Popular Science Monthly/Volume 23/October 1883/Notes


H. C. Lewis and G. F. Wright have made a detailed study of the southern boundary of the glaciated area of Ohio, which they find to be sharply defined, though not everywhere marked by such a relative excess of moraine accumulation as in Long Island, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The line enters the State from the east in Columbiana County twelve miles north of the Ohio River, runs nearly west into Stark County, where it turns more to the south, and, continuing so to Knox County, it turns then at right angles to the south; thence south and south-west to the Ohio River near Higginsport. "Cincinnati was completely enveloped by ice during the glacial period, and extensive glacial deposits exist in the northern part of Campbell and Boone Counties, Kentucky, and near Aurora, in Dearborn County, Indiana."

The London "Academy" says that "a duel took place the other day at Pesth between two noblemen, one a son of Count Andrassy, which arose out of a quarrel about the truth of Darwanism. The supporter of Darwinism, we regret to hear, was seriously wounded." From which we may conclude that his opponent now believes in the doctrine of the "survival of the fittest."

Dr. A. A. Julien, of Columbia College, in a paper on the "Decay of Building-Stones," read before the New York Academy of Science, remarked that the principle that stones are more lasting when laid "on bed" is demonstrated in all the varieties used in building. Defining "life" as the period during which the stone will present a decent appearance, he gave the following as the approximate duration of life of several kinds of stone in New York: Coarse brown-stone, best used out of the sun, from five to fifteen years; laminated fine brown-stone, twenty-five to fifty years; compact fine brown stone, one hundred to two hundred years; Nova Scotia stone, fifty to one hundred years; Ohio sand-stone, the best of the sand-stones, one hundred years; Caen stone, thirty-five to forty years; coarse dolomite marble, forty years; fine marble, sixty years; pure calcareous marble, fifty to one hundred years; granite, seventy-five to two hundred years, according to the variety. Some of the best kinds of building-stone have not yet been brought to the city.

Mr. C. J. H. Woodbury, of Boston, has had sent to him by the Societé Industrielle de Mulhouse of Alsace, Germany, its silver prize medal, in recognition of his recent work on the best means of protecting cotton and woolen mills from fire. It is believed that this is the first time an American has been the recipient of this award.

Professor Joseph Le Conte sums up the conclusions of a paper on the "Genesis of Metalliferous Veins," which is based on the examination of phenomena of metalliferous deposit by solfataric action in Nevada and California, by saying that "subterranean waters of any kind, but especially alkaline, at any temperature, but mostly hot, circulating in any direction, but mainly up-coming, and in any kind of water-way, but mainly in open fissures, by deposit form metalliferous veins. It is evident, therefore, that the form, appearance, and mode of occurrence of veins must be infinitely various, but the mode of formation is substantially one."

The study of the varieties of formation may be important to the miner, but is of little value to science proper, except as it illustrates the one principle.

One of the finest crinoid beds in the world is at Crawfordsville, Indiana. It is more extensive and affords more perfect specimens than the bed at Keokuk, Iowa. Some of the specimens are twelve inches in length, and several have been sold for eight and ten dollars each. The fossils are imbedded in hard blue clay, and are so brittle that the work of removing them is exceedingly delicate and difficult.

A supposed stone implement has been found in Philadelphia, in a loose "water-gravel" twenty-four feet below the surface. It is an oblong rectangle in shape, sixteen and a half inches long, nearly four inches wide, and varies in thickness from half an inch at the sides to one and a half inch in the middle. Each extremity is ground to a smooth cutting edge. The specimen is of compact, yellowish-brown sandstone, and is the first that has been discovered in the Philadelphia gravel. If it should prove to belong to the gravel, and to be artificial, it will carry back the antiquity of man to glacial times.

Selective breeding of fish seems at hand. Seth Green has crossed the striped bass with shad, herring with shad, whitefish with salmon, salmon with brook-trout, and brook trout with salmon-trout. The last cross is the most successful, and gives fine fish and good breeders. A cross between it and brook-trout promises to make a large trout, suitable for rivers and lakes. Mr. Green purposes next season to produce a seven-eighths brook-trout. He would try a cross between brook-trout and grayling provided both fish spawned at the same time of year, and has hopes of yet securing a cross between the grayling and the California mountain-trout, with which this condition is fulfilled.

Captain R. N. Schufeldt, of the Medical Corps, U. S. Army, has been making a scientific exploration of the vicinity of New Orleans, and has forwarded to the Smithsonian Institution a collection of some three thousand specimens of vertebrates and invertebrates of the region, together with the contents of an Indian shell-mound situated back of Carrollton. Among the vertebrates |are some very uncommon forms of bats, and other rare species.

M. Ch. Montigny, of Brussels, has observed that the intensity of the scintillation of the stars is greatly increased during the presence of an aurora borealis, and that the increase is more marked in winter than in summer.