The very low cost of rubber stamps. and their great convenience, have made them, of late years, almost as common about a business office as pens, ink and paper. The illustrations herewith represent an improvement lately introduced whereby the rubber stamp is made more valuable by being better adapted to print plainly on uneven surfaces. It is a patented device of the R. H. Smith Manufacturing Company, of Springfield, Mass., rubber typefounders and 4 A stamp manufacturers, and con- sists of the interposition of an air cU8hion, as shown in the illustration, the cushion being just elastic enough to insure, with ordinary usage, a good impression on any surface, either rs. k uneven or yielding. The \ cushions will not lose shape or I resiliency, as they are formed by minute cells which do not connect with one another, and the cushion is mounted on handsomely nickeled metal plates. There are no pores to fill up with ink and dirt, or compartments to puncture. Remedy for Insect Stings. It is well known that liquid ammonia relieves the effects of the stings of bees. A correspondent informs us that a much more effectual antidote is the mixture known as ammoniated tincture of quinine. On several occasions, when stung by bees, he found that the quinine mixture would give much quicker and greater relief than ammonia alone. Delltistry In Japan. In a recent letter from Japan to the New York Herald, Colonel Cockerill has this to say about the profession of dentistry in Japan : A practicing dentist in New York City writes me to inquire whether it be true that the Japanese government is about to establish a school of practical dentistry, and is in need of American talent in tue professorships. Not at all. Japan is full of dentistry, and the native dentists are flourishing. There is a dental department connected with the medical branch of the Tokyo Imperial University. There are fifty-six practicing dentists in Tokyo, and each office has from four to twelve students. These young men assist at all operations. One works the drill, another handles the syringe, another passes up the gold foil, and the division of labor is quite scientific. Many of the Japanese denti"ts are graduates of first-class American colleges. They are quite skillful. The Japanese are quite fond of having their front teeth filled with gold. They frequently have holes bored in good teeth in order to have them plugged and polished. They think that the exhibit of gold fillings in front teeth suggests advanced civilization. San Francisco turns out about one hundred young Japanese dentists a year (?) There is a factory in Tokyo which turns out all manner of dental instruments and dental goods, including engines and porcelain teeth. There are four American dentists in Japan, but their business has been much shorn by the rapidly multiplying natiye artists. Asafetida. This is a bad-smelling substance, oozing as a milky, opaque, fetid juice from the root of Ferula fetida. From the root stock, which in full-grown plants is sometimes six inches in diameter and more than a foot long. somewhat resembling a beet, grow numerous spreading triparted leaves of a leathery appearance and light green color. Out of their midst rises a stem of a luxuriant, herbaceous nature, sometimes as high as ten feet, carrying at the top anumerously branched compound umbel of yellow flowers, which betrays the natural order of the plantUmbelliferae. Although the odor is so offensive to UR, we are told that the people of Bokhara use the small plant as a green vegetable as we do lettuce, and relish it. The root stock. which alwo,ys protl'Udes several inches out of the ground, is freed from small rootlets and leaves in the month of June, selecting the plant8 that have not yet borne flowers, and a slice of it is cut off. The wound is then covered loosely with twigs and leaves, to ex clude t.he sunlight, which retards the process ; and it is left this way for a few weeks, at which time a thick reddish or brownish gummy substance is found on the exposed part. This eXUdation, a hardened suppuration of a vegetable wound, is removed, put into leather bags and taken to Herat, the commercial center of Afghanistan. It is stated, on good authority, that hardly any asafetida leaves that city in a pure state. a red clay being used as an adulterant, which the pharmacists of Europe and America have to filtev out when making the tincture. From Herat the asafetida goes to India, and is thence brought by the Parsee and British traders into the markets of the world. The rose of Kashmir grows in the same ground with the Ferula fetic1 a; they drink the same dew, feed on the same soil, and the same golden sun ripens their fruits. But while the one fills the air with fragrance and enchants the eye, the other, like an evil spirit, destroys our rapture, and calls a chilly halt to our enchantment. Thus the good and the bad live close together, not only among the plants, but also among men; and this close proximity of contrasts directs the differing thoughts of the thinker.Merck's Report. Word to Mall Subscribers. At the end of every year a great many subscriptions to the various Scientific American publicati(ns ex pire. The bills for 1896 for the Scientific American. the Scientific American Supplement, and the Architect's and Builder's Edition of the Scientific American are now being mailed to those whose subscriptions come to an end with the year. Responding promptly to the invitation to relJew saves removing the name from our subscription books, and secures without interruption the reception of the paper by the Sllbscriber. prices. The Scientific American (weekly), one year ...................$3.00 Supplement of the Scientific American (weekly), one year .... 5.00 Architects and Builder'S Edition of the Scientific American (monthly), one year..................................... 2.60 Export Edition of the Scientific American (monthly, in Spanish and English), one year........................ ............. 3.00 COMBINED RATES. The Scientific American and Supplement.................... $7.00 The Scientific American and Architect's and Builder's Edition....................................................... 5.00 The Scientific American, Scientific American Supplement, and Architect's and Builder's Edition......................... 9.00 This includes postage, which we pay. Remit by postal or express money order or check to order of Munn & Company, 361 Hroadway, New York.