Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/294

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282
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

they do not exert an equal stimulating effect. It is, however, rich in such elements of a perfect food as fat, albumen, and starch, and has nearly twice as much mineral salt as tea. To obviate the unpleasant effects of the fat, a large amount of it is removed, or diluted, during the process of manufacture. When deprived of the excess of fat, cocoa yields a bland, easily digested, and slightly stimulating beverage, which is generally free from any subsequent unpleasant effects.

 

New Tests for Color-blindness.—The method of testing the eyes of railway servants by skeins of differently colored wools has been pronounced by the Congress of the Society of Drivers and Firemen unpractical, because the conditions under which it is made are different from any to which the men are subjected in their work. The congress has recommended that the men be tried day and night on the railway with actual signals at any necessary distances; and have suggested that, in any case in which a member of the society is discharged or reduced on account of failure in responding to the dot and wool test, he should be examined by a surgeon, with the right to have a practical trial with signals if the surgeon's report is not unfavorable. The Lancet suggests that there are other cases where a surgeon's examination may be in place—when, for instance, a man's eyesight fails after he has been on duty sixteen, eighteen, or twenty-three hours. Again, a man may have impaired his vision by excessive smoking.

 

Choice Oriental Fruits.—It has been said that more than a hundred different preserves could be made from a judicious blending of the fruits of the East and West Indies and of South America. The Indian preserves were formerly in much request. In the thirteenth century the most renowned preserve was a paste made of candied ginger. In India preserves and jellies are made of the pear, quince, mango, tamarind, date, guava, banana, etc. In Singapore pineapples are preserved whole, and the same manufacture is carried on on a large scale in the Bahamas. Among other fruits preserved in their natural state, in sirup crystallized with sugar, or made into jelly, are the pineapple, bread-fruit, ginger, jack-fruit, papaw, mangosteen, pomeloe, and nutmeg. Preparations of pineapple are among the best of these. Both the red and white guava make excellent sweetmeat paste or jelly. Bread-fruit, whether in sirup or crystallized, is flavorless to the European taste, and more a food-substance than a fruit. Preserved ginger is popular in England, but is not much esteemed on the Continent. The Spaniards eat raw ginger in the morning to give themselves an appetite; and it is used at table, fresh or candied. Among sailors it is considered anti-scorbutic. The mangosteen is one of the most delicious and famous fruits of the Indian Archipelago, and has the "delicate and characteristic flavor of the strawberry, grape, pineapple, and peach, combined." The mango is the best fruit of India, and is cultivated in about as many varieties as the apple. The half-ripe fruits are made into tarts and marmalades. The finest varieties seem to thrive in Jamaica, where the mango is a popular fruit with the negroes. The list of Oriental fruits available for preserves is long and contains many names hardly known, except as matters of curiosity, in the West.

 

Fishing for Crocodiles.—The Sundyaks, or Dusuns, of the east coast of Borneo, eat crocodiles, and fish for them. According to Mr. R. T. Pritchett's description of their mode of fishing, they bind a dead monkey as bait upon a stick, along which, at intervals, are tied lengths of fishing-twine. These are brought together some seven or eight feet off, and attached to the end of a rattan seventy or eighty feet in length. The bait is thrown into the river at a suitable spot, and the other end of the rattan is slightly secured to an overhanging branch. The crocodile takes the bait, and retires to enjoy and digest his meal, paying no attention to the stick. The hunter, going to the river the next morning, and missing his rattan, looks along the river till he finds it floating on the stream; the crocodile is of course at the baited stick. The hunter takes the rattan and with a sharp jerk upon it draws the stick "athwart-ship" in the interior of the crocodile. The rattan is pulled on shore as quickly as possible, and, with the help of as many of the hunter's friends as may be required, the crocodile is disposed of. The professional sportsmen,