, due to greater preference or use of an individual arm, infants or children being equally dexterous with both, though usually acquiring a preferential use for the right hand. Greater dexterity is coincident with greater length of the dexterous arm, longer right arms predominating. This contrasts strangely with Dr Garson's observation that left-leggedness predominates; and a comparison of his measurements of the lower and upper limbs shows that in the majority of cases the right arm and the left leg are the longer in the individual. Thus he found that in fifty skeletons the right arm and the left leg were longer in twenty-three cases; the left arm and the right leg in six; the limbs on the right side longer than those on the left in thirteen cases; those on the left side were the longer in four cases; and in the remaining skeletons, the inequality of the limbs was somewhat varied. We cannot, therefore, assume that sleeping on a particular side, or any other habit which would tend to retard or promote growth of both limbs of one side, is the cause of the physical inequality. The evidence, however, is sufficient to show that inequality does exist; and this inequality explains why two persons walking together in a fog may unknowingly become separated, one of them may be left-legged, and diverge to the right; and the other, if right-legged, will diverge to the left.
but irregular; therefore, it is necessary that it should be stored in wet seasons for use in periods of drought.
The beet sugar-factory at Lavenham (Suffolk) has now commenced operations, with the best wishes of all interested in this new departure in British agriculture for its success. The process adopted takes advantage of all the improvements which have been introduced in continental factories during recent years, and it may be briefly described as follows: The roots, after being cleaned, are sliced into small pieces and shot into several receptacles, where water at varying temperatures exhausts them of most of their sugar, salts, and impurities. The spent beet is then, under pressure, made to yield still more; the residue being a valuable food for cattle, and worth six shillings per ton. The beet solution is now boiled with lime, which, when it has done its purifying work, is precipitated by means of carbonic acid gas blown through the liquid. It is afterwards treated with strontia, which separates the crystallisable sugar from the other constituents of the liquor; and the sugar is eventually concentrated in vacuum pans in the usual manner. The Lavenham works owe their existence to the enterprise of Messrs Bolton & Company; and if they prove successful, it is intended to extend the system to many other suitable districts of England.
The innocent little superstitions respecting the weather which our forefathers indulged in, are often, in these days of scientific forecasting, found at fault. An instance of this has been afforded by the recent Christmas. Berries were so superabundant that old folks shook their heads and uttered warnings of a hard winter. But instead of frost, we have had moist, dull, uncomfortable days of the most opposite character.
Mr H. H. Johnston recently published an interesting account of his expedition to the Kilimanjaro district of Eastern Africa, which will be found on the map slightly north of Zanzibar. The climate is that of a Devonshire summer. The traveller established a little village on a THE Indian section of the Society of Arts had splendid site eleven thousand feet above the sealately the opportunity of listening to an exhaus-level, from which Eastern Africa seemed spread out below him like a veritable map. From this point, Mr Johnston constantly ascended to greater heights; but his excursions were limited by reason of the natives refusing, on account of the cold, to ascend into the still higher mountain regions. The natives who inhabit the mountain of Kilima-njaro are tractable, and have a great notion of trade. They speak dialects belonging to the great Bantu group of languages. springs occur at a height of fourteen thousand feet. Birds are abundant below, but rare above ten thousand feet. The Hyrax-the cony of Scripture-is common; while buffaloes, and even elephants, ascend the mountain to a great height. Mr Johnston has made a valuable collection, which he hopes will indicate the true relationships and character of the fauna and flora of this interesting region, which, according to his eloquent description, is a terrestrial paradise.
tive paper upon
The alarming earthquake shocks in Southern Spain have once more called attention to this most terrible of all the phenomena of nature, and again raised the question as to whether buildings cannot be protected against the effects of such
shocks. According to the best authorities, the loss of life usually experienced could be almost wholly stopped if houses were built to resist earthquake shocks. One writer points out that such houses should be built with timbers firmly bolted together on the principle of a ship. If this were attended to,' he writes, "there need never be the least danger; for at the worst, it is not to be supposed that the motion of the earth can amount in degree to that of the waves of the sea.' At San Francisco, where earthquakes are common, the builders of the Palace Hotel have adopted a patent embodying this principle, the walls being tied together by strong iron rods in every direction.
