Popular Science Monthly/Volume 49/July 1896/Fragments of Science
Mysterious Fractures in Steel.—The so-called mysterious fractures in steel, with which every engineer is familiar, bid fair to become things of the past. The following facts, taken from a recently reported analysis of specimens from a fractured steamship "tail shaft," are especially interesting, as showing the great value of investigations which at first sight may seem entirely barren of anything but theoretical interest. This accident, which a few years ago would have been put down as one of those "mysterious breaks," probably due to "fatigue," the shaft having been in practically continuous use for twelve or fourteen years, was fully explained by the subsequent examination. A chemical analysis was first made which indicated that the ingot from which the shaft had been forged was cast too hot; that the carbon was very unevenly distributed, the center of the shaft containing fifty per cent more than the portion near the circumference; and, finally, that the content of sulphur and phosphorus was three times greater in the core than at the circumference, and excessive in all parts of the mass. But the most important and instructive results were obtained in the microscopic examination of sections. Micrometallography is a comparatively new science, which, however, already promises to be of great practical value to the metal-worker. The microscopical examination showed a bad structural arrangement of the iron and steel "cells," especially in the core. The, phosphorus, as phosphide, was distributed pretty generally, and the cohesion between crystals rich in phosphide is very faulty. The center of the shaft was riddled with sulphide of iron, and was little tougher than good gray pig iron. "It is almost certain that a number of sulphide flaws of the interior gradually worked outward, along the crystalline junctions of the fairly tough metal outside, until under a vibratory shock of unusual force the whole mass ruptured."
The Tsetse Fly.—The few travelers whose lot has led them through the lowlands of equatorial Africa have most of them reported the tsetse fly (Glossina sp.) as one of the most formidable impediments in the way of colonization or even exploration of these regions. Wild animals and human beings suffer only temporary irritation from its attacks, but domestic animals entering the fly districts are seized in the course of a few days with fever and wasting, and almost invariably die. The tsetse is a dipter, having a pale yellow abdomen and gray, striped thorax. It is rather larger than the house fly. The mouth parts form a powerful piercing beak. From an account of a report on the tsetse-fly disease, by Surgeon-Major David Bruce, published in Nature, we learn that there has at last been an attempt made to study the fly and its disease in a thorough and scientific manner. As far back as 1870 a Mr. St. Vincent Erskine endeavored to show that the disease was due solely to change of grass and climate. Since then several other travelers have stated their belief that the fly was not injurious, or, at any rate, that the ill effects of its bite were much exaggerated. At last the Natal Government has authorized Mr. Bruce to thoroughly investigate the tsetse-fly disease, and his paper is the outcome of the first three months' work. The results so far attained seem to indicate not the action of a specific virus, as was originally supposed, but the transmission by the tsetse fly of a bacterium or its products. The investigation is proceeding along somewhat the same lines which Dr. P. Manson is following in endeavoring to trace the malaria plasmodium through the mosquito. A similar relationship was traced some years ago between Texas fever, a disease of cattle, in which certain parasitic bodies were found in the red blood corpuscles, and the cattle ticks (Ixodidæ). Among the new facts brought to light by Dr. Bruce's work, one of considerable importance is the specific action which arsenic seems to have on the disease; its administration causes a reduction in temperature, a maintenance of the normal number of red blood cells, and a disappearance of the hæmatozoa from the blood.
Serum Therapy and Blood Brotherhood.—The very ancient practice of the transfusion of blood from one person to another, as a means of cementing friendship, seems, in the light of the modern serum treatment of disease, to have been something more than a purely sentimental operation. In a recent letter to Nature, T. L. Patterson discusses the probable value of such inoculations. He thinks it very probable that a European inoculated with the blood or serum of a native would be better able to resist the climatic changes to which he is subjected in tropical countries. "In other words, would blood inoculation not set up in his system those changes necessary to adapt him to the climate, and render him immune to the diseases which are the result of the climate? The suggestion is based on the assumption that the native is more healthy in his own climate than any foreigner can be, and that blood inoculation would acclimatize the latter at once. The advantages to be derived from such a system are obvious. At present, in central Africa, many missionaries and pioneers are annually sacrificed to the climate." Blood brotherhood is still extensively practiced among savages, and is common in central Africa; the essential part of the process consists of making an incision just sufficient to draw blood in the right wrist of each of the participants. A little of the blood is scraped off of each cut and smeared on the other's cut. It seems quite probable that a further study of this practice may reveal a prophylactic measure of great practical value.
