Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/654

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
634
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of paper are moistened on the surface, placed on each other, and thoroughly pressed. They thus are made to adhere firmly together, and are then fashioned into the various forms required. The product may replace corrugated iron for roofing, or it may be made into columns and flutings for internal decoration. It is said to be a very durable material even when exposed to air and rain.

 

Bowlder-like Masses of Clay in the Long Island Drift.—An extensive excavation in the side of Harbor Hill, near Brooklyn, Long Island, has revealed the presence of detached bowlder-like masses of clay embedded in the drift. Mr. Elias Lewis, of Brooklyn, who has examined these objects, writes that they lie unbroken like bowlders of granite, and have the same rounded outline. One mass, consisting of a tough, fine-grained bluish-gray clay, was eight feet in vertical diameter, and seven feet through from side to side. Mr. Lewis is of the opinion that these masses were transported by ice and deposited in a frozen state, but adds that it is difficult to understand how they should have retained their form beneath moving water during the long time necessary for the accumulation of the layers of gravel and sand which surround them; nor is it clear how stratification of deposits could occur in water deep enough to float icebergs.

Will some one familiar with glacial deposits inform the readers of The Monthly whether similar masses of clay or earth of any kind are common in the recognized glacial drift?

 

Fuzi-Yama and Hakusan.—These, the two highest and most famous mountains of Japan, have lately had a new determination of their respective heights. A British officer made the ascent of Fuzi-Yama, on the 9th of September, and found, by approved and carefully-conducted methods, the height to be 13,080.32 feet, which is less than its accepted altitude, namely 14,177 feet. This same officer ascended Hakusan, being the first foreigner that has done so. His measurement makes this mountain higher than the accepted figures, which Stieler sets down at 8,178 feet. The new measurement gives 9,200 feet. Both these mountains are held sacred by the Japanese, Fuzi-Yama perhaps being specially so, as its singular name would imply, which means the "No-two-mountain;" that is, the none-such, the peerless, the inimitable. They are both volcanic mountains, with vast craters. Hakusan is snowcapped the whole year, while it may be called a snow-mountain for two-thirds of the year. It is some-times called "Siro-Yama," White Mountain, and is truly the Mont Blanc of Japan. Both mountains are yearly visited by many thousand pilgrims. This last explorer describes Fuzi-Yama as an ash-heap, with a cone of lava and clinker. The only vegetation at top were lichens. "The crater, by approximate measurement, was found to be 2-miles in circumference, and its depth about 440 feet." As the mountain is a cone, and stands by itself, it is regarded as the most beautiful mountain in the world. It would be rare to find a Japanese landscape in which the artist has not by some ingenuity introduced the peerless Fuzi-Yama.

 

Combustion under Pressure.—It is shown from the observations of James B. Eads, C.E., as given in the Journal of the Franklin Institute, that combustion goes on at the same rate in compressed as in free air. There is, however, this difference between the phenomena of combustion under the two conditions, that a flame is more readily extinguished in free than in compressed air. This is demonstrated by Mr. Eads's experiments with the flame of a candle under varying pressures. Thus, at the depth of 108½ feet in a shaft, the flame having been blown out thirteen times in rapid succession, it reappeared at the wick each time, except the last. At a somewhat greater depth, and under 52 lbs. pressure to the square inch, the flame was in the same way extinguished fifty-two times, with the same result. Mr. Eads's explanation is, that the abnormal pressure brings the oxygen of the air into close contact with the incandescent body, and so tends to keep up combustion; but the process is not more rapid than under ordinary circumstances, for the reason that the increased density of the air retards the movement of the gases resulting from combustion and surrounding the flame.