Miss Ormerod's valuable Report upon the injurious insects of 1884, and the means which have been found successful in suppressing them, has been presented to the Royal Agricultural Society. It is full of interest both for the agriculturist and the entomologist. The Report is so wide in its range that it would be quite impossible to do justice to it in the limited space at our command; but there are one or two observations which must not be passed over without remark, with regard to the dreaded hop aphis. There seems now no reason to doubt that the hop is attacked in the early spring by wingless females, which deposit upon the tender shoots living lice. Miss Ormerod is of the opinion, too, that the winged aphides which attack the plant later on, and which come from the sloe and damson as well as from the hops, represent slight varieties of one and the same species. For experimental purposes, an acre of hop-land was set apart with a view to determining the best way of dealing with the intruders, and various agents were employed as insecticides. Of these, mineral oil (paraflin) mixed with dry earth or similar material gave the best results. With reference to the caterpillars of the winter moth, which are so destructive to the foliage of fruit-trees, it is recommended that the best plan for their discomfiture is to smear the trees in December with a band of sticky fluid-known as Davidson's Composition-about twelve inches in width. The female moths, whose wings seem to be merely ornamental, are thus arrested by hundreds as they creep up the tree.
The lull in the recent excitement concerning electricity as a rival illuminant to gas may be traced to two main causes. One of these is the circumstance that many undeserving inventions were pushed to the front by unscrupulous or ignorant speculators. Companies were formed, only to come to grief after a brief period of existence. In this way, capital was soon frightened away from electric-lighting schemes, however promising they might be. The other cause of depression was due to the stringent rules adopted by the Board of Trade to prevent the recurrence of a monopoly such as is presented by the gas and water Companies. These rules have now been reconsidered by a Committee, with Lord Bury as chairman, and this Committee has given in its Report. Several modifications are recommended by which the Electric Lighting Act of 1882 may be made workable; but it is doubtful whether the gas Companies have any need to fear a rival until some much improved method of producing and popularising the light is discovered.
At Bellegarde (France), the inhabitants have the
advantage of a natural fall of water of about one hundred and sixty feet. Its strength has been intensified by throwing a dam across the stream where it occurs, with the result that a power of two thousand horses is obtained. This power is made to turn a large turbine, which actuates a couple of powerful Gramme machines. From this source, part of the town is lighted by electricity. Dr Bond, of Gloucester, has contrived Lactoscope, which will be found extremely useful where milk is suspected of having been mixed with water. It consists of a little glass dish with some black lines ruled across its interior, and a pipette, from which fluid can be dropped. The dish is filled when required for use with a measured quantity of water. pipette is then filled with the milk to be tested, which, drop by drop, is added to the water until the black lines are obscured, the number of drops required before this end is attained being counted. A table is supplied by which the amount of butterfat contained in the milk to give this result can be ascertained. This is not the first milk-tester which has been contrived which owes its efficiency to the relative opacity of pure milk and milk and water; but it is a very ingenious application of the principle.
In this connection, the following notes relative to the profits derived from milk-adulteration may be instructive. The Local Government Board, in a Report lately issued, say: 'Milk continues to be the chief subject of analysis, and the proportion of samples reported against is about one-fifth of the whole number examined. In the metropolis, however, the proportion is still larger, amounting to about twenty-six per cent. On a former occasion, we gave the grounds for a calculation that Londoners are paying between seventy and eighty thousand pounds a year for water sold under the name of milk, and we are inclined to think that the estimate was by no means excessive. We find that the public analyst for Plumstead calculates that in that single district the milkmen receive between seven and eight thousand pounds for water, while the fines for adulteration amount to about one hundred pounds annually.'
