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The weather was really hot in England, it appears, on July 5. A heat of 92.7° was registered in London by a practised observer, who writes to the press with a list of the hottest temperatures registered at colonial stations in 1880, as follows:
HIGHEST SHADE TEMPERATURES IN 1880. Cape of Good Hope........ 106.9° | Toronto......
89.90 Melbourne .... 106.5 London, Ont.......
Newfoundland (St. John's)... 86.5 Bombay. 94.5 Mauritius ..
85.6 Ceylon (Colombo)..
85.0 Manitoba (Winnipeg) 90.3 New Zealand (Wellington)... 79.5
Canada shows up well for temperatures in this table. A heat of 95° in the shade has been experienced at Toronto this year.
HOARFROST is merely frozen DEW. The great evolution of heat which attends the conversion of dew into hoarfrost is another wise arrangement by which the coldness further mitigated, and those herbs and plants upon which dew is deposited are further protected from the extreme de. pression of temperature to which they would otherwise be subjected. The quantity of moisture that falls in the form of dew, averaged for the whole of Great Britain, has been estimated at from four to five inches annually. In some countries, such as in a portion of Peru, almost the whole moisture which the soil receives to support vegetation is supplied from falling mist and dew.
SNOW.-Snow is characterized by the whiteness of its color and by its light and spongy texture. The former of these qualities-viz. its whiteness—is peculiarly useful for reflecting and increasing the amount of light in those dark and dreary regions where it is constantly to be found.. In such climates the light of the stars or of the aurora borealis, when assisted by the reflection of snow, is quite sufficient to enable the traveller to direct his journey with ease and safety. The light, spongy texture of snow, by diminishing its power in conducting heat, renders it extremely useful in protecting the more tender herbs and plants from destruction during the inclement season of the year.
The summer of 1882 will be generally unfavorable to agriculture, owing to cold and wet weather.
WESTERN sections will probably suffer more from rains and floods than from thunder-storms or cyclones during the summer of 1882.
Nine years, or some multiple of nine years, has been generally fixed upon as the period of such a cycle. It does not appear, however, that there is any satisfactory evidence that such is the case, while my own observations and comparisons tend to show that the recurring periods of similar weather come around at most irregular intervals of time. According to Toaldo, the cycle consisted of nineteen years, and upon this supposition a table was at one time made out illustrative of the weather for several centuries. This table, however, itself very soon demonstrated glaringly the utter fallacy of the conjecture. In like manner, the eighteen-year cycle has been proved untenable, as has also that of nine years.
A cycle of fifty-four years was some time ago advanced by one George Mackenzie, who at the time issued annually “a small quack-looking publication entitled a Manual of the Weather, in which he pretended to foretell the character of the weather for every month of the succeeding year.” This manual, however, was short-lived, owing to the frequent and glaring inaccuracies it contained.
According to Humboldt, the years in which the greatest amount of rain fell in Mexico (as an example) were 1553, 1580, 1604, 1607, 1629, 1648, 1675, 1707, 1732, 1748, 1772, 1795. Now, not only are the intervals between these years irregular, but they are as well at variance with any of the periods assigned for the duration of the cycle. It has been further suggested that as in every eighteen years or a little more the sun, moon, and the moon's node arrive at the same relative positions, therefore the eighteen-year cycle is the one more worthy of consideration.
But even this plausible-looking conjecture has failed to bring about a recurrence of the same kind of weather at the proper periods.
My own opinion, after number of years of painstaking observation in Canada and study of American weather-records stretching over a great number of years, is, that no definite number of years can be given as representing the duration of the intervals of time between recurrences of the same kind of weather. Or, to put it in the words of Graham Hutchison, who about half a century ago wrote upon the same question, “it is obvious that as changes are continually going on with unequal degrees of rapidity on different parts of the earth's surface, the causes which disturb the uniformity of the weather in different years must be ever varying. Hence, cycles, or an exact periodical recurrence of the same kind of weather after any given number of years, need never be expected to take place. And as the unusual magnitude of any particular wave is occasioned by the union or coalescing of smaller undulations, so summers and winters remarkable for heat or cold or any other peculiarity may result at irregular intervals from the accidental co-operation of a favorable combination of antecedent and existing circumstances for producing the effect."
THE SHORTEST ROUTE TO EUROPE.
