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.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
"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."
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Modern Warfare Is Carried On Under Water, Under Ground and in the Clouds
"Digging in" has a new and important significance and the fantastic legend of Darius Green is long forgotten in the light of practical achievement by the bird-man of today. The cavalry of the earth has been supplanted by the cavalry of the air. The actual fighting of modern warfare is conducted under water, under ground and far up among the clouds.
Yes, there have been drastic changes in military tactics and military equipment since the old days when we used to drill in the armory over the grocery store in the little old home town. What we tried so hard to learn of military lore in those days would be classed as low comedy by a recruiting officer of this changeful period. But all the same, one can't help wishing that one were somewhere in France at this minute with good old Company C regiment of the National Guard, and we'd make a reasonable wager that of the survivors of that organization, if given an opportunity to go, there wouldn't be a slacker in the bunch. — Exchange.
Islands in the tropical or semi-tropical seas furnish ideal conditions for rats, and in many instances they have increased until they have become intolerable pests, threatening the total ruin of the inhabitants. On one sugar cane plantation in Puerto Rico 25,000 rats were killed in less than six months.
In Jamaica an effort was made to suppress them by introducing the mongoose, which resulted in the establishment of a second pest. In the Hawaiian Islands the introduction of the mongoose caused the rats to take refuge in the tree-tops, where many of them have nests and have arboreal habits, like squirrels. Wherever present on these islands the mongoose has rendered it exceedingly difficult to raise domestic fowls of any kind. — National Geographic Magazine.
Loneliness and Silence Affect Those Doomed to Live in Plain of British South Africa
Before the Boer war there was a saying current among the Boers of South Africa that you could always recognize a man who had spent five years on the veldt. This was a saying no less true then than now, for the veldt is a place of great silence and loneliness and it leaves its mark on those who dwell in it.
The veldt is the great plain of what is now British South Africa, the limitless, featureless stretch of prairie dotted with knobs of hills that the Boers call kopjes, pierced and gashed by rain-washed gullies that run their twisting coarse from horizon to horizon. The word "veldt" is closely allied to the German word for "world" or "universe," and the relationship is something more than mere coincidence. To the man standing in the midst of this plain it seems to extend in every direction to the outermost limits of space.
The veldt is without sound or color, without striking features to catch the eye. A day's trek among low hills covered with gray grass, plods wearily through mile after mile of the same hills, and ends in a dry valley as like the valley of the morning as one pea is like to another. After a few days of this the traveler wonders if his progress is not a mere illusion, if he is not returning day after day to the same spot.
Now and again the monotony is broken by some veldt farm, a place of exceeding loneliness for the exiles who till it. There will be a farmhouse, a barn, a kraal, a well and a few huts for the kaffirs. To the railroad may be a distance of anywhere from 20 to 70 miles. Half the year the roads are impassable. The little community must be sufficient unto itself. Life on a veldt farm is a severe test of the inner resources of man or woman.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
White arsenic is the form in which arsenic is eaten by the peasants of Styria and the Tyrol. Prof. Schallgrueber, of Gratz, was the first to call attention to this practice in a report, which he made in 1822 to the Austrian government on the cause of the numerous deaths from arsenic poisoning in those districts. He found that arsenic was kept in most of the houses in Upper Styria under the name of "hydrach," evidently a corruption of "muttorauch," or furnace smoke. His statements were subsequently confirmed from personal observation by a Dr. Maclagan, of Edinburgh, but for many years afterward the arsenic eaters were generally disbelieved in, and it was not till 1860 that C. Heisch published convincing evidence.
Arsenic is principally eaten by hunters and woodcutters with the object of warding off fatigue and improving their staying powers. Owing to the fact that the sale of arsenic is illegal in Austria without a doctor's certificate, it is difficult to obtain definite information of a habit which is kept as secret as possible. According to a Dr. Lorenzo, in that district the arsenic is taken fasting, usually in a cup of coffee, the first dose being minute, but increased day by day until it sometimes amounts to the enormous dose of twelve or fifteen grains. He found that the arsenic eaters were usually long lived, though liable to sudden death. They have a very fresh, youthful appearance, and are seldom attacked by infectious diseases. After the first dose the usual symptoms of slight arsenic poisoning are evident, but these soon disappear on continuing the treatment.
In the arsenic factories in Salzburg it is stated that workmen who are not arsenic eaters soon succumb to the fumes. The manager of one of these works informed Mr. Heisch that he had been medically advised to eat arsenic before taking up his position. He considered that no one should begin the practice before 12 years old nor after 30, and that in any case after 50 years of age the daily dose should be gradually reduced, since otherwise sudden death would ensue. If a confirmed arsenic eater suddenly attempts to do altogether without the drug he immediately succumbs to the effects of arsenic poisoning. The only way to obviate this is gradually to acclimatize the system by reducing the dose from day to day.
As further evidence of the cumulative properties of arsenic it is interesting to note that when the graveyards in Upper Styria are opened the bodies of the arsenic eaters can be distinguished by their almost perfect state of preservation, due to the gradually accumulated arsenic. — Science Gossip.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Hungry Pack Turn Tables on Minnesota Sportsman
Henry Temfehr, a business man of Chisholm, Minn., came to the court house to-day to claim $20 as bounty for a wolf pelt in his possession. He had a harrowing experience getting his pelt, according to his story, which is vouched for by Judge Brady of Hibbing.
Mr. Temfehr was hunting north of Chisholm a few days ago, and while returning to town toward evening a pack of wolves assembled and threatened to attack him. He sought safety in a tree, and he thought it would be easy work to dispatch the pack, one at a time, from his safe perch in the tree, but after firing one shot, at which he came near falling to the ground, he changed his mind.
The wolves scattered about, realizing their danger, and watched from a respectful distance. All night the wolves kept their coveted prey in the tree, and Mr. Temfehr, although warmly clothed, came near freezing to death. During the first part of the night he fired a few shots at the beasts, and when, numb with the cold, he climbed down in the morning, he found one dead wolf.
