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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.

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Boat That Rolls OVER THE WATER - A CURIOUS

CRAFT AT SIOUX City. IOWA.

STARTS MOTOR IN MID-AIR
A RESIDENT of Los Angeles, Cal.,

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.

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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.

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The SPINE OF A WHALE.
The remnants of an unfortunate cast up on the

coast of Norway.

NEW INSTRUMENT FOR

LOCATING STARS
A FEW years ago Claude and Drien-

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,

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from which the latitude of the place, the
time, or the error of the clock, and the
precise value of the constant altitude em-
ployed can be calculated by methods
which cannot be explained here. The
construction and operation of the pris-
matic instrument are greatly facilitated
by making this constant altitude equal to
sixty degrees.

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REINFORCED CONCRETE

WATER TOWER
THE illustration at the left shows an

unusual form of water tower of re-
inforced concrete construction as in-
stalled at a food products works at
Singen-Hohentweel, Germany. This
tower is mounted on reinforced concrete
rectangular uprights with four landings
and a spiral stairway. The total height
is about 148 feet. The reservoir has a
capacity of about 9,000 cubic feet. It
is surmounted by a dome and surrounded
by a gallery. While the whole tower is
plain it is artistic in design and con-
struction.

WERE THE NORSEMEN IN

MINNESOTA? Stone with ancient Scandinavian writing discovered by a farmer near Kensing. ton, Minnesota.

WATER TOWER OF Con.
CRETE. SINGEN. Hon
ENTWEEL. GERMANY.

FIREMEN'S CLIMBING

CONTEST
THE one thing, next to implicit obedi-

ence, that a French municipal fire-
man must learn is to climb and not only
to climb by ladder, but by rope, timber,
pipe, or any other thing that will aid him
in swarming upward. Indeed, a part of
the equipment of most stations is a tower
devised for this very purpose, where fre-
quent drills are held. Quite a bit of
rivalry is stirred up.

The illustration shows one of these
drills in operation. It is an unusual oc-
casion, for no less a personage than the
Mayor of Vienna, on a visit to the
French capital, is being entertained and
instructed, by witnessing a climbing race.
Each man must look out for himself. No
aid is given to their less fortunate com-
rades by those who, more active or
stronger, are the first to achieve the top-
most porch. Such a drill has a double
advantage: it keeps the firemen in ex-
cellent practice for their work, and it
also maintains them in good physical con-
dition, which is just as important.

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Giant Fish That BE

CAME STONE. Curious monument at Fischbach, Germany.

How FRENCH FIREMEN

DRILL.

THE SOLAR TOWER
IN connection with the observatory on

Mount Wilson, California, a one hun-
dred and fifty foot tower has been erected
which is of great interest to astronomers.
It is to be used with the spectro-helio-
graph, to photograph sun spots without
waiting for an eclipse. When it is in-
stalled at the base of the 150-foot tower
on Mount Wilson the sun will be photo-
graphed by means of reflections from the
top of the tower.

"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.'

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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
THE hazel twig as a water finder has purpose.

been supplanted by a remarkable in-
vention consisting of a simple apparatus.
The principle on which the instrument
works is the measuring of the strength of
the air currents which flow between the
earth and the atmosphere. These are
always strongest in the vicinity of
subterranean water courses, the flow-
ing waters of which are charged with
electricity to a certain degree. The ap-
paratus takes the form of a box-shaped
instrument fixed on a tripod, with a dial
on which a needle is used to indicate
the presence of water. If the needle
remains stationary it may be taken for
granted that no subterranean spring ex-
ists; the spot where the greatest move-
ment of the needle is obtained is that
where well-boring operations should be
made. The water finder is an English
invention and is manufactured in Liv-
erpool.

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WATER FINDER ON A

SCIENTIFIC BASIS. This supplants the hazel

twig.

SAFETY BALANCE FOR AEROS
THE many accidents to aeroplanes

have pointed to the fact that the
safety problem will have to be attacked

A LARGE AND SMALL BLADE OF THE SAFETY

BALANCE.

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

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