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munication with the perforations in the teeth. Further still, a From whence is derived this constructive material ? Clearly special instinct leading the snake to make use of this wonderful from the exterior, for a fertilized ovum obtains material from weapon of offence, and suitable nerves to regulate its compli- without to admit of growth and elaboration. The constructive cated action,

material, then, which the "germ-plasm" obtains-to admit of Now, unless all these numerous variations-and they might fairly its liberal dissemination each generation—is derived from the be multiplied by subdivision-had in the first instance appeared external world, vis the organism with which it is incorporated, simultaneously in one individual, and unless all had been duly or indeed of which it forms a part. Secing, then, that the connected, the whole apparatus would have been useless, and organism-from which this germinal matter is derived-can there would have been nothing of which natural selection could acquire characters--that is, undergo certain definite changes in avail itself. Useful intermediate forms there can be none. A response to altered conditions--then it seems reasonable to rifle is a more formidable weapon than a lance or dart, but of suppose that that part of it which ultimately finds its way to the what use would be a thing half-way between the two? The germ.cells, is also modified during its transmission, and will venom-discharging apparatus has in it no part which could therefore have more or less effect upon the forthcoming generapossibly be dispensed with.

tion. But how much variation is due to the above cause, and To give one more instance. The tongue of the woodpecker is how much to the almost infinitely various possible combinations moved forwards in a singular way; not simply, as usual, by a of the two unlike germinal elements, it is impossible to say, muscle and sinew in front of the base of the tongue, but by a

J. Cowper. sinew terminating in a loop, through which passes another sinew from behind the tongue which, doubling through the loop, is attached to the base of the tongue. By this means, when the Easy Lecture Experiment in Electric Resonance. muscle is contracted, the tongue is drawn forward with a double velocity, which is to this bird specially useful. Now, it is im- Royal Institution a year ago, and since shown here in varionz

An experiment, exhibited by me in its early stages at the possible for any ingenuity to devise an action intermediate forms, on the overflow of one Leyden jar by the impulses accubetween this and the usual simple pull in respect of utility or mulated from a similar jar discharging in its neighbourhood, is complexity. But there is much more here than 2 particular so simple an illustration of electric resonance, and so easily variation." The first woodpecker that possessed this structure repeated by anyone, that I write to describe it. must have had it in complete order, for otherwise the tongue would not move at all. In that woodpecker it must have com- loops of wire, one of the circuits having a spark-gap withi knots

Two similar Leyden jars are joined up to similar fairly large menced to exist in a rudimentary form before birth, in a germ included, the other being completely metallic, but of an adjus!. possessing novel powers.

able length. And here I must ask, How is it that anyone questions the Duke of Argyll's statement that “all organs do actually pass through over its lip so as to provide an overflow path complete with the

The jar of this latter circuit has also a strip of tinfoil pasted rudimentary stages in which actual use is impossible.”? Is it not exception of an air-chink, c. It is important that this overflow precisely this which is implied in the Darwinian statement that path be practically devoid of self-induction. A jar already " from the variable constitution of the ovum probably arises the perforated could be well utilized for the purpose. varying structure of the organism developed from it"? What

Then if the two circuits face each other at a reasonable distance. was afterwards developed was at first rudimentary, and useless.

and if the slider, s, is properly adjusted, every discharge of A This is equally true of the whole organism-say of the serpent,

causes B to overflow. A slight shift of the slider puts them out or of the bird-and of the entirely novel and complicated appa- of tune. ratus found in them.

To call the apparatus in either serpent or bird "a particular variation” would be to give up the whole case for Darwinism, A wonderful combination of many particular variations has to be accounted for ; and, so far as I can see, Darwinism utterly fails to account for it. There are thousands of cases presenting the same difficulty. There are simpler cases of specific change, in which the con.

