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A STATION FOR PLANT STUDY IN THE DESERT.

Department of Botanical Research, at Tucson, Arizona.

expenditure of effort a by-product in- stellar studies, having attained a score vestigation of the relation between solar of fifty-six thousand observations in a and terrestrial magnetism can be prose- year. cuted. It has already been found that The solar observatory on the summit an increase in solar activity is apparently of Mount Wilson, near Pasadena, Cali. associated with an effect on the earth's fornia, has a most elaborate equipment magnetism equivalent to a decrease in for studying the sun. This includes the the mean intensity of magnetism. To Snow horizontal reflecting telescope purreduce this discovery to every-day terms chased from the Yerkes observatory, a it means that having learned how the tower vertical telescope one hundred and activity of sun-spots, which are great fifty feet high, and another sixty feet electric vortices sweeping across the face high, and a reflecting telescope sixty of the sun, affect the earth's atmosphere, inches in diameter mounted equatorially. present theories may be so revised as to These telescopes are supplied with varimake weather predictions an exact ous spectographic, photographic and science.

other devices for studying the sun and Two separate departments are study- stars. In Dr. George Ellery Hale, Diing the heavens. One of these, the De- rector of the Observatory, the Institution partment of Meridian Astrometry, is has found one of the geniuses it was established in observatories at Albany, created to discover. By introducing enN. Y., and San Luis, Argentina, on the tirely new processes in photography and eastern plateau of the Andes. The ob- in other details Dr. Hale has been able servers at San Luis are hard at work to reveal sixty thousand new worlds, making accurate measurements of the never before seen by man, some of which position of the fixed stars visible in the are ten times as large as our sun. Most southern hemisphere to be compared of the work, though, consists in studying with corresponding measurements in the the sun, photos of which are made every northern hemisphere, in the preparation clear day, and the spectra of the stars, of a complete catalogue of precision of the results being added to those accomall stars from the highest down to those plished by other observatories in working of the seventh magnitude, inclusive, for out various problems. the entire celestial sphere. The San Luis But to get back to earth again; the observatory is breaking all records in Geophysical Laboratory, which is located in the outskirts of Washington, has certain rare spots where deposits of maundertaken a novel line of research, for terials in the right proportions exist. As it is trying to find out how the world enormous quantities of cement are used was made by manufacturing rocks ex- annually this discovery is of great imperimentally out of the raw material by portance. imitating the processes of Nature as The Geophysical Laboratory is also closely as possible in everything except engaged in the study of ore deposits. length of time required. While at the Once the fundamental conditions under present writing there seems little hope which ores are formed are understood, that the information thus obtained can the range of practical geology will be be utilized in the creation of a new earth widely extended and the quantity of ores in case we should all be driven off the available will be increased. present one by the ever-increasing cost S ome strange things are being learned of living, the investigation is, neverthe- about animals, birds, fish, insects, and less, interesting.

plants by the Department of ExperiExperiments in the creation of rocks mental Evolution, all of which are to be are conducted by placing the raw ma- applied for the practical benefit of manterials in steel bombs capable of with kind. Since Darwin's day the problem of standing pressures of seventeen thousand the origin of species has taken on an atmospheres, which are then placed in entirely new form. It is now recognized electric furnaces where they can be sub- that the whole problem of evolution lies jected to the action of intense heat for in the origin, nature, and relations of weeks and even months. Temperatures characteristics. The production of a new as high as two thousand one hundred "species" is the development of a new degrees, centigrade, or more than three characteristic not necessarily new to hundred degrees above the melting point nature, but in a new combination. Since of platinum, have been attained in these the Department got its hand in, it has furnaces.

