Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/300

This page has been validated.

and on the blade of a steel knife inserted into the gastric solution, the presence of copper. The copper and its albuminate were digested in solutions similar to those of the pancreatic and gastric juices, and in the stomach of the living animal. Administered to a rabbit and a pig, the salts of copper produced toxic symptoms.

A novel rice-pounding machine used in the northern Shan states (Indo-China) is described by Lord Lamington as including bamboo pipes through which water is led into a hollow cut into one end of a pestle such as is usually worked by foot. The other or mallet end rises with the weight of the water till the water is automatically discharged, and then the pestle falls back and does its work of pounding the unhusked paddy.

The Acarus sacchari, or sugar-mite, is very frequently found in raw sugar, but not in refined. In an inferior sample of raw sugar, Prof. Cameron found five hundred of the organisms in ten grains. They may be avoided by eating only refined sugar, but it is doubtful if they would do any harm if they were eaten. The disease known as "grocer's itch," however, is probably due to the presence of this mite, which works its way under the skin and produces symptoms identical with those produced by the common Acarus scabiei, and the remedies are the same for both. The parasites multiply very rapidly, and Gerlach found that a single female would produce fifteen hundred thousand progeny in three months. The most common agents for destroying them are mercuric chloride and sulphur.

Discussing the value of the tree as a schoolmaster, Garden and Forest presents as the first of its lessons that "it teaches man to reserve judgment by showing that the insignificance of a germ is no criterion of the magnitude of its product, that slowness of development is not an index of the scope of growth, and proves to him that the most far-reaching results can be attained by very simple means. A barrel of acorns may be the nucleus of a forest that shall cherish streams to fertilize a desert; a handful of cedar cones may avert an avalanche, while a bushel of pine seed may prevent the depopulation of a great section of country by mountain torrents."

It should be mentioned pertinently to President Jordan's article on Agassiz at Penikese, that the buildings of the Anderson School on that island were totally destroyed by fire in August, 1891. The fire caught—Mr. George O'Malley, of New Bedford, informs President Jordan—under one corner of the building, and in a very short time nothing was left.

The Laboratory for Investigators of the Marine Biological Laboratory at Wood's Holl, Mass., will be open from June 1st to August 1st. The laboratory for teachers and students will be opened July 6th for regular courses of seven weeks in zoölogy, botany, and microscopical technique. The number of students will be limited to fifty, and preference will be given to teachers and others already qualified. Students may begin their individual work as early as June 15th without extra charge. A spacious new wing of the laboratory building will be ready for use on July 1st.

A summer course in botany is held annually in the lecture-room of the College of Pharmacy, 209 and 211 East 23d Street, New York, to consist of ten lectures, beginning this year April 28th, and closing with the excursion of July 5th. The extensive appliances for instruction of the institution are used; fresh material is collected weekly; and competent lecturers are provided by a committee of the Torrey Botanical Club. In addition to the lectures, the course includes ten excursions. The lectures will be given on Thursdays, at four o'clock in the afternoon, and the excursions will be made on Tuesdays and Saturdays, each member choosing the series of excursions which he will attend.

The fourth meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science was held at Hobart, Tasmania, January 7th to 14th, under the presidency of Sir Robert Hamilton, and was in every way successful and creditable. The president, in his inaugural address, gave a sketch of the history of the Royal Society of Tasmania, and suggested reasons why all intelligent persons in Australia should do their utmost "to hasten the advent of the time, which is undoubtedly approaching, when science will form a much more integral part of the life of the people than it does at present." The next meeting will be held at Adelaide, and Prof. Tate will be its president.


Dr. Charles Meymott Tidy, an eminent English chemist and analyist, died March 15th. He had been joint lecturer on chemistry and Professor of Chemistry and Medical Jurisprudence and Public Health at the London Hospital, and was at the time of his death Official Analyist to the Home Office and Medical Officer of Health for Islington. He also held the office of Reader of Medical Jurisprudence at the Inns of Court. Among his publications were a course of Cantor Lectures on the Practical Applications of Optics to the Arts and Manufactures and to Medicine; a paper on the Treatment of Sewage; a work on Legal Medicine; a paper on Ammonia in the Urine in Health and Disease; and a Hand-book of Modern Chemistry, the second edition of which appeared in 1887.