The symbol of the two-headed eagle is considered by some heralds to be merely .the result of the heraldic practice of "dimidiation," which crept into English heraldry during the reign of Edward I. Dimidiation was simply a child's way of impaling two coats-of-arms on the same shield by the primitive method of cutting each in half and taking the dexter half of one and the sinister half vof the other and placing them back to back, as it were. Strange two-headed beasts naturally resulted, as, for instance, when a lion and an eagle were halved and joined together, and the griffin is supposed to have been evolved from two lions rampant by dimidiation. It robs the two-headed eagle of half its terrors to know that it owes its origin to this sort of child's play. The gryphon and mock turtle that went out to sea with the whiting are far more serious creations. Dr. Jules Rehns, of Paris, has been carrying out several experiments to ascertain the precise effects of radium burning upon the skin. If the rays of one-sixteen-hundredth part of an ounce of radium bromide are applied no pain is experienced, nor is there any mark left at the time of application, but twenty-four hours later a red mark appears, remains for a fortnight, fades, and leaves behind a scar similar to that of a burn. If the application be continued for ten minutes instead of five, the mark becomes visible in eighteen hours. Ulceration does not occur unless the radium has been applied for at least an hour. If the spot thus caused is treated medically, suppuration may be prevented and the wound cured in six weeks or two months. But if it is not attended to, it gathers, becomes painful, and lasts an indefinite period. Some of these wounds or burns, caused three months ago by one hour's application of radium, still show no signs of healing. Moles can be destroyed by applying the radium for ten minutes. Glass is known to be blackened under the influence of radium rays, the same phenomenon being observed in the case of quartz. The coloration produced by radium will disappear, not only under the influence of heat, but at ordinary temperatures as well. N. Geor-giewski, in a paper recently presented to the Russian Physico-Chemical Society, has investigated by a photometric method the absorption of glasses and of quartz colored by radium rays, as well as its diminution in coloration with time, this diminution being represented by a logarithmic curve. The author describes his experiments made on quartz, mica, gypsum, and other bodies, showing the alteration of the optical properties of these materials, as occurring under the influence of radium rays. Mica, being placed between crossed Nicol prisms, shows an alteration in the chromatic polarization in the portion which formerly was exposed to the action of radium rays, this alteration disappearing as soon as the specimen is heated. Gypsum and fluorspar, while showing the same alterations of the optical properties, are not blackened under the influence of radium rays. In order to show the diffusion of the emanation from radium bromide, a long tube was used, the internal surface of which was coated with a layer of sidoblende (zinc sulphide). On connecting the apparatus with a test tube containing a solution of radium bromide, a luminescence was found to appear and to be propagated throughout the tube. On repeating Ramsay's experiments, Th. Indricson (see paper read before the Russian Physico-Chem. Society) found the yellow helium line not to coincide with the yellow line of the spectrum given by the emanation, but to lie between th two yellow lines of the emanation. If the coil of pipe communicating with the tube was dipped into liquefied air, a strengthening of the lines corresponding to the helium line was noted in the spectrum of the emanation; while between the two yellow lines above referred to, a third line coinciding with the yellow line of helium would appear. The lines of helium do not exist in the spectrum given by the emanation of a freshly-prepared tube, but appear only afterward. On observing the gases set free on the dissolution of radium bromide, it was observed that the helium lines did not appear as long as the spectrum tube preserved its phosphorescence in the dark. After four days, this phosphorescence would disappear, while the lines of helium were noted in the spectrum. A pipe line 280 miles long, built for the purpose of conveying oil from the Kern River district to a shipping point on San Francisco Bay, was recently completed and opened for service, when a very unexpected difficulty was encountered. The oil is so heavy that it moved through the pipe at a sluggish rate of speed, which makes this method of transporting the oil impracticable unless some improvement in the process can be devised. The oil was five days traveling the first thirty-seven miles, when it was decided to abandon the work. Tt has been decided to make the experiment of heating the oil to a point of about 120 degrees, and at the same time the number of pumping stations will be greatly increased.
This article was originally published with the title "Science Notes" in SA Supplements 57, 1484supp, 455 (June 1904)