A New Old Skull.—Prof. A. Nehring has recently described a new human skull of low type found near Santos, in Brazil, of which an account is given by A. C. Haddon in Nature. It was found in a breccia, the exact age of which is uncertain, associated with fish vertebræ, a few fragments of other human remains, and a portion of the lower jaw of a toothed whale. The forehead is low and retreating, the glabella and orbital ridges well developed. The frontal ridge is greatly constricted behind the orbital region, as in Pithecanthropus. The principal measurements given are: Maximum length, 183 mm.; maximum breadth, 135 mm.; minimum frontal, 88 mm.; maximum frontal, 92 mm.; frontal sagittal arc, 118 mm.; and the parietal arc, 134 mm. The face of this cranium was strongly prognathous, the whole dentition is strong, and all the teeth are perfectly sound. The dimensions of the premolars and the molars come very close to those of Spy No. 1 skull, any difference there may be being in the direction of the dentition of Spy No. 2. While the length and breadth of the new skull agree fairly closely with those of Pithecanthropus, the cranial height is considerably greater, and consequently also the cranial capacity.
Animal Intelligence.—Evidence of the almost human abilities of some of the higher apes is no new thing, but a new series of observations are called attention to in a recent Spectator. The account is taken from A. E. Brehm's book. From North Pole to Equator. "The baboons were on flat ground, crossing a valley, when the traveler's dogs, Arab greyhounds, accustomed to fight successfully with hyenas and other beasts of prey, rushed toward the baboons. Only the females took to flight; the males, on the contrary, turned to face the dogs, growled, beat the ground with their hands, opened their mouths wide and showed their glittering teeth, and looked at their adversaries so furiously and maliciously that the hounds, usually bold and battle-hardened, shrank back. By the time the dogs had been encouraged to renew their attack the whole herd had escaped to the rocks except a six-months-old monkey. The little monkey sat on a rock surrounded by the dogs, but was rescued by an old baboon, who stepped down from the cliff near, advanced toward the dogs, kept them in check by gestures and menacing sounds, picked up the baby monkey, and carried it to the cliff, where the dense crowd of monkeys shouting their battle cry were watching his heroism. The march of the baboons is not a mere expedition of the predatory members of the community. The whole nation trek together and make war on the cultivated ground in common. No wild animals have developed their powers of combined attack and defense in so creditable a manner as the baboons. Their motives—defense, not defiance—are irreproachable, and their methods deliberate, self-reliant, and effective, and Brehm justly remarks that there is probably no other male animal which runs into danger voluntarily to rescue a young one of its own species."