been able to produce some curious variaIt seems to be generally agreed that tions on stock of well known pedigree, diamonds are produced by extreme heat such as poultry with short mandibles, at enormous pressure in the earth. The with no comb, with one toe missing on Carnegie Institution is better equipped each foot, with an extra toenail to each for experimenting in the manufacture of toe, with one wing missing, and with both diamonds than any one else ever has wings missing. It is hard for an unbeen; but instead of undertaking to find scientific mind to understand why the a way to place diamond necklaces within Institution should fritter away its time the reach of all it has elected to devote on wingless chickens when any boardingits time to such commonplace things as house landlady could have told it that if calcium oxide and silica, two constituents it really desired to fill a want long felt most frequently found in rock, which also at economical tables it should try to prohappen to be the essential materials in duce a chicken composed exclusively of Portland cement. The Geophysical Lab- wings. Professor Tower, an associate of oratory has demonstrated that these two the Department, has been very successful things could combine only in certain ways in controlling new characteristics in the and in certain proportions, and not in the Colorado potato beetle, varying the way assumed by cement manufacturers. colors and increasing the number of genThis being understood, the cement maker erations in the reproduction cycle. No now has a scientific basis upon which to farmer's boy who has had to break his prepare his product instead of following back throughout a long, hot summer day a rule of thumb. Now that the formula "buggin' pertaters” will thank Professor has been discovered it is possible to pro- Tower for that, though. Colorado potato duce cement anywhere that the necessary beetles came along quite fast enough elements are to be found instead of in under the old schedule.

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HE American ostrich farmer, without thought of cost or reckoning. like his neighbor the alligator And she, ably attended by the handmaid farmer, is distinctly a new of fashion, reigns in every clime and species. A few years ago he zone. So it has come about that be

coaxed an exotic business into cause her imperious tastes have decreed his back yard and set about quietly to ostrich plumes a prime necessity rather acquaint it with its new environments. than a rare luxury in her millinery wardThe young industry took readily to its robe, she has stimulated a drooping occualien home, which resembled its native pation in the Eastern hemisphere and habitat, flourished from the outset, and founded a new industry in the Westas they say in Arizona, referring to the ern. time when hut and edifice alike were of Ostriches have been captured for their earth construction—soon outgrew the feathers since earliest antiquity. The cramped quarters of its adobe days. fleet bird, which "scorneth the horse Less than fifteen summers old, it now and his rider," was lured into snare ranges freely over thousands of the or pitfall. This mode of obtaining. Lord's fenced acres.

plumes was in vogue for centuries, The ostrich, taken at a commercial and until ostrich farming was started. rating, is the biggest dividend-producer After the bird was captured, the feathers in the kingdom of birds. Ap

were either plucked or the skin praised from any angle, he yields

and feathers were removed toto none save the emblematic

gether and used in making robes. stork. His earning capacity,

Ranking close to the first saraided and abetted by feminine

torial incident of Eden is the inclination to self-adornment,

theory of philosophers that modhas become so marked that

ern dress had its genesis in the today, after having been perse

habit of certain ancient gentlecuted for his plumage from the

men, who lived, laughed, and dawn of history, he finds him

loved before the sphinxes were self pampered, made much of,

built, of dazzling pretty maidens and scientifically propagated

by sticking ostrich plumes in still for his plumage.

their hair and parading themThe crux of the movement to

selves before their admirers. make the ostrich over is that

Scientists hold to the belief her every wish must be gratified,

that these capering persons, in their affaires d'amour, were simply teen miles west of Phoenix, is the largest carrying out the natural law which ostrich farm in the world under an inclossays the male shall be more showilyure, not excepting the farms of Cape Colequipped for his life bluff than his ony. It is now stocked with 3,200 birds, mate.

