Friday, December 21, 2007

Frightened By Santa Claus

Article from 1911

How the Dear Old Saint Carried Consternation Into an African Mission House

An amusing story of how Santa Claus frightened the black children at a mission station when he first appeared to them a few years ago, is told by the wife of a missionary stationed at Bailundu, Africa. They had celebrated Christmas at Bailundu before, but they never had had Santa Claus, so Mr. Stover, the missionary, dressed up as good Saint Nick.

"He had been padded and powdered and packed until his own mother would not have known him," Mrs Stover afterward related. "Presently we gave the signal, the door flew open and in walked Santa Claus. But dear me! "What consternation! He was greeted with shrieks and groans and cries of 'Let me out! It is the evil one. It is the day of judgment!'

"The urchins, catching the infection of terror from the older black people, fled to their bedrooms, fell down upon their faces, crept under chairs and tables — anywhere to hide themselves. Poor old Santa Claus never had such a greeting before. As soon as he realized the panic he had caused, he tore off his tall hat and white cotton beard. Then from the bags on his back he began to throw gifts right and left and to tell who he was.

"Reassured once more, everyone was soon laughing and chatting, munching the great 'red breads' (doughnuts), tasting their fruits or nibbling at the sweets from the familiar little bags.

"It seemed as though everyone tried to talk louder than his neighbor as they examined the costume of Santa Claus, whom they now no longer feared. One man said that he thought it was John the Baptist, another that it was Elijah returned. Yet another thought it was Satan himself, 'and all my sins rose up before me;' while a fourth confessed, 'My only thought was to hide myself'."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Catching Grasshoppers to Feed to the Poultry


Use a Hopperdozer

That grasshoppers are good food for poultry is recognized, but in most cases the poultry have to catch their own grasshoppers. We do not commonly hear of anyone taking the trouble to catch grasshoppers for the poultry. The Colorado station this summer tried the experiment successfully.

The fields were visited by innumerable multitudes of grasshoppers, and the station men determined to catch a few bushels of them for the fowls. A hopperdozer was used and run behind a mowing machine at the time the hay was being made. The hopperdozer was mounted on wheels, so that it would not catch in the hay. Usually kerosene is used in the hopperdozer, thus killing the insects as they fall into it. But this would make the insects unfit for food.

A little experimenting showed that water would hold the insects for some time or until they could be flipped out for the use of the fowls. A hopperdozer was used on a six-acre field of alfalfa and it succeeded in catching from nine to ten bushels of grasshoppers, estimated at 3,000 to the bushel.

Current Turkey Models Are Bigger and Heavier


Shifting of styles in turkeys is under way, according to L. E. Cline of the Nevada agricultural extension service, who recently finished a study of the present market for the holiday birds. The 1934 model will be bigger and heavier, Mr. Cline says, reflecting a consumer demand for a different type of bird which has been increasing since last Christmas.

The shift is a return to the turkey in greatest demand some time ago, the extension man says, and may be an indication of better economic conditions. In recent years the smaller birds have brought the best prices. Demands from restaurants and cabarets for larger breast meat has been an important factor in the change in consumer requirements.

A premium of one or more cents a pound is now being paid for the heavier turkeys, while for the last two or three years the price was that amount under the sum paid for lighter birds.

This condition always shows a decidedly healthy tone of the market, and if it prevails through the coming marketing season, as indications point, there will be a distinct advantage to the turkey producer.

Little Visits with "Uncle By"

The Globe, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Aug. 16, 1906, p. 3.

Many a dollar necktie covers a 30-cent shirt.

The baseball season is for summer only, but the moth ball is for all the year round.

"I lie in the fragrant meadows," sings a pastoral poetess. She could come into the city and make money by it. Others do.

"The House of a Thousand Candles" is to be dramatized. That many candles in the theater ought to put the footlights out of business.

The girl who is proposed to and says, "This is so sudden," should remember that the young man will always give her time to turn down the gas before answering.

It is said that smoking at great heights gives no pleasure. Presumably that is why smoking in the haymow usually turns Little Willie's stomach inside out.

Adam invented the hammer, the slangist utilized it in his infinitive "to knock," but the man who hit his finger instead of the nail, was the first man on record with a swear word.

A railway authority says one of the probabilities is the establishing of through railroad service between North and South America. Wonder what it will cost in tips to make the trip.

It is predicted that Chicago will some day be destroyed by an earthquake. In which case, if it destroyed the cable lines and the stockyards smell, the game might be worth the candle.

A Nebraska man undressed in his berth on board a sleeping car and threw his trousers out of the window instead of into the hammock as he supposed. He went to the hotel in a sheet and a sickish smile.

"Have you ever driven along a country road by moonlight?" asks Craig Law in Four-Track News. You bet, and she was the prettiest, daintiest, sweetest bunch of taffeta and frizzes that ever made a fellow's heart go pit-i-pat.

When a street car fare is paid in Copenhagen, Denmark, the conductor thanks the passenger and gives him a receipt. When a street car fare is paid in Chicago, the conductor growls because you give him a two-dollar bill and you fight for a transfer.

"The heart of a woman who has lived to be 70 has beaten 260,000,000 times," says an exchange. Does this allow for the loss of beats when the baby fell into the soapsuds or the mother swallowed a safety pin, and the heart stood still? Shouldn't there be a considerable rebate for the times "my heart just stopped beating"?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Famous Pirate


On the 23d of May, 1706, Captain William Kidd, the famous pirate, was executed at Execution dock, London. Several others of Kidd's company were executed with him. The summary putting to death of these pirates did much to rid the seas of piracy. Kidd, who was the most daring of all the pirates of history, exemplified the worst of his kind.

Although his exploits have been greatly exaggerated, there is no doubt that he was guilty of desperate crimes. His daring led others to emulate him, and the commerce of the world suffered much because of the depredations of the pirates.

England was the principal sufferer at the hands of the high sea raiders, and accordingly England was most interested in their capture. Kidd's execution began a new era of commercial activity on account of the greater security enjoyed by merchantmen on the high seas.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fig Culture


Great Demand For Quick Bearing Varieties of These Fruit Trees

The fig is one of the oldest fruits known, and since it has become known that figs can be grown in pots and fruited in the conservatory or in the open ground, where there are three mouths warm summer weather, there has been a great demand for the quick bearing varieties by people anxious to grow fresh figs. These varieties begin to fruit by the time the young shoots are six inches long and form a fig at every leaf. Unlike apples, peaches and other fruits of the kind, the fig is more like the raspberry or blackberry in the respect that the fruit does not ripen all at one time. Figs continue to develop and ripen until checked by cold weather.

For pot culture the fig requires about the same treatment as a rubber plant, and if supplied with plenty of water the fruit will ripen. Vigorous plants will have fruit in all stages of development, from the smallest green fruit to the ripe figs ready for picking and eating.

Celeste bears rather small fruit of high quality, but is not very productive. Ischia has a green exterior, the inside of the fruit being blood red. Hirtu Japan is an abundant bearer, and Magnolia bears large pear shaped fruit.

One fig enthusiast writes that his figs stood zero weather last year, though when first set out freezing weather would kill them. As they become acclimated the plants stand colder weather. A gardener in Pennsylvania says her fig tree has withstood twenty winters with protection. The tree is bent over to the ground in winter and covered with straw and earth.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hansom and His Cab


After diligent search it might appropriately be possible to find in New York, U. S. A., its last American stronghold, a specimen of the high-wheeled vehicle which will have its centenary celebrated this summer in York, England. For in the English city a century ago Joseph Aloysius Hansom designed the "Patent Safety Cab" which immortalized his name.

Hansom had a talent for construction and design. Born in York in 1803, he left his father's joinery shop to become an architect's apprentice. When he was 28 years old, his designs for the Birmingham Town Hall were accepted, with unfortunate financial results for Hansom. Next he patented the "Safety" cab and sold the rights for $50,000 which he never got. Apparently disgusted with his profession, Hansom founded a newspaper in 1834. Lack of capital put an end to the venture, so he returned to architecture, with success. He obtained commissions for public and private buildings not only in the United Kingdom, but in Australia and South America. Hansom died in London in 1882.

His name lived after this, particularly through the '80s, the era with which the Hansom cab will forever be associated. In the original design the driver's seat was at the side, but eventually only the high wheels and the axle prevailed through various changes of construction.

Consequently it was noted less for its safety than for its elegance. Although the seat tilted at a restful angle and the motion was soothing, there were hazards involved in getting into the cab. The driver had his perch at the top and back, with a little trap-door in the cab's roof which threatened the privacy and seculsion offered by the hooded body and hinged apron shutting the occupants snugly within. The cabbies of those hansoms could tell tall tales to make the modern taxi- driver's life seem spiceless in comparison, if one may believe rumors.

Off-hand Hansom is scarcely remembered as the name of a man. But the word "hansom" will stand in the English language for the graces and formal elegances of a "nice" age that died with the Nineteenth Century, in which the cab was invented. — Detroit Free Press.

