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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

but a good meteorologist as well—one of the scientific men of his time. M. Vice-Admiral Vignes, President of the Geographical Society of Paris, on reading the paper, remarked that he was surprised to find in Virgil the exact laws of cyclones, which sailors did not learn till a comparatively modern time.

 

British Fisheries.—The North Sea fisheries of Great Britain were reported at the meeting of the British Association to be declining. It was proposed to draw up a history of the North Sea trawling grounds, comparing their present condition with their condition some twenty or thirty years ago, when comparatively few boats were at work; to continue, verify, and extend observations as to the average size at which prime fish became sexually mature; and to collect statistics as to the size of all fish captured in the vicinity of the Dogger Bank and to the eastward, so that the number of immature fish annually captured may be estimated; also, to make experiments with beam trawl nets of various meshes with a view to determine the relation, if any, between the size of mesh and the size of fish taken.

 

The Kingfisher.—The habits of the kingfisher (Halcyon vagans) are the subject of a paper by Mr. J. W. Hall, of the Auckland (N. Z.) Institute. His observations, while not decisive, favor the opinion that kingfishers capture live birds. They are also sometimes captured by hawks; but the hawk does not always come off best. One day the author saw a hawk sailing round the bend of a hill followed by a kingfisher. Then at once arose a great outcry, and the hawk came again in sight, bearing the kingfisher in its talons. But, nothing daunted, the kingfisher with its pick-axe of a bill pegged away at the breast and abdomen of its captor to such good effect that the hawk was glad to liberate its prey, whereupon the kingfisher flew away, apparently but little the worse for the encounter, and carrying with it the full sympathy of the onlookers.

 


NOTES.

The Japanese observe very exact proportions between leaves and flowers in the arrangement of irises. With three leaves they use one flower, with seven leaves two flowers, with eleven leaves five flowers, with thirteen leaves only three flowers, and with fifteen leaves only two flowers again. When we examine pictures that show the results of the application of these rides, says Garden and Forest, we are convinced that they have been dictated by a very true feeling for artistic effects of the most delicate sort.

According to the analyses of Dr. C. F. Millspaugh, of the West Virginia Experiment Station, weeds vary largely in the percentages of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash which they contain. One of the evening primroses has only one per cent of nitrogen, while the poke-weed has three per cent of that substance, and a dry ton of the weed will contain twenty-two dollars' worth of it. By composting weeds with plaster, a valuable manure may be obtained.

According to the story of George Hunt, keeper of the lighthouse at Tillamook Rock, on the Pacific coast, in the storm of December 7, 1891, the waves swept clear over the house, washing away the boats, and tearing loose and carrying off the landing platform and tramway which were bolted to the rock. On the 29th the waves were still higher, and streams of water poured into the lantern through the ventilators in the balloon top of the dome, one hundred and fifty-seven feet above the sea-level.

Dr. Alanus, a translation of whose letter relating his experiences is published in the Medical and Surgical Reporter, says that after having lived for a long time as a vegetarian without feeling any better or worse than he had felt with a mixed diet, he discovered one day that his arteries were showing signs of atheromatous degeneration. Consulting a work by Dr. E. Morin, of Paris, he found that affection pointed out as one of the results of living on an exclusively vegetable diet. He now no longer considers purely vegetable food as the normal diet of man, but only as a curative method of great service in various morbid states.

According to an article in the Overland Monthly, many women in California gain a livelihood by raising flower bulbs and seeds for market, and many others send to San Francisco every day hampers of wild flowers and ferns which have been picked from the neighboring cañons. Mrs. Theodosia Shepherd, of Ventura, stands foremost among these successful floriculturists, although only eight years have passed since, without means and broken down in health, she grew her first seeds for market in the old mission town of San Buena Ventura. She now fills orders from prominent Eastern florists, with occasional calls from Europe, Australia, and the Sandwich Islands.

An attempt has been made by Herr Pfeiffer to prove and measure, by the change in electric conductivity, the solvent action of