Popular Science Monthly/Volume 44/March 1894/Notes


Three lectures for young people were delivered in January in behalf of the Royal Geographical Society, by Douglas Freshfield, President of the Alpine Club, on Mountains. The special subjects were a brief general description of the structure and features of a mountain region; the steps by which the High Alps have gradually been discovered, conquered, and converted to human uses; and the lecturer's special field of exploration, the Caucasus.

As many as a hundred and thirty papers were read in the Meteorological Congress, in Chicago, in August, 1893. The congress was divided into nine sections: A, Prof. C. A. Schult and H. H. Clayton presiding, discussing instruments and methods of observation, especially methods of observing in the upper air; B, Prof. Cleveland Abbe, president, dealing with questions of meteorological dynamics, including thunder-storm phenomena; C, Prof. F. E. Nipher presiding, climatology; D, Major H. C. Dunwoody, president, the relation of climate to plant and animal life; E, Lieutenant W. H. Beehler, marine meteorology, ocean storms and their prediction, methods of observation at sea, and international co-operation; F, Prof. Charles Carpmel and A. Lawrence Rotch, improvement of weather service, and especially the progress of weather forecasting; G, Prof. F. H. Bigelow, problems of atmospheric electricity and terrestrial magnetism; H, Prof. Thomas Russell, rivers and the prediction of floods; I, Oliver L. Fassig, history and bibliography.

The name of the Chinook wind is taken, according to H. M. Ballou, from that of the Chinook Indians, near Paget Sound. During the prevalence of the wind the thermometer rises in a few hours from below zero to 40° or 45°. It is analogous to the Fohn of Switzerland, and similar winds are reported from various parts of the world. All that is needed to produce them are high and low pressure areas, whereby the air is caused to pass over the mountains, depositing its moisture on the ascent, and descending on the leeward side.

Strikes, it appears, are not a modern innovation, but were known centuries ago, with outcomes as disastrous as those of the present. In the year 1329 a strike of brassworkers was begun in Breslau, Silesia, which lasted a year. Fifty-six years later, in 1385, one of blacksmiths took place in Dantzic, which ended when the local authorities obtained permission to issue an edict proclaiming that until further notice any workman refusing to obey the lawful dictates of his employer as to continuing operations was to be summarily deprived of his ears.

The English National Society for the Employment of Epileptics has bought an estate in every way desirable for a proposed colony of epileptics, and is collecting means to fit it up and set the colony in operation. It will enjoy the guidance of the experience of Germany, where an epileptic colony has been in existence at Bielefeld for twenty-six years with very encouraging results, and has now more than eleven hundred epileptic inhabitants on an area of four hundred acres. The plan of the English society is to give the colony as little as possible the character of an institution. The houses will be small, as in Germany, and the inmates of each will form a separate family. The industries will be market gardening, cow-keeping, dairy work, poultry farming, and other similar occupations, besides various trades and handicrafts. The women, who will be accommodated on a separate part of the estate, will be engaged principally in laundry work, sewing, cooking, and domestic service. The children will be suitably educated and trained to various industries.

The powers of certain miraculous curative places apparently do not extend to all diseases. W. R. Le Fami, in his Seventy Years of Irish Life, gives the following testimony of an invalid who had sought the benefits of Knock Chapel: "Indeed, sir, I took all the rounds and said all the prayers, but it was of no use; not but what it's a grand place. It would astonish you to see all the sticks and crutches hanging up there—left behind by poor cripples who went home cured. It's my opinion, sir, that for rheumatism, and the like of that, it's a grand place entirely; but as for the liver, it's not worth a d—n."

The third session of the School of Applied Ethics will be held at Plymouth, Mass., in July and August, 1894. Lectures will be given by leading scholars in three departments, namely: those of Ethics, under the direction of Prof. Felix Adler; Economics, Prof. H. C. Adams, director; and History of Religions, Prof. C. H. Toy, director. A complete programme of the lectures is to be issued. S. Burns Weston, Secretary, 118 South Twelfth Street, Philadelphia.