—San Antonio Express, May 20, 1933, p. 10.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Kettle of Fish


The phrase "a kettle of fish," meaning an awkward entanglement, most probably has no connection with our word kettle, a vessel in which water is boiled. It has been with much reason derived from the word "kiddle," French "quidel," a stake fence set in a stream for catching fish. Inspector Walpole reminds us that this kidellus net, or kiddle, was mentioned in Magna Charta and in other early statutes. — London Standard.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Man Attacked By Big Snake, Attacks Back

Lamoni, Iowa

Mr. C. F. Smith had an exciting experience with a snake Saturday. Driving through his feed lot he suddenly discovered a large snake chasing him with head erect, evidently greatly angered and bent on mischief. Mr. Smith continued to drive for about 200 yards while he plied the buggy whip vigorously on his snakeship. By that time the reptile was somewhat stunned and Mr. Smith alighted from his buggy thinking to complete killing it.

But in quieting his horses the lines broke and these had to first be repaired temporarily. Then he completed the killing of the snake which is thought by some to be a bull snake but is more likely a blowing viper and which measures 5 feet 8½ inches in length and 5-5/8 in circumference at the largest part of the body. Mr. Smith brought it to town and David Thomas has it bottled in alcohol. We are inclined to believe that the buggy must have disturbed his snakeship in some way which caused the manifestation of anger and the disposition to fight.

At any rate the experience is remarkable for this section and shows the presence of larger snakes than we supposed were lurking around here. — Lamoni Patriot.

This article is from an old scrapbook from the Leon, Iowa area. The entire scrapbook is online at this link, and this article is on page 57.

Alldrede is Defeated

Jas. H. Alldredge of Leon was defeated by "Doc" Fillmore of Rockford, Illinois, at the Mirror Theatre in Des Moines, Friday night of last week. The Des Moines Daily Capital has the following to say of the match:

"Doc" Fillmore of Rockford, Ill. conquered the Iowa wonder last night in a wrestling match. The match was to have gone to the winner of the three out of five falls, but Aldredge after the second fall, which he won, became sick and after going one more bout which Fillmore won, threw up the sponge.

The first bout lasted eighteen minutes and was nearly all play, neither man doing much but watch the other. Fillmore took the aggressive throughout the entire match and won the first bout by breaking the Iowan's head bridge and forced his shoulders to the floor.

The second bout was not quite so long, but there was more action in it. Alldredge won this bout in five minutes on a half Nelson. After this second bout was when Alldredge began to show signs of weaking though the man was in no condition to go into this match in the first place. He was fat and his lungs were in a poor condition on account of a bad cold. The third bout was easily Fillmore's; in two minutes it was over and the announcement was made that Alldredge would give the match to Fillmore as he was unable to do any more.

The audience did not seem to like this turn of affairs and made the fact immediately known, therefore it was up to some one to square it with them. Alldredge immediately came to the front of the stage and said: "Gentlemen, I am in no condition to go any farther in this match, so I must be excused. I have done no training for the past month and was totally unprepared for this match, but I am willing to meet Mr. Fillmore in four weeks from today at any place he may choose and I feel confident that the match will run to its full limit and I will give him all he is looking for. I thank you for the support you have given me this evening and hope to be able to arrange a match with Mr. Fillmore for some time next month."

"Doc" Fillmore then came forward and gave his challenge to any man his weight in the world, bar no one, for any amount forfeit they name. In reply to some remark made in the audience he said: "Mr. Alldredge is a good man. In fact he is much better than I thought he would be, but I knew he was not in the proper condition when he first stepped on the mat. There are now two challenges waiting for me in this city and the first man to put up his forfeit money will be the first to get a match. I will take on any wrestler my weight, bar none. Burns, McLeod, Jenkins or any other wrestler, I do not care how good he is. I am very sorry this match could not go the limit, but if my opponent cannot stand any more I am willing to let it go at that."

Item from Leon, Iowa, scrapbook, page 56, found at this link.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Few Words About Rhubarb

It is safe to assert that no plant grows which is more universally sought for in its season than rhubarb, or pie-plant as some like to call it. Its properties are highly medicinal; the acid being of that kind which the system needs and craves just as soon as Spring opens. This craving takes possession of us at that season, with the regularity and persistence of the bluebird's note at that time, and it remains with us as long as there is a salable stalk in the market. It is almost the first garden product to which the gardener gives his undivided attention, as it is almost the first which lifts its hardy head to woo the sunshine.

A rhubarb plant is a very handy thing to have in a garden, as once it is well started, it will yield an abundant supply at an expenditure of very little care. The soil should be rich to begin with, and each year the root should be dug around, and kept well watered.

When purchasing rhubarb at the market always seek those stalks which have a red tinge at the roots; they are as much superior to the small, greenish ones as a rosy cheeked apple is to an unripe one.

In preparing rhubarb for use, the skin should not be removed, as many suppose, for in this is the best flavor of the plant. Cut the stalks into inch pieces with a sharp knife, and pour boiling water over them. This extracts much of the extreme acid, and consequently calls for less sugar.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Uncle Sam Pays Old Debt


SHERIDAN, Wyo., Oct. 6. — Uncle Sam has finally settled the forty-four-year-old claim of $4.26 of James Baker. The money was owed to Baker for service in the Sixteenth Iowa Infantry during the Civil War, and his claim had to await its turn in Washington for adjustment.

Baker says he will not cash the check from Uncle Sam, but will have it framed as a relic of his soldier days.

Film Star Called as Poker Witness


Norma Talmadge to Testify in Peculiar Case

New Yorker Arrested, Accused of Cheating Celebrities Out of $350,000 at Cards

NEW YORK, N, Y., March 18. — The last card in Broadway's sensational stud poker season was turned down by Justice Kernochan in the Court of Special Sessions.

It was a warrant for the arrest of Louis Krohnberg, wealthy manufacturer of women's wear, at whose home Norma Talmadge and other New York celebrities are said to have lost approximately $350,000 by the use of marked cards.

Discovery of cheating, it is said, was made during the final game of the series played at the home of Joseph Schenck, husband of Norma Talmadge.

Exposed by Actress

Guests at the party, which was held on New Year's Eve, ascribe most of the credit for the detection to Miss Talmadge, whose husband brought about a dramatic denoument by betting wildly into Krohnberg's pair of aces with a pair of kings, and then kicking Krohnberg into the street on the show down.

At the hearing Jacob Silverman, who appeared as complainant, testified that he had lost $7,300 at Krohnberg's home, and, suspecting dishonesty, had taken away one of the decks used in the game. The cards, he said, were later found to be "readers," the fleur-de-lis on their backs being marked in such a way that the player in the secret could recognise them.

Huge Penalty Possible

All the participants in the games, including Miss Talmadge, will be required to testify when Krohnberg is brought to trial. In the event that Krohnberg is found guilty, five times the amount of the players' losses may be collected and distributed among charities designated by the State.

There is some dispute concerning the amount lost by the players. Mr. Silverman says $530,000 is an approximate estimate. Krohnberg's attorneys deny all the charges and display checks aggregating $68,000 indorsed by Mr. Schneck and others as payees, which, they say, represent losses suffered by their client.

Pioneer Was Smoker More Than Century

March 1920

NEWTON, Kan. — James Owens, a pioneer of Newton, has received news of the death of his grandfather, John Owens, of Mississippi, said to have been the oldest man in that state. He was 114 years old, Mr. Owens said.

"My grandfather was a habitual user of tobacco for more than 100 years," said Mr. Owens. "He used to take pride in declaring that he never had taken a dose of medicine in his life. Although stout and healthy, he was small and weighed not more than 130 pounds."

Yank Must Find Bride in Twenty Days or Lose $10,000


Says He Wants Wife Anyway — Is Tired of Wanderer's Life

BOSTON, Mass., March 18. — Sergeant Edward J. Seitz of Camp Devens has 20 days to choose a wife or lose an inheritance of $10,000.

By the stipulation of a wealthy New York woman — a near relative — who is still living, Seitz must marry as soon as he is discharged from the Army. His discharge will take effect in about three weeks.

Sergeant Seitz is an overseas veteran of the Canadian and American armies. Together with the prospective dowry of $10,000, he has the following attributes to offer: Six foot 2 inches of perfect manhood, good looks, splendid habits — smokes but doesn't drink — college bred, druggist by profession, musically inclined and a companionable sort of chap.

Seized With Wanderlust

Sergeant Seitz is a "top" in charge of a medical detachment at the Devens Hospital. He stated that he was born in Buffalo 25 years ago. From Buffalo he went to Chicago where he attended St. Ignatius College for three years. On leaving college he entered the drug trade and was progressing rapidly in his profession when the wanderlust seized him.

From Chicago he journeyed north, south, east and west. He visited many cities in the United States until 1916.

Then he went to Canada and enlisted; went to England and was discharged; came back and enlisted in the field artillery at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. From the field artillery he was transferred to the medical corps at Fort Leavenworth. Then overseas, one year spent in France, Belgium and Germany and back to Camp Devens.

Wants a Loving Wife

Sergeant Seitz has at last called it a day. The old wanderlust has left him. He is thru with the Army. Now he wants the "right girl" and his inheritance.

The sergeant told his story.

"I am tired of going and I want to stop. I've seen, heard and done enough, and now I want to settle down. I want to marry the right girl, a real girl, who will make a good home-loving wife.

"In twenty days I leave the Army. Forty days from today I want to have a girl who will be my wife. When I am married, and I must do it as soon as I get out of the service, I will receive $10,000."