Individual Communion Cups.—A gratifying indication of the broadening influence which science is so slowly, but none the less surely, perhaps, exerting among the people at large is contained in the following paragraph clipped from a morning paper, Jersey City, N. J., April 5th: "Individual communion cups were used for the first time in the First Presbyterian Church on Emory Street, this morning. There were six hundred communicants present, each having a new cup. The cup used is glass, with a light gold rim, and is not costly. They were passed around on trays that held thirty-six glasses each. After using, the glasses were placed in the hymn-book racks and were collected by the sexton after the service. The Rev. Dr. Charles Herr, the pastor, said he thought the individual cups had come to stay." As we learn more and more of the means by which disease is propagated, it should be the endeavor of all to aid in the use of ibis knowledge in devising new methods or modifying old ones for the prevention of communicable disease, and the extension of it from person to person. In many maladies the secretions of the mouth become highly infected, and are a source of the most immediate danger to any one coming in contact with them. Dr. E. A. Wallace, in writing on this subject, says: "At a recent meeting of the Monroe County Medical Society, in New York, an epidemic of diphtheria was reported by one of the health officers. This epidemic was confined to a single school district, twenty-four families being afflicted. The contagion was traced back to the drinking cup used in school by the diphtheritic children. Microscopic examination revealed the diphtheritic microbes adhering in great quantities to its rim." Dr. Alfred Ashmead says: "The last time I knelt at the communion altar there knelt at one side of me a patient whom I knew (as I was treating him at the time) to be suffering from an odious disease: his mouth contained patches which made it especially contagious. This person took the cup before it came to me; of course I let it pass." (But what of the communicants beyond the doctor who did not know!) In fact, there can be no reasonable doubt that many cases of infectious disease have been and are still caused by the communion cup, and when one considers what some of them are, how horrible the contraction of such a disease is by any one, and how especially pitiful in the case of a young girl, it is hard to be patient with the stupid superstition which upholds the continuance of such a custom. There are so many paths by which infection may reach us, and over which we have, as yet, no control, that the few cases in which we have some power should be made the most of.
Short Method for Producing Antitoxine.—An interesting paper, by Dr. G. E. Cartwright, was recently read before the Royal Society on A Method for Rapidly Producing Diphtheria Antitoxines. Two species of diphtheria toxine were made use of—the ordinary toxine produced by the organism in peptone broth, and secondly the substances present in serum-broth cultivations which had been filtered and heated up to 65° C. As a rule, the broth was inoculated with a virulent diphtheria culture some three or four days previous to the addition of the serum, and then incubated at a temperature of. 37° C. for at least three or four weeks. Before being used for injection it was subjected to a temperature of 65° C. for about an hour, and then filtered through a sterilized Chamberland candle to remove the bodies of the bacilli. This fluid the author calls "serum" toxine, in contradistinction to the ordinary poison, "broth" toxine. The serum toxine gives rise to little local irritation, but to marked febrile reaction. In addition it was found that animals which had been subjected to its action were rendered more or less refractory to subsequent infection, and this suggested the possibility of its application as a means of shortening the preliminary treatment which a horse must undergo before it can receive the large doses of broth toxine which are usually necessary for the production of antitoxine of any strength. A horse was treated as follows: He received during the first twelve days three hundred and eighty cubic centimetres of serum toxine spread over three injections on different dates. On the nineteenth day fifty cubic centimetres of unfiltered serum toxine (sterilized at 65° C.) and one hundred and fifty cubic centimetres of broth toxine (of which half a cubic centimetre killed a five-hundred-gramme guinea-pig in forty-eight hours) were injected. The experiment was somewhat impeded at this point by the formation of a small abscess, which was subsequently avoided by filtering out the bodies of the bacilli. On the twenty-eighth day fifty cubic centimetres of the same broth toxine were injected, and on the thirtieth day another injection of one hundred and fifteen cubic centimetres was given. The horse was bled on the thirty-second day of treatment, and the serum was found to possess the strength of ten normal units (one one-hundredth cubic centimetre protected a two-hundred-and-fifty gramme guinea-pig against ten lethal doses of broth toxine). "As this strength is only attained by Roux's method after at least ten weeks' treatment, it was evident that the serum treatment had considerably shortened the process." The horse was then subjected to the ordinary method for producing antitoxine, when it reacted in every respect like an animal which had been under the usual treatment for several months. In the next horse much larger quantities of the serum toxine were used, with the addition of a certain amount of antitoxine, to avoid the risk of constitutionally injuring the animal. The horse was bled on the thirtieth day, and the antitoxic value of its serum tested. It was found that one one-thousandth cubic centimetre protected completely against ten lethal doses of the toxine; and finally, after nine weeks' treatment, one twenty-five hundredth cubic centimetre protected against ten lethal doses.
