Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/884

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

jected to a hydrographic examination by Mr. A. T. Drummnond. It is a deep-water lake, giving soundings of six hundred feet, and is found by Mr. Drummond to be also a cold-water lake, giving bottom temperatures in August of 44-75° Fahr., with the high surface temperature maintained for relatively only a few feet; beneath this depth the mercury falls rapidly toward the lowest reading.

A writer in the Lancet calls attention to our still persisting lack of practical knowledge on the hygiene of schools, although a complete revolution has taken place during the past fifty years in our ideas relating to the management of children and the methods to be adopted in educating the young. This position of affairs seems to have arisen, not from any want of knowledge in sanitary affairs, but rather from lack of system in following up the subject. We habitually insist that certain conditions shall be fulfilled before a dwelling house shall be considered habitable or a hospital fit for the reception of patients, and in other matters, but do not as firmly stipulate that certain rules shall be followed in the building of schoolhouses.

A number of the plates—so many of them being missing as to preclude the formation of complete sets—of Audubon's Birds of America, are offered for sale by Estes and Lauriat, Boston, at largely reduced prices. Of many of the plates but few copies are in store, and, the original stones having been destroyed, it is certain that no more copies will be published.

Volume V, No. 2, of Insect Life is chiefly filled with proceedings of the sixth meeting of the Association of Economic Entomologists, which was held in connection with the meeting of the American Association at Rochester in August, 1892.

Metallurgy is tending to become one of the most efficient producers of manures in the world. Twenty years ago, says the Annales industrielles, twenty thousands tons of phosphoric acid were as poison to the two million tons of cast iron which England produced, while English ships were ransacking the most distant regions of the globe for phosphoric acid for agriculture. The basic process has been the end of this anomaly. Apparatus attached to the furnaces in Scotland for the recovery of the ammonia out of the furnace gases have furnished a new and important source of sulphate of ammonia for agriculture.

A curious method of anthropometrical measurement for the determination of identity is described by the French Captain Cupet as in use in southern Anam. A sliver of bamboo is placed between the middle and fore fingers of the left hand of the person it is desired to identify, and on it notches are cut to mark the base of the nail and the distance between the phalanges. The stick is kept, to be used as occasion requires when the identity of the person in question is to be established.

The emerald mines of Muzo, Colombia, are situated on the Minero River, about eighty miles northwest of Bogotá, and are farmed out to a French syndicate. They are situated in a very rough, wild country, with nearly impassable roads, and are worked by open cuts, with provision for washing away the débris. The rough stones are for the most part sent to Paris to be cut. About three hundred natives are employed at the works, and the yield is about one hundred thousand dollars a year.

The advance in the knowledge of the coal fields of India, promoted by the Geological Survey of the country, is great. The centers of production, which a few years ago were almost confined to Bengal, have been extended to Assam, the Punjaub, the central provinces, the Nizam's territory, and Burmah. The survey has also done much to determine the character of the oil resources of the country. The government is anxious to associate natives educated in the country with the European officers in the work of original investigation and research, but the attempt has had to be abandoned for the present in consequence of the difficulty of finding young men suitably educated for such a career.

 


OBITUARY NOTES.

The Rev. Charles Pritchard, D. D., Savilian Professor of Astronomy in the University of Oxford, whose death was recently announced, was in his earlier life a teacher in the English upper middle-class schools, in which he distinguished himself by his efforts to exhibit an improved method of education. After thirty years of this occupation, he retired to become an active clergyman, but in 1870 was offered and accepted the professorship at Oxford. Here he secured the establishment of the university observatory; applied photography, before the gelatin plate came into use, to the moon and other bright objects; devised and used a method of investigating the magnitude of the brighter stars through a process of extinction by means of a wedge of neutralized glass; visited Egypt to determine the amount of atmospheric absorption; studied the mutual proper motions of the stars of the Pleiades; and began the investigation of the parallax of stars of the second magnitude.

The death, on August 16th, is announced of M. Jean Martin Charcot, of the Salpêtrière, Paris, the eminent specialist in diseases of the nervous system. He was most distinguished for his researches in the field of insanity, hysteria, hypnotism, and of all those nervous phenomena which have been associated by many with magnetic influences.