Popular Science Monthly/Volume 18/December 1880/Popular Miscellany
Lieutenant Schwatka's Arctic Journey.—The gap left in our knowledge of the ill-fated Arctic Expedition of Sir John Franklin, by the successive search-parties sent in quest of the explorers, has now been filled, as completely as it seems ever likely to be, by the remarkable achievement of Lieutenant Schwatka and his comrades, who have recently returned from their Arctic journey, after an absence of more than two years, Though the expedition was the poorest equipped of any of the similar ones which preceded it, it has accomplished more than any other, and that in the face of what would have seemed to less intrepid explorers insurmountable difficulties. The expedition of Sir John Franklin, consisting of the two ships Erebus and Terror, with a total party of one hundred and twenty-eight men, was sent out in the spring of 1845, and was never more seen. The mystery which enshrouded their fate was first unveiled by Dr. Rae, who, in 1853, found and brought to England a number of relics of the missing party, which are now in the British Museum, Dr. Rae's journey was made in the same general direction as that of Lieutenant Schwatka, but not over the same ground. Another expedition was sent out in 1858 under the command of Sir Leopold McClintock, who succeeded in obtaining the only written record that has been found. This showed that Franklin died on board ship in 1847, and the task of leading the way over the trackless Arctic fields, where the whole party perished miserably from cold and hunger, devolved upon Captain Crozier, the next in command. Franklin penetrated as far north OS latitude 77°, going through Baffin Bay, Barrow Strait, and up Wellington Channel, but was forced to return southward, and in latitude 70° was frozen in by the ice toward the close of 1846. The vessels were abandoned in the spring of 1848, and the party, now consisting of one hundred and five men, betook themselves to the land in the hope of reaching some outpost of the Hudson Bay Company. They reached an island named King William Land, beyond which they never got. The subsequent expeditions of Dr. Kane and Captain Hall gleaned some further information, but there was still much to be learned of the way and place in which the party perished, and of what had become of the records which they must have had with them. It was to clear up these points that the Schwatka expedition undertook its perilous and fortunately successful journey, upon information regarding the existence of records which seemed reliable. This information was that one Captain Barry, of a whaler, while wintering in Repulse Bay, had been given a spoon by the Esquimaux, which had belonged to the Franklin party, and that this captain had subsequently overheard some natives talking, and learned that this spoon came from a cairn in King William Land where there were others, as well as books and papers. When the expedition arrived at its destina- tion at a northern point of Hudson Bay, this story was found to be without founda- tion. Lieutenant Schwatlca, however, de- termined to malie the trip to King William Land, in the hope of obtaining new infor- mation of value. The journey was in every way a formidable undertaking, having to be made on sledges, many hundred miles across a totally unknown country, which had to be depended upon for food. The party consisted of four white men and thirteen Esquimaux, provided with but one month's provisions, but also amjjjy supplied with the best and most accurate American guns, to whose perfection, as it proved, they were indebted for being able to successfully ac- complish the task. The party left their camp upon Hudson Bay, which they had named Camp Daly, on the 1st of April, IS'ZS, and reached it again in March, after eleven months' absence, having traveled more than three thousand miles, and expe- rienced a degree of cold that seems incred- ible. The lowest temperature was 71, or 103 below the freezing-point, while the mean temperatuies for the months of No- vember and December, 1879, and January, 1880, were 49, 50 and 53'2. In such temperatures as these any object sears the skin as a red-hot iron, the slightest wind burns the face, and meat, hot from a boiling pot, freezes before it can be eaten. The story of the wanderings of the Franklin ex- plorers, as learned by this party from the natives, and as confirmed by their personal search, is terrible in the extreme. These men were but a few hundred miles from waters frequented by whalers, and yet they all perished, and perished seas to leave hard- ly any evidence of their journey. So far as it could be traced, it was by Lieutenant Schwatka's party, and the bones that were found at different points along the desolate shore of King William Land were buried. Only one skeleton could be identified that of Lieutenant Irving, and this was brought away by them. It was known by means of a medal found near by, which the natives, in their desecration of his grave, had for- gotten to take. It was learned from the natives that one of the ships was sunk at a point about five miles west of Grant Point,
near the Adelaide Peninsula. As the Es- quimaux did not know how to get in by the deck, they cut a hole in the side on a level with the ice, through which they carried off what provisions and other things they could find, and in the spring, when the ice broke up, the ship sank. Across this Adelaide Peninsula, at a point named Starvation Cove, evidences were found that it was here that the last remnant of the party perished, and with them the records, Lieutenant Schwatka believing that they are irrecoverably lost. All the relics found here by the natives, as well as at other points, were destroyed, having been given to the children to play with, and in time were broken up and lost. Besides the knowledge gained of the Frank- lin party, the searchers obtained geographi- cal results of value, and found a consider- able error in the Admiralty chart, in the mapping of Back's River, which they found to extend a good deal east of south, in- stead of west of it.
