Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/882

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

have been suggested for their vanishing, among the chief of which the farmers and shepherds name the work of such natural enemies as the owl, kestrel, rook, blackhead gull, buzzard, stoat, and weasel — animals which foolish man is industriously trying to exterminate.

According to Meehan's Monthly, the large majority of plants are scentless, and probably not one tenth of the hundred thousand flowering plants known to botanists are odorous. Of the fifty known species of the mignonette family, only the one so highly prized in our gardens is fragrant, and only about a dozen of the one hundred species of violet are scented. In many large genera the scentless varieties are as one hundred to one, and sweet-smelling varieties are comparatively rare among our wild flowers.

It was observed by the late Mr. Wollaston that most insects inhabiting the Atlantic islands are either strongly winged or incapable of flight. The explanation of the phenomenon is found in the fact that insects exposed to gales are very liable to be blown out to sea. Hence it is almost equally to their advantage either to be gifted with strong enough powers of flight to be able to make their way back when they have been blown away, or never to fly at all, and thus escape the risk of being blown away.



OBITUARY NOTES.

Prof. Heinrich R. Hertz, of the University of Bonn, who won fame by his demonstration of the intimate connection of light and electricity, died at Bonn, on New-Year's day, of blood poisoning induced by a chronic disease of the nose. He was born at Hamburg on the 22d of February, 1857; entered the Engineering School in 1875; afterward devoted himself to physics, studying in Munich and Berlin; became an assistant to Helmholtz in 1875; settled in Kiel in 1883 as a privat-docent in theoretical physics; was appointed in 1885 Professor of Physics in the technical Hofschule in Carlsruhe; and in 1885 succeeded Clausius as Professor of Physics at Bonn. The apparatus with which he made his famous demonstration was shown at the Electrotechnic Exhibition at Hamburg, where it attracted much attention, particularly from men of science. His own account of his demonstration of the identity of light and electricity was published in volume xxxviii of The Popular Science Monthly, December, 1890. We hope, at some future time, to publish a biographical sketch and portrait of him.

The distinguished Belgian zoölogist. Prof. Pierre Joseph van Beneden, of the University of Louvain, died in that city, January 8th, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. His first scientific position was that of keeper of the Natural History Collections at Louvain. In 1835 he was made an assistant professor at the University of Ghent, and in the same year professor in the Catholic University of Louvain. He was author of a large number of zoological and biological papers, particularly on parasites, worms, etc.; joint author with Du Mortier of the Natural History of the Fresh-water Polyzoa, and with Paul Gervaise of the Zoologie Médicale; and author of Recherches sur le Faune littorale de Belgique, and of the book on Animal Parasites and Messmates in the Internationjil Scientific Series. He had artistic skill, and contributed illustrations to his works.

Prof. Arthur Milnes Marshall, of Owens College, Manchester, was killed, December 31, 1893, by a fall on the peak of Scafell, Cumberlandshire, England. He was born in 1852; entered St. John's College, Cambridge, in 1871, where he was one of the earliest students in the school of biology, and whence he was graduated on completing the course; entered upon the study of medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1876; and was appointed Professor of Zoölogy in Owens College in 1879. He was author of a series of papers on the Cranial Nerves, on the Pennatulidæ, and on the Nervous System of Antedon, and of works on Vertebrate Embryology, the Frog, and Practical Zoölogy; was secretary and afterward chairman of the board of studies of Victoria University; was a Fellow of the Royal Society; and was an active worker in the university extension movement. He had ascended the mountain with a party on the day of his death, and was standing at a point higher than the others, when a rock fell, carrying him with it.

The eminent zoölogist and paleontologist. Dr. Paul Henri Fischer, who died in Paris, November 29, 1893, was born in Paris in 1835; became Demonstrator of Paleontology in the Museum of Natural History of Paris in 1861; and rose to be assistant naturalist there. From 185(5 he edited the Journal de Conchylioiogie in collaboration with M. Crosse. He studied very successfully the marine animals of the coast of France and their geographical and bathymetric distribution. He and the Marquis de Folin, examining the Fosse du Cap Breton in the Gulf of Gascony, discovered a large number of forms previously unknown, some of which resembled fossil forms. With M. Delesse he made researches on the submarine sediments of the French shores. He took part in the expeditions of the Travailleur and the Talisman. His works, books, pamphlets, and memoirs include three hundred titles.

The death, at Kiel, in November, 1893, is reported of Baron von Bulow, founder of the Bothkamp Observatory, the first observatory in Germany devoted to astro-physical researches.