Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 5.djvu/715

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THERMAL DEATH-POINT OF LIVING MATTER.

back until the shark was removed. The best food for the animals indicated is the mussel or the oyster cut into fine shreds, but fresh beef may be used if these cannot be had. To feed the anemones, place a shred upon the end of a stick and put it in contact with one of the animal's tentacles, whereupon it will be immediately conveyed to the mouth. They do not require feeding oftener than once a week. The crabs should be fed at the same time or they will rob the anemones. It is not necessary, as previously indicated, to add plants to marine aquaria; however, a few pieces of sea-weed may be put in for the sake of ornament, but, as it does not live long, care should be taken to remove each piece as soon as it dies, and replace it by a living one.

 

THERMAL DEATH-POINT OF LIVING MATTER.[1]
By H. CHARLTON BASTIAN, M. D., F. R. S.,

PROFESSOR OF PATHOLOGICAL ANATOMY IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON.

I.

WATER is boiling merrily over a brisk fire, when some luckless person upsets the vessel, so that the heated fluid exercises its scathing influence upon an uncovered portion of the body—hand, arm, or face. Those who have seen much of the effects produced upon the human skin by such accidents, will have acquired information not unworthy of influencing their opinion on some more general problems connected with the action of heat upon living matter. Here, at all events, there is no room for doubt. Boiling water unquestionably exercises a most pernicious and rapidly destructive action upon the living matter of which we are composed. There is no need to appeal to the sufferer's sensations for this information. This, indeed, is a point of view which we may for the present dismiss. For, however agonizing these sensations may be, they could only supply us with information upon a collateral point with which we are not at present concerned. Apart from such subjective effects, there are objective effects. That is, we are easily able to see the changes produced by boiling water upon living matter—revealing themselves as they do by an immediately altered appearance of the skin, and by the terrible wound so quickly produced. Upon these distressing, though, unfortunately, only too familiar consequences of the action of heat upon living matter, it is not necessary for me further to dwell; I would merely have the reader so far bear them in mind that they may not be incapable of recall during the perusal of this article. The occasional revival of such impressions may perhaps prove a little

  1. From author's advance sheets.