The DIarsball-Islanders. A work recent- ly published by Franz Ilemshein, a resident German merchant and consul, on the lan- guage of the Marshall Islands, affords some interesting facts concerning this little Poly- nesian group and its people. The islands are of coral, and are called atolls, having for their foundation a ring-shaped coral reef on which a land surface has been formed of varying length, but only a few hundred yards in breadth, and rising but a few feet above the water-line. Channels through these banks connect the inclosed lagoons, which are seldom more than thirty or thirty-five fathoms deep, with the outer water. The channels are entirely wanting or are too shallow for ships in some of the islands. The thin soil supports a scanty vegetation, which is limited to only a few of the species pe- culiar to the South-Sea regions; but many useful plants have been imported from other islands and do well. The fauna is likewise insignificant, but has been increased by im- portations from abroad, along with which the universal rat has been introduced. The in- habitants are a small, slightly built people, who age early; the women have rounder faces than the men, with thin, fleshless hands, and begin to fade before they reach maturity. Four ranks arc recomized among them. The lowest are the Armidwon, or Kajur, who own nothing; above them arc the Leadagedag, to whom they must bring provision, and whom they must obey. Men of the latter class are permitted to own property. The third rank, called the Budag, is composed of the broth- ers and sous of the king. Over all is the Irod, or king, from whom the Leadagedag receive their commands. The Kajurs are allowed to have but one wife; men of the other classes may have more. The Kajur has the right to take the single wife from a man of lower condition than himself, but the men of the second rank are not permitted to speak with the wife of the king; and if the king goes abroad, leaving his wife at home, all the Leadagedag and the Budag, except the sons of the king, must leave the island. If a woman in the higher ranks is put away by her husband, as may happen if she is childless, she can not be taken in marriaire by any one of a lower condition; but a man may marry a woman of a higher rank than his own and be raised to her rank. The food of the islanders is scanty. Young cocoa- nuts take the place of the drinking water, which is brackish. Cocoa-nuts, pandanus, and bread-fruit form the regular food. Arrow, root, brought from the northern islands, cooked with finely cut cocoa-nut, forms a favorite dish. A kind of conserve is made by roasting the pandanus-fruit over a bed of hot coals and covered with hot sand. In two days the fruit is taken out, sliced, dried in the sun, and pressed into rolls, which can be kept for two years. Another prepa- ration, piru, is made from the bread-fruit. The fruit is cut up, steeped in salt water, and beaten; it is then put away in a shady place and covered with leaves; the soft mass is kneaded on the second day, laid away for a week, and kneaded again, when it is ready for use, and will keep good for five or six months. The principal disease from which the people suffer, and the most fatal one, is a catarrhal cold resembling the glanders in beasts. Europeans are also liable to take it, but they have it in a milder form, and do not die of it. A skin-disease called the gogo is generally prevalent, but is not commonly dangerous. This disease is not due to lack of personal cleanliness, for the natives are so much in the water as to make such a condition rare, and it prevails
chiefly with the men, who are most in the water. The guild of the heathen priests consisted chiefly of diviners. God was sup- posed to appear to them and disclose the future to them. During the interview, which usually lasted for two or three days, they took no food. They never ate or drank out of dishes that had been used, and broke the cups after they had drunken from them. They were supposed to know about the wind and the weather, and the chances of success in enterprises, and were called into the sick and expected to foretell whether they would live or die. Remedies for disease were and are wholly unknown. Warm water, a few leaves, and especially rubbing, which is care- fully attended to by the women with con- juring words, are the only medicaments. The friends of the sick man were formerly accus- tomed to come to him, bringing pandanus leaves, which they would fold together in patterns of equal size; if the last fold came out of the same length with the others, the omen was considered a good one for an impending recovery; if otherwise, the sick man was taker away to a distance, depend- ing on the length of the last fold. These and many other customs have gone or are going out of use, and occur only exception- ally in places where one tenth of the popu- lation have been converted to Christianity. Fights are rare; wars are carried on chiefly by one party trying to destroy the cocoa palms or burn the houses of the other. They never come to a battle, but are conducted by siege, and generally end by the besieged party yielding. The worst damage ensues after the war, when, the trees being cut down and the land wasted, a famine of five or six months' duration is nearly certain. The principal occupation of the inhabitants is fishing. To catch the flying-fish a large torch is burned in a dark night upon a fast- sailing canoe. The fish fly toward the glim- mer and cither strike the sail and fall down or arc caught by the skillful fisherman with a long-handled net. The yellow-tail fish swims in schools, and is caught with two canoes which, tied together, draw a cord after them on the top of the water, and drive the fish into shallow places, where they are caught with little trouble. It is a curious fact that the fish will occasionally leap over the cord, but will never swim away under it. Mats and hats are artfully woven out of the bark of a shrub called the loa, and colored in handsome patterns of yellow, red, and black. The natives formerly made numer- ous voyages to the islands of the whole Mar- shall group, and had charts of them, which were drawn and copied on sticks and stones.
