Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/188

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176
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

paired memory, epilepsy or epileptiform attacks, headache, mania, partial or complete paraplegia (paralysis of the lower half of the body), partial or complete blindness, extreme intolerance of heat, especially of the sun's rays, rendering a person otherwise fairly healthy quite incapable of living in hot climates or of enduring any exposure to the sun; or, the attack may gradually end in complete fatuity, dementia, or epilepsy, perchance both; chronic meningitis, with thickening of the calvarium, accounting for the intense pains in the head; or, in a lesser degree, in disordered nervous condition and general functional derangement.

The less severe symptoms—those probably of the slighter forms of meningitis, or of cerebral change—occasionally pass away after protracted residence in a cold climate; they are, however, not unfrequently the cause of suffering, and of danger to and shortening of life, pointing to permanently disturbed if not structurally altered cerebro-spinal centers.—Abridged from Brain.

 
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THE VALUE OF OUR FORESTS.
By N. H. EGLESTON.

IT may be considered as now established, by the most careful and intelligent investigation of the subject, that the highest welfare of almost any country demands that from one fifth to one fourth of its surface shall be covered with trees, and that these shall be, to a good degree, in masses. England will at once be adduced, perhaps, as a country not well wooded, and yet one which compares favorably with others in regard to the conditions of living and her competency to secure the welfare of all classes of her people. But England is specially favored in other respects. She has a moist and equable climate secured to her by her surrounding seas and high latitude, while the general shape of her surface and her geological constitution exempt her from the alternations of flood and drought which in so many other countries result from the absence of forests.

Whether the forests insure a greater rainfall in their vicinity than is received upon an equal area of open land has been disputed among scientific men, though the preponderance of opinion now seems to favor the conclusion that the rainfall is most abundant in wooded regions. This corresponds also with the prevalent belief of the common people, the unscientific but practical observers.

A special committee of the Royal Academy of Vienna, reporting in 1874 upon a "Memoir of Mr. Hofrath Wex upon the Diminution of the Water of Rivers and Streams," used the following language upon this particular point: "The question of the influence of forests upon