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reject Brongniart's idea of its possible affinity to the The zones of secondary or exogenously developed xylem, Marsileæ, inclining to the belief that it approached nearer which in M. Renault's examples consisted solely of vertito the Coniferæ, and especially to Salisburia. This columns of thick-walled, cubical cells, were composed, impression they retained when, at a later date, they in mine, of true tracheidal vessels with reticulated (not described a second species of the same genus.
with bordered pits) walls ; presumably a higher stage of In his “ Tableau des Genres de Végétaux Fossiles," development. Another new and more advanced feature published in 1849, Brongniart returns to the subject. He than characterise Renault's cells, seen best in tangential here calls attention to the readiness with which Spheno- sections of this zone (loc. cit. Fig. 13), was the phyllum may be confounded with the genus Astero existence, between contiguous tracheids, of vertical, phyllites, which some forms of the former genus closely | but interrupted, series of small cells, which I can resemble; but he again repeats that the two can be dis- only regard as rudimentary medullary rays. In the tinguished by the fact that in the former genus the leaves same memoir (loc. cit. Pl. IV.) a still more distinct form never exceed ten in number, whilst their form is triangular from the Burntisland deposits in Fiseshire was figured with a truncated summit. He again dwells upon the and described. M. Renault and Count Solms Laubach fact that in some Sphenophylla the leaves become so refuse to recognize a Sphenophyllum in this type, but deeply lobed, narrow, and linear, as to be easily mis- they have not yet convinced me that I am in error on taken for those of Asterophyllites. He now affirms that the point. The fact is that, though widely aberrant the fructification is closely related to that of Astero- from the form described above, it scarcely differs phyllites.
more from that form than the latter does from As to the affinities of Sphenophyllum, Brongniart now | M. Renault's examples. asks,“ Does the plant combine the leaves of a Marsilea But my Oldham specimens raised another debated with the verticillate of an Equisetum, or is it a Gymno- question. When the Memoir V. was published, all spermous Phanerogam, the leaves of which approach those
authorities agreed that the maximum number of true of the Gingko ?” He does not answer the question, but leaves in each verticil was ten or twelve ; that, however concludes that this cannot be done until the fructification
deeply subdivided, their outline was a sphenoid one, anc of the plant is better understood.
not linear, and that they were multinerved. But I an In 1864 a monograph on the species of the genus was
still convinced that in my specimens there were more published by M. Eugene Coemans and M. J. Kickz; but
than twenty such leaves; that they were linear in the authors make no serious effort to solve the vexed outline, and had a single median nerve. It followed question of the affinities of the genus.
that, continuing to accept the existing definitions of the We now enter upon a new stage in the history of the genus Sphenophyllum, my plant was Asterophylloid genus. In 1870, M. Renault presented an important rather than Sphenophylloid. I am now prepared to memoir to the French Academy of Science, wbich, for admit that it is a Sphenophyllum ; but only on the con. the first time, threw light upon the internal organization, dition that we alter our definitions of the latter genus, especially of the stems, of Sphenophyllum, He described
and admit the possibility that some of the forms may two examples, one from Autun and the other from St.
possess twenty or more undivided and linear leaves. Etienne, both of which exhibited a structure wholly
The accumulating evidence that the foliage of at least diferent from that of any plant previously known, recent some of the Sphenophylla was dimorphic makes the or fossil. In the centre of each stem was a primary acceptance of my proposition a matter of necessity. vascular bundle, the transverse section of which was a
Yet more recent researches have revealed new and triangle with three concave sides and three prolonged, important facts connected with the history of these narrow, intermediate arms. This axial organ underwent
plants. I have already alluded to the new fructification no subsequent growth after its first formation. But it
which I described in 1871, and to which I gave the name was invested by a secondary zone, which was deposited of Volkmannia Dawsoni. M. Renault's memoir already upon the primary triangle layer after layer like a noticed was laid before the French Academy in May secondary xylem, producing a circular axis, which en- | 1870, and noticed in the Comptes Rendus of that date; larged as the plant advanced in age. But this secondary but owing to accidents growing out of the Siege of Paris, growth did not consist of layers of vessels, but of
it was not published until three years later. Meanvertical columns of thick-walled cubical cells. The while my memoir on Volkmannia Dawsoni was cortex also exhibited specially distinctive features. These
published, and a copy of it forwarded to M, Brongniart. discoveries made it clear that Sphenophyllum constituted,
After giving details of the structure of the strobilus not only a very distinct genus, but a type of plant far
I arrived at the conclusion that “it is the fruit removed from everything previously described.