Wants "Magazine Cover Girl"

Here is the secret of the dowry that goes with Seitz's marriage. "About eight years ago," said the soldier, "a close friend of my family, a well-to-do New York woman, became interested in me. She wanted me to be a druggist and settle down, but I couldn't see it. Recently this woman, I cannot tell her name, told me that she would present me with a check of $10,000 if I would start anew — if I would marry and make a home.

"Now my predicament is the girl." The sergeant talked earnestly. "I have met plenty of girls, many nice ones; but in all my travels never the right one. I have a fixed type, a girl like that," and the soldier pointed out a magazine picture of his moving picture dream lady adorning the wall of his room.

— The Saturday Blade, Chicago, March 1920.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Canton and Its Population


A correspondent writes from Canton, China, as follows:

As we arrive in front of the city the famous boat population presents itself. The river is covered with boats of many sizes and shapes, and as we look at them we can readily believe what is told us, that 60,000 people live on these boats. The statement is literal, not figurative. They are born, they are reared, they live, they grow to old age, they die in these boats. So lived their ancestors, and so will live their descendants.

Here is a boat rowed by two women. A child sits in a little compartment provided for him, or creeps about the deck. A cord is around his waist and fastened to the boat or a billet of wood, and as he knows that he cannot receive any attention, he does not demand it. The hotel runners that board the steamer on our arrival are women, and they carry our baggage without the slightest intimation that we are wanting in deference to their sex. Of the small boats on the river, I think at least half are manned by women, (you see the joke?) and sometimes there are whole crews of them.

From the boat population of Canton come the men who serve as sailors in junks and other craft along the coast, and a large majority of the Chinese seamen on foreign ships are, doubtless, from the same source. It is said that these people are not allowed to live on shore either at Canton or elsewhere, but I cannot say if the statement be true or not. I have inquired of several persons who ought to know about it, but as no two tell the same story, the reader may believe whatever he likes.

The strange sights that greet one's eyes on shore are so numerous and varied that a mere list would be hopeless. The streets are so narrow that carriages are out of the question, and even the sedan chairs in which we ride find occasional difficulty in passing other chairs bound in the opposite direction. Burdens great and small are carried by coolies, and some of these burdens are novel indeed. A coolie carries his load, or rather his two loads, balanced on a bamboo pole across his shoulder, and sometimes a baby in one basket preserves the equilibrium of a quantity of vegetables in another. Here comes a man transporting a couple of live pigs, each in a case so very small that the animal cannot move, and possibly cannot, as he certainly does not, squeal.

Boxes and bags and baskets are thus borne along, and though the crowd is dense, nobody is run down; and though our chair-bearers walk at a good pace, they do not overturn a single pedestrian. The principal streets are little else than rows of shops, whose entire fronts are thrown open to speak a welcome to the possible visitor. The shops are gayer, brighter and cleaner than in any other part of China, and if we enter we are pretty certain to be received with the utmost politeness. Silk-weavers are busy at their looms, and ivory carvers at their benches; in fact, all the trades of Canton seemed to be maintained without mystery, and we may steal the art of any one of them, and carry it home with us, if so disposed.

Everybody appears happy and contented, with the exception of an occasional beggar, who is gotten up in a style of wretchedness regardless of expense. Canton is a veritable kaleidoscope of sights.

Where Pineapples Grow


A letter from the island of Eleuthera, in the Bahama group, written to the New York Sun, thus describes the cultivation of the pineapple:

That the soil of Eleuthera should yield such an abundance of delicious pineapples, is a matter for wonder to a person who has been accustomed to the fertile lands of the United States. One who has never been on a coral island can form but the faintest notion of the exceeding roughness of the surface and the ungrateful aspect of the ground." The island of Eleuthera, which furnishes such vast numbers of pineapples, is indeed covered in the main by a wild vegetation, while the earth from which it springs is in great part of the roughest conceivable character of rock.

Holes of every size, form and description, some of them partly or wholly filled with dirt, the debris of decayed vegetation, loose fragments, large and small, round and angular, sharp and hard, everywhere abound. The rock sticks up its stinging points and cutting edges in the most irregular and provoking fashion. No plough, no spade, no hoe, can here be used. The only thing that can be done is to stick a sprout into one of the holes and let it take care of itself, which it almost invariably does right well; for it likes that kind of soil, and sips its sweet nourishment from the little dirt it may happen to find in the hollow of the rock.

The holes are very close together, the sprouts are placed scarcely a foot from each other, and as the plant grows up it spreads its long, sharp, hard leaf blades, with edges armed with little rasping, saw-like teeth, up from the ground and abroad in every direction. The plant has a thick supply of these outbending leaves, lapped closely one over the other near the ground, and out of the centre of which comes up the fruit, one pineapple only to each plant, which then perishes, but leaves behind a progeny of young sprouts, and these being stuck into the hollows insure a new crop for the succeeding year. This replenishing can be kept up for about six years, and then the whole field about exhausted, is left to itself, the plants die out, in the course of time the soil is renewed, and fresher fields now demand the care of the pine grower.

The only attention given to the plant is to keep the field clear of weeds, and that is almost daily work the year round. One negro man can attend to about two acres. The worst weeds to contend with are a species of bidens, a plant very well known in the United States, as Spanish needles, and a kind of crab grass. One object of placing the plants so close together is to give the pineapple possession of the soil, and the weeds little chance of usurping the ground. The first sight of a pine field is astonishing, for it presents a broad intricate jumble, of a vast mass of interlacing leafy sword blades, and the first impression is that such a jam of vegetation would be utterly incapable of producing any fruit whatever, whereas the fact is, the acre properly attended to yields the enormous number of ten to twelve thousand pineapples.

There is another enemy, no less formidable than the weeds that requires looking after very sharply, and that is the rat, which, attacks the fruit just as it is about to ripen. If no measures were taken to prevent the depredations of these troublesome creatures, very few pineapples indeed would escape their destructive jaws, The planter has a remedy. Sweet potatoes are cooked, and while they are yet hot, the sulphur ends of common matches are broken off and introduced into them. The phosphorus is diffused throughout the substance of the potatoes, and these being placed among the pineapple plants are eaten by the rats, which almost immediately fall dead from the effects of the poison.

An Eccentric Wisconsin Man


The Milwaukee (Wis.) Sentinel says: Capt. William Plocker, of Brandon, is a peculiar man — quite peculiar.

He was educated for a banker, but never adopted the profession. Thirty years ago he located in the town of Metomen, Fon du Lac county, having purchased a large tract of land. Previous to that he had spent some years as a steamboat official on the western lakes. His was one of the best managed farms in Metomen, yet he found ample time to do an immense amount of reading.

His library is one of the largest in the county, embracing many of the choicest works, and every one of the thousands of books has been read and reread by the captain. He is well posted on any subject, almost, that may be named. At times when thinking or reading he is oblivious to everything about him.

In his early days, his farm-house, near Fairwater, was converted into a public house, with himself as proprietor. While the captain was in one of his brownest of brown studies, a traveler stepped in and asked if he could get accommodations. There was no answer. A second, third and fourth time the question was propounded, with a like result. By that time the would- be patron's patience had departed, and he gave the captain a slap on the cheek which sent him whirling to the floor. Imagine the surprise of that traveler when Plocker gathered himself up, reoccupied his chair, and proceeded with his thinking, without as much as a "thank you."

On one occasion, when the hired man was away, the captain had ten cows to milk. It took him until nearly midnight, and when the task was completed he deliberately poured the eight pailsful of milk into the swill barrel, detecting the mistake just as the last pail was drained.

One day, at Brandon, he went to the house of a friend when the house was full of visitors. Going to the library he picked up a book and returned to the parlor, filled with happy guests, stretched himself at full length on the lounge, read an hour or more, and then, without having said a word or looked at a person, took his departure.

After serving his district in the Assembly in 1875, he sold his farm for $12,000, visited the old country, and is now a resident of Brandon, whose people talk of making him their first village president.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hypnotizing a 'Gator

Saturday Blade, Chicago, 1920

Do you know that an alligator is subject to hypnotism? Petting this scaly reptile under the chin, while he is on his back, makes him fall to sleep immediately. The smaller alligators are much more easily hypnotized than the large ones. Down in Florida, putting the 'gators into slumber land is an often-seen pastime. It's easy—if you know how.

Nuxated Iron (Antique Advertisement, 1920*)

What Kind of Blood Have You?

Thin, Pale and Watery - Keeping You Weak, Nervous and Run-Down—Or Rich, Red, Healthy Blood With Plenty of Iron In It To Give You Strength, Energy, Power and Endurance

Physician Says Iron is Red Blood Food

Explains How Nuxated Iron — Master Strength Builder of The Blood — Helps Give Renewed Vim and Energy to Men and Puts Roses Into The Cheeks of Women.

If you tire easily, if you look pale, haggard and worn, if you feel generally weak, nervous and run-down it would probably astonish you to look at a drop of your own blood under a powerful microscope and compare it with a drop of pure, healthy blood—rich in iron. Actual blood tests show that a tremendously large number of people who are weak and ill lack iron in their blood and that they are ill for no other reason than lack of iron. Iron deficiency paralyzes healthy, energetic action, pulls down the whole organism and weakens the entire system.

