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TITANIUM. Ti'an'um, the moat retractory yet ob- taiiii' h.is prepared only in i'a hig'.iesr tern- pei'rtt„r« or the tlei.tri.; jut,iiace ivitii a dynamo u,Aiug 100-liorse power. its p:ot»erties resemble HEAltT SUKGliliY XEXT. It is fiui:ge»iod by a j>rOii.inet.t surgeon that e principle upou which woumls in other vital organs are dealt with by nimleia surgery might o:tcu be applied w:i equal ."Ui.-i.-ess to the heart. (n view of « as»'s on v^cord in wlncii the heart has resisted the ui^ecr ot Kunsuor a■.>i oilier wounds f >r iio'> and «v«n da. it. U at 1-ast o;4»a 10 <«• cu-ti.ou wu«l!»er a surgeon ml<;hi not opei! the pei-.c.niii'uijj. <<)) out the < iirl clo>e i he w>.U')d in th» i.eart wall, with a chauce lor the patient of y, wtucti ceitaii.ly could not be lc;-ajucd "jT the alteuipt. BOTANY AND THE X RAYS. Amongst ihe various use" to which the ltoutgen ra\a can be put, that of botanical research is to bi adiied. At the Uuiversity Extension College, Ke^iiii-g, numerous experimenu have been con- ducted. and it has now be^ii found possible to show rhe ovules ill.de} the ovary in an unopened Lud, the seed, without showing the seed vessel, and even the tiny veins upon the white petal of a flower. Thsse results are .aill to be due to re ractiou aud reflection of the rays when the incidence is sufficiently' oblique The photograph of a fish's eye also showed similar marks. THE EA!tTH REPRODUCED. fclisee Reel us, the French geographer, has a plan ti> construct a elobe, a facsimile of the earth, oil a scale that shall be exactly a one huudred- thousandih part of the actual size. The magni- tude of the work will he appreciated when it. it s ated thai the structure will be 418ft. in dia- meter. Th: enormous siiie is u-onsi iwed to be nsc s-iirv iu order to allow of the suti'aci being modelled with minute accuracy anrl i true pro- portions.o as to show m.tuntaius m ■' vaheys. }>l iteaus and lowlands, in their actuu! relation tc tli,-earili".i livfii ou this >ri;e r-calt the Hiiiiahiyas would be only about IJJU. high. Mout jCianc about 2in., and the Grampians iiu. OXYGENATED SOIL. When we make an excavation in a cultivated field its order to observe ti.e cie%-ei,)I)nie,ir, of roots, and then examine a vertical wall well smoothed with tdC .-|>ade, we are struck with astonishment to see how compact the earth i-. It appears to form a ecmtinuous ma-is, aud we are surprised that it is poisibie for the air to enter aud circulate freely therein. In orde." that plaut>s may live, grow, and develop normally, it does not *utlic» that their stems and leaves ahull expaud iu an oxygenated atmosphere, but their roots aiso must breathe, and to this effect they need oij-gen. The very existence of plants, therefore, hUdices to show that air habitu- ally euters the earth, aud is even easily renewed therein, since air that remains for a short I ime in a closetl vessel in contact with the earth very quickly loses its oxygen, which is converted into carbonic acid. If the air did not renew itself in the soil it would Lecome deprived of oxygen. Now all analyses of air extracted from the earth re- veal therein, on the contrary, a large proportion of oxygen. Earth is, therefore, usually pei nn able to the air, but is it always so ? Is all earth perme able to the same degree ? And if at times it is but incompletely so,and if even it becomes imperme- able, to what cause is such impermeability due ? THE DIGESTIVE APPARATUS OF VEGETABLES. It appears from recent discoveries as if man's "amour propre" is to receive some severe checks. Emicent scientists have during recent years adduced proof of the fact that the digestive mechanism of the human body is not peculiar to man, but is duplicated in every detail in the lower animals. Proof-positive has now been afforded by the existence in maize and the potato of a vigorous starch-digesting process. The developing bud or shoot secretes a ferment that attacks the starch of the mass and changes it into sugar for absorption by its growing cells. But this is not all. Not only does the cereal do with ease what is difficult to our salivary glands and pancreas, but also performs a feat impossible of accomplishment by the human digestive apparatus—it dissolves or peptonises cellulose or woody fibre. Certain other plants display even more strikingly human characteristics in that they have