Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

satisfactory collections, and so prompt and useful a report, could not have come about without qualities of a high order in both the party and its chief. That the magnetic and astronomical observations were less precise than could be wished seems to have been the result of circumstances beyond the control of the members of the party.

HORSE-BREEDING.

M. ALASONIERE has written a very sensible little book upon horse-breeding, which has been honored with a medal by the French national agricultural society. He gives first a discriminating account of the points which mark a good horse, and then proceeds to characterize the two principal equine types, speed and strength being their respective characteristics, or, according to his more elaborate definition, 'type à étendue de contraction' and type à intensité de contraction.' His central idea as to the breeding is that the two types should not be mingled, because in the offspring incongruity results, one part of the animal inheriting its qualities from the mother, another part from the father. The wisdom of this precept he enforces by a discussion of the rules to be followed for the amelioration by breeding of special parts of the animal, and maintains that injudicious mixing of the two types produces horses of an incongruous build. To put the matter more bluntly, to get good colts the mare and stallion should resemble one another, else the colt will be a hodge-podge of qualities not harmonious.

The treatise is pleasantly written, and, though not properly a scientific work, is still valuable for, if we may be pardoned the phrase, its good horse sense, and we take pleasure in commending it to the notice of those engaged in rearing horses in this country.

ELECTROTECHNICAL HANDBOOK.

DR. KITTTLER'S book, of which the first part of vol. i. has just appeared, will be welcomed by every one who has to do with any of the applications of electricity to the arts. It begins with a consideration of the phenomena and laws of induction, giving particular attention to the special cases that are of importance in the operation of the telephone and dynamo-machine, and then proceeds to discuss at length the various separate parts of the dynamo-machine, and indicates the points especially to be observed in their construc

Amélioration de l'espèce chevaline par des accouplements raisonnés. Par L. ALASONIERE. Paris, Baillière, 1885. 15+156 p. 8°.

Handbuch der elektrotechnik. Bearbeitet von Dr. E. KITTLER. Stuttgart, Enke, 1885. 8°.

tion. The circumstances influencing the magnetization of soft iron-as the dimensions of the piece, the strength of the magnetizing current, and the quality of the iron- are next analyzed. Most of the remainder of that portion of the book as far as issued is occupied by a lengthy and detailed description of the principal forms of electrical measuring instruments. Their theory and construction are somewhat minutely considered, and most of the important special forms of instrument are figured. A list of a few of these will best show the character and completeness of the work. We notice, among others, Kohlrausch's bridge for use with a telephone, Siemens's modification of Thomson's bridge for measurement of low resistances, several forms of Wiedemann's galvanometer with copper dampers, Obach's cosine galvanometer, Siemens and Halske's convenient form of Thomson's mirror galvanometer, and D'Assarval and Deprez's aperiodic galvanometer. All of the leading forms of current and potential galvanometers for technical purposes are described, including several which we have not seen elsewhere, except in the original papers.

The work is written (as should be the case with a work of this kind) for students possessing a good knowledge of physics and mathematics. It would be of great advantage to American students of electrotechnics if some of our publishers would issue a translation of this work. We are sure that it would meet a much-felt want.

FROM PALERMO TO TUNIS.

ONE of the pleasantest of the many delightful trips aside from the beaten track-to which Americans in Europe carefully cling-is that from Naples to Tunis by way of Palermo and Malta. Besides seeing the Sicilian capital-a splendid city in itself and renowned throughout Italy for the beauty of its women-and Malta, the dwelling place of one of the most remarkabls races of the Mediterranean, one gets a glimpse of oriental life in all its filth and picturesqueness for a fraction of the time and money required for a visit to Cairo or Constantinople.

With regard to Malta, the fact which most impressed itself upon M. Melon's note-book-for this little volume pretends to be nothing but a collection of notes-was the signal failure of the English to assimilate the native population. To use his own words: "After eighty years of domination the line of demarcation between the Maltese and the English, their masters, is as sharply defined as on the first day." The greater

De Palerme à Tunis. By PAUL MELON. Paris, Plon, Nourrit & Cie, 1885. 212 p., illustr. 12°.

part of the book, however, is devoted to a description of Tunis and neighboring towns. Of course whatever a Frenchman writes about such a recent acquisition as Tunis must be received with caution, and much that is here said about the Roman ruins is probably exaggerated. The old Phoenician Carthage has entirely disappeared, and of the Roman town but little remains. Utica, too, is no more to be seen, and, in fact, the province of Carthage-once the granary of imperial Rome-is little more than a desert. Still as our author says: Although there is scarcely a vestige of Carthage remaining, its site alone attracts the tourist to the top of the ancient Brysa." In conclusion, it may not be amiss to point out that the traveller who designs visiting Tunis for the sake of viewing eastern barbarism would better bestir himself, as the French are reported to be improving the place in the true Parisian fashion.

