Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/400

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thickness of half an inch. The mycoderm seems to have an oxidizing action, and so, when the alcohol in the liquid fails, it probably grows at the expense of the acetic acid, converting it to carbonic dioxide and water. There is a popular notion that the presence of "mother" shows that the vinegar is made from cider, and is of good quality, but the vinegar-plant appears also in vinegar made from molasses, and it is really as undesirable in vinegar as mold on bread.

The little, wriggling creatures which swarm in some vinegars have been credited by uneducated persons with being the "life" of the vinegar. In one sense they are, but their presence is in no way beneficial. These vinegar-eels (Anguillula accti), as they are called, are developed in most fruits, and hence readily find their way into vinegar made from fruit-juices. Vinegar which contains them must contain also as impurity some mucilaginous or albuminous matter, or the eels would have no food and could not exist. They need air also, and they have been observed engaged in a curious struggle with the mycoderm on the surface. The plant tends to prevent their obtaining the requisite supply of air, and the eels were seen combining their efforts to submerge it. They may be killed by heating the vinegar to 128° Fahr., or by adding boracic acid. Vinegar when long kept, especially if exposed to the air, putrefies and becomes ropy, losing its acidity, and acquiring an unpleasant smell; the presence of the vinegar-plant, vinegar-eels, or other foreign substances, is liable to induce putrefaction, especially if the vinegar is weak.



IF a being from another world, suddenly placed among us, should examine terrestrial institutions, he could scarcely fail to inquire why it is that in so large a portion of the earth time is measured by periods of seven days. To a large number of persons among ourselves such inquiry is practically superseded by the consideration that the Bible opens with the recognition of the week: whatever discussion may be raised, and whatever may be the demands of science with reference to the interpretation of the commencement of the book of Genesis, the fact remains that it is asserted that in six days God created the heaven and the earth, and all things in them, and rested on the seventh day. The same assertion is renewed by the fourth commandment, which enjoins the keeping holy of the Sabbath-day. And when we remember how thoroughly the sanctification of one day in seven has been adopted and enforced by the practice of the Christian Church, and how the first day has been marked, in virtue of the chief article of Christian faith, as emphatically the Lord’s Day