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.WHY WATER WE DRINK IS
NEVER QUITE PURE. Mow Nature Employs Small Fish, Plants Sunlight and Oxygen in Operating a Marvelous Filtration System. Hy PROF. JOHN 1111 X. (Author of "The Evolution of the Atmosphere," etc.) Absolutely pure water Is something that nature never provides for us for ,ery excellent reasons. The water wo use contains Impurities of varying decrees, from the poisonous liquid? of sewage mid cmitnmlnnteil Btreoms and ponds to the sparkling and re freshing springs whlrh afford such lileasant drink to the thirsty traveler. Pure water Is to he found only In the laboratory of the chemist and It Is quite tnrteleps and Insipid. Tlio pleasant drinking water whlrh gusheB from the hillside and which makes Rood well so valuable always con tains foreign matter?, both gaseous and mineral, most of these being nuite harmless, although some mny he decidedly deleterious. Conse- nttenUy the search of those who seek water for domestic purposes Is al ways directed to the obtaining of g:,od water rather than of water that ,)g absolutely pure. All the fresh water found In our lakes, streams and springs Is derived from rain. The earth with Its clouds Is really a glpnntlc still In which water Is raised from land and ocean to the sky and Is then precipitated In the form of dew, rain, hail and snow. That which falls on land Is partly raised again by evaporation, while an other part sinks Into the ground and reappears as springs and wells or flows In rivers to the ocean from which much of It originally came, and during; Its passage from the elbuds to the ocean it takes up solid and 1 gaseous matters which enable. It to supply certain Important require ments of plants and animals. In passing through the air It takes tip carbonic acid, oxygen, ammonia and other things and removes some of the Impurities which exist in the atmo sphere and carries them to places where they serve as food for plants. When we stand on the seashore and watch a unowatorm or a heavy down Dour of rain falling upon the waveB It looks at first as If the addition of so much water to the depths which are already there were a waste ot en ergy and of material. But when we reflect that every drop of rain and nvrv snowflake carries with it the necessary food for the plants which iuiiport the animal life that exists In the great deep, we see that nature la a series ot wonueriui compensations and marvelous adjustments, and that it is through these compensations and adjustments that our rivers, ponds and lakjs are kept in a great measure pure, often even In spite of the con taminating acts of men and other ani mals. The process by which this Is ac complished Is an extremely Interest ing one, and In these days when the question of an abundant supply of Kood water Is forcing itself upon the attention of many communities and individuals It has a practical sldo as well. The most Interesting scientific dls- covery ever made in relutlon to ani mal tna lencmuiu mio " edly the revelation of their opposite and compensating actions upon the cases of the atmosphere. Like all other great discoveries and Inven tions this was not made at a Bingle Btcp; it was developed gradually and In Its complete form It was the re- suit of the labors of many workers. It began with the discovery of car bonic acid by Black and of the pres ence of oxygen In the vesicles of sea weed by Davy, and then it was fur ther found that animals Inhale oxy gen and expire cartonlc acid while plants absord carbonic acid and give iotr oxygen. ' ppi.h, ,ht..fc a tnta nf terrestrial luah win., ' " LAND-LOCKED HARBOR OF CATTARO IN DALMATIA. plants and animals Is also true of those which Inhabit the water. An Instructive example of this may;be seen In any well balanced aquarium where the flsh and other animals live upon the plants and breathe the oxy Keti which the plants produce when, ky the influence of sunlight, they de compose the carbonic acid that is lound in the breath of the fishes. keeping thai carbon to build up their. own tissues and throwing out oxy gen to enable the animals to breathe. The plant.' through its roots and perhaps its leaves, absorbs the dead soluble matter which has been pro duced by decaying animal and vege table matter and also such soluble mineral matter as it may require and -whioh happens to be present. It also absorbs and decomposes the carbonic eld that It "finds in solution in the water, and In this way we have a con tinual round of changes and compen sations. We are now prepared to examine he changes which occur In a foul . pool which has been contaminated perhaps by the decaying carcass of " . some large animal. The first step to ward its Dtirincatlon will be the growtn or plnnts. not only those which root themselves In the soil at the bottom and sides of tho pool, but those which float about freely both on the surface and in the body of the water. Many of the latter class, and Borne of the most effective, are ml. croscoplc fo small that they cannot be seen by tho naked eye. But what they lack In size they make up In numbers. Others form a green scum on the surface ot the water, while others again, like duckweed, cluster together und form a green mat, each plant sending down its tiny roots Into the water, absorbing the soluble de caying matter and using it to build up clean vegetable tissue. It is chiefly through the agency of plant life that offensive soluble mat ter Is gradually removed and con verted Into vegetable tissue and oxy gen. And here It may be well to note a singular but very prevalent fallacy in regard to the green scum which is so often seen on filthy pools It is no uncommon thing to hear the srum blamed for the