Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/449

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431
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

It seems that Prof. Fraser, of Edinburgh, who was recently announced as the perfecter of an antitoxine of snake poison, was anticipated in this discovery by Dr. Calmette, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. Prof. E. Ray Lankester, in a letter to Nature, says: "In the Annales de l'Institut Pasteur, May, 1894, Dr. Calmette described in full detail his researches on snake poison, and demonstrated that not only can animals be rendered resistant to cobra (and other snake) poison by the injection into them of graduated doses of the poison (so that rabbits were rendered tolerant of sixty times the lethal dose), but that the serum of such immunized rabbits is found to contain a powerful antitoxine, which can be used successfully as an antidote to snake poison.

An address, delivered at a presentation to Sir Henry Ackland of a bust and some fifteen thousand dollars which will be employed in carrying on the work of the Sarah Ackland Home for Nurses, stated that the testimonial had been subscribed for in commemoration of the long and faithful service that Sir Henry Ackland had rendered to the university, city, and county of Oxford, and the part which he had borne in the advance of medical science in England, more particularly in the direction of sanitary reform and preventive medicine, during the forty years of his occupation of the chair in the university of Regius Professor of Medicine.

The west coast of Stromö, Faröe Islands, is described by Dr. Karl Grossmann as giving excellent opportunities for studying "how the erosion by sea and weather takes hold of the gigantic rock walls, which look as if built for eternity. The caves, which are produced at sea level by the washing out of dikes and cracks, have often most fantastic forms. Sometimes they are arched like a Gothic vault, resembling Fingal's Cave or Nuremberg architecture; in other parts we see a flat, horizontal roof, covering mysterious inlets, reminding us of the entrance to the lethal chambers of the Pharaohs. In many of these caves seals used to breed, but the irrational way in which the natives slaughtered them has finally driven them away altogether. As we row farther north, we encounter many a fine example of rocks that have been broken off and slid down as stacks, which are now separated from the main rock barely wide enough to admit our small boat."



NOTES.

The acquisition by States of tracts of forest is urged by the friends of forestry as a measure for the conservation of water powers, the amelioration of climate, the preservation of scenery, and the instruction of the people. Aside from the benefit thus derived, it is urged that these forests may be made to yield a fair return upon their cost and maintenance. To illustrate the force of this view, Mr. J. B. Walker, of Concord, N. H., refers to a proposition to form such a park out of the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. The region is already a pleasure ground accessible in twelve hours or less to ten million people. It could be greatly improved and its attractions vastly added to by proper forest development, or, more properly, restoration.

Darwin's suggestion that the composition of subsoils might be ascertained from the examination of the piles of earth brought up by earthworms from their holes is said to have been utilized in Australia by a miner who was led to digging for a coal vein which he found from seeing traces of coal in the accumulations of land crabs; and by another, who, acting upon a hint given him by the wombats, found tin ore in the mountains.

The hot caves of Monsummano, Italy, long neglected, are beginning to receive attention again as health resorts. They were discovered in 1849 by quarrymen, and were found to be helpful to those of the men who had suffered from rheumatism. They were visited by Garibaldi and Kossuth for relief from troubles under which they were suffering. They are hollowed in a porous rock, and an air saturated with moisture circulates freely in them at a temperature of about 88° F. The patient who enters them clad in light robes, soon perspires very freely, and may continue to do so during his whole sojourn of from half an hour to several hours.

The third International Congress of Psychology will be held at Munich, August 4 to 1, 1896. It will be opened on the morning of August 4th in the great "aula" of the Royal University. All who desire to further the progress of psychology and to foster personal relations among the students of psychology in different nations are invited to take part in the meetings.

In a recent letter to Science, Prof. Ira Remsen describes a curious natural gas reservoir. A party of skaters in the neighborhood of Baltimore were upon a large artificial lake which was covered with remarkably