Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/885

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NOTES.

shot a bullfinch by going into the hedge, finding a rabbit, and bringing it to him. Another dog, which knew tame ducks and that they were not hunted, but had no acquaintance with wild ones, was much disgusted when its master shot a teal, believing he had made a mistake, and would have nothing to do with the game. "He behaved in exactly the same way when we shot a black rabbit; nothing would persuade him that it was not a cat; and he would do no serious work for the rest of the day." The writer tells also of dogs that thought it beneath their dignity to chase rats, except when their masters were engaged in the sport; and he speaks of the very obvious dislike of dogs to be laughed at.

 

Suicidal Ingenuity.—A curious list and description of ingenious methods which insane patients with suicidal tendencies have adopted for disposing of themselves is given by Dr. H. Sutherland in a paper on the prevention of suicide in the insane. Patients with suicidal tendencies should be put under surveillance and constant attendance at once. Care must be taken against all imaginable and even some unimagined things with which they might contrive to kill themselves—medicines, pills, lotions, and plasters, and the patients' taking the prescribed doses, should be looked after, lest they by some craft accumulate a quantity sufficient to kill and take it all at once; keys, razors, knives and forks, fire-irons, even brooms, broken glass, and crockery, should be kept out of their hands; and nails, wires, ropes, sash-lines, bell-pulls, tapes, and string, lest they hang themselves. Even a piece of slate pencil or an old spoon may be used for the purpose of strangulation, by being attached to a string and then pushed through a keyhole and pulled taut. Patients working at their trades require constant watching and daily examination, for their tools and materials may be made to afford facilities for killing themselves. In fact, the ingenuity of these people can be matched only by ingenious vigilance and alertness.

 

Camphor.—The camphor tree, according to the United States consular report from Osaka, Japan, is a tree of the laurel family growing in southern Japan, the wood of which is valuable in ship-building. It grows in mountainous regions far from the sea. It is a well-proportioned, handsome evergreen, its elliptical, slightly dentate leaf turning a lighter color for one or two months in the spring. The berries grow in bunches. The tree is cut down for the collection of the camphor, but the law requires that it be replaced by another. It is then cut up into chips and steamed. The camphor and oil extracted by the steaming are passed through a connecting tube into a second receiver, and thence into a third, which is divided into two compartments, one above the other. These compartments are separated by a perforated partition, which gives passage to the water and the oil, while the camphor is deposited on a layer of straw provided for it. It is then separated from the straw and prepared for sale. The oil which is drawn out from the lower compartment is used for illumination.

 

NOTES.

The ethnographic exhibit at the Chicago Fair will be partly within the main building and partly outdoors—the collections being within and other features without. The American department will include specimens of native tribes living their usual life and engaged in their usual occupations; relief maps of the most famous earthworks of the Mississippi Valley; models of the mysterious structures of Yucatan and Central America, with casts of the hieroglyphics; Peruvian mummies; palæolithic implements and relics of the mound-builders; photographs of mounds and ruins from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego; illustrations of primitive religions, games, and folk lore; and numismatic, zoological, geographical, and natural history collections in general. Arrangements are being made to have the State historical exhibits placed in this department.

Since noticing Mr. Edward Atkinson's book on The Science of Nutrition, we have received a good many letters asking where the work can be obtained, information that we were unable to give when the notice was printed. We can now state that Messrs. Damrell & Upham, 283 Washington Street, Boston, are the publishers, and the price of the book is fifty cents.

An address on The Railroad in Education, delivered by Prof. Alexander Hogg, of Fort Worth, at the Texas Teachers' Association, in 1883, attracted attention at once by the breadth of its views and the novel suggestions it embodied. It was delivered again—rewritten—by request of the Commissioner