Popular Science Monthly/Volume 49/June 1896/Minor Paragraphs


Anianus Jedlik died on the 12th of last December, at the cloister of the Benedictine order, in Gyor. He belonged to the old order of natural philosophers (he was born in 1800) who lacked that important portion of the latter-day physicists equipment, a knowledge of higher mathematics. Some of his more important treatises were under the following titles: The Deflection of Beams (1845); The Application of the Electro-magnet in Electro-dynamic Rotations (1856); A Modification of Grove and Bunsen's Battery (1857); The Magneto-motor (1857); Concatenation of Leyden Jars (1863); Electromagnetic Undulation Machine (1868).

M. Abel Hovelacque, one of the most industrious and successful of the younger French students of anthropology, died in Paris, on the 22d of February, aged fifty-two years. His effective scientific career began in 1867, when, at the age of twenty-three years, he founded, with Chavée, the Revue linguistique, the first journal in France specially devoted to linguistics; joined the Anthropological Society, and began the publication of articles in various periodicals. These articles, largely relating to linguistic and cranial investigations, were followed by books on Our Ancestor; The Beginnings of Mankind; a Grammar of the Zend Language; an Elementary Linguistics; Languages, Races, and Nationalities; Observations on Herodotus and the Persians; The South Slavs; Linguistics; The Avesta, Zoroaster, and Mazdeism; and a lecture on the Evolution of Languages. On the foundation, by Broca, of the École d'Anthropologie, in 1876, Hovelacque was made Professor of Linguistic Ethnology. In 1890 he was made president of the school and chief director of the Revue mensuelle de l'École d'Anthropologie. He has also taken part with other anthropologists, whom M. Andrè Lefevre speaks of collectively as a group, in other important enterprises and publications in anthropology.

La Revue Scientifique of December 14th contains an interesting anthropological note. It had been noticed that the wounds made by the arrows of the natives of New Hebrides were quite regularly followed by tetanus, and that the surrounding inhabitants were more afraid of these arrows than of a rifle bullet. A commission at Melbourne experimented on some animals, with these arrow points, in order to discover their poison, but obtained no results. So far as the animals were concerned, the arrows were not poisoned. A somewhat similar commission in 1883, authorized by the Governor of New Caledonia, gave no better results. In preparing these arrows, the natives first cover the points with a mucilaginous compound, and then plunge them into the soil of crab burrows in some neighboring swamp. Hence it seems probable that years before our isolation of this virulent germ these savages were utilizing its fatal properties in their warfare.