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The times dispatch. (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, May 10, 1914, Image 51

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038615/1914-05-10/ed-1/seq-51/

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The Ball and Heel of Each Human Foot Act as TWO FEET and Make Man as Much a
WHY, Btrictly spoaktng, man is not a biped;
?why most of us are right-handed; why we
can work better with ono arm at a time?
all these and many other thingB are explained by an
examination of tho ingenious way Nature has fitted
the higher animals to maintain their centre of gravity
.with tho least possible effort.
The fish rests in tho water, balanced and motionless.
It costs the animal no tedious muscular effort to main
tain ti?e centre of gravity. It lies in a fluid, the specific
gravity of which approaches very nearly its own specific
gravity, and any difference in the two can be adjusted
by a special apparatus that is calculated to relieve all
muscular strain. Hence, whether the fish is at rest or
in flight, full or empty, the problem of maintaining the
centre of gravity is not ono of tiresome muscular effort.
The bird is a timid creature, and as a rule cannot
contend against ?terrestial animals. Its wings are pro
, vidod as a means of escape from danger, and as much
of its time is spent in an unstable medium, tho problem
of equilibrium is an important one. Strength and light
ness are important factors in the construction of birds.
"How Incorrect it Is to call a man a biped can be
seen by studying different styles of tables. One
nas four legs, another two, another one?yet all
havo four feet."
In the quadruped the centre of gravity lies between
four points of support. The horse standing, walking or
running upon a ler/ol surface puts forth little or no
effort to maintain Its equilibrium. If a horse is to exert
all its force upon a load it must -work on a level. The
instant it is made to take the load either up or down a
hill, then a part of the muscular energy must be taken
from the load and employed in maintaining the dis
turbed equilibrium.
In applying these same principles to man a new
element has to be considered. In the fish, bird and
quadruped the principal ails of the body is horizontal,
and in the quadruped it Is supported at four pointB. In
man the principal axis of the body is perpendicular,
supported at only two points, and these placed at the
lower portion of the trunk.
Another point bearing upon the question of enulli
"Each foot rests on its ball and heel,
thus giving man's body four points
of support, just as the horse has."
briuin is the qualifications for pro
gression in young animals. Among
lho four-footed the problem of sup-'
port is reduced to its simplest ex
pression, and it is ,1 well-known fact
that the young often follow the pa
rent within a few hours after birth.
In the ape family the question be
comes moro complicated, and tho
young require several months
before they become active. With
the child the period of probation Is still longer. It lies
for months helpless and unable to turn over on its
back; then follow months of creeping.
Man is the only animal that has two limbs exclu
sively for the foundation to its body?for support and'
for progression, aud two limbs exclusively for prehen
sile actions.
What is the function of the foot? Roughly speaking,
it is that part of the limb which comes in contact with
the ground. The horse is said to have four feet and is
called a quadruped. Man has two feet and is called a
biped. How Incorrect the lattor designation is will be
apparent from a study of different styles of tables. The
first has four legs, the second has two legs, and the
third has one leg; yet each table has four feet.
On the first table it can be said that there are four
feet upon four legs; of the second, that it has four
feet upon two legs; and of the third, that it has four
feet upon one leg. One thing will be noticed that as
the legs diminish in number the feet increase in length.
If we apply this principle to the horse, wo can say
that the horse is a quadruped, inasmuch as he has
four independent feet upon four independent legs. But
man is not a biped. Man has four feet very much as
the horse has, and he uses them like the horse. The
horse has two forefeet and two hind feet, and the
weight of the body rests between the four points. Man
has a forepart of the foot (ball) and a hind part (the
heel), and, like the quadruped supports his weight be
tween four points. Both man and the quadruped can
stand upon the forefeet or the hind feet.