There are thousands whose bodies are ageing and breaking down at a time when they should be enjoying that perfect bodily health which cries defiance to disease simply because they are not awake to the condition of their blood. By allowing it to remain thin, pale and watery they are not giving the natural life forces of the body a chance to do their work. Yet others go through life apparently possessing, year after year, the elasticity, the strength and the energy of earlier days. Through their bodies courses the energy and power that comes from plenty of red blood—filled with strength-giving iron. Iron is red blood food and physicians explain below why they prescribe organic iron — Nuxated Iron to build up the red blood corpuscles and give increased power and endurance.

Commenting on the use of Nuxated Iron as a tonic, strength and blood-builder by over three million people annually, Dr. James Francis Sullivan, formerly physician of Bellevue Hospital (Outdoor Dept.), New York and the Westchester County Hospital, said: "Modern methods of cooking and the rapid pace at which people of this century live has made such an alarming increase in iron deficiency in the blood of American men and women that I have often marveled at the large number of people who lack iron in the blood — and who never suspect the cause of their weak, nervous, run-down state. Lack of iron in the blood not only makes a man a physical weakling, nervous, irritable, easily fatigued, but it utterly robs him of that virile force, that stamina and strength of will which are so necessary to success and power — in every walk of life. It may also transform a beautiful, sweet-tempered woman into one who is cross, nervous and irritable. I have strongly emphasized the great necessity of physicians making blood examinations of their weak, anaemic, rundown patients. Thousands of persons go on year after year suffering from physical weakness and a highly nervous condition due to lack of sufficient iron in their blood corpuscles without ever realizing the real cause of the trouble. But in my opinion - you can't make these strong, vigorous, successful, sturdy iron men by feeding them on metallic iron. The old forms of metallic iron must go through a digestive process to transform them into organic iron — Nuxated Iron — before they are ready to be taken up and assimilated by the human system. Notwithstanding all that has been said and written on this subject by well-known physicians, thousands of people still insist in dosing themselves with metallic iron simply, I suppose, because it costs a few cents less. I strongly advise readers in all cases to get a physician's prescription for organic iron — Nuxated Iron — or if you don't want to go to this trouble then purchase only Nuxated Iron in its original packages and see that this particular name (Nuxated Iron) appears on the package. If you have taken preparations such as Nux and Iron and other similar iron products and failed to get results, remember that such products are an entirely different thing from Nuxated Iron.

Dr. H. B. Vail, formerly Physician in the Baltimore Hospital, and a Medical Examiner, says: "Throughout my experience on Hospital Staffs and as a Medical Examiner, I have been astonished at the number of patients who have vainly doctored for various diseases, when in reality their delicate, run-down state was simply the result of lack of iron in the blood. Time and again I have prescribed organic iron — Nuxated Iron — and surprised patients at the rapidity with which the weakness and general debility was replaced by a renewed feeling of strength and vitality. I took Nuxated Iron myself to build me up after a serious case of nervous exhaustion. The effects were apparent after a few days and within three weeks it had virtually revitalized my whole system and put me in a superb physical condition."

Dr. T. Alphonsus Wallace, a physician of many years' experience in this country and abroad, says: "I do not make a practice of recommending advertised medicinal products, but I have found Nuxated Iron so potent in nervous, run-down conditions, that I believe all should know it. The men and women of today need more iron in their blood than was the case twenty or thirty years ago. This because of the demineralized diet which now is served daily in thousands of homes and also because of the demand for greater resistance necessary to offset the greater number of health hazards to be met at every turn."

MANUFACTURER'S NOTE: Nuxated Iron which is prescribed and recommended above by physicians is not a secret remedy, but one which is well known to druggists everywhere. Unlike the older inorganic iron products it is easily assimilated and does not injure the teeth, make them black, nor upset the stomach. The manufacturers guarantee successful and entirely satisfactory results to every purchaser or they will refund your money. It is dispensed by all good druggists.

*Note: This advertisement is void, being from 1920 and of historical interest only.

Lady Barber Stops "Sleuth's" Career


Lad's Tale of "Big Catches" Fails to Get By

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 26. — With a certificate from a correspondent school for detectives and a bright metal badge marked "special officer," Charles H. Stuart, 16 years old, of Jonesboro, Ark., came to Kansas City to chase imaginary bank robbers.

Young Mr. Stuart measures 6 feet 6 inches in height and weighs nearly 200 pounds, but he never had indulged the luxury of a shave, so he decided to experiment. He entered a shop of female barbers and after getting his first shave he thought it a fine idea to take other things tonsorial.

He admitted that he liked the work of the "lady barber" and he took a face massage, a scalp massage, a shampoo and a singe.

Boasts of His Big Catches

Incidentally, Stuart announced that he was a traveling detective, with a huge number of big catches to his credit. He displayed his star and the "lady barber" polished it for him. He said he was here on the trail of bank robbers.

The proprietor of the shop then telephoned to police headquarters.
Paul Weitkam, height 5 feet 4 inches, weight 125 pounds, the smallest detective on the Kansas City force, was sent to investigate. The 16-year-old Stuart appeared as a giant beside the diminutive Weitkam.

"What kind of stuff are you pulling around here?" demanded the city detective.

Stuart's face became pale. He trembled, then he began to cry.

His "Mental Poise" Unbalanced

Weitkam took the young adventurer to headquarters, where he told his story. He said he had paid $5 to the detective school and after he got his certificate he lost his mental poise.

Stuart was released, but showed up at headquarters next morning, having the impression that it was up to him to appear for a hearing. He got one, too.

Leo Mullen, property clerk, acted as judge and Stuart was "sentenced" to six months in the county jail. He was "paroled" on condition that he should never again visit a "lady barber's" shop, and that he should start back to Jonesboro on the first train.

Owner is Fined $75 for Cruelty to Pigs


Gives Government Diet as Excuse and Appeals Case

CLINTON, Mass., Feb. 26. — Melvin F. Master of Lowell, owner of a farm in Harvard, was fined $75 by Judge Jonathan Smith in the District Court here on a charge of cruelty to twenty-two pigs he had at his farm.

Robert L. Dyson of Worcester, agent for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, prosecuted the case. Other witnesses were Paul Griffin, a 14-year-old boy left by Master to care for the pigs, and Constable William Hanna of Harvard.

It was shown that eight of the pigs died of exposure in January and that the fourteen found alive weighed but forty pounds at 9 months of age, when they should weigh 150 pounds each. They were fed but twenty-five pounds of bran and meal a day since Dec. 3, the Griffin boy testified.

Collie Wouldn't Play


But Spaniel Stayed Thru Long, Cold, Night Keeps Watchful Vigil Over Dying Pal

VANCOUVER, B. C., Canada, Feb. 26. — Would his friend the brown and white collie never get up and go home, the little spaniel wondered?

The collie lay quiet and still at the intersection of downtown streets. Just why, perhaps some chauffeur who passed that way could explain.

The spaniel could not, anyway. In the language of his tribe he implored the collie to jump up and play. But the collie paid no attention.

Night came on and the spaniel still waited. Sense of something wrong penetrated to his consciousness and he whimpered a little.

It began to rain, too, and got very cold. Nor was there any warmth in the collie's body when he snuggled up against it.

In the dawn of early morning while the fierce gusts of wind drove the drenching downpour into their faces, early passersby saw the little sentinel still on guard, an abject picture of misery, his little world gone to pieces.

At noon kindly hands dragged him away, notwithstanding his protestations. There was no trace of the collie when he returned.

Girls Throw Dice for Legacy Money


LONDON, England, Feb. 26. — Two domestic servants threw dice at the Guildford Guildhall, Surrey, in the presence of the mayor. Under a bequest, dating from 1674, the interest on 1,000 pounds (about $5,000) is to be annually "diced" for by two Guildford servant girls of good character who have served one master and mistress for two years or more.

The maids selected this year were Rose Chapman, who has served four years in one house, and Beatrice Over, who has a record of six years and eleven months in one situation. The former won £12 1s. 6d, and the second girl £11 9s.

Prince Discovers New Fish 20,000 Feet Down


PARIS, France — The Prince of Monaco has discovered a new fish which lives at a depth of 20,000 feet under a pressure of 600 atmospheres. Although at such a depth there is practically no light, the Grimaldichthys profundissimus, christened after the Prince's family name, has rudimentary eyes.

The fish was brought up during one of the Prince's oceanographical cruises off the Cape Verde Islands. Two other species not hitherto known were caught at a depth of over 16,000 feet.

Invents Music Sheets for Piano

A Frenchman has invented piano music printed on long sheets, so mounted on motor driven rolls that they are advanced as rapidly as a user wishes saving the work of turning pages.

Vancouver to Have Largest Telescope

Feb. 1920

Its 10-foot Lens Said to Be the World's Greatest

VANCOUVER, B.C. — The largest telescope in the world is being erected on the Vancouver exhibition grounds, and will be one of the big attractions of this year's fair.

The lens of this powerful spyglass is ten feet in diameter, this being six inches larger than the world-famous telescope at Leipsig. It has been in the possession of T. S. Sherman, Vancouver's meteorologist and weather man, for nearly six years, but construction of the telescope was deferred owing to war conditions.

