Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/138

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
126
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

called laws of Nature 'govern' the phenomena of which they are only generalized expressions. I have been protesting against this language for the last quarter of a century; and, as I know that Dr. Buchner's views are extensively held among the younger thinkers of Germany and France, and have reasons to fear their extension to this country, I thought it well to take the opportunity which has been recently afforded me of calling the attention both of scientific men and of the general public to what I consider the true functions of man as the scientific interpreter of Nature. It was not because I had any thing to say on this subject that would be new either to men of science or to theologians, who have already gone through a like course of thought with myself, but because I hoped to lead some to think upon it who have never so thought before, and to help others to a clearer view of it than they might have themselves attained, that I chose it as the topic of my address. And, so far as I have the opportunity of judging, my hope is being fully realized."

 

Artificial Butter.—At the request of the victualling department of the French Navy for some wholesome substitute for butter that would keep well, Mege Mouriez, after a long course of experiments, has succeeded in producing an excellent substitute for genuine butter, that does not become rancid with time, and is otherwise highly recommended. Experiments made with cows, submitted to a very severe and scanty diet, led to the discovery that they continue to give milk, though in greatly diminished quantity, and that this milk always contains butter; whence it was inferred that this butter was formed from fat contained in the animal tissues, the fat undergoing conversion into butter through the influence of the milk-secreting glands. Acting on this hint, Mouriez's process begins with splitting up the animal fats. Finely divided fresh beef-suet is placed in a vessel containing water, carbonate of potash, and fresh sheep's stomachs, previously cut up into small fragments. The temperature of the mixture is then raised to about 112° Fahr., when, under the joint influence of the pepsin and the heat, the fat becomes separated from the cellular tissue. The fatty matter floating on the top is decanted, and after cooling submitted to very powerful hydraulic pressure. The semi-fluid oleo-margarine is thus separated from the stearine, and becomes the basis of the butter to be afterward produced. One hundred pounds of this oleo-margarine, along with about twenty-two quarts of milk and eighteen quarts of water, are poured into a churn, and to this mixture are added a small quantity of annatto and about three ounces of the soluble matter obtained by soaking for some hours in milk cows' udders and milk-glands. The mixture is then churned, and the butter obtained, after being well washed with cold water and seasoned, is ready for use. If required to be kept for a long time, it is melted by a gentle heat in order to eliminate all the water.

 

Ventilation and Warming.—In a lecture on ventilation, lately delivered before the Franklin Institute, Mr. L. W. Leeds, after detailing the abominations he encountered in his examination of the ventilating arrangements of the Treasury Building at Washington, gives the following practical directions concerning provisions for ventilation and warming in the construction of buildings. First, never have long underground fresh-air ducts. Second, never allow a sewer, soil-pipe, foul-air flue, or smoke-flue, to come near the fresh-air supply-flue, for fear of some connection being made between them by carelessness or accident. Third, never heat a building exclusively by currents of warm air. Fourth, always put the heating flues on the outside walls instead of on the inside walls. Fifth, endeavor strenuously to avoid the fresh-air chamber becoming a common receptacle for all the rubbish of a filthy cellar.

 

Sardines.—Mr. N. S. Dodge has given a very complete and interesting account of the "Natural History and Preparation of Sardines" in Hearth and Home, from which we gather the following: In natural history the sardine is the young of the pilchard, a fish resembling the herring in size, but thicker. They get the name of sardines, from having been formerly found in great quantities off the coast of Sardinia. They