Discussing the relation of occupations and trades to public health, Dr. John T. Alridge remarks that erroneous conclusions may be drawn by overlooking factors which, though potent, are not prominent to view. Thus, as a general rule, light occupations, in good social credit, will attract a large ratio of weak lives, pronounced incapable of active labor. Such an occupation is that of clerk; and we must not lay too much stress on its unhealthfulness as being a sedentary calling, when, in truth, it is largely filled with persons already of sickly habit. Dr. Alridge believes that inhalation of dust is a most effective cause of disease, and that those occupations in which much dust is stirred are intrinsically the most unhealthy.
In providing for the water-supply and the disposal of the sewage of the city of Toronto, engineers have to deal with the problem which is presented by the necessity of drawing the water from and returning the sewage to the same body—Lake Ontario. The water intake is now through a crib fixed at about two thousand feet from the outer shore of the island that lies in front of the harbor. Messrs. Rudolp Hering and Samuel W. Gray, who were invited to study the subject and report upon it, have reached the conclusion that "for many years to come no objection can arise and no pollution will be observed, if the sewage outfall is placed as proposed, six and one half miles from the present water intake."
The British Association Committee on the circulation of the underground waters of the kingdom, etc., reports that since it was appointed, fourteen years ago, the recognition of those stores as affording efficient supplies of water free from organic impurity at relatively little cost has made great progress. The publication of the results already obtained has been greatly appreciated by engineers and contractors, and has helped and supported recommendations of water-supplies from underground sources. As time goes on, large numbers of borings are annually made; and numerous provincial societies are giving attention to the subject and publishing results.
Mr. J. A. Loudon, of Newcastle, showed in the British Association that peat fiber can furnish a suitable material for the manufacture of brown paper, wrappers, and mill-boards. It is not, however, available for white paper.
A method of making bottles by machinery was described by Mr. H. M. Ashley in the British Association. The resultant bottle is homogeneous, with ring, neck, body, and bottom, all as one. Specimens had been subjected to an internal pressure of three hundred poundst to the square inch without any being broken. The use of the method is expected to do away with the most unhealthy part of the ordinary process of blowing bottles.
Mr. C. Spence Bate, a British authority on crustaceans, has recently died at Plymouth. He was the author of a report on a class of crustaceans collected by the Challenger Expedition; of a catalogue of certain crustaceans in the British Museum; of a "History of British Sessile-eyed Crustaceans"; and of a work on the "Pathology of Dental Caries."
Prof. George H. Cook, of Rutgers College, and State Geologist of New Jersey, died at New Brunswick, in that State, September 22d, in the seventy-third year of his age. He was born at Hanover, N. J.; became a civil engineer in 1836; laid out the line of the Catskill and Canajoharic Railroad; was graduated from Troy Polytechnic Institute in 1839; was made senior professor in that institution in 1840; became Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in Albany Academy in 1842; Principal of the Academy in 1858; Professor of Chemistry and Natural Philosophy in Rutgers College in 1852; Assistant Geologist of New Jersey in the next year, and State Geologist in 1864, when he was also made Vice-President of the State Scientific College. He was actively connected with the State Board of Agriculture; became Director of the State Weather Service; visited Europe three times on scientific errands; and was associated with many public enterprises.
Prof. Leo Lesquereux, the eminent botanist and paleontologist, died at Columbus, Ohio, October 25th, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. He was a native of Switzerland, was a friend of Guyot and Agassiz, and came to the United States in 1848. He was the author of nearly fifty scientific works; and in his special field of study he ranked with Oswald Heer. A sketch of his life and works, accompanied by a portrait and a list of his writings, was published in "The Popular Science Monthly" for April, 1887.
Dr. James Prescott Joule, F.R.S., the discoverer of the mechanical equivalent of heat, died at Sale, near Manchester, England, October 11th. He was the son of a brewer in Salford, and was born in 1818. His first contribution to scientific literature was made when he was about twenty years old, in a paper describing an electro-magnetic engine. His great discovery was made after patient, independent investigation and experiment, with extremely simple apparatus constructed by himself. He constructed electro-magnets of greater carrying power than any previously known; devised electro-magnetic engines and new forms of galvanometers; measured the heat evolved by the passage of electricity through mechanical conductors; and determined the ratio between chemical and thermal energy. A sketch of his life and a portrait were given in "The Popular Science Monthly" for May, 1874.