Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/601

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SOAP-BUBBLES.

and, stopping the orifices of all the spiracles but one, he will find that through that one he may inject the whole labyrinth of air-vessels with carmine.

I observed that a correspondent, J. G. D., in December last, was much surprised at the display of a phosphorescent light by a centipede he had found. Geophilus electricus, a member of the same family, and a near relation of our Subterraneus, must have been the pyrotechnist he chanced upon. "The caustic brown fluid which most Myriapoda when touched emit from a row of orifices, foramina repugnatoria, situated on the sides of the segments of the body, and which exhales an odor like that of chlorine, is secreted by small pyriform glandular follicles situated immediately beneath the skin; it is from glands upon the sides of the body analogous to these that Geophilus electricus emits a luminous liquid."

It would be most interesting to ponder over the three varieties of breathing apparatus mentioned by Siebold, and to note their special adaptations to the life conditions and necessities of the three distinct genera provided with them; and there are other wonders in the ways and mechanism of each and all of them that one longs to dwell upon; but we are not essayists here, only cheerful "gossips" of the wayside, who seek to be merry and wise, accurate, though simple and amusing. We have run to the end of our tether, and must say good-by to Geophilus subterraneus and all the Myriapods.Science-Gossip.

 
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SOAP-BUBBLES.[1]
By Prof. RÜCKER.

IN the museum of the Louvre, in Paris, there is a vase which has by some strange chance been handed down to us through the long ages which have proved fatal to many others far more worthy of preservation than itself. It was manufactured in Italy—before the foundation of the city of Rome—by the ancient Etruscans, and it is decorated—and this is the reason I bring it to your notice this evening—with a design representing a group of children blowing bubbles. This ancient relic of those early days incontestably proves to us that the art of performing that beautiful experiment, if not with soap and water, at least with some one of the comparatively few liquids with which it can be satisfactorily undertaken, has been known at least for twenty-five hundred years. But, though generation after generation the children amused themselves with it, century after century passed away, leaving unanswered, and in all probability unthought of, the

  1. A lecture delivered in the Hulme Town-Hall, Manchester, on Wednesday, November 3, 1875.