A

B currence, the simultaneous appearance, of many slight and particular variations is not indispensable, but only their succession in due order in the course of many generations. Here, there is some room for the theory. Thus perhaps, possibly, we might get a giraffe. But I prefer a theory which, if true at all,

Instead of thus adjusting by variable self-induction, my assist accounts as readily for the most complicated apparatus as for ant, Mr. Robinson, has made a slight modification by using : the simplest forms of living things. R. COURTENAY.

condenser of variable capacity, consisting of two glass tubes Hotel Faraglioni, Capri, January 31.

coated with tinfoil, one sliding into the other, and joined by a flexible loop of wire; an easy overflow from one coat to the

other being likewise provided. On making this loop face the PROBABLY many readers of the recent discussion on the small jars in situ, bright sparks at the overflow gap occur when

discharging circuit of an ordinary Voss machine with customary transmission of acquired characters will regret that a more definite conclusion has not been arrived at. This is probably ever the common machine sparks are taken, provided the sliding due to the fact that the premises now in our possession do not condenser be adjusted to the right capacity by trial. admit of a definite answer yet being given. Those who assume the vibrations are steadier and more definite with shori ones

There is little or no advantage in using long primary sparks ; that there is no evidence in favour of the transmission of acquired It is needless to point out that the 2 jars constitute respectively characters are mostly, I presume, supporters of the continuity a Hertz oscillator and receiver, but fair precision of timing is of the germ-plasm" theory of Weismann. Almost everyone more needed with these large capacities than with mere spheres admits that individuals inay and do acquire certain characters due to change in environment, use, disuse, &c. ; but while many or discs, because the radiation lasts longer and

there are more maintain that these characters are transmitted

to offspring, others impulses to accumulate. Hence actual resonance as distinguished

from the effect of a violent solitary wave is better markei. deny that such is the case, or think that the evidence is insufficient. In supporting "the continuity of the germ-plasm" Moreover, the sparks are bright enough to be easily seen by a theory it is impossible to suppose that the germ-plasm is con

large audience.

OLIVER J. LODGE. tinued from one generation to another like a portion of entailed

University College, Liverpool. property. For each individual gives off thousands of ova or spermatozoa as the case may be, only a very few of which go to

African Monkeys in the West Indies. produce new individuals ; therefore there is a dissipation of is germ-plasm,"—that is to say, in the germinal cells of mam With reference to the note in NATURE of February 13 (p. mals of to-day there cannot be any of the identical "gerin. | 349), on the occurrence of an Old-World monkey in Barbados plasm” which existed in their remote invertebrate ancestors I may point out that the same West African monkey (Carex ages ago. For all this dissipation there must be some constructhecus callitrichus) has also been introduced and is now found tive process, otherwise the germ-plasm would come to an end. wild in St. Kitts (cf. Sclater, P.Z.S., 1866, p. 79. I likewise

of **asking whether anybody else beter as there axplanation has a very heavy weight being rolled across the floor of the room of

occurs in Nevis, whence the Zoological Society received living south-westerly breezes prevailed very generally throughout the specimens (presented by Mr. Graham Briggs) in 1870.

kingdom on the previous day, The only West Indian island in which Quadrumana of the (3) Nature of the Shock.---In four cases, the shock was in the American type occurs is Trinidad, which was, doubtless, first instance attributed to the firing of heavy guns. If there was formerly part of the mainland of South America.

any vibration of the earth, it must have been very slight, and the 3 Hanover Square, W., February 17. P. L. SCLATER. following descriptions seem to leave little doubt that the rattling

of windows noticed was due to an air-wave.

Great Warley—The shock" broke a pane of glass 4 feet x 2 feet Galls.

on my job." I han not intended to take any further part in this corre- | Brentwood—“The shocks commenced as a low rumble, inspondence ; but the interesting suggestion which has now been creasing till the doors shook and rattled, as though the rumbling made upon the subject by Mr. 1. D. A. Cockerell (NATURE, Feb. was followed by a bang or explosion.” 13, p. 344) induces me to withdraw the sentences that he quotes Between Ongar and Fyfield (the observer driving)—“The from my previous letters, to the effect that it seems impossible ground felt as if it were sinking," and there was "a rumbling to imagine any way in which galls can be attributed to natural noise something like guns in the distance." selection acting on the plants directly. In my own consideration Roxwell—The sound "exactly resembled the report of the of the matter this seemed "obvious," and therefore my motive big guns at Shoebury, but was far louder than we usually hear in taking up the difficulty as presented by Mr. Mivart was that them."

