Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/135

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125
MISCELLANY.

To illustrate this a chart is given, on which lines of equal barometric pressure are drawn, the lines of highest pressure being at and near the centre of the area, but diminishing as the distance from the centre is increased. These areas have a long and a short diameter, the one being in some cases twice or thrice that of the other.

The relation of barometric pressure to rainfall receives further attention in the present paper, and the conclusions previously arrived at are fully sustained.

The rainfall is greatest while the barometric pressure at the centre of the storm is diminishing, or the storm increases in intensity while the barometer continues to fall; and, on the other hand, the storm diminishes in intensity while the barometer at the centre of the storm is rising.

The progressive movement of storms seems to be sometimes interrupted, and they remain stationary over a section of country for some days. This occurs off the coast of Newfoundland, and the cause of it is attributed to unusual precipitation of vapor. In that region the rainfall is about fifty-six inches in a year, while at two hundred miles from the coast it is only forty inches.

 

Preservation of Entomological Specimens.—M. Felix Plateau having recommended the use of yellow glass in the windows of rooms containing entomological collections, as a means of preserving intact the natural colors of the specimens, M. Capronnier, of the Entomological Society of Belgium, made some experiments to determine the value of this suggestion. He made five small, square boxes, each covered with a pane of yellow, violet, green, blue, or colorless glass. He then fixed in the middle of each box one of the inferior wings of Euchelia Jacobeæ, which are of a deep carmine color, uniform in tone. Each wing was partly covered with a band of black paper, and their position was so arranged as to leave exposed successively each of the parts during a period of fifteen, thirty, and ninety days. The result was as follows: Colorless Glass.—The carmine tint visibly attacked after exposure of fifteen days; alteration more sensible after thirty days; after ninety days the carmine had passed into a yellowish tint. Blue.—The same results as with colorless glass. Green.—A change indicated on the thirtieth day; on the ninetieth the alteration was marked. Yellow.—After ninety days the carmine color almost intact. M. Capronnier accordingly concludes that a yellowish color should be preferred in every arrangement of an entomological room.

 

Anti-Vivisection Legislation.—In commenting upon the bill for regulating the practice of vivisection in England, Iron remarks upon the absurdity of a Parliament of sportsmen, supported by a mob out-of-doors, passing such a law. "Either of them" (sportsmen or mob) "for the mere pleasure of killing, or in the treatment of domestic animals, inflicts more unnecessary pain on the animal creation in one day than the whole body of physiological inquirers do in a year. The physiological worker will, if this bill passes, have to pursue his unrequited labors under the supervision of a policeman, and with a ticket-of-leave; and the result will be that original, unremunerated research of a most important class will not only continue to be pursued without endowment, but under the risk of penal servitude, the tournament of doves, pheasant-battues, and horse-racing, being all the while in full swing." A petition, signed by all the leading members of the medical profession, has been presented to the House of Lords, demanding certain modifications in the bill.

 

Meats cooked by Cold.—It is a fact of familiar experience that extreme cold produces in organic substances effects closely resembling those of heat. Thus, contact with frozen mercury gives the same sensation as contact with fire; and meat that has been exposed to a very low temperature assumes a condition like that produced by heat. This action of intense cold has been turned to account for economical uses by Dr. Sawiczevosky, an Hungarian chemist, as we learn from La Nature. He subjects flesh-meats to a temperature of minus 33° Fahr., and having thus "cooked them by cold," seals them hermetically in tin cans. The results are represented as being entirely satisfactory. The meat, when taken out of the cans a long time afterward, is found to be, as regards its appearance and its