66

GEOGRAPHICAL NOTES.

A DISCUSSION of the hydrographic observations made on the expedition of 1883 to Greenland seas has been published by Nordenskiöld and Hamberg in the Proceedings of the Royal geographical society. There are numerous water sections; and the discussion is of much value and interest for the hydrographer, but too extensive to summarize here.

During the past summer, Captain David Gray, the well-known whaler and explorer, visited the east coast of Greenland at a high latitude. The floes extended this year very far west from Spitzbergen, at least 180 miles at Prince Charles Foreland. In latitude 74° the edge was in longitude 14° W.; and in latitude 71°, in 16° W. In August he sailed along the coast from Shannon Island to the entrance of Scoresby Sound, a distance of three hundred miles, sometimes in sight of the landwater, and sometimes farther off. On the Liverpool coast he passed between the land-ice, but found no whales. The land-ice was sufficiently open for a steamer to have forced her way through it, which is very rarely the case so early in the

season.

The Danish expedition to east Greenland has returned to Copenhagen after an absence of twentynine months. The latitude reached was 66° 8', about forty miles farther north than Nordenskiöld's vessel attained in 1883. There have been no casualties, and the health of the party is excellent. Many photographs and interesting ethnological objects were brought back. Lieutenant Holm, commanding, considers that it is now settled beyond a doubt that no early Scandinavian remains occur on the east coast.

Island, land und leute, geschichte, litteratur und sprache,' by Dr. Ph. Schweitzer, has been published by W. Friedrich in Leipzig. There has been no complete work on Iceland in the German language hitherto; but the present one does not seem in all respects satisfactory, and parts of it are characterized as unscientific and fanciful by German critics.

A very useful and complete atlas of Russia has been prepared by J. Poddubnyi, and published by A. Deubner, St. Petersburg, under the title of a 'Russian school atlas,' at the small price of one ruble. It would seem to be far more than an ordinary school atlas in the sense commonly understood, and to be well worthy a place in the library of all interested in geography; being full of maps showing meteorology, distribution of races, religions, etc., and many diagrams.

J. Hughes and F. Dunsmuir have returned to Juneau, Alaska, from the head waters of the Yukon. They descended the Lewis branch to the Salmon River, which was ascended to its head waters. Good placers were found on the bars. Some twenty prospectors will remain in the region all winter. They were said to average seven or eight dollars a day per man in gold dust. These diggings are mostly in British territory.

News from the whaling fleet to Nov. 3 states that one hundred and seventy-four whales had been taken. No further casualties are reported, and the vessels are beginning to arrive at San Francisco.

Lieutenant Allen and party of the Copper River expedition, now returned, are said to be seriously affected by scurvy, due to their privations.

The revenue cutter Bear, formerly of the Greely relief expedition, has sailed from New York for the western coast, where she will be employed in Alaskan waters on revenue duties, and to assist disabled vessels of the whaling fleet during the season. She will hardly reach San Francisco before February, 1886.

Lieutenant Greely is in Scotland, the guest of Lord Roseberry, and is to deliver an address before the Scottish geographical society Nov. 19. His health is said to be improving.

Dr. Stejneger of the national museum has an illustrated article on the Commander Islands, containing much of interest, in the last number of the Deutsche geographische blätter.

ASTRONOMICAL NOTES.

Spectral analysis of atmospheric elements. M. Janssen announces (Comptes rendus, ci. 649) that he has taken up the special study of the absorption spectra of gases, mostly those composing

our atmosphere. The observatory at Meudon has special facilities for this work; and already in a tube of oxygen 60 metres long, under a pressure of 27 atmospheres, M. Janssen states that there are absorption phenomena visible beyond A, and some bands in other parts that are not in the solar spectrum. These he attributes to the increase of pressure over that of our atmosphere.