either of Asterophyllites or of Sphenophyllum.” It fell to my lot to make the next advances in our
Two years later ·M. Renauli's memoir of 1870 was knowledge of this genus. In 1871. I described in the combined with a second one on the same subject, and pubmemoirs of the Literary and Philosophical Society of lished. It contained a note by M. Brongniart, referring Manchester a new fructification, to which further refer
to my memoir of 1871, in which note he says, “ This work ence will be made later on. In 1872 I obtained from the
agrees in many important points with the results obtained Oldham deposits some new stems which obviously be
a year previously by M. Renault, though Mr. Williamson longed to the same type as those discovered by M.
was unacquainted with the article in the Comptes Rendus Renault, but from which they differed in important points
of May 30, 1870. The fossil plant studied by Mr. Williamof detail. These were described in my Memoir, Part V.,
son, and named by him Volkmannia Dawsoni, doubtless published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1874.
| differs, at least specifically, from that described by M. Transverse sections of these closely resembled in their | Renault, by the form of the central vascular bundle, and dominant features M. Renault's corresponding ones, but | by the absence of the zones of quadrangular cells which with two differences. When my plants attained to a
surround it in the French speciinens; cells which in certain stage of their exogenous growth, a well-defined
consequence of the thickness of their walls would not be circular boundary marked a temporary arrest of that
readily destroyed.”I growth, but which started afresh from a zone of much smaller vessels (loc. cit. Pl. II., Figs. 11 and 12), that
1 M. Brongniart has here failed to comprehend an important point. The
cells, the absence of which he notices, really belonged to the secondary increased in size as the diameter of the axis in
xylem of the older stem, which did not become developed in the youngest creased, as they had previously done in the more twigs. But it was only upon these twigs that the fructifications were
forined, and of which they were but extensions. Hence their absence was internal series. Still greater and more important differ
merely a consequence of difference of age, and not a feature of specific ences presented themselves in the longitudinal sections. I value.
In 1890 I figured in my Memoir XVIII. (Phil. Trans. overlapping from two to three internodes. From the 1890) a transverse section of what was obviously a stem upper surface of the disk numerous slender sporangioof Bowmanites Dawsoni, in which the primary triangular phores (e) spring, each one proceeding upwards and axis of the strobilus was invested by a thick zone of outwards, to become attached to the upper or distal the secondary xylem. So far as the arrangement of extremity of a large oval sporangium (). Each of these its tissues is concerned this stem is constructed on sporangiophores has running through it a small bundle exactly the same plan as appears in M. Renault's and my of barred tracheids, which terminate at the point of own Sphenophylla. In describing it I further said, “We attachment to the sporangiuni. Each tracheal must unite Sphenophyllum with some forms of Astero- | bundle is a prolongation of one of a circle of similar ones phyllites in the same genus. It is equally clear that that ascend from the central axis into the disks. These Bowmanites, though its peculiar fructification demon- fructifications, besides being manifestly eusporangiate, strates that it constitutes a perfectly distinct genus, has are extremely characteristic of the plant, nothing idenstrongly marked features of affinity in the structure of tical with them having been observed by any of the its stem to the Sphenophylloid type."