It is supposed the other wolves hesitated to eat their dead companion for fear of meeting a like fate. — Duluth Correspondence St. Paul Pioneer Press.
W. W. Bridges of Athens, while hunting recently, came upon a peculiar track of some animal, which he followed. He captured the animal, which is pronounced by people who profess to know to be a baby lynx, a very fine specimen, weighing 22½ pounds and measuring four feet from tip to tip.
Boat Made From Paper
In Vienna a paper boat, sixteen feet long, has been built out of the back numbers of a leading daily paper of that city. Hull, spars and sails have all been made from the pulped brains of the literary staff. Four hundred thousand copies of this journal will make a yacht — sails and all.
Many Sheep From Colorado
One hundred thousand sheep will be prepared for the market this winter at the beet-sugar factories in the vicinity of Eaton, Greeley, Windsor, Longmount, Fort Collins and Loveland, Col. The beet pulp makes the best of feed for lambs.
Cost of Removing Snow
Removing snow in New York City is a large item in the city's annual expense bill. It costs about $35,000 for every inch of recorded snowfall. Last year it cost the city $755,000 to remove the snow from the streets. The average fall in New York is thirty inches, but though the snow season hardly has begun, twenty-three inches have fallen this winter, and the cost this season promises to reach considerably over $1,000,000.
The Melbourne Women's hospital discovered lately that a local undertakers' ring had bought up nearly all the vacant plots in the general cemetery, and, having put up its prices for funerals at another cemetery, which has only been opened a short time. In order to divert trade to its own ground, it was retailing its corner in graves at a handsome profit.
A Grimly Suggestive Group
The minister and the doctor were riding down town in a Lexington avenue car, and had arrived at Madison square when their friend the undertaker joined them.
After riding with him two blocks the minister and doctor put the undertaker off the car, saying their appearance in trio looked too suggestive and would cause talk among their friends.
Dachshund Found His Mistress
Three years ago Mrs. A. M. McKee of Plainfield, N. J., made a visit at Glens Falls, N. Y., and on her return left her dog, a dachshund, with her Glens Falls friends. The other day the dog appeared at the old home in Plainfield and finding that his mistress had moved, searched the city until he located her present residence.
Freak of Nature in Kentucky
A peculiar freak of nature has shown up in the bluegrass. Wells that have been dry for weeks, springs that have long since ceased to flow, have burst forth, and some of the small creeks that were dry as a powder keg are now living, running streams — all this without rain. — Grayson Bugle-Herald.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
A man living at Queensbury not only uses his coffin as a piece of household furniture, but he has also a grave made in the local churchyard headed by a gravestone on which his name is set out in conventional style. Underneath is the line: "Not dead, but waiting."
One man at Tong, near Bradford, kept his Sunday clothes in his coffin, and another who ate porridge at breakfast used his coffin as a meal bin.
Some years ago a Keighley man kept butterfly specimens in his coffin. — London Daily Mail.
Novel Action to Insure Marriage
In the harbor of the little village of Ploumanac'h, in the Cote-du-Nord, is an islet of rock which can be reached at low tide. It is surmounted by a shrine of St. Guirec, who is said to have landed here from Britain in the sixth century. There are two rude statues of the saint, one of which is of wood.
To this statue on St. Catherine's day, come the young women of the neighborhood, who, following an old tradition, stick pins into the statue, in order that they may be married before the end of the year. — London Graphic.
Although there is a new flag in Panama, and the affairs of state are in new hands, life rolls on in its accustomed way. The bells in the old towers keep calling the faithful to prayer; long files of venders parade the narrow streets, eternally crying for sale their frugal wares; buzzards soar in the hot air or hop on foot in their never ending search for offal; the same horde of quarreling women crowd the market place to chatter, to barter, and to fight; polite men drink in the cafes and busy themselves with political plot and counterplot; and dusky senoritas lounge in cool patios, dreaming the dreams that southern maidens dream.
The south is always the south. Its idle, shiftless children play and parley their hours away, and the years bring little change for them. They are as aimless as the winds that play in the palms. It is no wonder. The word tropic sounds narcotic. It is of no use to resist. You may summon all your powers of will, but drowsiness touches you with its gentle fingers and you drift softly out on the sea of sleep.
Soldiers Eat Ice Cream
The sweet tooth seems to flourish in a hot climate. Children gnawing at pieces of sugar cane is always a familiar sight in tropical lands. Sometimes they get little else to eat. On a former trip to the tropics I had in my employ a little black by the name of Domingo, who ran errands for me. Necessarily I became quite familiar with the habits of my young assistant. I found that, aside from sleeping a great deal, he was quite an eater. His blouse was his larder, and he kept it well stocked with eatables, mostly sweets. If he were disturbed while eating he would chuck the unfinished morsel inside his shirt to await a more favorable opportunity to consume it.
Domingo's tendency toward economy was commendable, even if his idea of cleanliness was not praiseworthy. There was always a noticeable bulging in his blouse, and I frequently heard a rattling sound as he moved about. One day I said to him: "Domingo, what is that in your shirt which rattles so?" He replied: "That's my ice cream dish, sir."
It was a well battered tin cup, and, after some contortions, he brought forth a crooked, much abused metal spoon. "For two cents I get this half full of cream, sir. It is very good. May I bring you some?" I did not avail myself of his generosity.
Domingo is a soldier now. The salary he gets for being a fighting man amounts to about 40 cents per day, American money, and he boards himself. This is a satisfactory arrangement to Domingo, because feeding himself is an old habit. He does not have to put up with whatever rations the head of the commissary department may see fit to issue.
He still has his battered cup and crooked spoon, and he buys ice cream and cake as many times a day as the spirit moves him. His fellows do likewise. Around their camp there is a hovering swarm of venders.
