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THE PAPER BOX.





(Various Dissection Puzzles)
It may be interesting to introduce here, though it is not strictly a
puzzle, an ingenious method for making a paper box.
Take a square of stout paper and by successive foldings make all the
creases indicated by the dotted lines in the illustration. Then cut away
the eight little triangular pieces that are shaded, and cut through the
paper along the dark lines. The second illustration shows the box half
folded up, and the reader will have no difficulty in effecting its
completion. Before folding up, the reader might cut out the circular
piece indicated in the diagram, for a purpose I will now explain.
This box will be found to serve excellently for the production of vortex
rings. These rings, which were discussed by Von Helmholtz in 1858, are
most interesting, and the box (with the hole cut out) will produce them
to perfection. Fill the box with tobacco smoke by blowing it gently
through the hole. Now, if you hold it horizontally, and softly tap the
side that is opposite to the hole, an immense number of perfect rings
can be produced from one mouthful of smoke. It is best that there should
be no currents of air in the room. People often do not realise that
these rings are formed in the air when no smoke is used. The smoke only
makes them visible. Now, one of these rings, if properly directed on its
course, will travel across the room and put out the flame of a candle,
and this feat is much more striking if you can manage to do it without
the smoke. Of course, with a little practice, the rings may be blown
from the mouth, but the box produces them in much greater perfection,
and no skill whatever is required. Lord Kelvin propounded the theory
that matter may consist of vortex rings in a fluid that fills all space,
and by a development of the hypothesis he was able to explain chemical
combination.
[Illustration:


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