Popular Science Monthly/Volume 51/July 1897/Notes

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The summer courses of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, beginning at different dates in June and generally continuing through July, are intended for the benefit of students who wish to prolong their stay in summer or to make up deficiencies, and are open to persons not students in the institute if they possess the necessary qualifications. The subjects are in the departments of mechanical drawing and descriptive geometry, mathematics, architecture, chemistry, biology, physics, European history, French and German, mechanism, and shop work; and provision is made for other (non-technical) subjects for those interested in them.

The International Exposition to be held at Brussels this year will include an International Section of Sciences, divided into the seven Sections of Mathematics and Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Geography, Biology, Anthropology, and Bibliography. Various privileges will be granted to participants, who will have to pay nothing for their places, and will be allowed rebates on railroads. A series of questions have been prepared by the Belgian Government, on which prizes will be awarded for the best solutions. The prizes appertaining to the Section of Sciences are valued at four thousand dollars. Programmes contain lull information on this subject by addressing the Commissariat General of the Government, 17 rue de la Purse, Brussels.

The Division of Entomology of the United States Department of Agriculture is engaged in a special investigation of the insects that infest stored crops. The list includes the insect enemies of stored grain, flour and meal, fruits, nuts and seeds, herbs and dried plants, drugs, leather, specimens of natural history, etc. Information is invited from citizens who have made observations in the matter, particularly from persons residing in the South. Special attention is directed to the use of bisulphide of carbon, applied as a vapor to pervade the stored material.

Granite, wood, and asphalt being accepted as the best materials for carriage-way pavements in large cities, preference between them should be, Mr. L. H. Isaacs, C. E., says, in the order, on the score of public hygiene: asphalt absolutely, granite, wood; of noiselessness, wood, asphalt, granite; of safety to horses, wood, asphalt, granite; of cleaning, asphalt, wood, granite; of economy, granite, wood, asphalt; of facility in repairing, asphalt, wood, granite; and of convenience in connection with tramway rails, granite, wood, asphalt.

Alvan H. Clark, the famous maker of telescopic lenses, died of apoplexy at his home in Cambridge, Mass., June 9th. He succeeded his father, Alvan Clark, whose fame as a lens maker was equally world-wide, as head of the firm on the death of the latter in 1887. Of his make were the twenty-six inch lens in the Naval Observatory at Washington, and the thirty-inch refractor for the Imperial Observatory at St. Petersburg, for which he was decorated by the Czar; the great lens of the Lick Observatory; and the lens for the Yerkes Observatory, Chicago, forty inches in diameter, and having a focal length of sixty-four feet, which was completed and shipped only a short time before his death. As an astronomer he accompanied the total-eclipse expedition to Jerez, Spain, in 1870, and the similar expedition to Wyoming in 1878; and discovered fourteen double stars, including the companion to Sirius—for which he received the Leland gold medal from the French Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Traill Green, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry in Lafayette College, died at Easton, Pa., April 29th, aged eighty-four years. He became a professor in Lafayette College sixty years ago; was dean of its scientific department and founder of its astronomical observatory; was one of the original members of the American Association; was first President of the American Academy of Medicine; and was author of a work on the Floral and Zoölogical Distribution of the United States.

Mr. J. Theodore Bent, explorer, classicist, and archaeologist, died in London, May 5th, of malarial fever contracted in a journey in Sokotra and southern Arabia—from which he had just returned with Mrs. Bent—followed by pneumonia. He had spent the winters of several years in journeys of research, the fruits of which he recorded in valuable and interesting books. Among the subjects that engaged his attention were the archaeology, classic survivals, and customs of Greece; the Bahrein Islands of the Persian Gulf; the Arabian states; Abyssinia; and Mashonaland, where he was the first to make a systematic exploration of the ruins of Zimbabwe. His papers before the Royal Geographical Society, the British Association, etc., were of high merit, and his collections had unique value.

The Due d'Aumale, who died from the effects of the shock occasioned by the terrible disaster at the Charity Bazaar in Paris, was a member of the French Academy, and was distinguished throughout the scientific world for his gift to the Institute of France, in trust for the nation, in 1884, of the Château of Chantilly for a museum, with the forest and estates for its maintenance.