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ity. By Melville Marborg. Baltimore : John B.
Piet 1881. Pp. 104.

Sewor-Gas and its Dangers. By George Pres-
ton Brown. Chicago: Jausen, McClurg & Co.
1881. Pp.342. $1.25.

Synopsis of the Fresh-Water Rhizopods. By
Romyn Oitclicock. New York: published by
the author. laSl. Pp. 56.

The Disposal of the Dead ; a Plea for Crema-
tion. By Edward J. Berminirliain. M. D. New
York: Bermingham & Co. 1881. Pp. 89. $2.

Osteology of Speotvto and Eremophila. By
R. W. Shufeldt. Surireon United States Army.
Washington. 1881. "Pp. 147. Illustrated.

Comparative New Testament. Old and New
Versions arnnired in Parallel CohimiM. Phila-
delphia: Porier & Coates. 1881. Pp.690. $1.50.
A Text-Book on Anatomy, Physiology, and



Hygiene. By J. T. Scovell. Terre Haute, In-
diana, liSl. Pp. 88.

Butterflies ; their Structure, Changes, and
Li!'-' Histories. With Special Kelerence to Amer-
ican Forms. By Sauiuel H. ^cudder. NewY'ork:
Henry Holt & Co. 1881. $3.



POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Salmon of the Pacific Coast. — Messrs,
David S. Jordan and Charles II. Gilbert,
who have been engaged in the stud)' of the
fishes of the Pacific coast, state in the ab-
stract of their report, which is published
in the " American Naturalist," that they
have observed five species of salmon ( Onco-
rhifncus) in the waters of the North Pacific.
These species may be called the quinnat
or king-salmon, the blue-black salmon or
red-fish, the silver salmon, the dog-salmon,
and the hump-back salmon ; and they are
known by many other and vernacular names.
The quinnat and blue-black salmon habitu-
ally run in the spring, the others in the fall,
the two former species having the greater
economic value. The spring-running salm-
on ascend only those rivers which are fed
by the melting snows from the mountains,
and which have sufficient volume to send
their waters well out to sea, as the Sacra-
mento, Rogue, Klamath, Columbia, and
Frazer Piivers. They are chiefly adults,
but their milt and spawn are no more de-
veloped in them when they go up the rivers
than they are at the same time in others of
the same species which will not enter the
st.-eams until fall. High water in any of
these rivers in the spring is always fol-
lowed by an increased run of fish, and it is
believed that the disposition to run is ex-
cited by contact with cold water. The aver-
age weight of the quinnat in the spring is
twenty-two pounds in the Columbia River,
and about sixteen pounds in the Sacramento
River. Individuals weighing from forty to
sixty pounds are frequently found in both
rivers, and some as heavy as eighty pounds.
Fish that enter the rivers m the spring
continue to ascend until death or spawning
overtakes them. Probably none of them
' ever return to the ocean, a"nd a large pro-
portion fail to spawn. They are known to
I ascend the Sacramento to its extreme head-
waters, about four hundred miles, and the
! Columbia as far as the Spokan Falls, a dis-



566



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY



tance of between six and eight hundred miles.
At these distances the bodies of the fish be-
come covered with bruises, in which patches
of white fungus are developed; their fins
become mutilated, their eyes are often de-
stroyed, parasitic worms gather in their gills,
they become emaciated, the flesh becomes
white from the loss of the oil, and they all die
as soon as the spawning act is accomplished,
often before. So far as has been observed,
they are not known to feed after entering
the rivers. The spawning-season varies in
different rivers, and different parts of the
same river, but not in the different species,
and probably extends from July to December.
In the spring the fish are silvery, spotted or
not, according to the species, and have the
mouth about equally symmetrical in both
sexes. As the spawning-season approaches,
the female loses her silvery color, and be-
comes more slimy, the scales on the back
partly sink into the skin, and the flesh
changes from a salmon-red to a paler color.
As the season advances, the differences be-
tween the males and females become more
marked, in proportion as the milt is devel-
oped. The difference in the economic
value of the spring and fall salmon, which
is vastly in favor of the former, is depend-
ent on the fact that the spring salmon
enter the rivers long before the growth
of the organs of reproduction has reduced
the richness of the flesh, while the fall
salmon can not be, taken in quantity until
their flesh has deteriorated. The quinnat
is more valuable, on account of its size and
abundance, than all the other fishes on the
Pacific coast together ; and the blue-back is
worth much more than the combined value
of the three remaining species. " It is the
prevailing impression," say the authors of
the report, "that the salmon have some
special instinct which leads them to return
to spawn in the same spawning-grounds
where they were originally hatched. We
fail to find any evidence of this in the case
of the Pacific coast salmon, and we do not
believe it to be true. It seems more prob-
able that the young salmon. Latched in any
river, mostly remain in the ocean within a
radius of twenty, thirty, or forty miles of
its mouth. These, in their movements
about in the ocean, may come into contact
with the cold waters of their parent rivers.



