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.