Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/396

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

pound of pork, on the contrary, requires about 512 pounds of corn for its production. When eggs are 24 cents a dozen, and pork is 10 cents a pound, we have the bushel of corn fed producing $2.88 worth of eggs, and but $1.05 worth of pork.

"Judging from these facts, eggs must be economical in their production and in their eating, and especially fitted for the laboring-man in replacing meat."

 

Qualifications of Medical Students.—At the opening of the medical session of Glasgow University, last week, Prof. McCall Anderson said few could doubt that a preliminary examination of candidates for admission to the classes was called for, but if proof were required it might be found in the answers given to the following questions submitted to candidates by one of the examining boards: "What is meant by the antiquity of man?" Answer: "The wickedness of man." "The Letters of Junius?" "Letters written in the month of June." "The Crusades?" "A war against the Roman Catholics during the last century." "The first meridian?" "The first hour of the day." "To speak ironically?" "To speak about iron." "A Gordian knot?" "The arms of the Gordon family." "The Star-chamber?" "Place for viewing the stars." "To sit on the woolsack?" "To be seated on a sack of wool." "A solecism?" "A book on the sun." "The year of jubilee?" "Leap-year." They could, the professor added, have appreciated this last answer all the more heartily had it emanated from one of the female medical students. It is, however, only just on women to admit that they are, as a rule, serious in their studies, and are not in the habit of joking examiners. There is, indeed, an earnestness of purpose in their efforts to compete with man which entitles them to respect, and even imitation.—Pall Mall Gazette.

 

The Struggle for Existence.—Prof. Alfred Newton, in his address to the Biological Section of the British Association, described as follows the effects consequent upon the introduction by man of foreign species of animals into newly-discovered regions: "Set face to face with unlooked-for invaders, and forced into a contest with them from which there is no retreat, it is not in the least surprising that the natives should succumb. They have hitherto only had to struggle for existence with creatures of a like organization; and the issue of the conflict which has been going on for ages is that, adapted to the conditions under which they find themselves, they maintain their footing on grounds of equality among one another, and so for centuries they may have 'kept the noiseless tenor of their way.' Suddenly man interferes, and lets loose upon them an entirely new race of animals, which act and react in a thousand different fashions on their circumstances. It is not necessary that the new-comers should be predacious; they may be so far void of offense as to abstain from assaulting the aboriginal population; but they occupy the same haunts and consume the same food. The fruits, the herbage, and the other supplies that sufficed to support the ancient fauna, now have to furnish forage for the invaders as well. The new-comers are creatures whose organization has been prepared by and for combat throughout generations innumerable. Their ancestors have been elevated in the scale of being by the discipline of strife. Their descendants inherit the developed qualities that enabled those ancestors to win a hard-fought existence when the animals around them were no higher in grade than those among which the descendants are now thrown. The struggle is like one between an army of veterans and a population unused to warfare."

 

Economy in the Use of Steam.—A series of experiments has been made, as we learn from Iron, upon the 80-horse-power engine at Portsmouth dock-yard, for the purpose of testing the value of a process, the invention of Mr. Marchant, of London, whereby steam, after having done its work in the cylinder, is pumped back into the boiler, to be reutilized for steam-power. The advantage which the inventor claims for his invention is a considerable saving of fuel, because, inasmuch as it is economical to keep the boilers supplied with hot water from the condensers instead of cold water, it follows that to keep them supplied with steam direct from the cylinders must prove still