To all the north-west of Canada, as well as to all the Western and North-western States, the route viâ Hudson Bay and the Strait is the shortest, by many miles, to Europe. The great trouble about it is that it is uncertain how long-or rather how short-a time navigation of the Gulf and Strait would be possible. An employé of the Hudson Bay Company, a resident of York Factory, which lies in latitude 57°, longitude 92.5°, between the Nelson and Hayes Rivers, near James Bay, has taken the trouble of getting statistics extending over the past fifty-two years, showing the dates of the opening and closing of the Hayes River. It appears from the table which he has constructed that the Hayes River is navigable about as long every year as the St. Lawrence. On the average of the fifty-two years it has been open from May 20 to November 20, or just six months in every year. It appears from the table, too, that the climate is undergoing a change-very gradual, it is true, but still an appreciable change—the duration of the open season during the last ten years of the period covered by the statistics being on an average five days longer than that of the first ten years. The great difficulty, however, is the navigation of Hudson Strait. The period during which the Strait is open has never been satisfactorily settled. Some seasons it is probably blocked by ice, both very late in the spring and very early in the fall. It is be. lieved, however, that strong steamers could find a passage early in June and late in November. One of the strongest arguments against the feasibility of the route is that the Hudson Bay Company has never regarded it with much favor, though it offered great advantages for their trade.
TESTING THE SUN'S HEAT.-A remarkable instrument, invented by the distinguished California astronomer, Professor Langley, and called the bolometer, is about to be employed in the course of some experiments to determine the amount of the sun's heat. The extraordinary quality of the bolometer is its extreme sensitiveness to solar heat, and an idea of its delicacy may be formed from the statement that the professor expects by means of it to determine the radiant energy of each separate ray in the spectrum of the sun.
This vague “ household word” indicates one or more of a long, varied train of unpleasant affections, nearly always traceable to one or the other of only two causes-sudden change of temperature and unequal distribution of temperature. No extremes of heat or cold can alone effect this result; persons frozen to death do not "take cold” during the process. But if a part of the body be rapidly cooled, as by evaporation from a wet article of clothing or by sitting in a draught of air, the rest of the body remaining at an ordinary temperature, or if the temperature of the whole be suddenly changed by going out into the cold, and especially by coming into a warm room, there is much liability to trouble. There is an old saying “When the air comes through a hole, say your prayers to save your soul;" and I should think almost any one could get a “cold" with a spoonful of water or the wrist held to a key-hole. Singular as it may seem, sudden warming when cold is more dangerous than the reverse; every one has noticed how soon the handkerchief is required on entering a heated room on a cold day. Frost-bite is an extreme illustration of this. As the Irishman said on picking himself up, it was not the fall, but stopping so quickly, that hurt him. It is not the lowering of the temperature to the freezing-point, but its subsequent elevation, that devitalizes the tis
This is why rubbing with snow or bathing in cold water is required to restore safely a frozen part; the arrested circulation must be very gradually re-established, or inflammation, perhaps mortification, ensues. General precautions against taking cold are almost self-evident in this light. There is ordinarily little, if any, danger to be apprehended from wet clothes so long as exercise is kept up, for the “glow” about compensates for the extra cooling by evaporation. Nor is a complete drenching more likely to be injurious than the wetting of one part. But never sit still wet, and in changing rub the body dry. There is a general tendency, springing from fatigue, indolence, or indifference, to neglect damp feet; that is to say, to dry them by the fire; but this process is tedious and uncertain. I would say, especially, off with the muddy boots and sodden socks at once; dry stockings and slippers, after a hunt, may make just the difference of your being able to go out again or never. Take care never to check perspiration. During this process the body is in a somewhat critical condition, and a sudden arrest of the function may result disastrously -even fatally. One part of the business of perspiration is to equalize bodily temperature, and must not be interfered with. The secret of much that is to be said about bathing when heated lies here. A person overheated, panting it may be, with throbbing temples and a dry skin, is in danger, partly because the natural cooling by evaporation from the skin is denied, and this condition is sometimes not far from a “sunstroke." Under these circumstances a person of fairly good constitution may plunge into the water with impunity-even with benefit. But if the body be already cooling by sweating, rapid abstraction of heat from the surface may cause internal congestion, never unattended with danger. Drinking ice. water offers a somewhat parallel case; even when stooping to drink at a brook when flushed with heat, it is well to bathe the face and hands first, and to taste the water before a full draught.
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