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or three-fifths of the ostriches raised in However that may be, certain it is the valley, and has an area of 1,100 that the whims of civilization recognize acres. no such rule. Instance is witnessed in This part of the Southwest, though the change modern enlightenment has one of the oldest sections of the United wrought in the primitive custom of the States, having been trod by the Spanish ancient peoples. The twentieth century padres from Mexico as early as the midcitizen, whose tastes are simple, not only dle of the sixteenth century, has been neglects to adorn his locks with feathers, slow of development owing to its aridity but what is quite the opposite, leads and isolation ; and while ostriches have chivalrous chase after ostrich plumes to been raised with indifferent success in the end that her newest headgear may be the United States for nearly forty ornately decorated a la mode.

years, the industry was not esIn response to his thought—and hers tablished in Arizona until the late nine—for her attractiveness, ostrich farming ties. has been established in the United States. The climatic conditions here are very The industry is carried on to a limited similar to those of Southern Asia and extent in Florida and Arkansas, more ex Africa—the native home of the ostrich. tensively in Southern California, and on It is claimed, for instance, that the crucia still broader scale in the Salt River fixion flower is found nowhere outside Valley, in Arizona.

of the Holy Land except in Arizona. On As regards size and scientific propaga- account of the dryness of the atmostion, the flower of the industry are the phere, the scant rainfall, and the absence farms of Arizona ; and, unlike those of of fog, this is believed to be the best Florida, Arkansas, and some of the Cali- adapted region in the Western hemifornia aviaries, they are conducted rather. sphere for the propagation of the majesfor the revenues from the sale of feathers tic birds of the desert. than for show purposes. There are The importance of the industry to the twelve farms in the Salt River Valley. world's wealth and commerce is reflected The Pan-American ranch, located thir- in the jealous way in which England guards her ostrich possessions in South of which was the opposition manifested Africa. Ostriches have been tamed for by the South African government. The centuries, yet it is only since the early last ostriches imported came from Nubia sixties that an organized effort has been for the Pan-American exposition at made to domesticate them with the idea Buffalo in 1901. The Nubians of today of supplying the world's demand for have come largely from this shipment. feathers. In 1900 it was estimated there The progenitors of most of the were between 350,000 and 400,000 ostriches in America are still to be seen ostriches in captivity in Cape Colony. at the Cawston Ostrich farm, at South England, foreseeing the golden future of Pasadena, near Los Angeles. This is the ostrich breeding and desiring to corral best equipped farm in the United States, the industry in her own possessions, saw with its rare plants, cobblestone ditches to it that laws were passed absolutely and paths, and beautiful terraces, and is prohibiting the exportation of either visited annually by thousands of tourists, birds or eggs and imposing drastic pun- who delight in observing the interesting ishment, in the form of fine and impris- habits of the ostriches. The climatic cononment, upon any person convicted of ditions here are congenial, but it is violating the statute. The prohibition claimed that the drier climate of Arizona now applies to all British colonies in is better suited to the raising of these Africa.

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alien birds. But far-sighted Yankees had stolen a The American farmer has approached march on the British government before the ostrich from the angle of science, and its fences were completed. As early as therein lies the basis of the revolutionized 1882 a shipment of ostriches to the industry. Though scientific methods of United States from South Africa had hatching, feeding and breeding have been made. Four years

been in use only three or four years, the later the shipment from

results have been little short of astonishwhich fully 80 per cent

ing. Evidence of this is seen in the fact of the birds in America

that Arizona culturists are able to raise are descended, consist

.to maturity 75 per cent of their hatch, ing of about fifty OS

as against an average of 15 per cent triches, was negotiated

which stands to the credit of African by Mr. Edwin Cawston,

ostrich raisers. of Pasadena, Cal., after

The problem of feeding at first gave he had overcome many

them no little concern. Originally the difficulties, not the least

ostriches were allowed to bring forth in their own sweet way. Of recent years, however, incubation on the most progressive farms has been done by artificial means. The eggs, each weighing between three and four pounds, and of sufficient size to afford a meal for six hungry men, are turned in the incubators twice a day until at the end of six weeks the young chicks are hatched. The PanAmerican farm alone has incubation facilities for 1,800 eggs—a sizable "clutch" indeed—and could hatch 7,000 or 8,000 birds a year.

After the chicks are released from the shells they receive the fostering care of experienced ostrich, men until they are large enough to fend for themselves. A prominent Arizona farmer explained that they "require as much attention as babes." Men unfold their cots in the fields and spend the nights with the

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