Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/737

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sparingly soluble in water, alcohol, and ether, and is partly dissolved by caustic potassa. Cold nitric acid affects it but little. Oil of vitriol makes with it a red solution. The yellowish powder becomes orange-red on warning.


Professor William Lee, M. D., of Washington, is the author of the article entitled "The Extreme Rarity of Premature Burials," published in the August "Monthly." The misspelling of the name was an editorial blunder, for which we beg to apologize both to Dr. Lee and to our readers.

M. Toussaint has been investigating the question of the transmission of tubercle, by means of experiments on the hog. He caused animals to eat the lungs of tuberculous sheep, and tried inoculation by the blood and by milk, and found that the animals became diseased in every case. Similar effects were produced upon healthy animals which lived with tuberculous ones.

The production of nickel has assumed great importance in Norway within a few years. Eleven mines had been opened between 1861 and 1865, which yielded an average of 3,450 tons a year. In 1875 fourteen mines had been opened, which furnished a maximum of 34,500 tons. The larger part of the yield is exported in the condition of ore, the rest is reduced on the spot.

The fiftieth annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science will begin at Swansea, August 25th. Dr. Andrew Crombie Ramsey, Director-General of the Geological Survey of the United Kingdom and of the Museum of Practical Geology, will preside and deliver the opening address. The secretaries are Captain Douglas Galton, F.R.S., and Philip Lutley Sclater, Ph.D., F.R.S., general secretaries, and J. E. H. Gordon, assistant secretary.

The Swiss Natural History Society will hold its general meeting from the 12th to the 15th of September, at Brieg, in the Canton Vaud.

The death of Mr. Alfred Swaine Taylor, a well-known English physician and toxicologist, is announced. He was born in 1806, studied in the leading medical schools at home and abroad, was the first holder of the chair of Medical Jurisprudence in Guy's Hospital, and was the author of several professional treatises, especially on the subjects of poisons and poisoning, chemistry, and medical jurisprudence.

The French Association for the Advancement of Science holds its meeting for this year at Rheims, August 12th to 19th. An exposition of local industry and archæology, and excursions, the most notable of which is to the Han Grottoes, in Belgium, are arranged for in connection with the meeting.

A committee was appointed in 1876 by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, at the request of the Centennial Commission, to report upon the subject of the insects and plants that might be introduced to our soil through the medium of foreign exhibits. The report upon plants has been delayed till this year in order that, by taking several seasons for the examination, the committee might be sure that no species escaped them. They now announce that they have found in the Exhibition grounds plants of but thirteen species, and those only in isolated specimens showing no disposition to spread. Some of the species are from the western part of our country, some from Europe, and a few from Japan.

Professor Christian August Friedrich Peters, of Kiel, editor of the "Astronomische Nachrichten," died May 8th, after an illness of several months. He was born in Hamburg in 1806; was appointed an assistant in the observatory at Hamburg in 1834; to the Russian observatory at Pulkowa, where he remained for ten years, in 1839; was named Professor of Astronomy in the University of Königsberg in 1849; and director of the observatory at Altona, which was afterward removed to Kiel, in 1854. His most important memoirs were on "Nutation," on "The Parallax of the Fixed Stars," and on the "Proper Motion of Sirius."

Professor W. H. Miller, of the University of Cambridge, died May 20th, in his eightieth year. He succeeded Dr. Whewell as Professor of Mineralogy in 1832, and published his treatise on "Crystallography," a work which was almost universally accepted as a standard, in 1838. His "Manual of Mineralogy" appeared in 1854, and was full of the results of his own research. He was the author of several other books and memoirs.

At a show of birds lately held in Berlin, several canaries were exhibited that attracted much attention on account of the peculiar colors of their plumage. Some were green, others red and light brown, and others of a soft gray tint, while all differed more or less from the light yellow of the common bird. These variations of color were produced by the daily use of cayenne pepper in the food of the birds. The pepper is given in small quantities at first, and the birds appear to like it, but the immedi-