Japanese Rice.—Rice is the most important of all Japanese crops; the cultivation takes up moi-e than half of the total surface of arable land. The report of the Chevalier de Warpenarst, Belgian vice-consul at Yokohama, is authority for the following details, which we find in the Journal of the Society of Arts. Japan produces two kinds of rice, viz., rice of the lowlands, which is watered by an ingenious system of irrigation, and the rice of the mountains. The latter requires very little water and sun, while it is impossible to have too much for the former. Lowland rice is subdivided into two kinds—ordinary rice and glutinous rice, the latter forming about eight per cent of the annual crop. The ordinary rice is of three varieties—early, medium, and late. The total rice crop of 1892 was 41,379,000 koku, which is equivalent to 205,360,000 bushels. About the end of May the winter crop is gathered in, and some time between the end of September and the end of October the summer crop is ready for harvesting. About 34,000,000 koku of the annual production are for home consumption. It is the upper and middle classes who eat rice, the poor being seldom able to obtain it, their food consisting of the leavings of the rich—stale fish and fish entrails, which are cooked all together and sold about the streets on stalls. The farmer himself eats barley, corn, millet, and the sweet potato, but rice only on fête days. Besides the 34,000,000 koku used for food, there are about 500,000 koku used for brewing purposes, and 3,000,000 more in the manufacture of the drink known as saké.
Science as a Help to Agriculture.—Much was made of the work of the United States Department of Agriculture in the discussion in the British Association of the question, "How shall agriculture best obtain the help of science?" In the course of the discussion Prof. Marshall Ward said that it was of extreme importance that the results of any investigations should be made known at once and accurately to the practical man, and this was work that might very well be undertaken by the Government; but he deprecated any direction or control from a Government department in any matters of original research. There was at present in existence a large mass of information as to agriculture and forestry which had never yet been made available for the practical man. Criticising some of the methods of agricultural teaching as at present carried out, Prof. J. R. Green said that the farmer was apt to regard chemistry as comprising only the chemistry of soils, whereas it was of even greater importance to pay attention to the chemistry of plants, and generally to give the plant organism the same attention from various points of view that was now given as a matter of course to the animal organism. Prof. Perceval, of Wye College, also emphasized the importance of paying attention to the chemistry of the plant and not of the soil only. Lectures on scientific agriculture were successful if the elements only of the science were explained in non-technical language, and the farmers were then taught to make experiments for themselves. Mr. M. J. B. Dunstan thought much of the prejudice against science arose from the mistaken idea that it was meant to replace experience instead of supplementing it.
Marriage Customs of the Shans.—Marriage celebrations among the Shans are rather unpretentious affairs. The ceremony varies from the simple arrangement of taking each other's word for it to feasts lasting several days among wealthy people; but even in these cases the actual ceremony is a minor feature in the proceedings. The usual form among western Shans is for the couple to eat rice together out of the same dish in the presence of their relatives and the village elders. The bridegroom then declares that he marries the lady and will support her. More ceremony is observed among the Lü. The hands of bride and bridegroom are tied together with a piece of string after they have eaten together, and an old man pronounces them duly married. The Hköns throw rice balls at each other and the couple during the ceremony. The newly married couple then go to their house, and split betelnut? are distributed among the relatives of the bride, who give money as a return present. Divorce is readily obtainable, but, except among young people of low rank, is comparatively rare. A man can have more than one wife if he can afford it. In case of divorce the property is divided according to the laws of Menu; and the applicant for the divorce, when the desire is not mutual, or the person through whose fault the divorce is applied for, always loses considerably in the division.