authors who have investigated the Carboniferous strobili. The above reference to differences between the fructifi- | After these illustrations I will allow M. Zeiller to explain cation of Bowmanites and of Sphenophyllum were based | his views in his own words. After referring to the upon the minute description of the fruits of the latter details given in my Memoir XVIII., M. Zeiller says :plant, published by M. Renault (“Etudes sur le Terrain “L'aspect de ces sporanges, ainsi attachés au bout Houiller de Commentry," pp. 481-2). Those descriptions de ces pédicelles recourbés, est exactement, à part les differ widely from what exists in my Bowmanites, but M. dimensions moindres, celui de sporocarpes de Marsilea. Renauit distinctly identifies them with the fructification L'analogie parait du reste n'être pas purement superficielle; of Sphenophyllum. I obtained additional and impor M. Williamson a reconnu en effet, dans le pedicelle de tant specimens of Bowmanites in 1890, which threw chaque sporange, un cordon vasculaire bien caractérisé, much new light upon its organization, and which were qui prouve qu'on n'a pas affaire là à une simple formation recorded in my Memoir XVIII. (Phil. Trans. 1891). épidermique, comme pour les sporanges de Fougères ou
In July last an important communication was laid de Lycopodinées. Il faut, à ce qu'il semble, regarder ces before the Academy of Sciences by my friend M. Zeiller, pedicelles comme représentant des lobes ventraux des the distinguished director of the Superior National bractées, analogues au lobe fertile des frondes d'OphioSchool of Mines at Paris. In it he records his identi- glossées, ou à ceux des Marsiliacées ; seulement ils portent fication of a fructification of a Sphenophyllum of the à leur extrémité non pas une série de sporanges comme type of S. pusillum of Sternberg and S. erosum of Lindley chez les premières, ou plusieurs sores comme chez ces and Hutton, with my Bowmanites Dawsoni. If this dernières, mais un sporange unique à paroi formée determination is correct, and I see no reason for doubting | d'une seule assise de cellules." that it is so, we now have some more definite facts than “De cette constitution des épis du Sphen. cuneifoliuin' we have hitherto possessed, guiding us alike in identifying il report que, si les Sphenophyllum rappellent les the true fructification of Sphenophyllum and in deter Lycopodinées par la structure de leur axe, ils s'en éloimining its position in the vegetable kingdom.
gnent notablement par la disposition toute spéciale de Before explaining M. Zeiller's observations more in leur appareil fructificateur, qui tend à les rapprocher detail, a few words explanatory of the structure of plutôt des Rhizocarpées, et qu'ils doivent donc bien Bowmanites will make M. Zeiller's views more intelligible décidément être considéré comme formant une classe to the reader.
distincte parmi les Cryptogames vasculaires."2 AgreeThe accompanying diagram represents two nodes and ing thoroughly with these conclusions further comments
WM. CRAWFORD WILLIAMSON.
1 specimens of silica have been observed for so long, that it is somewhat surprising that so little is known about their real constitution and mode of formation.
Rock-crystal is frequently found to contain bubbles of liquid, usually either water, carbon dioxide, or petroleum, or crystals, such as scales of mica, forming aventurine, and fibres, such as asbestos, forming cat's-eye. More rarely, however, forms of apparently vegetable origin are seen ; one of the most remarkable specimens is a prolate spheroid, about five inches long and four inches across, cut from a clear colourless rock-crystal, in which are embedded numerous fragments about the size of a large pea, presenting the exact appearance of club-moss.
Agate is frequently found with distinct coloured layers, one internode from a vertical section of this fruit, with either flat or distorted, and usually milk-white, red, brown, che sporangia and three sporangiophores in situ.
or black. It is then known as onyx. So far as external contours are concerned, it is undis More rarely, agates are found with markings like moss Einguishable from many of the true Calamarian forms of or foliage distributed through them; they are then known
ructification. It is only when cut into sections that its as moss-agates, or Mocha stones. characteristics can be discovered. Its central axis (a) In 1814, Dr. J. MacCulloch described some cryptogamic has nodes (6) at short and regular intervals, and at each forms in the agates of Dunglas (Geological Trans., ii.,
ode is a verticil of from 16 to 20 sporophylles or ertile bracts (c). At their basal portions these bracts are The species of Sphenophyllum to which M. Zeiller's strobili were
attached. coalesced into a lenticular disk (d), from the margin of at
a Comptes Rendus des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris, vhich the thinner and narrowing bracts extend upwards, July 11, 1892.
iv., 398). It is stated that the Earl of Powys possesses an mence may be lengthened from minutes to many days onyx containing the chrysalis of a moth.
