Popular Science Monthly/Volume 56/November 1899/Notes


The number of broods of seventeen-year and thirteen-year locusts has become embarrassing to those who seek to distinguish them, and the trouble is complicated by the various designations different authors have given them. The usual method is to give the brood a number in a series, written with a Roman numeral. Mr. C. L. Marlatt proposes a regular and uniform nomenclature, giving the first seventeen numbers to the seventeen-year broods, beginning with that of 1893 as number I, and the next thirteen numbers (XVIII to XXX) to the thirteen-year broods, beginning with the brood of 1842 and 1855 as number XVIII.

Experimenting on the adaptability of carbonic acid to the inflation of pneumatic tires, M. d'Arsonval, of Paris, has found that the gas acts upon India rubber, and, swelling its volume out enormously, reduces it to a condition like that following maceration in petroleum. On exposure to the air the carbonic acid passes away and the India rubber returns to its normal condition. Carbonic acid, therefore, does not seem well adapted to use in inflation. Oxygen is likewise not adapted, because it permeates the India rubber and oxidizes it, but nitrogen is quite inert and answers the purpose admirably.

Mr. Gifford Pinchot, Forester of the Department of Agriculture, has announced that a few well-qualified persons will be received in the Division of Forestry as student-assistants. They will be assigned to practical field work, and will be allowed their expenses and three hundred dollars a year. They are expected to possess, when they come, a certain degree of knowledge, which is defined in Mr. Pinchot's announcement, of botany, geology, and other sciences, with good general attainments.

In a communication made to the general meeting of the French Automobile Club, in May, the Baron de Zeylen enumerates 600 manufacturers in France who have produced 5,250 motor-carriages and about 10,000 motor-cycles; 110 makers in England, 80 in Germany, 60 in the United States, 55 in Belgium, 25 in Switzerland, and about 30 in the other states of Europe. The manufacture outside of France does not appear to be on a large scale, for only three hundred carriages are credited to other countries, and half of these to Belgium. The United States, however, promises to give a good account of itself next time.

Mine No. 8 of the Sunday Creek Coal Company, to which the American Association made its Saturday excursion from Columbus, Ohio, has recently been equipped with electric power, which is obtained by utilizing the waste gas from the oil wells in the vicinity. This, the Ohio State Journal says, is the first mine in the State to make use of this natural power.

In a bulletin relating to a "dilution cream separator" which is now marketed among farmers, the Purdue University Agricultural Experiment Station refers to the results of experiments made several years ago as showing that an increased loss of fat occurs in skim milk when dilution is practiced, that the loss is greater with cold than with warm water, and that the value of the skim milk for feeding is impaired when it is diluted. Similar results have been obtained at other experiment stations. The results claimed to be realized with the separators can be obtained by diluting the milk in a comparatively inexpensive round can.

To our death list of men known in science we have to add the names of John Cordreaux, an English ornithologist, who was eminent as a student, for thirty-six years, of bird migrations, and was secretary of the British Association's committee on that subject, at Great Cotes House, Lincolnshire, England, August 1st, in his sixty-ninth year; he was author of a book on the Birds of the Humber District, and of numerous contributions to The Zoölogist and The Ibis; Gaston Tissandier, founder, and editor for more than twenty years, of the French scientific journal La Nature, at Paris, August 30th, in his fifty-seventh year; besides his devotion to his journal, he was greatly interested in aërial navigation, to which he devoted much time and means in experiments, and was a versatile author of popular books touching various departments of science; Judge Charles P. Daly, of New York, who, as president for thirty-six years of the American Geographical Society, contributed very largely to the encouragement and progress of geographical study in the United States, September 19th, in his eighty-fourth year; he was an honorary member of the Royal Geographical Society of London, of the Berlin Geographical Society, and of the Imperial Geographical Society of Russia; he was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of New York from 1844 to 1858, and after that chief justice of the same court continuously for twenty-seven years, and was besides, a publicist of high reputation, whose opinion and advice were sought by men charged with responsibility concerning them on many important State and national questions; Henri Lévègne de Vilmorin, first vice-president of the Paris School of Horticulture; O. G. Jones, Physics Master of the City of London School, from an accident on the Dent Blanche, Alps, August 30th; Ambrose A. P. Stewart, formerly instructor in chemistry in the Lawrence Scientific School, and afterward Professor of Chemistry in the Pennsylvania State College and in the University of Illinois, at Lincoln, Neb., September 13th; Dr. Charles Fayette Taylor, founder of the New York Orthopedic Dispensary, and author of articles in the Popular Science Monthly on Bodily Conditions as related to Mental States (vol. xv), Gofio, Food, and Physique (vol. xxxi), and Climate and Health (vol. xlvii), and of books relating to his special vocation, died in Los Angeles, Cal., January 25th, in his seventy-second year.

Efforts are making for the formation of a Soppitt Memorial Library of Mycological Literature, to be presented to the Yorkshire (England) Naturalists' Union as a memorial of the services rendered to mycological science and to Yorkshire natural history generally, by the late Mr. H. T. Soppitt.

The United States Department of Agriculture has published, for general information and in order to develop a wider interest in the subject, the History and Present Status of Instruction in Cooking in the Public Schools of New York City, by Mrs. Louise E. Hogan, to which an introduction is furnished by A. C. True, Ph. D.

The United States Weather Bureau publishes a paper On Lightning and Electricity in the Air, by Alexander G. McAdie, representing the present knowledge on the subject, and, as supplementary to it or forming a second part. Loss of Life and Property by Electricity, by Alfred J. Henry.

A gift of one thousand dollars has been made to the research fund of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Mr. Emerson McMillin, of New York.