Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/262

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
250
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

besides eruptions there are also volcanic explosions like those which our generation has witnessed at Krakatoa in 1883, Bangtaisom in 1887, and which our fathers observed at Temboro in 1832. If we reflect that the explosion of Krakatoa threw 16 cubic kilometres of matter into the air, and that of Temboro was still more considerable, we may be permitted to say that volcanic action, instead of diminishing, adds to the constant degradation of the continental relief.

I have not assumed to give precise figures on this subject. My object is less to exhibit numerical results than to present a view of the relative magnitude of the effects under analysis. It is evident that these effects can not be neglected, and that they permit us to assign to the geological history of our globe a duration less than the somewhat fantastic figures to which we have been occasionally asked to give credit.

It is nevertheless true that the disappearance of the continental relief, while it may receive the attention of the geologist and thinker, is not one of those events concerning which present generations need trouble themselves. Neither our children nor our great-grandchildren will have a visible prospect of it presented to them as an actual danger.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Ciel et Terre.

 

THE MUSIC OF THE BIRDS.
By SIMEON PEASE CHENEY.

HEN MUSIC.—Late, one night, as I chanced near the hennery with a light, I was rewarded by an exquisite exhibition of the communicative ability of our domestic fowls. The hens moved on their perches; when the rooster spoke, rousing them still more. Stepping back, I soon heard a little sound, high and "exceeding fine," with a deceiving, ventriloquous quality. Long spun, and then bent down in a graceful descent of the interval of a sixth, it terminated in a more decided tone, a peculiar tremor something less than a trill, and died away in a beautiful diminish:

PSM V39 D262 Pianissimo sound produced by hens.png

This model example in pianissimo practice, and in the art of holding the breath, proved to come from one of the hens; and, though the exact tones are here represented, no idea can be conveyed of the unique, perfect performance. The quieting effect on