Popular Science Monthly/Volume 54/January 1899/Notes


The Committee of the British Association on Meteorological Photography reported that the result of their determinations of the heights of clouds showed the existence of greater altitudes in hot weather under thunderstorm conditions, when clouds may occur at five or six different levels, extending as high as ninety thousand feet. A rise of cloud takes place in hot weather, also during the morning and early afternoons, while the lowest altitudes are found during cyclones.

M. Maige, by varying the condition of exposure of plants to light, and keeping flowering branches in the dark, has succeeded in transforming the latter into sterile creeping or climbing branches. Inversely, he has been able, by means of the localized action of light, to transform creeping or climbing into flowering branches These results were obtained at the vegetable biological laboratory of Fontainebleau.

F. L. Washburn, of the State University of Oregon, reports that the condition of the Eastern oysters introduced to the Oregon coast waters two years ago leaves nothing to be desired. The specimens have withstood two winters successfully, and have made phenomenal growth, "far exceeding what they would have made in the same time in their native waters. Further, they spawned." The experiments in artificial fertilization were not so successful. The spawn suffer from the serious difficulties of sudden variations in the temperature and salinity of the water resulting from the change of tide and strong winds. It is hoped that better conditions may be found at Yaquina Bay.

The population of Egypt has been gradually increasing during the past hundred years. It is stated to have been about two and a half million in 1800, and is now estimated at nearly ten million. There are about 112,000 foreigners, of whom 38,000 are Greeks; the remainder being chiefly Italians, 24,000; English, 19,000; French, 14,000; Austrians, 7,000; Russians, 3,000; and Persians and Germans, about 1,000 each. Only about five per cent of the population can read and write, and nearly two thirds are without any trade or profession.

Our record of deaths among men known in science includes the names of Dr. Henriques de Castro, a Dutch archæologist of Portuguese descent, member of many learned societies of the Netherlands; John Eliza de Vry, of the Netherlands, one of the chief authorities on the chemistry and pharmacy of the cinchona alkaloids, at The Hague, July 30th, in the eighty-sixth year of his age; Dr. Eugenio Bettoni, director of the Fisheries Station at Brescia, Italy, August 5th, aged fifty-three years; Professor Arzruni, mineralogist in the Polytechnic Institute at Aix; Heinrich Theodor Richter, director of the School of Mines at Freiburg, Saxony; Dr. J. Crocq, professor of pathology in the University of Brussels; Dr. C. G. Gibelli, professor of botany and director of the Botanical Institute at Turin; Don Francisco Coello de Portugal, president of the Geographical Society of Madrid, and author of an atlas of Spain and its colonies; Dr. B. Kotula, author of Researches on the Distribution of Plants; Surgeon Major J. E. T. Aitchison, a distinguished botanist, particularly in the botany of India, and author of numerous papers on the subject, September 30th, in his sixty-fourth year; M. Thomas Frédéric Moreau, a French archæologist, author of a collection of Gallic, Gallo-Roman, and Merovingian antiquities, in his one hundred and first year; M. Gabriel de Mortillet, the eminent French anthropologist, in Paris, November 4th, aged sixty-seven years; Sir George Smyth Baden Powell, political economist, aged fifty-one years; Sir John Fowler, engineer in chief of the Forth Bridge, aged eighty-one years; Dr. James I. Peck, assistant professor of biology in Williams College, and assistant director of the Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole; George Vestal, professor of agriculture and horticulture at the New Mexico Agricultural College, October 24th, aged forty-one years; Dr. W. Kochs, docent for physiology at Bonn; M. J. V. Barbier, a distinguished French geographer; M. N. J. Raffard, an eminent French mechanical engineer, author of many valuable inventions; Latimer Clark, F. R. S., an eminent English electrician, one of the founders and a past president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, whose name is associated with the history of electric telegraphy and with many inventions, and author of several books that are standard with the profession, at Kensington, London, October 30th, in his seventy-sixth year; Count Michele Stefano de Rossi, a distinguished Italian seismologist; M. de Meritens, a French electrical engineer, inventor of one of the first practical dynamos, and of other valuable electrical apparatus, aged sixty-five years.