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Ir is announced in the issue of Science for March 12 that Col. George W. Goethals has been promoted to be a major-general of the line in recognition of his services in the construction of the Panama Canal. Brig.-Gen. William C. Gorgas, surgeon-general, has been promoted to be major-general in the medical department. Col. H. F. Hodges and Lieut.-Col. W. L. Sibert, U.S. Corps of Engineers, have been promoted to be brigadier-generals. The Bill authorising these promotions extends the thanks of Congress to the officers mentioned.
WE regret to see the announcement of the death on Sunday, April 4, at fifty-eight years of age, of Dr. H. Lewis Jones, medical officer in charge of the electrical department at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, and a leading authority upon electro-therapeutics. Dr. Jones was president in 1903-4 of the British ElectroTherapeutic Society, and acted as official delegate for the British Government to the International Congress of Physiotherapy at Liège in 1905, and also at Paris in 1910. He was the author of Medical Electricity," and of numerous papers on the principles of ionic medication and related subjects.
THE desirability of excluding cotton from Germany and Austria has been urged upon the Government by
a number of men of science. At a conference on March 10 a letter was drawn up and sent to Lord Moulton at the High Explosives Department of the War Office, pointing out that Germany is entirely dependent on her imports of unspun cotton for the manufacture of propulsive explosives, and asking whether a complete embargo on cotton destined to Germany and Austria by any channel had been declared and would be exercised. Among the signatories to the letter were Sir William Ramsay, Prof. Clowes, Sir Alex. R. Binnie, Prof. H. Jackson, Mr. B. Blount, Prof. Meldola, and Prof. W. J. Pope. Lord Moulton replied on March 19 to the effect that the Order in Council of March 11 would, he thought, satisfy the signatories, who, however, on March 22 pointed out that the Order in Council would become effective only if cotton were made contraband of war. Further
correspondence has taken place, and the signatories have had an interview with the Board of Trade, but they appear to have been unable to obtain the assurance they desire for the prevention of the importation of cotton by Germany.
THE present shortage in this country of synthetic yellow dyes has put difficulties in the way of manufacturers of khaki cloth. A temporary way out of the difficulty was found, however, by the increased use of fustic, a natural yellow dye-stuff, consisting of the wood of a tree (Chlorophora tinctoria) which grows freely in Jamaica and also in British Honduras. When the shortage of yellow dye-stuffs first became apparent the Imperial Institute took steps to place British dye firms in touch with exporters of fustic in Jamaica. Only a moderate amount of cut fustic wood was, as it happened, then available in the island, but, as a result of the institute's action the Government of Jamaica has offered to purchase from the growers further supplies, and carry these at Government cost
to Kingston, the port of shipment. Negotiations are accordingly now pending for the purchase and shipment of considerable quantities of Jamaica fustic by dyers in this country. The Government of British Honduras is also taking action in this matter, and a further supply of the wood may possibly be forthcoming from that Colony. Further information may be obtained on application to the Imperial Institute, South Kensington, London, S.W.
By the death of Mr. J. J. Beringer on March 28, Cornwall has lost an indefatigable worker whose investigations in the science of mining and metallurgy made him one of her most prominent and interesting personalities. A personal friend, W. H. T.-J., sends us the following particulars of his career and work. Born at Penzance, Cornwall, in 1857, Mr. Beringer was educated at Redruth. In 1877 he won a Royal Exhibition, and took the course of the Royal School of Mines in London. In 1880 he passed his examinations with distinction, and secured his diploma A.R.S.M. In 1881 he became assistant in the chemistry and assaying department to Prof. Huntingdon at King's College, where his work was very highly appreciated. From 1882 to 1891 he was lecturer to the Miners' Association, also public analyst for the county of Cornwall. From 1882 down to the date of his death, he was principal of the County School of Metalliferous Mining, Camborne, of which he also was made a governor, and it is mainly in that position that he distinguished himself as a lecturer of remarkable ability on mining and metallurgical subjects, not only by his erudition, but also by his sympathetic hold on his students. He was the author of a text-book on assaying, which has gone through some ten or more editions, and remains to-day the standard textbook in Great Britain, and may be said to be used in nearly all schools of mines throughout the world. The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, in recognition of the distinguished services he had rendered to the science and industry of metallurgy, bestowed upon him the honorary membership of the institution. His death was partly due to weakness induced by severe and continuous overwork, and especially by the loss of vision in one eye due to his close application to microscopic and ultra-microscopic work. His loss will long be keenly felt, especially in Cornwall, by a large circle of personal friends, including the many students who passed through his hands. In the University of Pennsylvania's Anthropological Publications, vol. iv., No. 2, Mr. M. R. Harrington describes a remarkable collection of the sacred bundles of the Sac and Fox Indians collected by the expedition maintained by Mr. G. G. Heye. These bundles, containing many heterogeneous articles, are held in the highest veneration, and in many cases the religious observances of the tribe centre round them. The concepts underlying their use are often obscure, but the idea at the basis is that they are endowed with some supernatural power or mana, which directly influences the phenomena of life in the interest of their owner. The bundles are supposed to possess a consciousness of their own, to understand what is said to them, and to enjoy offerings presented to them. Some are
used in religion, some in war, while others are of a private nature, and bring success in hunting or in love, heal the sick, promote health, bring luck in sports, gambling, or are used in witchcraft. Some belong to shamans, others are in private hands. A full catalogue with photographs fully illustrates this interesting collection.
