Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/585

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585
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

cluded position, as "the island province." The old superstitions prevail there in full force: "Hunters burn candles and pray to the spirit of the crag they are climbing"; a black dog or white paper is a charm against the evil one; and "the drawing of 'a horse rampant' is a recognized prophylactic against smallpox." Until a few years ago women were not allowed to climb beyond a certain limit; and when the wife of one of the mountaineers ventured beyond it she was turned, they say, into a stone. Mr. Weston had the very pillar pointed out to him. But the charm is now broken, and women can climb in security. It is, however, considered sacrilegious to climb a mountain till proper parties have been sent to the top to pray the gods for good weather. The mountains are ten thousand or more feet high, of various geological character, and, being near the sea, command peculiar views. Hodekadaka is granite; Yarigstake, the highest peak after Fujisan, is of brecciated porphyry; and Fujisan, nearly two thousand feet higher than the others, is a crater. No railroad or common road enters the mountain region, though both come near it. Mr. Weston met several "pilgrim clubs" a sort of Alpine clubs having a more numerous membership and costing less than those of the West. "Every year, before the season commences, they meet and decide by ballot who shall climb the sacred mountains. . . . They also stamp their alpenstocks with the names of the mountains they have ascended." They regard their exercise as a religious one, and as they went up they chanted, "May our six senses be pure, and may the weather on the honorable peak be fine!"

 

The Longevity of Astronomers. — We take the following from an article under the above title in The Observatory. The longevity of astronomers has often been called attention to. The Herschels, the Cassinis, and others have been notable examples. This is all the more curious, as their vocation necessitates late hours and constant exposure to night air. The following consists, says the writer of the paper, of a portion of a list of the names of well-known men connected with astronomy who have lived beyond the allotted human span of "threescore years and ten." The ages are correct to within a few months:

 
Obit. Age.
Fontenelle, Bernard de 1757 100
Herschel, Caroline L 1848 08
Cassini, Count J. D 1845 97
Sabine, Sir Edward 1883 94
Mairan, De 1771 93
Somerville, Mary 1872 92
Santini, Giovanni 1877 91
Sharpe, Abraham 1742 91
Long, Dr. Roger 1770 90
Airy, Sir George Biddell 1892 90
Thales b. c. 550 90
Humboldt, Alexander von 1859 90
Robinson, Rev. T. R 1883 90
Bouillaud, Ismael 1694 89
Rosenberger, Prof. Otto A. 1890 89
Gautier, Jean Alfred 1881 88
Biot, J. B. 1863 88
Cassini, J. D. 1712 87
Messier, Charles 1817 87
Wallis, J. 1703 87
Brewster, Sir David 1868 86
Halley, Edmund 1742 86
Schwabe, Samuel Heinrich 1875 86
Barlow, Peter 1862 86
Pingre, Alexander Guy 1796 85
Longomontanus 1647 85
Horrebow, P. 1764 85
Whiston, William 1752 85
Pritchard, Rev. Charles 1893 85
Maclear, Sir Thomas 1879 85
Button, Dr. Charles 1823 85
Dick, Dr. Thomas 1857 84
Woolhouse, W. S. B. 1893 84
Newton, Sir Isaac 1737 84
Le Monnier, Peter Charles 1799 84
Herschel, Sir F. William 1823 84
Lee, Dr. John 1866 83
Bernouilli, Daniel 1782 82
Troughton, Edward 1835 82
Gibers, Dr. William 1840 82
South, Sir James 1867 82
Le Gendre, Jean 1833 82
Nasmyth, James 1890 82
Eratosthenes b. c. 195 81
Aristarchus b. c. 280 81
Emerson 1882 81
Moestlin, Michael 1631 81
Maurolico 1575 81
Bernouilli, John 1748 81
Kant, Immanuel 1804 80
Lassell, William 1880 80
Piazzi, Joseph 1826 80
Mädler, J. H. 1874 80
De Lisle, Joseph N 1768 80
Bacon, Roger 1294 80
De La Hire, P. 1718 80
 

Types of the Unemployed. — Of forty-two men in a German colony for unemployed workingmen, described by Mr. Josiah Flynt in the Atlantic Monthly, mechanics and common laborers were most numerous, while others had