Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/267

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stone," in shape "like a soda-water bottle with the bulb flattened. It is a very effective weapon," he adds, "in a hand-to-hand fight, being so sharp that a man's skull may be split at one blow with it." The Michigan specimen is 1614 inches long. It is 258 inches wide for 11 inches; then it tapers to 112 inch, but again widens to 2 inches at the end, thus forming a terminal knob. The edges are beautifully wrought, and are as sharp now as most of the polished stone axes and celts. In the vast collection of relics of American aborigines at Philadelphia Dr. Abbott finds no other specimen of the form here described, and it is presumable that this weapon was one seldom fashioned in North America.

 


NOTES.

A meeting of persons interested in the formation of a Metrological Society was lately held in Boston, which resulted in the organization of the "American Metric Bureau." Arrangements were made to secure a large list of honorary or life members, and to solicit subscriptions to supply teachers with metric apparatus at half-price. The assessment for 1876 was fixed at $2.50. The list of directors is as follows: Samuel W. Mason, J. P. Putnam, Prof. W. F. Bradbury, Dr. Edward Wigglesworth, Melvil Dewey, Prof. William Watson, Dr. H. P. Bowditch, S. S. Greene, Nathan Appleton, and Prof. K. S. Pennell.

In the Paris School of Mines is a laboratory, founded in 1845, for analyzing gratuitously any substances presented. Last year 767 analyses were made at this laboratory, chiefly of minerals and manures. A laboratory for the gratuitous analysis of medicines and articles of food would be a very useful institution in our American cities.

Cremation of the dead is now fairly established in Saxe-Gotha. In a recent sitting of the town council, it was decided to erect the necessary apparatus in the new cemetery. Cremation is to take place only in accordance with the clearly expressed wish of the deceased, and under permit from the proper medical officer. The ashes are to be gathered in urns, to be preserved by the family of the deceased, or set up in a hall in the cemetery.

In one of the monthly reports of the Department of Agriculture, it is stated that in Livingston County, Illinois, the planting of trees in groves and shelter-belts, and for ornamental purposes, is now very general. The black-walnut is the favorite tree for profit and ease of cultivation; but elm, soft maple, willow, Cottonwood, European larch, and ash, are common, while evergreens are popular for ornamental purposes, and occasionally are planted in groves and shelter-belts.

At the Agricultural Congress in Philadelphia, resolutions were offered by Prof. C. V. Riley, and unanimously adopted, in favor of government action for the suppression of the Rocky Mountains locust-plague. In the opinion of the Congress, the national Legislature owes it to the people of the West to take this matter into consideration, and the United States are called upon to follow the example of other nations under like circumstances, and appoint a special commission for the thorough investigation of the subject.

In a work on the "Voices of Animals," by Landois, additional evidence is collected of the universality of vocal sounds among the lower animals, including the Mollusca. The author considers it to be indisputable that ants possess a vocal speech, by which they are enabled to exercise those higher mental faculties to which they owe their high social organization.

The University of Michigan had last year 101 female students, distributed as follows: Medicine, 37; law, 2; homeœopathy, 2; literature, 60. "The experience of the past year," writes the president of the university in his annual report, "confirms the opinion we have been led to form by the experience of former years, that women who come here in good health are able to complete our collegiate or professional course of study without detriment to their health."

Prof. Maurice Schiff, of Florence, has demonstrated that the non-edible mushrooms, "toadstools," contain a common poison, muscarine, and that its effects are counteracted by either atropine or daturine. Italian apothecaries now keep these drugs in the rural districts, where the consumption of the non-edible fungi is apt to occur. The hint is worthy of attention every-where.

It has been affirmed that not less than four per cent, of all the coal-laden vessels that have left English ports during the last five years, for destinations south of the equator, have suffered either total or partial loss by the spontaneous ignition of their cargoes.