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Sensible Natives. —The Clerk read a letter to the House of Representatives on Friday last, from Wi Parata, and other Maoris, protesting against the waste of time that was being caused by the fight that was going on between those members who were trying to get into office. Day of Universal Prayer. —The day of united prayer for Sunday schools throughout the world has been fixed for Monday, the 20th inst. Wakefield the Great. —Mr Wakefield, M.H.R., has no reverence for the Member for Akoroa. In a telling speech which he made on Friday, he said he would not “waste powder and shot on such small beer as the hon. member for Akaroa.”

The Pastoral Interests. —A Gazette published on October Bth, contains the returns showing the number of sheep depasturing on runs and farms in the colony. The information is very voluminous but not particularly readable. In the Otago list of sheepowners we remark that there are no less than 83 Mac-Something-or-others, showing that the Scotch element is still dominant there. Mr R. P. Bayly, Chief Inspector, in alluding to the rabbit nuisance mentions that on one run no less than 30 men and (500 dogs were employed in the destruction of the bunnies, and also expresses an opinion that by the time the leases of the tracts expired, they would be valueless, unless some means are devised to check the evil. Our readers, however, are aware that the new means of destroying the rabbits has been so successful, it is quite possible that before Mr Bayly s next report is on paper there will be scarcely a pair of bunnies left to connect between the congregation of the slain and the small number of rabbits that “ shots would like to see existent in the colony for the sake of sport.

Solidification by Pressure. —A German engineer, M. Sprinz, has been engaged in conducting some interesting experiments on a small scale, on tbo extent to which various powders may be solidified by the action of powerful pressure. For this purpose he made use of a prism of steel, pierced with a hole in the direction of its axis ; this hole was filled with the powdered substance rammed down tightly with a piston, and these were then subjected to a pressure of about 20,000 atmospheres by means of a powerful vice. Under this treatment saltpetre and nitre powders yield perfectly homogeneous transparent blocks, like porcelain, harder, arid more resistant than if they had been obtained by fusion. Sawdust, under similar pressure, yielded a substance considerably harder than the wood it originally formed part of, but the texture of the new material was far from uniform. In the direction of the pressure the blocks exhibited great resisting power, but at right angles to that direction they broke very readily. Lime-dust and the dust of a common grindstone gave no result at all when treated dry, but limedust that had been slightly damped became so compact and hard that it was almost impossible to remove the blocks jtonnea from

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Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, 16 October 1879

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Ashburton Guardian Volume I, 16 October 1879

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