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569
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

of Hypnotism. Pp 12—McBride, T. H. Public Parks for Iowa Towns. Pp 8.—Macmillan, Conway. On the Formation of Circular Muskeag in Tamarack Swamps. Pp. 8, with 8 plates—Smith, J. P. The Development of Lytoceras and Phylloceras. San Francisco. Pp. 24, with plates.—Stuver, E., M. D. What Influence do Stimulants and Narcotics exert on the Development of the Child? Chicago. Pp. 20.—Turner, H. W. Notes on Some Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks of the Coast Ranges of California. Chicago. Pp. 16.—Washburn, F. L., Eugene, Ore. Continuation of Experiment in Propagating Oysters on the Oregon Coast, Summer of 1898. Pp. 5.

Spencer, Herbert, The Principles of Biology. Revised and enlarged edition, 1898. Vol. 1. New York: D. Appleton and Company. Pp. 706. $2.

Winthrop, Alice Worthington. Diet in Illness and Convalescence. New York: Harper & Brothers. Pp. 287.

United States Geological Survey. The Kaolins and Hire Clays of Europe, and the Clay-working Industry of the United States in 1897. By Heinrich Ries. Pp. 114; Bulletin No. 150. The Educational Series of Rock Specimens collected and distributed by the Survey. By J. S. Diller. Pp. 400; No. 151. The Lower Cretaceous Gryphæas of the Texas Region. By R. T. Hill and T W. Vaughan. Pp. 139, with plates; No. 152. Catalogue of the Cretaceous and Tertiary Plants of North America. By F. H. Knowlton. Pp. 247; No. 153. A Bibliographical Index of North American Carboniferous Invertebrates By Stuart Weller. Pp. 653; No. 154. A Gazetteer of Kansas. By Henry Gannett. Pp. 246; No. 155. Earthquakes in California in 1896 and 1897. By C. D. Perrine P. 18; No. 156. Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, Paleontology, Petrology, and Mineralogy for 1897. By F. B. Weeks. Pp. 130.

United States National Museum Bean. Barton A. Notes on the Capture of Rare Pishes. Pp. 2.—Bean, Tarleton H. and Barton A. Notes on Oxycoltus Acuticeps (Gilbert) from Sitka and Kadiak, Alaska. Pp 2.—Lucas, F. A. A New Snake from the Eocene of Alabama. Pp. 2, with 2 plates.

 


Fragments of Science.

Early Submarine Telegraphy.—The actual date of the beginning of subaqueous telegraphy was admitted by Professor Ayrtoun, in a lecture delivered before the Imperial Institute in 1897, to be uncertain. Baron Schilling is said to have exploded mines under the Neva by means of the electric current as early as 1812; and this method was used by Colonel Pasley to blow up the wreck of the Royal George at Spithead in 1838; but our Morse has the credit of having first used a wire insulated with India rubber under water. In 1 337, Wheatstone and Cooke were experimenting with land telegraphy, and were considering the possibility of laying an insulated wire under water. Morse's successful experiments date from 1842, when he personally laid a cable between Castle Garden and Governor's Island and sent messages over it; the next morning it was broken. With the introduction of gutta percha as an insulator in 1847, submarine telegraphy became practicable. The Central Oceanic Telegraph Company had been registered by Jacob Brett in 1845, and a cable was laid under the English Channel by Brett and his brother in 1850. Messages were sent through it, but, like Morse's earlier effort, it immediately became silent. Better success attended the cable of the next year, which was sheathed with iron; and the first public submarine message was sent over it November 13, 1851 Morse wrote of the possibility of establishing electro-magnetic communication across the ocean as early as 1844. A syndicate was formed for this purpose in 1855, Cyrus W. Field being the most conspicuous figure in it. An understanding was reached with the Brett company, and the Atlantic Telegraph Company was formed. The first effort to lay the cable was made in 1857 by the United States frigate Niagara and H. M. S. Agamemnon, but the vires broke in deep water when about a third of the work was done. A cable was successfully laid the next year, but it died out in a month. Finally, electric communication was permanently established across the Atlantic by the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, which, capturing a cable that had been lost, soon had two. Transatlantic cables have now become so numerous and so regular in their working that the danger of even a temporary failure has become very remote.

 

The White Lady Mountain.—Iztaccihuatl (pronounced Is-tak-see-watl) is about ten miles, measuring to its principal peak, north of Popocatepetl. In shape it consists of a long, narrow ridge cut into three well-defined peaks about equally distant from one another, of which the central is the highest; and the snow-covered peak resembles the figure of a woman lying on her back; whence the name of the mountain, which means