Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Smoke Out the Cholera

October 3, 2012

Smokers have now a good excuse for using the weed. Doctor Wenck, professor of the Imperial Institute of Berlin, has made the discovery that smokers are relatively immune to certain epidemic diseases, especially cholera. He claims that tobacco smoke rapidly kills the cholera germs.

Can’t somebody help the whiskey guzzler out in similar manner?

Chicago Livestock World (Chicago, Illinois) Feb 26, 1913

Evenhanded Science

August 23, 2012

Image from Twister SifterVintage Mugshots


By James J. Montague

The burglar made small trouble through the years
When he wholly was dependent on himself,
For he wasn’t very wide between the ears
And he made a rather trifling plie of pelf.
With a jimmy and a blackjack as his aids
And his finger prints to leave a glaring trail
It was seldom that his bold, nocturnal raids
Did not land him very shortly, in a jail.

But when science learned the use of T N T —
When it found out how to make a diamond drill
Then the yegg man and the thug began to see
The advantage of enlightened modern skill.
In the reading rooms were found the leading crooks
Spending many earnest hours at a time
In perusing all the scientific books
Which would aid them in the latest arts of crime.

Now, proficient in the chemist’s highest art,
Knowing how to blow a safe without a sound
How to pry  the very strongest vault apart
Without wakening a single soul around.
And to glove their hands before they start a job
So they will not leave behind a finger print,
They may confidently undertake to rob
Any safe that isn’t guarded like a mint.

Science has no pets among the human race —
She supplies the good with moving picture shows
She has scattered automobiles every place
She has cut down trees to fashion silken hose.
She has showered lavish gifts on you and me
And, though giving her her just and honest due,
Any thinking man can hardly fail to see
That the criminal has benefitted, too.

Montana Standard (Butte, Montana) Sep 17, 1928

Image from Kitchy Kitchy Coo

Go Fly a Kite

June 10, 2012

Ben Franklin’s Experiment — June 10, 1752


On this day in 1752, Benjamin Franklin flies a kite during a thunderstorm and collects a charge in a Leyden jar when the kite is struck by lightning, enabling him to demonstrate the electrical nature of lightning. Franklin became interested in electricity in the mid-1740s, a time when much was still unknown on the topic, and spent almost a decade conducting electrical experiments. He coined a number of terms used today, including battery, conductor and electrician. He also invented the lightning rod, used to protect buildings and ships.

Image from NOAA History – The Kite Stations

Kite flying like a great many other sports is fast becoming of practical use. The Boston Advertiser says that a number of scientific men have turned to the kite as an economical means of taking meteorological observations, which may prove of great benefit to science, by securing an accurate and constant record of the conditions of the atmosphere at altitudes where observations have already been taken. For example during a recent kite ascension at Blue Hill, a maximum height of nearly 9,400 feet was attained, while a meteorgraph record was kept of the atmospheric conditions for more than three hours about a mile from earth. If such records were constantly obtained, the science of forecasting the weather might prove to be much benefited.

Image from Illuminating Lake County, Illinois History – George Lawrence Photographer

The work of the photographing from kites has already been tried in this vicinity with much success. This has led to an interesting experiment by the war department with an idea of utilizing the modern kite for military purposes. In an experiment at Governor’s Island in New York harbor last week, a large kite was sent up bearing a dummy soldier. It is understood that is was so successful that within a few weeks a real soldier will be sent up in the air in one of these kites, to show the feasibility of substituting the modern kite for the war baloon.

Image from Wikipedia

The use of war baloons in Europe has now become general in the military departments of the continent. These baloons are sent up for the purpose of keeping watch upon the movements of an opposing army The test made by the United States was department, however, seems to show that kites can be employed for the same purpose with about the same success. It is still possible that the modern kite will supplant the balloon for this purpose of taking observations from a considerable altitude, for both as regards convenience, and as regards economy, the kite seems to be preferable to the baloon for such purpose.

Austin Daily Herald (Austin, Minnesota) Nov 7, 1896

Kite flying seems to be becoming almost as popular in Maine as in China, judging by the newspaper reports. But the meanest of all kite flying tracks was that of a New Orleans man, who sent up one at Cooper’s Beach, near Rockland, the other day, with its tail decorated with sharp pieces of assorted glass which cut the strings of the other flyers, and caused a shower of kites that for a time was incomprehensible to their owners.

Bangor Daily Whig and  Courier (Bangor, Maine) Sep 4, 1897

Image from Hargrave – The Noble Inventor


Temperature Taken at a Height of 2,973 Feet.

Bayonne, N.J., Nov. 9 — Kite flyers Eddy, Hotchkiss, Allen and Mitchell sent a self registering thermometer to a height of 2,937 feet yesterday. Dr. Eddy says that this was the highest altitude ever reached by a thermometer at Bayonne and the highest ever made without the use of piano wire as the kite line.

Five other ascensions followed during the day, and it was found that it was abnormally warmer aloft. In one instance, at a height of 1,505 feet, the temperature was found to be 63 degrees, both aloft and at the earth.

According to previous kite records the observations indicate warm weather. Triangulations were made with a 600-foot base line and two angles. The wind was very strong from the south. It was two degrees cooler at a height of 2,973 feet than on the ground.

The Arizona Republican (Phoenix, Arizona) Nov 10, 1897


CHICAGO, (UP) — Kite-flying has entered the ranks of dangerous pastimes the National Safety Council reported.