ImproTeuiruts ia Electro-Motors and Dynanio-Machines. In a paper recently read before the British Association, Mr. T. Weisendanger takes exception to some of the received theories regarding electro- motors and dynamo-generators, and points out an improved mode of construction for both. In regard to the relations of these two classes of machines, it has generally been held that the most efficient generator is also the most efficient motor. This Mr. Weisendanger considers erroneous. Dy- namo-generators are efficient only when their field-magnets are able to retain at all times a certain amount of residual magnet- ism. Their cores are, therefore, usually made of hard cast iron, or, if of soft iron, they are attached to masses of cast iron so that these form part of them. None of the efforts hitherto made to construct dvnamo- machines with soft-iron cores have met with success, and, as electro-motors to give the best results should have such cores, ma- chines can not be made that will give the maximum efficiency in both kinds of work. The fact that the attempts to make dynamo- machines with soft-iron cores have resulted in failure, he considers, proves that the cur- rent theory of their action, viz., that the electricity is generated by the inductive action and reaction between the field-mag- nets and the armature, is inadequate. Even wrought iron contains some residual mag- netism, and in large masses, and after it has been subjected to strong magnetization, the amount is considerable. By the theory, the smallest amount of such magnetism would be sufficient to start the action of the machine. Experiment, however, shows that this is not the case. Mr. "Weisendan- ger does not offer a new theory, but insists that the present one needs to be amended to correctly express the facts. Attention is also called to the idea underlying the work of some recent experimenters, that the power of an electro-motor can be in-
definitely increased by augmenting that of the field-magnets. This is characterized as a mischievous theory whose outcome is per- petual motion. The author, on the con- trary, holds that there is a definite relation between the power of the field-magnets and the armature, which has yet to be experi- mentally determined. Assuming the rela- tion of these sets of magnets to be one of equality, he has constructed a motor, in which the cores of the field-magnets are light pieces of soft iron, that gives very satisfactory results. Further experiments to determine the exact ratio of the power of the field and armature, he believes, will result in a much more perfect machine. The most novel and perhaps important part of Sir. Weisendanger's paper is that re- lating to the proper method of revolving the armature before the poles of the field- magnets. The present practice is to make the cores of the field-magnets and those of the armature of such shape that the circles in whose circumference they lie are concen- tric. The defect of this arrangement is, that the armatures approach the magnets through the space in which the intensity of the field is at a minimum. After the arma- ture reaches the magnet, the distance be- tween the two remains constant while they are passing each other. Mr. AVeisendangcr holds that in generators the strongest cur- rents will be induced, and in motors the greatest amount of power obtained when the armature not only revolves in the most highly concentrated field, but when its en- tire motion is either one of approach to or withdrawal from the field-magnets. He, therefore, proposes that the field-magnets be set at an .angle to the circle described by the revolving armature. This latter then approaches the former continuously to the very instant of its leaving them. The greater the number of magnets the more powerful the action, as the armature is throughout its entire movement cither ap- proaching or receding from the field-mag- nets. Mr. Weisendanger is very hopeful of the future possibilities of electricity. Our present machines he believes to be but very imperfect appliances, which further research may so improve that the electric current will eventually perform all the ser- vices now rendered by combustion. He looks not only to electricity to furnish light, and, through the medium of present un- utilized natural resources, motive power, but heat as well. The exhaustion of fuel-sup- ply will inevitably drive us to seek and find some other agency to do our work, and this, he thinks there is good reason to be- lieve, will be found in electrical energy.
