Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/884

This page has been validated.

comets and the cosmogonic theory of Laplace. He was the author of various memoirs on the equilibrium of a homogeneous fluid mass in rotation; on the effect, upon the figure of equilibrium, of attraction exerted by a center situated at a great distance; on the physical constitution and internal condition of the globe, in which he held that the density of the earth at the center is nearly double the mean density, and pronounced against the theory of the complete fluidity of the interior; on the figures of comets; and on the constitution of the solar system.

Archæological investigations in the Afrosnab suburb of Samarcand have brought many interesting relics to light. Among them are marble ornaments, mosaics, and articles of bronze, clay, and glass, belonging to the Arabian, Græco-Bactrian, or old Iranian schools, all of which have in their time flourished at that place. Chinese coins have been found at a depth of three or four metres.

At the December meeting of the Natural Science Association of Staten Island, New York, Mr. Hollick gave a description of the leaf-fossils which have been found at Tottenville. The fossils occur in three kinds of rock, all supposed to be cretaceous—a hard red or gray ferruginous sandstone, a soft gray sandstone, and a conglomerate composed chiefly of vegetable remains cemented with an oxide of iron. They are carbonaceous in the soft gray sandstone, only impressions in the other rocks. The rocks are found scattered, in blocks not more than a foot square, along the beach. The leaves are of willow, arbor-vitæ, viburnum, sourgum, grass, a small fruit or nut, an equisetum, and indistinguishable fragments. Similar sandstones with similar fossils occur near Glen Cove, Long Island. At the January meeting of the Association, Mr. C. W. Leng read a paper on the "Cicindelidæ" (beetles) of Staten Island, of which he distinguished eight species

New pests are appearing, to consume our apples. The apple-maggot (Trypeta Pomonella), leaving the outside of the apple fair to look upon, honey-combs its interior till nothing is left of it. The marauder is of a greenish-white color about one fifth of an inch long, and comes from a fly not unlike our house-fly, having whitish glassy wings, with dusky bands shaped somewhat like the letters IF. It comes from Illinois, where it feeds upon the hawberries, but has learned the merits of Eastern summer apples, and is said to be trying the virtues of later varieties. Information is wanted by Professor J. A. Lintner, State Entomologist, of New York, concerning its life-history, and all assistance that observers can give him in studying its habits and learning the best method of contending against it.

The International Electrical Exhibition, to be held in Philadelphia under the auspices of the Franklin Institute, will open on the 2d of September and close on the 11th of October. The exhibits will be classified under seven heads or sections, viz.: I. Production of Electricity; II. Electric Conductors; III. Measurements; IV. Applications of Electricity (A, apparatus requiring currents of comparatively low power; and B, apparatus requiring currents of comparatively high power); V. Terrestrial Physics; VI. Historical Apparatus; and, VII. Educational and Bibliographical. The building will be opened for the reception of articles for exhibition on the 11th of August. Applications for space must be made before the 30th of August. Exhibitors are required to pay five dollars as entrance-fee, and space-charges for their exhibits in addition. Address Committee on Exhibitions, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pa.

The life-saving stations of the United States Signal Service are now designated by name, the former designation by numbers having been abandoned on the first day of June last. As the new names are for the most part descriptive, or refer to some locality in the immediate neighborhood, the identification of them is greatly facilitated to persons who are not connected with the service, while it is not made any harder to those who are connected with it. The circular of the Bureau gives, together with the names, exact descriptions of all the stations.

A remarkable story of canine partiality is told in the English papers. Two men were out from Milford Haven in a boat, which was swamped. A dog, who was with them, caught one of them to help him out of his trouble, but, finding he was not his master, dropped him to drown, sought his master, and rescued him.

Successful experiments have been made at Coblenz, in Germany, into the practicability of substituting ravens for carrier-pigeons. Ravens, being stronger and bolder birds than pigeons, are less liable to be attacked and destroyed by birds of prey.

The people of Doll, M. Pasteur's native village, have set up a memorial tablet in the house where the great microbe-hunter was born. M. Pasteur was present on the occasion of the inauguration of the monument, and made a short address.

M. E. Peyrusson has called attention to the danger following the use of delf-ware in cases of infectious disease. It is liable to be marred by cracks and flaws in which germs may lurk. Only glass or porcelain should be trusted.