Infected Rats and Plagues.- The discovery that the plague is disseminated by rats will necessitate a new international congress to discuss the matter of infectious diseases, declares a contributor from the Institute of Infectious Diseases in Berlin. The rulings of the conference of 1897 are now obsolete. Rats are to the spread of the plague, the writer declares, what water is to cholera. The principal preventive measure is to destroy all the rats on a ship leaving an infected port. A single infected rat escaping to shore is infinitely more dangerous to the community than plague patients, as contagion from the latter can almost certainly be controlled. Ships can be cleared of rats by means of poisonous gases, without injury to the cargo. The ship "Pergamon" recently arrived at Hamburg from an infected port with dead rats, but no cases of plague on board. Prompt extermination of the rats before unloading prevented any infection of the crew or workmen unloading the ship.

The highest lighthouse in the world has been installed at Vierge Isle, on the Road de Brest. The light is 330 feet above the sea, and is visible for a distance of 39 miles.

Something like a sensation has been created in the German metallurgical world by a new process for hardening steel, which is said to he as great an advance upon the Harvey and Krupp methods as these were on those preceding them. The inventor is a steel manufacturer at Mechlenherg. His name is Griebeler. As the result of years of experiment, he claims to have produced a steel which gives double the resisting powers at 50 per cent less cost. Wedges made of the new steel split ordinary steel like so much wood. Projectiles fired at 73/4| millimeter plate make an impression of a millimeter, (a millimeter is equal to 1/25), while the same projectile would easily penetrate a Krupp plate of ll3/4 millimeters. Experiments carried out at the High School of Charlot-tenburg a few days ago are stated to have caused the greatest astonishment.