FLIES.—A German naturalist has described six hundred species of flies, which he has collected within a district of ten miles. Thirty thousand different kinds of insects which prey upon wheat have been collected. This suggests the multitudinous infinitude of the total tribe. EI'FECTS OF LIGHT.—If the objects of the matllrial world had been illuminated only with white light, all nature would have shone with a le,aden hue ; and all the features of the human countenance would have exhibited no other variety but that which they possess in a pencil or a China ink drawing. But He who has exhibited such matchless skill in the organization of material bodies, and such exquisite taste in forms upon which they are modeled, has superadded that ethereal beauty which enhances their more permanent qualities, and presents them to us in the ever-varying colors of the spectrum. The gay coloring with which the Maker has dsclted. the pale marble of nature is not the result of any quality inherent in the colored body, or in the particles by which it may be tinged, but is merely a property of the light in which they happened to be placed. PHYSIOLOGICAL FACTS.—The number of bones in the framework of a human body is 260, 108 of which are in the feet and hands, there being in each 27. The quantity of blood in adults is, on an average about 30 lbs., which passes through the heart once in four minutes. Only one-tenth of the human body is solid matter. A dead body weighing 120 lbs. was dried in the oven till all moisture was expelled, and its weight was reduced to 12 lbs. Egyptian mummies are bodies thoroughly dried ; they usually weigh about 7 lbs. The lungs of an adult ordinarily inhale 40 cubic inches of air at once, and if we breathe twenty times in a minute, the quantity of air consumed in that time will be 800 cubic inches, or 48,000 inches an hour, and I 1,152,000 inches in a day, which is equal to / 86 hogsheads.
Scraps for the Scientific Museum
This article was originally published with the title "Scraps for the Scientific Museum" in Scientific American 13, 42, 334 (June 1858)