FOR IDLE MOMENTS.

FOR IDLE MOMENTS.

Thomas Kelly of Keokuk, Ia., writes that evidences of a preglacial river have been found, which in earlier ages drained Lake Michigan westward into what is now the Mississippi river. Some of the places where this river run are covered by nearly two hundred feet of deposit, but the silt which occupies the river’s bed is black, and contains shells which show remains of earlier animal life, probably before men lived on this planet.

Statistics regarding the tides in the Bay of Fundy are so startling as to seem almost incredible. At Grand Manan the fall is from twelve to fifteen feet, at Lubec and Eastport twenty feet, at St. John from twenty four to thirty feet, at Moncton, on the bend of the Fetitcodiac, seventy feet, while the distance between high and low water mark on the Cobequid river is twelve miles, the river actually being twelve miles longer at high than at low water. Vessels can be run up so far on the flood in this river and in the Avon that the ebb will leave them high and dry for sixteen hours, so that they can be repaired between tides.

Six New Yerk departments, the police, fire, charities and correction, education, public works and street cleaning cost for maintenance more than $2,000,000 a year.

Wild geese and wild ducks show knowledge as to the resistance of the atmosphere, and sagacity in overcoming it. When flocks of them have to go long distances they form a triangle to cleave the air more easily, and the most courageous bird takes position at the forward angle. As this is a very fatiguing post another bird ere long takes the place of the exhausted leader. Thus they place their available strength at the service of the society.

It is now established that flowers and the perfumes distilled from them have a salutary influence, and constitute a therapeutic agency of high value, and that residence in a perfumed atmosphere forms a protection from pulmonary affections and arrests phthisis. In the town of La Grasse, France, where the making of perfumes is largely carried on, phthisis is unknown.

Sunflower stalks are now converted into paper.

U. S. Comptroller of Currency J. H. Eckels says that between May 4 and October 4. 1803, withdrawals of individual deposits in national banks alone were $299,000,000, and of banks and bankers’ deposits to the amount of $79,000,000, a total of $378,000,000. To meet this drain the banks were compelled to call in loans, thus depleting the resources of active trade to the extent of $318,000,000, and from banks and bankers to the amount of $51,000 000, while to their borrowings was added $37,000,000.

A well-known geologist has computed the earth’s age on the basis of experiments made on the effects of heat and pressure on certain rocks. He concludes that the earth’s age as a planet is 24,000,000 years.

By the use of machinery in the great grain farms of the Northwest, it is estimated that one man can produce grain enough to support tooo inen for a year.

The hottest mines in the world are the Comstock. On the lower levels the heat is so great that the men cannot work over ten or titteen minutes at a time. Every known means of mitigating the heat have been tried in vain. Ice melts before it reaches the bottom of the shafts.

Tariff was originally the name of a Moorish chief who, having a port in Spain, near Gibraltar, was accustomed to levy toll on passing vessels. His toll became a regularly understood thing, and the amount was added to the price of the goods.

The most extensive and celebrated salt mine in the world is at Wielieki, nine miles from Cracow in Galicia, a province of Austria-Hungary. It has been worked continuously for 600 years,

There were but three steamboats on the lakes sixty years ago.

FOR IDLE MOMENTS.

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FOR IDLE MOMENTS.

Corals increase by eggs, spontaneous division and germination. The rate of growth has not been fully determined. Prof. Agassiz indicates the growth of reefs at Key West at the rate of six inches in 100 years, and adds that if we doubled that amount it would require 7000 years to form the reefs in that place, and hundreds of thousands of years for the growth of Florida.

From the American aloe tree are made threads, needles, ropes, cables, paper, clothing, soap, sugar and brandy.

It may not be known to the general reader that a rifle ball deflected from its course immediately resumes its line of flight after rimming the object it is unable to pass directly through. That is to say, a ball turned from its course by a rib, passes under the skin until it reaches a point mathematically opposite to the point where it entered the soldier’s body, and then passes out, resuming its exact line of flight, if enough of its initial velocity remains.

Of the 3556 vessels using the Suez canal in 1892, 2581 were British. France fell from second to third place in the list, with 174. Germany follows England, and only 292 ships of that nation passed through the canal. Two American vessels used it.

A Pittsburgh physician explains how the worm gets into the chestnut. When the nut is still green an insect comes along, and hunting a warm place in which to have its eggs hatched, lights upon the green chestnut and stings it. At the same time it deposits some of its eggs in the opening thus made. The chestnut begins to ripen and at the same time the eggs are hatching. The insect selects chestnuts as a place for depositing its eggs as being the best adapted place by instinct. The floury matter in the nut turns to sugar and sugar contains carbon, which produces heat.

The famous leaning tower of Pisa is a campanile, or bell tower. It was begun in 1174 by two famous architects— Bonano of Pisa and William Innspruck. The tower, which is cylindrical in form, is 197 feet high and fifty feet in diameter, made entirely of white marble. It has eight stories, each with an outside gallery projecting several feet from the building, and each decorated with columns and arcades. In the centte of the tower a flight of 320 steps passes up to the summit. It is called the leaning tower from the fact that it inclines some thirty feet from the perpendicular, and it is not generally known that this inclination, which gives the tower Such a remarkable appearance, was not intentional. At the time it was about half done the error in measurement was perceived, and it was guarded against by the use of extra braces in the further construction of the building and an adaptation of the stone in the highest portion. There are seven bells on the top of the tower, the largest of which weighs 12,000 pounds, and these are so placed as to counteract, as far as possible, the leaning of the tower itself.