Now that the camel is being utilised as part of the equipment of the British army in the desert, attention is naturally turned to his capabilities and general behaviour. According to a correspondent of the Times, the endurance of the animal is very great. If required, it will go for a week without water, travelling every day, and will cover great distances at a good speed in a short time. But, according to Colonel Colborne, the animal has no right whatever to be termed patient. As far as my experience goes,' he writes, "the camel is about the most impatient brute in the whole animal creation. He grumbles and swears when required to start, and grumbles and swears when he is required to stop; roars at you when you get on, roars at you when you get off, as he does when he is laden, and when he is unladen. His patience is usually the result of senility. He is usually vicious, and is often addicted to bolting. Neither is his intelligence sufficiently strong to allow him to distinguish noxious plants, and he is at all times a subject of anxiety to his driver on this account.'
Mr T. S. Wilson, the British vice-consul at
Lofoten (Norway), gives some interesting data concerning the application of surplus fish as a manure to land,' In his district, he tells us, there are several manufactories where the fish is dried and reduced to powder, one factory alone having used thirty thousand barrels of herrings and more than ten thousand tons of fish of all kinds during the past year. The whole of this product comes to Great Britain, and is used for dressing the land. Those good people who will perhaps exclaim at this apparent waste of food-material, must remember that the fish if not used thus would be wasted, for it represents the surplus, which, for various reasons, cannot be exported or preserved for food. Used as a manure, it does permanent good to the soil, and produces valuable crops.
A simple but valuable invention has been brought before the Society of Architects by Mr George Wright, of 3 Westminster Chambers, London. It consists of a fixing-block made of fireproof material, which can be inserted into a wall like an ordinary brick, and into which nails can be driven with great ease. We need hardly point out that in every building there are many places where woodwork has to be attached to brickwork and masonry. The usual plan is to insert blocks of wood, which commonly shrink, require to be wedged up, and are certainly dangerous, from risk of fire, in the neighbourhood of stoves and chimneys. Indeed, many destructive fires have been traced to the presence of woodwork in unsuspected places. Mr Wright's fixing-blocks at once do away with this difficulty, and they are further of great use in bellhangers' and gasfitters' work.
An important experiment in water-purification has recently been carried out at Philadelphia, under the superintendence of the chief engineer to the water-supply department of that city. It has been known for some time that the purifying action of air upon water is much increased if the two be mingled under pressure, but the fact existed simply as the result of a laboratory experiment. To try the practicability of the principle on a big scale, a large turbine was converted into an air-pump, and was made to deliver a measured volume of air to a watermain. On analysis of the water before and after the experiment, it was found that the quantity of free oxygen in the water had increased by seventeen per cent. The amount of oxygen indicated represents the excess of what was required to purify the organic matter contained in the water previous to its aeration. The result of the experiment is considered highly satisfactory.
It is most satisfactory to find that the past year is distinguished by the fewest number of fatal accidents in our coal-mines of any year since official returns have been published, while at the same time the output of coal has amounted to the extraordinary total of one hundred and seventy million tons. In the half-century which covers the reign of Queen Victoria we find a rapid increase of the amount of coal annually raised, from thirty million tons to the amount just quoted. These figures naturally remind us of the old scare with regard to the ultimate exhaustion of our coal-fields, anent which we quote the words of Sir F. Bramwell at the meeting of the British Association four years
ago, who said that 'unless some wholly unexpected improvement were made in the steam-engine, those who lived to see the centenary of the Association in 1931 would find the steam-engine had become a curiosity, and was relegated to museums; for he could not believe steam (generated by coal) would continue to be the vehicle for transmitting heat into work.' These words the speaker indorsed the other day at the Institution of Civil Engineers.