Personal equation in observing circumpolars. - In rediscussing Wagner's Pulkowa transit-observations of Polaris, 51 (H) Cephei and d Ursae Minoris, to determine the constant of nutation, Dr. L. de Ball finds an interesting and strikingly constant difference between the right-ascensions observed by 'eye-and-ear' and on the chronograph. His results are as follows:

[blocks in formation]

The above are the seconds of right ascension for 1865.0.

Latitude of the Bordeaux observatory. M. Rayet has determined (Comptes rendus, ci. 731) the latitude of the new observatory at Bordeaux to be + 44° 50' 7".23; but as it rests entirely upon measures of the zenith-distance of fundamental stars, and as there appears to have been no investigation of flexure or of constant error in the nadirpoint, it may possibly be in error by some tenths of a second.

Asteroids 251 and 252.- The asteroid discovered by Palisa on the 4th of October (Science, vi. 333), while searching for Eudora, turns out to be a new one, and is accordingly number 251. Eudora was observed at Vienna on October 4 11.3 magnitude. Perrotin's new asteroid of October 27 becomes number 252.

The total solar eclipse of 1885, September 9.The last number (835) of Nature gives several letters from observers of the recent eclipse of the sun visible in New Zealand. There are no reports from the government parties organized by Mr. Ellery, but it is stated that bad weather seriously interfered with their observations. Mr. Graydon made a series of sketches of the corona from Tahoraite, - a point well within the belt of totality, but some forty miles north of the central line. Five sketches were made during the short time of totality, and their agreement confirms the observer's impression of the fixity of the phenomenon. A woodcut from these sketches shows five or six long rays (besides a large number of shorter ones) projecting from the sun's limb, the longest ray being some two or three diameters of that body in length. A dark rift was

observed in the corona, and near this rift a red flame was noticed by some of the bystanders to shoot out just before the end of totality. Ten instantaneous photographs were obtained by a party at Blenheim; and at Mastertton "Messrs. McKerrow and party, who had camped at the foot of Otahuao, proceeded to the top and fixed their instruments amid driving snow and hail." They were rewarded by the sky clearing off just before totality, and four photographs were obtained. Other observations were made at Wellington and Dryertown.

NOTES AND NEWS.

THE following papers were entered to be read at the meeting of the National academy of sciences in Albany, beginning Nov. 10: S. P. Langley, Obscure heat; John S. Billings, A new form of craniaphore, for taking composite photographs; A. S. Packard, The carboniferous merostomatous fauna of America; E. C. Pickering, Stellar photography; E. D. Cope, Two new forms of polyodont and gonorhynchid fishes from the eocene of the Rocky Mountains; (by invitation) O. T. Sherman, Yale college observatory, New lines on the spectra of certain stars; C. H. F. Peters, Certain stars observed by Flamsteed, and supposed to have disappeared; James Hall, Remarks upon the international geological congress at Berlin, with a brief historical notice of the origin of the congress; James Hall, Notes on some points in the geology of the Mohawk valley; Simon Newcomb, When shall the astronomical day begin? (by invitation) William B. Dwight, Primordial rocks among the Wappinger valley limestones, near Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; C. H. F. Peters, The errors of star catalogues; A. Graham Bell, Preliminary report on the investigation relating to hereditary deafness; C. A. Young, The new star in the nebula of Andromeda ; (by invitation) J. A. Lintner, Recent progress in economic entomology; J. W. Powell, Remarks on the stone ruins of the Colorado and the Rio Grande; (by invitation) Charles H. Peck, The New York state herbarium; (by invitation) T. H. Safford, The formation of a polar catalogue of stars; (by invitation) Otto Meyer, A section through the southern tertiaries; James Hall, Remarks upon the Lamellibranchiata fauna of the Devonian rocks of the state of New York, and the results of investigations made for the paleontology of the state; J. S. Newberry, Recent discoveries of gigantic placoderm fishes in the Devonian rocks of Ohio; J. S. Newberry, The flora of the cretaceous clays of New Jersey.