or perhaps of any other river, at a consider-
able distance from the shore. In the case
of the quinnat and the blue-back, their
" instinct " leads them to ascend these fresh
waters, and, in a majority of cases, these
waters will be those in which the fish in
question were originally spawned. Later
in the season the growth of the reproductive
organs leads them to approach the shore
and to search for fresh waters, and still
the chances are that they may find the orig-
inal stream. But undoubtedly many fall
salmon ascend or try to ascend streams in
which no salmon was ever hatched." The
evidence is not clear whether salmon are
diminishing in numbers or not, except in
the Sacramento River, where they are un-
doubtedly decreasing.

Storage of Eleetrlelty. — The reproach
against electricity that it can not be stored
seems now to be in a fair way of being re-
moved by M. Camille Faure's recent im-
provement of the Plant6 secondary battery.
The cells of this battery, as is well known,
consist simply of two lead plates immersed
in acidulated water, one of which becomes
oxidized by the passage of a current through
the cell, and is reconverted into the me-
tallic state when the charging current
ceases, yielding a current while undergoing
this latter transformation. Once charged,
the battery may be kept a considerable
length of time without losing its power, and
gives out a current steadily in a manner
similar to an ordinary voltaic cell. The
Plante cell is, however, not of commercial
value, as its capacity is small, and it requires
a considerable time to charge it. These
difficulties M. Faure appears to have largely
overcome by simply coating the plates with
minium or red-lead, whereby their chemical
dissimilarity, and consequently the electrical
capacity of the cell, is greatly increased.
When the charging takes place, the minium
upon one plate is further oxidized to the
peroxide, and that upon the other reduced
to the metallic state, a current being given
out while these plates are assuming their
original condition. The cell is stated to give
eighty per cent, of the current used to charge
it, and to retain its charge for a consider-
able period. A battery containing four cells,
and of the size of a cubic foot, was recent-



POPULAR MISCELLAXY.



56:



Iv sent from Paris to Sir William Thomson
a: Giai:ro» , which was found by him to con-
:ain electrical energy equal to something
over one million foot-pounds, or one-horse
pow^er, for one hour. Thoogh the battery
wa5 seTcnty-two hours reaching him, it was
found to have lost but very little of its orig-
inal charge, and he has dnce been able to
detect bat a slight loss in a period of ten
days. The expectations regarding the uses
to which this battery can be put are doubt-
less exaggerated, but it seems safe to pre-
dict for it a large field of usefulness. It
can probably be employed to advantage, if
further experiment bears out present state-
ments regarding it, wherever ordinary bat-
teries are used, as it possesses the conven-
ience of these combined with the cheap-
ness of the dynamo-machine in the matter
of the cturents furnished. In the electric-
light it will probably find an important use
in equalizing the currents of the machines,
and preventing interruption of the light in
case of a temporary failure of the generat-
ing apparatus. It is, moreover, not impos-
sible that it may dispense with the need for
electrical distribution at all, as sudi batter-
ies placed in houses could be charged each
day by small dynamo-machines driven by gas-
engines, at but small expense and with the
minimum amount of trouble.

