Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/152
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
you were now in a good humor and it was the time to get all he could from you. As far as it could be seen, it appeared to be the general belief that all property, especially in the way of food, belonged to everybody in common, and therefore, if you held more than another, it was only because you and your family were physically strong enough to protect it. Few men would, of course, steal from one another when food was plentiful, and thereby make enemies for themselves; "but when food is scarce, might is right," and all make note of the position of their neighbors' caches before the winter snow covers them. The Eskimos are exceedingly free, and never consider a man their superior unless he or his family are physically stronger or are better hunters than they. These superior men are treated with little deference, though they are usually sought for in the settlement of difficulties, and act as public executioners.
Central Asian Phenomena. — M. Gabriel Bonvaldt and the Prince Henri of Orleans were received by the Geographical Society of Paris on the last day of January, on the occasion of their return from a journey through the heart of central Asia from the frontiers of Russian Turkistan to Tonquin. They claim to have discovered ranges of mountains, lakes, extinct volcanoes, geysers, and a pass at a height of 6,000 metres, never before explored. Yaks, antelopes, wild horses, and other animals were numerous below 5,000 metres, but birds had disappeared, and there was no vegetation. The travelers and their men and animals suffered greatly from "mountain-sickness." The party went by what is called "the little road" from Thibet to China, which they believed had never been explored. They found well-wooded valleys full of game — meeting twenty-one bears in three days — and often well cultivated and studded with villages; and they crossed the upper waters of several of the rivers of eastern Asia, including, as they supposed, the Yang-tse-kiang. Among the more important features of the country was a hitherto unknown volcanic region. Two isolated volcanoes were named the Pic de Paris and Mont Réclus. A group of other volcanoes gave them reminders of the craters of Auvergne, appearing like tunnels with a small cone in the center. Lava-blocks were numerous, some of them being two cubic metres in dimension. From a distance they might have been taken for yaks. Hot sulphur springs and frozen geysers were numerous. Many minerals were found, including iron and lead. Curious gray monkeys with long hair and short tails were found living among the rocks at the foot of Mont Duplex, but nowhere else.
The Future of the Lobster-fishery. — The experiments begun a few years ago for improving the lobster and cod fisheries of the coasts of Newfoundland promise to be successful. Besides 15,000,000 lobsters hatched and placed in the waters at the Dildo hatchery, 432 floating incubators have been established, at which more than 390,000 lobsters have been hatched. All these would have been lost except for these operations. Lobsters arrive at maturity in five years; and if the useful work now going on is continued year after year, it is evident that the threatened destruction of the lobster can be averted, and the stock in the waters maintained and extended. The cod-hatchery has not been quite so successful, but still the results have been very satisfactory. Fishermen in the neighborhood of Trinity Bay are said to have recently observed large shoals of small cod, which they have not noticed before, from one to two inches long; and this, it is claimed, would be the present size of the fry placed in the waters in June and July last.
A remarkable meteor, found in Arizona, was described by Prof. A. E. Foote, in the Geological Section of the American Association. It was extraordinarily hard, so that a number of chisels were destroyed in cutting it, and the emery wheel used in polishing it was ruined. Cavities were reached in cutting it, which were found to contain diamonds, small and black, and of little commercial value, but of the greatest mineralogical interest. Granules of amorphous carbon were found within the cavity, in which a minute white diamond was revealed by treatment with acid. The general mass of the stone contained three per cent of nickel. Diamonds were previously observed in a meteorite by two Russian mineralogists in 1887.