Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/145

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bound together by strings of iron and wire. This becomes a sort of stone-cloth, available for floors and doors, as well as walls and ceilings, so that no wood whatever need be used.

A small pike caught by Dr. Charles C. Abbott, of Trenton, New Jersey, seemed to be unusually corpulent, so the fish was dissected. It was found to contain a large mud-minnow; within the minnow was a pike about two inches long, and within the pike the remains of another mud-minnow!

The action of sundry drugs on the liver has been experimentally studied by Drs. Rutherford and Vignal, the result going to show that podophylline, aloes, and colchicum, are powerful hepatic stimulants. The same property, but in an inferior degree, is possessed by rhubarb, senna, taraxacum, and scammony. Croton-oil appears to have but little action on the liver. In three cases out of four calomel had no action on the liver, and in the fourth the secretion of bile was slightly increased.

The Lancet publishes a list of British physicians deceased last year at an advanced age. There are nineteen names in the list, and the sum of their ages amounts to 1,617 years, showing an average age of eighty-five years. The greatest age attained by any of the deceased was ninety-six years, and three had reached that term. The lowest was seventy-six years, at which age two of the deceased ended their career.

The Monthly Weather Review of the Signal-Office records the following phenomena for December, 1875, namely: Dandelions in bloom at Brownsville, Pennsylvania, on the 23d; 24th, pinks and hyacinths in bloom at Brookhaven, Mississippi; 25th, peach-trees in bloom at New Orleans; 31st, peach and cherry buds swelling at Litchfield, Michigan, and on the same day roses in bloom at Green Springs, Alabama.

As mentioned in the Notes of the November number, the Abbé Moigno, of Paris, has published several papers by Tyndall, Huxley, Du Bois-Reymond, and others, accompanying them with refutations of their authors' freethinking arguments. The good abbé doubtless meant well, but the Roman "Congregation of the Index" finds in his book more poison than antidote, and accordingly forbids it to be circulated.

Earthquake-shocks are stated in the Monthly Weather Review to have been felt on December 3d at Carson City, Nevada (slight); 13th, at Maricopa Wells, Arizona; 21st, at Santa Barbara, California; 22d, at Fortress Monroe, Virginia; also at New Market, Indiana; Greensboro, North Carolina; Petersburg, Virginia; and other points in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

A committee of the Boston Society of Civil Engineers has drafted a form of petition to be addressed to Congress, asking for the establishment of the metrical system of weights and measures in this country. This system is now in use in all European countries except England, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and Turkey. It has also been adopted in Mexico and the various states of South America.

The Royal College of Surgeons, of England, having been advised by eminent counsel that the terms of their charter require them to admit women as candidates for their diploma, have announced that they are now ready to admit women to the examinations, on the same conditions as men.

The repugnance of the Chinese to railroads is based upon an article of their religion—ancestor-worship. Constructors of railroads pay no respect to ancient burying-places, but run their lines right through them, thus disturbing the repose of the dead. This disregard of the sacredness of the last resting-place of the departed grievously scandalizes the devout Chinaman.

Cynodrakon Major is the name proposed by Prof. Richard Owen for a reptile having some points of mammalian resemblance, some fossil bones of which have been found in the late palæozoic or early mesozoic formation of South Africa. Prof. Owen thinks he recognizes in these fossils some indications of retrogression rather than progression in descent. A problem is here presented for which, in Owen's opinion, neither the Lamarckian nor the Darwinian theories offer any answer.

We learn from the American Naturalist that a summer School of Biology will be held in the Peabody Museum at Salem, Massachusetts, beginning July 7th, and continuing six weeks. Special attention will be given to marine botany and zoölogy. Mr. J. Robinson will be instructor in botany, with C. H. Higbee as assistant. A. S. Packard, Jr., with the assistance of J. S. Kingsley and S. E. Cassino, will give instruction in zoology. Special instruction in microscopy by Rev. E. C. Bolles. The number of pupils is limited to fifteen.

Further experiments with salicylic acid, made by Feser and Friedberger, show that it may be administered for a long time, in small doses, to domestic animals, without injurious effects to digestion, nutrition, or general health. But, given to a dog in the proportion of one gramme to five kilogrammes of the animal's weight, salicylic acid causes paralysis of the extremities and disorder of the respiration and circulation. Death from strong doses of the acid results from paralysis of the respiration.