Steamer on the Spot
The Panama railway steamer, City of Washington, which rendered such valuable service during the recent trouble, has been an actor in other stirring events. It was in Havana harbor when the Maine was blown up, and was anchored next to that ill-fated vessel.
The Washington's small boats were the first to begin picking up the men from the water, and its crew saved many of their lives. Over 100 women and children were kept on the Washington for two days and nights at Colon. They were given their meals and the best service the ship afforded, and no charges were made at all.
After the trouble was over this boat took the commissioners to New York, and later, took the treaty to Panama to be signed. When it was brought on board, Capt. Jones was given a printed letter of instructions, in which it was stated that his charge concerned $50,000,000 worth of interests.
The valuable document was incased in a steel box made especially for it, and this box was contained in a stronger and larger steel safe. Two smaller steel boxes contained two keys, which were sealed with the seal of the United States. There was considerable red tape to be gone through with in delivering the treaty to the proper authorities at Colon, because it was neither freight, baggage, mail nor express. It was one of those little jobs of Uncle Sam's that, as the saying goes, "had to be done just so."
An incident occurred during the "bloodless insurrection" which caused a stampede among the black population. There are thousands of negroes on the isthmus, who were brought here from Jamaica and other islands of the West Indies to work on the French canal. When that fantastic fizzle spent itself they were left to "root, hog, or die."
Most of them are English subjects, and while they are a miserable, poverty-stricken lot, their one pride is that they are subjects of Great Britain. It stands them well in hand, because it saves them from being pressed into service for military duty. It is to the credit of the English officials that they look after them in this respect, and prevent them from being imposed upon. If the pretenders to authority, or those who have so frequently to defend their position, were allowed to round them up and force them to carry arms, they would not last long.
The stampede referred to was caused by an accident. One of the volunteers, who was not used to handling firearms, while in the act of examining his weapon, allowed it to go off. The bullet went between his toes, and it was all so sudden that he thought the enemy surely had him. He let out a yell and started to run. Several hundred negroes who were lounging in the vicinity, curiously waiting for developments, heard the shot and yell and started a precipitate rush for safety. As they ran they spread the news and gathered recruits. The retreat of Britain's black brigade on that warm, warm morning was not a success from a standpoint of order, but deserves special mention as regards speed. Some of them are probably running yet.
The Shade in the Jungle
Panama has waited long to gain the center of the stage. It is as gray and worn as an old man. It has seen enough sorrow to make a thousand tragedies. Its green swamp is the lair of death, where fever, like a slinking thief, always lurks in hiding.
Yellow Jack is an invisible horror. It advances with noiseless steps and clutches its victims with fleshless hand. Ever as it passes there are dead men and women.
This shapeless, hiding thing, which strikes unseen, is the real defender of the bar that God laid down to mark the separation of the seas. If it is His supreme will that the waiting oceans blend their waters, He must make strong the arm that is preparing to strike the barrier away; He must guard the blow that will shatter the mountains by calling off the shade that stalks so ruthlessly through the jungle.
The Scientific American recently called attention to the odd fact that the man who rides a few score feet in a New York City elevator runs a greater risk of injury than the man who travels from New York to Chicago and back on the fastest trains. No fewer than thirty persons were killed, and many more hurt, in New York elevator accidents in the first nine months of this year. No such proportion of those who traveled on the fastest passenger trains between the two cities were even hurt.
Yet the average man buys an accident insurance ticket whenever he starts on a railway journey of any length, and never thinks of such precautions before entering the car that lifts him to his office. Whenever a notable railway accident occurs he talks for days about the great loss of life. But he never thinks of the proportionately greater loss of life every day from accidents that befall men at home in their own houses.
The returned missionary who publicly complained the other day that, after living entirely unhurt for four years among the wildest savages of Africa, he had no sooner returned to civilization than he met with a railway accident that kept him in a hospital for six months curiously illustrated the habit of the human mind to dwell upon remote dangers and ignore those near.
Yet the fact is indisputable — the accident insurance companies have proved it to their financial loss and gain — that one of the most dangerous places a man can be is in his own home, whereas one of the safest is in a first-class railway train at full speed, while the very safest place on earth is aboard a first-class steamship in the middle of the Atlantic. — Chicago Inter Ocean.
"Without having actually seen them, you cannot imagine how dark some Japanese country villages remain, even in the brightest and hottest weather. In the neighborhood of Tokyo itself there are many villages of the kind. At a short distance from such a settlement you see no houses; nothing is visible but a dense grove of evergreen trees.
The grove, which is usually composed of young cedars and bamboos, serves to shelter the village from storms, and also to supply timber for various purposes. So closely are the trees planted that there is no room to pass between the trunks of them; they stand straight as masts and mingle their crests so as to form a roof that excludes the sun. Each thatched cottage occupies a clear space in the plantation, the trees forming a fence about it, double the height of the building. Under the trees it is always twilight, even at high noon; and the houses, morning or evening, are half in shadow. What makes the first impression of such a village almost disquieting is not the transparent gloom, which has a certain weird charm of its own, but the stillness.
There may be fifty or a hundred dwellings; but you see nobody; and hear no sound but the twitter of invisible birds, the occasional crowing of cocks and the shrilling cicadae. Even the cicadae find these groves too dim and sing faintly; being sun lovers, they prefer the trees outside the village. I forgot to say that you may sometimes hear a viewless shuttle — chaka-ton, chaka-ton — but that familiar sound, in the great green silence, seems an elfish happening. The reason of the hush is simply that the people are not at home. All the adults have gone to the neighboring fields, the women carrying their babies on their backs; and most of the children have gone to the nearest school, perhaps not less than a mile away. — Atlantic Monthly.
Simple Device That Will Often Prevent Spoiling Good Smoke
Only a few years ago the placing of a band around a cigar was unknown and when it appeared first the band of paper was to be seen only around the finest brands of smokers. At first it was a badge of excellence, but later was adopted by all cigar manufacturers who advertised their goods, and the band developed into a mere means of identification, which has often had the object of preventing substitution of inferior goods.
