Popular Science Monthly/Volume 28/March 1886/Notes


Sir W. Temple, in his "Essays of Health and Long Life," recommends, as the strongest preservative against contagions, a piece of myrrh held in the mouth. It has been asserted that Eastern physicians invariably adopt this protection when attending the sick.

A memorial window to the late Sir William Siemens, erected by his brother engineers, was unveiled in Westminster Abbey, November 26, 1885, with addresses by the Dean and Sir F. Bramwell.

The article by Professor Rood, entitled "The Problem of Photography in Color," published in the last "Monthly," and credited to the "Photographic Bulletin," should have been credited to "Anthony's Photographic Bulletin."

M. Pagès, in the course of his experiments in photographing the movements of horses, has been struck by the observation that the foot of the animal, being half the time at rest on the ground, must, during the other half the time, be in much more rapid motion than the animal itself. He estimates that in the gallop the foot reaches a velocity of sixty metres, or about two hundred feet, a second.

Dr. C. V. Riley, Entomologist of the Department of Agriculture, and Honorary Curator of Insects in the National Museum, has given to that institution his extensive private collection of North American insects, representing the fruits of his labors in collecting and study for many years.

The Mexican Government is said to be contemplating the establishment of a meteorological station among the highest mountains of the country, at an elevation of nearly twenty thousand feet above the level of the sea. Instruments for its use, as far as possible to go a year without stopping, are being made at Zürich, Switzerland.

"Naturen," of Christiania, Norway, calls attention to notices that have been given of Scandinavian observations in the past, of phenomena parallel with the "after-glows" of 1883-'81. A series of these glows, observed in 1636, was ascribed at the time to the eruption of Heela, which occurred in that year. From May to September, 1783, the heavens were illuminated by a constant red glow, and the sun had the appearance of a faint disk. This was attributed to a violent eruption of the Skaptar Jökul, Iceland, which occurred in the spring of the same year.

A correspondent of "Nature," who has tried various schemes of automatic ventilation and found them all to fail at times, though usually working well, announces his conclusion that there is no rule in the matter without exception. This means that ventilation should receive personal attention, and be always under observation.


Dr. Thomas Andrews, an Irish chemist, died about the 1st of December, 1885, in the seventy-second year of his age. He was born in Belfast in 1813. In preparing himself for the medical profession he studied chemistry under several eminent masters. He took a part, as vice-president, in the organization of the Northern College, now Queen's College, Belfast, and was its first Professor of Chemistry. His name is identified with many most important investigations and discoveries. Among them are the composition of the blood of cholera-patients; the determination of heat evolved during chemical action; the true nature of ozone, in which he established the theory now universally held; and the continuity of the liquid and gaseous states of matter, a series of investigations which led directly up to Pictet's, Caiiletet's, Wroblewski's, and others', successful liquefaction of all the gases.

Xavier Ullesberger, a Swiss paleontologist, died recently at Ueberlingen, on the Lake of Constance, seventy-nine years old. He was the discoverer of the lake villages at Nussdorf, Maurach, Uhldingen, and Sipplingen; and he obtained a large collection of prehistoric objects, which is preserved at Stuttgart.

The death is announced, at the age of eighty years, of Professor Giuseppe Ponzi, the Italian geologist.

Professor Charles E. Hamlin, of the Agassiz Museum of Natural History, died at Cambridge on the 3d of January. He was about sixty years old.

Alfred Tribe, an English chemist, died November 26, 1885, aged forty-six years. He acquired his first knowledge of chemistry when, as a boy, waiting on the students at the Royal College, he repeated some of the experiments he saw performed, in the kitchen at home. He was assistant to Dr. J. II. Gladstone for twenty years, and head of his laboratory. He was Demonstrator of Chemistry at St. Thomas's Hospital, Lecturer on Metallurgy at the National Dental Hospital, and Lecturer on Chemistry and Director of Practical Chemistry in Dulwich College. He was an assiduous investigator, and published a large number of papers, some under his own name, and others in conjunction with Dr. Gladstone.

Mr. Edwin Ormond Brown, Assistant Chemist to the British War Department, died December 12th. He had been connected with the arsenal at Woolwich for about thirty years, and had been instrumental in the improvement of gun-cotton and other explosives.

Daniel David Beth, the chief of the Dutch African Expedition, died at Katumbella, on the 19th of May, 1885. He took part in an expedition to the interior of Sumatra, 1877 to 1879, where he became interested in the examination and prospective development of the coal-fields of the island. In 1882 he busied himself to secure a proper representation of the colonial products at the Amsterdam Exposition. In 1884 he started on his African expedition, which had especial reference to the Kunene River, and the mountain-range lying north and west of it.

Dr. Samuel Biech, the chief of British Egyptologists, and founder and President of the Society of Biblical Archæology, died December 27th. He was born in 1813, and was appointed to the Department of Antiquities in the British Museum in 1836. He was at first specially interested in Chinese antiquities, but, without giving up his tastes in that direction, became pre-eminently an Egyptologist. Besides preparing numerous works and papers of his own, he contributed a translation of the "Book of the Dead," a dictionary of hieroglyphics, and a grammar to Bunsen's great work on Egypt. He was also connected, officially and personally, with the publication of "Records of the Past," twelve volumes of translations of the more important texts from the Egyptian and Assyrian monuments.

M. Louis René Tulasne, a French mycologist, whose fame would have been greater had he been less modest and enjoyed better health, died at Hyères on the 22d of December, 1885. He became a member of the French Academy in 1854, but was forced by his delicate constitution to retire from active life in 1864. During the twenty-five years to which his work was limited, he made many important investigations in the fungi and the lichens, the science of which, it is said, he reformed as well as augmented.