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Our Note Book.

THE GREATEST WOMAN. Some time ago two hundred women belonging to an association were asked the question, “Who is the (greatest woman in history ?’' The question certainly is not a new one — one wonders sometimes how many centuries old it really is and the answers included names of women whose commanding intellect, personal charm, or self-sacrificing labours for humanity had made them famous the world over. Yet the prize answer held the name of none of these. This is the way it read ; “The wife of the. man of moderate means, v. ho does her own cooking, washing, and ironing, brings up a large family of boys and girls to be useful members of society, and finds time for her own intellectual and moral improvement, is the greatest woman in all our history.’’—Western Daily Mercury. HAIRDRESSING IN FIJI. 'Hairdressing in Fiji seems to bo chiefly confined to the men. The women, being allowed the privilege of tattooing themselves in odd places, are more or less willing to leave the length and beauty of tresses to men. The chiefs of rank spend as much time in the barber’s hands as a highborn lady of London in those of her coiffeur. For many 'hours at a time he sits patiently undergoing tne process of building up. It might bo thought that once a chief’s hair is done up it might be let alone for a week or two. So it is as a matter of fact. So long as it remains perfectly symmetrical, well and good, but if it should get wet or pulled awry, it means hours of anxious toil to make the poor man presentable again. It may easily be seen that were a Fijian to sleep on an ordinary pillow he would arise next day with his head sadly out of order. To

obviate this he makes use of a wooden pillow, on which he rests !the nape of his neck only. In this way the hair is untouched. —% — WILL-O’-THE-WISP. We thought everybody know the cause of the Will o’ the Wisp, but it seems that we have been mistaken, and a correspondent of an exchange recently asked for information, and was answered thus :—“The W’ill o’ the Wisp’’ usually appears in marshy places or in graveyards. It is believed to be the spontaneous combustion of phosphuretted hydrogen from decomposing organic matter, and it issues from the soil as a longflame, while on water it inflames at the surface with the production of long wreaths of phosphoric anhydride. It can be produced artificially by throwing calcium phosphide into I the water or burying it in moist soil. A scientific Frenchman, Dr. A. Bleun'ard, reports some remarkable observations of the will o’ the wisp at CToisie, a seaport of France, 'during last August- and September, the lights having been visible every evening over a considerable area of water. The bubbles of ga-S' wore very large in August, during the season of thunderstorms, but became smaller and smaller as the. temperature fell, until the phenomenon ceased about September 20th. The bubbles were mostly confined to two basins that contained no mud, but were receptacles of much fish refuse. As- --such organic matter as the brain of a sheep failed to produce phosphuretted hydrogen when decaying under water, the conclusion is reached that the waters of the port of Croisic must contain certain rare ferments, hitherto unknown, and existing- only under special conditions. which decompose organic substances rich in phosphorus in a manner to set free phosphorut ted hydrogen. CHAIN-MAKING M A CHINE. Lelotng, a Belgian inventor, has devised what is said to be the first successful apparatus with which, by the use of tout one furnace and one machine, a continuous chain may be made and completely finished. The iron is fed into'the machine in the sgiape of straight rods, and comes out -a complete chain. Chains of any size may thus be made, from the smallest “tackles” up to the huge chains' used in the Navy. —■», — SHARKS USEFUL. The waters near the Pacific atolls team with sharks, and fishing for them has brought- out a considerable fleet- of vessels within the last thirty or forty years. The enormous livers and the fins and tails are the only parts of the creatures specially Sought, although the skins arc now saved, as they are now made soft and pliable by a new Gorman process. The liver oil is useful as a lubricant- and for medicinal purposes', and the tails and fins, the latter worth from £l5O to £250 per ton at Sydney, arc prized by the Chinese for soups and many other purposes.

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Our Note Book., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 23 February 1907

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Our Note Book. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 50, 23 February 1907

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