Tests His 150-Pound Airplane

Midget Flier Has 22-foot Spread and 9 H. P. Engine

REDWOOD CITY, Cal. — New aviation history was written here when a 22-foot airplane, driven by a nine horse power motorcycle engine and weighing only 150 pounds, flew for four or five minutes at an altitude of not more than 50 feet.

The plane was constructed by C. F. Flinger of Palo Alto, who said he has been working for two years on it.

L. E. Melandy piloted the plane, which Flinger calls the "Flivver of the Air."

Melandy drove the mosquito plane for about four miles and upon his return to the flying field here declared that everything worked perfectly.

Recent Sea Rescues Thrill the Country

Feb 1920

Unsung Heroes Save Many Lives in Atlantic Storm

NEW YORK, N. Y., — The terrific storms of the last few weeks along the Atlantic seacoast have brought to light the fact that heroism is far more common than it used to be prior to the recent war. The scores of thrilling rescues made from wrecked ships show that men of the present day will risk their lives for a good cause with much less hesitation than before they became used to the experience while combating the enemy on sea and land.

Took a Desperate Chance

One little boat took a desperate chance in its successful attempt to rescue the passengers of a stranded schooner. With the ocean whipped by a gale which made mountainous waves, a little boat, manned by men who had seen service with the U. S. Navy submarine chasers, put out from a New Jersey port with almost certain odds again them weathering the heavy seas.

Their frail craft tossed about on the stormy waters like an eggshell, they finally made it to within grappling distance of the beleaguered boat. Then their real troubles began. When they approached close to the ship the rescuing boat was likely to be dashed against it by the waves and crushed to oblivion.

"It may or may not have been a miracle," declares Jack Fromme, one of the heroes who helped save the forty passengers, "but we were not crushed. We took the people off the boat and, though we had a hard time, made it to shore with them."

Many Acts of Bravery

The terrible devastation done along the Atlantic Coast also brought forth many acts of extreme heroism. In one case the wife of a fisherman found that her husband was several miles out at sea, having been suddenly caught in the terrific storm. She put out in a small rowboat, without the least idea of the direction taken by her mate, and by a miracle of intuition went directly to the spot where he was laying in the bottom of his boat exhausted, after having been tossed about for hours by the angry waters. She pulled up alongside, pulled him into her boat and made the terrible trip back. When she got to the threshold of their humble cottage she fainted.

At Seabright, N. J., a couple were swept out to sea in tile bungalow, which had been suddenly carried away by the storm. Hundreds volunteered to make the rescue. Only a few were selected, and they dared the waves and saved the man and wife just as the waters were tearing the flimsy bungalow to pieces.

Beware of Empty Gasoline Container

Beware of Empty Gasoline Container


Is More Dangerous Than Full One, Say Scientists

Empty gasoline tanks are always more dangerous than full ones, says the Popular Science Monthly. In most cases some residue remains in the tank or can. The remaining gasoline vaporizes and is explosive. As the tank is being filled this mixture is forced out and will explode if ignited by a spark held near the opening.

To guard against accidents all openings should be blown out with compressed air. If this method cannot be used the cover should be removed and the vapors fanned out. Unless a current of air is circulating gasoline should never be used for cleaning engines or other machinery; and if the air is passing lights should be kept at a safe distance on the intake side of the engine.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Keep Time By The Sundial


In Beautifying Its Forest Park This Kansas Town Has Added a Utility

Ottawa, Kan. — The big city has no corner on civic beauty. Nor are pretty parks and ingenious decorative schemes confined to estates of landed gentry. A country town can, and often does, furnish excellent examples of artistic treatment of bits of woodland.

Ottawa has no copyrighted system of boulevards other than its well paved streets, but the folks who make their homes here pride themselves upon their parks — there are two of them — City Park and Forest Park.

In Forest Park there are samples of the ordinary park embellishments, such as a fountain, cemented fish pond, lettered flower beds and sanitary drinking fountains. But the newest addition is a floral sundial. It is the town's latest civic pride.

J. H. Eason, park keeper for Ottawa, planned and constructed the natural timepiece this summer, it being an excellent summer for the use of sundials. He fashioned it according to he minutest directions of chronometer and sundial experts. As a result the dial is accurate to the minute when the sun's changes are figured — and Mr. Eason has provided a card with printed directions for each day of the year. The number of minutes the sun is "slow" or "fast," in comparison with the standard meridian, is placed in plain View Of park visitors. Anyone may read the card and set his watch the exact time.

The dial is fourteen feet in diameter and the indicator, a pointed post, is eight feet above the ground. Numerals of cement number the hours upon which the shadow of the indicator falls in turn from sunup to sundown. Lines of foliage mark the half-hours and the quarter-hours. Pigmy hedge forms a decorative design in front of the figures.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

New War Appliance


A newcomer into the family of war appliances is the motorcycle-carrying airplane. A special platform built between the planes juts outside the body of the airplane, carries the motorcycle. The addition of this machine greatly enhances the effectiveness of the airplane and affords a quick means of land travel in case of a shortage of gasoline or disability of the airplane engine. If the aviators who were lost in the Mexican desert during General Pershing's expedition had been equipped with motorcycles their return to headquarters would have been a matter of only a few hours instead of a three days' wait for the searching party.

Learned Too Late

"Much evil comes from bad company," as the man said who found himself on the gallows by the side of the hangman.

The Average Man

It would discourage the average man if he was able to realize how very important he isn't!

You Ought To Have a Wheel Hoe


A wheel hoe is the gardener's best friend; with it one man can do as much work in two hours as he can in six with the old-fashioned common hoe. It saves laborious stooping, makes the work easier and does it better. These hoes have several attachments such as drills, cultivators and different-sized hoes, making it suitable for crops of all kinds and sizes. If a man is too lazy to attend to his own garden, his wife will find the use of the wheel hoe very comforting.

His Dress

When a girl falls in love with a young man she wishes he would wear some other kind of necktie.


"Ernest, were you looking through the keyhole last night at your sister and me?" "Honest, I wasn't. Mother was in the way."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Call On Spirits to Help Convict Negro


(Special to Post-Crescent)

Des Moines, Iowa. — A voice from the spirit world is being used to help forge the chain of evidence against Tom Lewis, negro, charged with assaulting and murdering 23-year-old Sara Barbara Thorsdale, Des Moines school teacher.

Miss Thorsdale's body was found in a clump of bushes alongside the lonely road she took in walking from her school to the street car. Lewis, who lived in a shack nearby, was traced by bloodhounds. He denies all knowledge of the crime.

The spirit voice is that of the slain girl, transmitted through Mrs. E. C. Head, a Des Moines medium, to Mrs. Gladys Conway, Miss Thorsdale's dearest chum.

The chum, skeptically but hopefully, applied to Mrs. Head after Lewis protested his innocence. She says she heard the voice of Miss Thorsdale clearly, that it told her a negro and two white men were responsible, and that it explained the crime in this way:

"I was walking casually along, and when I reached the thicket a hand was stretched out and caught me. Another hand went over my mouth. That was 4:40 in the afternoon, but my spirit did not leave my body until the next day. I was taken to a cabin and kept there. Early the following morning they took my body to the river to throw it into the water, but the men were afraid. There were two men. Another knew, but did not help."

Names of the two white men have been turned over to officials, who say they will be arrested.

Sheriff W. E. Robb plans to use both Mrs. Conway and Mrs. Head as witnesses.

—Appleton Post-Crescent, Appleton, WI, July 25, 1921, p. 6.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hogs Under Military Drill


Major Carpenter, a veteran who conducts a farm near Stockbridge, Mich., gave an exhibition yesterday which proves that ordinary hogs may be educated to a high degree. The Major has introduced military discipline among his porkers to such an extent that they go through the evolutions with almost human precision.

The exhibition yesterday was given by Major Carpenter for the benefit of a few former army comrades, who pronounced it wonderful. Eight of the animals formed in line at the Major's command, and stood like so many statues. In front of them, about two rods, was a trough into which a farm hand then dumped five or six pails of mixed feed. The hogs took great interest in the operation, and their little eyes twinkled in anticipation, but not a hog of them stirred until the Major cried out: "Forward! March!" When they were three feet from the trough he commanded "Halt!" and all stood still, though it was evident they were laboring under great excitement. Finally he shouted "Charge!" and eight porcine noses went into the trough at the same instant.

When the meal was over the animals re-formed in line, marched solemnly to their pen and were disbanded by a wave of the Major's hand. —St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Light That is Lost in Space


If one divides the known nebulae in groups according to the dimensions of their apparent diameters and one also notes their intrinsic brightness, it is clear that their apparent diameters should decrease as the distance increases. Their brightness, on the other hand, will diminish with increasing distance only if interstellar space absorbs light.

As the result of a great number of observations a correlation between brightness and apparent diameter has been observed, and is so marked that it is impossible to put it down to chance or to some systematic error. It appears that there is a real absorption in space, and if more precise descriptions of the nebulae were available the law of absorption could be assigned.

Almost Hopeless Case

Mrs. Flimmins is worried about her new husband. She fears he will never become elegant and refined, because be cannot learn to put on a monocle without twisting his mouth up to one side.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Twins Puzzle Father; He Makes New Will


Unable to Distinguish Sons Apart, He Finds He Had Put Error Into Document

Fort Worth, Tex. — John Cobb Harris, a wealthy Mansfield farmer, came to Fort Worth to make a new will because he was unable to tell his twin sons apart. The will he destroyed gave John Harris certain property and Cobb, the other twin, property just opposite to his own desires.

