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Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 422
Volume 17, New Series, January 31, 1852

written by "Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871"
...in our organs and that of the ambient air, whatever be the way in which the rupture is produced.' And, to close these physiological matters, M. Chuart begs the Académie to include among their premiums for rendering arts or trades less insalubrious, one for 'different inventions designed to diminish the frequency of accidents which take place in coal-mines from explosions of gas.' How much such inventions are needed, recent events in our own coal districts but too painfully demonstrate. Our Meteorological Society may perhaps take a hint from M. Liais's suggestion as to the 'possibility of applying photography to determine the height of clouds, and to the observation of shooting-stars;' and M.F. Cailliaud, director of the museum at Nantes, says something not uninteresting to naturalists—namely, that the statements commonly made, that all molluscous animals perforate stone by means of an acid, is not the fact with regard to Pholades and Tarets. He observes, that although a workman would be amazed on hearing a proposition to pierce calcareous stone with the shell of a Pholas, yet he himself has done it, and holds the success to be a proof that the animal can do the same. The idea of the acid might be accepted, while it was proved that the creatures were to be found only in limestone; but now that he has sent to the Académie specimens of gneiss and mica schist, containing pholades, on which the acid has no effect, he conceives that they must have entered by boring. They have also been found in porphyry—a fact of which Brongniart said, many years ago, that nature had concealed the explanation, and we must wait for a solution. Whether M. Cailliaud's solution be the true one or not, is a point that will soon be verified or disproved by geologists and naturalists, who are never better pleased than when an inquiry, which may lead to new views of nature, opens before them. That the age of great books is not past, is pr...

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