The use of the band has become so general that there seems to be a demand for some means of readily removing the same. One might think that this was a matter of no difficulty, but it is a well known fact to cigar smokers that most bands are placed on cigars so tightly that it is difficult to remove them. In attempting to remove the band with the finger-nail or with the point of a knife it frequently happens that the wrapper of the cigar is so punctured or torn as to injure the smoking quality of the cigar, if not entirely to destroy it.
To facilitate the removal of the band an inventor has conceived the idea of making use of a thread, string or cord under the band, having the ends thereof projecting beyond the edges of the band brought together and tied into a knot, forming a loop. This loop can be readily taken hold of by the thumb and finger and by pulling on it the band will be readily severed without marring the cigar wrapper in the least. This severing device may be placed under the band after the band is put upon the cigar, or it may be put on the cigar at the time that the wrapper is placed there on.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Miss Clara True, superintendent and special disbursing agent for the mission Indians in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, came to Los Angeles to purchase Christmas gifts for some of the Indians under her supervision.
The Indians near Banning are planning for their regular festivities on Christmas eve. They feast upon barbecued beef and play Indian games.
Miss True said the morals of the Indians of the reservations had improved fully fifty per cent, and that there was a noticeable improvement in their education and general condition.
"During the last century the Indians in this state have decreased at the rate of 50 per day," said Miss True. "About the time of the American occupation of the state there were about 210,000 Indians. Now we have 17,000. This amazing decrease has been caused by starvation, constant eviction from their hunting grounds, whisky and disease." — Los Angeles Examiner.
The Electric Light Dimmer
The "dimmer" system in use at the New Theater, in New York, is something new; the lights are controlled by automatic devices, whereby they may all be set at one time to any degree of candle-power, from 0 to 16, and then by the throwing in of a single switch they are all in operation at once.
It was in Switzerland that the mania for pictorial postcards first arose, and we well remember the astonishment evoked some dozen years ago at seeing at the Theodule Hut the excitement of a party of Germans upon their ascertaining that they could dispatch thence, via Italy, a sheaf of views of the Matterhorn.
If one may judge from the very interesting collection of old Alpine prints now on view at the Alpine club, Saville Row, our ancestors were also eager to carry away souvenirs of scenes unlike any to which they were accustomed, and of which the terrors and dangers were doubtless not unexaggerated. And so the Swiss, who were among the earliest to exploit colored engravings, provided them with material with a sufficient spice of exaggeration to satisfy those who stayed at home.
These they dedicated to the "amateurs of the marvels of nature," and for them they crowded into a single landscape a dozen Staubbachs, and any number of aiguilles and glaciers, with artists portraying them and peasants holding festival beneath them. — London Globe.
The guilt or innocence of an army veterinary surgeon, accused by a soldier of assault at Pontivy, France, rested on the question whether or not the accused man sucked his thumb after the soldier had accidentally inflicted a slight wound.
While M. Berland, the veterinary surgeon, was performing an operation on a horse's leg at the barracks of the Second cavalry regiment at Pontivy, a trooper who was holding down the horse inadvertently scratched M. Berland's hand, in consequence of the horse moving suddenly. The surgeon examined the scratch, and then administered a sound box on the ear to the soldier, who received the punishment in silence, but later complained to an officer.
The court-martial spent considerable time in ascertaining whether the choleric surgeon struck the trooper suddenly, without reflection, as a person might do after having a corn trodden on, or whether the blow was given deliberately, after Mr. Berland had time to reflect. On learning that M. Berland did not stop to suck the wounded thumb before boxing the trooper's ear, the court decided that the blow was not premeditated and he was acquitted.
Space on Manhattan Island Quoted at Some Hundred Dollars a Square Foot
Space on Manhattan island which is a sure-enough tight little island if ever there was one, is distinctly at a premium. The record price for real estate in New York, according to Alcolm, was $583 a square foot, obtained four years ago for the southeast corner of Broadway and Wall street.
On March 13 last the Fourth National bank acquired the building adjoining its own home at the southeast corner of Cedar and Nassau street, a plot measuring 73.1 feet on the latter street and 73.2 on the former.
The average price a square foot was close on $307, which figure has been beaten by only three other sales of real estate in the city — the corner already mentioned, and two small plots the southwest corner and the southeast corner of Broad and Wall streets, which sold over 30 years ago for $330 and $348 a square foot, respectively.
A 30-foot lot on Fifth avenue at Sixty-ninth street, is reported as being sold to E. H. Harriman for a million dollars — and such price is by no means rare in that section. Fifth avenue values, indeed, have been bounding upward, and will soon be rivaling those of the financial section. — New York Sun.
"Messenger boys who have had experience in the Wall Street district are asked for so frequently that it looks as if we will soon be obliged to insist upon that as a qualification for our boys," said the manager of an up-town messenger agency.
"Customers claim that boys with a Wall Street training execute errands much more expeditiously than the common variety of messenger. I am inclined to think that they are right. Nobody is allowed to loiter down there and even after the boys go away the habit of hurrying sticks for a little while." — New York Times.
Waste of Time
"A girl called up yesterday over the telephone and asked what a kiss was."
"Just so. And what did the sporting editor say?"
"He told her he couldn't show her over the telephone."
Owner Describes a Variety of Ways in Which He Has Found It Affords Him Diversion
"Having a stop watch," says the man who had just bought one, "reveals a whole lot of ways of amusing yourself that you'd hardly think of before.
"Since I've had a watch I've been able to while away a lot of time. Not a pun, either. For instance, walking in the city where the numbered blocks make calculating easy, I am continually holding the watch on my pedestrian efforts.
"I figure first how long it takes me walk a block. Going at top speed so that some folks think I'm mad, I have been able to do 88 yards in 29 2-5 seconds, or about seven miles an hour.
