Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/267

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escape of the hydrogen. An ingot of cobalt gave out one-tenth of its volume, electrolytic laminæ of cobalt 85 times their volume, and pyrophoric cobalt powder 100 times. It also remained pyrophoric after the loss of the hydrogen. Soft iron in ingots gave off one-sixth of its volume, and gray cast-iron more than half. Electrolytic laminæ of iron gave off 260 volumes.

Disproportion of the Sexes in Germany.—The proportion of males to females in the population of the German Empire appears to be steadily declining. In 1855 the excess of females over males in what is now the German Empire was 348,631, which declined in the following nine years of peace to 313,383 in 1864. At the end of 1866, that is, after the Schleswig-Holstein and Austrian Wars, the excess was 471,885. In December, 1871, the effects of the war with France was shown in au ascertained surplus female population of 755,875. Thus in the seven years, from 1864 to 1871, the excess of females over males in the German population had increased by no less than 14 per cent. Although no inconsiderable portion of this loss to the German male population is due to actual slaughter on the battle-field, it is undoubtedly caused principally by emigration. Even if emigration could now be checked, it would take more than one generation to restore the proportion between the two sexes in Germany to what it was ten years ago.

Reduction of Obesity.—As a means of counteracting a tendency to obesity, and for reducing that habit after it has been established, Philbert recommends a mode of treatment somewhat different from that proposed by Banting. He interdicts the use of carbonaceous food as far as possible, and would augment the amount of oxygen. Hence the food must be nitrogenous, varied with a few vegetables containing no starch, and some raw fruit. The temperament, however, must be taken account of; the lymphatic should have a "red" diet—beef, mutton, venison, pheasant, etc.; the sanguine a "white" diet—veal, fowl, oysters, etc. Vegetables not sweet or farinaceous may be taken. Coffee without cream, and tea with little sugar, may be used. Sugar, butter, cheese, potatoes, beans, etc., are forbidden. In addition to these dietetic precepts, Philbert recommends favoring the action of the skin, supporting the walls of the abdomen by the use of a tight roller, and taking exercise freely. As a purgative, intended to promote the success of the treatment, the author recommends waters containing sulphate of soda.


Sir Charles Wheatstone died at Paris, October 21st, at the age of seventy-three. In England, he is reputed to have been the inventor of the electric telegraph, but in this country his claim is disputed, the credit of that momentous invention being assigned to Morse and Henry. By general consent, he is esteemed one of the most eminent of electricians. He also gained distinction by scientific researches in various other directions, especially in acoustics and optics. At the time of his death. Prof. Wheatstone was Vice-President of the London Royal Society, corresponding member of the Académie des Sciences, Knight of the Legion of Honor, etc.

In the article entitled "A Home-made Microscope," published last month, regret was expressed that the objectives of Gundlach, of Berlin, had not been introduced into this country. Since the appearance of the article, we have received a note from Mr. James Colegrove, of Kendallville, Ind., stating that Gundlach, of Berlin, has for the past two years resided in Jersey City, where he continues the manufacture of his objectives.

Died, in Jersey City, September 4th, Prof. Samuel D. Tillman, for many years Corresponding Secretary of the American Institute, and editor of its annual "Transactions." He was a native of Utica; graduated from Union College at the age of twenty; studied law, and for some time was engaged in legal practice at Seneca Falls. About twenty years ago he quitted the legal profession and devoted himself to the study of science. He was an active and prominent member of the American Association. He was familiar with almost every department of science, and, in addition, possessed a great fund of general knowledge. He was the author of a treatise on the theory of music, originated a very ingenious chemical nomenclature, and proposed a new theory of atoms. At the time of his death he was in his sixty-third year.

In an ancient mound recently opened near Detroit there were found a number of human skulls, unaccompanied by any other bones. Dr. Dalrymple, who described this