Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/663

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647
HOW THE DODDER BECAME A PARASITE.

Not only is this stem impregnated with the empyreumatic matter with which old pipes become browned in seasoning, but it is heated to such a degree as to subject the lips to a local elevation of temperature, a kind of chronic burning, which causes a thickening of the epithelial layer in the same manner as the contact with hot bodies increases the epidermic secretion on the hands of subjects exercising certain professions." It should be added that every smoker should have his own pipe, and not use indifferently any one that comes to hand.

Whether we smoke a cigar, a cigarette, or a pipe, two hygienic precepts should not be lost sight of: The first relates to the atmosphere, and may be formulated—it is less injurious to smoke in the open air than in a room, in a large room than in a small one. Be careful, then, smokers, to ventilate liberally and frequently the apartments in which you smoke your tobacco. The second precept is a question of cleanliness. If it is good for every one to attend frequently to the washing of his mouth and teeth, the usefulness of the habit becomes a rigorous obligation to every one who is addicted to the pipe, the cigar, or the cigarette. A wet cloth passed over the gums and teeth in the morning may possibly be enough for persons who do not smoke, but the brush is indispensable for smokers. A simple gargle of aromatized warm water is better to neutralize the odor of tobacco than the best scented pellet.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Journal d'Hygiène.

 

HOW THE DODDER BECAME A PARASITE.
By JOSEPH F. JAMES.

OVER yonder in the corner of a field there grows a mass of yellow threads, looking at a distance like an immense spider's web covering a number of plants. Closer inspection reveals it to be the dodder, poetically called by some the golden-thread. Though beautiful in the abstract, handsome in its golden color, it is yet a vile and pernicious weed—one that in the flax-fields of Europe in one form, and in the alfalfa-fields of California in another, has done a vast deal of harm. Yet it is, to look at, beautiful. The flexuous stem of golden yellow, adorned with clusters of white, bell-shaped flowers, twining among and over other plants, forms a striking contrast with their green stems and leaves. And it is no wonder it has been sometimes cultivated for its beauty. Why, then, should we call it a pernicious weed? Look closer, and you will see that at intervals along the stem, where it clings closely to other plants, it has sent out bunches of little rootlets, which, not content with performing the office of hold-fasts,