If the density be above 1'25, no growth takes place. It seems to be generally assumed, without any strong Copper sulphate gives the best results, but it may be evidence, that rock-crystal and agate have been formed replaced by ferrous, manganous, or nickel sulphate ; with from solution in water, possibly superheated, and that changes in the shape, and of course in the colour, of the in such cases as those mentioned above, various crystal growths. The growths take place most readily from : line or fibrous minerals and low forms of plant life have clean sharp crystal, and always from an angle or edge been inclosed during the process of solidification.
an edge obtained by cleavage requires more time. Othe Though this explanation is very possibly true in many salts besides the sulphates may be used, but do not a: cases, it does not account for all the appearances seen in so rapidly, probably owing to less perfect crystallizatio moss-agates; and another possible mode of formation of the specimens used. iedy be suggested by a brief account of some experiments In a neutral or very feebly alkaline solution the growth made more than twenty years ago.
are comparatively rapid, and consist of long, branching, Ordinary crystals of ferrous sulphate dissolve readily tapering fibres, not unlike the roots of a tree. The in cold water ; but if they are placed in a dilute solution grow rather more rapidly downwards than upwards. li of an alkaline silicate, an entirely new series of phenomena the solutions be decidedly alkaline, the growths are much are produced, which were first described by J. D. Heaton, slower, and consist of fine stalks with comparatively large M.D., in a paper “ On certain Simulations of Vegetable | lumps at the extremities. Growths by Mineral Substances” (Brit. Assoc. Report, The tubes seem to be composed of silica with a smal 1867, p. 83). On immersing crystals of ferrous sulphate proportion of the metal used; they differ much in colour, in a solution of sodium silicate of the density 1'065, very are more dense than the liquid in which they grow, and beautiful arborizations will soon begin to shoot perpen are insoluble in water or dilute acids. When magnified dicularly upwards, attaining the height of three or four 100 times, the substance of the tube shows no appearance inches in a few hours. In a weaker solution roots can of crystalline form, but seems to consist of concretions be caused to shoot downwards from a suspended crystal. of ovoid granules. In this particular it differs from the The fibres contain silica and iron (less the weaker the substance of lead or silver trees, and from the curioas solution); they are brittle, and more dense than the liquid | fibres of potassium, iodide, and chloride described by in which they are formed. Examined by the microscope, | Mr. Warington (J. C. S., V., 136, viii., 31). the ultimate ramifications are cylindrical, tapering tubes, It is generally assumed that the formation of onyx is the walls of which are granular, showing no sign of crys due to the successive deposition of layers of silica tallization. The roots are more abrupt and occasionally coloured by different substances, but the following exclub-shaped in their terminations. The growth is inter periment suggests another possible method of formation, stitial like that of organized living tissue. “Supposing especially when the extreme permeability of gelatinous such purely mineral substances to have been formed in silica by liquids is remembered. So readily are eren by.gone geological eras, and to have been accidentally the hardest agates permeated by hot aqueous solutions fossilized in some primary or other ancient rock, they of salts, that “staining” is a common commercial would very probably, when discovered by recent investi process. gation, be pronounced to be an evidence of organized A little too much sulphuric acid was accidentally added beings having existed contemporaneously with the forma to a moderately strong solution of potassium silicate in tion of such rock."
