WOMAN'S PAGE

Matter of Fact

HENRY ASHBERY March 1 1942
WOMAN'S PAGE

Matter of Fact

HENRY ASHBERY March 1 1942

Matter of Fact

HENRY ASHBERY

In ancient times the maps of Great Britain and Ireland were few, lacking in accuracy and devoid of detail. Ptolemy, who flourished as King of Egypt around A.D. 140, was responsible for the first map incorporating what we now know as the British Isles. And it was not until over one thousand years had passed that Matthew Paris of St. Albans set about the task of bringing this early cartographic effort more up to date. Today the demands for such purposes as A.R.P., regional planning, tithes, coal mine registration and the like, added to those of the Defense Services and the private purchaser, account for a total output of 17,400,000 maps per year.

A baboon of South Africa, when begging for food or courting favor, emits a succession of “C” clicks with the tip of his tongue. When enraged or frightened he lets out a quick succession of “X” clicks, which are percussive sounds made by the back of the tongue and the palate. The Bushman of Bechuanaland and the Bantu when angered will emit the same “X” click; and express pity or sorrow in a succession of “C” clicks, precisely similar to those of the baboon.

There are a few places in the world which very few Europeans have seen —Mecca and Medina and Llasa are still closed—hut these are cities and their gates are closed for religious reasons. Nepal is the only country

whose whole frontier has always been inviolate, not only for religious reasons, but chiefly because the Nepalese people are immune to foreign influence and their natural barriers provide the means to keep foreigners out. The sacred Valley of Kathmandu and the mountain track leading up to it for seventy miles from the Indian frontier is the only part of Nepal which is at ail known to the world, but not more than three score Englishmen and a dozen other Europeans have ever been there. The rest of the kingdom is as unknown as it was in 250 B.C.

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The most striking single example of jungle pharmaceutical manufacture is curare,—the flying death. Curare is the mysterious, extremely lethal arrow poison employed mainly by the blowgun users living east of the northwestern Andes. Although it is manufactured in the most primitive way, modern research has been hard put to it to find a successful antidote to its death-dealing qualities, in spite of the fact that curare is now being employed by modern medicine in the treatment of paralysis and other dreadful diseases.

Electric light burns continually in some of the houses in Ushuaia, the world’s most southern town, near Cape Horn. Electricity is paid for in a most unusual way, there being a fixed charge for each bulb in the house.