Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/748

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

are to be kept for some time before they are buried; instead of having the usual stiff look, the features and color will seem fresh and unchanged, and the bodies will not have a trace of odor. For embalming, I infect the corpse first, then put it into the fluid, and, after keeping it there for a few day.^, rub it and dry it, wrap it up in a cloth moistened with the preserving fluid, and keep it in an air-tight case. The treatment in different cases is governed by circumstances, but the composition of the preserving fluid is always the same."

 

Applications for Phylloxera.—M. Mouillefert, of the École Rationale d'Agriculture of Grignon, reported to the Academy of Sciences, Paris, November 10th, the results which had been obtained from the treatment of vines affected by the phylloxera with sulpho-carbonate of potassa. The efficacy of the salt appeared to be certain when it was applied with water according to the rules approved by the commission of the Academy. Vines that were very much weakened had been regenerated after such treatment, became free from spots, and bore fruit as they had done before they were attacked. The importance of water as the vehicle with which the remedy should be applied was strongly insisted upon. The sulpho-carbonate may be applied in all weathers and in all seasons, even in the cold months, without any danger to the vines; up to a certain dose (eighteen to twenty-five ounces to the square yard), the remedial effects are in nearly a direct proportion to the amount of the salt applied. At a subsequent meeting of the same body, December 1st, M. Frémy disputed the value of the sulphuret of carbon as a remedy for the phylloxera, and asked several questions of M. Thénard, who has recommended the application of that substance, as follows; 1. We know that sulphuret of carbon kills the phylloxera, but it also kills the vines; can we find a certain way of securing the former result while we avoid the latter? 2. Can sulphuret of carbon be easily and practically applied without affecting the health of the vine-dressers? 3. It is alleged that, by sacrificing one third of the vines, we can save the other two thirds; is this true? 4. Has the invasion of the phylloxera been arrested anywhere by the employment of sulphuret of carbon? Even if we are pointed to an apparent instance of the fact, we shall have to accept it with reserve; for cases are known in which vines which have not been treated still remain healthy in the midst of contaminated vineyards. M. Thénard failed to give a precise reply to the questions, which indicate very clearly the qualities that are required in a safe and efficacious remedy for the disease.

 

Parkes on Tobacco-Smoking.—We give below a very interesting and instructive letter written by the late Dr. Parkes, a short time before his death, in reply to a request for his views on the subject of tobacco smoking, and recently published in the "Lancet":

My dear Dr. Pratt: I think my state of mind as regards tobacco is very much what yours seems to be. I have honestly tried to collect evidence from moderate smokers, both medical men and others, and, when tolerance has been established, I have never been able to make out any symptoms which implied injury. In the case of many medical men whom I have asked to study their own condition, the answer has always been the same—viz., they could see no harm or disturbance of any function. Even in some cases of enormous smokers—i. e., men who rarely were without a pipe or cigar—I could learn of no injury. On the other hand, I have seen, like all of us, men complaining of dyspepsia, nervousness, palpitation, etc., and who were much better for leaving off smoking; in fact, in these cases there could be no doubt of an injurious effect. In boys of fourteen or fifteen who begin to smoke, I think I have observed that tolerance is slowly attained, that appetite is less, and I presume digestion and nutrition less good, and that the complexion becomes pasty and less florid and clear. There was a striking case of this kind in the son of a medical friend, who watched his son naturally very carefully, and who told me that the effect of the tobacco (a good deal was smoked) was quite unmistakable. I persuaded the son to lessen his tobacco one half, and his health certainly improved, but he was then a young man. That some injury, therefore, is sometimes produced, and