Popular Science Monthly/Volume 54/March 1899/Notes


According to the Tribune de Genève, twenty new hotels were opened in Switzerland in 1897, and twenty-five were enlarged, adding two thousand beds and making the whole number of beds about ninety thousand. The number of nights' lodgings furnished during the season is estimated at ten million. Supposing each guest to spend twelve francs a day, the total revenue from tourists would amount to one hundred and twenty million francs, or twenty four million dollars. Classifying the guests according to nationality, it is estimated that the Swiss constitute eighteen per cent of the whole, Germans thirty-four per cent, English sixteen per cent, French twelve per cent, Americans eight per cent, and those of other nations twelve per cent.

A list of women astronomers, compiled by Herman S. Davis from Ribiere's Les Femmes dans la Science, contains as contemporary workers in the science the names of seventeen American women who have taken part in astronomical computations or are teachers of astronomy, and twelve who are working in the application of photography to astronomy. Of the women in the later list, Miss Ida C. Martin, Miss Dr. Dorothea Klumpke (now in the Paris Observatory), and Mrs. M. P. Fleming have attained distinction for successful original researches.

The object of the Pure Food and Drug Congress, which met in Washington in March, 1898, with Joseph E. Blackburn, of Columbus, Ohio, as president, is declared in its resolutions to be to secure suitable national legislation to prevent the adulteration of food, drink, and drugs, to secure the enforcement of laws, and secure and promote uniformity of State legislation looking to that end; to create and maintain a high public sentiment on these subjects, to sustain public officers enforcing the laws respecting them; and to promote a more general intelligence concerning the injury to health and business interests resulting from food adulteration. In this work all are invited to join. The congress was in session four days, and several important papers were read to it.

The large Atlantic coastal plain beginning with southern New Jersey, Mr. John Gifford affirms, in The Forester, would soon be capable, if protected from reckless devastation, of producing almost limitless quantities of the valuable smooth-bark or short leaf pine. In Northampton and Accomac Counties, Virginia, lying in this plain, the forests are already properly cared for and propagated without the aid of forest laws. This is done by insuring their freedom from fire, which is attended to purely as a matter of present economy. The value of the woods in holding the loose sandy soil and as windbreaks is recognized, and the litter of the pine trees is a precious dressing for the sweet potato fields. This litter, of pine "chats," "needles," or "browse," is carefully raked off every year and spread on the fields, and there is nothing left in which fire can start.

The Lalande prize of the French Academy of Sciences has been conferred upon Prof. S. C. Chandler, of Cambridge, Mass., in recognition of "the splendor, the importance, and the variety" of his astronomical work; the Damoiseau prize upon Dr. George William Hill, of Washington, for his researches in mathematics and astronomy; and the Henry Wilde prize on Dr. Charles A. Schott, of Washington, for his researches in terrestrial magnetism.

Prof. J. Mark Baldwin, of Princeton, author of the books The Development of the Child and the Race, Handbook of Psychology, and The Story of the Mind, has been elected a member of the French Institute of Sociology.

Among the recent deaths of men associated with scientific pursuits we notice those of Charles Michel Brisse, professor at the Lycée Condorcet for twenty-five years, and professor at other French schools, author of papers on the displacement of figures and on the general theory of surfaces, and of other works in mathematics and mathematical physics, and a co-worker on the Journal de Physique, in his fifty-sixth year; Prof. H. Alleyn Nicholson, of the University of Aberdeen, author of books on zoölogy and geology; M. F. Gay, of the University of Montpellier, a student of the green algæ, aged forty years; Dr. Dumontpallier, of Paris, author of contributions to the pathology of the nervous system, aged seventy-four years; Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Pringle, of the British Army, author of papers on the hygiene and diseases of India; Pastor Christian Kaurin, of Norway, a student of Scandinavian mosses, aged sixty-six years; T. Carnel, professor of botany and director of the Botanic Garden, Florence; the Rev. Bartholomew Price, author of several elaborate works in mathematics, and secretary of the Oxford University Press, in his eighty-first year; Dr. Constantino Vousakis, professor of physiology in the University of Athens; William Dames, professor of geology and paleontology in the University of Berlin, and subeditor of the Paläontologische Abhandlungen, in his fifty-second year; and Dr. Gottlieb Gluge, emeritus professor of physiology and anatomy in the University of Berlin and author of an atlas of pathological anatomy, aged eighty-six years.