Miscellaneous Abstracts

Miscellaneous Abstracts


A Curious Plant

Student botanist take a great interest in the well-known wild flower, Jack-in-the-Pulpit (of the arum family) because of its peculiar power of changing its sex every year or so. By nature practically all Jacks are male plants during the first three or four years of their life while food is being stored up—then it becomes a female. After the store of food is gone it reverses the process. This transformation may be hastened by applying fertilizer and water to the male plant or removing some of the roots or leaves of the female. This beautiful and interesting flower may be found in most of the eastern United States where it is also known as Indian Turnip and Brown Dragon.—Pathfinder.

Strength From Sugar

One-seventh of the food energy sustaining the average American comes from sugar, and one seventh of the sugar comes from the territory of Hawaii.

Peas and Vitamins

In regard to recent statement that vitamin content of vegetables depends on variety, maturity, etc., chemists of the New York experiment station say that is especially so in regard to vitamin C content in peas. As a whole, small peas are found to be richer in this vitamin than large-seeded varieties while earlier varieties contain more than the later sorts.—Pathfinder.

Cocoa Bean Culture

Chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter are taken for granted, but the growing marketing and processing of cocoa beans is pretty serious business. Cocoa beans are native to the Western Hemisphere, are essentially a tropical tree, will not flourish where temperatures drop below 60 F., nor at altitudes more than 1,800 feet above sea level. Thus a 2.000-mile-wide belt at the equator is their field. The Gold Coast colony of West Africa in 1935 exported 273,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, about 40 percent of the world’s annual production. Cocoa trees yield two pounds each, 600 pound to the acre. The world market, once controlled in London, has increasingly centered in the New York Cocoa exchange since 1925. Daily fluctuations of the market range from one-hundredth of a cent up to 1 cent on lots of 30,000.

Standards of Living

A news item buries within the columns of the paper says that the United States has 16,868,955 telephones or slightly more than 50 percent of the 33,539,890 telephones in use in the world.

Europe, it said, has 12,028,756 or 36 percent of the total.

While the news note, itself, is not an important item, as news items are rated, behind the few lines of type is a sermon of deep import.

The telephone is a luxury as well as a necessity. To say that the United States has more than 50 percent of all the stations in the world, means that the general average of living in the United States is far above that of all the other countries in the world.

The same is true of the radio, the automobile, the market basket, and many other standards by which a nation’s standard of living are measured.

Yet there is a class of people who would change this high standard of living which predominates in America for that of some other –ism or –asm which rules a foreign country.

Personality, New Factor in Selection of Medical Students

Physiological and clinical study  will determine the future of surgery, Dr. Gatewood, professor of surgery at Rush Medical school, Chicago, recently stated.

“Experimental observations by physiologists have changed surgery from an anatomical stage to its present improved position, where accurate knowledge of living phenomena is applied,” he said.

The caliber of persons who practice medicine also is instrumental in the betterment and advancement of the profession, he told 150 surgeons at the dinner.

“Educators in medical schools are seeking to devise a method by which to select more capable student,” he said, “a method that will select a student not only for his technical ability but also for his personality.”

This same personality sought in students by medical teachers marks the difference between technical and true greatness, he contended.