Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/153

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143
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resources for fuel. A very fine vein of gas has been found by sinking a well within the limits of the city, and several manufacturers have begun boring for it on their premises. Twenty-six wells are now furnishing gas to manufacturers in the Pittsburg district, and new ones are added from time to time. They are estimated to be furnishing a supply of fuel equivalent to from 5,000 to 7,000 tons of coal daily, or from 1,800,000 to 2,500,000 tons a year. The gas makes a nice and even fire in grates and stoves, but objection is made to its use in private houses on account of its freedom from odor, by which the detection of leaks is prevented, and the danger is incurred of the air of the house being fatally poisoned before any, one becomes aware that anything is wrong. Its light is too weak to make it suitable for illuminating purposes. Its advantages over coal lie in the possibility of supplying it at much less expense, and in its entire freedom from soot and smoke—a matter of extreme importance in such a city as Pittsburg.




NOTES.

An " American Electrical Exhibition " will be opened in the Massachusetts Charitable Association Building, Huntington Avenue, Boston, November 24th, and will be continued till January 3, 1885. It is intended to make the exhibition complete and comprehensive in every particular, and to exceed in novelty any that has ever been held in New England. The rooms will be open for the reception of exhibits from November 5th to November 19th. Applications for space must be made by November 1st. Communications should be addressed to " American Electrical Exhibition, Post Office Box 1130, Boston, Massachusetts."

Mr. D. H. Talbot describes, in the "American Naturalist," a specimen of the ground squirrel in a state of hibernation which he had an opportunity of observing. It was rolled up in a perfect ball, with its head resting forward of the root of the tail, and the tail curled carefully up on the body. It was resting in a perfectly closed ball of hay twelve or fourteen inches in diameter in the center of a hay-stack. It was evidently alive and healthy when found, though quite dormant, but either in consequence of having been inconsiderately exposed unwrapped to extreme cold by the finder, or of some change that took place while it was in Mr. Talbot's keeping, it grew limp, suffered hæmorrhage, and died.

A Correspondent calls attention to a clerical error—a genuine case of what Richard Grant White would call heterophemy—that escaped notice in the proofreading, by which we were made, in the September number, in recording the death of Henry Watts, to say that he had been a " demonstrator of anatomy " in University College, London. " Director in the laboratory " was what it should have been, and what was intended.

Mr. W. H. Preece stated in the British Association that he had been fairly successful in telephoning through the cable between Dublin and Holyhead, a distance of sixty miles. Accurately heard conversation, however, could not be carried on through cables beyond a distance of twenty-five miles; and it seemed at present impracticable to use underground wires in cities for distances of more than twelve miles. On overground wires he had no difficulty, with an arrangement of double lines, in speaking through two hundred and forty miles.

Professor Claypole read a paper, before the Geological Section of the British Association, on the crumpling of the earth's crust as shown by a sixty-five mile section across Huntingdon, Juniata, and Perry Counties, Pennsylvania, in which he estimated by mathematical methods that the strata had been shortened, by the foldings they had undergone, from an original length of about one hundred miles. That the contraction had been so great was disputed by some of his hearers, but Professor Claypole held to his conclusions.

The commission, appointed by the French Minister of Public Instruction, to verify the results of M. Pasteur's experiments on the prevention of hydrophobia by inoculation, has pronounced them decisive. The problem whether inoculation of a human being, after he has been bitten, can be relied upon to secure him against contracting the disease, is still under investigation. Time and many subjects will be needed before a rigorously exact solution of it can be reached.

The temperatures of the boiling-points of the liquid forms of certain gases, as determined by Mr. Wroblewski, were given in our September number with the minus-signs undesignedly omitted. Most readers would understand, as of course, that temperatures below zero were intended. For the benefit of those to whom this may not have occurred, we repeat the temperatures: oxygen — 299° Fahr.; atmospheric air — 314° "; nitrogen — 315·5°; carbonic oxide — 314·4°; and we may now add, hydrogen — 351°.

Sir John Lawes and Dr. Gilbert maintained, in a paper before the British Association, that the view which has been held