Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/292

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
280
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

germs are being dried and carried into the air by every passing breeze, by every sweeping, and how they are capable of producing the disease six months after drying; when we think of the miscellaneous crowd sleeping in hotel bedrooms; when we think of the close, unventilated sleeping-car with hangings and curtains so well calculated to catch the germs, and where, as some one has said, the air is as dangerous as in those boxes filled with pulverized sputa where dogs are placed for experiment; then when we remember that man's lungs are a regular hot-house for the multiplication and growth of these seeds of consumption—is it any wonder that one citizen in every seven dies of this disease?" As the lesson from these facts, the author advises that no consumptive should be allowed to expectorate on the floor or street, and all sputa (from consumptives) should be disinfected and burned.

 

Characteristics of Leprosy.—The etiology of leprosy has been studied in Cashmere by Dr. Ernest F. Neve. The disease may be recognized in its early stages by certain integumentary changes, or by an—sthetic patches. The skin of the forehead, especially of the superciliary ridges, becomes somewhat thickened and dusky in color, but not necessarily irregular. The hair of the eyebrows is scanty. There are two main types of leprosy in the valley—the anæsthetic and the tubercular; but patients may often be seen presenting at once anæsthesia, macules, tubercles, and ulcerations of soft tissues and bone. Anæsthesia seldom remains for any length of time uncomplicated. Blisters are apt to form, and then local death of tissue and ulceration. Portions of bone removed by operation in the more advanced stages are spongy, and appear to have undergone a process of rarefying osteitis. Withdrawn nerve-influence is greatly concerned in the affection; and the nerves supplying the degraded part are found, on clinical examination, to be thickened and sometimes tender. The nerves most often involved in leprosy are, in order of frequency, the sciatic, musculo-spiral, ulnar, and median. The changes in the reflexes are essentially of the nature of diminution. Superficial reflexes disappear early. Muscular atrophy occurs in advanced cases. The tubercular form is apt to be more severe than the anæsthetic, and is often superadded. The face becomes distorted, with elevations a few lines in diameter, especially affecting the forehead, nose, and auricles, producing the characteristic leonine appearance, but scattered over the whole body. In treatment, nerve-stretching has been found valuable as a palliative.

 

A Sacrifice to the Yankee Pie Idol.—There is a belief, in other parts of the country, that the New England digestion has been sacrificed to pie; but few persons, probably, have known of other valuable possessions being offered up to the idol. In a biographical sketch of Charles Chauncy, second President of Harvard College, written in 1768 by his great-grandson of the same name, the writer states that, desiring to possess the papers of his illustrious ancestor, he made a search for them and found that they had descended to a son of the president, "who had kept them as a valuable treasure during his life; but upon his death, his children being all under age, they were unhappily suffered to continue in the possession of his widow, their mother. She married some time after a Northampton deacon, who principally got his living by making and selling pies. Behold now the fate of all the good president's writings of every kind! They were put to the bottom of pies, and in this way brought to utter destruction."

 

Mangoes.—Hundreds of varieties of the mango are grown in India; and, according to Dr. G. Bonavia, fifty or more kinds might be named which for texture and exquisiteness of flavor would more than compare with the same qualities in the nectarine and peach. Only those who have had opportunities of trying the choice varieties have any conception how good this fruit is. The uncultivated seedling mangoes are generally fibrous, but this does not prevent their having very often an exquisite flavor. To enjoy them they must be sucked. The choicest mangoes, of which there are scores, have no fiber in their pulp, and not a trace of turpentine flavor, except, perhaps, a suspicion of it in the skin. "When the skin is removed, if you shut your eyes while eating them, you might often be deluded into the