Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/436

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An Electrical Experiment of the Eighteenth Century.—The apparatus here represented is composed of a globe of sulphur which a young abbe causes to turn by means of a crank and wheel, while the woman excites electrical action by means of the friction of her hand on the ball. A young man suspended horizontally by cords of silk becomes electrically excited, and causes the spark to fly from the end of his finger by

PSM V17 D436 An eighteenth century electrical experiment.jpg

putting it near a stick which another experimenter extends toward him. Experiments of this kind were much in fashion about the middle of the last century. They assumed many variations, but the one here represented was repeated frequently. The contrast between this simple apparatus and the hundreds of machines from the most delicate to the most powerful, applicable to a wonderful variety of purposes possessed by the electricians of the present day, helps us to realize the amazing rapidity with which improvements are made, and justifies the liveliest hopes for the advancement of electric art in the future.

Lessons from the Tongue of the Bee.—Professor A. J. Cook publishes, in the "American Bee Journal," some extremely interesting conclusions, which he has derived from the study of the tongue of the honey-bee. The accounts of the entomologists who have written upon the construction of this organ are conflicting and generally inaccurate. They do not agree as to its shape; some say that it is solid, others that it is tubular; some that the insects lap the liquids in which they feed, others that they take it by suction. By combining the studies that have been made by Mr. V. T. Chambers and Mr. J. D. Hyatt on the anatomy of the tongue of the bee with his own investigations, Professor Cook has been convinced that those who believe that the liquid is lapped up, that it is sucked through the tongue as a tube, and that it is drawn through a tube which is formed by the approximation of the ligula (or tongue), the palpi, and the maxillæ, are all right. The physiology of the tongue and the related organs adapts them to use in either of these methods; the bee has been detected in gathering nectar by all of them; and the presence of the fluid in passage has been demonstrated in the several organs the use of which is required by the different theories. The honey appears to be most abundantly secured by means of the tube formed by the closing up of the ligula, the palpi, and the maxilla. The ligula, or tongue, extends