Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/136

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

vius, and which is the product of former eruptions; the latter, however, contains a larger relative proportion of iron, and the grains show a water-worn appearance under the microscope. Neither of the Vesuvian specimens contains titanium, which is found in the magnetic iron-sand of New Zealand, which has most likely been ejected from the great volcano of Mount Egmont.


Transfusion of Blood.—Dr. Aveling reports in the Lancet a case where life was saved by the transfusion of blood, by what is known as the "immediate" method. The patient was a lady dying from hæmorrhage. Her pulse had become imperceptible both at the wrist and in the temporal arteries; the heart's action was very feeble, and steadily growing more so; she was insensible, with dilated pupils that refused to contract on the approach of a light; the extremities were cold, and the lips and face blanched. Blood was pumped, by means of a suitable apparatus, directly from a vein in the arm of a man, into a vein of the lady's arm, without exposure to the air, and in a duly-regulated stream. Some eight ounces of blood were thus transfused. As the operation proceeded, the pulse at the wrist became perceptible, the lips less blanched, and warmth returned to the hands. In a few hours consciousness returned, the patient took nourishment, and afterward fully recovered.


Habits of the Opossum.—We gather from the American Naturalist, for September, the following interesting particulars concerning the habits of the opossum: The animal is widely distributed in the United States. It dwells in hollow logs, stumps, and in holes at the roots of trees, does not burrow, but takes possession of holes that it finds ready made. Into these it will carry leaves—using its tail for the purpose—and provide itself with a comfortable bed, when bad weather threatens. It does not hibernate, but hunts its food at all seasons, is slow of foot, and not very wild. It will eat bacon, dry beef, carrion, any kind of fowl, rabbits, any sort of small game, almost all the insects, and fruits of every variety, being especially fond of muskmelons; and is eaten in turn by many people, the flesh being considered delicious. This has a flavor resembling that of the flesh of the young hog, but is sweeter and less gross. Negroes and others are exceedingly fond of it; dogs, however, hold a very different opinion, and will sooner starve than consume it. The animal is habitually incautious, and when attacked seems to possess little power of resistance; literally suffering itself to be eaten alive by the turkey-buzzards, while it lies on its side and protests against the proceeding by a succession of grunts. Exceedingly tenacious of life, it will survive a vigorous crunching by the dogs, when it seems as though every bone in its body had been cracked. Although sometimes found concealed under the floors of houses and out-buildings, it refuses to be domesticated, and is believed to dwell but a short time in any one place.


Dr. Carpenter against Materialism.—Dr. Carpenter, having been charged with attacking the philosophy of Profs. Huxley and Tyndall in his late address, replies, in a letter to the London Echo, as follows:

"Nothing was further from my intention than either to give a theological turn to my address, or to make any attack upon the philosophy of my two valued friends, whom I believe to be, in regard to most, if not all, of the philosophical questions I have treated, at one with me.

"But I did set myself to combat a mode of thought on scientific subjects which I know to be very prevalent among half-educated scientific men, who have never studied the constitution and working of their own minds, and which has been carried out most fully by a certain school of (so-called) Nature Philosophers in Germany. Of the tenets of this school, a small work by Dr. Buchner, entitled 'Kraft und Stoff'—Force and Matter—which has run through many editions, and has been translated into French, may be considered an exponent. The tenets are (I write from recollection, not having the book at hand) somewhat as follows:

"1. That we know, and can know, nothing of the external save matter, and the laws of matter.

"2. That these 'laws' are fixed, unchangeable, and self-acting.

"3. That there is consequently no ne-