- The American public health association will convene at Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Dec. 8,

at 10 o'clock A.M., and continue four days. The meetings will be held in Willard's hotel hall, on Pennsylvania Ave. The executive committee have selected the following topics for consideration at the meeting: 1°. The best form in which the results of registration of diseases and deaths can be given to the public in weekly, monthly, and annual reports; 2°. The proper organization of health boards and local sanitary service; 3°. Recent sanitary experiences in connection with the exclusion and suppression of epidemic disease; also the Lomb prize essays. In addition to other able and comprehensive papers expected to be presented at this meeting, the secretary has received notice of the following: Dr. J. S. Billings, Forms of tables for vital statistics; Dr. E. M. Hunt, Sanitary and statistical nomenclature; Dr. Charles H. Fisher, Statistics of consumption in Rhode Island for a quarter of a century; Dr. E. M. Hartwell, The German system of physical training; Dr. William Oscar Thrailkill, School hygiene, public and private; Dr. Joseph Holt, Sanitary protection of New Orleans, municipal and maritime; Dr. S. T. Armstrong, Maritime sanitation ; Dr. P. H. Bryce, Small-pox in Canada, and the methods of dealing with it in the different provinces; Dr. Benj. Lee, The debit and credit account of the Plymouth epidemic; Dr. C. A. Lindsley, An epidemic of typhoid fever ; Dr. O. W. Wight, Experiences in disinfecting sewers; Dr. J. N. McCormick, Progress of health work in Kentucky; Dr. Thomas F. Wood, Observation on the Cape Fear River water as a source of water-supply: A study into the character of southern river water; Dr. D. E. Salmon, The virus of hog cholera; George N. Bell, Hygiene of the dwelling; Dr. John Morris, The proper disposal of the dead; Dr. A. C. Bernays, The relation between micro-organisms and cells; Dr. W. H. Watkins, The layman in sanitation; Dr. R. Harvey Reed, Who is responsible for the iniquities of the third and fourth generations, and how shall they be avoided? Dr. W. John Harris, Carelessness the cause of disease. The committee on disinfectants will present quite a voluminous report (printed), embodying their investigations and conclusions on the subject of disinfection and disinfectants.

The Massachusetts teachers' association will hold its forty-first annual meeting in the Girls' high school building, Boston, on November 27-28. The two volumes recently published by the association the first a history of the association from its organization in November, 1845, with an abstract of its proceedings (1845–80); and the second a continuation of the above, with the ad

[ocr errors]

dresses at the annual meeting in 1882 in full may be obtained at twenty-five cents each, upon application to the treasurer, Alfred Bunker, Boston.

-Prof. E. Hitchcock writes from Geneva, N.Y., to announce that a portion of the skeleton of another mastodon has just been unearthed in Seneca It Castle, N.Y., about five miles from Geneva. was found, as is usual, at the bottom of a peat morass lately drained for farming purposes. The aggravating thing to the naturalist is that the bones most decisive in determining the species were not found, though all were remarkably sound and strong. The left tusk measured eight feet nine inches on its outer curve, and evidently was not the whole tusk. The two styloid bones were well preserved. The rest of the bones were vertebrae, about one-half the ribs, and many of the bones of the hand and foot, but no head or pelvis. bones were discovered through Mr. F. B. Peck, a senior in Amherst college, and they are the property of this institution. The peat and muck were only three feet thick, which must account for the scarcity of the large bones.

The

-Capt. Charles Haley, of the schooner Genevieve, recently arrived at Philadelphia from Charleston, S.C., reports that on Oct. 29, at 10.30 A.M., when about thirty miles south of Frying Pan Shoal lightship, he had his main and mizzen masts carried away about twenty feet below the cross-trees. The weather was clear and pleasant, moderate swell, light breeze from W.N.W., and vessel going through the water at about four knots, heading N.E. by E., with all sail set. Noticing a small cloud to windward, of cirro-cumulus formation, and hearing a sizzling sound aloft, he sang out to clew up the topsails. The next moment the topsails gathered up in a bunch, and the main and mizzen masts were twisted off and taken overboard. At the same time the jib and foresail were flapping to windward with each roll, and he could have held an open umbrella over his head, there was so little wind. A few minutes afterward the sun came out bright and clear. About 2 P.M. the same day a gale sprung up from S.W., and blew for twenty hours. The mate said the small cloud that came down from windward looked like the first appearance that a cloud generally assumes when a water-spout is beginning to form.

[blocks in formation]

the eruption will become more serious than it is at present.