Chelmsford (the observer walking)-There was "a noise as of uffer” my letter suggestedthat natural selection may operate on the plants indirectly through the house to the south of him, which he was passing." the insats," by always selecting those insects the character of Chignall St. James—"The shock was extremely slight, but whose secretions is such as will best cause the plants to grow there was a most pronounced concussion in the air which made a the particular kind of morphological abnormality which the sound on the windows as if a person had thumped the centre of larva require. Mr. Cockerell, however, has now furnished what the window frame with the soft part of his hand. There was no seems to me an extremely plausible hypothesis, showing that tremulous motion felt." there is a way in which it is quite conceivable that the growth Witham—The observer "heard a strange rumbling sound of galls may be an actual benefit to the plants, and therefore which seemed to slightly deafen him, but he felt no vibration of thnt natural selection may act directly on the plants themselves the earth.” in evolving these sometimes highly specialized structures for the That the disturbances recorded had only one origin is, I think, fline of their parasites. Mr. Cockerell informs me in a private evident, (I) from the decrease in intensity (roughly speaking) as communication that he has been verifying this hypothesis by ob- the distance from Woolwich increases, and (2) from there being strvations in detail ; but whether or not he will be able to no considerable gap between the places of observation. Records establish it, I think at any rate he has done good service in thus from the immediate neighbourhood of Woolwich could hardly be iuggesting another possibility.

expected, as there they would naturally be attributed to their On the other hand, I cannot see that Mr. Ainslie Hollis has | proper source. helped us at all (NATURE, January 23, p. 272). For he merely I am indebted to the editor of the Essex County Chronicle for enunciates the truism that trees which were not endowed with inserting a letter asking for observations on the shocks, and to sufficient "developmental vigour" adequately to resist the several gentlemen for the courtesy and kindness with which they attacks of gall-making insects ** would doubtless have long ago | replied to this letter and to other inquiries that I made in the succumbed in a struggle for existence." And this truism he surrounding district.

CHARLES DAVISON. ppears to suppose furnishes an explanation of how "natural 38 Charlotte Road, Birmingham, February 13. dection, operating in the ordinary manner,” has produced galls fro the exclusive benefi: of the insects. But it is obvious that the more detrimental the growth of galls has proved to trees,

Shining Night-Clouds. the less reason there must have been for natural selection, In July last, on a fine night, about 8 p.m. (two hours after "operating in the ordinary manner," to have developed these | sunset), I noticed a fleecy cloud lit up by a yellowish light, ollen highly specialized structures for the benefit of parasites., directly over the back of a range of hills due west from this London, February 13.

GEORGE J. ROMANES. place. As it did not move, it struck my attention, and I

observed that what little wind there was carried the few floating

clouds north-east to south-west. I continued to watch the The Supposed Earthquakes at Chelmsford on

cloud, which covered say 4° or 5°, until 11 p.m., and concluded January 7.

that as in that direction lay the Puracé volcano, about 40 miles Nature for January 16 (p. 256) reprints from the Essex away, the light and cloud probably came from it. But I made County Chronicie a short account of two supposed earthquake inquiries by telegraph, and found that no eruption had taken bucks selt at and near Chelmsford on January 7, at 12.30 and place in the Purace, which has been quiet now for many years. 155 p.m. Being engaged in the study of British earthquakes, I I regret, seeing now that the subject is interesting, that I did made inquiries in the district referred to, and the result of these not observe more carefully. I may add that in the direction of Le to show that the shocks were almost certainly due to the firing the cloud no prairie or forest fire could have occurred to account of nousually heavy guns at Woolwich. It may be worth while i for it.