There is no doubt that the reduction of fatal accidents in our mines is due to the various improvements which have been introduced, and to the attention which has been bestowed by competent men upon the causes which lead to explosions. Improved safety-lamps have, too, supplanted the old 'Davy,' which had no pretension to be called a safety-lamp, after modern plans of ventilation of mines were adopted. In still air, it was safe; but when the air in the workings attained a certain velocity, as it must do to secure good ventilation, it was worse than useless. In 'fiery' mines, it is now illegal to use gunpowder for blasting, and here we have another wise provision, which has doubtless saved many lives. There is reason to believe that with still further improvements in the methods of coalgetting, that industry will be as free from risk to the workers as other occupations which are carried on above ground.
Once more an outery has arisen concerning mysterious illnesses which have eventually been traced to arsenical wall-papers. There is an erroneous idea that brilliant green is the only colour that is dangerous in this respect; but as a matter of fact, arsenic may be present in colours of many other hues. In the sanitary and unsanitary houses exhibited at the Health Exhibition, the latter was purposely hung with arsenical papers, and green was conspicuous by its absence; while in the sanitary house, green was present in abundance, but without any help from arsenic. Householders can easily protect themselves in this matter by observing two rules
the one is, to require a warranty from the paper-hanger that the paper supplied is free from the poison; and the other is, to have every shred of old paper stripped from the walls before the new paper is put on. We shall have some further remarks to offer on this subject, by-and-by.
We understand that an Exhibition of Photographs by Amateurs is shortly to be opened in London, under the auspices of the Stereoscopic Company, who offer valuable prizes for the best pictures in different classes. Gentlemen who are well known in the art world will act as judges. Photography is now so fashionable an amusement, that this Exhibition is likely to prove one of the successes of the London season.
Mr Henry Ffennell has published some interesting notes which he has collected with reference to the largest salmon taken, both with net and rod, from the principal rivers in the kingdom during the past year. The Tay, as might be expected, heads the list with a noble sixtypounder; the Shannon gave up the next largest fish, weighing fifty-seven pounds; then follow the Tyne, fifty-one pounds; the Eden, forty-two pounds; the Derwent, forty-one pounds; the Tweed, thirty-nine pounds; and the Clyde, thirtyeight pounds. As a curiosity of fishing, it is
recorded that during the last week of the season the scale of being?' it is rather surprising to at North Shields a fish of forty pounds kindly be told it is 'his shirt.' It surely must have jumped into a boat lying at the fish-quay! Mr been the same boy who replied that the chief Ffennell remarks that the largest salmon which end of man was, "The end what's got his head he ever saw, and which weighed seventy pounds, was that taken in the Tay in the year 1870, and of which a cast was made for the Fish Museum at South Kensington by the late Frank Buckland, who named it "The King of Scots.'
Mr Guy, secretary of the Howietoun Fishery, has received a letter from Mr Spencer F. Baird, United States Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, conveying the following information: I have much pleasure in acknowledging the arrival, in excellent condition, of the trout eggs sent by you per Furnessia. Some of these were transferred to Mr Mather's station at Cold Spring Harbour, N. Y., and the remainder to the White Fish station of the Commission, in charge of Mr Frank N. Clark, at Northville, Michigan. Both gentlemen greatly admire the method in which the eggs were packed, and the perfect condition in which they came to hand.'
In an article on Curiosities of the Electric Light,' which appeared in this Journal for March 1, last year, the following passage occurred: Fog has a peculiarly strong quenching power over the [electric] are-light, owing to the preference it has for absorbing all the blue rays, and to the comparative poverty of the orange colour. A single gas jet can be seen about as far as a two-thousandcandle arc-light. This is because the gas jet is rich in those red rays which penetrate a fog without being absorbed.' With regard to this, an Australian correspondent writes us: "The above passage brought to my mind what I was told years ago, that when driving at night in a fog, and the carriage or buggy lamps will not show the road, the light can be made to penetrate the fog by simply spreading a common red silk pocket-handkerchief over the glass of the lamps. This hint, even if of no use to electricians, may benefit some one compelled to drive home in the "small-hours."