When a man and a horse both walk on their heels it
is a question which has the advantage.* The horse has
four independent feet. This enables him to accom
modate each foot to any inequality in the surface. This
necessity for comfortable progression is not overlooked
In man's foot, for between the heel and the ball a joint
exists that enables the two parts behind and before it
to accommodate themselves to different levels.
The broadening of the pelvis and the consequent
greater separation of the hips gives man the advantage
of a broad base to Tesist a lateral force, while the
ability to plant a foot behind or before in case of dis
turbed equilibrium makeR man surest of all animals ou
bis feet This firmness is greatly Increased by the
length of the feet and the manner In which they are
applied to the earth.
The Imprint of man's foot upon the earth is peculiar.
It shows that only the heel, ball and outer border touclj.
while the hollow of the foot, the part upon which the
greatest weight falls, does not touch the earth. This
latter condition contributes to the elasticity of the foot.
Passing to the upper part of the body, the shoulders
have important functions. It 13 upon the shoulder that
the miller carries the grain, which can be shifted, ele
vated, advanced or retracted, so a3 to adjust the load
to the axis of the body. The fact that the shoulders can
be used together or independently ia of great advantage
to man, since the shoulder is a movable platform for
the action of the arm. One reason why man prefers to
use one arm at a time is that either arm has a free
motion when used alone. Man can reach further In
every direction with a single arm than with both.
Although It is generally conceded that mnn now shows
a prefercnco for the ri^ht log and arm. there are many
who think that such was not always the rase.
Our simian cousins have great agility and are equal
handed in doing everything they do. But hi gives
no assurance that the family of man was any tirno
nmbidextrous. Man climbs a tree or Indder. using either
hand, liko tho monkey; he eats, receives or curries any
thing in either hand, like the tr.onkej, Ti a part, of tha
body would be more comfortable with a little friction
from the fingers, both man and monkey employ the hand
that will do it most conveniently. The expertness of
the monkey stops here?but. these are not acts that
would have coined tho word dexterity. Man is the only
animal that can attain dexterity, and that is because
he is the only animal that has two hands exclusively
for skillful work, and skillful work demands two hands.
The skill of the left hand as an assistant is equal in
every degree to tho dexterity of the right, hand. Man]
began to show a preference for tho right hand when
ho began to stand erect.
No other animal stands erect in the sense that man
stands erect, and no other animal shows preference for
one hand over the other. The erect posture broadens
the hips and shoulders, makes man a four-cornered
animal, and compels him to be either right or left
handed. Ilis four-cornered shape makes if easy and
natural for either hand to act alone, and whon one
cannot accomplish its end. the other assists.
With the infant preference for the right hand begins
with the ability to sit and walk alone. Some authorities
say that tho mother who carries her child on the left
arm hampers the movements of the child's right arm.
and thus makes it left-handed. As soon as a child
begins to assume the erect posture it begins to show
dextral preference.
One of the first problems in nature i? to make the
young of every animsH self-reliant at the earliest pos
sible period. In the infant at. birth the legs are only
one-fifth of their destined length. ^
At birth tiie liver forms one-enighicenth of the entire
weight of the body, and 1 do not think it too much to
say that its weight and position will have the effect of
making tho (infant, when it first begins to walk, stronger
in the right leg than in the left. Were a half-pound
weight placed in the child's right hand when it took
Its first step Is It too much to say that the first step
on the right foot would be firmer than upon the left?
If the infant were compelled to carry tho half-pound
weight in tho right hand at every attempt to walk,
would not the result be to make tho right, leg strong
est? The weight of the liver is placed over the right
aide and gives it more stability, and thus predisposes
man to become right-handed.
Tho liver is below the right arm. and one may sup
pose that the theory would not apply to the arm. The
answer is that the weight of tho liver makes the right
leg more reliable, and the us;e of the right arm, located
over the right leg, will tend less to distnrn the centre*
of gravity.
nimals Do
IN the jungles of the tropics Is found a meat
eating plant called ncpeniho. On Its stems
are curious, tube-like appendages, shaped
almost lilto a tiny can, which serve the plant as
stomach, intestines and mouth as well. In much
the Bamc way polyps, which represent the low
est form of animal life, have a sac which answers
the purposes for which more highly organized
animals require three distinct organs.