"Then, of course, I time all intermediate distances up to a mile. I've learned pretty well just what four miles an hour means, and I want to tell you that folks who speak so glibly about doing that ought to hold a watch on their performances to see what it means.
"The other day I got up some sprint races between some boys, just so I could time their running. I find there's lot of fun, too, in making imaginary bets with myself how long it will take me to catch up with some one else walking in the same direction or how long it will be before a car gets to a certain crossing.
"Also a stop watch is a great thing for timing how long you can hold your breath."
Strange mystics are discovered in Paris every now and again. The latest is described as an Arabian Druid who inhabited the Rue de la Michodiere, a street in the center of the city.
His neighbors were startled at midnight to hear weird and discordant sounds issuing from the dwelling of Ali Bonem, followed by ritualistic incantations and liturgical chantings, alternatively plaintive and fierce. The reflection of flames was also observed.
When the door was burst open by the police a man of huge stature was seen, clothed in a long white sheet, his eyes rolling wildly, and in his hand a bloodstained knife. Around him a number of wax candles shed a mystic light, and on a piano, which had served as an altar, lay a disemboweled lamb. As a measure of precaution Al Bonem, the high priest, has been taken into custody. — London Globe.
Honesty Carried to Extremes
An American millionaire while driving an automobile in France ran over and killed a dog. Near the scene of the accident was a peasant, presumably the owner of the dog. To him the millionaire gave a bank note. But the peasant was not the owner of the dog and he was honest, but before he could make up his mind to return the money the automobile and its driver were beyond recall.
None the less the peasant would not keep the bill, and when the automobilist next rode past that place some months later he discovered the dog's skeleton at the side of the road with the bank note attached to it and a penciled line calling attention to the mistake.
Interesting Pet Prisoner in Ohio State Penitentiary
Besides the big yellow rat catcher Tabby and the Maltese Dan, which will do all the tricks commonly done by dogs, such as jumping through the hands, sitting up to "say his prayers," etc., the Ohio penitentiary boasts another interesting pet.
He arrived recently from the sunny south in a bunch of bananas and is a great tarantula, which looked so ferocious they put him in solitary confinement on sight, although no misdemeanors can be proved against him. When standing with his legs spread out he just fills the bottom of the pint milk bottle in which he slept last night. A hole was cut in the cover for air and Mexico Pete, as the guards have named him, did very well last night, but will require larger quarters when he desires to exercise.
His chief amusement was tying into bundles the numerous flies which by some odd song or perfume were attracted into his bottle. Those he couldn't eat he spun a chain around and laid by for future provisions. Pete is dark red and very hairy — for his covering is too long and coarse to be simply "fuzzy" — and although he has ten legs, like any tarantula, his body is larger, and he has a head something like a turtle's. He is also blessed with a ravenous appetite and his mouth could be plainly seen opening and closing last night, already in anticipation of his morning breakfast of bananas.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Latest Fad of Fashionables in London and Paris
Women are not alone in taking up fads. The young men of Paris and London are rushing to death the watch fobs and scarf pins ornamented with their sweethearts' eyes. The eye is removed from a photograph, set in gold, under glass, and set into the bit of jewelry.
Many Articles Excavated at Renfrewshire, Scotland
Until recently vestiges of the Bronze Age civilization in Renfrewshire have been rarely met with, though there were, doubtless, many skilled craftsmen and an extensive population in this as in many other parts of Scotland during the period in question, which is thought to have ranged in time from about the sixteenth to the second century before the birth of Christ.
Lately, however, remains undoubtedly of the Bronze Age in Renfrewshire have been brought to light by excavations near the railway station at Newlands. Mr. Ludovic Mann, F. S. A. Scot., who described a few weeks ago the Newlands finds to the Society of Antiquaries, of Scotland, has had the good fortune recently to locate another Bronze Age site. It is situated between Kilmalcolm and Bridge of Weir, and the most important relic found is a beautifully shaped perforated stone axe-hammer, ornamented with knobs and moldings, and in perfect preservation.
Least Known of Animals
Next to the Liberian hippopotamus the Derbian eland of West Africa, which the Mandingoes call "Jinke janko," is to-day the least known of all rare and strange animals. Even though Great Britain, France and Liberia own practically the whole of the Northwest Africa coast, no specimen of the Derbian eland has thus far reached Europe or this country, and next to the okapi it is indeed the least known of all game animals. — Outing.
By Woods Hutchinson
The World's Best Known Writer on Medical Subjects
There is little actual reason for the public to become wildly alarmed over this 99½% per cent badness in the official scoring of restaurants and lunch counters, because conditions in public eating places have probably always been just as bad as they are now since the time when memory of man runneth not back to the contrary — and we still survive in a moderate state of preservation. The only reason why we didn't know of them was that no private individual had the stomach, and no public official took the trouble to penetrate those steamy and smelly regions of mystery behind the battered and sweat-marked swinging door at the back of the eating room. The occasional whiffs which escaped from there when the wind was in the right quarter were quite enough.
In the language of the hymn, there are some things which "'tis better not to know." But now that their nauseating secrets have been discovered and dragged out into the pitiless light of day and published broadcast, there is only one thing to be done, and that is, wipe them out of existence, as the restaurateurs have crestfallenly recognized and are proceeding to do with the best grace they may. Of twenty-two reinspected over half were found to have made marked improvement.
Not Finicky Verdict
Nor can it fairly be claimed that this extraordinary low rating of a great group of successful restaurants is due to finicky and unattainable standards of healthfulness. This was the not unnatural conclusion suggested in a good many of the first comments upon the findings. There is nothing superfine or fantastic about the shortcomings reported, nothing that requires a microscope to see or a chemical reaction to detect. Just an ordinary eye and an unspoiled nose and an average sense of decency and cleanliness are all that is required.