actually become meat eaters and meat digesters. It has long been known that a large family of flowering plants, of which the "Venus' Flytrap" is a familiar example, secrete upon the surfaces of their leaves a thick, sticky juice, which in the former simply entangles insects, and in the latter attracts and holds them till they can be actually seized by the halves of the leaf closing upon them trap fashion. TELESCOPES. The limit of big telescopes has apparently been reached by mechanical means known at present. That more powerful telescopes than those now in existence will ultimately be used is, we think, a safe prophecy to make. It is probable, however, that they will be built on entirely different lines from those at present in use, unless some decided and great improvement is made in the matter of making, casting and annealing glass for objectives. Professor E. Gates, an American, has evolved an invention whieh certainly contains some reasonable possibilities. Professor Dewar has discovered that oxygen is magnetic; Professor Gates proposes now to take advantage of that discovery and construct a metal tube fitted with ends of glass and filled with oxygen gas. The tube is wound with wire, and when the circuit is complete \he magnetised iron of the tube will draw the gas contained in the oxygen lens towards the sides, forming of itself a lens of enormous power, the size of which is practically illimitable. Using this device as a substitute for a glass lens, Professor Gates has succeeded in making photo- graphs, and feels confident that he can construct a gas lens of 50ft. in diameter, and with it secure a picture of the moon with an accuracy of detail hitherto undreamed of. The ease with which the system may be applied will doubtless lead many experimenters in various parts of the world to researches along this new line suggested by Pro- fessor Gates, and we will doubtless soon know whether or not there are possibilities for it in the future. THE ST. LOUIS STORM. There is no doubt that the storm which re- cently visited St. Louis with such appalling results will go into history as one of the greatest pheno- mena of the age. Many theories have been already propounded to explain the terrific violence of the force, including one by John C. Barrows, M.A. He says it was neither a hurricane nor a cyclone, but a vacuum storm. A partial vacuum was formed over a certain area, with the absolute vacuum at a centre which seems to have moved very rapidly from south-west to north-east and to have been surrounded by an area of various hori- zontal winds. The results of the storm prove that the damage wascaueed by enormous pressure from within buildings, exerted by confined air after the pressure on the outside air had been quickly reduced. The more open windows and doorways a building had the less its roof and walls suffered. Light wooden sheds near the centre of destruction were still standing because their sides w,ere open, and the air under their roofs could rush out of their sides, while solidly built ware- houses close by, which offered no escane to the air within them, were unroofed and haA their walls thrown outward. The external pressure on the walls being relieved, the internal pressure became too great, exerting force sufficient to lift a weight ten times greater than that of an ordinary roof or wall. This theory only partially accounts for the enormous devastation. There were undoubtedly other causes, but they are as yet unknown. It is confidently asserted by eye witnesses that imme- diately preceding the storm there was a profound electric disturbance in the atmosphere. Nature's balance seemed in a state of doubtful equilibrium, and the storm that resulted in such frightful low of life and property owed its existence to the màpping of the tension which was already straided. When, the true cause of these dynamic rortieee is discovered, it will doubtless be found due to a disturbance of the electrical equilibrium at given point& RUBBER NOT WATER-TIGHT. Experiments with a hermetically sealed rubber bottle containing water have shown that the rubber is not absolutely water-tight. The filled bottle weighed 17oz. 4dr.; at the end of 1 year the weight was 17oz. 2dr.; 9 years, 16oz.; 18 ^nzfsldr • 28» F 23 15oz' 4dr"' 25 *• 50 years, 3o& 12dr„ -«nstttirefrw« «.I

THOUGHTS FROM GREAT iUKDS.:

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