A little chemical compound named "zorene," discovered by a Hungarian chemist, is said to possess very remarkable properties. A piece of friable slag, after immersion in it, defied the blow of a heavy hammer. Immersing substances in the compound seems to render them impervious to water, as shown by tests, in which no additional weight was observed after long soaking in water. Two pieces of steel, one of which had been soaked in the liquid, were submitted to an ammonia test equal to an exposure of five years in the air. The soaked specimen showed no effects from the ammonia, while the other was badly corroded. If these statements prove true the discovery should have considerable commercial value.
A way has been devised of extracting from coal tar many of the rapid developers so widely used by photographers, says the " Mining World". Besides these, there have also been discovered the perfumes just as fragrant as the natural odors of flowers, from which, indeed, they cannot be distinguished by smell. The host of artificial flavors from the same source, has almost completely displaced the natural products. True fruit flavors are rarely employed nowadays, wittingly or unwittingly. Their place is taken by coal-tar derivatives which are exactly the same in taste and chemical composition. Among the more remarkable of these is saccharin, sweeter than sugar by several hundred times and quite indispensable in the treatment of certain diseases which are caused by an excess of sugar in the system.
Consul-General Ragsdale writes from Tientsin that the Chinese Government has arranged to establish several stations throughout China for experiment with Marconi's system of wireless telegraphy and instruct Chinese operators in working the same. The apparatus has been installed on four Chinese men-of- war at Shanghai and at the three North China cities of Tientsin, Peking, and Paotingfu, the radius of action being about 150 miles and the cost about $15,000. An Ital-ial officer has been appointed, not only instructor, but also as an engineer to superintend the installation,' and under whom a number of students have already been detailed to act as operators and learn the art of management. It is also said that the viceroys throughout the Empire have been directed to consider the advisability of establishing other stations to work in conjunction with those above mentioned.
The property of dissolving metallic oxides makes it useful in soldering and brazing metals, as it cleans the surfaces to be joined so that the solder runs and fills the joint between them. In welding metals it is used as a flux.
The use of acetylene gas as an illuminant in Germany has not come up to expectations, and the latest use they have put it to is as an explosive material. The mixture is confined in a chamber and ignited by means of an electric spark. It can be used in blasting and it is said that the rock is not thrown out, but rent with innumerable cracks, so that it can be easily removed afterwards. About 1.7 ounces of carbide, which produce about 16 quarts of acetylene gas, is used for each cartridge.
A choice case of the newspaper bull in the technical china shop is the following quoted from an Indiana paper: " The power house will be a place of miracles to the lay mind, which may then watch electricity sucked from the air at 370 volts and multiplied to 33,-600 volts by processes which electricians know as phenomena and not as science. The reason why is apparently beyond mortal ken, but the results satisfy commercial purposes, and the tendency of the great mass is ' to let it go at that.' The transformer that by the power that is called 'induction' for lack of a better name, will step up the number of volts, will be inclosed in oil, and the apartment walled in will have doors so that if it gets out of repair it can be easily and safely handled. It will be dangerous to approach it within six feet, and it will be controlled at a safe distance by those in charge."
A good cement for making tight joints in pumps, pipes, etc., can be made of a mixture of 15 parts of slaked lime, 30 parts of graphite and 40 of barium sulphate. The ingredients are powdered, well mixed together, and stirred up with 15 parts of boiled oil. A stiffer preparation can be made by increasing the proportions of graphite and barium sulphate to 30 or 40 parts respectively and omitting the lime.
Another cement for the same purpose consists of 15 parts of Chalk and 50 parts of graphite, ground, washed and regrouud to fine powder. To this mixture is added 20 parts of ground litharge, and the whole mixed to a stiff paste with about 15 parts of boiled oil. This last preparation possesses the advantage of remaining plastic for a long time when stored in a cool place. Finally, a good and simple mixture for tightening screw connections is made from powdered shellac dissolved in 10 per cent ammonia. The mucinous mass is painted over the screw threads, after the latter have been thoroughly cleaned and the fitting is screwed home. The ammonia soon volatilizes, leaving behind a mass which hardens quickly, makes a tight joint, and is impervious to hot and cold water.