Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/740

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

averted by a marriage of this kind, when the evil consequences will pass over to the object chosen. In some regions a girl must not marry before her elder sisters, but in parts of southern India the difficulty is overcome by the eldest daughter marrying the branch of a tree. Then the wedding of the younger daughter may be safely celebrated.

Facts well known to boys who are familiar with the woods are reported by Mr. C. Fitzgerald in The Zoölogist. During many winters passed in the backwoods of North America, he has seen squirrels frisking among the trees in the coldest weather. On bright, sunny days especially, they delight in chasing one another from tree to tree among the evergreens, and cover the snow with their tracks. The chipmunks lay up in the autumn a store of provisions of grain, nuts, etc., for winter, and may be seen sunning themselves on bright days. Mr. Fitzgerald has on several occasions come across their hoards, and once saw two large bucketfuls of shelled buckwheat taken from the hollow of an old birch tree.

Fruit-trees are planted along the roadsides of several countries of Europe, but it has not been usual to attach great importance to the value of their products. Recent estimates made in Germany show that this is considerable. The roadside trees of Hanover gave a gross return in 1890 of 270,000 francs, of which 187,000 francs were derived from the fruits. The roadside fruits of the Hildersheim region returned 64,000 francs, and those of Göttingen 41,000 francs; and the district of Reutlingen, according to the Gartenflora, derived 333,000 francs from the sale of these fruits. The trees of the Monheim district, first planted in 1858, yielded 9,500 francs in 1868, 22,000 francs in 1878, and about 36,000 francs in 1888.

Old newspapers are said to make valuable anti-moth wrappers for furs and winter clothing, the ink upon them being nearly as repulsive to all kinds of vermin as camphor or coal-tar paper. They are likewise good to lay on carpets for a like purpose. Being impermeable to air, they also form excellent envelopes for vessels containing ice and fresh liquors.

Garden and Forest tells the story of two famous trees which were saved from destruction, each by the sagacity and liberality of a man who appreciated their value. One is the giant Manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita), of St. Helena, Cal., which a wood-chopper in the employ of the Napa Valley Wood Company had begun to cut down when Dr. C. Hitchcock, passing by, paid two dollars to have it saved. The other is the fine red oak of Dedham, Mass., which Thomas Motley, father of the historian, who owned the adjoining place, paid its owner to have spared. Both of these trees are now owned by men who will preserve them. The names of the men to whom their continued life is due deserve to be remembered.



OBITUARY NOTES.

Our French papers bring news, with no particulars, of the death, January 12th, of M. A. de Quatrefages, the eminent anthropologist, at the age of eighty-two years.

M. Jean Servais Stas, the distinguished Belgian chemist, died at Saint-Gilles, near Brussels, December 13th, after a short illness. He was born at Lou vain in 1813, studied in Paris under Dumas, and, returning to Belgium, became a professor in the Military School. He was afterward Commissioner of Moneys, a member of the Commission of the Observatory, and, after the death of Houzeau, of the Committee of Direction, Belgian representative in the International Committee of Weights and Measures, member of many learned societies at home and abroad, and bearer of many honors. His chemical researches were numerous, and have been much quoted from.

Dr. H. K. H. Hoffmann, Professor of Botany at Giessen, and Director of the Botanic Institute there, died October 27th, in the seventy-third year of his age.

Edouard Mailly, formerly aid at the Royal Observatory of Belgium, died October 8th, in his eighty-second year. He entered the Observatory as a computer in 1832, and occupied himself there with the reductions of the meridional observations. He published in the Annuaire of the Observatory, and in the Academical Collections, a number of works in the history of science which were highly prized. Among them were essays on the Scientific Institutions of Great Britain and Ireland, Spain, Italy, and the United States, a sketch of Astronomy in the Southern Hemisphere and in India, papers on the history of the Belgian Academy, biographical notices of Adolphe and Ernest Quetelet, Van Ries, and Argelander, and a book of reminiscences.

The Right Rev. Harvey Goodwin, Bishop of Carlisle, who died in York, England, November 25th, took a prominent part in the discussion of questions involving the interrelations of science and religion. Being an eminent mathematician, as well as a distinguished theologian, he enforced his arguments with mathematical methods and principles, which added greatly to their effect. He was clear, judicious, and temperate in argument, and rarely missed the essential point. The papers by him which have been published in the Monthly attest his ability in this particular.

Prof. Joseph Lovering, Hollis Professor Emeritus of Harvard College, died January 18th of heart-failure following grip, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. A full sketch of his life and scientific activity till his retirement from work in 1888 was published in the Monthly for September, 1889.