It is generally held that the presence of B. coli in pasteurised milk indicates either that the milk has not been properly heated, or that it has been subsequently reinfected by careless handling. In the Journal of Agricultural Research for February, S. H. Ayres and W. T. Johnson, jr., describe experiments which suggest that this conclusion may not always be justified. From an examination of pasteurised milk supplied by twenty-four dairies in Amsterdam, Ringeling declared that nearly half of them did not pasteurise or handle the milk properly, since he found B. coli in the samples received from ten of the dairies. In recent years many investigators have found that cultures of B. coli were easily destroyed at temperatures below 60° C., which is the lowest pasteurising temperature, but certain strains required heating for 30 mins. at 70° in order to destroy them. The authors have studied the thermal death-point of 174 cultures of typical colon bacilli, isolated chiefly from cow fæces, as well as from milk, cream, flies, human fæces, and cheese. These cultures were heated in milk at temperatures ranging from 52° C. to 68° C. for 30 mins. At 63° C., the usual temperature of pasteurisation, 6-9 per cent. of the cultures survived, but only one culture (0-6 per cent.) survived heating to 66° C. Repeated heatings of the cultures that survived the normal pasteurising process showed that 63° C. is a critical temperature for the comparatively few resistant strains, which are able to survive the original heating by the resistance of a few organisms only. If milk is pasteurised at 66° C. or above for 30 mins., the authors expect from their results that no colon bacillus would survive. Consequently under such conditions the B. coli test for the efficiency of pasteurisation may be of value. It is, however, possible that a study of a larger number of cultures would show that some strains may survive even higher temperatures.
VOL. xi., part 1, of Records of the Indian Museum contains articles on boring-sponges of the family Clionidæ, by Dr. N. Annandale, on hermit-crabs from the Chilka Lake, by Mr. J. R. Henderson, and on some South Indian frogs, bv Mr. C. R. N. Rao, as well as two others. Of five species of hermit-crabs only one is described as new.
THE beauty and delicacy of execution of the two plates (reproduced from photographs) form a striking feature of a memoir by Mr. S. Yehara on Cretaceous trigonias from Miyako and Hokkaido, published as vol. ii., No. 2, of Science Reports of Tohoku Imperial University, Sendai, Japan, series 2 (Geology). The beautiful preservation of the specimens themselves is likewise noteworthy.
IN the American Naturalist for March Mr. R. R. Hyde describes a fly of the species Drosophila confusa,
reared by himself, which differed from the normal form by the curvature of the wings. In the new form the wings curve upwards at an angle of about 45° from the end of the abdomen, and thus somewhat resemble rose-petals, instead of projecting horizontally over and above the abdomen, as in the wild form. Unfortunately, all the members of the new stock died during the hot weather of the summer of 1914.
