of chromium increases the strength of gold enormously, while the same amount of bismuth reduces the tenacity to a very low point. Chromium, cobalt, tungsten, titanium, cadmium, zirconium, and lithium are already well known in the arts, and the valuable properties which metallic chromium and tungsten confer upon steel are beginning to be generally recognized.
The Electrical Engineer begins the new year with the publication of the first of a series of articles on the electrical and magnetic discoveries of Prof. Joseph Henry, by his daughter, Miss Mary A. Henry, of Washington, with notes by Mr. Franklin Leonard Pope. Additional interest is given to these articles by the fact that the author will endeavor in them to substantiate the claim that Prof. Henry was the original discoverer of magneto-electricity.
A German physician, Dr. Krug, claims that he has discovered how to make an eatable and nutritious cake with wood. His method consists in transforming the cellulose into grape sugar, a substance assimilable by the animal organism. The biscuit is made by adding to this about forty per cent of meal of wheat, oats, or rye. Phosphates and all the bone elements may also be introduced. This bread of wood-glucose is intended to be fed to cattle, for which it will take the place of oil-cakes and other feeds composed of industrial wastes.
The Council of the School of Mines in England has determined that the room at South Kensington containing the library of research presented by Prof. Huxley to the institution, and in which he taught for nearly twenty years, shall be entirely set apart as the Huxley Laboratory for Biological . An endowment of one thousand pounds bequeathed for the establishment of a prize or scholarship in biology, has become available, together with the scientific books and instruments, and its proceeds will be appropriated annually in aid of a student in this laboratory, which now has provision for two students.
Mr. Albert Koebele, of our Bureau of Entomology, who is studying the enemies of insect pests in the Australasian colonies, was recently introduced by Sir James Hector to the Wellington Philosophical Society, New Zealand, as a naturalist whose work in securing the Vedalia lady-bird to destroy the Iceria pest of the California orchards is "one of the grandest things in the interest of fruit and tree growers that have been effected in modern times."
A correspondent of the Geneva (Switzerland) Tribune relates that his family were disturbed one evening by a mysterious ringing of the electric bells all over the house. Investigating the cause, the writer found that a large spider had established itself at a point where the bell and the electric light wires ran close to one another, with one leg on either wire, thus establishing a connection.
A specimen of prehistoric hatchets of peculiar form was exhibited by M. Villanova, of Piera, at the meeting of the French Association. About two hundred of them had been found at Elcho. They were simple emblems or images of a hatchet, made of a thin blade of metal, ornamented on both sides from one end to the other, and without edges. At the top is a kind of cup suggesting a socket that does not exist, and representing, probably, the jet of the casting.
Java is said to be the region of the globe where it thunders oftenest, having thunderstorms on ninety-seven days in the year. After it are Sumatra, with eighty-six days; Hindustan, with fifty-six; Borneo, with fifty-four; the Gold Coast, with ; and Rio de Janeiro, with fifty-one. In Europe Italy occupies the first place, with thirty-eight days of thunder, while France and southern Russia have sixteen days, Great Britain and Switzerland seven days, and Norway only four days. Thunder is rare at Cairo, being heard on only three days in the year; and is extremely rare in northern Turkistan and the polar regions. The northern limit of the region of thunderstorms passes by Cape Ogle, Iceland, Nova Zembla, and the coast of the Siberian Sea.
A prize of four hundred kronen is offered by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences at Copenhagen for investigations on the exact nature and proportions of the more important carbohydrates present at different stages of maturity, in the cereals in most general use.
The use of aluminum is recommended by Mr. G. L. Addenbrooke, instead of brass, for the framing of photographic lenses and the metal parts of cameras; for the revolving tripod heads fixed in the base-boards of cameras; and for developing dishes, for which he regards it as very suitable, for the action of most of the chemicals used in photography is very slight upon it, and, when there is any, the compounds formed would not be harmful.
In the course of an account of various marriage customs. Dr. A. H. Post refers to a strange sort of symbolical marriage with plants, trees, animals, or inanimate objects, which is supposed to have originated m India. If any one proposes to enter upon a union that is not in accordance with traditional ideas, it is believed that the ill luck which is otherwise sure to follow may be