Popular Science Monthly/Volume 17/August 1880/Notes


Professor William K. Kedzie, formerly Professor of Chemistry and Physics in the Kansas State Agricultural College, and Professor of Chemistry in Oberlin College, died at Lansing, Michigan, April 14th, in the twenty-ninth year of his age. As Chemist of the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, he performed valuable analyses of the soils, minerals, and vegetable products of Kansas. He planned the laboratory of the Kansas Agricultural College, and was the principal originator of the Natural History Society of the Michigan Agricultural College. His chief published writings are a work on the geology of Kansas and a number of articles contributed to the Kansas Academy of Science.

Soundings of the Niagara River below the falls have been taken by a party of United States engineers. A line, cast out as near to the falls as they could be approached in a small boat and near to the shore, gave 83 feet. Farther down the stream the line told off 100 feet, and at the inclined railway 192 feet. The average depth of the swift drift, where the river suddenly becomes narrow with a velocity too great to be measured, was 153 feet. Immediately below the bridge, where the whirlpool rapids set in, the depth was computed to be 210 feet.

The death is announced of Dr. J. G. Mulder, Professor of Chemistry in the University of Utrecht, in his seventy-eighth year.

Professor Nicholas Zinin, the eminent Russian chemist, died early in the present year, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was fifteen years a professor in the University of Kazan, after which, from 1848 to 1874, he was Professor of Chemistry in the Imperial Academy of Medicine at St. Petersburg.

The Summer School of Zoölogy of the Johns Hopkins University is established on an island near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, for a term of six weeks. The place abounds in living organisms in such variety that the student has an opportunity of studying representatives of nearly all the larger groups of animals, and is free from mosquitoes and extreme heat.

A second specimen of the archæopteryx is on deposit in the Geological Museum at Berlin, with the expectation that it will be purchased. It was bought from its former owner for five thousand dollars by Herr Siemens, of Berlin, to prevent its being brought to this country.

M. Chevreul, who is now in his ninety-fifth year, has begun his course in chemistry at the Paris Museum of Natural History, with as much apparent zest and energy as he exhibited fifty years ago, when he first entered upon the duties of his chair.

Gelose is the name of the most valuable constituent of the substance known in commerce as China moss. It has the property of absorbing and solidifying into a colorless and diaphanous jelly five hundred times its weight of water, and is capable of forming ten times as much jelly by weight as the best animal gelatine.

Professor David Thomas Ansted, author of several works on geology and its applications, died May 20th. He was born in London in 1814, was appointed Professor of Geology in King's College, Cambridge, in 1840, and afterward Lecturer on Geology at other institutions, Assistant Secretary to the Geological Society, and editor of its quarterly journal.

Pertinent to the discussion concerning the fertility of hybrids, it is stated that the fertility of the progeny of the hare and the rabbit has been established for several generations. The hybrids are known in France as léporides, and have been constituted by Haeckel into the species Lepus Huxleyii.

The death of Professor Wilhelm Schimper, the distinguished Alsatian botanist, is announced. He was best known through his works on the mosses, in which department he was one of the leading authorities. He was also author of an important treatise on vegetable paleontology, and of several works on Alsatian botany and geology.

The death of Dr. Rudolph H. C. C. Scheffer, director of the botanical gardens at Buitenzorg, Java, which took place March 9th, causes a loss which will be felt by a large circle of botanists throughout the world. He had been director of the gardens for twelve years, and was in communication with every home and colonial institution.