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He put the bacteria of splenitis into liquid air 190 degrees and they lived. He kept them an entire week in this temperature: they still lived. A luminous bacterium ceased to be luminous as long as it was subjected to this extreme cold; but as soon as this was diminished it instantly began to glow again. And now by means of liquid hydrogen a temperature of 252 degrees Reaumur was obtained. Yet, after an existence of ten hours in this inverted hell, the bacilli were still alive. The physicist's ability to produce cold was exhausted; but the ability of life to sustain cold had evidently not yet reached its limit.
In wooden gutters and the bark of trees dwell many animalcules, such as the rotifers, or wheel-animalcules, which belong to the class of worms; the bean animalcules, which are related to the spiders. These stand far above the bacilli in development. When the water about these creatures dries up they become still and sluggish, and their entire skin becomes full of wrinkles. No creature can become more completely mummified. All outward appearance of life ceases, till at last there seems to lie in its place nothing but a motionless particle of dust. The wind treats it like all other dust, driving it hither and thither, carrying it far away, till it once more reaches some moist spot.
So these very minute rotifers may be blown about for years without any injury to them whatever. It is with them as with the seven sleepers in the legend: sleeping they survive the times in which the generations of their waking
kindred in many successive series have constantly replaced each other. For how many years? In the case of plants it has been determined by a mere accident how long such a sterile sleep may last. In the days of the old grand master of botany, Linnæus, some mosses were laid in a thoroughly clean herbarium, of course, properly desiccated, pressed, and regarded as entirely dead. But the seed, the sporematter, of these mosses was not dead. This, also was only sunk into a deep sleep because of the drouth. A hundred years afterward a greatgrandson took the tiny plants from between the sheets in the herbarium, moistened the dusty substance, and obtained new mosses from them. That grains of wheat taken from the Egyptian pyramids germinated again is merely a fable; and the story of withered turtles, immurred in rocks for millions of years, coming to life again is pure nonsense. The experiments with desiccated plant-seeds have, however, fully established one fact, the marvelous one that the living creatures in that condition do not breathe at all.
The celebrated physiologist, Koch, put dried
seeds into a glass tube from which the air had been exhausted by an air-pump, and which then was hermetically sealed by the fusing to
gether of the open end of the tube. In this condition the tubes were left for several months. When opened again there was not the least quantity of used or expirated air in the tubes. Nevertheless, the seeds when sown germinated and produced perfect plants. They might just as well have been lying in this apparent death-sleep somewhere on the airless moon as on earth.
This same latent, persisting life-power may be observed in the hibernating animals. Each year the guinea pig and hedgehog pass the winter in a long, unbroken sleep, their lifepreserver during the "ice-period" of the region where they belong. The hedgehog provides himself inward subsistence during this winter-sleep in a very singular manner.
He gathers in the region of the neck and shoulders a lump of brown fatty tissue, long erroneously regarded as a special fat-gland. This fat the body of the animal slowly absorbs during its winter-sleep. But where winter is unknown, as in the tropics, and the year divides itself into rainy and dry seasons, some of the animals fall into a sleep protective against drouth. Crocodiles there sleep buried deep in the dried mud. The enigmatical Australian lung-fish, which possesses both gills and lungs, envelops itself in a drouth, breathing during that sleep through the thoroughly sealed mud-capsule and survives the lungs. On the island of Celebes, which is full of zoological wonders, the great naturalists, the brothers Sarafin, recently discovered a genuine fish, an eel (Angerilla Mauritania), which in a similar way immerses itself in clay and during that time breathes through the skin.
Another interesting and significant illustration in point is furnished by the dwarf maki of Madagascar. This smallest of all the half-apes is also a "dry sleeper." During his sleeping period he obtains his sustenance from fatty matter in his tail which, like the hump of the hedgehog, becomes during the favorable season a perfect reservoir of nourishment for use during the hibernation.
One gets the impression as if, in general, the latent energy in the world of life diminished as one ascends from the lower to the higher forms. In this respect the highest organized being is inferior to a bacillus. Yet in this class of creatures is still presented to us the original form with which life began on earth many millions of years ago. These bacteria, with their fabulous manner of maintaining life in a degree of cold to be found only in the regions of space, perhaps point to those prehistoric ages when life had to contend with far greater differences of temperature. Amid heat and ice, blazing suns and icy world-space, between water and land, day and night, life has had to struggle upward. It is the old principle, old as the world, that again and again emerges in our thinking as Ormuzd and Ahriman.