This can was originally the leaf of the plant,
and presents a cnrio\is Instance of change of
function. Plants bfreathe through their leaves,
just &b human beings do through their lungs.
When the nepenthe began the gastronomic feat
of swallowing Insects and worms, wrapping Its
leaf around hapleBS victims to prevent their
escape, nature came to its assistance, and
allowed It to grow new leaveB to be used ex
clusively as lungs in place of the leaves which
had been perverted to the UBe of stomach and
The edge of this little can secretes a honey
like liquid, which attracts small insects, flies and
QUIRT guns may supply the power for the
ocean liners of the future. The newest
Idea in marine engines?one which 1s now
receiving the serious attention of ship huiiderB?
is based on exactly the same principles as the
squirt pun of your school days.
The squirt Run idea is to propel a ship by
squirting out water through pipes at the 6tern of
the ship, where propellers ordinarily are lo
cated. Water would he taken in from the front
end by groat pipes, given a pusli when it reaches
the engine room, and then sent rushing out at
the stern of the ship. This same scheme has
been thought of before, but never put into use,
because it cost so much to give the necessary
push to the water.
The wonderful efficiency of a new pump,
which now pumps some of the water Bupply of
London and has attracted the attention of engi
neers everywhere, makes the scheme appear less
absurd. In this pump water is admitted iuto a
chamber until the chamber is nearly full, and
then gasoline or some other oil, In the form of
vapor, is admitted into the chamber and ex
ploded, just as an automobile uses gasoline. The
explosion of the vapor forces the water out,
and the same operation Is repeated over and
over again. It does the work aurely and cheaply.
The Inventor of this type of pump has drawn
plans for a squirt gun propeller that will get the
push on the -water from two or three of these
Still another revolutionary Idea Is that of
operating a ship by having a motorman in the
pilot house use a controller just as the motor
man does on an electric car. This idea has
already been applied in modified form on a large
freighter which is going into commission on
the Great Lakes this season.
Arrangements have been made on thlB big
cargo carrier for Just such a motorman, but he
stands with his controller in the engine room
instead of up in the pilot house. A longer cable
attached to his controller is all that is necessary
to enable him to do his work In the pilot house.
Oil engines are used to generate electricity
and the electricity is used to turn the pro
pellers; so electricity runs the ship in much the
same way that it does_a trolley car. And the
motorman in the pilot house or on the bridge
is all that is needed to make the resemblance
between the operation of an ocean liner and a
trolley car even closer.
bees. The inside of the can is perfectly smooth
and the insect which has ventured too far inside
finds too late that it has walked into a trap. No
escape is possible. Tlnv spines line the edge of
the can, all pointing downward and forming a
phalanx against which, in addition to the smooth
lining of the can, the insect can offer no re
Dr. Konrad Guenther relates that invariably he
found these little canB half filled with a liquid
which is nothing more or less than pepsin, which
is the digestive principle in the stomach of all
animals. At the bottom of the liquid was a thick
sediment consisting of insects, flies, worms and
bees In various stages of digestion. Some of
these insects were dismembered, wings and legs
and heads severed from the body, just as a beast
of prey dismembers its prey before eating it.
In this semi-digested food were the larvae of
flies and other insects. These larvae, although
not bacteria, may properly be classed aa in
testinal fauna because they have developed the
power to secrete a poison which neutralizes the
action of the pepsin, just as the intestinal
microbes of human beings and animals do in
order to successfully resist the destructive power
of the digestive agents of the intestines.
In order to convince himself of this. Dr.