ROBERT B. WHITE. to state the evidence for this conclusion somewhat fully, as it Agrado (lat. 2° 20' N.), Department of Tolima, will be difficnlt to obtain it in after years.

U.S. of Colombia, S.A., December 22, 1889. 1) I applied to the authorities at Woolwich and Shoeburyness 3- to the nature of the firing on January 7. At the latter place,

A Greenish Meteor. the only practice was from 9-inch and 10-inch guns, the maximum charge teed was 70 pounds of powder, and therefore not TO-NIGHT (Jan. 30), at 8.15 p.m., I saw a meteor which, notcapable of producing the shocks felt at Chelmsford. At Wool withstanding a bright moon, shone out exceedingly brightly, wich, however, the 110-ton gun, " the heaviest in H. M. service," exceeding any star. It appeared to travel south, for about 10°, was fired ar the times mentioned.

vanishing about 15° above the horizon. Its colour differed from 11! Form of the Disturbed Area.-The only accounts I have as that of any meteor I have seen before, being pale green or yet received are from the following places : Great Warley greenish.

T. D. A. COCKERELL. (ricar Romford), Brentwood, Epping, Ingatestone, on the road West Cliff, Custer Co., Colorado, January 30. Inetween Ongar and Fyfield, Roxwell, Chelmsford, Chignall 1. James, and Chipping Hill (Witham); which are respectively at about 6, 12, 14, 16, 16, 21, 24, 24, and 32 miles distance THE MOLECULAR STABILITY OF METALS, fman Woolwich. Referring to a map of Essex, it will be seen PARTICULARLY OF IRON AND STEEL. that these places all lie close to a line drawn from Woolwich in ourth easterly direction ; with the exception of Epping, the (1) to section of which is about north by east from Woolwich. Ac.

timely lecture on the hardening and tempering cording to the Timer weather report of January 8, southerly and of steel, recently published by Prof. Roberts-Austen

(NATURE, xli. pp. 11, 42). I desire, in the first place, to of the observed time curves. Hence also the full diagram point out the bearing of the singular minimum of the of the phenomena of temper, considered both in their viscosity of hot iron (loc. cit., p. 34) on the interpretation variation with time and with temperature, is available for given of Maxwell's theory of viscosity (Phil. Mag. (5), the elucidation of most points relative to the effect of xxvi. pp. 183, 397, 1888 ; xxvii. p. 155, 1889). When iron temperature on rate of chemical reaction. passes through Barrett's temperature of recalescence, its (3) A further remark may be made relative to Osmond's molecular condition is for an instant almost chaotic. This (Annales des Mines, July-August, 1888, pp. 6-7; Mém, de has now been abundantly proved (cf. John Hopkinson, l'Artillerie de la Marine, Paris, 1888, p. 4) iron of the 4 Phil. Trans., London, clxxx. p. 443, 1889, where the and the B type. The assertion that mere strain partly literature may be found ; cf. Osmond, below). The changes a into B iron is in conformity with the viscons number of unstable configurations, or, more clearly, the behaviour of the metal. For it appears that the effect of number of configurations made unstable because they are any mechanical strain as well as of temper, is marked built up of disintegrating molecules, is therefore at a decrease of the viscosity of the metal. Osmond's theory, maximum. It follows that the viscosity of the metal however, appears to explain too much. Since most metais must pass through a minimum. Physically considered, can be similarly hardened by straining, it would follow the case is entirely analogous to that of a glass-hard steel that there should be a and 3 varieties in all these cases

, rod suddenly exposed to 300°. If all the molecules passed even though a molecular change corresponding to Gore's from Osmond's B state to his a state together, the iron or phenomenon in iron has only in a few instances beat steel would necessarily be liquid. This extreme possi- observed (iron, nickel, platinum-iridium alloy). I believe, bility is, however, at variance with the well-known prin- however, that there is reason to be urged even in favour of ciples of chemical kinetics. The ratio of stable to this extreme view.” The ion theory of metallic conducting unstable configurations cannot at any instant be zero. is fast gaining ground. Hence the minimum viscosity in question, however rela J. J. Thomson states it in his well-known bouk tively low, may yet be large in value as compared with “ Applications of Dynamics," p. 296). Giese (Wied the liquid state.

