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FACTS OF SCIENCE.

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FACTS OF SCIENCE. The Earl of Crawford has apparently settled the fact beyond any further question that tha rays which emanate from the magnetic poles are to some eyes plainly visible. This tends to show that the magnetic rays bear a direct relation to the rays rrl.ich come from the sun, but are of that character invisible to an ordinary pair of eyes. 1 NEW CANCER CURE. Calcium carbide, the remarkable new product from which so much is expected as a source of acetylene, is reported to have been tried by a Paris physician, Dr. Guinard, as a local application for cancer, the result being relief and probable cure. ELECTRICITY TO ARREST HEMORRHAGE Electricity is used to arrest bleeding in surgical operations. A platinum wire, insulated in burnt pipeclay, is enclosed in the blades of a pair of steel forceps, or some similar instrument, and a current of suitable voltage is passed through it from the street main or from a portable battery. The artery is seized and com- pressed, and in a few seconds its tissues are so coagulated and its walls agglutinated that further passage of blood is rendered impossible. Ligature for either artery or vein is made unnecessary. TEMPERATURE OF FLAMES; Professor Hartley has lately been studying the temperature attained by various flames. The means by which he arrived at the temperatures were test wires of such tenuity that the mass of metal was insufficient to cool the flame, this prin- ciple being that which was enunciated by Faraday some years ago. Faraway showed at that time that a very thin platinum wire could be fused by only a candle flame, and that in such cases the carbon of the flame does not lower the melting point of the platinum. This latter statement has been again demonstrated by Professor Hartley, who has also discovered, by means of spectros- copic observation, that the temperature is as high as the melting point of platinum. AIR-SHIPS. Probably the most promising, if not indeed suc- iessfui air-ship is that which has been designed for skimming over the surface of the ocean, much 0 as an ice-boat skims on frozen water. The great advantage lies in the fact that- especially when the water is at all rough— he very flat-bottomed tir-ship is always tending t" lie launched over the srest of some wave into ti. air. The problem of Bight per se has been solv years ago, by means of an application of ael .Janes and propellers. And, as the only thing w! oh now remains to be devised for the realisation of this "flying fish" mode of travel is a motor rather more powerful and lighter than those commonly in use, it may safely be predicated that the successs of the aerial "ship" or "raft" form of flying engine will be achieved in the very near future. SOLAR ENERGY. Our food is derived from the vegetable king- dom, and if it were not for the sun's rays there could be no vegetable world. Even if we eat meat, we find that the lamb or bullock obtained their nourishment from the grass that grew in the open field. The energy which drives the locomotive along the rails of a railway his been brought about by the combus- tion of the coal so as to produce the heat which converts the water into steam, and the very coal itself is nothing but the remains of once living plants which flourished untold Jages ago. We 'night even say, without exaggeration, that the contour of the' surface of the earth into hills, dales and valleys, is owiog < to the energy of the sun. For example, ( a great quantity of the water from the seas I is constantly being evaporated. After a cer- j tain time, according to circumstances, it con- I denses and falls as rain and snow to the surface, having been carried, previous to condensation, by air currents into different latitudes. As it falls it collects as springs, rivers, or glaciers, whose erosive action do an enormous amount of work and produce remarkable changes in the sculpture of the land. In tru th, it is manifest that the sun is the great source of all energy THE DISTANCE AND SIZE OF THE SUN. Astronomers have found that the mean distance of the sun from the earth is 92,700,000 miles, but by merely reciting the figures no vivid im- pression is conveyed to the mind. One or two illustrations will suffice to indicate the signifi- cance of this vast number. Imagine 11,000 globes, each the size of the earth, laid from the arth to the central luminary; they would just About cover- up the au.) .,g of 92,000,000 miles, a space which light would dart over in eight minutes. A railway journey to the sun, travelling at the rate of 60 miles an hour, would not be accomplished till 225 of our years had elapsed. Having-obtained the distance, we may proceed to calculate its diameter. Terrestrial beings are fond of making voyages round this globe of ours, but if iransported to our luminary we venture to remark, nolar voyages would not be quite so pleasant. A (rain laid down from a given point on the surface of the sun would have to keep up its long journey intermittently for five. weary years at the rate ot 50 miles an hour, in order to circumnavigate this vist globe, 860,000 miles in diameter. If we coulu « nt the sun up into 1,000,000 equal parts, each oU,) nf such parts would considerably exceed the bulk 0: the earth. But though the sun is 1,300,000 time., igger than our planet its density is not more than 300,000 times greater. PERPETUAL MOTION. Perpetual motion, to the minds of most people, is a chimera. But ia it really a chimera? Let us see if it bears the stamp of possibility also whether it is in accordance with natural lawa, Anyone may observe that a body never sponta- neously passes from a state of rest into one of action; it may seem to do so, but on real inquiry it will be found to have been acted upon by some 10rce or power. For instance, bodies in falling to the ground seem to set themselves in motion. This is, however, not in consequence ot any inherent property, but merely because they are acted upon by the force of gravity. Not only do bodies at rest persist in a state of quietude, but bodies in motion continue to move. This I principle is not so easily realised as the former, for the reason we are accustomed to see any body set in motion by a force not inherent in itself gradually move more slowly, and ultimately stop, as is the case with a billiard-ball, for example. Now this is not due to any inherent preference for a state of rest on the part of the ball, but because the motion fint imparted to it is impeded by the frictipn of the cloth on which it rolls, and by the resistance of the atmosphere or air—in fact, these two things act as a very efficient brake. The leas these resistances, the more prolonged is the motion, as can be proved by setting a ball rolling on a sheet of glaatt or smooth ice. If all frktion whatever could be removed, a ball once se* in motion would oofitinue to move for all time. COLOURED LIGHT AND VEGETABLE GROWTH. 'During last year M. Flammarion conducted some interesting experiments aa to the effects of lights of different colours upon vegetable b' owtb, particulars of which appear in the bnll.a.u of the French Astronomical Society for Juje. OL: July 4th, 1895, eight identically sensitive plants, which had been sown 4Qt the MUU time, were selected for experiments. These were placed two by t TO in similarly constructed glaaa boxes, the sides cf of which were different colours; one being red, one green, one blue, and another of ordinary clear glass. All were exposed to the same meteoro- logical conditions throughout. The rates of growth were as follow: Red. Green. Blue. White. September 6th .0'220 0090 0'027 0*045 27th .0*345 0-160 0 027 O-OHO Octoixr 22nd 0420 0'162 002/ 0*100 Tli ii- while the plants exposed to red light increased their height fifteen times, those exposed to blue light remained stationary. The former, moreover, acquired an extraordinary degree of sensitiveness. Geraniums and other plants exhibited the same results, but in a less degree. The fact that the plants exposed to white light grew less rapidly than those which were under red glass, although receiving the same amount of red radiations, seems to warrant the view taken, that the presence oi blus lig'nu in the former case actually viarded the growth of the plants. HARD CARBON, ve M. Moisson i9 reported to h* d discovered a substance harder than the diamon in the form o a compound of carbon and boron, produced by eaang boracic acid avid carbon in an electric fur- 8 J. a temperature of 5,000deg. This com- po n 1 is blafck and net unlike graphite in appear- j?" will cat diamonds without difficulty, Irl 8 J. a temperature of 5,000deg. This com- po n 1 is blafck and net unlike graphite in appear- j?" will cat diamonds without difficulty, Can be produced, ia pieces of any required

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