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BIGGEST BIRD THAT EVER
LIVED THE moa, a species peculiar to New • Zealand, is supposed to have been the biggest bird that ever lived on the earth. Probably it was no taller than the giant ostrich of Madagascar (the original of the fabled “roc”), but it was much heavier, a full-grown specimen weighing as much as 1,000 pounds.
The moa was extremely stupid, and very slow and clumsy in its movements, its legs being enormously heavy and bulky. Not only was it incapable of
flight, but it could not even run fast. EGG OF THE EXTINCT MOA. GIANT AMONG BIRDS.
Apparently, the species was wholly wiped out, about 500 years ago, by an extraordinarily cold winter. The birds gathered about hot springs in Alocks, for warmth, but perished in great numbersthe result being, that at the present time, their bones are dug up by the ton in some places, particularly swamps.
A few of the eggs of this remarkable bird—not more than half-a-dozenexist today. One of them, in the Museum of Natural History in New York, actually contains the bones of an unhatched moa. It is as big as six ostrich eggs, and a silk hat would just about make a suitable egg-cup to hold its contents.
Boat That Rolls OVER THE WATER - A CURIOUS
CRAFT AT SIOUX City. IOWA.
STARTS MOTOR IN MID-AIR
is the inventor of a new style of engine for aeroplanes. The engine is a true rotary. In the case of the GnomeFrench-engine, generally known as a rotary, the cylinders simply revolve around the shaft. In this new invention the engine including the shaft, revolves. Also the cylinders, instead of being placed at right angles are parallel to the shaft; therefore, the centrifugal motion tends to distribute the lubricant, rather than to concentrate it in the end of the cylinder where the explosion will crystallize and foul the plugs.
Another innovation is a variable length of stroke, giving variable compression. This feature makes it possible for the operator to stop and start his motor in mid air.
MORNING GLORIES COVER A v
HOUSE ADWELLING so completely covered
by a morning glory vine as to be entirely hidden, stands as a demonstration of what California vegetation will do if it is given a chance.
The morning glories were planted by previous occupants of the property, presumably to give a touch of color to the bare walls, but as the growth was not checked they rapidly spread until the walls and even the roof were enveloped HOUSE CONVERTED INTO MORNING GLORY BOWER AT
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA. in a mass of foliage and flowers. Before the tenants moved out, enough pruning was done to keep the place looking like a house but after they abandoned it, the morning glories had things their own way until even the outlines as well as the doors and windows have disappeared.
The SPINE OF A WHALE.
coast of Norway.
NEW INSTRUMENT FOR
court invented a prismatic altitude and azimuth instrument, to which some improvements have now been added by its constructor, Jobin. This instrument is employed in connection with a chronometer, for observing the instant at which the apparent altitude of a star attains a fixed value, approximately equal to 60 degrees. From such observations it is possible to determine the momentary position of the zenith and the celestial sphere, by reference to the positions of stars whose co-ordinates are known, or conversely, to determine the position of an unknown star from the known position of the zenith. In the former case, the observation gives the sidereal time and the latitude of the place; in the latter, they furnish data from which the right ascension and declination of the star can be computed. The instrument is designed especially for observation of equal altitudes of the same star, east and west of the meridian, from which it is possible to deduce (according to the known data) the time of meridian passage, the error of the clock, the geographical position of the local meridian, etc., and for observations of the equal altitudes of three accurately known stars,
from which the latitude of the place, the
unusual form of water tower of re-
WERE THE NORSEMEN IN
MINNESOTA? Stone with ancient Scandinavian writing discovered by a farmer near Kensing. ton, Minnesota.
WATER TOWER OF Con.
ence, that a French municipal fire-
The illustration shows one of these
Giant Fish That BE
CAME STONE. Curious monument at Fischbach, Germany.
THE SOLAR TOWER
Mount Wilson, California, a one hun-
"The elements of light reflected into the spectrograph are diffused through prisms. A spectrum of the sun's spots is taken and the plates are compared to ascertain by scientific means the relative amount of gases or other substances contained in the elements photographed. Each streak or spot on the plate, according to its prominence, furnishes data for scientific deductions according to known formulas.'
No NEED TO GO HOME
IN THE DARK. Germany's small cities are not illuminated, but electric light may be secured from point to point by dropping 5-pfennig pieces in slots provided for the
AUTOMATIC WATER FINDER
been supplanted by a remarkable in-
WATER FINDER ON A
SCIENTIFIC BASIS. This supplants the hazel
SAFETY BALANCE FOR AEROS
have pointed to the fact that the
from entirely new lines, and at present, the ends of the blades are held together the “gyropter," the invention of Mr. by a kind of band—which is braced into Davidson, an Englishman, is nearing position. completion. This new flying machine The machine, when completed, will has two gyropters which are declared weigh 6 tons with a lifting capacity of to secure absolute safety in balance, 10 tons. The shed in which the new and the complete machine will excel in flying machine is building is arranged in speed the present system of aviation. halves. When the machine is finished
One was tried in America, with a di- for trial, the two halves of the shed, ameter of 27 feet, to lift 3 tons at 55 being on wheels can travel apart and the revolutions per minute. It worked quite machine, which is of large dimensions, successfully.
can then be taken in and out quite easily. The gyropter now nearing completion If Mr. Davidson's device should work is worked by a Stanley engine. On successfully it would be of the greatest either side of the engine room is a service in the field of aeronautics, obviatgyropter-wheel-containing 60 large ing the majority, if not all, of fatal acciblades—10 feet long—and 60 small dents of the sort that stirred the world blades—5 feet long—and each gyropter the past year. will make 60 revolutions per minute and