A number of fatalities to children flying kites were recorded during the last year, the council said.

Most of the deaths were due to electric shock caused by kite wires or wet strings falling across high tension wires. Other children were killed by cars while flying kites in the streets.

Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Mar 8, 1931

Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Mar 14, 1933

Scientists are Lazy — and Biased

June 16, 2011

J.B.S. Haldane image from CHoM News


People have the popular idea that the scientist is a hardworking but practical man. In truth, nine times out of ten he is highly practical and fundamentally lazy.

— Prof. J.B.S. Haldane, British scientist.

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Aug 24, 1933

That might explain the “science” behind this:

Image Source:  Environmental “Protection” Agency

This article is timely:

Study: Stephen Jay Gould, Crusader Against Scientific Bias, Was Guilty of It

So…making up the facts to fit your bias…is science!

More from rdbrewer at AoSHQ

The Old Oaken Bucket: Revised by the Sanitarian

February 17, 2009
The Old Oaken Bucket, Currier & Ives, 1872

The Old Oaken Bucket, Currier & Ives, 1872

The original poem is posted below the “revised” version.



With what anguish of mind I remember my childhood,
Recalled in the light of a knowledge since gained;
The malarious farm, the wet, fungus-grown wildwood,
The chills then contracted that since have remained;
The scum-covered duck pond, the pig-sty close by it,
The ditch where the sour-smelling house drainage fell,
The damp shaded dwelling, the foul barn-yard nigh it,
But worse than all else was that terrible well,
And old oaken bucket, the mould crusted bucket,
The moss-covered bucket that hung in the well.

Just think of it! Moss on the vessel that lifted
The water I drank in those days called to mind,
Ere I know what professors and scientists gifted
In the water of wells by analysis find.
The rotting wood fibre, the oxide of iron,
The algae, the frog of unusual size,
The water, impure as the verses of Byron,
Are things I remember with tears in my eyes.

And to tell the sad truth, though I shudder to think it,
I considered that water uncommonly clear,
And oft at noon when I went to drink it,
I enjoyed it as much as I now enjoy beer.
How ardent I seized it with hands that were grimy!
And quick to the mud-covered bottom it fell;
Then soon with its nitrates and nitrites, and slimy
With matter organic, it rose from the well.

Oh! had I but realized, in time to avoid them,
The dangers that lurked in that pestilent draught,
I’d have tested for organic germs, and destroyed them
With potass permangante ere I had quaffed;
Or perchance I’d have boiled it, and afterward strained it
Through filters of charcoal and gravel combined;
Or, after distilling, condensed and regained it
In potable form, with its filth left behind.

How little I knew of the dread typhoid fever
Which lurked in the water I ventured to drink!
But since I’ve become a devoted believer
In the teachings of science, I shudder to think.
And now, far removed from the scenes I’m describing;
The story for warning to others I tell,
As memory reverts to my youthful imbibing,
And I gag at the thought of that horrible well,
And the old oaken bucket, that fungus-grown bucket,
In fact, the slop bucket that hung in the well.
The Sanitarian.

The Bucks County Gazette (Bristol, Pennsylvania) Aug 12, 1880


From Redbook Online:

Title:     The Old Oaken Bucket
Author: Samuel Woodworth
How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild-wood,
And every loved spot which my infancy knew!
The wide-spreading pond, and the mill that stood by it,
The bridge, and the rock where the cataract fell,
The cot of my father, the dairy-house nigh it,
And e’en the rude bucket that hung in the well-
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket which hung in the well.

That moss-covered vessel I hailed as a treasure,
For often at noon, when returned from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
The purest and sweetest that nature can yield.
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing,
And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell;
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket arose from the well.

How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As poised on the curb it inclined to my lips!
Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
The brightest that beauty or revelry sips.
And now, far removed from the loved habitation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell,
As fancy reverts to my father’s plantation,
And sighs for the bucket that hangs in the well
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-covered bucket that hangs in the well!

Musical Interlude…And Science

December 19, 2008
Dancing Cow

Dancing Cow

A man ahead of his time, or was he just keeping an eye on the bottom line?

Lancaster Cows Like “Swing”

LANCASTER, Jan. 19–Fellow dairymen shook their heads when Park Miller installed a radio for his 31 cows about a year ago. Today he explained [what] his experiment disclosed. Cows like to hear dance orchestras.

They seem to prefer snappy tunes to the dreamy waltz numbers.

Classics are not so effective.

Symphonies and bits from the comedians and speeches never should be tuned in.

Miller explained he installed the radio because he figured music would help keep the cows contented. Poultrymen discovered some years ago that they got more eggs by putting electric lights in their hen houses. It works out the same, he said.

When he turns on the radio his 31 cows show immediate interest. If the orchestra swings into some catchy tune, they’ll listen in bovine contentment, seldom taking their eyes from the machine.If the music doesn’t have that certain swing, the cows appear bored.

Then there’s something else about putting a radio in your cow barn. Miller said he observed that his hired men went about their work with a lot more vim and vigor when a snappy tune was on the air.

Indiana Evening Gazette (PA)  19 Jan 1937

Now, about those chickens…

Timely Reminders From Pennsylvania State College.

Eggs and Electric Lights–If artificial lights have been turned on in the poultry plant, turn on an equal amount of common sense with them. Those who get an egg production much over fifty per cent for any length of time will pay dearly next spring by having their flocks go to pieces and molt.

Indiana Evening Gazette (PA) *unknown date