THE CORALS AND OTHER DEEP-SEA LIFE.
THE coral industry is to-day one of the
Up to 1870 (according to an article in the Italia Moderna), coral-fishing and working was spasmodic and very uncertain. In that year, however, the inhabitants of the town of Torre del Greco, six miles away from Naples, began their marvelously adventurous and successful cruises after coral banks. At first they confined their efforts to the waters about Corsica and Sardinia, but soon became bolder, and, risking death or slavery,
cruised nearer and nearer to the African coast and the much-dreaded Tunis. In boats so small that they could navigate only in fair weather, they went further and further into the enemies' country and came back with greater and greater treasures, till Torre del Greco became a wealthy town, with a rapidly growing population and a fleet of 400 coralboats. France and Genoa saw this prosperity with jealous eyes and tried various means to divert the stream of wealth to their own shores; but, through varying fortunes, Torre del Greco has held to this day the supremacy in this industry; as though through long generations of practice her citizens had attained an instinctive dexterity that cannot be duplicated by scientific methods.
Toward the end of the eighteenth century a company was formed with an elaborate organization, and all the independent fishers were brought under one directing force, but so completely does the business depend on the individual interest, daring, and initiative of the fishermen that a quick decadence fell on the prosperity. A great volcanic eruption destroyed Torre del Greco, a disaster which was offset by the fact that the books of the company were burned and the institution dissolved. The coral-fishers were thus left free again and at once the industry rose to its old vigor and has ever since persisted. The captains of the boats are nearly always their owners, and on the sturdy rude independence of these mariners depends the success of the business. To quote from the article:
the apparatus used, which is called the "ingegno."
It consists of a cross of wood, each arm of which is about six feet long. To these are attached, very ingeniously, about thirty nets of varying size, which float out in all directions and accommodate themselves readily to the changes and roughnesses of the bed of the sea. In spite of the flexibility of motion they wear out constantly, and repairing them and making new ones is the occupation of the hard-worked sailors during their so-called rests. So mechanical does this become and so utterly exhausted are the men that it is said they often drop off to sleep and still continue weaving the nets with perfect. regularity.
The coral banks are located without any scientific instruments of navigation at all, by a sort of blind instinct, the result of generations of practice. Some captains arrive at scious orientation that they can anchor so high a degree of perfection in this uncondirectly over the spot where an "ingegno from the year before was lost and bring it to the surface.
The "ingegno" is dropped and trailed about as the captain directs. When it is sufficiently entangled with the masses of coral the captain gives the signal to bring it to the surface. This is done by the unaided muscles of the crew and is a labor of heart-breaking severity; so that it is said to be most distressing to see the men toil at this part of the task. The captain-owner presides over this process with the utmost severity and seasons his commands with blows and The men work eighteen hours a day, curses. eating dog biscuits as they work, with no stop for a regular meal, except once a day, when they get macaroni, but neither bread, meat, nor wine. The wages are infinitesimal and the seasons long.
It is against such conditions as these that the Italian and Spanish and English workmen and sailors will not competę. Apparently this state of things is destined to go on without change, for scientific methods do not seem to be available. Diving bells and suits, submarine boats and the like have been tried with no success commercially, and the old primitive systems hold the field wholly without dispute.
As to the working of the rough product, it is done mostly in the ten factories of Torre del Greco, by the hands of women. Besides the regular workers in the ten big factories, nearly the whole population of the town is involved in one way and another in the business.
Deep Sea Life. Investigations of the
The Nuova Antologia (Rome) prints a The methods of coral-fishing are fixed immovably by tradition, even down to the shape of very interesting account by Signor E. Man
cini of the investigation of the fauna and flora of the ocean supported and carried on by the Prince of Monaco. The sovereign of this microscopic country has a profound and intelligent interest in the life of the ocean and devotes much money, time, and thought to investigating it. He and his scientific collaborators have published a series of monographs presenting the results of their scientific cruises. These embrace an enormous variety of topics, since they take in all that can bear on a better understanding of the mysterious life of the ocean. They treat of microbes and whales, of the temperature, pressure and composition of sea-water in different localitites, of the different currents, of the nature of the bed of the ocean, and of the penetration of light into the profound depths.
land the water was tested, the freer from microbes it was. Although at the surface of the water there are always a few microbes, in midocean at a depth of a thousand meters the waters are completely scientifically sterile. Wherever life is intense there the microbes reappear, as where there is much "plankton" or where a submarine bank lifts itself near to the surface. As to organic life under great pressure, the expedition has made the discovery that the temperature of the water has more influence than pressure. In the Mediterranean there is animal life at a depth of 2500 meters, something which is never found in the ocean. This comes from the fact that the temperature of the ocean, influenced constantly by the polar currents, becomes colder and colder with the depth of the water, whereas the Mediterranean is always relatively warm. Thus in the polar regions there are found various species near the surface which in other latitudes live only at great depths.
