A Vessel Broken in Two THE accompanying photograph shows the wreck of the steamship “'Santa Rosa,” belonging to the Pacific Coast Steamship Company, of San Francisco. For some years past, the “Santa Rosa” has been plying between San Francisco and San Diego, on the coast of Southern California. While on a voyage to the latter port, the vessel veered from her usual course, during heavy weather, and very early on the morning of July 7th, she piled up on the rocks of Point Ar-<uella, near Santa Barbara. At the time, the steamship carried about 200 passengers, and a heavy and valuable cargo. Four vessels very soon came to the rescue of the “Santa Rosa,” and strenuous efforts were made to pull her off of the reef. Hawsers were hitched to the stern of the steamer, and the four vessels began tugging away. A heavy sea was running and the rocks on which the vessel was lodged, were very ragged and sharp. Between the rocks and the angry sea, the “Santa Rosa” broke about amid-ship, but still hung together. However, the enormous strain of the four tugging vessels, was so great, that the steamship was literally pulled in twain-just as she appears in the photograph-making a very odd-looking wreck-one of the most p8culiar ever seen on the Pacific Coast. Both stranded steamer and the cargo proved a total loss. Devastation upon the Railroad Caused by the Breaking of the Austin Dam THE accompanying photograph gives an excellent idea of the tremendous power in a stream of water that is suddenly released, as was the case when the dam broke at Austin, Pa. recently. In the path of the onrushing water were located the yards and railway shops. One would scarcely believe that so substantial and heavy a piece of machinery as a freight locomotive could be completely demolished by the water, yet the photograph shows two of these engines almost as badly damaged as they would have been in a collision or by the bursting of their boilers. In the foreground appears the truck of a freight car. The car itself was undoubtedly carried far down stream with the onrushing current. The tracks of the railroad were twisted and bent, in one instance even into a complete circle. An Automobile Scissors Grinder A N ingenious French mechanic is shown at work in the accompanying illustration, sharpening a pair of shears. With a small gasoline motor three wheels, a pair of springs, etc., he has built himself a novel tricar with which he can quickly go from place to place and drum up trade. A similar vehicle can be seen about the streets of New York, but the American scissors grinder has only progressed to the point of using a gasoline motor to run his grindstone, both the latter and the motor being mounted in a horse-drawn wagon. The Frenchman has the advantage of not having a horse to feed, and as long as he is a mechanic, he has no difficulty in keeping his novel tricar in repair. Veterinary Use of X-Ray Photography F OR several years Roentgen-rays have been used successfully by the medical profession as a means of determining the nature of a broken bone, thus facilitating the setting of it and the location of foreign bodies such as bullets in the human body. But, never before to our immediate knowledge has this branch of science been used to aid the veterinarian in the examination of a horse. The owner of a stock farm, near Lexington, Kentucky, has a very vaJuabJe young horse which was injured ahout three inches above the pastern on the left hind leg. The surgeon in charge thought that probably a nail or other foreign body was broken off in the injured part. The horse was brought to Prof. M. L. Pence, of the State University of Kansas. Wires from the coil were passed out of the window of the Physics Building and connected to the Roentgen-ray tube which was held in a clamp stand. The horse's right hind leg was held up as if being shod, while the tube was placed about sixteen. inches from the part to be photographed. The sensitized plate was held as near the leg as possible on the opposite side from the tube and the exposure made. Two such exposures of different lengths were made, the one of ten seconds giving excellent results. A Roentgen-ray picture of the hand may be made with this coil by an exposure of two or three seconds. With a coil requiring several minutes to make an exposure, it would in all probahility be difficult to get a horse to refrain from moving long enough to obtain the exposure. The interrupterless coil used is an extraordinarily fine one of German make, this being the first university in the United States to have one of this type. It is admirably suited for many other experiments in the physical laboratory. The Exploration of the Brahmaputra I N his presidential address before the Royal Geographical Society last May, Major Leonard Darwin named three fields in which the explorer may yet hope to win renown by robbing the unknown of its romance-the South Pole, the interior of Arabia, and the bend of the Brahmaputra. The reasons why the si;ge of the South Pole has been so painfully protracted are sufficiently obvious; a glance at the map of Arabia shows a blank space of formidable dimensions, which, even if the country were less inhospitable and its inhabitants less hostile, might keep explorers busy for many a year; but the unknown stretch of the Brahmaputra, just north of the British frontier in Tibet, is so insignificant in extent that only the largest-scale maps of the present day distinguish it with dotted lines. The length of this portion, to which no European and no native surveyor under the Indian government has yet been able to gain access, is actually much less than one hundred miles. Much of the surrounding country has been explored, and the general trend of the land is so well known that the identity of the Brahmaputra of Assam with the Tsangpo of Tibet is absolutely unquestionable. Yet even the attempts to obtain direct evidence of their identity hy floating marked logs from the upper river, have hitherto proved unsuccessfuL There are two reasons why the many ef9rts heretofore made to unlock the mystery of the river have failed; first the extraordinary roughness of the country, and second the savage hostility of the Abors, the tribe through whose country the river runs. It is known that there is an enormous difference of level between the two known portions of the river. In a stretch of 130 miles the fall amounts to 10,000 feet; hence the descriptions emanating from Tibetan sources of stupendous gorges, falls, and rapids are q'uite credible. The savage character of the natives was manifested a few months ago, when the latest attempt to ascend the river resulted in the massacre of Mr. Noel Williamson, assistant political officer at Sadiya, his companion, Dr. Gregorson, and a party of 200 men.
This article was originally published with the title "Curiosities of Science and Invention"