which some crystals of copper sulphate were lying. The In the following year a similar observation was made copper sulphate dissolved, and the solution set to a by Prof. W. C. Roberts-Austen (J. C. S., 1868, xxi, 274). | uniform blue jelly. After standing for about a week, the A solution containing 49 per cent. of silica, when blue colour at the top of the jelly had separated into a allowed to gelatinize, and dried for two days over sul series of thin parallel coloured plates, leaving the jelly phuric acid, left a solid residue similar to opal from between them colourless. This curious separation of the Zimapan, but containing 21'4 per cent. of water. All the colouring-matter gradually proceeded downwards, and specimens of jelly dried in air contained dendritic forms, reached the bottom of the precipitating glass in about a varying in size from 0:2 to 0-5 mm. When magnified month. The jelly gradually shrank, dried, and hardened, 90 times they appeared as radiating fibres; when the forming fragments consisting of blue bands in a white power was increased to 700 times linear, each fibre re- | mass.
SYDNEY LUPTON. solved itself into a series of elongated beaded cells with clusters of circular cells at intervals. Mr. Slack indicated their remarkable analogy to common blue mould or
NOTES. mildew. The cells appeared to be hollow, and did not
There will be a memorial celebration for A. W. von Hof blacken with sulphuric acid.
mann on November 12, arranged by the Deutsche Chemische A few years later I repeated Dr. Heaton's experiments, and made some additional ones, a brief account of which
Gesellschaft, at Berlin on the 25th anniversary of its foundatica may induce some one with better means at his disposal
The Empress Frederick and many German and foreign cele to investigate an interesting and somewhat neglected
brities have been invited to be present. The proceedings, which subject.
will take place at the Berlin Town Hall, will include speeches If a crystal of copper sulphate be suspended in a solu- on the history of the Society and on Hofmann, a review of pro tion of potassium silicate, which has been carefully I gress in chemical science by Hr. Wislicenus, and choral musie, neutralized and has a density of 1'065, in the course of persormed by the members of the cathedral choir. a few minutes a hollow green column will be seen to run down from the crystal to the bottom of the beaker.
We regret to have to record the death of Mr. Robert Gract Sodium silicate may be used instead of potassium sili
F.R.S., Professor of Practical Astronomy at the University cate, but the appearance and rapidity of the growth is Glasgow. He died at Grantown-on-Spey, his native place, a somewhat changed. The solution may be neutralized the age of seventy-eight. with hydrogen sulphate, chloride, or acetate, but hydrogen
The death of Dr. Löwenherz, director of the Imperia" fluoride appears to prevent all growth. If the solution
Physical Institute, Berlin, has been announced. He died . has a density less than 1'o6, no growth occurs, and the crystals generally dissolve ; the weaker the solution down
Berlin on Sunday last. to this limit the more rapid the growth. If the solution PROF. Virchow has been appointed an honorary membay be stronger, the time required for the growth to com- of the Imperial Russian Natural Philosophy Society.
An international ethnographical exhibition is to be held next inch of rain was measured in the West of Ireland, and heavy year in St. Petersburg. It will be organized by the Russian falls occurred on the following days in the Midland counties. A Geographical Society.
further downpour, amounting to if inch in the Channel
Islands, and to 1'3 inch in London, occurred on Sunday night, The American Microscopical Society offers prizes for the en
and the amount which has fallen on the east coast of Norfolk couragement of microscopical research, two of the value of 50
| during the month of October is about equal to three times the dollars each, and two of the value of 25 dollars each, for the best
average. During the first part of the present week, the dispapers which shall give the results of an original investigation
turbance which caused the heavy rainfall passed away, and a made with the microscope, and relating to animal and plant life
small area of high pressure temporarily advanced over the respectively; also two of the value of 30 and 15 dollars respec
United Kingdom from the Atlantic, while the temperature fell tively for the best six photomicrographs in some subject of
several degrees, with mist or fog in places; but conditions were animal or vegetable histology; and two of the same value for
very unsettled, and a change of wind to the south-eastward in the best collections of six mounted slides illustrating some one
Ireland gave indications of probable further disturbances. biological subject.
