Popular Science Monthly/Volume 54/February 1899/Notes


An important feature in the evolution of trade journalism is pointed out in the presidential address of E. C. Brown, of the American Trade Press Association, in the establishment of small trade journals, covering limited fields. Such industries as brickmaking, stenography, advertising, acetylene, hospital practice, etc., are ably represented by their respective trade journals; and this tendency is promoted by the complementary one of the trades, in their centralization and concentration, compelling even journals in the same business to make their field distinct and restricted. The public demands specific information, not for the purpose of catering to a passing interest, but for its application directly in the conduct of business or the formation of a policy; and those trade journals succeed best which supply accurate information of value to their readers.

The ascent of Mont Blanc was accomplished between June 21st and September 16th by one hundred and nineteen persons, eleven of whom were women. By nationality the climbers included forty-four Frenchmen and eleven Frenchwomen, fifteen Englishmen and one Englishwoman, and fifteen Swiss, with Germans, Americans, Belgians, Hollanders, Irish, and Russians. A Belgian lady and a Dutch lady were of this company. A Frenchwoman, seventy-five years old, was one of the party that reached the summit on one of the last days in September.

Mr. Horace Brown, whose interesting researches on the enzymes have attracted much attention during the past few years, has recently announced the results of some important experiments on the vitality of seeds. He found that certain seeds subjected to the very low temperature of evaporating liquid air, about-192° C, for one hundred and ten consecutive hours, retained perfectly their power of germinating.

The report made by Prof. W. A. Herdman to the British Association concerning the liability to disease through oysters recognizes the possibility of contamination through the proximity of the beds to sewage water, and recommends steps to be taken, through either legislative control or association, to induce the oyster trade to remove any possible suspicion of contamination of the beds; provision for the inspection of foreign oysters or their subjection to a quarantine by deposition for a stated period in British waters, as already takes place in many instances; and the periodical inspection of the grounds from which mussels, cockles, and periwinkles are gathered.

As the result of long-continued observations of annual temperatures the appearance of the earliest leaves, and the return of birds of passage, M. Camille Flammarion has published the conclusions that the maximum temperatures correspond with abundant sun spots and the least humidity, and the minimum temperatures with scarcity of sun spots and great humidity; and that sparrows begin to sit when horse-chestnuts, lilacs, and peonies begin to bloom, and the young are hatched about two days after these plants are in full inflorescence. M. Flammarion also believes that the temperatures of March and April indicate those of the entire year.

Little steel capsules containing a small quantity of liquefied carbonic acid are made, La Nature says, at Zurich, Switzerland; One of them is placed in the neck of a bottle of water which is provided with a faucet and the capsule is pricked. The carbonic acid escapes and charges the water, and a bottle of soda water is the result. The capsules are cheap and convenient, and are very popular in Switzerland and Germany.

It is proposed to erect a memorial to James Clerk Maxwell in the parish church of Corsock, of which he was a trustee and elder. Subscriptions may be sent to the Rev. George Stimock, The Manse, Corsock by Dalbeattie, N. B.

Our obituary list includes among men well known in science the names of Edward Dunkin, an English practical astronomer, for fifty years an assistant and part of the time chief assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, a contributor of many paper on practical astronomy, aged seventy-seven years; H. Vogel, professor of photography, photo-chemistry, and spectroscopy in the Technical High School, Berlin, author of The Chemistry of Light and Photography, in the International Scientific Series, in his sixty-fifth year; Alexandre Pillet, curator of the Musée Dupuytre, Paris, and well known for his contributions on morbid anatomy, at Paris, November 2d, aged eighty-eight years; George T. Allmann, formerly professor cf botany in Dublin and of natural history in Edinburgh, who described the hydroids collected by the Challenger Expedition, and was author of a number of monographs on the invertebrates, aged eighty-six; Thomas Sanderson Bulmer, investigator in American archæology and ethnography, and contributor to Filling's Bibliographies of American Languages, at Sierra Blanca, Texas, October 5th; and Dr. Ewald Geissler, professor of chemistry at the veterinary school of Dresden, aged fifty years.