No scrapings were made from walls or refrigerators, or the cuffs and lapels of waiters' jackets, no bacteriologic counts made of the platings, no analyses for tenths of a per cent of some adulterant, or for the use of wood vinegar in place of cider vinegar in the dressings. Every fault found was perfectly visible to the naked eye. Food was found standing or stored on the floor. Cooks were found preparing dishes with unwashed hands and in filthy, ragged clothing.
Scraps and leavings from the plates were resurrected in the next day's soups and stews and minces. "Spot" eggs and low grade, that is, rancid, butter, were used in the pastry and puddings which could not be sold upon the delicatessen counters in open daylight was sent back to the restaurant and concocted into goulashes and ragouts and hamburger steaks. The phrase "in the soup" has acquired a new and sinister significance. Dishes and plates were only half cleaned in greasy, reeking dishwater, or wiped upon slimy, filthy dish towels. Dish washers, scullery men, and even cooks and waiters were found with skin diseases of the hands and face, catarrh, tuberculosis, even typhoid, and other disgusting or communicable disorders.
Dark Kitchens Menace
In fact, as Inspector Brown quietly remarks, "The requirements for scoring the grade 'good' are only such as any citizen would wish and expect for the handling of his own food." They are nothing more than would be expected as a matter of course, in any decent private kitchens. Not that all home kitchens do come up to these standards, but a good many of them do.
One of the reasons why public kitchens have got into this slipshod, unhygienic custom of the trade way of doing things is partly because they are Over-crowded and badly lighted, and either on account of high rents, or of the desirability of using as much as possible of the front and well lighted, attractive parts of their space for dining rooms, show windows and display purposes generally, the kitchens and sculleries are crowded into back rooms or driven underground into cellars or basements.
Anything can happen and usually will happen in the dark or in a bad light, and practically every dark corner sooner or later becomes dirty and unsanitary. Commercialism and cooking don't mix well and when the cook's eye is chiefly on profits, stomachs are apt to suffer.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Scheme to Revolutionize Love Making in Logansport, Indiana
For the purpose of discouraging swains with a disposition to monopolize all their time and to encourage the habit of "breaking away" early the Cupid Ten o'Clock club of Logansport Ind., has organized with twenty charter members, says a special dispatch from that place to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Miss Florence Moore, the founder, is the president. She declared that two evenings a week was abundant opportunity for the prosecution of the most ardent suit, and believes that "no two young people can have anything so important to say that it cannot fully be discussed in a three hour call."
Announcing in newspapers her intention to combat evils arising from too great familiarity before marriage, she called for enrollments in the new club and declares it will revolutionize love making in Logansport. She hopes to extend the idea throughout the state. Miss Moore is only eighteen and of a prominent old family.
Guard Against Evil
London. — Perhaps the instinct to avert the evil eye is born in our natures. Civilization had lessened it to a great extent, but in every race we find an instinct exists. The wearing of nearly all personal adornment seems to have originated in an idea of pacifying evil deities.
The savage wears ornaments symbolizing the protective powers supposed to be able to keep away harm or danger. In the West Indies there is a bean or seed which the natives think possesses many valuable properties. If carried in the purse they say the owner will never want for money; if hung on a watch chain good luck will ever be with the wearer. But woe betide the man who loses his precious charm. The East Indian leaves a tiny corner of his embroidery unfinished to propitiate the gods; the dusky mother calls her baby hard names for fear her love should bring ill fortune upon him
In England superstitious country folk tie amulets around their necks to prevent disease. Some of the earliest of those were skillfully wrought by the people who inhabited this country thousands of years ago and treated flint much the same as a cameo, producing varied effects by cutting through into the different layers of color. Several examples of this practically lost art may be seen in the museum at Ipswich. They are carved to represent the heads of men and women, birds, fishes and reptiles, and are for the most part cleverly and prettily done.
The fossil belemnites found on many of our coasts embedded in the rocks were once thought to be thunderbolts and were worn as charms by fisher folk. Farmers in ancient times decorated their horses by hanging amulets and gypsy fetish charms among their trappings to insure a good harvest. These amulets were frequently associated with the worship of the sun and were of Egyptian, Moorish and Persian origin.
Although most people profess to laugh at the idea of wearing them purely for luck or from superstitious motives, yet charms are worn still with good humored toleration and, for reasons none can explain, secretly favored, just in the same way that sober minded men and women cling tenaciously to a crooked sixpence and treasure a three-penny bit with a hole in it as omens of good luck.
A pink coral band in Italy is supposed to ward off the evil eye and plays its part in ornaments. Ruby ornaments are supposed to disperse evil spirits and are considered a protection from poison and other dire evils. Emeralds banish blindness. Garnet ornaments are supposed to keep one in good health; the sardonyx insures happiness. The sapphire keeps off fever. Amethysts keep off worries. A turquoise means that you will never want a friend. A four leaved clover in a crystal locket is a favorite charm and is said to bring good fortune and long life to its wearer. Jade also has a reputation for a luck bringer.
"The Great Cooper" Stirs Up City to Remarkable Degree
Omaha, Nebraska, January 26. — This city is at present in the midst of an excitement beyond anything that it has experienced in recent years. Old and young, rich and poor, all seem to have become beside themselves over an individual who was a stranger to Omaha up to two weeks ago.
The man who has created all this turmoil is L. T. Cooper, President of the Cooper Medicine Co., of Dayton, Ohio, who is at present introducing his preparations in this city for the first time.
Cooper is a man about thirty years of age and has acquired a fortune within the past two years by the sale of some preparations of which he is the owner.
Reports from eastern cities that preceded the young man here were of the most startling nature, many of the leading dailies going so far as to state that he had nightly cured in public places rheumatism of years' standing with one of his preparations. The physicians of the East contradicted this statement, claiming the thing to be impossible, but the facts seemed to bear out the statement that Cooper actually did so.
In consequence people flocked to him by thousands and his preparations sold like wildfire.