THE knowledge attributed to the proverbial
In many cases, it is evident that the pupils do not understand what the questions mean. When inquiring, 'What comes next to man in
on.' The first man that went round the world was, in a little girl's opinion, 'The man in the A consonant is a 'portion of land surrounded by water.' It was 'Daniel in the lion's den' who said, 'It is not good for man to be alone;' and 'why the Israelites made a golden calf' was, 'Because they hadn't enough silver to make a cow.'
Reports of School-board examinations will form quite a comic library. 'What would have happened if Henry IV. of France had not been murdered?' The reply was: 'He would probably have died a natural death.' 'Where was Bishop Latimer burned to death?' 'In the fire,' replied a little fellow, looking very grave and wise. An equally unexpected reply was the Israelites do when they came out of the elicited from a pupil when asked, 'What did Red Sea?' 'They dried themselves.'-'What First bright boy: is the feminine of friar?' 'Hasn't any.'-'Next.' Second bright boy: 'Nun.' 'That's right.' First boy, indignantly: 'That's just what I said!'
The following is still more ludicrous. A teacher asked a juvenile class some questions regarding their knowledge of electricity, and inquired which of them had
ever seen a
magnet. One sharp boy immediately said he had seen lots of them. 'Where?' inquired his instructor, astonished at his proficiency. 'In cheese,' was the ready reply.
But the good things are not all monopolised by the boys. Some little girls were studying the history of David, the passage for the day being that which describes the shepherd boy's victory over Goliath. The teacher asked the question, Now, can any of you little girls tell me who killed the giant?' Quick as thought, one of the smallest responded, 'Jack.' An examination of girls in Board schools for prizes offered by the National Health Society revealed some curious items of information. One reply to, Mention any occupations considered injurious to health,' was: Occupations which are injurious to health are carbolic acid gas, which is impure blood.' said: A stone-mason's work is injurious, because when he is chipping he breathes in all the little chips, and then they are taken into the lungs.' A third says: A bootmaker's trade is very injurious, because the bootmakers press the boots against the thorax; and therefore it presses the thorax in, and it touches the heart; and if they do not die, they are cripples for life.' With a beautiful decisiveness, one girl declares that all mechanical work is injurious to health.' A reply to a question about digestion runs: 'We should Another states that when food is swallowed, it never eat fat, because the food does not digest.' passes through the windpipe;' and that the chyle flows up the middle of the backbone, and reaches the heart, where it meets the oxygen, and is purified.' Another says: "The work of
the heart is to repair the different organs in he fell among thieves and the thorns sprang about half a minute.' One little physiologist replies: "We have an upper and a lower skin; the lower skin moves at its will, and the upper skin moves when we do.' Another child says: 'The heart is a comical shaped bag.' A third, that the upper skin is called eppederby, and the lower skin is called derby;' while a fourth enumerates the organs of digestion as 'stomach, utensils, liver, and spleen.'
up and choaked him-whereupon he gave tuppins to the host, and praid take care on him and put him hon his hone hass. And he past by on the other side.' This and the following are not, as might be supposed, American exaggerations, but authenticated instances of examiners' experiences.
Another school furnishes us with some choice specimens of general information, geography, history, and grammar. With reference to the first, we are told that 'the first day in Lent is called Matrimony, moreover, that Matrimony is necessary to salvation;' and that 'our neighbour' is the person next door.' In geography, for instance, a volcano is a large mountain with a hole at the top and a fireplace at the bottom, and sometimes the fire comes out at the top and destroys the cities at the bottom, if there are any A watershed is a mountain like a cave, by which the river flows. A steppe is a mountain in France; and last, not least, we learn that we can go from London to Liverpool by the Brighton and South Coast line.' Equally ingenious and curious are the answers in grammar. One boy discovered there are three kinds of 'gs'-the hard 'g, the soft 'g,' and the 'refugee.' Beau has for the feminine, 'arrow ;' peacock, 'peacockess; and German, 'Gerwoman; the feminine of bachelor is old maid, widow; of gosling, ganderess; and of fox, 'hare.' The plural of colloquy is colleagues, colloquise; and the chief parts of teach, teacher, taught.'