Psychology of Puppies.—A publication on the Psychic Development of Young Animals and its Physical Correlation, by Wesley Mills, embodies the results of the study of a litter of thirteen St. Bernard puppies—ultimately reduced to six—from birth to sixty days of age. The facts most striking in the first few days of life were the frequent desire to suck, the perfect ability to reach the teats of the dam just after birth, the misery evident under cold and hunger, and the fact that the greater part of existence is passed in sleep. Nothing is more striking than the efforts the animal makes almost as soon as it is born to place itself in a surrounding of comfort. Sucking is improved by practice, and is subject to modification with the increasing experience of the animal. The effects of stroking, smoothing movements of the hand are very striking. The temperature sense appears to be well marked from the first, and the muscular sense early present and finally well developed. Even on the day of birth the puppies would not creep off from a surface on which they were at rest if it was elevated a short distance from the ground. Taste and smell are very feeble at first, and are gradually developed. The "opening of the eyes" is a very slow process. It began in the St. Bernards on the eleventh day; but it is doubtful if the animal sees at all, in the proper sense of the word, till the lids are completely separated, if even then. The indications concerning hearing are indefinite and obscure; but the puppies were very early stimulated by concussions. No attempts were made to play while the eyes continued closed; but when play began, the observation of its development was very interesting. On the twenty-sixth and thirty-third days the sense of fun or humor seemed to be shown. The puppies were very readily susceptible to fatigue, in view of which the sleep they indulge in so greatly is seen to be very necessary to them. The first evidence of will, as marked in motions other than those described as reflex, was observed on the seventeenth day. The tail was not wagged while the eyes were unopened. Puppies usually cry like a kitten. Gradually this voice is changed to that characteristic of a dog. Before barking in any form, growling in sleep, and then in play, is observed. Prof. Mills finds two great periods of development in the puppy—one before the eyes are opened, and the other afterward. Development is slow in the first period and existence almost vegetative; an intermediate period is marked by considerable advance, though slow as compared with the progress made in the next few days. The period between the seventeenth and forty-fifth days is the one of the greatest importance; and after that a constant improvement from experience goes on till the sixtieth day. These periods, however, are not distinct, but glide into one another.
The Discoverer of Robinson Crusoe.—In a recent address before the Historical Club of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. William Osier related the curious history of Thomas Dover, of Dover's powder fame, whose contribution to therapeutics seems to have constituted the least of his claims upon posterity. Of the facts of Dover's life little was known. Munk states that he was born in Warwickshire about 1660. He was a Bachelor of Medicine of Cambridge. After taking his degree he settled in Bristol, and having made money joined with some merchants in a privateering expedition. Little is known of his life up to this time. He was associated in this undertaking with a group of Bristol merchants. The expedition went in two ships, and Dover was third in command. The days of the buccaneers were almost numbered, but there was in Bristol at this time one of the last and one of the most famous of the old South Sea captains, William Dampier, a man who knew more of the Spanish Main and of the Pacific than any one living. He was engaged to accompany the expedition as pilot. They started in 1703, and the voyage lasted three years. In February, 1709, while lying off the island of Juan Fernandez, they observed a light on the shore, and several days later, after the abatement of a storm, which prevented their earlier landing, they went on shore, where they found the original of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. He was clothed in goat skins, and "seemed wilder than the original owners of his apparel." His name was Alexander Selkirk, a Scotchman, who had lived alone on the island for four years and four months. Captain Thomas Dover returned from the South Seas in 1711, a wealthy man; his subsequent career is only imperfectly known. In 1721, however, he was admitted licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, a qualification which enabled a man at that time to practice in and six miles around Westminster. In 1732 he published a work entitled The Ancient Physician's Legacy to his Country, in which, he says on the title-page "the extraordinary effects of mercury are more particularly considered." On page 18 is given the formula of his famous powder: "Take opium one ounce, saltpetre and tartar vitriolated each four ounces, ipecacuanha one ounce. Put the saltpetre and tartar in a red-hot mortar, stirring them with a spoon until they have done flaming. Then powder them very fine; after that slice in your opium, grind them to a powder, and then mix the other powders with these. Dose, from forty to sixty or seventy grains in a glass of white wine posset, going to bed, covering up warm, and drinking a quart or three pints of the posset. Drink while sweating." He says that some apothecaries have desired their patients to make their wills and settle their affairs before they venture upon so large a dose as sixty or seventy grains. "As monstrous as they may represent this, I can produce undeniable proofs where a patient of mine has taken no less a quantity than a hundred grains and yet has appeared abroad the next day." Dover continued to practice in London, and in the seventh edition of The Ancient Physician's Legacy there is a letter to him from Catherine Hood, in which she speaks of having consulted him in 1737. He is stated by Munk to have died in 1741 or 1742.