Harris's sons are 22 years of age, and among the most remarkable twins in the country. Both are six feet six inches tall and muscular. With their hats on their father cannot tell one from the other.

The twins keep a common bank account, and always speak of "our money," "our horse," and even "our girl," as they frequently play a joke on their sweethearts by exchanging them.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Science and Field Mice


In France a few years ago the field mice almost devoured some of the farmers' crops. The wretched little pests were so numerous that they got in each other's way, like denizens of a tenement house, and disease broke out among them. A great epidemic carried them off in certain localities so that almost none were left. The farmers thanked heaven and took courage again.

But the mysterious dying off of the mice attracted the attention of Professor Danysz of the parasite laboratory of the Paris chamber of commerce. He dissected some of the dead mice. He found that their bodies were swarming with a microbe, undoubtedly the one that killed them. Then a bright thought occurred to Professor Danysz. He soaked 80,000 bits of bread in 12 gallons of water that had been plentifully mixed with the microbe cultures. He scattered the bread over a farm and waited.

In a short time the fields were dotted with dead and dying mice. The remedy is so effectual that the field mice will soon be exterminated in France if farmers follow up the discovery. Professor Danysz is a benefactor to the race.

What is the reason that all offensive vermin — rats, mice, roaches, flies and other such pests — cannot be driven off the earth by inoculating them with deadly microbes? What is to prevent the utter destruction of the mosquito every summer in this way?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Elephants' Tongues


"Only a few of the many people who have thrown peanuts into the elephants' mouths," said Head Keeper Manley of the zoological gardens to a Philadelphia Record man, "have noticed that the tongue is hung at both ends. A tongue hung in the middle is a human complaint, but elephants have a monopoly on those hung at both ends. The trunk suffices to put the food just where it ought to be, and the tongue simply keeps it moving from side to side over the grinders. When a peanut gets stuck on the elephant's tongue he raises it in the middle, like a moving caterpillar, and the shell cracks against the roof of the mouth, to then disappear down a capacious throat."

Didn't Want to Sneeze

A whimsical old Englishman who died over a century ago left a will in which he stated what he wished done at his funeral. His first request was that sixty of his friends be invited, accompanied by five of the best fiddlers to be found in the town. Second, he wished no tears to be shed, but, on the other hand, insisted that the sixty friends should be "merry for two hours," on penalty of being sent away. And, finally, that "no snuff be brought upon the premises, lest I have a fit of sneezing." — Harper's Young People.

A singed cat dreads the cold.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Cites Folly of Worrying


Retired Business Man Offers Some Good, Homely Philosophy Based on Long Experience

A retired business man now living in a soldiers' home writes the following letter to a friend in the dry goods market, and its homely philosophy and confidence will be found refreshing:

"Since I saw you I have entered on my seventy-seventh year. My experience has taught me the folly of worrying over events I cannot control. I have much reason for gratitude, as I have been allowed to live long. My lines are cast in pleasant places, and that is more than many a millionaire can truly say. I have little sympathy for people who mourn their former prosperity, just making themselves miserable and their hearers uncomfortable.

"My five months' captivity in a rebel prison showed me how little, after all, a person requires to be perfectly happy and contented. One good square meal to the prisoners would have converted the prison yard into a picnic grove. . . . Even if you may meet with ingratitude, your kind deed is recorded somewhere, and will be remembered. I must stop prosing, perhaps you will think I am getting into my dotage." — New York Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin.

Rats March Like Soldiers


Rodents Have Little Difficulty in Finding Supply of Food, and Adapt Themselves to Conditions

The ready adaptability of rats to their surroundings is one of the qualities which has enabled them to conquer the world, E. W. Nelson writes in the National Geographic magazine. On the approach of warm weather in summer, large numbers of them leave buildings and resort to fields on farms or to the outskirts of the towns, where the growing vegetation, particularly cultivated plants, affords them an abundant supply until the approach of winter. At the beginning of cold weather they return again to the shelter of buildings, where they find the harvested crops ready for their consumption.

When the food supply suddenly decreases following a period of plenty during which the rats have greatly increased in numbers, a migratory impulse appears to affect the entire rat population over large areas and a general migration takes place. At such times the rats are extraordinarily bold, swimming rivers without hesitation, and surmounting all other natural obstacles. The first invasion of Europe, when rats swam the Volga, was an instance of this kind. Experiments by the United States public health service have shown that when released in the water of a harbor rats may swim ashore for a distance of 1,500 yards.

Newark Soldier is Convinced By Gypsy War Will Soon End

Ohio and Alabama, 1917

One of the Newark boys at Camp Sheridan, Ala., writes a friend of a queer coincidence that happened him a few days ago. In company with a comrade they engaged a livery auto in Montgomery to show them points of interest, taking two lady friends with them as companions.

They were out in the country several miles when something happened to the machine and the chauffeur told them it would require about an hour to repair the same. The soldier boys and lady friends started on a little hike and walked about a mile and a half when they came across a gypsy camp and all had their fortunes told, the writer of the letter being last.

The soldier asked her numerous questions and finally said, "When will the war end?" "In latter November or December," replied the fortune teller. "How do you know?" inquired the soldier. "Just as I know that the driver of your auto is lying under his machine back in the road, dead," replied the gypsy.

They hurried back to where they had left their car, the young women almost hysterical and the soldiers doubtful. There was the chauffeur under the car and life was extinct, as foretold by the gypsy. An examination proved that he died from apoplexy.

The young Newark soldier vouches for the truth of the story and is now convinced, although never a believer that some people are gifted with second sight.

—The Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, Ohio, Nov. 10, 1917, p. 6.

Where Grammar Came From


Barbarous Macedonian Held Responsible for Invention

The world reached its highest known stage of intelligence before grammar was even invented, much less studied, Ernest C. Moore writes in the Yale Review.

I have had some curiosity to find out where and how so great a blight upon young life first came into being, and why it ever became a school study, and I find that the Greeks knew it not; that their triumphant literature and their matchless oratory came to flower before grammar was dreamed of; that it was not in any sense one of the great arts which they wrought out and with which they armed the human race; that after Greece had declined, a barbarous Macedonian made himself owner of all Egypt, and in order to surround himself with the most spectacular form of ostentation of which his vain mind could conceive, he set to collecting not only all the rare and precious objects and books and manuscripts there were in the world, but he capped it all by making a collection of the living men of the world who had any reputation anywhere for knowing and thinking.

Taking them from their homes where they had some relation to the daily necessities of human beings, and had really been of some use, he shut them up for life in one of his palaces at Alexandria, which the folks were in the habit of calling "the hencoop of the muses;" and out of sheer desperation, since they could do nothing better to amuse themselves, they counted the words in the books which real men had written, and prepared tables of the forms and endings which the users of words employed. The lifeless dregs of books which their distilling left we now call grammar, and study instead of books and even speech itself. In their lowest depth of indifference to the moving, pulsing life of man, not even the Alexandrians sank so low as that.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Do and Think


If you wish to be or do anything great in this world you will find every hour and every day an opportunity in some way. If nothing else the lull in routine is opportunity to study up for future reference and use.

If your mind is full of plans and ideas for carrying them out you can make almost any situation or circumstance work in to help you.

It is not so much how you go at a thing as to get at it.

Begin by doing something. Do and think at the same time. That think will help in the next do, and by always doing what you know how to do, first, you will find the next step easier.

It is not the talkers and the arguers who accomplish the most in this world.

Try some plan while the next one is talking about it, and you will be surprised at how easy it is to keep in the front row of the procession. — Minneapolis Tribune.

This Monster Does Exist


The dingonek is a huge, unclassified aquatic monster. It resembles in many of its characteristics the extinct dinosaur, a huge reptile of the Mesozoic period, fossils of which have been discovered by paleontologists in the sandstone strata both of the African and American continents.

It lives in Lake Victoria Nyanza and its numerous tributaries, and there is no record of the monster having been seen in any other part of the world. Whether it is a descendant of one of the huge prehistoric saurians that has by a process of adaptation — living as it does in impenetrable regions far away from the encroachments of civilized man — continued with but slight modifications through prodigious ages to the present time, or whether it is an unclassified reptile or amphibian, it is equally impossible to say, as no specimen exists either of its bones or of its skin.

That this monster does exist, however, there can be no particle of doubt, as the testimony of authoritative eyewitnesses cannot be reasonably discredited. - Wide World.

Lord Brougham's Dream


Lord Brougham was one of the stubborn believers to the "common sense" explanation of ghostly appearances as dreams. At Edinburgh university he and an intimate friend drew up an agreement written with their blood that whichever of them died first should appear to the survivor.

Years passed; the friend was in India, and Brougham had almost forgotten his existence. Arriving late one night at an inn in Sweden, Brougham had a hot bath and was going to get out of it when he looked toward the chair on which he had left his clothes and saw his friend sitting on it. Brougham seems then to have fainted.

On getting home be received a letter announcing that the other had died in India at the very time. Yet this incident, which most people would put down to telepathy at least, was dismissed by Brougham as a mere dream and pure coincidence.