A IVcw Smolting-Fnrnace. The utiliza- tion of petroleum for fuel in the various metallurgical operations, in steam generat- ing, and generally where coal is industrially used, has been a favorite project with in- ventors for a dozen years or more. The advantages of such a fuel are very great, and the reward to the successful inventor of an apparatus that would make its use practicable would be correspondingly large. Like gas, a liquid fuel is under perfect con- trol, and is in a form allowing of perfect combustion if properly burned. The fuel is, moreover, very abundant, the production having been for some time past in consider- able excess of the demand. In one district alone something like six thousand barrels are daily running to waste through lack of storage capacity, and one of the largest pro- ducers of oil is now obtaining from the wells about fifteen thousand barrels per day more than can be marketed. The oil companies, as well as inventors who have hoped to make a fortune by a successful furnace, have been unceasing in their efforts to turn this fuel to industrial uses, but so far the devices and they have been many have uniformly failed. A furnace is, however, now being developed which seems to prom- ise, if not a complete solution, at least a partial solution of the problem. The fur- nace consists, in reality, in an immense blow- pipe-flame, which is made to play upon the ore to be smelted, when used for metallur- gical purposes, and to pass through boiler- tubes when used for steam generating. In the metallurgical apparatus there is first a fuel-furnace ia which any ordinary fuel may be used, or oil if preferred. Against the upper portion of the flame from this furnace a blast of air is projected, similar to that from the mouth blowpipe against the flame of a spirit-lamp. Into this blast, at the point where it strikes the fuel-furnace flame, a stream of oil is introduced. The on-goins
blast and the heat of the flame vaporize the oil, which is then in a condition to be com- pletely consumed. The result of this ar- rangement is the production of a column of flame, some thirty or forty feet long, of high temperature. This flame is projected hori- zontally through an iron cylindrical shell, lined with tire-brick with a facing of graph- ite, into which the ore to be reduced is fed from a hopper at the farther end. The shell is slowly rotated, so that the entering ore, tumbling about, is brought into intimate contact with the flame. It is also slightly inclined, that the material may slowly feed into the flame, and the melted material run down into the crucible at the lower end, where it is tapped and the slag run off in the usual way. The farther end of the revolv- ing cylinder is let into a chamber, built of brick, stone, or clay, which is divided into compartments by walls or sheets of incom- bustible material kept constantly wet by running water. The hot gases, carrying va- pors of the metals and other ingredients of the ore, are here gradually cooled dowTi and condensed, the character of the condensa- tion depending upon the materials present in the ore. The burned gases are with- drawn from the condensing chamber by means of an exhaust-fan, and discharged into the atmosphere. The air and oil are both under perfect control, so that a heat suitable for smelting or for vaporizing can be produced at will. Several furnaces are shortly to be put into operation for the reduction of ores of the precious metals, on which experiments have so far chiefly been made. The inventor, however, ex- pects to be able to use it successfully in making iron and steel, as well as in burn- ing lime. A modified form is also suitable to the burning of pottery and glass-making. In using it for generating steam, the boiler- flue is made large, the flame at no point coming in contact with the metal, thus avoid- ing the burning out of the boiler, the chief difficulty encountered by most of the other devices using oil-fuel for steam - making. The experiments with the furnace upon an industrial scale have been as yet too few and imperfect to thoroughly test its value, but they seem to warrant the opinion that the furnace has capabilities that promise very well for its future usefulness. The Markings of Meteoric Stones. M. Daubr^c, the eminent French geologist, in his recently published work on " Synthetic Studies in Experimental Geology," describes some experiments that he has made for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of the pe- culiar appearance of the surface of meteoric stones. These bodies are covered with a blackish coating, which is sometimes dull and sometimes brilliant, and indicates un- mistakably that they have suffered modifi- cations in passing through the atmosphere. Their fracture presents a globular surface, similar to the structure of terrestrial rocks, showing that a strong cohesion has been produced at the moment of their formation. The outer surface is also covei'ed with round- ed depressions forming little capsules. M. Daubree had remarked that when a cannon loaded with coarse-grained powder was fired off, some grains, which were only partly burned, would fall at the muzzle of the piece. The hollowed surface of these grains bore a striking resemblance to the forms seen on the meteorites. He then performed an experiment by taking a rectangular plate of steel, rolling it up in such a way that it should be fully enveloped by the gases from the powder, putting it in a closed steel cham- ber, with a quantity of powder, and firing off the powder by means of the electric spark. The duration of the deflagration was less than half a second. The gases acquired a tension of from one to two thousand atmos- pheres, and a temperature estimated at about 3,600. The action, though of very short duration, gave surprising results. The sur- face of the plate was hollowed into irregular furrows, which danonstrated the force of the gaseous currents, and a powder of sul- phurct of iron was found in the bottom of the vessel. A half a second, then, was all the time that was required to produce a par- tial fusion of the steel, a considerable blow- ing up by the gases, and such a chemical action as the formation of a sulphuret of iron. The experiment was repeated with dynamite and other explosives, with identi- cal results. From them, M. Daubree has deduced the following interpretation of the metecfric phenomena: the meteorites enter the terrestrial atmosphere with an enormous swiftness. The great pressure of air to which they are subjected explains the incan-
descence which takes place, and the superfi- cial fusion of the mass. The part of a pro- jectile of this kind which is at the moment in front rams the air and compresses it ex- ceedingly, and causes it to be agitated by energetic gyratory movements. In whirl- ing thus, under such pressure, the air tends to screw and hollow out whatever it rubs against, and this mechanical action is ac- companied and reenforced by a chemical action due to the combustible nature of the meteoric rocks at these high temperatures. These rocks contain enough particles of iron in the native state, or as a sulphuret, to largely favor combustion and disaggrega- tion. Under these circumstances, the hollows are produced, which appear on one side or on all sides of the projectile, accordingly as it has not or has a motion of rotation. M. Daubree has given to these hollows the name of piczoyhjptcs.
