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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Royal Prussian Geological Institute. The data from each nation will be furnished through its representative on the International Committee, if it has one; or, if it is a small state, and is not thus represented, by its vice-presidents in the Congress. The map will include the whole basin of the Mediterranean and all of Europe to the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains, and will be made upon a scale of 1 to 1,500,000. It will therefore cover a space of 372 by 336 centimetres, or about twelve by eleven feet, and will, for convenience of use and binding, be divided into forty-nine sections of about twenty-two by sixteen inches each. The primary object of the map will be to give a clear representation of geological conditions. It will not be practicable consistently with this to give particular attention to orographical details. The river systems, the principal towns, the more important mountain-ranges, and the curves indicating sea-depths, will be denoted so far as seems fitting. The topographical basis of the map is to be reconstructed on the proposed scale under the supervision of Professor H. Kiepert, of Berlin. The total expense of the work is estimated at 80,000 marks, or in the neighborhood of $20,000, and is to be borne by the states interested, the eight largest states contributing each one ninth, and the smaller states together the other ninth, of the whole. The subscription price for the first edition will be 80 marks, or about $20, a copy of the whole map. The price will afterward be raised to 100 marks, or $25.

 

Origin of Petroleum.—The Huron and Cleveland (Devonian) black shales of Ohio contain from 2 to 22 per cent of organic matter, which Dr. Newberry regards as of marine origin, and are the source of some of the petroleum-wells. Decomposition has been carried on so far that all structure seems to have been obliterated; but Dr. Orton stated, in a paper read before the American Association, that he had discovered the organic substance to consist of sporangia or spore-cases of Lycopodiaceæ. He had found numerous resinous disks of from 1200 to 150 of an inch in diameter, translucent, amber-colored, appearing as a rusty crust, with ridged and furrowed surfaces, burning freely, insoluble in alcohol, and sometimes having stem-like attachments. Different beds afford disks of different sizes. The Pennsylvania and New York petroleum wells originate in the equivalent of the Ohio black shales.

 

A Medal to Pasteur.—A medal commemorative of his remarkable discoveries was presented to M. Pasteur at the sitting of the French Academy of Sciences, June 26th, by M. Dumas, on behalf of a committee of scientific men and friends and admirers of the distinguished investigator. M. Dumas reviewed briefly the great services M. Pasteur had rendered to science, art, and industry, through his researches among the vital organisms of fermentation, and closed by saying: "My dear Pasteur, your life has only known successes. The scientific method, of which you make certain use, owes you its finest triumphs. The Normal School is proud to count you among the number of its students; the Academy of Sciences is elated at your researches; France ranks you among her glories. . . . Science, agriculture, industry, humanity, will feel eternal gratitude to you, and your name will live in their annals among the most illustrious and the most venerated." Pasteur replied modestly, acknowledging his obligations to his teachers, and said: "Hitherto great eulogies have inflamed my ardor, and only inspired the idea of rendering myself worthy of them by new efforts; but those which you have addressed to me, in the name of the Academy and of learned societies, truly overpower me."

 

Were the Mound-Builders Indians?—Dr. Hoy read a paper at the American Association in support of the view that the mound-builders were the ancestors of our present Indian race. He held that the age of the mounds had been exaggerated. The growth of large trees upon them is not certain evidence of great age, for some trees grow very fast. It was also a mistake to suppose that the mound-builders could be distinguished from Indians by their being an agricultural people. The Indians have largely tilled the ground. De Soto lived with his army four years among the Indians of the South, and quartered his two hun-