THE problem of utilising museum collections for the use of children seems to have been satisfactorily solved by the authorities of the Museums of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, whose report for 1913, unusually belated, has just reached us. The museum for children has been brought into close relation with the city schools, the majority of visitors being under fourteen years of age. Well-arranged series are adapted for purposes of instruction, and the library serves the threefold purpose of supplying children with books and magazines relating to their studies, their clubs, and their hobbies. The total attendance was nearly 48,000, and about 2300 parents and other adults attended, some with their children, others desiring help in choosing children's books, while others who began coming in their early days continue their visits. Teachers are encouraged to inspect the collections under the guidance of experienced instructors. The scheme seems to be well organised, and an examination of it may be useful to school authorities in this country.
THE uncertainty that prevails with regard to the correct zoological names of many of the commonest or most familiar animals is a source of great confusion, especially to those who make use of such names without being themselves experts in the study of the particular class of animals dealt with. It is, for instance, extraordinarily perplexing for a medical practitioner or student to see common human parasites appearing under different names in different books, or the same name applied to quite distinct species by different authorities. The efforts, therefore, that are being made by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenciature to fix the names of animals in cases where the matter is in dispute, will be welcomed by all who require to make use of the names. The latest "Opinion" (No. 66) issued by the Commission deals with certain genera of Nematodes and Gordiacea, including the round-worms parasitic in man, namely, Ancylostoma (type duodenale), Ascaris (type lumbricoides), Dracunculus (type medinensis), Gnathostoma (type spinigerum), Necator (type americanus), Strongyloides (type intestinalis = stercoralis), Trichostrongylus (type retortaeformis), Gordius (type aquaticus), and Paragordius (type varius). The first of these genera, of which the type is the "Old World Hook-worm," notorious as the cause of miner's anæmia, has hitherto appeared under about a dozen different spellings, including even such barbarous forms as "Agchylostoma "; it is to be hoped that in the future uniformity in this respect will be maintained.
IN Records of the Botanical Survey of India, vol. vi., No. 5, an account is given by Mr. M. S. Ramaswami of a botanical tour in the Tinnevelley Hills.
A good map is included showing the author's route. Of the 470 species collected, thirty-three, or about 7 per cent. of the whole, are endemic to the region, 2 per cent. are purely Ceylon species, and 10 per cent. are peculiar to the South Indian peninsula. Leguminosæ, with fifty-five species, and Rubiaceæ, with thirty-eight, are the most extensively represented natural orders. One new species, Senecio calcadensis -a composite-is described and figured.
THE Missouri Botanical Garden completes its first volume with several interesting papers. Mr. E. A. Burt contributes a third paper on the Thelephoraceæ of North America, and details twenty-one species of Cyphella. Mr. R. R. Gates publishes an account on some Enotheras from Cheshire and Lancashire, with three well-executed plates. The work represents the results of cultivation and hybridisation both at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the John Innes Institution at Merton, and details of the new forms, both mutants and hybrids, are given. In the same part Messrs. Greenman and Thompson describe and illustrate new species of flowering plants from the south-western United States and Mexico.
THE first number of the Kew Bulletin for 1915 is mainly occupied by a paper on the semi-parasitic genus Thesium in South Africa, which is illustrated by two plates showing the different types of floral morphology. The genus which exhibits its maximum development in South Africa has been studied in connection with the preparation of the Flora Capensis." Some 128 species are found to be represented at the Cape, belonging to four wellmarked floral types or sections. Two of these, the sections Penicillata, in which the tuft of hairs behind the anther remains free and not attached to the anther, and Annulata, where a ring of hairs at the throat of the perianth replaces the tufts of hairs behind the anthers, are peculiar to the Cape region. A fresh description of the genus is given, a key to all the South African species, and fifty-two diagnoses of new species are published by Mr. A. W. Hill. The distribution of the genus is remarkable. The majority of species are African, but several are spread over Europe and temperate Asia, while two occur in Brazil and one in Australia.
THE permanence of the aroma of hops of a particular variety when grown in another locality has long been a vexed question. Mr. Johs. Schmidt has been carrying out investigations at Carlsberg, and has satisfactorily proved that if pure lines of hops with the "Saaz" aroma from Bohemia, or Oregon cluster hops, with the distinctive and peculiar "American " aroma, are grown in Denmark, they do not lose their characteristic qualities. The experiment of crossfertilising these varieties with pollen of wild Danish hops has also been made, and it was found that a proportion of the offspring exhibited the characteristic aromas of the female parents, though the plants carrying the aroma did not necessarily retain the external appearance peculiar to the mother plant. These latter results are similar to those re
cently published by Mr. E. S. Salmon from crossing female Oregon cluster by English male plants. The series of experiments suggest an interesting line of Mendelian research. Mr. Schmidt's paper appears in Comptes rendus des travaux du Laboratoire de Carlsberg (11me volume, 3me livraison, 1915).