Relation of Age and Marriage to Sui- cide. It has been a mooted question wheth- er the old or the young were more prone to suicide. Statistics published by Dr. Bertil- lon, in an article on marriage in the French "Encyclopaedic Dictionary of the Medical Sciences," prove that the propensity increas- es with advancing age. They are reenforced by statistics recently published in Sweden, which lead to substantially the same conclu- sion. The proportion of the number of sui- cides of the more advanced ages to the whole number of persons of corresponding ages ap- pears to be less in Sweden than in France, but aside from this the proportion increases regularly in both countries from the age of fifteen or twenty years to that of sixty years. After about sixty years the tendency in both countries appears to diminish. The propor- tion of suicides among women is less at all ages than among men, but increases with the advance of years as with the men. The sta- tistical work of Signor Morrelli, recently pub- lished at Milan, lends additional support to these views. Dr. Bertillon has also collect- ed facts bearing on the effect of marriage upon the tendency to suicide, from which he has deduced the principles: 1. That widow- ers and widows commit suicide more fre- quently than married persons; and, 2, that the presence of children in the family makes the probability of suicide more remote. The salutary influence of children is equally marked with married and widowed persons, with men and women. The Swed- ish statistics may be brought in again to en- large our knowledge on this point by show- ing the combined influence of marriage and age. According to these tables, the differ- ence in the liability of married men and celibates, while they are still young, is very slight. The tendency to suicide then in- creases slowly among married men as they grow older, and at its maximum (at about sixty to sixty-five years of age) is two and one half times (26 in 100,000) what it was at the adult age (10 to 11 per 100,000). After the sixty-fifth year it diminishes. With unmarried persons, on the other hand, the tendency increases with almost a geo- metrical progression. At twenty-five years of age it is more than double (26 per 100,- 000) what it is with married persons of the same age (11 per 100,000), and at seventy years is eleven times as great (230 against 21 per 100,000); and after this period it goes on increasing as fast as ever, while the proportion for married persons is diminish- ing. The phenomena with women are analo- gous, but less marked. It is found, by com- paring the statistics of the two classes, that the general increase in the tendency to com- mit suicide with advancing age can be al- most wholly accounted for by this progres- sion of suicides among the unmarried. The difference in the liability of the two classes may be partly explained by setting off the regularity of habit which married life and particularly the caro for children in- duce with the irregularities to which the un- married surrender themselves, of which the most damaging is drunkenness. Signor Mor- relli says that drunkenness causes thirty-one per cent, of the suicides in Denmark, and that a similar rule prevails everywhere.
