Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/740

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cliffs of stone, which was also probably employed for burial purposes. The ladder was a trunk of a cedar tree, having seven or eight steps, eighteen or nineteen inches apart, made by cutting a scarf into the tree. There are many such houses, Mr. Burns says, in the coal measures, and they were used by the aborigines as dwelling or burial places.

A blue mineral discovered near Silver City, New Mexico, and supposed to be ultramarine, occurs in irregular veins and streaks in the lime carrying the silver ore which is mined at Chloride Flat. The specimens procured by Mr. G. P. Merrill for the United States Museum exhibit the earthy blue substance which on casual inspection resembles ultramarine, associated with calcite and other substances; the analyses show, according to Mr. K. L. Packard, a chemical resemblance to talc, although the physical properties of the two minerals are different.

A company engaged in the construction of an electric railway on the Jungfrau proposes to devote twenty thousand dollars to the erection of a geophysical observatory at an altitude of about fifteen thousand feet, and to apply one thousand dollars a year for its maintenance.

The Jakuns, or aboriginals, of Johore (Malacca) live in small communities on the banks of jungle streams, subsisting miserably on fruits, tapioca, roots, and small fish and reptiles. They seldom remain long in the same spot, but wander from place to place, living under scanty leaf shelters built on rickety poles at a considerable height from the ground. It is not uncommon to find a dozen men, women, and children, in company with a tame monkey or two, a few dogs and cats, innumerable fowls, and perhaps a tame hornbill, living in perfect harmony under the same miserable shelter. These aborigines are all very expert fishermen, using chiefly the three-pronged spear.

The National Home Reading Union of England has for four years followed the practice of taking its students every summer into the fields, to the places which best illustrate the subjects on which they are at work. Thus, this year, while the general meetings were held at Buxton, special meetings were held at Salisbury, for the study of the monuments, abundant in the district, illustrating the archæology, art, and history of early England—"from Stonehenge to Salisbury Cathedral." Special excursions were given for botany, geology, etc., and conferences on social and educational subjects.

Dr. D. L. W. Robinson, President of the South Dakota State Board of Health, is convinced from experience in practice in that region of great climatic variation and pressure that a close relationship exists between weather changes and health and disease. Yet he fails to identify this relationship specifically with either barometric changes or low temperature, and suggests that it may be connected with electrical conditions as the principal factor.

According to the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, the recent study of the observations on mountain summits in the neighborhood of Mount St. Elias shows that Mount Logan is the loftiest peak in North America, its height being 19,500 feet—1,200 feet greater than that of Orizaba, and 1,500 feet more than that of Mount St. Elias.


The death is announced at Geneva, Switzerland, of the eminent chemist, J. C. de Marignac, formerly professor in the University of Geneva. He retired from his professorship in 1878, but continued his studies in a laboratory, which he fitted up at home, till the end of his life. He was well known for his researches on ozone and on chlorine, silver, potassium, sulphuric acid, and other substances in the domain of mineral chemistry. He was a correspondent of the Institute of France, and received the gold medal of the Royal Society in 1886. He was modest to excess and led a retired life of labor, the fruits of which made his name known throughout the world.

The death is announced of Prof. Adolph Leipner, Professor of Botany in University College, Bristol, England. He had been honorary secretary from its beginning in 1862, and was at the time of his death President of the Bristol Naturalists' Society.

Prof. August Kundt, the eminent physicist, died May 21st at his country place near Lubeck, fifty-four years of age. He was born at Schwerin in 1839 and was graduated from the University of Berlin in 1864, presenting as his thesis an investigation on the depolarization of light. He became a privatdocent in the University of Berlin in 1867, and was afterward a professor in the Polytechnic Institution at Zurich, at Würzburg, in the University of Strasburg, in the organization of which he had an important part, and in the Berlin Physical Institute, where he was also director. His first investigations were in acoustics and were gradually extended to embrace a large range of subjects. Perhaps the most important of them were in optics and magneto-optics.

M. A. Derbès, one of the pioneers in the study of the life history of the algæ, has recently died in Marseilles, France. In conjunction with M. Solier he was the author of a work on Zoöspores of the Algæ and the Antharides of the Cryptogams, published in 1847, which was rich with new facts and formed the basis of all later observations on the same subject.