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Curious Things

1. To apparently burn water, fill a glass lamp with
water, and put into it for a wick a piece of Gum Camphor. The lamp
should not be quite full, and the camphor may be left to float upon the
surface of the water. On touching a lighted match to the Camphor, up
shoots a clear, steady flame, and seems to sink below the surface of
the water, so that the flame is surrounded by the liquid. It will burn
a long time. If the Camphor be ignited in a large dish of water it will
commonly float about while burning.

2. To change the faces of a group to a livid, deathly whiteness, and to
destroy colors, wet a half teacupful of common salt in Alcohol and burn
it on a plate in a dark room. Let the salt soak a few minutes before
igniting. The flame will deaden the brightest colors in the room, and
the dresses of the company will seem to be changed. Let each one put
his face behind the flame, and it will present a most ghastly spectacle
to those who stand before it. This is serviceable in tableau where
terror of death is to be represented. The change wrought by the flame,
when the materials are properly prepared, is very surprising.

3. Wet a piece of thick wrapping paper, then dry near the stove. While
dry, lay it down upon a varnished table or dry woolen cloth, and rub it
briskly with a piece of India rubber. It will soon become electrified,
and if tossed against the wall or the looking glass will stick some
time. Tear tissue-paper into bits, one-eighth of an inch square, and
this piece of electrified paper will draw them. Or take a tea-tray and
put it on three tumblers. Lay the electric paper on it, and on touching
the tray you will get a little spark. Let the paper lay on the tray,
and on touching the tray again you will get another spark, but of the
opposite kind of electricity. Replace the paper and you will get
another, and so on.

4. To produce a spectrum, burn magnesium wire in a dark room, and as
soon as the flame is extinguished, let each one try to look into the
other's faces. The spectrum of the extinguished light is clearly seen.

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