Artificial Lights. The great point of dif- ference between natural and artificial li"-hts. says Dr. Javal, the French occulist, is the ex- cessive feebleness of the latter. A lamp or a gas-jet makes an insignificant impres- sion in daylight. The light of a million can- dles burning in a room would be vastly in- ferior in intensity to that of the direct rays of the sun. The pupils of our eyes are con- siderably larger in the most brilliantly light-
ed room than they are in daylight. We seek the brightest places of resort at night, and use the strongest lights we can afford in our homes, employing every means to make them stronger. Persons with imperfect sight are fatigued in working with artificial lights be- cause the enlargement of their pupils gives full play to faults which are mitigated un- der the contraction of the aperture which a strong light induces. The spectra of all artificial lights, except the magnesium and electrical lights, are different from the spec- trum of sunlight in that they are dark on the most refracted side, that of the blue, violet, and chemical rays. It may be that this quality compensates in part for the greater dilatation of the pupil which these lights require by reducing the amount of chromatic refraction which would otherwise take place. It does not appear, however, that any workmen prefer such lights to sun- light. It has been suggested that the pres- ence of these rays in the electric light might cause it to be injurious. If that should prove to be the case, any evil effect might be remedied by shading the pencils with yel- low-tinted globes. No complaint has been made, however, of bad effects arising from the proper use of this light. Those who have studied it most attentively have felt no inconvenience except when they looked in- tently at it without guarding their eyes. It is not intended to be used thus; and, if we judged by this criterion, the sun would be the worst of all lights. When the electric light was first introduced into the freight depots in Paris, the workmen complained of being dazzled by it. After some weeks, it was taken away, and gas was put in its place, when a general outcry went up against the darkness.
A Solar Machine. The idea of applying the heat of the sun directly as a motive force has been entertained as within the limits of possibility for some time. A Frenchman, M. Mouchot, devised a machine, about two years ago, for concentrating the rays of the sun so that they could be made to perform some slight offices. M. Abel Pifre, an engi- neer associated with M. Mouchot, has car- ried on some experiments in Algeria with an adaptation of his machine which have had a promising degree of success. Ilis apparatus was small, yet it was sufficient, by the aid of the sun of last October, to produce steam enough to keep a sewing-machine in con- tinuous motion, cook food, and boil water. M. Mouchot's machine consists of a reflector in the form of a truncated cone, which con- centrates the rays of the sun upon a kettle placed in the axis of the cone, with a bell- glass to cover the kettle and protect it from external cooling. Such machines are not likely to be of much practical use in tem- perate climates, where the sun is compara- tively weak and often clouded; but in hot, arid regions, like the deserts of Africa, they may possibly yet be employed advanta- geously.
Consumption and Climates. Dr John C. Thorowgood, of the London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, in a paper on "At- mospheric and Climatic Influence in the Causation and Cure of Pulmonary Disease," distinguishes between two classes of phthisis, or consumjition of the lungs, in which the operation of this influence is very difi'erent. The first kind, the consumption which ori- ginates in catarrh, cold, or some inflamma- tory attack, prevails in raw, cold climates, and is relieved by going to a mild climate. The second kind, true tubercular consump- tion, comes on insidiously, often from no cold caught, from no privation of food, but simply from some inherent, perhaps heredi- tary vice in the system, and is a febrile dis- ease, having much the character of rapid blood-poisoning. It is not peculiar to cold climates, and is not relieved by sending the patient to a mild one. The worst that can be done in coses of either form of disease is, to confine the patient closely to one room, and let him breathe over and over again the same atmosphere, while the cough is kept checked by opiates. In this way, says Dr. Thorowgood, consumption may be cultivated and developed from the first class into the more serious form of the second class, so that it becomes a fearfully destructive mal- ady. "In the cases of young children who are kept very close in heated rooms, and who are said to be always taking cold, we often see most obstinate cough and catarrh, due to the throwing off from the air-pas- sages of a weak, poorly-nourished epithe- lium, which in time may choke the air-cells,
and so lead to pulmonary consumption. The cure consists in laying aside paregoric and squills while we feed the epithelium with pure air. Appetite soon returns, and the cough speedily takes its flight." The ten- dency of confinement in a close atmosphere to cause blood-spitting and consumption has been demonstrated by the statistics obtained by Dr. Gray when engaged in investigating the effects of certain trades on the health of those employed. The author of the pa- per under notice has seen excellent results, in removing lingering inflammation after an acute attack on the chest, follow a sojourn at Torquay, Ventnor, and similar mild, warm health-resorts; but when the disorder has passed from the inflammatory stage to one that involves the general nutrition, and is marked by softening and breaking down of lung-tissue, with night-sweats and copious purulent expectoration, he has never seen any good come of a residence in a mild, sed- ative climate. On the other hand, he tells of several cases in which persons suffering from the latter form have been relieved, and have even recovered after being sent to a cold, bracing climate, or to a high mountain elevation. The author's views were confirmed, in the discussion by the medical society be- fore which it was read, by several speakers. The president of the society mentioned three cases of complete cure of decided pulmona- ry consumption of non-catarrhal origin by change of air in one case to Moscow, in two others to Canada. Another speaker mentioned cases of. catarrhal phthisis that had been cured by sojourn at mild resorts.
