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CHAMPION SNAKE KILLERS

TWO birds new to the eyes of Amer-
* icans, are the curious pair of secre-
tary birds, male and female, received at
the New York Zoological Park, from
South Africa. These stately, long-legged
birds, with ashy grey plumage and tail
feathers two feet long, are the champion
snake killers of the world. The secre-
tary is really a hawk, adapted especially
for ground hunting. The male stands
four feet high, the greater part of this
being made up of legs and neck. The
bird gets its odd name from a crest of
long, dark plumes rising from the back
of the head, which gives it a fanciful re-
semblance to a clerk or secretary, having
a bunch of quill pens stuck behind his
ears. All the food of the secretary must
be alive, and two garter snakes, about a
foot or so in length, form a favorite
daily meal. When a snake is thrown on
the ground for the bird to eat the wiry
secretary does not fly upon the prey at
once but cautiously approaches the snake
with wings partly outspread so as to be
ready to escape any sudden lunge of the
enemy. The secretary slowly circles
around his antagonist, keeping well out
of danger: suddenly like a flash the sec-
retary raises one of his powerful feet,
with sharp talons, and strikes the snake
a hammer-like blow fairly on the head.

DROPS 100 FEET

THE only remarkable thing about this
photograph of a modern skyscraper
in Los Angeles is the fact that a struc-
tural iron worker recently fell from its
topmost girder to the roof of a one-story
building, a distance of one hundred feet,
and sustained practically no injuries. He
went almost through the roof of the
small building, but as this was very elas-
tic his fall was broken so that he re-
ceived only bruises and slight fractures
which disabled him but a few days.

A remarkable claim is made that a
recent rain had wetted the structure,
making it an unusually good conductor
of electricity and that contact with a live
wire had charged the whole frame.
While working on a scaffold the iron
worker touched the charged girder and
jumped back off the building.

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RUBBER ARMOR FOR AIR
MEN

DUDYARD KIPLING has designed a A * costume which he suggests should be worn by aviators as a protection against injury in accidents. "As far as I can make out at present," he says, "men go up with less protection, except against cold, than the catcher of a baseball team, and with less body-guards than a baseball player. A little protection about the head and shoulders might make all the difference between life and death at the moment of the smash." Mr. Kipling's idea of protection is an air-inflated suit. With a view to protecting the spine and head he suggests a helmet of rubber inflated on the crown and around the back and over the collar-bones. What is needed, he points out, is the protection of the neck against a backward or for- the dome of the head from fracture, the ward wrench. The weight of the padding rolls under the chin would have to be on the shoulders ought to cushion off the made thick so that the head could be worst of a sideways wrench. To protect driven down on them without too much the spinal cord from being snapped and harm.

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Palm Trrk Growing

Through Rook. A 60-foot curiosity of Los Angeles, that is due to owner's sentimentality.

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Something Soft For
Aeronauts.

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ONE OF THE BIGGEST GUNS IN THE WORLD. This piece of artillery is of the so-called wire design and has been undergoing tests near New York City. It has a new form of disappearing carriage.

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employed for the cheaper grades of caskets in this country. The coffins are unusually heavy, and the four outer slabs of which they are made, are from six to eight inches wide. The logs are cut concave inside, as the picture would indicate, and little in the way of decorating or upholstering is done. There is none too much room inside, and the Chinaman is laid away in crowded quarters just as he lives in his sadly over-populated country or in his American "Chinatown."

The poor "heathen Chinee" seems destined to be hampered for elbow room, not only in this vale of tears, but in the world beyond—a sad fate, indeed, for the "yellow man."

PIGS REARED ON BOTTLE

/~\UR photo depicts a litter of pigs recently born in the north of England, and who on account of their mother's death and no foster mother being available, were reared "on the bottle." The ingenious proprietor of the pigs has had a special trough made which holds five oblong bottles from which the pigs feed through teats inserted in the necks.

J*

BLIND GIRL STENOGRAPHER

TOTALLY blind yet heroically rising *■ above her misfortune and pluckily earning her living as an expert stenographer and typist, Miss Mary C. Hays of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is a splendid example of the good results of applied

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charity and special education. Miss Hays was educated by the state at the Western Pennsylvania Institution for the Blind, Bellefield, and all the teachers and officials are justly proud of her. Miss Hays takes dictation from a phonograph and turns out flawless copy without assistance. She is one of the very few blind girl stenographers in the world, and is the only one, so far as known, who is working from phonographic dictation and turning out such a mass of work.

Here is one of those cases, which every now and then come to light, of a determined soul who simply refuses to be overcome by any handicap that nature or misfortune may put in the path, and who seems to be placed as an example for the less courageous to follow.

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tion, we might mistake its flight through the air for some venturesome aviator of the present day. Our illustration shows the petrified remains of what is known as a Pterodactylus, or flying reptile, whose species has been long since extinct. Its elongated fingers had a flying membrane attached somewhat like a bat, and when in flight must have resembled the planes of an airship, as it was of colossal proportions, measuring about twenty feet from point to point. Its body measured sometimes as much as four or five yards, while the head was entirely out of proportion and developed abnormally, its jaws being almost thirty inches in length. A number of these petrified remains have been discovered in the Smoky Hills of Kansas.

The posterior limbs of this creature reached a development sufficient to carry it over the ground in half running flight, similar to birds, and like birds it could

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also lift itself into the air. Its jaws and mouth, although of such huge proportions, were not of powerful build, and authorities tell us that it was considered of feeble strength considering the development of parts of its body.

Jl

DICKENS TESTIMONIAL
STAMPS

"THE first of the proof sets of the *■ Dickens testimonial stamp has been forwarded to the King by his majesty's express desire. Each stamp bears a water mark as a safeguard against forgery. The committee hopes that at least ten millions of these stamps will be sold as a centenary testimonial to the descendants of Dickens. It is not yet decided how the money shall be spent, but it is hoped that a memorial to Dickens may be included in the scheme. Americans ought to have a share in the purchase of these stamps, if only because this favorite English author became amazingly popular here largely without profit to himself, because of piratical publishers. In the old days, before the enactment of an international copyright law, English authors were at the mercy of American publishers, who paid them not one cent in royalties.

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