filth, the owner of the pond being urged to remove It and "let daylight Into the water." Now, daylight Is a very good thing. and it acts as a most efficient cleanser, but it does so most thoroughly when It acts through the medium of active plant growth. Falling on the green plants which form the scum, sunlight accomplishes many times te puri fying work that It can do when It merely passes through the water and Is absorbed by the black mud at the bottom. In all such cases aquatic plants of every kind, from the offen sive green scum to the beautiful water Illy, grow and flourish because the water Is so filthy that It affords them the nourishment that they re quire. The filthy water Is the cause of the plant growth; the plant growth Is not the cause of the filthy water. It Is nature's effort to utilize matter which otherwise would be not only useless but deleterious. And remem ber that the moist dirt or filth Is not essentially evil. It Is only matter In the wrong place. Put It In the right place and it will do good work, build ing up most effectively delicious vege tables, like celery, asparagus and fruits like strawberries and raspbor-rles. In this connection, a point wnicn deserves special attention Is the fact that the oxygen given oft by plants under the Influence of sunlight Is In a peculiar condition known as the nascent state. Oxygen In this condi tion Is much more active than ordin ary oxygen. This Is well shown by Its bleaching power when fabrics are spread on a fresh grass plot In bright sunlight. Every washerwoman knows that an hour a sunshine aided by a good grass plot will do more In the way of bleaching linen than half a day's BUiiBhlne when the clothes are hung on tho line. Now, as fast as the oxygen Is liberated by the plant It Is dissolved in the water and oxi dizes or destroys most of the organic Impurities present. A very important characteristic ot this dissolved oxygen Is that it seems to be destructive to bacteria and mi crobes. Whether this result Is due to the removal of the food of these organisms or to ajosltlve deleterious action upon them may be a debatable question; the probability Is that It acts In both directions. Bo obvious is this action, however, that It has been claimed that If a quantity of sewaae Is poured into a stream of suf ficient size it will all disappear in the course of a two or three-mile flow. Most aquatic insect larvae subsist upon the microscopic plants which they find in the water they inhabit, though some of them, such as those of the dragon fly. are fiercely carniv orous. They tend by the decay of their dead bodies to render the water impure, and where man exercises any control they should be kept down as far as possible. The best assistants In this direction are small fish. Large flsh are utterly worthless for this purpose, as they are not sufficiently active and they prefer larger game than small larvae. Indeed, the food of most of the large fish consists chiefly of small fish- sometimes those of their own species. A few dozen minnows from, one to three Inches In length will extermin ate all the mosquito larvae In a good sized pond and will do little toward defiling the water. But a dozen perch or two or three pickerel will soon eat up the minnows and allow the mosquito larvae to mature without let or hindrance. The guardianB of reservoirs and ponds for water sup ply make a great mistake when they protect the. large flsh In such waters. Such fish ought to be mercilessly ex terminated and the small flsh should tie protected. New York World. Now Type of Wur Airship. A new type of airship will be added to the German uerial fleet this Hprlng. Tho new dirigible belongs to the nnn rlgld system and differs In several Important points from other types. In shape It Is similar to a torpedo. The envelope of the balloon Is colon d yellow to protect It as far as possible from the action of the sun's rays. Its four cars are directly attached to the framework of the balloon. It will be driven by four Daimler mo tors, each of 125 horse power. It Is anticipated that the airship will he able to carry forty persons. The es tlmnted si cod Is sixty-five kilometer an hour. A large hall Is being built to shel ter tho vessel. Tho ulrship has been designed by Captain von Krago of tho aeronautic battalion, and Is ac cordingly well adapted for military purposes, Iloersen Courier. Novel Filing Cuhini't. A novel und Ingenious filing cab inet has been designed by a Michigan man. When closed the devlre Is nlHiut tho slzo or an ordlnury cigar box, but when open It presents a long row of shelves on which llo tho va- llie Uritlsh Seeker of the South role. T pi.iuuiii. i. mi juiu innir'p''i ,i, vn t '.??" ' -' . V.V.sVV 1 - . ...rijft.lr', nf SKUNK 8KIN9 UP 200 PER CENT Fur Trader Reports That There ll an Increasing Demand. Tho despised American skunk hit come into his own and is now eager ly sought where formerly he was shunned, according to Isaac Wels berg, a fur trader of Moberly, Mo., who buys the skins of skunks, rac coons, minks, opossums and musk rats and ships them over to Europe. "Theso skins havo Increased In value during the last two years 200 per cent and more," said Mr. Weis berg at the Imperial. "Every wom an of fashion In l'arls and Berlin and tho other Continental cities now wears one or mure skunk Bklns on at least one of her dreBses as trim ming around the bottom, whllo many are used for trimming sealskin coats. This fashion started the demand. Two years ago the price of skunk Bklns suddenly Jumped from 80 cents to $1, and It Is now averaging V. As for muskrat skins, we used to buy all we wanted at 10 and 15 cents apiece. Now they are fetching fl apleee. "These skins are sold at auction