Effect of Physical Training on Respi- ration. M. Marey has made an investiga- tion of the modifications which are induced in the respiratory movements by the fact of muscular action. It is well known that mus- cular action provokes, in those who are not accustomed to it, panting, that is, a respira- tion stronger and more frequent than the normal respiration. This is in consequence of the greater rapidity of the current of blood which in its abundance demands, in order to pass through the lungs, more fre- quent or more ample respirations. The habit of muscular exercise, running, for example, has the effect of gradually adapting the respiratory function to the most rapid circulation which can pass the lungs. The respiratory type acquired by the gymnast consists in an enormous increase in the ex- pansion of the chest and a notable retarda- tion of the thoracic movements. M. Marey and Dr. Hillairet selected five recruits and registered the rate of respiration of each of them when at rest, and again after they had run a course of six hundred metres at the gymnastic pace. By following the changes of respiration of these gymnasts from month to month, a series of curves was obtained, and the following results were furnished: At first, respiration was very perceptibly modified by the running; but toward the end of the experiments, that is, after four or five months of the exercises, it was al- most impossible to distinguish any change in the respiration of the men who had run; and this, notwithstanding their gait had be- cdme a little more rapid, and they ran over the six hundred metres in three minutes and fifty seconds. The figures show that the modification of the respiratory movements is permanent that is, that it is maintained when the man is at rest. The number of respirations is reduced, in the mean, from twenty to about twelve in a minute, and their amplitude is more than quadrupled. We may conclude, then, that these soldiers, after having experienced the effects of gym- nastic training, breathe about twice as much air as before they were subjected to the dis- cipline.
Expectant Attention in Animals. A re- markable instance of sagacity in animals is described in an article on " Mental Physiol- ogy " in a late number of the " Edinburgh Review," in the case of a dog that belonged to Professor Huggins. This dog, Kepler, had the faculty of answering correctly with his barkings arithmetical questions, includ- ing such problems as giving the square root of nine or sixteen, or the result of addinsr seven to eight, dividing the sum by three, and multiplying the quotient by two. No power of calculation was implied in this exercise, or operation of the understanding, however it may have seemed. The case was simply one of what is called by physiologists expectant attention. A clew to the process is given by the statement in the story that, until the solution was arrived at, Kepler
never moved his eye from his master's face, but the instant the last bark was given he transferred his attention to the cake which was always held before him as a reward for a successful performance. Professor Hug- gins, the writer continues, was perfectly un- conscious of suggesting the proper answer to the dog, but it is beyond all question that he did so. The wonderful fact is, that Kep- ler had acquired the habit of reading in his master's eye or countenance some indication that was not known to Professor Huggins himself. Professor Huggins was engaged in working out mentally the various stages of his arithmetical processes as he propound- ed the numbers to Kepler, and, being aware, therefore, of what the answer should be, expected the dog to cease barking when the number was reached; and that expectation sua-o'csted to his own brain the unconscious signal which was caught by the quick eye of the dog. In an analogous manner, a per- son swinging a button by a thread near the rim of a glass will unwittingly cause it to strike the hour, if he knows the hour, through the unconscious control of his brain over the movements of his fincrer.
Change as a Mental Restorative. Dr.
Joseph Mortimer-Granville, discussing in tha "Lancet " the subject of " Change as a Mental Restorative," shows that great dis- crimination is needed in prescribing this remedy. Some patients there are, such as those who have become wearied with a pur- poseless life or one of idle dissipation, who have become worn out with change, and to whom a prescription of it for its own sake, without consideration of the circumstances, would only impose an additional infliction. They are most difficult cases to deal with, and demand especial study. The change which a person of this kind requires is " one that will stir a deeper spring of energy than has yet supplied him with motive-force, by compelling his recognition of the responsi- bilities of life. It is idle to hope that he can be roused to action by the discoveiy of a new pleasure. . . . The energies of such a character are more likely to be called out by pain and necessity than by pleasure and satisfaction." Some men of pleasure have been delivered from the extreme of ennui, which they had reached, by the loss of fortune bringing pressing need for exertion; but this remedy is beyond the reach of a physician. He might aim, however, to sup- ply an incentive to action by searching for "some inherited seed of ambition or enter- prise which has never yet germinated," and may sometimes find it by learning the story of the father's or grandfather's life. A case which came under Dr. Granville's care, and which furnished him with the basis for his remarks on this subject, was cured by the awakening of a strong passion for the breeding of stock, which he had inherited from his grandfather, but which had not been aroused in his nature till he was thrown into circumstances which excited him to emulate the success of a neighbor. A simi- lar case, where no such awakening of energy occurred, ended in suicide.
