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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

museum, attesting the anxiety with which they are looking for the completion of this, one of the most important and meritorious works of the kind ever attempted.

 

The Solar Eclipse of May, 1883. M. Janssen announced in the French Academy of Sciences, on the 26th of February, that the French Scientific Expedition to observe the total eclipse of the sun in May would start on the 6th of March, to meet at Panama a French naval vessel which would take it to Caroline Island, a hundred leagues north of Tahiti. After the observation is completed, the expedition will proceed to Tahiti and San Francisco, whence M. Janssen proposes to visit the observatories and scientific establishments of the United States. Search for intra-Mercurial planets will be made for the first time by the aid of photography. A grand photographic apparatus has been prepared to take in the whole field surrounding the sun for about thirty degrees, which will furnish images, if the sky is clear, of all the stars to the eighth magnitude. Gelatine plates of extreme sensibility will be employed. Other instruments are provided for photographing the corona and its spectrum, for examining the spectrum of the corona, and for the exploration of the solar regions. Several foreign astronomers will be attached to the expedition at their own request, and the American and English expeditions will co-operate with it at the same place; so that the ordinarily uninhabited Island of Caroline will become, for the hour, the scientific center of the world. It will enjoy this distinction chiefly because it and Flint Island, not very far off, are the spots most favorable for the observation of the eclipse. This eclipse is expected to offer unusual facilities for observation, on account of the long duration of totality (5m 33s at Flint Island, 5m 13s at Caroline Island).

 

What shall we do with our Drunkards?—Dr. Orpheus Everts, Superintendent of the Cincinnati Sanitarium, in an inquiry on "What shall we do with the drunkard?" regards drunkenness as a disease. The only ways of dealing with it effectually are by prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors and inhibition or restriction of the drunkard. The former measure he dismisses as essentially impracticable, on account of the antagonism it must always excite; and he is left only the latter one, which he would have surrounded with the sanctions of the law. He proposes a scheme of a law for the establishment of Public Hospitals for the Cure of Drunkenness and Conservatories for the Protection of the Infirm, to which persons defined by it as coming under its import may be formally and legally committed for cure or care. When thus committed, they should be allowed every liberty or natural right which can be conserved without lessening the efficiency of the law, and should be protected, under the sanction of stringent penalties, against assaults upon their weakness, or temptations from any source.

 

Niagara Falls as a State Park.—The movement for the rescue and preservation of Niagara Falls is gathering strength, and is now seeking legislative action, authorizing the appointment of a commission to examine the question and estimate the cost of carrying out the project as an enterprise of the State of New York. It is a real disgrace to our people that this, the most wonderful object of the kind on the earth, the first feature of our natural scenery which strangers from all climes hasten to see, and which ought of right to belong to mankind, should have been left in the hands of speculators till it has been shorn of many of its natural beauties, and it can not be seen at all from our territory except on the payment of a showman's fee. By reason of these facts, and the endless extortions characteristic of the place, what used to be one of the favorite pleasure-grounds of the continent is now visited for a few hours only, as a kind of side-show, and that largely by excursions in the lump. The plan for the State's acquisition of the territory, as approved by the State Survey, contemplates the purchase of really only a small area, generally of about a hundred feet in width, extending from the head of the rapids to the upper suspension bridge, and of the islands. Then by suitable plantations and the provision of water-breaks the ground is to be restored as nearly as possible to its natural condition and kept so. With these improvements, and the relief from extortion that will accompany State