Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/736

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718
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ing of the mysterious pellicle referred to. Within a quarter of a second after the formation of the rods (which are of uniform thickness, however much they may vary in length), we observe a general commotion among them. Each now appears to act as a separate bar-magnet, and while some unite at right angles, others range themselves in close contact side by side, and form a symmetrical wall. Layer is piled on layer; each little rod falls mechanically into its proper place; and before we have time to realize the strangeness of the spectacle, the field is studded with little cubes of exquisite brilliancy. What we have seen here in an evaporating drop of chloride of sodium may be observed in any other saline substance which we allow to crystallize under the microscope, with the sole difference that the diameter of the globules and the form of the ultimate crystals vary according to the nature of the substances employed.


The Genuineness of the "Nampa Image." — The Boston Society of Natural History had a discussion a few months ago respecting the "Nampa image," or the little human figure of clay that was found in boring a well at Nampa, Idaho, in August, 1889. Prof. Wright produced letters and statements substantiating the genuineness of the discovery and certifying to the eye-witnesses of the fact as men of unimpeachable intelligence and integrity. A report by Mr. Albert Allen Wright, on his examination of the image as to the material of which it is made and its appearance, stated conclusions favorable to its antiquity. Prof. G. F. Wright regarded the direct evidence as of as high order as could well be obtained. "There was no sensational publication in the papers, nor has there been any suggestion of mercenary motives. There were no archaeologists or scientific men on the ground to be humbugged. Apparently the image would have disappeared and dropped out of notice but for the fortunate chance which brought it to the attention of Mr. Adams, when his own mind was interested in that class of subjects. The evidence is most direct as to the impossibility of the image's having fallen into the well from the surface, or of its having been put in by design." Much weight is also attached to Prof. F. F. Jewett's opinion as to the character of the iron oxide on the image. "It seems in the highest degree improbable," Prof. Wright adds, "that any one should have manufactured such an object on the spot, and been so successful in meeting all the conditions present. I am, therefore, prepared to accept without further question the genuineness of the image, and shall look for further confirmation as time elapses." Prof. Putnam spoke of natural evidences which the image afforded of its age. Prof. H. W. Haynes said that he regarded the image as a most important evidence of the antiquity of man in America.




NOTES.

Prof. J. W. Spencer has extended the observations of Mr. G. K. Gilbert on the old beach surrounding Lake Ontario at a distance of several miles from the shore of the present lake. He has traced it along the Canadian side, and at the eastern end, where Mr. Gilbert had not been. For the ancient body of water that occupied the basin bounded by this beach, he proposes the name Lake Iroquois. The gravel ridges forming the several portions of this beach were used by the Indians for their trails, as they afforded dry pathways through a country elsewhere often muddy. The fact that some parts of this beach are higher than others is explained by the warping of the crust since the beach was formed.

It is contended by Mr. Alexander Bowbronicki that an unhealthy town has no other meaning than a proportionate accumulation of decaying or putrescible matter. Thus, in Manchester, England, the causes of mischief are overcrowded streets, badly kept; surface impurities in streets, yards, and corners; and sewers of such construction as admits of their structure becoming sodden and of their charging the surrounding subsoil with filth, whereby the atmosphere is contaminated by the escape of the foul air through the ventilating holes. The author believes that sewers are to protect the subsoil against contamination from the surface and to maintain as steadily as possible the level of the subsoil water, rather than to remove superficial and closet foulness; and that that should be disposed of by the pail system.

A complete account of Prjevalski's zoölogical observations and discoveries during his expeditions to central Asia is in course of publication in Russian and German text, at the expense of the Imperial Crown Prince Nicholas of Russia.