Guenther placed a bit of albumen in the pepsin
obtained from this plant. As he expected, it im
mediately began to dissolve. He then took some
of the larvae which he found flourishing in the
food in the stomach can of the nepenthe and
crushed them. The liquid extracted from the
crushed mass, on being added to the pepsin in
which the albumen was dissolving, immediately
stopped the digestive action of the pepsin on the
These intestinal larvae grow fat and wax In
numbers if the stomach can is plentifully supplied
with food, so that this condition also is analagous
to the condition existing in the human IntestineB
when the stomach has been overloaded with rich
HAT all musicians are "freaks,"
so far as their physical ap
"*? pearance goes, la the opin
ion of Dr. Paul Sohn, the German
scientist. 'Not only this, but he finds
that, regardless of their race or na
tionality, all persons of marked mu
sical ability show a close resem
blance to one another in the 6hape
of their heads and faces. The head
and countenance of the typical mu
sician often look very much like
those of the Hon or the sphinx.
The peculiar shape of a muBician'a
head is due, Dr. Sohn believes, to
the gradual expansion of the sound
centre of his brain and the conse
quent change In the conformation
of his skull. This is why the heads
of Beethoven, Wagner, Bobert Schu
mann, Richard Strauss and other
great musicians all have an eccen
tric, abnormal and sometimes fan
tastio appearance. A musician's
sound cenf?e develops abnormally
because It is there that everything
In his life finds its motive.
The musical head and face are of
a primitive type, because musical
genius Is a reversion to the time
when men communicated their
ideas by means of more or less
inarticulate sounds. But although
the musician's physical appearance
is barbarous in its lack of beauty
and regularity, It contains no hint
of degeneracy.
The typical musical head is char
acterized by the horizontal breadth
of the forehead, the broad nose and
chin and the wide, extremely mobile
mouth. The brow often overhangs
greatly, as was so notably the case
with Beethoven. The eyes are lus
trous but bear a separated, dreamy
expression. The hands are broad
and strong.
"Musicians," says Dr. Solin. "are
absolute slaves to their sense of
sound and it i^ this that not. only
affects their physical appearance,
but makes them mentally so ner
vous and excitable. The main fea
ture of tho musical intellect is that
mental excitement seeks a different
outlet, than In the case of ordinary
CCORDING to the views held by some
authorities we would all feel better
**? A and live longer?to say nothing of
Eaving no end of trouble and expense?If we
abolished our kitchens, threw all our pots
and pans on the junk heap and ate our food
Instead of making our food more healthful,
they declare that it produces just the opposite
effect by destroying certain substances found
in raw foods which our bodies need.
One of the substances destroyed in the
process of cooking is the curious one known
as vltamine. Although the nature of vitamine
is not yet thoroughly understood, there Beems
to be little doubt, that its presence in food is
of great importance. A diet from which
vitamine is absent is likely, if long continued,
to lead to scurvy, rickets, beri-beri or another
of the so-called "deficiency" diseases. This
fact has long been known although just why
It should be so la not yet clear.
Now vitamine Is destroyed at a temperature
Jir lower than that to which most of our food
has to be raised In cooking. If, therefore, this
substance is necessary to our health, the raw
food advocates have won their case and we
ought to eat nothing that Is cooked.
To eat only raw food will strike most people
as distasteful, especially in the case of meat,
(t is interesting, however, in this connection to
remember that cooking does not increase the
digestibility.of animal food. The role of cook
ing Is really to make the meat attractive, to
develop flavors, and to give it some preten
tions of aesthetic qualities. Furthermore,
cooking preserves animal foods and to some
extent sterilizes them.
1! vitamine is as necessary to our health as
it is believed to be we are face to face with
some curious and perplexing problems.