- In the second part of the first volume of the 'Supplementary papers' issued by the Royal geographical society there is a valuable map of central Asia, showing the territory between the Zarafshan and Amu-Daria Rivers. It was compiled from the latest Russian documents to illustrate Mr. E. Delmar Morgan's paper on the 'Recent geography of central Asia from Russian sources.' The map extends only to about 72° 30′ of longitude east from Greenwich, and therefore does not take in the sources of the Amu-Daria or the Oxus. Nevertheless, as it shows the glaciers of Tanimar and Fedshenko, and the hitherto almost unknown mountain regions of Badakshan, Bokhara, and Karateghin, it is of very considerable value. Mr. Morgan's article, containing as it does much information hitherto inaccessible to English readers, should also be borne in mind.

-The French government has just created, says Nature, a certain number of travelling-juries. This is a modified form of an institution established by the first republic. In the organic law of the Institut it was ordained that the Institut was to select yearly ten citizens to travel abroad and collect information useful to science, commerce, and agriculture. These scientific travellers will not be appointed by the Academy of sciences, or the whole Institut, but by a special administrative commission, on the basis of a competitive examination.

-A German traveller who has recently visited Macedonia makes, says the London Times, the following statement respecting the population of that country: 'If people speak of the condition and the movement in Macedonia, they should be reminded that this Turkish province is perhaps the most checkered picture of nationalities of any country in Europe, and that not one of them possesses an absolute majority. In the east, round Salonica, and along the coast, the Greek element is very strong; but even the largest seaport place might be considered a Jewish town rather than a Greek centre. The west is the stronghold of the Albanians,--the most savage, most aboriginal, and most lawless nationality of our part of the globe. A considerable Slav population pushes itself between the Greeks and Arnauts; and distributed among Greeks, Slavs, and Arnauts, we find a large number of Turks and Wallachians. The latter are called in Macedonia mostly Zinzaras, or Tsintsaras, because in their dialect they do not pronounce the number five tchintch' (like their kin of Roumania), but ‘tsints.' With regard to the number of the population as a whole and

separately, it may safely be asserted that the various statements are entirely unreliable, the degree of exactness varying with the views and sympathy of the several authorities who make them. When a Russian general estimates the number of Bulgarians in Macedonia at 1,500,000, this figure may be as much assailed as the claim of the Greek notables when addressing a manifesto to the patriarch and the Porte, to be considered the representatives of 800,000 Greeks living in the province. If Macedonia is mentioned as the seat of political agitation, the Albanian districts of Janina and Scutari must be left out of consideration altogether. The other four great administrative districts remaining - Monastir, Salonica, Kossovo, and Seres are stated to contain, in accordance with the proportionately most reliable figures, about 1,531,000 inhabitants, who are divided as follows: 410,000 Christian and 46,000 Mohammedan Bulgarians (Pomaks), 350,000 Albanians, 280,000 Turks, 145,000 Greeks, 120,000 Servians, 95,000 Zinzaras, and 40,000 Spanish Jews. The remainder consists of gypsies and foreigners. It may be added that the number of Albanians and Turks is probably taken too high; that of the Servians, on the contrary, too low.”

An expedition, under Dr. Bunge and Baron von Toll is to start next spring for the exploration of the New Siberian Islands, which, since Anjou's journeys in 1821-23, have only been visited by the ill-fated members of the Jeannette expedition, on their way to the mouth of the Lena.

A French journal has recently called attention to the following good case of 'mental suggestion:' On July 14, 1884, Mlle. A. E. was put into the hypnotic condition by a friend who tells the story, and who says to her, "On Jan. 1, 1885, at 10 A.M., you will see me; I will come to wish you a happy new year; after this I will immediately disappear." Neither spoke of this until after Jan. 1. On that day Mlle. A. E. was in Nancy, and the narrator in Paris. "At 10 o'clock she heard a knock at the door, and saw me enter, and heard me wish her a happy new year in a loud voice, and suddenly disappear. She went to the window to see me as I went out of the door into the street, but I was not to be seen. In telling the story to a friend, she expressed surprise at seeing me in a summer suit of clothing at that time of the year. Of course, it was the suit I wore on July 14. In spite of my affirmations, she insists that I was really with her on New year's day."

[blocks in formation]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »