"so far from being a source of danger, the electric telegraph must be regarded rather as a cause of safety, as a network of lines spread over a country tends to prevent an accumulation of electricity at any particular point, by continually and silently discharging it to the earth. This is particularly the case in districts where every pole has an earth-wire fixed to it, running from the top to the bottom. That these wires effectually discharge a lightning-flash has been seen in cases where the wires have been terminated within a few inches of the top of the pole: a lightning-flash striking one of these destroyed the portion of pole above the wire, but at the point where the wire commenced all damage ceased."
Under the head of "Commercial Manias," we referred last month to the banking enterprise of a lady at Madrid. The Economist of December, 1876, reports further on the case, as follows: "The extraordinary banking at Madrid, by a lady who paid twenty per cent, interest monthly on deposits, has ended in a manner which has long been expected. She disappeared a few days back with a sum of three million and a half of francs ($700,000), out of five million and a half ($900,000) she had received from 6,700 depositors. The difference had been returned in interests."
Recent additions to the museum of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences embrace a small collection of European Lepidoptera, presented by Prof. Zeller, of Stettin; a few rare specimens from the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, and a collection of California Geometræ from Prof. Behrens, of San Francisco; also a collection of butterflies and moths from Mr. John D. Shepard, taken on the Wahsatch Mountains, twenty-five miles south of Salt Lake City.
An association of ladies has been formed in Boston, entitled the Boston University Women's Educational Society, for the purpose of promoting the higher education of women. The Society proposes to aid needy students by gifts and loans, and also to found resident and traveling fellowships, to encourage original research, and in general to afford to young women all the educational facilities now accessible only to young men. A fund amounting to $40,000 has already been accumulated.
A small coleopterous insect (Anthrenus scrophulariæ) common in Europe, but hitherto unknown in the United States, has made its appearance in the neighborhood of Albany. The larva of this insect is a great destroyer of clothes, furs, natural-history collections, etc., and at Albany much damage has been done by it to carpets.
The Litchfield Astronomical Observatory, of Hamilton College, of which Prof. C. H. F. Peters has been for nearly twenty years the very efficient director, has lately been enlarged. Efforts are being made to retain the services of Prof. Porter as assistant astronomer.
Died, October 19th, at the age of fifty-four years, Carl Jelinek, for thirteen years director of the Vienna Central Institute for Meteorology and Magnetism. His papers on Austrian meteorology are held in very high esteem, and his "Introduction to Meteorological Observations" has reached the third edition.
The American Chemist for September announces the discovery of a new element by Dr. George A. Koenig, of the University of Pennsylvania. From a mineral resembling schorlamite, occurring at Magnet Cove, Arkansas, he obtained, in the place of titanic acid, a white oxide, which differs from the former very materially, and he regards the existence in it of a new metal as highly probable.
The subscription for a monument to Liebig in Germany has reached the sum of 140,000 marks, and the lists are now closed. Giessen and Munich claim the statue each for itself. It has been decided that both towns shall have the same memorial, which will be cast in bronze, the sum collected being sufficient to cover the double expense.
Williams College will next summer send an exploring party to the Rocky Mountains, under the lead of Prof. Sanborn Tenney, Professor of Natural History. The party will consist of fifteen students, who, during the remainder of the college year, will receive special instruction to fit them for the performance of their respective duties.
The statue of Faraday, the commission for which was placed in the hands of the late sculptor Foley, and which was far advanced by him in the full-sized model at the time of his death, has been completed in marble by one of the disciples of the deceased artist, and is now awaiting arrangements for erection.
In an article on the scurvy which broke out among the sled-parties of the British Polar Expedition, the Sanitary Record says that never were the plainest results of past experience and the best-established rules of naval hygiene more recklessly and disastrously set at naught than in these sled-expeditions.