Popular Science Monthly/Volume 57/May 1900/Notes


The first summer session of Columbia University, 1900, will open July 2d, instruction beginning July 5th, and will continue till August 10th. The work will be under the general direction of Prof. Nicholas Murray Butler, and will be conducted by a large corps of instructors, in eleven courses, of thirty lectures or other exercises or their equivalent in laboratory or field work, each. The concluding examinations will be held August 9th and 10th. Credits will be given for courses pursued at the school in the requirements for a degree at the university, and for a Teachers' College diploma, and in the examinations for teachers' licenses in New York city.

An International Congress of Medical Electrology and Radiology has been connected with the International Congress system of the Paris Exposition, 1900, and will be held July 27th to August 1st. The commission is composed of representative men from various universities, institutions, and hospitals of France, with Prof. E. Doumer, 57 Rue Nicolas Leblanc, Lille, as secretary.

A curious fall of "black snow," which was observed at Molding, Austria, at the beginning of the year, was found to consist largely of the insects known as "glacier fleas," which were supposed to have come along with a violent snowstorm from some of the Alpine glaciers.

How to write 1900 in Roman numerals is a question of the day that will have to be settled. Three ways are suggested by Mr. J. Fletcher Little in the London Times, either of which is correct according to the Roman system. They are MDCCCC, MDCD, and MCM. But when we reach the year 1988, if we use the first of these methods we shall have to write the formidable-looking formula MDCCCCLXXXVIII, whereas if we use the third and shortest method, it will only be MCMLXXXVIII—and that is long enough. The third method, therefore, which may be interpreted as meaning one thousand plus another thousand lacking a hundred, seems to be the simplest.

Dr. St. George Mivart, Professor of Biology in University College, Kensington, died suddenly in London, April 1st, aged seventy-two years. He was author of numerous scientific works, of treatises critical of Darwinism and the theory of evolution, and of demonstrations of the harmony of Roman Catholic dogma with proved scientific facts. His name has been made prominent of late by his recantation of his previously expressed views of the consistency of dogma with science, and the correspondence with Cardinal Vaughan which grew out of it.

An International Congress of Ethnographical societies has been arranged for by the Ethnographic Society of Paris, to be held in Paris, August 26th to September 1st.

The Wollaston medal of the Royal Geological Society, London, for the most important geological discoveries, has this year been awarded to Mr. Grove K. Gilbert, of the United States Geological Survey. This is the third time the medal has been awarded to a citizen of this country.

Among the recently announced publications of John Wiley and Sons we notice a third edition, revised and enlarged, of Allen Hazen's Filtration of Public Water Supplies; a new and revised edition of Olof's Text-book of Physiological Chemistry; The Cost of Living as Modified by Sanitary Science, by Ellen H. Richards; Examination of Water (Chemical and Biological), by William P. Mason; and the fifth edition of H. Van F. Furman's Manual of Practical Assaying.

In a method of sterilization of water by means of ozone, described by Dr. Weyl, of Berlin, at the German Scientific Conference, 1899, water is pumped to the top of a tower and allowed to flow freely over stones, meeting as it falls a current of air charged with ozone. The process appears to be likewise effectual in purifying peat and bog water, the solution of the iron salts of humic acid being decomposed and oxidized, and the brown color disappearing in consequence. The method, it is said, can be advantageously used in connection with filter beds.

Our death list this month of men known in science is large. It includes the names of M. Philippe Salmon, archaeologist, subdirector of l'École d'Anthropologie of Paris, President of the Ministry of Public-Instruction's Commission on Megalithic Monuments and author of numerous monographs on subjects of his studies, in Paris, aged seventy-six years; Dr. C. T. R. Luther, director of the Observatory at Bilk, near Dusseldorf, aged seventy-eight years. He discovered twenty-one of the minor planets and calculated the orbits of them all, as well as those of several other bodies; Dr. C. Piazzi Smith, formerly Astronomer Royal of Scotland, author of studies of the amount of heat given by the moon to the earth, and of some famous speculations upon the construction and purposes of the Great Pyramid as an exponent of the standard of measurement, February 21st, aged eighty-one years; M. Émile Blanchard, dean of the section of Anatomy and Physiology of the French Academy of Sciences; Captain Bernadières, member of the French Bureau des Longitudes and Director of the Observatory School of Montsouri for Officers of the Marine, who had fulfilled several astronomical and geodesic commissions; Dr. Hermann Schaeffer, honorary professor of Mathematics and Physics at Jena, aged seventy-six years; Leander J. McCormick, founder of the McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia; President James H. Smart, of Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.; General A. A. Tillo, Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, founder of an exact physical geography of Russia, based on scientific data, and of many contributions on the science, at St. Petersburg, January 11th, aged sixty years; Prof. E. Beltrami, of the University of Rome (Mathematical Physics), President of the Accademia dei Lincei, and correspondent of the Paris Academy of Sciences; M. Emmanuel Liais, Mayor of Cherbourg, France, also distinguished for useful and very meritorious work in Astronomy and Physics, aged seventy-four years; Dr. Hans Bruno, Professor of Mineralogy and Geology in the University of Dresden, Saxony, distinguished for his investigations of the Paleozoic, Cretaceous, and Permian rocks of Saxony, at Dresden, January 28th, aged eighty-five years; and William Thorpe, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Society of Chemical Industry.