Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/397

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
383
NOTES.

portant modification, has been repeated by M. Dareste, who for some years past has devoted himself with great assiduity to the study of embryo life. He took from under a hen an egg on which she had sat for three days, and let it remain in the ordinary temperature for two or three days. He then again placed it under conditions favorable to incubation, and in due time a chick was hatched out, just as if there had occurred nothing unusual in the mean time. The result of this ingenious experiment, as M. Stanislas Meunier observes in La Nature, is to show that life may be suspended for a considerable length of time in warm-blooded animals without fatal effects, precisely as in animals of a very low grade, such as Rotifera.

 

Mars's Fast Moon.—The periodic time of the inner satellite of Mars is only very little over seven hours, while the axial rotation of Mars itself requires about twenty-four hours. Now, this discrepancy is in apparent conflict with the nebular hypothesis, which assumes all the secondary bodies of a system to have been evolved from their primary at successive stages, with the velocity of the primary's surface at the time of their being dropped as rings of nebulous matter. But here is a planet's satellite possessed of a velocity of revolution more than thrice as high as the velocity of axial rotation possessed by its primary. The problem, how to account for this accelerated movement of the inner Martial moon, has occupied the attention of astronomers since the discovery of Mars's satellites by Prof. Asaph Hall, a few months ago. The theory proposed by Prof. M. H. Doolittle, of the Coast Survey, appears to solve all the difficulties of the case. In three ways, according to Prof. Doolittle, the relative velocities of Mars and his moon might be modified by the impact of interstellar matter, or meteorites: 1. These bodies, by striking the satellite and forcing it to travel in a narrower orbit, its original absolute velocity continuing the same, would increase its relative velocity; 2. By striking the primary, they would increase its mass and its attraction on the satellite; 3. By increasing the mass of the primary and so reducing its absolute velocity they would make the relative velocity of the satellite higher.

 


NOTES.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science will assemble in St. Louis, on August 21st. The officers are: President, Prof. O. C. Marsh; Vice-President of the Physical Section, Prof. R. H. Thurston; Vice-President of the Natural History Section, Prof. Augustus R. Grote; General Secretary, Prof. H. Carrington Bolton; Secretary of Section A, Prof. Francis E. Nipher; Secretary of Section B, George Little; Treasurer, William S. Vaux; Chairman of Chemical Sub-section, Prof. F. W. Clarke.

The British Association meets this year in Dublin, on August 14th, under the presidency of Mr. William Spottiswoode, F.R.S.

During the summer vacation, teachers of mathematics or astronomy will be admitted to the Cincinnati Observatory, there to pursue the different branches of study connected with their special departments of instruction. Applications should be made to the director of the observatory, Mr. Ormond Stone.

The French Association for the Advancement of Science will this year hold its meeting at Paris, commencing August 22d. The officers of the Association are: President, Prof. Frémy, of the Academy of Sciences; Vice-President, M. Bardoux, Minister of Public Instruction; Secretary, M. Perrier, commandant d'etat-major.

The death of Dr. Charles Pickering, of Boston, is announced. He was a grandson of Timothy Pickering, and was born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, on November 10, 1805; graduated at Harvard College in 1823, and three years later received his medical diploma. He was a member of the scientific staff on board of the United States ship Vincennes during Commodore Wilkes's Exploring Expedition around the world from 1838 to 1842. In 1843 he went to India and Eastern Africa, to complete his ethnological researches, and on his return home two years later began the preparation of his great work, "The Races of Man and their Geographical Distribution" (1848). He later published "Geographical Distribution of Animals and Man" (1854), and "Geographical Distribution of Plants" (1861).

In the Azores, a Portuguese subscribes himself at the foot of a letter as "your watchful venerator"—an expression doubtless as sincere as "your obedient servant." He dates all letters written from his own house "S. C," meaning sua casa (your house), and he addresses them "S. I. C," i. e. Sua ilustre casa (to your illustrious house). By a fiction of politeness, he assumes that the house he lives in is one of