Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/739

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storm, and it will frequently happen that the thunderstorm and the souring occur together, not because the thunder has hastened the souring, but rather because the climatic conditions which have brought the storm have at the same time been such as to cause unusually rapid bacteria growth.

A vivid sketch was given by Prof. Gruber, of Roumania, in the International Congress of Experimental Psychology, of remarkable associations of color and sound which he had been observing for many years. To a small number among his best-educated patients the sound of the vowel e was accompanied by a sensation of yellow color, of i by blue, of o by black, and so on through all the Roumanian vowels and diphthougs, and to some extent with numbers. The same color was not always induced by the same sound in different persons, but the observations had been carefully tested.

The Superintendent of the Natal Observatory, in his report for 1890-'91, acknowledged his obligations to seven ladies, without whose zealous assistance, he says, the greater part of the astronomical computations, etc., would not have been carried out.

The programme of the sanitary exhibit to be held in connection with the Chicago Exhibition defines its purpose to be to show as adequately as possible the position in which the theory and practice of hygiene stand at the present day. The programme itself is a full one, and includes classes of physical exercise, alimentation, hygiene of dwellings, hotels, lodging-houses, etc., public baths and lavatories, and numerous other features entering into the detail of hygienic management.—In connection with this subject we notice a paper on Typhoid Fever in Chicago, by William T. Sedgwick and Allen Hazen, in which the disease is shown to have increased in the city at a fearful rate within recent years. The cause of the increase is attributed to polluted water supply, which efforts are now being made to remedy.

A new coating for the protection of metalwork and woodwork from the effects of the weather or of water is based on the adaptability of cotton-seed oil to unite with lead. Melted lead is poured into cotton-seed oil under continual stirring, and the mixture is allowed to cool. When the oil is poured off the lead will be found at the bottom, but reduced in weight by the absorption of a part of it in the oil. The operation is repeated, with the lead left at the end of each trial, five times. When cold, the oil has the appearance of thick varnish, and is ready to be applied with a brush or a sponge. This coating unites quickly and firmly with any material.

The price of platinum recently rose, under a speculative combination, nearly to that of gold. This stimulated the discovery of new sources of supply, and the price of the metal went down again. There are now forty mines along the course of a single river in the Ural. The grains of ore are obtained from the sand by washing. The metal as found is usually associated with gold, iron, osmium, iridium, and other rare metals, and has to be purified from them.

It is related by the British consul at Cadiz, Spain, in illustration of the perfection with which natural wine can be imitated by modern chemical methods, that he and a friend, visiting one of the native sherry cellars there, were given two samples of wine to drink which seemed to be almost identical; and were told that one was a natural product and very costly ($250 a bottle), while the other was a manufactured product, the market price of which was only a few cents a bottle. In making the imitation, the natural product is first analyzed, and the chemist, ascertaining the exact nature of its constituent parts, is able to combine them and thus nearly reproduce the original compound.

The longest balloon ride on record is described by M. Maurice Mallet, in L'Aéronaute. It was from La Villette, Paris, to Wahlen, in central Germany, and occupied thirty-six hours and ten minutes, from October 23 to the morning of October 25, 1892. The flight was disturbed by snow in the upper regions of the atmosphere, which melted in the lower. During one of its descents the balloon, as is characteristic of the border land, was stopped and examined by a Prussian guard, who had galloped after it for a considerable distance.

The celebration of the three hundredth anniversary of the beginning of Galileo's labors as professor in the University of Padua, December 6, 1892, was attended by the Americans, Prof. William James, of Harvard, and Prof. Allan Marquand, of Princeton. The commemorative oration was by Prof. Antonio Favaro, who has been for fifteen years a student of Galileo, and is editor of the national edition of his works. He spoke chiefly of Galileo at Padua. He was followed by about a dozen of the foreign delegates and some of the Italian delegates. University honors were conferred upon seven foreign scientific men, representative of their several nations, including Prof. Newcomb. Besides some memorial works published by the ancient Academy of Padua, and by the university, the students of the university are about to issue a collection of documents relating to the sojourn of the philosopher at Padua.

Herr Nagel has succeeded in localizing the sense of taste of sea anemones in their tentacles. A piece of sardine brought carefully to the tentacles of one of these animals was seized at once by the one touched, then by the others, and was swallowed. A piece