Many of these stories were regarded as fictitious in Omaha and until Cooper actually reached this city little attention was paid to them. Hardly had the young man arrived, however, when he began giving demonstrations, as he calls them, in public, and daily met people afflicted with rheumatism, and with a single application of one of his preparations actually made them walk without the aid of either canes or crutches.
In addition to this work Cooper advanced the theory that stomach trouble is the foundation of nine out of ten diseases and claimed to have a preparation that would restore the stomach to working order and thus get rid of such troubles as catarrh and affections of the kidneys and liver, in about two weeks' time.
This statement seems to have been borne out by the remarkable results obtained through the use of his preparation, and now all Omaha is apparently mad over the young man.
How long the tremendous interest in Cooper will last is hard to estimate. At present there seems to be no sign of a let-up. Reputable physicians claim it to be a fad that will die out as soon as Cooper leaves.
In justice to him, however, it must be said that he seems to have accomplished a great deal for the sick of this city with his preparations.
Vicious Attack by Australian Natives on Trespassers in Their Country
Men who venture into the interior of northern Australia are likely to meet with adventures at the hands of hostile natives. Here is a matter-of-fact yarn concerning one James Runine McPherson, engaged in pearl-shelling operations:
On July 18 he was fishing for trepang (sea cucumber or sea slug) at the mouth of the Liverpool river. He landed in a dingey on the east bank of the river, where a bush smokehouse for the curing of trepang had been erected. He dispatched a Malay with canoes and working natives to gather trepang around a distant point, while two natives who paddled the dingey went off to the lugger, which was anchored more than a mile out, with a load of fresh water. He remained at the smokehouse with three old Junction Bay natives, who assisted him in manipulating the trepang. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, feeling tired, he was reclining on the floor of the smokehouse, with a rifle across his knees, when he was startled by the loud swishing sound of several spears passing through the bough-covered enclosure.
McPherson immediately rushed out and saw seven or eight Liverpool river natives at the back of the smokehouse with spears shipped and with murder in their faces. Another shower of spears fell around him and he retired toward the water's edge and as he dodged one another long-barbed spear struck him in the hip. He felt no more, he says, than a burning twinge from the wound at the moment and instantly broke it off with his hand, leaving about eight inches of the barbed point buried in the fleshy part of his hip, The natives at this time were about forty yards away, having never shifted from their first point of attack near some thick bushes.
The man who had wounded McPherson was in the act of throwing another spear when McPherson shot and hit him. He then emptied his revolver at his assailants, who immediately disappeared in the adjacent scrub. Hearing shots, the two Daly river natives came hurrying ashore with the dingey, and conveyed McPherson to his boat, where he subsequently succeeded himself in tearing the barbed spearhead from the wound. Several barbs shaped like fishhooks were broken off in the process and remained in the wound.
The following day McPherson shifted his trepang gear and crew to another part of the coast and started for Palmerston to report the matter and have the wound attended to.
New York, 1910
With a fat cigar between her little white teeth, the first Filipino bride-to-be ever received in the marriage license bureau of this city walked down the steps of the city hall the other day. With her was a little brown man, who through an interpreter admitted the pair wished to be married.
Both bride and bridegroom hail from the mountain districts of Luzon, Philippines, and both are living in Coney Island, where they are members of an amusement park show.
Miss Tu-Go-Dan, the prospective wife, and A'lao, the man, were accompanied to the city hall by Chief Chemingo, ceremonial chief of the Bontoc or head-hunting Filipino tribe.
The couple were much amused by the ceremony, the little brown girl smiling broadly at everyone. Immediately after the tying of the knot, Mrs. A'loa brought out a package of cigars and coolly lighted one. — New York Press.
Sympathy from Chicago
The people of Cleveland have adopted a civic motto. It is: "Onward, Cleveland, onward," If the citizens who are in favor of the abolition of the smoke nuisance there could have had their way the new motto would doubtless have been: "Hurry, Cleveland, hurry."
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Gertrude Atherton, the novelist, has been writing for Harper's Bazar on "The Woman in Love." In her first two papers Mrs. Atherton discusses those women in history whose love episodes have been the most striking thing about them. In her third paper, however, not yet published, she makes some predictions concerning the place that love will take in the future.
Mrs. Atherton does not go so far as Mrs. Belmont, who predicts that there will be a war between the sexes, due to the fact that men will not give women the suffrage. Mrs. Atherton believes and states, however, that from now on the love element will be a far less vital thing in women's lives than it has been heretofore. She thinks that the broadening out of feminine interests, the entrance of women into new fields, the intellectual development of women, are all factors which will fill women's lives to the comparative exclusion of that other factor which heretofore has been supposed to be "her whole existence."
The Busy Ant
Ants have six ears, which are located at about the queerest places imaginable — the legs. The ants are deaf to all sounds made by the vibration of the air, but detect the slightest possible vibrations of solid matter. This is supposed to be to their advantage. So sensitive are their feet that they can detect the drop of a small birdshot dropped on a table from a height of six inches and about 14 feet distant from an artificial nest placed at the other end of the table. The ant also has an elaborate array of noses.
Raymond Weber, Aged 4
He didn't cry, although his father did when the latter found him alive at bottom of a well.
NEBRASKA CITY, Neb., March 9 — Raymond Weber, of this city, is only 4 years old, but he has won distinction of being the nerviest little man in Nebraska. Raymond is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weber. He was playing in the yard with his 7-year-old brother, and the two went to the well and looked down.
There they saw a silver speck, and they wondered if it were really water and if there were gnomes and fairies and things down there. Raymond leaned way over to see. Suddenly he lost his hold and down he went. His brother ran screaming away, but soon the neighbors for a mile around were on the scene.
It was twenty-five feet to the bottom, and a windlass had to be rigged. Soon the father was going down with a load on his heart as heavy as lead, but hoping also. At the bottom he found his boy, standing in a foot of water, cool and with not a tear. "Me wet, papa," he said, as the sobbing man gathered him up.