During the week ended the 29th ultimo, the amount of bright IN a letter to the Times on scientific titles and their abuse sunshine exceeded the mean in nearly all districts. Prof. Tilden has opened a subject of considerable interest to men of science. It is well known that the letters indicating
The Meteorological Council have recently issued a summary of membership of a society are sometimes used by persons who
the Weekly IVeather Report for the quarter ending September 1892. have no right to use them, and Prof. Tilden notes that an effort
which shows the rainfall and mean temperature in each district for
each similar quarter for the twenty-seven years 1866-92, grouped is to be made to deal with this evil by getting a Bill before Parliament " for the purpose of securing to the respective
in five yearly averages, and also the means for individual years societies the copyright of these letters." This, however, is a
from 1881. The average rainfall of the quarter for the whole comparatively unimportant aspect of the question. The real
of the British Islands was 10'2 inches, or only o‘7 inch in excess difficulty is that membership of scientific societies is frequently
of the mean for the whole period. This result is almost entirely "represented in courts of law or by candidates for public
due to an excess in the grazing or western districts, amounting appointments as evidence of professional trustworthiness,"
to 1'5 inch, while in the wheat-producing or eastern districts whereas in very many cases it does not at all necessarily imply
the fall for the quarter is slightly below he mean. The temperaany extensive or accurate knowledge of the subjects in which
ture for the quarter has been below the mean generally; for the societies are especially interested. “Fellowship of the
the whole of the country the deficiency amounted to 1°:8, and Royal Society, indicated by the letters F.R.S.,” says Prof.
was 1° -7 in the grazing districts and 1°9 in the wheat-producing Tilden, “is a real distinction which is justly prized. But what
districts. Similar returns show that the excess of rainfall is the public to understand regarding such alliterations as
amounted to 1'5 inch in the same quarter of 1891, prior to F.B.S., F.C.S., F.E.S., F.G.S., F.L.S., F.S.S., F.Z.S., and
which there had been a series of seven dry quarters, while the of F.S.A., M.R.I., F.R.A.S.,F.R.M.S., F.R.G.S., F.R.S.E.,
temperature has been uniformly below the mean for six corre&c. ? With the exception of one or two of the societies 'repre
sponding quarters. The coldest quarter was in 1888, when the sented here, admission is to be gained by almost any one who is
deficiency amounted to 2°:5, this being, in fact, the coldest corwilling to pay the customary contribution to the funds of the
responding quarter during the last twenty-seven years. society, and who can get two or more members of the society to
The late Mr. George Grote, the historian of Greece, extestify to his fitness for admission, which generally means re
pressed in writing, eight years before his death, a desire that spectability and a profession of interest in the subject, the cul. tivation of which is the object of the society.” He adds that
alter his decease his cranium should be opened and his brain
weighed and examined. The task was undertaken by the late is the public knew all about the societies no harm would arise ;
Prof. John Marshall, and the results of his observations are set but "judges and barristers, and county councillors and town
forth in a full report printed in the current number of the Journal councillors cannot be expected to have this knowledge.” Prof. Tilden thinks that “The only chance for a better state of things
of Anatomy and Physiology. The entire encephalon was some
what above the average in size, if compared with the adult male is for every member of these societies who respects himself to abandon the use of these unmeaning letters altogether" ; but
brain at all ages. If allowance be made for the effects of senile he fears that there is very little prospect of such a general reform
wasting, it must be regarded as a rather large brain, but not as while “an Institute having for its president no less a person
an actually or especially large one. There can be no doubt,
however, that it was, at death, further diminished in size and than the Heir Apparent to the throne condescends to bait its
weight through the effects of disease, as shown by its marked advertisements for subscribers with the offer of more letters. The
deviation from the ordinary ratio as compared with the body. Times, discussing the subject in a leading article, expresses the
weight. As tested by the standard of macrocephaly adopted opinion that in the main " we must trust, imperfect though the
by Welcker, its utmost allowable weight was below that security is, to the ability of grown-up men and women to pro
standard ; and as contrasted with the encephala of certain other tect themselves against a form of deception which has most hold
eminent men, it would find its place about one-third up from over those who themselves covet the meaningless letters to
the lower end of the list. The general form of the cranium was which they blindly pin their faith.”
