Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/881

This page has been validated.
863
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

ward him with pleasure, stood quietly looking around with intelligence while the injection was made, and ever afterward lent himself to the experiment with as much evident pleasure and interest as that of the investigators."

Experiments made by Asa S. Kinney at the Hatch Experiment Station, Massachusetts, with special reference to that question, prove that electricity exercises an appreciable influence on the germination of seeds, and that the application of certain strengths of current for short periods of time accelerates the process. The range in the strength of current which accelerates germination is exceedingly limited, and within this range there are a maximum, optimum, and minimum current. Seeds subjected to but one application of electricity show the effect only for a few hours, while, when applied hourly to germinating seeds or growing plants, electricity does not lose its effect, but acts as a constant stimulant to their growth and development.

The movement for instruction in domestic science is finding increasing favor. Provision is gradually being made for it as the demand extends in one institution after another. It is recognized in the Ohio State University in the name of the College of Agriculture and Domestic Science, where a "short course" and a four-year course in the branch are arranged for. The programme of the department, which is under the direction of Miss Perla G. Bowman, of the Toledo Manual Training School, includes cookery in its various branches, with the principles of combustion, food economics, the chemistry of the human body, comparative nutritive and money values of foods, invalid cookery, a waiting course, household economics, the properties of textile materials, sewing, millinery, costumes, dressmaking, and needlework. In connection with these last topics, the choice and treatment of various materials, line, form, color, and texture, as applied to dressmaking, are illustrated in connection with practice. In designing the courses, the need of every woman for the most liberal culture in connection with technical training has been recognized.

An exhibition at the Arch├Žological Institute of England of prehistoric flint implements, discovered in Egypt by Mr. H. W. Seton Karr, includes articles from the mines of the Wady-el-Sheik district, in the Eastern Desert, some of the types of which are new to science, and implements from Abydos, Nagada, Nagh Hamdi, Thebes, and other places in the Western Desert. At some of the mines are shafts about two feet in diameter filled up with drifted sand and surrounded by masses of excavated earth neatly arranged. There was usually a central place where most of the objects were discovered. At some mines a number of clubs or truncheons lay distributed uniformly when the mines were abandoned. Other implements of flint and quartzite are from Somaliland, and were found on a long, low hill about a hundred miles from the coast. The country around was of limestone, in some places overflowed by lava, and the implements lay in ones, twos, and threes. Sir John Evans said, in a communication to the Royal Society, that these discoveries "have an important bearing on the question of the original home of the human race. Of their identity in form with some from the valley of the Somme there can be no doubt, and we need not hesitate in claiming them as pal├Žolithic."


NOTES.

The Columbia University Bulletin notices the retirement, at his own request, of Prof. Thomas Egleston, of the Faculty of Applied Science, the creator of the original School of Mines, of which the faculties of Applied Science have been the outgrowth. Returning from his studies abroad in 1863, he saw that the time was ripe for a school in which chemistry, geology, mineralogy, metallurgy, and engineering might be taught young men with a view to fitting them for practice in the field of mining. The success of the School of Mines was surprising and encouraging. The demand for instruction in allied branches was so great that schools of architecture and engineering and chemistry, etc., were formed and set off in 1896 in the Faculty of Applied Science. What has been done at Columbia has happened to a greater or less extent at several other institutions, so that schools and departments of this sort are multiplying.

The ascent of Mount St. Elias, Alaska, was successfully accomplished by Prince Luigi, of Savoy, and his party of Italian mountain climbers, July 31st. On their way up they met the American party led by Mr. Bryant, who were returning on account of