In English history, more surprises await us. 'King Stephen was the first English martyr who was martyred in England; he was burned alive in St Albans in Holborn.' Magna Charta was a great man, and he was called Magna Charta because he used to go about preaching.' Heptarchy was called the United States, it appears, at one time; and it also may not be generally known that 'Saint Thomas à Becket was a tax-gatherer; and one day he quarrelled with the Black Prince, and wanted to kill him.' One sapient historian observed that the Treaty of Utrecht was fought between the Zulus and the English.' Some remarkable and original information was given, too, regarding Chaucer, Spenser, and Swift. The first-named person, it seems, wrote sop's Fables; the second wrote the Wealth of Nations; while the third, who lived in John's reign, was a great astronomer and joker.'
The last specimen is in answer to the question, 'Who was Moses ?'-' He lived in a hark maid of bullrushes, and he kept a golden calf and worshipt braizen snakes, and he het nothin but qwhales and manner for forty years. kart by the air while riding under a bow of a tree and he was killed by his son Abslon as he was hanging from the bow. His end was peace.'
THE AMERICAN BISON.
WITH reference to the present distribution of this almost extinct animal, an American paper states as follows: "The division of the buffalo herds by the Union Pacific and Kansas Pacific railroads left two great bands of them-one on the north, and the other on the south side of the tracks. Those on the south side-in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona-have long since disappeared from the ranges, their places being taken by the herds of domestic cattle and numerous from the north-west dates from the conquest of flocks of sheep. The disappearance of the buffalo Sitting Bull. When the military drove that great Indian warrior from the hunting-grounds of his tribe, the buffalo went with the red men. In the country were thousands upon thousands of buffaloes that fell beneath the bullets of the
soldiers when there were no Indians to shoot at.
death to the buffaloes.
It was grand sport for the soldiers, but it was Upon the prairies of Dakota and Montana, where they once wandered in thousands, not a single one is now to be found. The only remnants of these mighty herds that once thronged the north-west are a few hundred animals scattered in the vicinity of Woody Mountain, across the line in British Manitoba. Last year a herd of about seventy-five thousand were corraled in the forks of the Little Missouri, on the south side of the Yellowstone River; but they were rounded up by the Gros Ventres and Crows, who attempted to drive them on their reservations before the white hunters could get a shot at them. In this they were unsuccessful, for the white hunters did get wind of the affair, with them, not five thousand of that mighty herd and by the time both reds and whites got through
But it is in sacred history that many bright pupils surpass themselves in leaving the region of facts, and boldly plunging into a sea of specu- which did not get over in safety, continued their were left to cross the Yellowstone. The remnant, lation. In the opinion of one, the Pharisees were bad people who used to wash.' Pontius journey into the north, and at last found a refuge Pilot, another affirmed, was one of the Arabian near Woody Mountain, in the British terriNights; and a third genius discovered that 'the tory.' Greek translation of the Old Testament was called Latin. To the question, "Who wrote the Catechism?' one said, 'St Paul; another, 'Moses;' and a third, 'One of the prophets.'-To whom did St Philip preach?' was one of the questions put. To the unicorn,' was the answer.
Here is the pith of a talented youngster's paper on the Good Samaritan.' A certing man went down from jerslam to jeriker, and
In all glass factories, the waste sand accumulates generally in very large quantities, so that it is difficult at times to know what to do with it. We learn, however, from a French publication (Le Bulletin Technologique) that a remedy has been found for this, by which the waste sand will not only be used up, but will be of great service in the production of articles of a kind