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Popular Science Monthly/Volume 51/June 1897/Notes


At the meeting of the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Washington April 21st, Prof. Theodore Gill, as senior vice-president, succeeded under the constitution to the position of acting president, vice E. D. Cope, deceased. Prof. Gill was requested by vote of the Council to prepare an obituary notice of President Cope, and to deliver it before the association at the Detroit meeting in lieu of the ordinary presidential address by the retiring president, and he undertook to do so. Prof. Leland O. Howard was nominated vice-president for the Section of Zoölogy (Section F), vice G. Brown Goode, deceased.

The observations of Mr. Percival Lowell at Flagstaff, Arizona, in which he assumes to have had vastly more distinct views of the planet's disk than were ever before obtained, indicate that the period of the diurnal rotation of Venus is identical with that of its revolution round the sun. Hence it has one side constantly turned toward the sun and the other constantly averted from it—everlasting burning heat on one side and never-intermitted cold on the other.

A proposition is under consideration in the English scientific societies for the establishment, in commemoration of the sixtieth year of her Majesty's reign, of a Victoria Research Fund, to be administered by representatives of the various scientific societies for the encouragement of research in all branches of science.

The people of Detroit are working earnestly in preparation to give the American Association a cordial welcome and hospitable entertainment at its coming meeting there. A general interest seems to be taken in the matter, as was exemplified by the recent attendance of an audience of twenty-five hundred persons upon a lecture by the secretary of the association, Prof. Putnam. The press is co-operating with the citizens' committee in making the interest lively, and the effect is apparent in the subscription lists. While it is already reasonably certain that all who go to the meeting will be well and amply taken care of, the people hope that their invitation will be responded to by a large attendance of Americans and Englishmen and others interested in science.

The work in anthropology in the University of Chicago, for the present associated with that in sociology, includes courses in general anthropology, general ethnology, prehistoric archæology (European and American, in alternation), ethnology (the American race), physical anthropology (elementary and laboratory courses), laboratory work, Mexican ethnography and archaeology, ethnology of Japan, the pueblos of New Mexico, and lectures by Dr. W. I. Thomas on folk psychology, primitive art, and Slavic ethnology. Several important collections are on deposit in the university, representing Mexican archæology, the cliff dwellings and cave house of Utah, the Aleutian Islands and Eskimos, Japan, and the collection of the International Folklore Association.

The Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, Massachusetts, was established in 1885 by Mr. A. Lawrence Rotch, and is maintained by him at his own expense. By arrangement it co-operates with the observatory of Harvard College, and its observations are published, partly at Mr. Rotch's expense, in the annals of that institution. Since the land surrounding the observatory has been taken for a public park, a lease for ninety-nine years has been taken of the ground it needs, which will enable its work to be continued under invariable conditions of exposure.

The French journal L'Anthropologie publishes an account of the discovery of the Moi race of tailed men by M. Paul d'Enjoy in Indo-China. M. d'Enjoy saw only one of the men, the rest of the village having run away, but he conversed with this one and saw where the people lived. The man was found in a large tree, into which he had climbed for honey. His climbing was like that of a monkey, and in coming down he applied his sole to the bark. The tail is not the only peculiarity of this race, for their ankle bones are extraordinarily developed, so as to resemble the spurs of roosters. The Mois use poisoned barbed arrows, and are treated by the natives around them as brutes.

Baron Constantin Ettingshausen has died at Graz, aged seventy-one. Beginning his scientific career as a doctor, he later on devoted himself to the study of botany and paleontology. He arranged the paleontological collections in the British Museum (natural history). He wrote many papers for the Proceedings of the Royal Society, and for the journals of other learned bodies.