Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/300

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
288
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Prof. Putnam announced, at the last meeting of the American Association, that the Government of Honduras had granted to the museum at Cambridge, Mass., the exclusive right to explore the scientific resources of the country for a period of ten years.

A paper by Prof. A. N. Krassnof, read at the meeting of the Geological Society of America, traced the resemblance of the black soils of the Russian steppes and the prairies of America to their similar origin in the layers of successive annual crops of plants.

As described by Charles B. Thwing, the results obtained with Lippman's process for color photography, though not conclusive at all points, seem to indicate that the mixed colors may be reproduced with some fair degree of accuracy. Modifications are introduced by a change of thickness of the film between exposure and final drying, and by a shortening of the distance between maxima caused by the rays striking the reflector at an angle other than the normal. A second result is that an exposure long enough to give a clear image of the red is certain to obliterate the blue by over-exposure; and a third, that an over-exposure may completely reverse the colors, causing the original colors to appear on the reverse and the complementary on the film side of the plate.

Prof. Jastrow describes some curious tests which he made with a young man who had been born without the sense of smell, for the purpose of determining what things are tasted when we cat and what are smelled. It appears that many things which we relish are not tasted, but only smelled.

A paper by Mr. John Watson, of Manchester, England, asserts that the redevelopment of lost limbs is not unusual among insects. He has had three specimens in which limbs have been redeveloped, and one case of complete cicatrization. "Redevelopment," he says, "can take place either in the larval or the pupal stage of an insect's metamorphosis."

 


OBITUARY NOTES.

Mr. William Terrell, an American meteorologist of world-wide reputation, died in Kansas City, Mo., September 18th, about seventy-four years old. He was graduated from Bethany College in 1844, became assistant in the American Ephemeries and Nautical Almanac in 1857, and held the place for ten years; was then appointed on the staff of the United States Coast Survey, when he invented the machine for predicting the maxima and minima of tides; was made assistant, with the rank of professor, in the Signal-Service Bureau in 1882; and retired from that position in 1886 to make his home in Kansas City. He published many works, large and small, of researches on the tides or pertaining to meteorological problems; a volume on Recent Advances in Meteorology (1888); a Popular Treatise on the Winds in 1889; and contributions to scientific journals and societies on such topics as thermal radiation, cyclones, tornadoes, and related subjects of terrestrial physics. His earliest scientific writings were contributed in 1856 to the Nashville Journal of Medicine and Surgery. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the meteorological societies of England, Germany, and Austria.

Prof. Martin Duncan, F. R. S., whose death has been recently announced, was a special student of fossil corals and echinoderms, and published some valuable memoirs upon them. He was for a long time Professor of Geology in King's College, and there published an account of the Madreporia collected during the expedition of the Porcupine, a description of deep-sea and littoral corals from the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and a revision of the Echnoidea. He also published many popular articles, including Corals and their Polyps, Studies among Amoebæ, Notes on the Ophiurans, or the Sand and Brittle Stars, and a book on the Sea-shore in the Natural History Rambles series of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

The death, by apoplexy, is announced of Dr. L. Just, Professor of Botany at the Polytechnicum, Carlsruhe, Director of the Botanic Garden there, and editor of the Botanischer Jahresbericht.

Dr. Francis Brunnow, an astronomer equally distinguished in America and Europe, has recently died in Heidelberg, Germany, in his sixty-seventh year. He was associated with Encke in Berlin, and there had a part in the discovery of Neptune. He investigated the motion of De Vice's comet of short period, which, however, has never been seen since. He also, at Berlin and Ann Arbor, Mich., where he became director of the observatory in 1854, calculated the theory of some of the minor planets. He published at Ann Arbor a periodical. Astronomical Notices, which is now very rare. His Lehrbuch der spherischen Astronomic has passed through several editions. He was appointed Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin and Director of the Dunsink Observatory in 1865. Retiring from those positions in 1874, he lived the rest of his life in private.

Dr. Barclay, who recently died in Simla, India, was a specialist in cryptogamic botany, and had acquired an extended reputation by his researches in the diseases of Indian plants. He was engaged at the time of his death with the commission for the investigation of leprosy.