Ann., xxxvii. p. 576, 1889) has outlined an ion theory oi (2) My second point has reference to the function of electric conduction, uniformly applicable to metals

, carbon in steel. It is not to be understood that we ignore electrolytes, and gases. It seems to me, if a preliminar the importance of the changes of carburation produced hypothesis be made relative to the evolution of a magnet: by tempering steel. To explain the varied physical phe-field out of an electric field ; if advantage be taken of the nomena which accompany temper, it is sufficient to re- spiral distribution of points which frequently results free cognize some special instability in the tempered metal, the symmetrical interpenetration of two congruent Brasal This is given by the carbide configuration, and the phy- systems ;: if, finally, in metals, the function performed by sical explanations in question may be made without a bodily transfer of ions can also be performed by in specifying its nature further. Hence the permissibility exchange of the charges of charged atoms (Giese, in of the purely physical considerations.

directly Helmholtz), that the possibility of an ion theor On the other hand, it is indeed surprising that, on the of magnetism may be suspected. Quite apart from tes part of engineers and chemists, the important subject of influence of a field, the conditions of exceptionally close temper has been but inadequately dealt with, as Prof. approach favourable to the transfer of charges frora atom Austen justly remarks. Sir Frederick Bramwell (cf. to atom, are given by the distribution of the heat agitation NATURE, xxxviii. p. 440), in his inaugural address at in the metal. Bath, in 1888, dwelt at some length on the subject of (4) I will close this note by some remarks on the charge temper. The question is again touched upon by Mr. of the character of diffusion when occurring in solics Anderson at the Newcastle meeting of the British Asso- Studying the coloured oxide coats on iron, Dr. Stroubai ciation. Neither of these gentlemen, however, really and 1 (Bull. U.S.G.S., No. 27, P: 51, 1886) po inted out shows forth the gist of the matter. Indeed, even in that the outer surface of the film is oxidized as highly 2Ostwald's massive" Lehrbuch der Allgemeinen Chemie" possible in air ; and that the inner surface of the filrs. (Leipzig, W. Engelmann, 1887), full of examples as it is, continually in contact with iron, is reduced as far as bearing on all points of chemical physics, the frequent and possible. This distribution of the degree of oxidation exceptionally important case of tempered steel is altogether along the normal to the layer, is equivalent to a force to absent. And yet the chemical interpretation to be given to virtue of which oxide is moved through the layer, from ita the phenomena of temper seems to be closely at hand. Dr. external surface to its internal surface. The formations Strouhal and I (Il'ied. Ann , xi. p. 390, 1880; Bulletin an oxide coat is thus a case of diffusion. Conformahlv U.S. Geol. Survey, No. 14, chap. ii., 1885) showed that, with this view, the film, during its formation, behave lite by the process of hardening, the electrical resistance of an electrolyte, as was pointed out by Franz, Gaugain, steel may be increased by more than three times its value and Jenkin, and more recently by Bidwell and by $.1. for the soft metal. If the hard rod is now softened, the Thompson, resistance again decreases by an amount depending on We then adverted to the crucial difference bet the temperature to which the hard metal is exposed and tween diffusion in solids and diffusion in liqunis, on the time of such exposure, in a way which, throughout asmuch as in the former case (solids) diffusion de the whole research, is beautifully sharp and character-monstrably ceases after a certain small thickness life istic. Eventually, the relatively low resistance of soft meated. The limit thickness of the film is reached steel is again reached. Now suppose the carbon mole- asymptotically, through infinite time. It has a definxe cule of steel to be dissolved in the metal, forming an value for each temperature, increasing as temperature alloy of Matthiessen's Class II. Seeing that the quantity increases. In the light of other evidence since galveni of carbon contained is not large, the electrical resistance this explanation is substantiated. The formation of the of hard steel is at once an expression of its chemical composition, structurally unknown though it be. Hence in * An ulterior consideration presents itself here relative to an EES** the electrical diagram of the phenomena of temper con- ductivity. Arrhenius and Ostwald find in the maximum of electuele structed by Dr. Strouhal and myself, the time variations ductivity a measure of rate of reaction. I must pass cives this passis der of resistance of hard steel at any given temperature may be interpreted as a case of Wilhelmy's (Pogg. Ann., lxxxi., and will indicate the results later. My methods were (o to lind the bodo

