Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/732

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

phon made of cut stone pipes, and ended a short distance thence in a large infiltration gallery, the roof of which is arched over with brick, supported by the natural sides of the excavation formed of trap rock. This gallery, which is 9,460 feet long, is twelve feet below the bed of the river, and evidently obtains its supply from subterranean stores from the subsoil rock on its way to its natural outlet, the river. The position of the gallery has been chosen with great astuteness, which shows that the engineer of Malik Umber knew exactly what he was about. Behind it stretch hills surrounded by table land, having an area of twenty miles, with a configuration that would argue that the collecting area of the gallery must be at least twelve square miles. The hills contract in the direction of the river, till a semicircular valley is formed bounded by the river Ursool. The gallery has been so placed between the river and the hills as to form the chord to the arc. The works are now dilapidated, and do not furnish one third of the supply of water for which they are calculated.

 

Hygienic Value of the Bicycle.—The bicycle is highly commended as a hygienic instrument in a paper by Dr. Seneca Egbert on that vehicle "in its relation to the physician"—the relation, according to the author, being apparently one of keeping the doctor away. "In the first place," he says, "as an exercise cycling is superior to most if not all others at our command. It takes one into the out-door air; is entirely under control; can be made as gentle or as vigorous as one desires; is active and not passive; takes the rider out of himself and the thoughts and cares of his daily work; develops his will, his attention, courage, and independence; and makes pleasant what is otherwise most irksome. Moreover, the exercise is well and equally distributed over almost the whole body, and, as Parkes says, when all the muscles are exercised no muscle is likely to be overexercised. This general muscular exercise also has its direct effect upon the other and vital organs of the body, the heart, lungs, and digestive organs especially; and the improvement in general health and digestion, after a few weeks' riding, is by no means illusory or fleeting. We all know that the trouble with many of our patients is purely functional, and that their maladies have been brought on by lack of pure air, too little exercise, and too much mental worry over their work or business. For these the bicycle furnishes an agreeable remedy." It is thus recommended specifically for venous or anæmic dyspepsia, torpor of the liver and intestines; for tuberculous diathesis, incipient consumption, nervous troubles, rheumatic disorders; and "is destined to be of great benefit to women. It gets them out of doors, gives them a form of exercise adapted to their needs, neither too violent not too passive, one very pleasant withal that they may enjoy in company with others or alone, and one that goes to the root of their nervous troubles." A correct position in bicycling is important; it is the upright one, and not "a posture resembling a half-opened jackknife," which cramps the chest and interferes with the flow of blood. Excess either in quantity or intensity of bicycle work must be avoided.

 

"Crocodile Tears."—The figure "crocodile tears" rests, it appears upon a real fact, although the tears appertain more particularly to the snake. According to the explanation of the matter offered by Mr. R. H. Burne, of the Royal College of Surgeons, the eye of the snake is protected from dust, etc., by the eyelids, which are transparent and joined to each other so as to form a layer of skin between the eye and the outer lid; in other words, the snake always goes about with its eyelids shut. Thus the real occupation of the tears is gone, there being no dust on the surface of the eye to be washed off. Instead, however, of the tear-gland being reduced in size, it is exceptionally large; in some snakes, indeed, in which the eyes are reduced and practically functionless, the gland is some two or three times larger than the whole eye. This peculiar state of affairs was explained by the discovery that the gland had lost its connection with the eye, and opened through the mediation of the tear-canal directly into the mouth, thus doubtless, by means of its secretion, making the descent of Avernus smooth and easy to any unfortunate creature that this snake may have taken a fancy to. This is possibly not quite what was meant by the fable of the crocodile's tears, but it affords a curious