Popular Science Monthly/Volume 43/May 1893/Notes

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A clarification of muddy liquids and partial separation of micro-organisms is effected by M. R. Leze by subjecting the liquid to a rapid rotation. Thus, cider, in turbid fermentation, after being whirled in a turbine wheel, came out clear; and while specimens kept in bottles at 86° soon generated bacteria, the yeast and alcoholic fermentation had all disappeared. This method may be found useful in bacteriological investigation; and in industrial operations, for ridding impure and unhealthy waters of most of the organisms contained in them.

Chemical analysis has been applied by M. Berthelot to the solution of a problem in archæology. Taking a piece of copper found by M. de Sarzec in his explorations of the nuns in Mesopotamia, which was obtained from one of the most ancient sites, he made an exact determination of its composition. It contained no tin or zinc, and only slight traces of lead and arsenic. It had been oxidized throughout, and presented itself as a suboxide or a mixture protoxide and metallic copper. Hence, while the question can not yet be considered decided, the specimen is a contribution of evidence in favor of the existence of an age of copper.

The physicians of Massachusetts have in recent years noticed a development of malarial disease in Cambridge and the vicinity of Boston and in other towns of the State. The origin of the cases in Cambridge seems, from the investigations thus far made, to be associated with the excavations of brickyards. The examination of cases in the suburbs of Boston points to the upper waters of certain streams.

A very simple remedy for the annexation fever now beginning to prevail in Canada and the exodus to this country which is in full flow, is proposed by Mr. Allen Pringle. It is to "take down the bars" between Canada and her natural market—to cultivate friendly and intimate commercial relations with the United States.

A patented substance called alumino-ferric is prepared by English manufacturers, to promote the precipitation of sewage. It is used solid, in slabs twenty-one inches long by ten inches wide and four inches thick, which are placed in a cage fixed in the flow of the sewage, or in solution. The "sludge" is deposited, to be separately carried off or made into manure, and clear water flows away. The use of this substance has been very successful.

Prof. H. Carrington Bolton has been elected President of the New York Academy of Sciences.

The Department of Ethnology and Archæology of the Columbian Exposition intends to provide as complete an anthropological library as possible, by aid of which students and educators may be enabled to become acquainted with the mass of literature on the subject. All authors, societies, museums, and publishers are invited to contribute from their stores all publications on the various branches of the subject. A complete catalogue of the collection will be published and widely distributed. The library will be conveniently and properly arranged and accessible to students, and full information will be given them respecting the books. At the close of the Exhibition loaned books will be returned, and the rest of the library will be placed in the permanent Memorial Museum of Science which is to be established in Chicago.

It is said that the passage of boats containing naphtha has had the effect of poisoning the waters of the Volga, A great deal of the liquid is transported in badly built wooden barges, with a resultant loss by leakage of about three per cent. Consequently the fish are decreasing rapidly, and have already become extinct in some places where the boats stop. The naphtha likewise kills off the insect life on which the fish feed, by being carried in times of flood to the adjacent meadows and destroying the larvæ there.

The New York branch of the American Folk Lore Society was organized at the house of Mrs. Henry Draper, February 24th, when a constitution was adopted, and officers were elected as follows: President, H. Carrington Bolton; vice-presidents, G. B. Grinnell, R. W. Gilder; treasurer, H. M. Lester; secretary, William B. Tuthill. These officers and Mrs. Harriet M. Converse, Mrs. Anna P. Draper, and Mrs. Mary J. Field, constitute the Executive Committee. Papers were read at the meeting by Prof. Bolton on Divination by the Mirror as practiced in New York Today, and by George Bird Grinnell on How the Pawnees stole the Corn. Mr. G. F. Kunz exhibited a human tooth inlaid with jadeite. Mr. Newell, founder and secretary of the National Society, was present and made some remarks.