rather or nearly brachycephalic, but it was decidedly higher The weather during the past week has been characterized by than usual. The cerebrum itself was, in accordance with the a marked increase of temperature and excessive rainfall, accom shape of the cranium, short, broad, and deep. The cerebral panied by strong southerly winds and gales. Between Wednes. convolutions were very massive, being not only broad and deep, day the 26th and Friday the 28th October, the temperature in but well folded, and marked with secondary sulci. This cona parts of England increased upwards of 30°, while the air became dition was observable all over the cerebrum, but chiefly rewery bumid and unpleasant. The continuance of comparatively markable in the frontal and parietal regions. Studied in referhigh temperature, during which the thermometer reached 60° in ence to Dr. Ferrier's researches into the localization of function he central and southern parts of the kingdom, was due to the in the brain, the relative size of certain convolutions or groups
rack of the depressions, causing a continual indraught of warm of convolutions suggested some reflections as to individual air from off the Atlantic. On Thursday the 27th ult., about if peculiarities, but these reflections did not seem to Prof. Marshall to be quite trustworthy. From the size and richness of the The results obtained from the botanical work done at the convolutions, the sufficiency of the grey matter both on the various experiment stations in the United States will in future be surface and in the interior of the hemispheres, and from the published in the form of an " Experiment Station Record,” issued remarkable number of the white fibres, especially of the trans- by the Department of Agriculture, under the editorship of Mr. verse commissural ones, the brain of Mr. Grote is pronounced Walter H. Evans. to have been of very perfect and high organization.
ANGLO-INDIAN papers record the presentation of an interestThe method of cleaning mercury adopted at the Physikalisch. ing “piece of architecture" to the Madras Central Museum by technische Reichsanstalt at Berlin is described in the Zeitschrift
Lord Wenlock. It is a hornets' nest, belonging probably to the für Instrumentenkunde. The raw material is brought in iron
species Vespa cincta. It is conical in shape, and is constructed bottles from Idria. It is filtered and dried, and twice distilled in a
of a material resembling rough paper or cardboard composed of vacuum to get rid of the heavy metals. Great care is taken to
woody portions of plants gummed up by the insects, and brought eliminate fatty vapours derived from greased valves and cocks,
into the condition of paste by means of a viscid salivary secretion. which is accomplished by means of a mercury pump working
The combs are placed in tiers and attached to each other by without a stopcock. Finally, the electro-positive metals, such
small columns of the same paper-like material of which the nest as zinc and the alkalies, are separated by electrolysis.
It is two feet in height, and about the same in is composed. The
circumference at the base. It was obtained in the course of one mercury is precipitated from a solution of mercurous nitrate obtained by the action of nitric acid on excess of mercury. The
of His Excellency's tours. solution, together with the impure mercury acting as an anode, M. DE NADAILLAC, in the current number of La Nature, is contained in an outside glass vessel, into which a current from | discusses the significance of some of the facts which have a Gülcher thermopile is conducted by an insulated platinum been brought to light by the recent excavations of mounds in rod. The cathode rod dips into an interior shallow glass vessel,
the Ohio Valley. The mound builders knew how to construct in which the pure mercury is collected. On careful analysis it earth fortifications, which were of considerable extent and always was found that no perceptible non-volatile residue was left by remarkably adapted to the sites chosen. They buried their 200 grammes of the purified metal. Thus the mercury is well dead under tumuli of astonishing dimensions. Copper was the fit for use in standard barometers and resistances.