? I have spent much time in endeavouring to throw light on the good pp. 413, 499, 1850) rate of chemical reaction (Reactions- mechanical strain on the carburation of steel: -) to find the effect ** geschwindigkeit), and expressed in accordance with his

on the rate of solution ; (3) to find the hydro-electric effect of rechte

3 A guod account of the relations of the Bravais and the Sonstiges well-known exponential law. This indeed is the character given by H. A. Miers, in NATURE, xxxix. p. 297.

puide coat is a case of solid diffusion, and as such it Dutch ships over the great oceans is a standard work. years the same relation to the diffusion of liquids, that Dr. Ballot also took an active and efficient part in the he viscosity of solids bears to the viscosity of liquids. Meteorological Conferences and Congresses held at inThe two phases (solid, liquid) of each phenomenon are tervals from 1872 to 1888, which have brought about a o be correlated in ways essentially alike. The available greater uniformity in meteorological observations and tress, as compared with the available instability at a discussions than previously existed. He was chosen, by pren temperature, determines the time character of the the first Congress, President of the Permanent Commitesult.

CARL BARUS. tee. Among his last works was the proposal of a method Physical Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey,

of developing and representing the variability of the Washington, D.C.

weather and climates by the values of the deviations of the daily observations from the averages, irrespective of sign.

The great merits of his indefatigable services to science, CHRISTOFORUS HENRICUS DIEDERICUS

but more particularly to meteorology, were recognized by BUYS BALLOT.

his being made LL.D. of Edinburgh University, Knight of

the Order of the Netherland Lion, Commander of the Order

, S Kloetinge in Zealand; was a student in arts and of Portugal, and Knight of second class of the Prussian he natural sciences at the University of Utrecht, where Order of the Crown. But above all, his ever readiness he first became Lector of Physics and Chemistry in 1844, in every degree to oblige, the genial sunshine of his face, ind then successively Professor of Mathematics in 1847, and his lovableness, make his death to be felt by many of ind of Experimental Physics in 1870, which latter chair us as a sharp personal bereavement. he ceased to hold in November 1887 on completing his ortieth year as Professor. He was appointed Director of the Royal Meteorological Institute of the Netherlands in 1954. and held this position with great ability and distinc

NOTES. on till his death on Monday, the 3rd of the present Donth.

ON Tuesday evening the Cambridge University Natural His first contribution to science was a paper on a Science Club and the Master of Downing (Dr. Alex. Hill) gave chemical subject in 1842, this being a science of which a conversazione at Downing Lodge, at which 260 guests, inhe was Lector at the time ; but soon thereafter he turned cluding many distinguished residents and non-residents, were foss attention to meteorology, which he emphatically made present. The several scientific professors were very liberal in the business of his life. The following are among the lending the treasures from their museums, and as this is the first

arlier of his papers on the subject, and they are, it will entertainment of the kind which has been given in Cambridge, ve seen, very significant of his future work :-“On the atluence of the Rotation of the Sun on the Temperature many objects of great historic interest, such as Babbage's of our Atmosphere," in 1846 ; “On the Importance in calculating machine, Cavendish's apparatus, &c., were exhibited. Meteorology of Deviations from the Mean States of the Artificial silk was spun, quartz filaments drawn, smokeless gunAtmosphere," in 1850; “Results of the Observations of powder and other scientific novelties shown. One of the most in1899 and 1850 in different places in Holland,” in 1851; teresting exhibits was a series of Egyptian heads unwrapped from od" On Synchronous Representations of Weather their mummy cloths, and artfully "restored” by Prof. Macalister. Phenomena," in 1854.