There is an old superstition, which dies hard, that the position of the horns of the new moon tells what the weather will be; if the horns of the crescent are on the same level, it will hold water, and hence it is a dry moon; but if it is tipped up, then the water will run out, and it is a wet moon.
One thing has helped keep this belief alive; the moon is "dry" in the part of the spring that is usually fair, while it is "wet" during the season of autumn rains.
If this were a sure sign of the weather we could have our predictions years in advance, for an astronomer can predict the exact position of the moon at any time in the future.
The cause for the different positions of the crescent is simple: The moon is south of the sun in the autumn and north of it in spring. The crescent is found by the light of the sun falling on the moon, and the horns are naturally in a line perpendicular to the direction of the sun from the moon.
That is all there is to it.
President Taft has thrown a bombshell into the ranks of that portion of the secret service which is assigned to the duty of protecting the chief executive of the nation from assassination. It is a soft job for the secret service men and often leads to something better, several of those who formerly guarded presidents now holding government positions that pay well and make the holder a man of some consequence in his home territory.
It is feared among Chief Wilkie's men that some of them will have to be looking for other jobs if the president continues to go out for long walks through the busiest streets of Washington unprotected. The president has "had the laugh" on several of the sleuths recently when, without making any announcement of his intentions, he left the White House and started out for a walk. Generally he has been accompanied by some cabinet official, but none of Wilkie's men was along.
On his last walk the president was accompanied by his brother, Charles P. Taft, the millionaire Cincinnatian. They walked up to the capitol and strolled through its wide halls.
So far as runs the memory of Alonzo Stewart, deputy sergeant at arms of the senate, and that is a full generation, it was the first time that a president has visited the capitol on the Sabbath day.
On another occasion the president walked through Pennsylvania avenue, Washington's most prominent business street. He was wearing a sack coat and a gray sweater.
"That looks like President Taft," remarked one man as President Taft passed the five-cent theaters on the avenue. Brig. Gen. Clarence Edwards, who was with the president, giggled and the president smiled. Mr. Taft did not look much like himself in his sack coat with sweater underneath.
The walk began when the president and the general eluded the secret service men at the White House. They walked briskly down to the Potomac flats, along the Southern railroad right of way and back through South Washington, around the capitol building and library. The return trip was down Pennsylvania avenue at dusk.
A president who walks the streets of Washington is too much for Washington. Mr. Taft's predecessors rode in carriages or took their "constitutionals" across country.
"The American woman's intellectual characteristic is curiosity. One feels she would like to have ten pairs of eyes so as to see everything, ten pairs of ears so as to hear everything. . . .
"When I sit down at table beside an American woman of Paris, she immediately asks me: "Have you seen such and such a play? Have you been to such and such an art exhibition? What do you think of this novel or of that philosophical or historical book recently published?' . . . And I am forced to admit that I have not seen the latest play, that for more than ten years I have not set my foot inside the annual 'salons,' that I read slowly and carefully, and am therefore forced to read but few books. And I know my American neighbor feels great disdain for my inculture. . . .
"Still I have infinite sympathy for her charming and universal intellectual curiosity; only long experience has taught me that man's head cannot contain too many ideas at once." — Marcel Prevost in Harper's Bazar.
Teach Them to Know Home City
The Buffalo board of education is considering a proposition to introduce in the public schools a textbook on Buffalo which will give pupils some knowledge of the industries and institutions of the city in which they live.
Edward Gibbon, the historian, was not one to underestimate the pleasures of intellectual occupation or the value of literary fame. "I have drawn a high prize in the lottery of life," he wrote in his autobiography. "I am disgusted with the affectation of men of letters who complain that they have renounced a substance for a shadow, and that their fame affords a poor compensation for envy, censure and persecution.
"My own experience has taught me a very different lesson; twenty happy years have been animated by the labors of my history and its success has given me a name, a rank, a character in the world to which I should otherwise not have been entitled.
"D'Alembert relates that as he was walking in the gardens of Sans Souci with the king of Prussia, Frederick said to him, 'Do you see that old woman, a poor weeder, asleep on that sunny bank? She is probably a more happy being than either of us.'
"The king and philosopher may speak for themselves; for my part, I do not envy the old woman." — Youth's Companion.
When a young girl appears at the theater with a young man who is a stranger in town, she should circulate a note among her friends telling who he is. It is very hard for the women to enjoy a performance with their curiosity unsatisfied. — Atchison Globe.
Many people make collections of articles more or less interesting, but possibly few go in for such bulky objects as those chosen by a gentleman of Pontefract, in the north of England. Old doors are the object of his desire and he has a most curious collection. His doors come from old houses, castles and abbeys that have some historical interest. Household Words is responsible for the statement that not long ago he offered as much as five thousand dollars for a door through which, during the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, Charlotte Corday, Danton and Robespierre passed to the guillotine.
Not quite as interesting in a general sense, but in all probability of quite as much interest to the collector, was a curious collection of corks owned by a Frenchman who died a few years ago at Paris. A fairly good history of his life was to be read on these corks, for he saved every one drawn for the delectation of himself or his friends, and on each he inscribed the date and particular occasion upon which the bottle was opened.
Probably nobody of to-day has a strong desire to bring together a great variety of teas and snuffs. Lord Petersham, however, a noted dandy in his day, had a hobby for collecting various kinds of tea and snuff. All round his sitting-room were shelves, on the one side laden with canisters of Souchong, Bohea, Congou, Pekoe, Russian and other teas, and on the other bearing handsome jars containing every kind of snuff the collector could lay his hands on.
Queen Margherita of Italy is the owner of a curious collection, one that has in it the interest of association. It comprises the foot- and head-gear of royal and imperial personages of different periods. It is said to embrace a sandal worn by the tyrant Nero, a pair of white slippers which belonged to Mary Queen of Scots, shoes worn by Queen Anne and the Empress Josephine, and gloves that were once the property of Marie Antoinette. — Youth's Companion.