The Modern Figure


Milady's Boudoir

The modern corset for the beauty figures is a bit higher busted, and curves in a wee bit more at the waist than they have for a decade past, but the finished effect is one of suppleness and natural curves. Anything like rigidity or the stiffness caused by tight lacing is avoided and the new corset is quite as comfortable as the almost boneless model, reaching just above the waistline, which the "natural figure" demanded. Figures are better taken care of by the corset, which offers a little support to the bust and rises just high enough above the waistline not to cut into the flesh when its wearer bends or sits, as the very low girdle corset was apt to do.

This support of the bust is essential in the new basque frock or the snug-fitting girdle dividing bodice and skirt. If they are fitted over a low-bust corset, the unsupported bust bulges over the upper edge and gives a bad line.

The brassiere is an important adjunct to the modern figure, for the new corset-covers of net and chiffon are soft and transparent and something must be worn to hide the corset and break the top line. If the outer blouse is not of transparent stuff, brassieres and corset-cover may be combined in one garment. The material must be firm enough to hold the figure, but under the blouse or chiffon bodice, which demands an equally flimsy corset cover, must be worn a little brassiere of one sort or another.

Every Day Etiquette

"When a new employee comes into the office and is introduced to me, should I rise and shake hands or simply acknowledge the introduction while sitting?" inquired Mabel, the stenographer.

"It is a business affair. You should certainly rise but need not shake hands unless he extends his hand to you. A courteous bow is only necessary in such cases," said her older business friend.

Germany's Future


Columbia university has some professors who refuse to confuse moral values, among them Franklin H. Giddings, head of the department of sociology. He was recently quoted by the London Observer as follows:

"There is no reasonable doubt that Germany has lost the confidence of the civilized world. It is completely gone. I do not believe that the world will forgive Germany in a hundred years. * * * In my opinion there will be no forgiveness of Germany by the civilized world before the mature days of our grandchildren, and to obtain it then she has to show works meet for repentance."

The boycott from which Germany will suffer will not be primarily industrial and commercial, but intellectual and moral. With the most liberal trade regulations imaginable, there are millions of people in the world who, after the war, will have nothing to do with the Germans. Their isolation will not be due to any commercial pact, but to the instinctive shrinking from a nation guilty of monstrous crimes against God and man. That is a feeling that statesmen can neither create nor eliminate. Men will be unable to associate in any way with Germany as it now is, or to have any dealings with it, without feeling a sense of personal degradation and contamination. — Indianapolis News.

Street Illumination


"Illuminating engineers are now turning all their energies toward a system for the proper distribution of street lighting," writes Walter R. Howell in Good Health. "They have unanimously agreed that the best light is that from a globe that is dense enough not to reveal the form of the actual light within, but to give the effect of light streaming forth from the globe."

The reason for this is that street lamps are necessarily against a dark background, and the amount of glare upon the eyes depends to a great degree upon the background against which the light is seen. An electric light, unshaded, against a dark velvet wall covering, for instance, will be found much more trying to the eyes than would the same light with a white wall paper behind it.

The Name of Arizona

Arizona, probably Arizonac in its original form, was the native and probably Pima name of the place — of a hill, valley, stream or some other local feature — just south of the modern boundary, in the mountains still so called, on the headwaters of the stream flowing past Saric, where the famous Planchas de Plata mine was discovered in the middle of the eighteenth century, the name being first known to the Spaniards in that connection and being applied to the mining camp or real de minas. The aboriginal meaning of the term is not known. The name should probably be written and pronounced Arisona. as our English sound of z does not occur in Spanish. — H. H. Bancroft, "History of the Pacific States."

Cold Winter Signs

Nov. 1917

There is always a great deal of predicting by old-fashioned prognosticators at this time of year, of what kind of a winter we are going to have.

Some are saying the winter will be a cold one, because the corn husks and the fur on the animals are thicker than usual. It sounds reasonable. But, it really isn't. The corn husks and the fur are thicker because we had a cool summer, not because we are going to have a cold winter.

Then too, these wiseacres say the birds left early and that means a long, cold winter, which is also arguing from a lack of knowledge. Most birds have a certain time for leaving the northern latitudes and leave on schedule time, irrespective of the weather. The swallows go while we are still drinking ice tea and hunting the shady side of the street. But the hardier birds, like the robins, bluebirds, meadowlarks, stay as long as the food supply is good. A well-fed bird is a warm bird. That is why we sometimes have large flocks of robins wintering with its even in zero weather.

On the other hand, the fact that we are over 700 degrees behind on temperature for the year doesn't mean that this will be all straightened out this year. It may take 10. So the only thing to do is to sit tight and take what comes. A warm winter would be pleasant, but a cold one is better for us. — Ohio State Journal.

Another Comet Coming

Nov. 1917

Another big comet is said to be on its way. That is, a scientist claims to have discovered a comet of gigantic proportions speeding through the solar system at a rate of more than a million miles a day, and he promises us that some time this winter it will be visible in the northwestern skies in glorious aspect.

We haven't taken a great deal of interest in comets since the one known as Halley's failed to live up to the publicity it received. It was over-advertised — and disappointing, as all things are that are over-advertised. We lost a good deal of sleep on account of the bluish thing that came into the heavens heralded as a body of magnificent proportions and of great beauty, and we have not been enthusiastic about comets since that time.

Further, the present comet is entirely too far away to arouse our interest. It is said to be something like five hundred million miles removed from the earth, and we have a number of big things much closer than that. However, we do not want to discourage it. Let it come along if it so desires. If it gets close enough to the earth to enable us to hang an excuse for the war upon it, it will be worth something. And if it is so striking in its appearance as to frighten the world into righteousness, it will be the biggest thing that ever strolled through the great unknown that lies about us. — Columbus Dispatch.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Weapons of the Teachers


Evil Methods Inspiring Fear Not Conducive to Best Results

Power to produce fear is a poor weapon. The teacher who uses it is not doing his best work.

Snakes are feared by reason of their sting. So are lions and tigers for reason of their power to produce harm.

Fear is the weapon of an enemy. We do not fear our friends, nor can we fear anything that we love.

Evil is just absence of good; for it cannot exist where good is. And evil chooses fear for its weapon. Neither evil nor fear should exist in the schoolroom, says an exchange.

Good is always stronger than evil; love always stronger than fear. Why should teachers employ evil methods and inspire fear in the hearts of children when springs of love are bubbling up on every side?

There are smiles, and kind words, and kind thoughts, and deeds of kindness and — but the list is too great to complete. These inspire love, and as weapons are much more efficient than is fear.

And then there is faith! When good loses its trust in its ability to overcome, fear disarms and evil conquers. An animal will not attack a man who has absolutely no fear of it. That is the secret of the lion-tamer's power. Evil cannot defeat a man who is strong in good, and therefore he has no cause to fear evil.

Women as Fortune Builders


I observe and you will notice that notwithstanding the great incursion of women of late years into one or another department of business they are not of much account as fortune builders.

Some of them earn or make a good deal of money, but they seldom get rich by their own exertions, and nearly all the rich women have inherited fortunes from men. Moreover, the women who are most successful as money makers are not, as a rule, the most successful as women.

The women seem to be a consecrated sex, too valuable to be employed in mere money getting. Vast numbers of them earn a living, sometimes a good one, and have to, but few of them get rich.

It is common for a young man to start out deliberately to accumulate a fortune. It is very uncommon for a young woman to do so. She is much more likely to accumulate a young man. — E. S. Martin in Atlantic.

Insects Carry Disease


Our knowledge of the connection of insects with diseases is a very modern acquisition. In his presidential address to the Washington Academy of Sciences, Dr. L. O. Howard noted that standard medical works of a score of years ago made no mention of the subject, but recent literature records 226 different disease germs as known to have been carried by insects to man or animals, 87 organisms as known to be parasitic in insects but not known to be transmitted, and 282 species of insects as discovered causes or carriers of diseases of man or animals.

The transportation by wind of the body-louse, the carrier of typhus fever, is among late discoveries to which many writers have given attention. Tick paralysis is another novel subject, the disease occurring in Australia, Africa and North America, and 13 cases have been reported by a single Oregon physician.

Progressive paralysis of motor but not sensory nerves follows the attachment of the tick. The disease is not infectious, and it has not been decided whether it is due to a specific organism or to nerve shock. Infantile paralysis is believed to be one of the diseases not carried by insects.

Use Chopsticks in Japan


Old Custom Prevails Among Poorer Classes, While the Rich Have European Knives and Forks

The use of chopsticks is general in Japan, except among the richer classes, who have adopted European knives and forks, and, to some extent, the European cuisine, London Tit-Bits says.

5mall bowls of china or lacquered wood are the usual table equipment. After the various solid portions of the food have been lifted to the mouth with chopsticks the liquor remaining is sipped from the bowl. In the case of rice, which would be tedious to pick up grain by grain, the bowl is often raised to the mouth and the rice shoveled or pushed in with the chopsticks. It is also customary to pour a little tea into the rice bowl after it has been nearly emptied, and in this way the few remaining grains of rice are washed down as the tea is drunk.

At public places the chopsticks at each meal must be new; this is indicated by the fact that the chopsticks are made from one piece of wood and are left joined together, as were matches at one time. These new chopsticks are incased in a thin paper envelope, sealed at the end, and bearing Japanese characters advertising either the hotel or some firm that has furnished them free to the proprietor for the sake of the publicity thus gained.

