Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/153

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143
NOTES.

and glaucous underneath." The white or silver maple is also named as a tree producing effects nearly similar.




NOTES.

Professor Angelo Heilprin has described, in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, a species of cat-fish from Lake Okeechobee, Florida, which differs in several well-marked characters from other described North American species. It is most nearly related to the cat-fish of the lakes, and greatly resembles it. The largest specimen caught was about twenty inches long. The name Ictalurus Okeechobensis is proposed for it.

Dr. Daniel Wilson, of University College, Toronto, said in a paper read before the Royal Society of Canada, that he had concluded, after long research and discussion, that left-handedness is due to an exceptional development of the right hemisphere of the brain. Being left-handed himself, he hopes that when he is dead his own brain may be examined for the help it may give in settling this question.

Mr. J. H. Kerry Nichols, who is well acquainted with the ground, supposes that the volcanic outbreak of June, 1886, in New Zealand, was caused by the subsidence of the crust and the sinter accumulated upon it into the vast caverns which had been excavated beneath by the solvent action of the water that brought the deposits to the top. The whole being in a superheated condition and favorable to strong chemical action, a vast explosion was the immediate result.

Dr. Klein recently exhibited to the Royal Society under the microscope, in illustration of a paper on the etiology of scarlet fever, gelatine cultivations of the Micrococcus scarlatina, an organism which has been proved to be present in a certain disease of the cow and in human scarlatina.

The programme of the coming exposition at Ekaterinburg, Russia, promises a very interesting representation of the productions and life of Siberia and the Ural. We are informed that the best time to visit the exhibition will be during July and the first half of August. A special committee will attend at the railway-station to receive visitors and give them such information as will make their expenses as light as possible.

Mr. W. A. Carter, in a recent lecture on "Marine and Fresh-Water Fishes," said that fish have the power of influencing one another by sounds and action. He had observed a shoal of carp following the lead of a single one which conducted them to a quantity of food at a considerable distance away. He had also noticed that certain freshwater fish, such as trout, were subservient to a ruler, which might be seen swimming at, the head of his tribe. The same was possibly the case with some marine forms, like the herring and bass.

A new and complete edition of the works of Galileo is to be published, in twenty quarto volumes of five hundred pages each, at the expense of the Italian Government.

The sectional presidents of the Manchester meeting of the British Association, to be held August 31st, will be: Section A, Mathematics and Physics, Sir Robert S. Ball; B, Chemistry, Dr. Edward Schunk; C, Geology, Dr. Henry Woodward; D, Biology, Professor A. Newton; E, Geography, General Sir Charles Warren; F, Economic Science, Dr. Robert Giffen; G, Chemical Science, Professor Osborne Reynolds. The President of the Anthropological Section has not been designated. Professor H. B. Dixon will deliver a public lecture on "The Rate of Explosions in Gases." The lecture to the working-classes will be given by Professor George Forbes.

The stories, once so current, that seeds taken from ancient Egyptian tombs have grown, are believed, if not demonstrably false, to lack the guarantees of truth that tales of the kind should require; and nothing as to the vitality of seeds can be built upon them. But Dr. Lindley tells of raspberries that were raised in the gardens of the Horticultural Society from seed taken from the stomach of a man who was buried in a barrow near the time of the Emperor Hadrian; and Professor Duchartre and others tell of seeds, whose identity is properly vouched for, taken from under the foundations of an old house in Paris, probably from the original soil of the island, and therefore coeval with the city, which germinated and proved to be seeds of Juncus bufonius, an indigenous plant of that soil.

In dealing with a cellar in springy ground, the first thing to be done to make it dry, says "The Sanitary Engineer," is to provide some chance for the water to run away before getting into the cellar. This may be done by laying a two-inch tile drain-pipe in a trench dug all around the foundation outside of the walls, and from one foot to two feet below the cellar floor. Put this pipe together without mortar, and cover it with cobble-stones to keep out the dirt and sand. If it is not practicable to lay the drain out-side, it may be laid inside of the cellar-walls, directly in the cellar-floor; but the operation of such a drain is less efficient. The back-filling of the cellar-walls should be porous enough to allow the water to go directly into the drain.