Tlie Mirage on Swiss Lakes. Profes- sor Charles Dufour communicated to the French Association, at its last meeting, a paper on the mirages of the Swiss lakes, which are often seen between the month of August and the spring, especially in the morning, when the water is warmer thnn the air. When Monge published his explanation of the mirage, he supposed that the strata of air near the ground were warmer and rarer than the strata above, but he could not prove it experi- mentally. Professor Dufour has proved it by taking the temperature at different heights above Lake Leman, while the sun was still hidden by the mountains. The mirage frequently produces curious illu- sions. When a boat is near the point where the ray of light is a tangent to the surface of the water, the mirage of the sky is thrown below the boat, and the latter seems to sail in the air. Seen from Ville- neuve, the steamboat plying between Mon- treux and Yevay seems to be sailing among the vineyards which cover the hills along the shore. When the air, on the other hand, is warmer than the water, as is the case generally in the spring and summer on fine afternoons, the concave side of the re- fracted ray of light is turned toward the water, and objects are brought into sight which are really hidden by the roundness of the earth. Sometimes the temperature of the different strata of the air varies irregu-
larly. Then the rays of light undergo ab- normal refractions which are not always the same for the upper and lower parts of ob- jects. Consequently, the objects are some- times diminished, sometimes magnified in an extraordinary fashion. Small houses thus distorted are made to look like palaces; their white color is changed into gray by the diffusion of the light, and they are there- by given an air of greater grandeur. Many persons fail to take notice of these mirages because they regard them as reflections from the water; but it is really possible for one with his eye near the water to see the reflec- tion from it of a distant object on nearly the same level. When an image of such an object is seen, it is most probably a mirage.
Variations in tlie Fixed Points of Ther- mometers. M, Crafts, in the course of his investigation of the causes of the variations of the fixed points of thermometers, has dis- covered that glass heated for a long time in the blowpipe-flame shrinks in consequence of an internal change. It is not shown that pressure plays any part in the phenomenon. The particles of the glass which have been separated by the heating do not return to the normal position immediately on cooling, but appear to be in a disturbed condition for some time afterward. The action of heat at a given temperature, say of 670, by giving a greater mobility to the particles, favors their return to the normal position; but the glass, in cooling from this tempera- ture, retains a part of the expansion which it has undergone. By heating it anew to an inferior temperature, say 570, we may pro- duce a new diminution of volume, and thus successively, by a very slow process of cool- ing, bring about the greatest approximation to the normal state, and consequently the greatest stability. The law discovered by M. Pernet for temperatures between the freezing and boiling points of water, ac- cording to which the depressions of the freezing-point are proportional to the squares of the temperatures, is not true at high temperatures. A thermometer, for ex- ample, which gives a depression of half a degree after a long exposure at 212', ought, by this law, to give at G70 a depression of 6.8. The depressions actually observed are much less considerable. The Deep Valley of the Caribbean Sea.—Commander J. R. Bartlett, of the Coast-Survey steamer Blake, has ascertained some interesting facts in regard to the depths of the western part of the Caribbean Sea. The data he has obtained make it probable that a large portion of the supply for the Gulf Stream passes through the "Windward Passage" between Cuba and San Domingo, and that the current extends in it to the depth of 800 fathoms. The temperature, of 39½°, which was indicated at all depths below 700 fathoms in the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean, was not obtained here. Elsewhere, in these seas, the temperature decreased from the surface to 39½° at 700 fathoms or less, and remained constant at that temperature for all lower depths. At greater depths than 600 or 700 fathoms the bottom was always found to be a calcareous ooze composed of pteropod shells with small particles of coral. An immense, deep valley was found to extend from between Cuba and Jamaica to the westward, south of the Cayman Islands, well up into the Bay of Honduras. It has a length of 430 miles, and a general breadth of 105 miles, with a depth nowhere of less than 2,000 fathoms, except at two or three points where the summits of submarine mountains rise to near the surface. Within 20 miles of Grand Cayman it attains an extreme depth of 3,428 fathoms; this island is therefore, to the bottom of the valley, as a mountain 20,000 feet high, and Blue Mountain, in Jamaica, rises 29,000 feet above the bottom, or as high as the highest of the Himalayas is above the level of the sea. The deepest part of the valley has been named the "Bartlett Deep."