Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/154

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
144
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

associated with the excavations of brickyards. The examination of cases in the suburbs of Boston points to the upper waters of certain streams.

A very simple remedy for the annexation fever now beginning to prevail in Canada and the exodus to this country which is in full flow, is proposed by Mr. Allen Pringle. It is to "take down the bars" between Canada and her natural market — to cultivate friendly and intimate commercial relations with the United States.

A patented substance called alumino-ferric is prepared by English manufacturers, to promote the precipitation of sewage. It is used solid, in slabs twenty-one inches long by ten inches wide and four inches thick, which are placed in a cage fixed in the flow of the sewage, or in solution. The "sludge" is deposited, to be separately carried off or made into manure, and clear water flows away. The use of this substance has been very successful.

Prof. H. Carrington Bolton has been elected President of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The Department of Ethnology and Archæology of the Columbian Exposition intends to provide as complete an anthropological library as possible, by aid of which students and educators may be enabled to become acquainted with the mass of literature on the subject. All authors, societies, museums, and publishers are invited to contribute from their stores all publications on the various branches of the subject. A complete catalogue of the collection will be published and widely distributed. The library will be conveniently and properly arranged and accessible to students, and full information will be given them respecting the books. At the close of the Exhibition loaned books will be returned, and the rest of the library will be placed in the permanent Memorial Museum of Science which is to be established in Chicago.

It is said that the passage of boats containing naphtha has had the effect of poisoning the waters of the Volga, A great deal of the liquid is transported in badly built wooden barges, with a resultant loss by leakage of about three per cent. Consequently the fish are decreasing rapidly, and have already become extinct in some places where the boats stop. The naphtha likewise kills off the insect life on which the fish feed, by being carried in times of flood to the adjacent meadows and destroying the larvæ there.

The New York branch of the American Folk Lore Society was organized at the house of Mrs. Henry Draper, February 24th, when a constitution was adopted, and officers were elected as follows: President, H. Carrington Bolton; vice-presidents, G. B. Grinnell, R. W. Gilder; treasurer, H. M. Lester; secretary, William B. Tuthill. These officers and Mrs. Harriet M. Converse, Mrs. Anna P. Draper, and Mrs. Mary J. Field, constitute the Executive Committee. Papers were read at the meeting by Prof. Bolton on Divination by the Mirror as practiced in New York Today, and by George Bird Grinnell on How the Pawnees stole the Corn. Mr. G. F. Kunz exhibited a human tooth inlaid with jadeite. Mr. Newell, founder and secretary of the National Society, was present and made some remarks.



OBITUARY NOTES.

The death was announced about the beginning of the year of General Axel Wilhelmovitch Gadolin, of the Russian army, an eminent mineralogist and physicist, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He engaged, when not active in military duties, in research into the molecular forces that act in the formation of crystals. His chief work, which is also known to the world through a German translation, was his Deduction of all the Systems of Crystals and their Derivates from a Unique Principle. A paper on the resistance of the walls of a gun to the pressure of gunpowder gases is also noticeable for having given a new formula of minimal resistance.

Nikolai Ivanovitch Koksharoff, who died in St. Petersburg January 2d, was an eminent mineralogist and author of a work in eleven large quarto volumes, to which a twelfth is to be added, of contributions to the mineralogy of Russia.

M. Francois van Rysselberghe, Professor of Electrotechnics in the University of Ghent, and a famous inventor, died suddenly at Antwerp, Belgium, February 3d, in the forty-seventh year of his age. Among his inventions were a universal meteorograph, exhibited at Paris in 1881, which registered periodically on a strip of paper the pressure, temperature, humidity, depth of rainfall, and direction and force of the wind; and a system of simultaneous telegraphic and telephonic transmission which has come into general use on urban and suburban lines. He was counsel in electrical matters for the Belgian administration of railroads, posts, and telegraphs.

Mr. Henry F. Blackford, a distinguished geologist and meteorologist of India, died in January. Originally attached to the Geological Survey of India, in connection with which he wrote several memoirs of much value, he afterward became Superintendent of the Meteorological Department of Bengal, and ultimately of the whole of India; and in connection with this position also he published useful books and papers.