The question of what light exists at great depths in the abysses of the sea is still a very uncertain one, but the fact that those organisms which live at profound depths are furnished with luminous organs seems to show that the lower parts of the ocean are quite
The researches are made on the Prince's own yacht, the Princess Alice, named after his wife. This is not only fitted up in the most comfortable and complete fashion for long cruises, but has scientific laboratories with excellent apparatus for immediate in- dark. On the other hand the mammals like vestigation and a most ingenious outfit of contrivances for catching fish at all depths, for bringing to the surface the tiniest atoms of sea-life, for ascertaining the temperature and composition of the water, the nature of the ocean bed, etc.
For catching fish all kinds of devices are in use, but chiefly some variation of the familiar fisherman's net. For very deep-sea investigation they use a net with very large rectangular opening. This is dropped on to the floor of the ocean, followed by a long sack with very fine meshes, weighted heavily so that it lies close to the ground. At the sides of this sack are attached immense bunches of rope ravelings loosely secured together, in whose threads are entangled numerous organisms too fine to be caught in a net. Many times the stomachs of the large fishes caught contain minute creatures not to be secured in any other way. For catching the innumerable tiny organisms which make up the so-called "plankton of the surface they use fine silk nets, in which, as well as the tiny animals,
are found larvæ and eggs.
The various beings which live near the surface are, of course, much easier to study, and the investigations of the Monaco scientists have been of great service to fisheries. They have discovered, for example, immense banks of fish of commerce at great distances from the land and scattered over a great area of the surface of the sea. The study of microbes of the sea show that apparently they all come from the land.
the whales, which must go to the surface to breathe, have eyes which see in daylight and yet are obviously able to guide themselves at very great depths. A whale was followed by the Princess Alice for over forty kilometers, the animal evidently pursuing a set course, from which he did not vary a couple of degrees, although he came but rarely to the surface of the water. posed that they have a sort of sixth sense of orientation by instinct, since they can even pursue their prey in the dark. Of course,
It is generally sup
even with the most anxious care there are many organisms which exist only under such great pressure that they can never be brought intact to the surface, for they dissolve and disintegrate into a glutinous mass when no longer held together by tremendous pressure. It is thought that some of these delicate beings of the depths may be of great size, but only fragments are ever brought up by the
cords or nets. It is certain that the lower the organisms grow the more they approximate the darkness of the element surrounding. them by assuming colors nearer and nearer to black.
All this invaluable material collected by 'the Prince on his annual cruises is deposited and studied with the most minute care in the oceanographic museum at Monaco, close to the great gambling houses. Another similar museum has been presented to the city of
The further from river mouths and from the Paris by the Prince.
MENDELEYEV, ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT
THE greatest of Russian chemists, and
one of the most eminent of any nationality, Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev, died in St. Petersburg, on February 2. Mendeleyev was one of the few great scientists who have given Russia the right to rank with the civilized nations of the world. In the estimation of the noted English chemist, Thorpe, Mendeleyev was for Russia what Berzelius was for Sweden, Liebig for Germany, and Dumas for France.
In view of the world influence of Mendeleyev on the development of chemistry, Thorpe's statement is not at all exaggerated. Chemical science owes to Mendeleyev a new conception and philosophy, for before his day chemistry was a collection of facts rather than a clear exposition of the laws concerning the transformation of
Mendeleyev was born on February 7, 1834, at Tobolsk, Siberia, where his father was director of the classical gymnasium. Soon after Mendeleyev's birth his father lost his eyesight, and the care of the large family fell to his mother, a woman of marked ability and energy. She opened a glass factory in Tobolsk, and her young son learned there his first lessons in chemistry, and developed the love for it which influenced the rest of his life. After completing his studies at the gymnasium Mendeleyev went to St. Petersburg and enrolled as a student at the Pedagogical Institute, then the highest institution of learning in Russia. He received instruction in chemistry under Professor Voskresinski, and was sent soon after graduation to Odessa, and thence to the Crimea, in the capacity of high-school instructor. At the conclusion of the Crimean War in 1856 Mendeleyev became a privat-docent at the University of St. Petersburg, and from 1859 to 1861 he carried on advanced studies at Heidelberg. He was appointed professor of chemistry at the Technological Institute in 1863, and became professor at the University of St. Petersburg in 1866.