C«lor-BliBda«s$ ud E4i(atiMi cf the

C*l«r>SrBS«. — The examinations instituted f
by Dr. B. Joy Jeffrie? among the pupils in i
the sdiools of Bos: -M,469boys

and young men an - ^nd young

women) have showu i.u. ^ at one male
person in twenty-five is color-blind, while '
the defect occurs with extreme rarity in girls
and wtwaen (only 0-066 per cent, of the fe- '
male pupils in the sdiools). The rescarehes '
that have been made in Europe show that
a similar law as to the relative proportion {
of color-blindness between the sexes pre- '
Tails there. The subject has been over-
looked until within a few years, but the '
value of the knowledge of it that has been '
gained can not be disputed. This knowledge '
can be applied practically on a scale of con-
siderable extent in determining the vocation
to which boys should be trained. A person
who is color-blind is obviously unfit for any j
business in which he must know how to dis- I



tinguish colors. Yet the person himself
and those who are around him are seldom
aware of his defect. If examinations are
r^ularly made in the schools and records
kept of them, as has been done by Pro-
fessor Jeffries, a sure practical test may be
found which can be applied directly to each
person, so as to guide him aright on this
point. The inquiries of Dr. Jeffries have
disclosed a great lack of knowledge of col-
ors, aside from color-blindness, among adults
as well as among the boys in the schools.
But very few boys of the grammar or higher
schools, he says, are familiar with the c(Jor-
names of even the primary colors, and still
less can they correctly apply those names
they do remember, when shown colored ob-
jects. •' I have received letters from adults,
not color-blind, whose lack of colornames
had been a serious drawback to them in
their occupations in every-day life ; and they
have besought me to urge the teaching of
color-names and the education of the color-
sense in oar public schools." The teaching
of colors and color-names has been partly
introduced into our primary schools, bat
without any system ; it has been begun in
Earope, especially in Germany, in the lowest
schools, in a systematic manner. The ex-
emption of women from color-blindness has
been attribute! to their familiarifv «;-"',
colored objects and materials ; but i
only of the sex as a whole, not wi:":
enoe to individuals, for the color-sense can
tiot be changed with practice in colors. The
question arises whether generations of color-
education have caused this sexual difference,
and is important ; for, if answered in the
affirmative, it proves that we may begin to
eliminate color-blindness from future gener-
ations of boys by teachii^ and exercising
the present generation in the perception and
distinction of colors.

William Mitchinson has read an inp -:.:.:
paper in the Society of Arts on^Th^ V. ;-.
dpal Causes of Disease in Tropica! 1"
tries." It fa usual to trace these cau> -
to the climate, but Mr. Miu\ :> ". : in-
tains that climate has less to ■ ■ in

producing disease than ^t- n

supposed. Every clir- .<

its own appropriate a: . .-i



568



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.



exacts obedience to them at the cost of sick-
ness ; but, when these laws are obeyed, the
difference in the healthiness of climates
becomes comparatively insignificant. Euro-
peans going to tropical countries are apt to
neglect the precautions with reference to
food which the changed conditions of their
Ufe would require them to take, and, instead
of reducing the quality and varying the nat-
ure of what they cat, too often grant them-
selves the indulgences of rich viands, with
high seasonings and wines, which they en-
joyed at home. The mistake is even made of
increasing the quantity and richness of the
food, under the impression that the exhaus-
tion produced by the climate should be met
in that way, while a lighter diet is what is
really required. The stomach can not bear
the burden imposed upon it, and symptoms
of disease arise. The loss of memory and
mental capacity, which have been remarked
as effects of a long residence in the tropics,
are partly due to tropical heat, but far more
to the solitude, with insufficient variety of
incident, and the want of mental exercise,
to which residents are exposed by the lack of
society and of the distractions which society
promotes. " Europeans in Africa do little
else than cat and drink, rest and sleep,"
will seek for nothing to occupy their minds,
and will often sit listlessly for hours gazing
at vacancy. Consequently the mind is apt,
from want of judicious exercise, to sink
gradually, and the man to fall into apathy.
In such a condition he is far more liable to
an attack of fever than one who has pre-
served his mind in a state of healthy vigor.
Other mistakes committed by European resi-
dents, which almost surely lead to disease,
are the excessive use of spirits — dangerous
in the tropics above all other regions — care-
lessness in regard to exposure, and neglect
of exercise. More or less of exposure to
the atmospheric changes of the country is
inevitable, and the body that is prepared to
withstand them is in less danger from them
than are the too sensitive organizations of
those who take too much care of themselves.
This preparation can be gained by judicious
exercise at different periods of the day and
year. The bad location, and neglect of the
sanitary condition of the coast towns, are
responsible for much of the unhealthiness
which is associated with Africa. Many of