PROF. A. P. BRIGHAM's presidential address to the Association of American Geographers, delivered at the meeting in Chicago at the end of last year, is published in Science of February 19. Broadly speaking, his theme was that the geographer's "goal is broad generalisation. But the formulation of general laws is difficult and the results insecure until we have a body of concrete and detailed observations." Prof. Brigham's geographical keynote is environment, and certainly in this study the generalisations which have hitherto preceded detailed observations have presented many pitfalls. Prof. Brigham's address was full of suggestions for detailed research in various fields. In an early paragraph he referred to the symposium on the trend of modern geography conducted by G. B. Roorbach, and published in the Bulletin of the American Geographical Society for November, 1914. This marshalling of the views of some thirty geographers, mainly American, but some British, pointed to the same conclusion. It perhaps gave unfair weight to a particular aspect of geographical opinion, inasmuch as fully two-thirds of those whose views were given were professors or other teachers, and the mathematical and cartographical department of the subject received rather scanty treatment. This apart, however, most of them expressed their ideas of the functions of geography in a variety of carefully worded formulæ all of much the same meaning. In indicating fields of research, they were less successful than Prof. Brigham, and some suggestions (in the direction of climatology, for instance) travelled well outside the geographical scope.
DR. BRUCE and Dr. Rudmose Brown gave an account to the Royal Geographical Society on March 22 of Dr. Bruce's expedition to Spitsbergen in 1914. Its object was to investigate Stor Fiord, the great bay to the south-east of Spitsbergen. Difficulties due to the war seriously interfered with their plans, and most of the time was spent in geological work on Prince Charles Foreland, the island off the western coast of Spitsbergen. Most of the paper was devoted to a discussion of the ownership of Spitsbergen. The authors of the papers claimed that the archipelago should be British in virtue of prior claim. After the abandonment of the whaling fishery, the country was long left derelict, but during the last forty years claims for its possession have been advanced by Russia, Norway, and Sweden. In 1909 the United States suggested the establishment of an American protectorate. In 1912 a conference between Norway, Sweden, and Russia agreed that Spitsbergen should remain neutral territory and be jointly administered by those three Powers. Drs. Bruce and Brown maintain that this agreement would deprive Britain of any voice in the future of Spitsbergen, despite her right of ownership due to annexation, exploration, and pre
this agreement as a practical surrender of Spitsbergen to Russia, which they insist has practically no claim to the country. In the development of the coalmining the American interests are important though localised, and are of less value than the British. The authors urge that in consequence of the growing commercial development of Spitsbergen some definite government must be established, and they claim that many of those interested in the country consider its interests would be best served by the establishment of a British protectorate.
A SOCIETY of Vulcanology has recently been founded in connection with the University of Catania. The objects of the society are to collect accounts and photographs of the volcanic phenomena of Etna and Sicily and specimens of the materials ejected, and to encourage generally the study of vulcanology. We have received the first four numbers of the Pubblica
zioni issued by the society. They include papers by Prof. G. Platania on the recent eruptions of Etna and on a proposal for the international organisation for the study of volcanoes.
THE well-known Vesuvian Observatory was built in 1841. Its first director, the physicist Melloni, was removed shortly after taking office, on account of his action in political movements. The observatory then remained closed until 1852, when Palmieri obtained permission to make use of it for his own investigations. Four years later he was appointed director by the Neapolitan Government, though regular observations only became possible when he was provided with an assistant at the close of 1863. Four of the six papers which appear in the last five numbers of the Bollettino of the Italian Seismological Society relate to Vesuvian phenomena and to work done in the observatory since the latter date (vol. xviii., pp. 87-338). Mr. A. Malladra studies the rainfall of Vesuvius during the fifty years 1863-1913, and the effects of volcanic gases on vegetation. He also describes the seismographs and seismoscopes in the observatory and various chambers in the neighbourhood. Some of these are of modern Italian construction and are capable of recording strong earthquakes in all parts of the world. An important paper is that by Mr. C. Cappello on the variations in the altitude of Vesuvius from 1631 to 1906, and in the outline of the mountain in the years 1911 to 1914. After the eruption of 1906, the greatest height of the crater rim was 4013 ft. on the west-south-west side, the least 3619 ft. on the opposite side, and the greatest diameter of the crater about 2395 ft.
