Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/445

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On these two men take their station; one carries a light, four-pronged spear about fifteen feet long, just before the prongs of which a lighted candle is fixed. Holding on with one hand, he manages the spear with the other hand, transfixes the nest, and detaches it from the rock. He then pushes the spear toward the second man, who takes the nest off the prongs and puts it in his "game-bag." The annual crop is estimated to be worth from $25,000 to $30,000, local value, and much more in China. The caves have been worked for seven generations, without any apparent diminution in the product, although three crops are gathered in the year. The floors of the caves are covered with a deposit of guano of unknown but great thickness.


Correction.—The paper on "School Culture of the Observing Faculties," in the December "Monthly," was written by Mr. J. C. Glashan of Ottawa, Canada, and not Glashaw, as printed.

M. G. Chauvet, in a monograph on the prehistoric polishing tools of Charente, France, notices the fact that flints very like some of the stone-age hatchets were, till recently, used in the factories of Angoulême for polishing playing-cards. The polishers are now made of copper.

A Number of the members and officers of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia have associated themselves into a Bureau of Scientific Information, the object of which is to impart, through correspondence, precise and definite information bearing upon the different branches. The bureau consists so far of twenty members, each of whom volunteers his services in his particular field of investigation. Professor Angelo Heilprin is secretary of the association.

Certain mushroom universities in the West and South seem anxious to put a high-sounding degree of some sort "within the reach of all." The allurements of these institutions include, in the department of letters, the degrees M. E. L. (Master or Mistress of English Literature); M. L. A. (Mistress of Liberal Arts); L. E. L. (Laureate of English Literature); L. A. (Laureate in Arts); B. E. (Bachelor of English); M. P. L. (Mistress of Polite Literature); and M. L. (Master of Letters); in science, A. C. (Analytical Chemist), and B. S. (Bachelor of Surgery); and in other departments are offered M. r. (Master of Philosophy); B. P. (Bachelor of Painting); M. A. (Master of Accounts); and L. I. (Licentiate of Instruction). One institution gives the degrees B. P. (Bachelor in Pedagogics); P. P. (Principal of Pedagogics); T. E. (Topographical Engineer); S. (Surveyor); and B. D. A. (Bachelor of Domestic Art). A person acquainted only with the effete colleges of the East would be at a loss on what scale to estimate the attainments of those who had been graduated with these degrees.

Sir H. E. Roscoe, speaking in the British Association of the diamantiferous deposits of South Africa, and the ash of the diamond, showed that silica and iron oxide form constant constituents of the diamond. He also stated that, when these yellow diamonds are heated out of contact with the air, they lose their color, and remain colorless so long as they are not exposed to the light; they then regain their color.

Mr. F. W. Putnam described before the American Association the exploration of the "Turner" group of mounds near Madisonville, Ohio, which had been conducted in the most careful and thorough manner, with examination of the earth shovelful by shovelful. The discoveries, both of objects obtained, and of facts regarding the structure of the mounds, were exceedingly valuable. Among the objects, some of which had never been found before in mounds, were shell-beads, disks, and rings by the thousand; cones cut from alligator-teeth; ornaments from buffalo-horn, mica, and copper; objects of native silver, gold, and meteoric iron; 50,000 pearls, mostly pierced and injured by heat; small stone dishes carved in animal forms; and artistically shaped figurines of terra-cotta, suggesting an Egyptian character.

Nordenskjöld is understood to be preparing a new three years' expedition under Russian auspices, the object of which is the north pole. He will start first for the newly discovered Bennett Islands, Henrietta and Jeannette, in the New Siberian Archipelago, where deposits of provisions will be made; thence to Franz-Josef Land, where other provisions will be left, and whence a start will be made in three divisions, for the pole.

The meeting of German naturalists, which opened at Magdeburg on the 18th of September, under the presidency of Dr. Gachde, was attended by more than a thousand men of science. Among the addresses delivered was one on the relation of micro-organisms to the infectious diseases of man, by Professor Rosenbach, of Göttingen. Dr. Gerhard Rohlfs spoke on the importance of German colonization in Africa.