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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/404

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

brated lanterns, called gifu, are made of it at Tokio and Osaka. Under the name of shibuganni it is applied to the covering of umbrellas which are sold in China and Korea. As zedogawa shi bank notes are printed on it. Oiled it is kappa, impermeable and suitable for covering packages and for making waterproof garments. Handkerchiefs are made from it, cords by twisting. For light, solid articles it is mixed and compressed very much as our papier-maché. Covered with thick paste and pounded, it forms tapestries. Imitations of Cordova leather are made of it by spreading it and pressing it with hard brushes upon boards in which suitable designs have been cut. It is then covered with oil and varnish. Japan produced nearly five million dollars' worth of paper in 1892. Unfortunately, European methods of manufacture have been introduced, and there is danger of the paper losing its distinctive qualities.

 

The Deeps of the Ocean.—In his geographical address at the British Association, Sir John Murray showed that the deep oceanic soundings are scattered over the different ocean basins in varying proportions, that they are now most numerous in the North Atlantic and Southwest Pacific, and in these two regions the contour lines of depth may be drawn with greater confidence than in the other divisions of the great ocean basins. On the whole, it may be said that the general tendency of recent soundings is to extend the area with depths greater than one thousand fathoms, and to show that numerous volcanic cones rise from the general level of the floor of the ocean basins up to various levels beneath the sea surface. Considerably more than half of the sea floor lies at a depth exceeding two thousand fathoms, or more than two geographical miles. On the Challenger charts all areas where the depth exceeds three thousand fathoms have been called "deeps," and distinctive names have been conferred upon them. Forty-two such depressions are now known—twenty-four in the Pacific Ocean, three in the Indian Ocean, fifteen in the Atlantic Ocean, and one in the Southern and Antarctic Oceans. The area occupied by these deeps is estimated at 7,152,000 geographical square miles, or about seven per cent of the total water surface of the globe. Within these deeps more than 250 soundings have been recorded, of which twenty-four exceed 2,000 fathoms, including three exceeding 5,000 fathoms. Depths exceeding 4,000 fathoms, or four geographical miles, have been recorded in eight of the deeps. Depths exceeding 5,000 fathoms have been hitherto recorded only within the Aldrich Deep of the South Pacific, to the east of the Kermadecs and Friendly Islands, where the greatest depth is 5,155 fathoms, or 530 feet more than five geographical miles. This is about 2,000 feet more below the level of the sea than the summit of Mount Everest, in the Himalayas, is above it.

 

Death of Sir William Dawson.—By the death of Sir J. William Dawson, at Montreal, November 19th, America loses one of its most highly distinguished geologists. Sir William was born at Pictou, Nova Scotia, in October, 1820, and was deeply interested in the study of Nature from his early college days, when he made extensive collections of various kinds. When he was twenty-two years old a happy fortune brought him in contact with Sir Charles Lyell, then visiting America, and he was that eminent geologist's traveling companion during his scientific tour of Nova Scotia. He studied chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. Returning to Nova Scotia in 1850, he engaged in teaching, and was associated with the first normal school in the province. He was afterward connected with the new University of New Brunswick, and from 1855 to 1893 was Principal of McGill College and University. Although his duties in the college were very exacting. Professor Dawson's industry in scientific research was never relaxed, and he was the author of contributions of very great value to the geology and paleontology of Canada. Among these were the discoveries of the Dendrepeton acadianum—the first reptile found in the American coal formations—and the Pupa vetusta—the first-known Paleozoic land shell. His discovery and exposition of the Eozoon canadense attracted great attention, and was much discussed, but his views of its importance do not seem to have been justified, for some doubts now ex-