In the first place, man has been living for
centuries largely on cooked food. We eat
very little food in its raw state and all the
foods which are richest in vltamine?meats,
cereals, potatoes and carrots?are almost in
variably cooked. Despite this fact the race
as a whole has never been ravaged by ecurvy,
rickets and other diseases produced by the
absence of vitamin? which is destroyed by
Wiheatvia rich in vitamine, but bread made
from It has no vltamine because, as has been
proved, the oven's heat destroys it long before
the loaf is cooked. It therefore cau make little
or no difference whether we eat bread made
from the whole wheat flour, which is rich in
vitamlne, or that made from the ordinary
white flour.
The chief difficulty with the position of
those who maintain that cooking destroys an
essential element in our food is the fact that
we have been eating cooked food so long with
out having suffered more from scurvy, rickets
and other similar diseases.
A Refreshing Bath.
858 EJ BO
^SALiERATUS foot bath is most, refreshing for elderly persona -who cannot
take much, exercise.
Buttermilk for Rolls.
II in
milk is used.
J^UTTERMJK will Insure much softer nnd lighter hot rolls than if plalfij
Making Your Own Washcloth.
A SATISFACTORY -washcloth Is made of two or thro*'' thicknesses of mo5?
quito netting. The edges are finished by crocheting a scallop in plnlf
or blue.
E face the camera to get a truthful
record of what we look like, but the
result in most cases is a picture not
nearly so good looking a3 we really are. So
persistently does the camera cheat us out of
whatever claims we may have to beauty that
there is serious danger of our descendants
comparing our looks unfavorably with those
of our own ancestors.
When our ancestors wanted their portraits
made they went to artists ?who knew how to
diminish the defects of their sitters. But we
have to rely on the camera, which, instead of
flattering us the least bit, does .just the
In spite of all the wonders of modern pho
tography and the fact that many photogra
phers are not only masters of their trade, but
artists in the true sense of the word, the cry:
"I just, can't get a good photograph," is fre
quently heard.
The real reason Is that the camera is too
speedy?it registers too brief an expression.
The portrait painter seldom took less than six
sittings, lasting an hour each. This meant
that the impression on his canvas 'was a co
ordination of six hours observation. The
photographer rarely gives as much as half a
minute to a single negative.
The result of photography is, therefore, one
hundred and eighty times as incomplete.
When, moreover, 'we remember that the six
hours spent while sitting for a portrait, or the
thirty seconds for a photograph, represents
only a small fraction of our lives, and that
we may often have a hundred different moods
an hour, it is no wonder that photographs so
often fail to look like us.
To a very great extent, the difficulty of get
ting a good photograph is a compliment.
Those people who "take" good photographs
are generally those in whom facial expression
cither changes very little or changes very
much. The subtler and more delicate ex
pressions do not appear in a photograph, and
frequently it is those by which we are remem
bered rather than 'by somo of the actual weak
nesses of feature which the camera so faith
fully records. The greatest of all virtues is
charity, but the camera has no charity?and
it is often a liar.
Or. Forsyth's New Book
ON this page recently was printed an In
teresting article entitled "How the
Child Becomes a Man." By an error
!th?o article appeared as if written by Dr.
(David Forsyth, of London, when it should
have been said that it was a review of a
new book by Dr. Forsyth. "Children in
Health and Disease" is the name of Dr.
Forsyth's instructive new volume, published
in London by F. ^lakiston'a Son & Co.
Science Can't Make Up Its Mind How WOMEN SHOtJiD hiiIE
HE recent order of the German Emperor request
ing the wives of all German army officers to
discontinue the practice of riding their horses
astride gives new interest to a question on which
doctorB and other scientists have long been sharply
On the one hand are authorities who claim that
habitual riding astride is a serious menace to a
woman's health. The new seat, they maintain, involves
Bevere strain to the abdomen and tends to displace cer
tain vital organs or at least to weaken their supports.
On the other hand aro authorities of equal eminence
who say that riding on a side saddle results in cur
vature of the spine and other deformities. It is, they
further charge, dangerous to the rider because there is
greater danger of her being dragged in case the horse
falls and bad for the horse because it is more liable to
make the animal's back sore.