A PLOT of ground covering seventy-five acres, which includes the remarkable Green Lake near Jamesville, N.Y., with its series of abandoned cataracts, rock channels, and dry plunge-basins, has been given to the New York State Museum by Mrs. Mary Clark Thompson, of New York, and presented in the name of her father, Myron H. Clark, a former governor of that State, and by her desire it is to be known as the "Clark Reservation." The significance of the conformation of the new reservation has, says Dr. J. M.
Clarke, in Science, been worked out by Prof. Fairchild and Mr. E. C. Quereau. In the course of Prof. Fairchild's work upon the Pleistocene geology of New York State, he demonstrated the accuracy of Mr. Quereau's suggestion that in the retreat of the ice mantle the outflow of the glacial waters was by way of great rivers moving eastward into the MohawkHudson drainage, and in the Green Lake one of these streams cut its rock gorge in the limestones of the Helderberg escarpment and left a series of plungebasins beneath great cataracts which surpassed the dimensions, as they must have equalled the dignity and grandeur, of Niagara. The lake is surrounded. on all but its eastern side by an amphitheatre of sheer limestone cliffs rising to a height of nearly 200 ft., and the depth of the lake is stated to be not less than 100 ft. Water of a deep emerald hue still fills this ancient plunge-basin, without visible outlet or inlet.
A VALUABLE investigation of the "Absorption, Reflection, and Dispersion Constants of Quartz" has been carried out by Mr. W. W. Coblentz, and published as Bulletin No. 237 of the Washington Bureau of Standards. Unlike fluorite, quartz shows a marked absorption in the infra-red at 2 μ, and becomes practically opaque beyond 3μ; but from 0.25 μ in the ultra-violet to 17 in the infra-red it is almost perfectly transparent in thicknesses up to 3 cm. Thus, after allowing for losses by reflection at the interface between quartz and air, the transmission is actually found to be 100 per cent., if an allowance of 2 parts per 1000 is made for experimental error. The absorption does not appear to be affected by the direction in which the radiations pass relatively to the optic axis of the quartz.
IN the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. iv., Prof. de Courcy Ward gives an excellent account of the general features of American weather regarded from the point of view of climate. Although climate is usually defined as the average of weather, the irregularities of weather, the variations from day to day, are in some respects more significant than averages: in addition to averages, we require frequencies and rates of change to get even an approximately true representation of climate. Prof. Ward shows how in winter the controlling factor in America is the non-periodic variation arising from the passage of cyclones and anti-cyclones: the storm control, he calls it expressively. In summer, on the other hand, the non-periodic variations are less dominant than the regular diurnal changes: storm-control is subordinate to solar-control. The paper is illustrated by diagrams showing the different paths of cyclones and anticyclones and the changes in the weather as the cyclones and anticyclones cross the country. The distribution about the cyclonic centres is illustrated for different seasons, and the changes which take place at a fixed spot as the cyclones pass over it are shown by reproducing curves from self-recording instruments.
THE February number of the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society contains a paper which Mr. J. E. Barnard read before the society in December last on the possibility of utilising Röntgen rays in
microscopic work. In his experiments the author has used the soft rays from a tube provided with a lithium glass window. The rays can only pass out of the lead chamber in which the tube is enclosed through a series of fine holes in lead screens in line with each other, and in consequence they strike the photographic plate as a parallel beam. The object to be photographed is placed in contact with the plate, which is enclosed in a light tight box. Plates with thin gelatine films and very fine grain must be used. The time of exposure depends on the thickness and opacity of the object, and the author prefers to use the harder rays from the tube as the opacity increases. The resulting photographs are the same size as the object, and must be enlarged by the usual photographic method. Six reproductions of photographs showing the internal structure of microscopic objects are given in the paper.