Sisal in the Bahamas.—Sisal fiber which is next in importance to hemp in rope-making, derived its commercial name from the port of Sisal, from which it was originally shipped in the Bahamas. In Yucatan the plant is called henequen. Agave sisalana, which is its botanical name, had its original home in Mexico; it belongs to the same family as the well-known century plant. On account of its value as a fiber-producer it has now been widely distributed in tropical and subtropical countries. It does not require a rich soil, and can get along with surprisingly little water. The plant is best propagated by means of suckers, which it produces abundantly; they are allowed to reach sixteen or twenty inches in height and are then "lifted" and the roots trimmed and some of the lower leaves removed before resetting. Leaves fit for cutting are produced in three or four years. During the first season of yielding, however, only a few of the larger leaves are removed; subsequently ten or fifteen leaves are cut from each plant. The cutting is done from one to three times a year. The leaves are cleaned by a machine which turns out from one half to one ton of fiber a day; the cleaning should be done within a few hours after the leaves are harvested, as the fermentation which soon starts up in the saccharine matters surrounding the fiber very soon discolors and seriously weakens it. When cleaned before fermentation has set in, the fiber is perfectly white; after passing through the machine it is hung out in the sun to dry, and when dry tied up into bales of three hundred and fifty to four hundred pounds each. An acre of land with six hundred and fifty plants will yield from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred pounds of fiber per annum, the price of which has varied from £50 per ton in 1889 to £13 in 1895. In March, 189(5, it was quoted at £17. A plantation lasts about fifteen years, if carefully cared for. It is necessary, however, to be continually replacing individuals that have "poled." This is the supreme effort in the life of many plants of the agave tribe, and with it they complete their life history. The flowering panicle or pole is a huge inflorescence sent up from the heart of the plant. It is fifteen to twenty feet high, and sometimes higher. From the base, which is about four inches in diameter, it gradually tapers upward into a fine, slender rod. The branches carry numerous greenish-yellow flowers, giving the whole a candelabral character. In Agave sisalana the flowers are seldom followed by seed pods; exceptionally, one or two may be produced. When the flowers have fallen off, at the ends of the branches in the axils near the flower scar there are produced numerous small bulbels, which eventually develop into plantlets of considerable size. These are locally called "pole plants," and the sisal plant is capable of being abundantly propagated, either by means of the "pole plants" or "root suckers," the latter of which, however, are preferred by the planters.
The. Toba Lake.—The most striking feature of the Batak tableland of Sumatra is the great sheet of water known as the Toba Lake, of which, though only as a name, geographers have been cognizant for more than a century. It lies, according to Baron Anatole von Hugel, about twenty-five hundred feet above the sea; and, trending from the southwest to the northeast, has a length of about fifty miles, with an average breadth of sixteen miles. It is oblong in shape, and has a considerably indented coast line. The natives call it by two distinct names; for the central third of its length is so blocked by a large and populous island as to divide it into two basins. The island consists of a compact mountain range of gentle contour, attaining its greatest height at fifty-two hundred feet. Of the narrow channels which separate this island from the mainland, one is navigable at all times, while the other is so shallow as to be fordable on foot when the water is low. The lake has a considerable outflow, which, after a short course, forms a respectable waterfall, and eventually joins the sea. No river, however, flows into the lake; and the insignificant rivulets and brooks that run down its steep shores are the only visible streams that feed its wide waters—a large expanse, indeed, considering that its water-surface area is three times that of the Lake of Constance. The frequent and regular changes in the hue of the lake are a peculiarity worth mentioning. "Of a morning, the surface being then mostly unruffled, it appears of a fine dark blue, which changes to a greenish tint along the shores; by noon it is of a leaden gray; and of an afternoon it is whitened with foam by a fierce wind, which here blows with strange regularity."