them are built near marshes or lagoons, in
the very worst places that could be selected,
such as would be pestilential spots any-
where, and they have been suffered to grow
up and accumulate nuisances without a
thought of the application of sanitary sci-
ence, which seems to be wholly unknown, to
their improvement. The natives have an
effectual means of warding off malaria by
planting groves of trees between the swamps
and their villages, or by burning the bush
and allowing the soil exposed thereby to ac-
quire a crust, which impedes the rising of
the malarious vapors. " In the British pos-
sessions such obvious means of protection
appear to be either unknown or despised."
The rule of life Mr. Mitchinson would lay
down for a resident in the tropics is based
upon the words " diet, exercise, and energy."
These, he says, are the man's climate, his
life, the power of the intellect nourished by
the normal blood. " The rule of life adopt-
ed by most Europeans in the tropics, so far
as they can be said to have any rule, ap-
pears to be ' feed and rest, rest and feed " ;
few give any intelligent consideration to the
subject of the preservation of health." It
is no wonder, then, that European residents
die early.

Movements and Mixtures of African
Raees. — Messrs. de Quatrefages and Ilamy
have presented an important pajjcr on the
craniology of the dolichocephalous negro
races. These races occupy the most con-
siderable part of the geographical area in-
habited by the negro race on the African
Continent. Regarded as a whole, they pre-
sent a considerable homogeneity in the most
essential characteristics ; but differences of
habitat and the mixture of foreign elements
have caused their secondary characters, both
exterior and anatomical, to vary within con-
siderable limits. Consequently, they are di-
vided into a considerable number of groups
— groups which arc increasing. The Soo-
danian group, which presents the most com-
plete exemplification of the general type,
occupies all the space comprised between
the Sahara on the north, Scnegambia on the
west, Guinea on the south, and the valley
of the upper Nile on the east. The Soo-
danians may be classified as eastern and
western. The cranial capacity of the west-



P OP ULAR MIS CELL A X Y



569



t i-nSoodanians is probably inferior to that of
iill the other negro races of the same tjpe,
and exhibits a most pronounced dolicoccph-
aly. The eastern Soodanians approach this
type, but some of its most characteristic
marks are less distinct in them. To them
may be attached the negroes living on the
banks of the upper Nile and the great lakes-
Furthermore, a great variety is apparent
among the races, and the ethnic mixtures
are considerable. Africa is not, in fact, that
^tationa^y land which it is generally figured
I.) be. It has, like the other continents, its
grand movements of people and races. A
current which is sometimes slow, sometimes
more or less rapid, which seems to have
existed for several centuries, is drawing
the negro populations from the interior.
Northeast of the Gulf of Guinea, toward
the coast, the nature and importance of this
movement, which is pushing the population
from east to west, can be appreciated best
at the Gaboon. There the Gabooncse first
subjugated and absorbed the Negrilles,
Akoas, and others ; then the Bakales pushed
ihem farther west ; and the last are now
l)ressed by the Fans, who are coming down
from the interior. The Caffres are not a
simple ethnic element, but are a mixture of
negro and Bushman elements complicated
with Arabian and even Malaysian elements.
The Bushmen are the real indigenous race
of Southern Africa ; the Hottentots, the Ko-
ranas, the Gonaquas, and the Namaquas, are
only hybrids of this race mixed in different
degrees with the negro race.

Mr. Whympcr's Experiments with
'•Mouatain-Sifkness." — ilr. Edward Whym-
per, in relating the story of his ascent of
the mountains Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, has
described the efforts which he made to coun-
teract the " mountain-sickness " or sense of
exhaustion and feverishness which attacks
all persons who venture to great heights.
Till his own attempt was made, he had not
known of any traveler afflicted with the pe-
culiar feeling who had deliberately " sat it
out, and had a pitched battle with the ene-
my," or of any one who had suggested the
bare possibility of coming out victorious
from such an encounter, yet, upon doing so,
he felt, depended the chance of pushing ex-
plorations into the highest regions of the