"No doubt with the old-fashioned style of riding
habit and stirrup there was a very considerable risk of
the rider being dragged if her horse fell," says a writer
in the Lancet, in summing up the various arguments
for and againBt riding astride; "but with the modern
safety skirt and safety stirrup this danger has practi
cally disappeared. It is usually said that a good lady
rider on a side saddle is in no danger of being thrown
unless her horse falls. No doubt the seat is a very safe
and secure one, but it is more difficult to learn to ride
well on a side saddle, and with an indifferent rider the
strain on the horse is certainly greater than when he is
ridden astride.
"At first sight it might appear that the astride po
sition, involving as it does, some separation of the
thighs, would cause relaxation of the muscles of the
pelvic floor and so predispose to displacements. In the
case of a rider with stirrups of the ordinary length and
with a proper seat, there must be an amount of
pressure on the pelvic floor more than sufficient in our
opinion to counteract any relaxation duo to the separ
ation of the thighs. Further than this, whenever the
saddle is gripped as it instinctively is, the contraction
of tho muscles of the thighs is acc?nipanled by a con
traction of the muscles of the pelvic floor. At the very
time then when a displacement appears to be most
likely to occur, for instance, in taking a jump or re
straining a restive horse, the thigh muscles maintaining
tho grip upon the saddle come into action. Their con
SOAP the Newest CROP for FARMERS
GROWING Boap promises to become a profitable
industry on fhe prairies of the Southwest.
The soapweod, or Spanish bayonet, flourishes
in Western Kansas, Southern Colorado, Arizona, New
Mexico and Texas. Until lately this plant has been re
garded only as a troublesome weed. Farmers and
ranch owners took great, pains to exterminato it on
account of its habit of spreading over large areas and
killing off other vegetation.
Now science has discovered that what has been de
spised as a weed ia really a plant having a high market
value as a raw material for soap. Soap manufacturers
are ready to pay eight dollars a ton for tho roots and
tops and as it costs not morn than five or six dollars
to harvest, dry and bale a ton, there is a handsome
profit for tho farmer.
The work of cutting and shipping aoapweed has 1
already been begun on a large scale in Western |
Kansas, and the United 'States Forest Service is doing
its best to turn the attention of other localities to the
importance of this new Industry.
The discovery of the good use to which soapweed can
be put was due to the fact that for a long time Indian
and Mexican women have used a decoction of it for toi
let purposes, particularly for washing the "hair. It is
especially suited for this purpose because it is wholly
free from alkali. Soap manufacturers find it excellent
for making fine toilet soaps and soaps intonded for
washing woolens. J
Ordinarily one man can harvest a ton of soapweed i
in a day. After cutting the plants nre allowed to dry j
for two or three months and then are baled up in tho <
ordinary broom corn baling machinc. !
traction is accom
panicd by a cor
responding con
traction of the
muscles of the
pelvic floor, and
any tendency to
n displacement of
tlie pelvic organs
is in this way
"Our objections
to riding astride
for women, If wo
were asked our
opinion, would be
based not upon
any possible dan
ger of injuries to
the pelvic organs,
but upon the view
that the seat is
not nearly so se
cure a one for
the average wom
an rider as that
on a side saddle,
and because (he
danger of being:
(brown is much
greater. At the
same time the
risk of being
dragged if thrown
is certainly less,
although, with a
properly made
safety habit and
stirrup, even on a
"Those who advocate riding astride
say the saddle produces curvature of
the spine, as shown in th<3 lllustra
sido saddlo this risk Is a very small one.
"Any danger of injury 1o tho pehlc organs when rld?
ing astride must bo associated with tho greater in?
security of tho scat and tho increased risk of being,
(hrown, and not with the position itself, which we doj
not think in the case of a healthy woman is likely igJ
have auy injurious eQcci upon the pelvic orgaua."
Copyright, 1014, by tha Star Company. Great Britain lUtsfafta RceerFyo<h

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