Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/594

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tions relating to animal and to plant life respectively; two prizes of twenty-five dollars each for the second best papers on these subjects; a prize of thirty dollars for the best six photomicrographs on some subject in animal or vegetable histology; a prize of thirty dollars for the best collection of six mounted slides illustrating some biological subject; and two prizes of fifteen dollars each for the second best collections of photomicrographs and slides. The papers should be submitted to the committee on or before July 1, 1893 (W. H. Seaman, Secretary, Washington, D. C). All photographs and slides for which prizes are given are to become the property of the society. The object of the prizes is to stimulate and encourage original investigation in the biology of North America.

Dr. Alcock, of the Marine Survey of India, has observed in the structure in the nippers and arm of the red cycopod crab of the shores a regular fiddling apparatus like the stridulating apparatus of many insects. Its music is heard when the crab's burrow is threatened by an intruder, and gradually rises in loudness and shrillness and frequency if the presence of the intruder is continued, until it becomes a tumultuous low-pitched whirr or high-pitched growl, the burrow acting as a resonator. Crabs of the same species will not enter one another's burrows unless they are forced to, whence Dr. Alcock infers that the use of the stridulating apparatus is to warn others against crowding upon its hole.

Mr. F. W. Doughty, of Brooklyn, claims, in a pamphlet which he has published on the subject, to have discovered in the Glacial drift at different places in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and on Staten Island and in the city of Brooklyn, evidences of man's work, testifying that the human race was old at the Glacial period. The evidences consist of representations of the human head cut in various kinds of stone or modeled in clay, flat tablets of clay bearing portraits of men and women and of existing and extinct animal forms, together with objects of primitive symbolism, such as occur on the most ancient coins, and clay molds and stone seals. His pamphlet contains a number of illustrations of these objects, which are curious, to say the least.

The committee of the American Association to which the subject was referred, approve the resolutions of the Australasian Association concerning an international committee on biological nomenclature, advise that the French and Italian biologists be invited to appoint branch committees to act with the others, and make some suggestions respecting the underlying principles that should govern biological terminology. Thus the committee recommend that the names of organs and parts and the terms indicating position and direction should be single, designating words, so far as possible, rather than descriptive phrases; that morphological terms should be etymologically correct and derived from Greek or Latin, and each term should have a Latin form; that terms relating to position and direction in an organism should be intrinsic and not extrinsic—that is, should refer to the organism itself rather than to the external world; that in addition to its proper Latin form each of the technical words should have a form that shall make it conform to the genius of the various languages, or that a paronym be made for each technical word.

 


OBITUARY NOTES.

Sir Richard Owen, one of the most famous comparative anatomists of the age, died in London, December 18, 1892, in the eighty-ninth year of his age. A full sketch of his life and work was published, with portrait, in The Popular Science Monthly, Vol. XXIII, No. 1 (May, 1883).

Mr. W. Mattieu Williams, author of the series of articles on The Chemistry of Cooking, published in the Monthly a few years ago, died suddenly at his home in Neasden, England, November 28, 1892. The book by which he was best known is The Fuel of the Sun. Much of his work was contributed to serial publications, and a volume of his popular essays was issued several years ago under the title of Science in Short Chapters. His Through Norway with a Knapsack called attention to the advantages of Norway as a summer resort for tourists.

Dr. E. W. Siemens, a distinguished German engineer and electrician, died in Berlin, December 6, 1892. He was born at Leuthe, in Hanover, in 1816, taught in the Lubeck gymnasium, joined the Prussian artillery in 1837, and withdrew from the service of the Government in 1850 and devoted himself to scientific studies and private enterprises. He was the inventor of many of the most valuable practical applications of electricity and of devices in electrical apparatus, instituted the Siemens quicksilver unit, contributed much to the successful establishment of the electric railway, and devised the pneumatic dispatch system and the Siemens alcoholimeter.

Prof. John S. Newberry, of Columbia College, died in New Haven, Conn., December 7, 1892, after a long illness. He suffered an attack of paralysis in December, 1890, from which he never fully recovered, and which left him with a gradually failing mind. A sketch of his life and scientific work—chiefly in geology, in which he was one of the most eminent American experts—was given in The Popular Science Monthly, Vol. IX, No. 4, August, 1876. He received the Murchison medal from the Geological Society of London in 1888.