Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 11.djvu/137

This page has been validated.

certain the periods of drought and of undue rainfall, the average direction of the wind for the different months, in order to learn how far they correspond with the phenomena of locust-life. That there are cycles of dry and hot seasons recurring at irregular intervals, while the general average may remain nearly the same, century after century, is supported, though it may be vaguely, by observed facts. The author thinks that the remedy for locust visitations can be discovered and applied by a cooperation between the Signal Service and skilled entomologists employed by the General Government and the States most directly concerned.


It is proposed to occasionally issue from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology a "Circular," containing notes and queries on physical and chemical apparatus, processes, etc. It will be printed by the papyrographic process, and will be sent free to chemists and physicists, on condition that they from time to time communicate to the editors descriptions of apparatus and processes which they may have found convenient, and which are not in general use in laboratories. Applications for the "Circular" must be addressed to Chas. H. Weng, at the Institute of Technology, Boston.

A committee of the New York Medico-Legal Society, appointed to investigate the subject of "School Hygiene," recommend that the minimum age of admission to the public schools be six years; that the maximum attendance at school, for children under eight years, be three hours; that the schools be under medical supervision; and that schoolhouses should be surrounded on all sides with adequate open space, to secure light, ventilation, and play-grounds.

Since 1821 twelve ships have been abandoned in the arctic regions by exploring expeditions. Of these, but a single one, the Resolute, sent out with others under Sir Edward Belcher, in 1852, has been recovered.

There were three hundred competitors for the Boylston prize of the Medical Faculty of Harvard University for the best essay on the question of "Rest for Women." Dr. Mary Putnam-Jacobi, of New York, was the successful competitor. Her essay is said to possess extraordinary merit, and is to be published.

The medium of light-vibrations in the Torricellian vacuum is, according to Julius R. Mayer, extremely rarefied air. Air adheres to the glass and the mercury, and, on production of the vacuum, expands, and fills the space with a medium which conducts light like the ether in cosmical space.

A bronze statue of Livingstone, the missionary and explorer of Central Africa, will be erected in Glasgow during the present year.

In San Pete County, Utah, the hills abutting on Huntington Creek contain several valuable veins of coal. Seven mines have already been opened by drifts run from the faces of the hills. The coal yields a very fair quality of coke. These coal-fields appear to be of very considerable extent.

A piece of coral five inches in height, six inches in diameter at the top, and two inches at the base, was taken off a submarine cable at Port Darwin, North Australia. As the cable had been laid only four years, the coral must have grown to its present height in that time.

Prof. Huxley, in a recent lecture at the Royal Institution, on "The History of Birds," said that, as they now exist, birds constitute a perfectly well-defined group, nobody mistaking the forms included therein. But, when we turn to the geological record, the case is different. Fossil forms are found that present definitions do not embrace, indicating a wider range of structure, and the existence of types intermediate between birds and reptiles.

According to the Gardener's Monthly, the Eucalyptus globulus can hardly thrive in any of our States on the Atlantic sea-board, with the possible exception of Florida; there it is barely possible that a few Australian trees may live.

A correspondent of the Lancet writes that, when traveling in the upper Sikkim Himalaya, at elevations above 12,000 feet, he took whiskey in small quantities, to counteract the effects of strong exertion in a cold, rare atmosphere. The consequence was the reverse of what was expected, being drowsiness and lassitude, lasting an hour or more. Cold tea, on the contrary, was found to produce a feeling of exhilaration and capacity for renewed efforts.

In Calcutta the general death-rate of infants under one year among all classes of the population—Hindoo, Mohammedan, mixed race, and non-Asiatic—reaches the annual average of 480 per 1,000, the rate ranging from 184 among the non-Asiatics to 598 among the Mohammedans. Of every thousand Hindoo children born in 1875