in London, and furriers from all parts of Europe attend. The demand for furs of all kinds is Increasing enormously. I got a good view of the reason at tho races la Paris k week ago last Sunday. I saw one woman wearing a Russian sable that could not have cost a cent less than $15,1100. And I never saw so much silver fox In my life. These furs come from Alaska and British Colum bia, In spite of a common Impression that thry come from Russia, and they bring fahulous prices. One skin was so'd at a sare recently for $1,275, and tho finished furs bring from $:i,- 0'irt to $:,noo. The black fox is even higher, Wp ship over thero between $50,000 and $100,000 worth of Amer ican animal Bklns every year, besides what we sell over here. As for the skunk, it is an American animal and It has to come from this side. Do we export the smell? Well, that Is a secret of the trade." New York Sun. Everything Seen ut a Clance. Cantnin Robert Kulcon Scott, the King's navy, is to lead thi; most ambitious expedition ever despatched to the Antarctic. The Honduras monetary cnminlR slon recommends the adoption of the gold standard. , Practically no gold Is In circulation at present, but much Is exported. rious papers required, and nil of which can be seen almost at a glance. The shelves consist of flat surfaces strung on cords nt each corner. They aro arranged to telescope within n box which Is made in two parts, tho upper part fitting river tho lower. Above this rase another cord runs through pulleys in the celling or desktop, one end of this cord being fastened to the top of the box and tho other end having a weight on It. When the box Is closed and the front flap fastened up It remains In that po sition, but when the front flap is let down the upper part of tho box Is re leased, tho weight of tho cord de scends, and the shelves are extended to the full length of the cords on whlrh they are hum;. Tills little In vention has the advantage of taking up little room in nn ofllce wlwn the boi Is closed and of displaying nil tho papers on the shelves when it U open. Philadelphia Record. Making Mothers Their Own Doctors. It is not so long ngo that there, wns no libel In the story of the fash ionable mother who refused to allow h"r daughter to study physiology at school Ihecnuse slhe ronsldercd t h coloring of tho Illustrations In tly text books Inartistic and thought it "Indelicate for persons to know about their lnsldes"; hut te vlew point ha:- 'hanged In recent cars and keen Interest 3 being displayed by mothers and heads of families In a work which the American Medical Association has Just got well under way. Holding that it is the duty of the nrvllrul profession not merely te heal the sick, 1m t nlso to spread knowledge of tho ways in which the danger of sbkneRs can lie avoided, this organization has prepared tin ex haustive S'-rlen of pamphl"ts contain ing tho most recent views on the pre vention and cure, of di ase, nnd fur nishes them fre on reipi"st. Tho njmlHr of applications fur this Infor mation whlrh has poured In has sur prised even tlis originators of the scheme. Th" pamphlets contain In teresting h-'fl of th" wrnderful nd vance medical science hai mad" In late years, and It Is sh-wn that In New Yorlt alone the leath rate from dlphthrrla has been so deer"nsed In the lust ttn years as to result In an nrninl saving of almost fiO.OOO lives. New York Tres. Pled eight feet from the ground a rubber-yielding three of flf'.een Inches diameter gives three pints of liquid. DESIGNED TO BRING DDWN HIGH FLYERS. " It : 'ft Ai-k-mxk. :lr , t jIV Wv!!. Sol f Jt.il. ' "s ft !.! "Vf - ' p J I' ' The qermans lead the nations so far in bulloon navigation. They are keeping apace with Zeppelin by inventing powerful destroyers of ulr-shlps In the service of hostile nations. As early as 1870. during the Krunco PrusBlon War, the Germans used special cannons for bringing to earth the balloons which were sent out by the besieged city of Paris. The pres. ent aerial gun Is mounted on a high-powered motor-carriage capable of carrying also a full equipment and crew. Announcement of Peace. It was In the year 1SC5. that Oidenn Welles wrote In his diary, hb pub lished In the Atlantic Monthly: "Stanton called at my house about six o'clock p. m. and Invited rue to a hnsty Cabinet convention nt right o'clock p. m April 21. When we had assembled General Grant and Pres ton King were also present. Stan ton briefly mention' d that ft neral Grant had Important communications from General Shcrmar. and requested that he would rend them, which ho did. It stated he had made a peace, If satisfactory, with the rebels." ROCKKFKM.FU'SN MK WH.l.T.IYF nnrrininn'n Will Fade Kroni Unman Mind, Itut Oil Magnate's Never. Palo Allo.Cal. In President David Starr Jordan's address to the gradu ating class at. Stanford Vnlver.-ilty, the subject of which was "The Wealth of Nations," referenre was made to the lives of K. H. Harriman and -other grea financiers In drawing the lesson that man's success in life Is not meas ured by what he does for himself, hut rather by what he does for humanity. "In thoBe matters In which the permanent wealth of nations Is con cerned. In the long future of mental and spiritual development, the name of Harriman," said Dr. Jordan, "find no place. The name of Newcomb In the same connection will stand In 'arger letters among those who by life and Influence have made this world a broader and a better one." Continuing, he said: "The name of Rockefeller will not suggest Standard OH or the association of monopolies. The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research represents one of the wisest and most far-reaching uses to which any man's money can ever be pst."