Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/153

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143
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

do so, and the patients would make much more rapid recoveries. I think that injection ought to be insisted upon as early as possible in every case that is at all severe or likely to prove so, and I think that the medical man who does not employ antitoxine and who loses a large proportion of his cases is incurring a responsibility which is almost criminal. The earlier a patient is injected the greater is the chance of recovery, and the more rapid is the recovery."

Among the leading principles of forestry, as defined by the chief fire warden of Minnesota, are that the best agricultural land should not be devoted to forest while wood and timber can be profitably grown on soil that is unfit for farming purposes; that the management should be continuous, and no more timber should be taken out of the forest in one year, or in a series of ten or twenty years, than grows in the entire forest in the same period; that the cutting of timber should be in blocks or strips, so as to facilitate reproduction on the clear areas by seeds falling from the trees left standing; and that the forest, when young, must have in numbers vastly more trees than when it is mature. To make good timber, the forest, when young, must be crowded so as to secure height growth. Mixed wood, managed on forestry principles in the Black Forest of Germany, has per acre, at the age of twenty years, 3,960 trees; at the age of one hundred years, 262 trees.

A new process for the production of a textile material is thus described in Industries and Iron: "It consists of 'squirting,' in a fashion similar to that of making electric incandescent carbons, pure gelatin in threads of about one thousandth part of an inch in diameter, the thread being taken away on revolving tapes. The threads are wound upon reels and exposed to formalin vapor, which exercises a most remarkable effect on the gelatin, rendering it insoluble in any medium yet applied to it. The tensile qualities of the thread are also increased, while, in opposition to that produced under the Lehner process (which is simply forming nitrated cellulose into threads for weaving), it is capable of taking up any dye desired; and it is, of course, impervious to any hygroscopic influence.


NOTES.

Prof. E. C. Pickering, of the Harvard College Observatory, announces the discovery by Mrs. Fleming of a new variable star in Sagittarius. It was found on eight of the photographs in her large collection. On March 8, 1898, it was of the fifth magnitude, and on April 29, 1898, of the eighth magnitude. A plate taken on March 9, 1899, shows it still visible and of the tenth magnitude. Its spectrum resembles that of other new stars. The entire number of new stars discovered since 1885 is six, of which five have been found by Mrs. Fleming.

Because of the great loss by fire which occurs every year in the Russian villages, the government is making efforts to induce the peasantry, says the Saturday Review, to employ some less dangerous material than straw thatch for the rooting of their izbas. There has already been a large increase in the use of shingle, and this has led to a considerable importation from Belgium and Germany, and also from the United States, of simple and inexpensive shingle making machines, for use in rural districts. German manufacturers, whose "commercial intelligence department" is remarkably well informed, are now making redoubled efforts to meet the immense demand anticipated. An improved and inexpensive hand fire engine is also being provided. Roofing felt or paper is very generally used under the shingle, and the demand for this is also increasing.

A fourth specimen of the Notornis Mantelli, a bird of New Zealand supposed to have become extinct, was captured in August last, and has been prepared for the museum by Mr. W. B. Benham. The first specimen was obtained, recently slain, by Mr. W. Man tell, in 1849, and is preserved in the British Museum; the second was killed by Maoris in 1851, and is in the Colonial Collection; and the third, now in the Dresden Museum, was taken in 1879. All these birds were found in a single denuded region of the country. The present specimen was caught by a dog in the bushes near Lake Te Anan, still in the same region, and is a very fine young female.

A plant growing in the dense jungles of Langsuam, Siam, was described by H. Warington Smyth, in an address to the Royal Geographical Society, as having the property of setting up a great irritation in the skin of any person coming in contact with it. "It has a large, broad leaf, and the Siamese declare that, after being badly stung by it, the only remedy is the heat of a fire; to bathe in a stream, which is the natural impulse, is considered absolutely fatal. A spot on the