Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/447

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sity of an incompressible medium. The experiments of Michelson and Morley show apparently that the ether at the surface of the earth moves with it. It is dragged along as if it were a viscid liquid. The field of a steel magnet is, however, a rotational phenomenon. It is a spin which is maintained permanently without the expenditure of energy. It seems, therefore, that the resistance to shear which shows itself in the adhesion of the ether to the moving earth must be a rigidity due in some way to motion. Other experiments of Michelson and Morley on the motion of light in moving columns of water have been taken as proof that the ether in water is condensed to nine sixteenths of its volume in air. The ether in water certainly behaves as if it were more dense, but it is another matter to say that it is so. It seems improbable. The speaker, after describing what might be a more satisfactory way of making the experiment, said that the question to be settled is whether the ether or any part of it is at rest in space, or does it sweep through the interior of bodies that move through it as wind sweeps through the leaves and branches of a tree.



We mention, on behalf of Mr. Frederick Starr, that the originals of most of the objects illustrated in his articles on Dress and Adornment are in the American Museum of Natural History. The omission of this acknowledgment from the articles was not noticed till it was too late to correct it.

The Programme of Lectures of the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, provides for thirty lectures, beginning November 2d with a lecture on Japan by Mr. Henry Pettit. Several of the lectures will be upon subjects of travel. For the others, subjects are announced relating to the electrical transmission of power, physical exercise, compressed air power, transmission of explosive phenomena, building-stones, refrigerating machines, and other topics relating to hygiene, metallurgy, applied chemistry, etc. The lecturers are men specially acquainted with the subjects which they will treat.

We have received from F. Gutekunst, 712 Arch Street, Philadelphia, a remarkably fine half-size photograph of the late Joseph Leidy. In distinctness of outline, clearness of expression, delicacy of shading, and general tone, it leaves nothing to be desired.

Certain prehistoric remains near Bellary, in southern India, described by Mr. F. Fawcett in the International Congress of Orientalists, are particularly remarkable by reason of the pictures which are engraved on the rocks in their neighborhood, and which the author adduces many reasons for believing to be prehistoric. A commission was appointed by the Congress to make further investigation of the matter.

A Tree-climbing kangaroo from Northern Queensland (Dendrolagus Muelleri), new to science, is described by Messrs. Luehman and French. It has a body about two feet long, with a tail exceeding two feet. The disproportion between the fore legs and the hind legs is not nearly so great as in the ordinary kangaroo and the wallaby. The toes are strong and curved, so that it is able to climb tall and straight trees, where it lives on their leaves. The specimen from which the species is described was got from a straight tree, about ninety feet from the ground.

A marsupial mole—Notoryctes typhlops—a species absolutely new to science, has been discovered living in the sands and among the porcupine grass of South Australia. It is very rare and has been seen by only a few persons, either white men or natives. Perpetual burrowing seems to be the characteristic feature of its life. It burrows very rapidly, but is not known to occupy permanent burrows. The first specimen was captured by Mr. William Conethard, of the Willowie Pastoral Company, and the description is by Prof. Stirling, of the University of Adelaide.

The Bowlder Committee of the British Association reports that in some districts bowlders are being destroyed so rapidly that many described in former reports have disappeared.

Among the features of the Columbian Exhibition to be opened at Madrid in September, 1892, will be an American historical exposition, which is intended to reproduce the condition of the different countries of the new continent before the arrival of Europeans, at the time of the conquest, and down to the first half of the seventeenth century. It will include all kinds of objects, models, reproductions, plans, etc., relating to the peoples who inhabited America then and to all those who had to do with the navigators.

Mr. Ivan Petroff, special census agent in Alaska, has found six hundred natives on Nunivak Island, where there were supposed to be three hundred. They live, in the absence of white men, in the most primitive style, eating walrus flesh and possessing walrus ivory as their only wealth. Besides a few land otter they do not catch any fur-bearing animals.