The Professional Criminal.—In a recent article in Blackwood's Magazine Mr. Anderson discusses the appropriate treatment by the state of the professional criminal, and the ineffectiveness of the present system. In speaking of the sentencing of a criminal of this class, who had previously spent several terms in the penitentiary, to five years' penal servitude, he says: "But have the interests of the community been adequately safeguarded in this case? It may perhaps be urged that such a sentence will be inadequate in deterring others from committing burglaries. But what others? People talk as though the masses of the population were kept from crime only by its penalties. As a matter of fact, crimes of this kind ('burglaries') are the work of professionals. Here, then, is a class of men who have deliberately outlawed themselves. They have had warning after warning, but on each occasion have returned to their evil courses, and now, having been once again brought to justice, the state shuts them up for a few years, and at the end of that time they are to be let loose on society once more to perpetrate a new series of crimes." To illustrate the absurdity of such a proceeding, Mr. Anderson suggests a comparison: If game preserves were being destroyed by a fox, and carefully arranged traps were set at considerable expense to catch him, it would be considered a trifle short-sighted if, after capturing and caging the fox for a time, he were again set free, and the same process gone through with at varying intervals for the rest of the fox's life; and yet this is substantially the process which is pursued by the state with the professional criminal. Most of his class are as hopeless, so far as individual reform is concerned, as is the fox. The whole trend of modern criminology points toward the conclusion that he is a criminal through nature, and is as much of an abnormity as a maniac or an idiot. In other words, he has a dangerous disease, and should be treated as a diseased member, and not as a mischievous boy. His side of the question, however, is of the least importance; society's first duty is to itself. Individuals who can not live in accordance with the laws which govern civilized societies should be placed where they can do the community no harm. On the other hand, the nonprofessional criminal—who, through some untoward combination of circumstances, in a given instance becomes an offender against the laws—is in quite a different relation to the social body from the hereditary criminal. The former deserves punishment; the latter, treatment. Here, then, besides possible wide individual differences, we have a well-marked class difference among criminals, and it is quite evident that society must consider this class difference in devising successful corrective or protective legislation.
The Chamacocos.—Since the discovery by Dr. Bohls in lagoons in the Lengua territory, near the Paraguay River, of that rare and curious fish, Lepidosiren paradoxa, in large numbers, scientists have taken a special interest in this region. Cavaliere Guido Boggiani, an Italian artist, recently spent three years near these lakes, living with two of the native tribes, the Chamococos and the Caduveas, where he seems to have collected much material of scientific value. Henry H. Giglioli, in a recent Nature, gives an account of the ethnological data gathered during the expedition. The Chamacocos, who are especially known to ethnologists through their singular long-handled stone axes, are nomads; they are tall, well shaped, the skin of a reddish tinge. The men have long, black hair, which is worn tied in a knot behind, in a thick queue, or flowing loose. The women are less handsome, and wear their hair short. No clothing is worn by either sex, except rough sandals of peccary skin when on the tramp. On festive occasions they decorate themselves with a profusion of feather ornaments, necklaces of seeds, and the rattle of the crotalus, the latter of which are worn in diadems, armlets, leglets, and united in bunches as ear pendants. They make rude pottery, but do not use the potter's wheel. From Boggiani's description the Chamacocos seem to be an inoffensive and happy people, who relieve their exuberant spirits in frequent festivities; they have numerous games, one of which might be described as primitive lawn tennis. Their weapons are clubs, wooden spears, large bows for shooting arrows, and small bows with a double string used for shooting clay bullets. The women make neat bags and reticules of different kinds of netting and also hammocks, for which they use the fiber of the ybira. They have some curious superstitions regarding food; thus, deer flesh is only eaten by men, while women can feed on birds and small game. Among the many interesting facts collected by Boggiani is a small vocabulary of the hitherto unknown language of these people.