Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/885

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NOTES.

hound is most docile and willingly affectionate. He can be trusted with children; so much so, that a boy may safely do duty as the 'hunted man' when the hound is being trained in hill or forest. The animal is nevertheless suspicious of the motions of strangers; he therefore makes a most efficient guard either to person or to property." Both scent and sight are remarkably well developed in the blood-hound; the animal is beautifully formed all over for hard work, but does not excel in speed. In olden times he was called the "slow-hound," among other names, and when the trail was perceptible, even to human senses, the dog was taken on horseback to save time. Great value is put upon the hound's up-bringing and general treatment when not on duty. "If the creature has been reared and trained by a fool, and under the influence of fear—if he be not well kept, properly bedded, exercised, and fed, and allowed the companionship of man, he is certain to develop more or less of nervous debility, and ten to one will go wrong at the critical moment. , . . Some people doubt the possibility of dogs tracking a criminal through the streets and lanes and busy thoroughfares of a crowded city. They speak of cross-scents; but in doing so they speak of what they do not understand as well as—the blood-hound does. He has got the right scent at the right place, and, if he is the right sort of dog, he will stick to that and no other. Besides, it has been done over and over again."

 

Diet and Disease.—Dr. A. Hunter's new cook-book—"Culina Famulatrix Medieinæ; or, Receipts in Modern Cookery, with a Medical Commentary"—contains much plain speaking with reference to certain dishes which are supposed to contribute to the increase of the business of doctors. A certain giblet-soup is described as containing "a considerable amount of gout and scurvy." A mock-turtle soup is pronounced "a dangerous dish, and will soon bring a man to his crutches"; a second kind is denounced as "a most diabolical dish, only fit for the Sunday dinner of a rustic who is to work the six following days in a ditch-bottom"; and of a third, the author observes, "there is death in the pot." Other dishes of equally elaborate composition, and to the lay view as indigestible, are well spoken of; whence it may be inferred that the author is as prejudiced as scientific.

 


NOTES.

Dr. H. A. Hark, of the University of Pennsylvania, has issued, through P. Blakiston. Son & Co., Philadelphia, his essay on "Mediastinal Disease," to which the Medical Society of London awarded the Fothergillian medal for 1888.

A curious story of foster relationship between a wood-duck and a hen is told by a Mr. Palmer. The duck was hatched along with a brood of chicks from an egg that had been placed under the hen. It was attended as well as her other chicks by the mother, and reached adult age. Then, when the hen brought out another brood of chicks, it kept in close attendance, much to the hen's annoyance, and with occasional resultant fights. Finally, the duck drove away the hen and took exclusive care of the chicks during the day, only giving them up at night.

A new oil-burning light, called from its inventor the Doty light, is said to be well suited for Lighting all places where brilliant illumination, without dark shadows, is required at moderate cost and without elaborate preparation. In it oil is forced by compressed air through a tube which has been formed into a double coil. The coil is heated, so that the oil is vaporized in passing through it, and, becoming ignited at the burner, issues in a brilliant flame. The pressure of the air is kept up by a few occasional strokes upon a hand-pump. Three sizes of the light are placed upon the market—300, 500, and 1,000 candle-power. The inventor claims for it numerous advantages resulting from its being self-contained, self-generating, and portable.

The greater prevalence of diphtheria, small-pox, and scarlet fever in the cold seasons of the year is explained by Dr. H. B. Baker as resulting from the tendency in those periods to catarrhal inflammations of the respiratory tract. This is also exemplified in the prevalence of influenza, bronchitis, and tonsillitis. The cause of these forms of inflammation may be found in the retention of non-volatile salts in the mucous lining of the air-passages.

The land of the salt-district in Cheshire, England, is gradually undergoing subsidence in consequence of the pumping up of the brine which is produced by the solution of the rock-salt far below the surface. As this brine is removed, fresh water takes its place, and this reacts upon the rocks, forming new brine, which is pumped up in its turn. And so the process goes on year after year, with constant removal of the props of the earth.