THE Rendiconti of the Italian Chemical Society (vol. vii., pp. 173-222) has an interesting discussion of the relationship existing between Mendel's principles of heredity and the atomic theory by Prof. C. Vulpiani. A brief survey is given of the recent developments of our views as to the atomic and molecular state, and an attempt is made to show that the natural basis of the hereditary elements which are transmitted according to Mendelian laws is to be found in the molecular or atomic groupings present within the cells, and of which the chromosomes are only the outward visible manifestation. The author very justly emphasises how the Mendelian laws of heredity have led to a more general recognition of the complexity of cell protoplasm. The view that each hereditary element corresponds with some material factor in the ultramicroscopic or molecular structure of the contents of the reproductive cells will undoubtedly lead to more correct conceptions being formed as to the nature of cell protoplasm than those which have in the past been current among biologists.
A PAPER on the processes of manufacture of wrought iron and steel tubes was read by Mr. J. G. Stewart at the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland on February 16. The author states that it is very rarely that potable waters are found to have any appreciable corrosive effect on steel pipes, and quotes several instances of pipes which have been in service many years with very little deterioration. The principal fear is for the outside of the pipes. Most natural ground, especially clay, is not only innocuous, but is actually a permanent protection to steel pipes from corrosion. In some cases where the pipes are laid through artificially made, or alluvial ground, external protection is desirable. The want has been met by dipping the pipes in a hot bath of Dr. Angus Smith's or other bituminous solution, and in cases where the ground contains an excessive amount of salts and acids which cause corrosion, the additional precaution is taken of wrapping the pipes in coarse jute Hessian cloth saturated with the hot solution, winding it spirally on the already coated pipe.
THE March number of the Journal of the Franklin Institute contains a paper on paints to prevent electrolysis in concrete structures, by Mr. H. A.
Gardner, assistant director of the Washington Institute of Industrial Research. An extensive series of experiments on iron rods of 1/2 or 3/4 in. diameter embedded in concrete cylinders 1 ft. long has been carried out by the author to determine what type of paint was most effective. The rods were thoroughly cleaned, and two coats of the paint applied, each being allowed a week to dry. They were then embedded in the concrete, which was aged for a month before the test was commenced. Each cylinder was then immersed in water, and a potential difference of 30 to 100 volts applied for 10 days between two rods in each cylinder, or between one rod and an outside electrode, the current transmitted being observed. In all cases in which an appreciable current passed, the concrete cracked round the anode. The uncracked cylinders were tested for the strength of the bonding between the iron and the concrete. The author concludes that the paint should be prepared from boiled or bodied oils which dry by polymerisation rather than oxidation, that the pigments should be insulators and should give a rough surface, and that the paint should have fine sand scattered over it before it is quite dry.
WE are asked by the proprietors of the MallockArmstrong ear defender described in last week's NATURE (p. 131) to say that since January 1 of this year all the defenders sold have been of an improved pattern, furnished with gold-plated gauze wire to resist corrosive effects-such as those of sea air-and generally are more expensive to make than those first put on the market. Accordingly the price is now 4s. the pair, instead of 3s., as stated in our notice.
R.A. (true) h. m. S. 18 14 8 16 21
18 32 20 42
18 22 51
-3 6-8 3.32.3 3.59.7
4 29.3 -5 1.3
18 The comet is situated a little to the east of Serpentis.
MEASURES OF SATURN.-From December, 1913, to March, 1914, Prof. Percival Lowell made a series of measures of the ball, rings, and satellites of Saturn with the 24-in. of the Lowell Observatory. They were taken, as he states, "with an eye to the irradiation," and the measures have been deduced to what is commonly taken as the mean distance. These are now presented by the author in a communication to the Lowell Observatory Bulletin No. 66 (vol. ii., No. 16). The diameter of the ball as determined from direct measures, measures of satellites, and measures of B ring is first given, followed by measures of the radius of the ball, breadths of B and A rings, and width of Cassini's division. All these are summed up in a table giving the means of the measures for mean distance, followed by a table of the direct measures of the diameter of Titan.
STARS WITH VARIABLE RADIAL VELOCITIES.-Several communications are contained in No. 267 of the Lick Observatory Bulletin. The first, by Mr. R. E. Wilson,