Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/732

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

heart is a sign that the patient is destined to a sudden death from the action of the cause that produces the sound, nor is it always evidence of organic cardiac disease. It is a grave symptom, but its importance may be and often is exaggerated. It is only probably produced by deformity in the cardiac valves; but anaemic, aortic, and, still more, pulmonary murmurs, are now generally recognized. The late Dr. Latham carefully discriminated between grave and comparatively trivial injuries to the mitral valve curtains by endocarditis, and held that there were three divisions of cases of permanent unsoundness of the heart remaining after endocarditis: 1. Cases in which, besides the permanent endocardial murmur, there is no other symptom referable to the heart; 2. Cases in which, besides the murmur, there is occasional palpitation; and, 3. Cases in which, besides the murmur, there is constant palpitation. The typical cases of the text-books, where there is a series of morbid sequelæ gradually descending more or less swiftly, all belong to the third division. Dr. Fothergill has cases in his own practice of mitral murmurs which have existed for sixteen, fourteen, twenty-seven, and thirty-eight years, without developing any very alarming symptoms, and reports the death, between the writing and publication of his article, of a case of aortal regurgitation—a rapidly fatal form of disease—which had not perceptibly advanced during twenty-five years of excessive activity. He also notices cases of aortic obstruction of fourteen, sixteen, and eleven years, of which the first only has as yet died. In conclusion, he observes that under proper treatment, by which the prospects are profoundly affected, and with care, a life of activity is practicable in many cases, provided bodily exertion be avoided, or exercised moderately.

 

Recent German Archæological Discoveries.—Dr. Mehlis read a paper before the recent Congress of German Archæologists upon the human skeleton that has been found at Kirchheim, on the Eck. The skeleton lay in a north-and-south direction, with a polished stone hatchet on its breast, and around it were quite handsomely adorned potteries and broken bones of the musk-ox, aurochs, cow, dog, wild-boar, and sheep. The bones indicated a man of middling vigor, the skull approached in build the Engis and Niederingelheim skulls, and was strongly dolichocephalous, prognathous, and furnished with powerful jaw-bones. Dr. Vater described an interesting collection of objects which had been found early in August in digging for the foundations of a military building at Spandau. While digging in the moor at the entrance of the Havel into the Spree, the workmen came upon a pile-dwelling in which were bones of animals with a small, roundish skull of a high type, and bronzes in good condition: three swords, six celts, a knife, five lance-points, a ball of sandstone, several bits of horn, a grinding-stone, and a canoe ten feet long dug out from an oak-log. The metallic objects are much rusted, and of a northern type in form. The swords are distinguished by their typically short hilts. Dr. Gross exhibited a number of articles that he had dug from the mud of the Bieler Lake at Corcelette, among which were bronzes which had evidently been made on the spot, armlets, finger-rings, buttons, celts, molds for casting, a rude copper axe, horn lance-points, and a veritable lump of tin. Some of the earthen vessels represent pleasing types recalling Grecian patterns; others, dishes, have been painted in yellow, red, and white designs, and others bear a wave-ornament that appears to have been laid on with tin, in the same way that many of the lower Italian vials are adorned with stripes of gold. The latest excavations of Gross show that wood, horn, clay, iron, copper, tin, bronze, and amber, were used as materials, while gold and silver were still wanting. The marks of the use of the wheel in making the potteries indicate that a tolerably high state of civilization had been reached at this period, which, by all the evidence, must be fixed at a time before the Romans.

 

Prevention of Damp in Buildings.—M. G. Phillippe, civil engineer of Rouen, France, has considered the subject of damp in buildings, in papers that are reviewed in "Van Nostrand's Engineering Magazine." Damp is caused in buildings by the presence of water in the atmosphere and the soil, combined with the porosity of building mate-