only metal they could work, and they undertook long journeys
in search of it. Their weapons and implements were of stone. With regard to the revival of animals after exposure to great They made vases of pottery, and were able to produce reprecold, Herr Kochs (in the Biologisches Centralblatt) points out | sentations of the human figure and of animals, both by sculotwo things which retard formation of ice in the animal body. | turing them in stone and by modelling them in clay. At least First, the body does not contain pure water, but salt and albumen in some districts they were sedentary, and, like all sedentary solutions, which only freeze under zero C. Then capillarity and populations, they had to obtain the means of subsistence in part adhesion hinder freezing. Herr Kochs states that water in a by cultivation of the soil. They were often engaged in fighting, glass tube of o‘3 to 0-4 mm, diameter may be cooled to - 7o and and numerous burials in which the bodies are crowded together eren – 10°C. without freezing. With a diameter of only o'i to bear witness to the fury of their struggles. Whence did they 0-2 mm. the water is not frozen, even though the end of the come and who are their descendants ? M. de Nadaillac thinks tube be put in freezing liquid. Thin liquid sheets between two that these questions can never be definitely answered unless glass plates bebave in the same.way. If a salt solution freezes, investigators discover some traces of the language of the moundthe salts are excluded ; and pure water, in freezing, gets rid of builders. its absorbed gas. Fresh blood, according to the author's ex periments, freezes only after being strongly cooled to -15°C.,
An interesting and valuable paper on the association of and after complete elimination of gases and salts. The blood
shipping disasters with colour-blind and defective far-sighted corpuscles are dissolved and the blood loses colour. The same
sailors, read by Dr. T. H. Bickerton before the section of elimination doubtless occurs in freezing of protoplasm. Ex
Ophthalmology at the last annual meeting of the British Medical
Association, has been reprinted for the author from the British periments cited to show the possibility of "anabiosis” may
Medical Journal. Dr. Bickerton takes anything but a hopeful probably be explained by the decomposition process not having
view of the prospects of legislation on this important question. gone so far as to bring life completely to a standstill. Similar results were obtained in experiments on drying of seeds and
He greatly fears that “many a shipping disaster will occur various animals.
before the Royal Society's suggestions become part of the law of It was shown with what tenacity many
the land.” Accordingly he urges all who interest themselves in animals, under most unfavourable circumstances, retain the
the subject to abate not a tittle of their endeavours. "There moisture necessary to life.
are none,” he says, "so difficult to convince as those who will The very destructive American disease of the vine known as not believe, and the men who have had the framing of the rules the “ Black-rot" has, for some years past, made its appearance of the road at sea are the very men who hitherto have turned in Europe, and its life-history has now been thoroughly investi. from all suggestions on the eyesight question with contempt. gated by Viala, Ráthay, and others. The ravages of the disease True it is that their language, judged from examples to be found have been traced to a parasitic fungus, Læstadia Bidwellii, the in the Nautical Magasine, is becoming moderate, and even mycele of which develops in the interior of the organ attacked, polite, but they lack knowledge of this subject, and they will chiefly the young branches and berries, and produces sper still require our best attention." Meanwhile, Dr. Bickerton mogones and pycnids in the course of the summer. It is especially presses on the attention of the public the following facts :--that by the pycnospores that the fungus is disseminated. Towards the 4 per cent. of the whole male population are colour blind ; that end of the period of vegetation sclerotes are formed, usually within about 8 per cent. more have marked impairment of sight from the pycnids, and the conidiophores spring from these. Peritheces refractive errors ; that there is no official test whatever as to a are also formed in May and June on the fallen and infected sailor's eyesight; that a man may be the subject of any of the forms berries of the previous year. Until recently the ravages of this of eye disease, may have any degree of blindness, or may be so pest in Europe were confined to the French vineyards, but it has short-sighted as to be unable to see distinctly more than a few recently been detected in Austria and in Italy. The most effectual | inches in front of his nose, and yet be at perfect liberty to be a remedy for it is salts of copper.
sailor and to become an officer; and that, although there is a