A very attractive feature of the entertainment was an address by In these early times of meteorology, when instruments Dr. Lauder Brunton, who had much that was interesting to say and modes of observing still greatly needed the guiding about his recent experiences in India. Mr. Gardiner illustrated kund of science towards the founding of international the dispersion of seeds by the aid of the limelight and boxes meteorology, Dr. Buys Ballot was wisely led to attempt of seeds of various kinds suspended from the ceiling. the construction of no general isobaric and isothermal Flaps in investigating storms and other weather phenomena, but contented himself in investigating weather dis

The annual general meeting of the Geological Society of urbances by representing them over the surface of Europe London will be held to-morrow (Friday) at 3 o'clock, and the by means of deviations from the means, or averages, of the Fellows and their friends will dine together at the Criterion places represented. In this mode of working he made Restaurant at 7.30 p.m. several of his more important contributions to meteorology, and out of it developed the system of storm warnings

Before the next ordinary meeting of the Royal Microscopical be issued for Holland. In this connection his barometric Society, it will have moved its quarters from the rooms hitherto and thermometric means for a very large number of places occcupied by it in King's College, which are now required for Vier Europe will long be a standard work. Of these contri- the purposes of the College, to 20 Hanover Square. The tutions, unquestionably the most important is that known ordinary meetings will in future be held on the third instead of -> BLYS BALLOT'S LAW OF THE WINDS, which states the the second Wednesday in the month, and the annual meeting relution between the direction of the wind and the distri- in January instead of February. The Quekett Microscopical bution of atmospheric pressure at the time the wind is Club has also transferred its place of meeting to 20 Hanover bachan in 1869 , in his paper on the mean pressure

of the Square since the commencement of the year. atmosphere and prevailing winds of the globe, in which 15 was shown that the prevailing winds of all climates are F.R.S. He died after a short illness on Sunday, the 16th inst.,

We regret to have to record the death of Sir Robert Kane, ply the result of the distribution of pressure.

ne of the most exhaustive discussions of the influence at his residence in Dublin. * the moon on weather was made by Dr. Ballot. The russion covered a period of about a century, and he

The fine buildings of the University of Toronto were almost riuwed that the longer the period the closer do the cases wholly destroyed by fire last Friday. The flames were unfor or against any such influence approach equality. Sub- fortunately fanned by a strong wind, and the fire spread so sequent to Maury, Dr. Ballot was one of the earlier and rapidly that bardly anything could be saved. A small number Faost energetic and successful workers in maritime me- of specimens in the museum, and some of the scientific apparatus, trusology, and his meteorological charts of the routes of were brought out by students, but they were mostly broken while

being removed. The Canadians are justly proud of the Univer. the Cretaceous and Eocene beds; and Mr. George F. & sity of Toronto, and will no doubt provide for it even more exhibited several specimens of American amber, one of splendid buildings than those which are now in ruins.

--from Mexico-excited much admiration. Mr. Kunz sand te

during the last fifteen or twenty years travellers had occs. , SIGNOR SELLA's views of the Caucasus have been on exhibition in the Royal Geographical Society's map-room since

ally brought specimens of a very remarkable amber from me Friday last, and will continue to be exhibited till the close of amber is that it is taken to the coast by natives

, who repor 1.0

locality in Southern Mexico. The only thing known abou: 'ra the month.

it occurs in the interior so plentifully, and in such large pies, We print elsewhere Prof. David P. Todd's record of work done that they use it for making fires. It is of a rich, deep goistes by the U.S. Scientific Expedition to West Africa, 1889, of yellow, and, when viewed in different positions, it exhibr> which he was director. This is one of several bulletins printed remarkably green fluorescence, like that of certain petroler on board the U.S.S. Pensacola.