earth, and he was anxious to test whether
his organization could not accommodate it-
self to the required conditions. Only three
well - authenticated instances were known
of persons who had reached the height of
twenty thousand feet, and their stories gave
no light on the subject ; but a person who
had reached the height of between seven-
teen and eighteen thousand feet told him
that, though he never had suffered from the
affection, he could not escape it at such ele-
vations. On the first day of his ascent of
Chimborazo, he reached a height of 14,400
feet. On the next day he reached 10,500
feet, and established himself there with
great difficulty. "The mules were forced
up to the very last yard that they could go,
and, staggering under their burdens, which
were scarcely more than half the weight
they were accustomed to carry, stopped re-
peatedly, and by their tremblings and fall-
ing on their knees, and general behavior,
showed that they had been driven to the
very verge of exhaustion." Within an hour
Mr. Whynipcr and his Italian mountaineers,
the Carrels, were lying on their backs, inca-
pable of making the least exertion, feverish,
with intense headaches, and unable to sat-
isfy their desire for air, except by breath-
ing with open mouths. "This naturally
parched the throat, and produced a craving
for drink which we were unable to satisfy,
partly from the difficulty of obtaining it,
and partly from the difficulty of swallowing
it, for, when we got enough, we were unable
to drink, we could only sip ; and not to save
our Uves could we have taken a quarter of
a pint at a draught. Before one tenth of
it was down, we were obliged to stop for
breath,* and gasp again, until our throats
were as dry as ever. Besides having our
normal rate of breathing largely acceler-
ated, we found it impossible to get along
without every now and then giving a spas-
modic gulp, just like fishes when taken out
of the water. Of course, there was no de-
sire to eat ; but we wished to smoke ; and
even our pipes almost refused to burn, for
they, like ourselves, wanted more oxygen."
He obtained relief by taking chlorate of pot-
ash, and in two or three days the party had
become accustomed to the situation, and
were able to continue their work. The next
camp was pitched at a height of 17,400 feet.



570



THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.



The more disagreeable symptoms had gone,
but the mountaineers still found themselves
" comparatively lifeless and feeble, with a
strong disposition to sit down when we
ought to have been moving." At length,
having spent three days in moving their
camp, and having passed a night at the high-
est station, they undertook the ascent to the
summit. It was extremely difiBcult, made
in the face of a high wind and through soft
snow in which the men sunk to their necks,
but it was accomplished, the measurement of
the height was taken, and the return safely
made to the camp, all in one day. The
most notable physical experience of the as-
cent was the obsen'ation, at a height of be-
tween 18,400 and 19,500 feet, that "our
steps got shorter and shorter, until at last
the toe of one foot touched the heel of the
previous one." Mr. WTiymper's residence
on Chimborazo "extended over seventeen
days ; one night was passed at a height of
13,400 feet, ten nights at a height of 16,500
feet, six at 17,300 feet. During this time,
besides the ascent to the summit, I also went
three times as high as 18,300 feet. When
we quitted the mountain, all traces of moun-
tain-sickness had disappeared, nor did it
touch us again imtil we arrived at the sum-
mit of Cotopaxi." The camp on the latter l
mountain was placed about 130 feet below ;
the loftiest point, or at a height of 19,470
feet, " and was the most elevated position
at which any of us had ever lived. We re-
mained there twenty-six consecutive hours,
feeling slightly at first the effects of the i
low pressure, having the same sj-mptoms as j
we noticed on Chimborazo ; and we used
chlorate of potash, and remarked its good
effects. All the signs of mountain-3?cknes3
had passed away before we commenced the
descent, and they did not recur again during
the journey." The member of the party
who suffered least from mountain-sickness
was Mr. Perrin, the interpreter, who was in
bad health from having led a dissipated life,
and " could not walk a quarter of a mile on
a flat road without desiring to sit down " ;
but he had lived for a long time at heights
of between 9,000 and 10,000 feet, and had
several times passed over a height of more
than 14,000 feet ; so that he was partly in-
ured to the rarefied air. Chimborazo was
visited again six months after the first visit,



and a second measurement of the height
was made. The mean of the two measure-
ments gives 20,517 feet.

Strnftnrf of the Organs of Tonfh. —
M. P.anvier has been much assisted in his
investigation of the structure of the organs
of touch by the examinations of the struct-
ure of infants. At birth, the nerves of touch
may be found to pass into certain papillae,
on the palmar aspect of the fingers, imme-
diately beneath the cells of the mucous
layer of Malpighi, where they form a net-
work of ramifications which, though dis-
tinct, are closely pressed together. Xo cel-
lular elements are at this time mixed with
the network, but a small collection of
round cells exists beneath it. These grad-
ually surround the network and pass in
among its branches; the whole soon be-



Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 71 of 110)