Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/153

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143
NOTES.

Jenner Weir of a goat and its kids in the Zoölogical Gardens. A chain was attached to the animal's neck to keep him from jumping over the fence. He became accustomed to take the chain up by his horns and move it from one side to another over his back; in doing this he threw his head very much back, so as to place his horns in a line with his back. His offspring have inherited this habit, though it has not been necessary to put chains upon them.




NOTES.

According to Mr. F. F. Payne's paper in the Canadian Institute, the Eskimos of Hudson Strait have a right to be called keen observers of nature. The author found them of great assistance while he was making his collections of birds, insects, and plants. "If an insect was shown them," he says, "they could usually take me where more of the same species might be found. On the approach of summer, they watched with more interest its signs, and often would bring to me insects which they believed were the first of the season."

The use of borax for the preservation of milk, which has become quite common when the milk has to be carried for a considerable distance, has suggested the question whether we may not have in this a means of promoting immunity against scarlet fever. Recent investigations have shown that this disease is often carried by milk, and in all probability frequently starts from cows. It has been remarked by Prof. W. Mattieu Williams that in all the cases where an outbreak of scarlet fever has been traced to milk, the dairy has been a local one that is, a dairy that has supplied milk to families in its own immediate neighborhood, or so near as to render the use of borax unnecessary.

Fish-meat according to Prof. Atwater's researches, does not contain more phosphorus than ordinary butcher's meat. The benefit which brain-workers are said to derive from a diet of fish should therefore be ascribed, not to the phosphorus, but to the greater digestibility of the fish. The excess of phosphorus in the urine of such persons need not be regarded as a resultant of brain-work, but as an indication of the disordered digestion to which sedentary persons are liable. The recent researches of Zuelzer and others seem to indicate that excessive elimination of phosphorus by the urine is associated with nervous depression rather than with nerve activity.

Several instances of apparent counting are mentioned by Sir John Lubbock, in his "Senses of Animals," as exhibited by insects. The several species of Eumenes, for instance, supply their young with definite numbers of victims; and, while the males are smaller than the females, and require less food, the insect seems to know whether the egg will produce a male or a female grub, and apportions the quantity of food accordingly, giving five victims to the male and ten to the female. It is suggested by Mr. G. A. Freeman that the matter is one of physiological interval. The male eggs follow one another in less time than the female, giving time to store a smaller number of caterpillars before the next egg has to be provided for.

Powdered milk is prepared by reducing fresh milk, after having removed a portion of the cream, in a vacuum-pan, to the consistency of ordinary condensed milk. Granulated white sugar is next added, to render the mass sufficiently friable, and the temperature is lowered some twenty or thirty degrees. The contents are then removed from the vacuum-pan, and distributed in lumps, or reduced to a powder. It is claimed that powdered milk possesses excellent keeping qualities, even in moist air at high temperatures.

Dr. B. W. Richardson sounds the praises of a vegetarian diet when he assumes, in his lecture on "Ideal Foods," that what is commonly called happiness — lightness of heart, rapidity of thought, and all else that springs from a happy life is connected with what we take as food. That happiness is best sustained by those foods which minister quickest and with least trouble to the digestion, and therefore to the wants of the body. Sir James Hannen had been struck, when he changed from animal food to a nearly vegetarian system, by the state of happiness that he experienced, compared with what he had felt before. The speaker had also felt this in his own life, and most when he was most nearly a vegetarian.

Although it was written in French and translated from that language into English, Prof. Guyot's "Earth and Man" has only recently been published in French for the first time.

The security of the Davy safety lamp has been partly improved, while a remedy has been found for the obscurity produced by the use of Marsant's safety bonnet, by the application of Mr. Andrew Howat's "deflector." The leading feature of this device lies in a flanged ring which is to be fitted tightly between the outer metal shield or bonnet and the gauze cylinder, by means of which all the air admitted for combustion is carried under or near the bottom of the bonnet and passed through the gauze into the burner part of the lamp. A brilliant light is thus obtained. This lamp has been passed through some severe trials, and has always been extinguished at once when exposed in a current of explosive mixture.