Mendeleyev's labors at Heidelberg concerned various investigations in organic, mineralogical, physical, and industrial chemistry, which, while not of great moment in themselves, were important in broadening his chemical knowledge and in developing his analytical skill, an acquisition which served him well in the pursuit of his subsequent investigations. His doctor's thesis was on mixtures of alcohol and water, and was characterized by the extreme exactness of his measurements. His work on the expansion of liquids and on the liquefaction of
DMITRI IVANOVICH MENDELEYEV.
gases is of a high order. He was the first to point out why some gases failed to follow exactly the law of Boyle-Mariotte, and in his studies of permanent gases he discovered the critical temperature of gases, which explained why their liquefaction had not hitherto been accomplished.
But the greatest service of Mendeleyev to the science of chemistry was his discovery of the periodic system of chemical elements, a discovery with which his name will forever remain indissolubly linked. His "Principles of Chemistry" (1869) the first textbook on chemistry based on the periodic law, is called by Thorpe a system of chemical philosophy. The periodic system gave philosophy access to chemistry, and to Mendeleyev belongs the credit of having made such access possible, an achievement which he owed to his remarkable mental make-up, uniting the ability of mathematical abstraction to a purely poetical imagination.
Modern chemistry, which found its beginnings in the conception of the indestructibility of matter, was at first inclined to study chemical phenomena almost exclusively from the material standpoint.
The chemists had discovered about sixty ele
ments, whose properties and combination were proximately, were corrected. Furthermore,
The periodic law as conceived by Mendeleyev may be described briefly in the statement that "the properties of elements are the periodical functions of their atomic weights." Arranging the elements in the order of their atomic weights, we find at certain intervals the repetition of the same properties. The fruitfulness of Mendeleyev's conception was soon demonstrated in chemical investigation. The atomic weights of some of the rarer elements, which had been determined only ap
Mendeleyev also performed important service in the employ of the Russian Government. In 1893 he was appointed director of the Bureau of Standards, and took a prominent part in the investigation of the Russian oil fields. The Russian press is practically unanimous in its praise of his services to science and to his country. A complete bibliography of his scientific writings, numbering about 150 books, pamphlets and periodical articles, is to be found in the bibliographical dictionary of the University of St. Petersburg.
ALFRED DEAKIN, THE BAYARD OF AUSTRALIAN
THE Australian commonwealth held a conditions, Mr. Maxwell H. H. Macartney,
Mr. Deakin is one of those charming personalities, like Sir Wilfrid Laurier or Mr. Balfour, who counts as many warm personal friends amongst his political opponents as he does amongst his own partisans. He can throw a halo of attraction around the orifice of Hades" is the phrase in which one of his contemporaries has expressed Mr. Deakin's superlative powers as an orator, and to these powers of speech he joins a literary ability, a spirit of idealism, and a readiness for self-effacement which make him
series of important elections in Decem- contributes to the National Review a sketch ber. The general result, while not making of Mr. Deakin in which he claims that this any marked difference in the complexion of tribute is amply justified by the past quarter the federal Parliament, shows an increased of a century of Australian politics. Labor vote. The Deakin ministry has apparently neither lost nor gained ground. Mr. Deakin was the first Prime Minister of the commonwealth. Then his party split and he was succeeded by Mr. Watson, with the first Labor party ministry in the commonwealth. Mr. Watson was succeeded by Mr. Reid, and the latter gave way before the last session to Mr. Deakin. On the issue of tariff the new House stands 40 Protectionists to 26 Free-Traders. Railroad legislation and the question of Chinese and Japanese coolie labor are among the problems which will press for settlement before the present Parliament of the commonwealth.
According to an epigram current in the antipodes, Älfred Deakin is the Bayard of Australian politics. A student of South Sea
a unique figure among present-day politicians of the commonwealth.
The subject of the sketch is Australian, born and bred. He is now in his fifty-first year and the plenitude of his powers. the Victorian Parliament, which he entered in 1879, he has a distinguished career upon which to look back. He has been Solicitor