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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Science and Nature

Topics in science

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -

Various Topics in ScienceTHE SEX OF EGGS. – A subscriber informs us that he is now able, after having studied the subject for upwards of three years, to state with assurance, that all eggs containing the germ of males have wrinkles on their smaller ends, while female eggs are smooth at the extremities.


ANOTHER DISCOVERY IN PHOTOGRAPHY. – The latest discovery in portraiture is an invention styled by the patentee the “Casket or Crystal Cube Miniature,” by which a solid image of your head is, by some development of the photographic art, seen looking, with a strange, living reality, from out of the centre of a small cube of crystal, every feature standing out in as perfect relief as though chiseled by the hands of fairy sculptors.
LONGEVITY. – Cuvier considers it probable that whales sometimes live to the age of one thousand years. The dolphin and porpoise attain the age of thirty. An eagle died in Vienna at the age of one hundred and four. Ravens frequently reach the age of one hundred. Swans have been known to live three hundred and sixty years. Pelicans are long-lived. When Alexander the Great had conquered Phorus, King of India, he took a great elephant which had fought very valiantly for the king, named him Ajax and dedicated him to the sun, and let him go, with this inscription: “Alexander, the son of Jupiter, hath dedicated Ajax to the sun.” This elephant was found, with this inscription, three hundred and fifty-six years after. Camels often live to the age of one hundred years.

CLIMATE NOT THE CAUSE OF COLOUR. – It is a common opinion that climate alone is capable of producing all the diversities of complexion so remarkable in the human race. A very few facts may suffice to show that such cannot be the case. Thus the natives of Van Dieman’s Land, who are among the blackest people on earth, live in a climate as cold as Iceland; while the Indo-Chinese nations, who live in tropical Asia, are of a brown and olive complexion. It is remarked by Humboldt, that the American tribes of the equinoctial region have no darker skin than the mountaineers of the temperate zone. So, also, the Pueiches of the Magellanic plains, beyond the fifty-fifth degree of south latitude, are absolutely darker than Abipones, Tobas, and other tribes, who are many degrees nearer to the equator. Again, the Charruas, who live south of the Rio de la Plata, are almost black, while the Guayeas, under the line, are among the fairest of the American tribes. Finally, not to multiply examples, those nations of Caucasian race which have become inhabitants of the torrid zone in both hemispheres, although their descendants have been for centuries exposed to the most active influence of the climate, have never, in a solitary instance, exhibited the transformation from a Caucasian to black complexion.