Teach Your Children to Obey


Our Boys and Girls

A fault, often laid to the mother, is the habit of unnecessary fault finding or nagging. One reason many mothers have so little influence with their children, is the habit of insisting on non-essentials. They make a fuss about trifles and lay down the law on points that are of no great consequence, like the kind of stockings or gloves they may wear, and then, when there is reason to protest against some really wrong course, they have used up all their force on unimportant details and their words carry no weight with the child.

You cannot begin too early, however, to teach your children to obey. If there is occasional rebellion it should be checked immediately, although I think if a child is taught obedience from earliest infancy, the idea of revolt will never present itself as possible.

Every Day Etiquette

"When sending a dinner invitation to a husband and wife, to which one is it addressed " inquired Fred.
"To the wife of course," said his sister.

There isn't a whole lot of difference between putting a man on, and tipping him off.

The Use of Moles


Milady's Boudoir

There are as many different brands of moles as there are of toilet soaps, but like soap they are not all good and beautifying. A mole that is round, dark like a coffee bean and perfectly smooth like the cheek it adorns, is a beauty asset provided it is well placed.

If one is so fortunate as to possess a mole coquettishly placed near the eye, or daringly near the corner Of the mouth, then one is indeed lucky, but if it is simply a blotch on the chin or cheek, it would be well to have it removed by an expert with an electric needle.

There have been many very attractive moles on the necks and arms of famous beauties, but they are rare. If one has no mole to pet and cherish, the very best thing to take its place would be a patch of black court plaster or a cleverly painted one, done with the fine point of an eyebrow pencil.

A mole is really necessary as the finishing touch to a well planned toilet. It adds distinction and subtle charm to the owner. Brunettes possess moles more frequently than do blondes and, for this reason, the girl with the golden hair must be careful how she applies the artificial touch.

Odd Indian Foot Race


A foot race among the Tarahumare Indians is a most picturesque scene, especially after nightfall, when the course is lit up by flaming torches carried by the eager friends of the runners, who steadily pursue their way, the only silent people in the excited crowd.

How in this weird fitful light the men contrive to keep the ball in view is a mystery. One would think that so small an object would be lost to the flickering torchlight; but Indians have wonderful eyes as well as wonderful muscles, and somehow the ball survives all perils and is there at the finish.

In these races the runners receive no prizes, but only honor and glory and the admiration of the women, which no doubt fully repays them. It is, however, customary for those who win wagers on the race to give some part of their winnings to the men who have won; but this is optional.

Splinterless Goggles

Splinterless goggles are a new development that is expected to be of great value in military gas masks and for aviators, as well as for machinists, welders and other workers requiring protection for the eyes.

The lenses consist of two layers of optical glass separated by a layer of celluloid, the whole being perfectly welded together. The product is claimed to have the advantages of ordinary glass without its dangerous splintering on being broken, and the strength of celluloid without its inflammability and lack of rigidity. The heat insulating effect of the celluloid is said also to prevent clouding by moisture.

Joy For The Men at Tea


Some Good Samaritan Has Invented Oval Saucer That Safely Holds Cup and Dainties

Any man who knows that, sooner or later, he must go to another afternoon tea cannot but rejoice at the recent invention of an oval, platterlike saucer large enough to hold with ease a cup, a lettuce or other sandwich, and a dainty trifle of pastry. The thing was needed, the modesty of the anonymous inventor — evidently not Mr. Edison — reveals him one of the large body of occasional and unwilling tea-goers.

We, the reluctant and unwilling, are all strangely alike at these functions and we have all been embarrassed by the old-fashioned saucer. Circular in shape, and hardly larger than the cup that belies its reputation and dances drunkenly whenever another guest joggles our elbow (which happens so often that we suspect conspiracy), the old-fashioned saucer affords no reasonably secure perch for a sandwich; responds with instant delight to the law of gravitation if left to itself; and sets us wishing, those of us who think scientifically, that evolution had refrained from doing away with an extension by which alone we could now hope to manage it. We mean a tail!

If afternoon teas had been started in the Oligocene epoch instead of the seventeenth century, we are convinced that evolution, far from discarding this useful appendage, would have perfected it. A little hand would have evolved at the end of it, such a little hand as might hold his saucer while a gentleman sips from his teacup. — Atlantic Magazine.

Head Waiters


A head waiter must always be able to tell at a glance how much money you are going to spend so that he will be able to sneer at you accordingly. When a restaurant proprietor hires a new head waiter he expects to be greatly humiliated. To make a favorable impression the head waiter mast be able to give the proprietor a look that will make him feel pretty cheap. Before the interview is over the proprietor is showing the head waiter his family portrait album.

The head waiters in the magazines and movies could never hold real jobs because they have been seen to smile and bow. If a real head waiter ever smiled at a customer he would break out with a rash, and if he ever bowed it would cause internal injuries.

There may come a day when a head waiter's bows and smiles may be had at moderate prices. At present, however, they are within the reach of few. - Brooklyn Eagle.

Women of Toulon Buy Foods Much as is Custom in Some American Cities


Pays To Go To Market

To the continental woman, marketing is both a time-hallowed custom and a leading outdoor sport. Europe has always been far more economical than America, and this method of careful food purchasing is one of the first aids to economical housekeeping, according to Niksah. You see what you are getting, there are always opportunities to pick up bargains, and there are no delivery costs. Marketing by telephone is almost unknown in Europe outside a few big cities, because the telephone is not nearly so much a household institution there as here.

Toulon market is open every day from seven o'clock until noon. If you are a Toulon housewife of the upper class, you sally forth about 10 a.m., followed by a maid with a basket or a cord bag to carry your purchases. If you are not rich enough to have a maid, you carry your own vegetables in an embroidered cloth bag swinging from your arm. This cloth bag is an important point, because it marks you as an independent housewife. If you were to carry a basket or a cord bag, you would be taken for somebody's maid.

On either side of the pavement under the plantains are ranged scores of stalls covered with drab awnings. Most of the stall-keepers are women — Frenchwomen, Italians, Corsicans, Spanish. They sell all the vegetables known to botany, and delicacies like mushrooms, snails and ravioli, which is a dish made of macaroni and meat, as well. There are booths for the sale of flowers and medicinal herbs, and chickens and doubtful looking cuts of meat. The cream of the custom comes between nine and eleven. in the last half-hour there is a great bargain sale of everything that will not keep until the next day and the poorer classes rush the booths to purchase slightly damaged but nourishing goods at ridiculously low prices.

Marken Island Old Style


Ancient Manners Are Still Observed and Historic Costumes Are Worn by the Inhabitants

Marken island is a bit of the old Holland, an inlet lying in the Zuyder Zee not far from Edam, of cheese fame. Holland is rapidly becoming modernized nowadays; the blue bloomer of the canal boatmen has gone the way of the wooden shoe, well toward oblivion, although the latter, it is said, is becoming increasingly popular with the price of leather soaring, writes Niksah. The Dutch are rapidly abandoning the old ways that endeared them to the artists of bygone generations, so that any spot where the traditional customs are still preserved is worthy of note as a living museum of history.

Such a spot is Marken island, where old manners are still followed and the old costumes still worn. Separated by only a narrow channel from the progressive mainland, it is none the less fifty years behind the times. It seems to be characteristic of small islands that they progress much more slowly than mainland whence their people came. Thus in the Arran Islands off the coast of Ireland the old Irish tongue is still spoken; in the Hebrides men still live as they lived in the days of Scott, and on Marken island the men still go down to the fishing boats in bloomers and wooden shoes.

The dark blue bloomer is the mark of the married man, while the single men wear white — a somewhat illogical arrangement in view of the facilities for laundry work that married men ought to have. The women wear the old-time costumes and carry their knitting about with them on the streets. Every one of the houses is exceedingly small and almost unbelievably clean. There are not more than 300 people all told in this little colony of fishermen.

Marken is quaint and old-fashioned, but it lacks the touch of self-unconsciousness to make it perfect. In all the little shops yon can purchase picture postal cards depicting scenes that are "quaint" and "typical." And when a region begins to realize that it is picturesque it has taken the first step on the road to the commonplace.

Powerful Aero Engines


In testing an airplane engine of 200 horse power a Detroit company mounted it upon a heavy motor truck, and the aerial propeller sent the track flying along a boulevard at the rate of more than 40 miles an hour. This was a speed that the truck could not begin to develop under its own motive power, and the method furnished a better practical test of the 12-cylinder airplane engine than was possible in the testing laboratory or in any stationary trial on blocks.

As an additional test the rear wheels of the two-ton truck were locked, so that they could not revolve, and in this condition it was driven across a ball park by the airplane engine and propeller through heavy drifts of snow and over ice. The motor weighs 800 pounds and develops power sufficient to drive a 12-passenger airplane at 40 miles an hour. — Popular Mechanics Magazine.

Won His Lost Watch

An extraordinary watch story is told by a Welsh campaigner home on leave from African battlefields. When he was in German West Africa he lost a wristlet watch. It was not very valuable, so he did not worry a lot about it. But many months later, when on active service in German East Africa, he took a share in a raffle for a watch. He won, and to his amazement found that the prize was his own watch.