It is perfectly transparent, and, according to Mr. Kunz, e In the engineering notes from North-West India, of Engineers more beautiful than the famous so-called opalescent or gor ing of the 14th inst., we find a most interesting account of the amber found at Catania, Sicily. testing of the Chenab Bridge, near Mooltan. This bridge A FRESH illustration of the way in which foreign plants consists partly of seventeen spans of 200 feet, which are of mild become “weeds " under new and favourable conditions steel throughout. These trusses are of the Whipple-Murphy afforded by Melilotus alba in the Western States of Amer. type, with raking heel posts ; the ties are at an angle of 45°, It was introduced a few years ago as a garden-plant, and to and consequently the depth is a tenth of the span. In previous spread so rapidly in the rich bottom-lands along the Misuri girders of this type, made in iron, the deflection under full loads River that, according to Garden and Forest, it is fast drug was usually less than o'0004 of the span, while here if inch, out the sunflower and other native weeds. It is commonly equal to 0'0006, obtains throughout, and in each case the called "Bokhara clover." observed permanent set is less than inch in the whole thirtyfour girders in the viaduct. Engineering observes that “there Horticultural Society, on February 11, Dr. Oliver and Prof. Sau

At the meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Red is thus no question of bad workmanship either in the pieces sent presented an interim report on the investigations undertaken out from home or in the erection at site, and it is very clear that them respecting the effects of London fogs on plants under the steel structures, especially when so light as these spans, which only weigh, with corrugated floor and all bearing and expansion

Specimens of orchids affected by fog had been received tre gear, 220 tons each, are necessarily more sensitive than those of the superintendent of the Royal Horticultural Society's garkes

Messrs. Veitch and Son, Chelsea ; and of tomato plants iron.”

at Chiswick. On the suggestion of the chairman, it was decids The new number of the Internationales Archiv für Ethno- that the chemical constituents of London fog should be graphie (Band ii. Heft vi.) opens with a valuable paper, by Prof. vestigated, and that the exciting causes of the injury to parte G. Schlegel, of Leyden, on Siamese and Chinese-Siamese coins. should be traced. In order that the work might tue carried This contribution is illustrated by a coloured plate. Of the under advantageous circumstances, it was resolved that appen.se other papers, the most important is an account of the Nanga of tion should be made to the Government Grant Committee of the Fiji Islands, by Mr. Adolph B. Joske, Fiji

. These remark- Royal Society for pecuniary aid. able stone inclosures, now ruined, were first brought to the notice of anthropologists by the Rev. Lorimer Fison, of the

At the same meeting of the Royal Horticultural Senay. Australasian Wesleyan Mission. Three of them have been

Scientific Committee, Mr. McLachlan drew attention to adier visited by Mr. Joske, and he is thus enabled to give the plan in sugar-cane at St. Vincent, where in some localities she of an inclosure drawn from his own measurements. His paper 25 per cent. of the crop would be lost this year. Acconling: has been edited by Baron Anatole von Hügel, who adds in- Mr. Herbert Smith, who had examined the canes, 2 heetlens structive notes. In another paper, Prof. Giglioli gives an in the family Scolytidæ, and the larva of a moth, were COROFITE! teresting account of a remarkable stone axe and stone chisel in It is probable that the beetles enter the canes only by the na use among the Chamacocos of South-East Bolivia.

holes of the moths, and that the moth is a widely spread specs We are glad to observe that in the Ceylon estimates for the already known to attack sugar-cane in other countries. current year provision is made for an increased vote of Rs. In the January number of the American Naturalir y. 10,000 for archæological purposes. Sir Arthur Gordon, in ex. R. E. C. Stearns begins what promises to be an interesa plaining the vote, said, "It is proposed to make some systematic series of papers on the effects of musical sounds on animals lx examination of the interesting remains at Sigiri, and to com- first paper deals with “dogs and music." From his fansa' mence on a modest scale, before the rapidly disappearing Prof. George Davidson, of California, he has received the sa monuments of the past have altogether perished, a species of lowing instance :-"A small black-and-lan named "is. archæological survey resembling that carried on in India. Such belonging to Mr. A. B. Corson, of North Fifth Street, P an examination should be completed in about three years, and delphia, will, on hearing “Shall we meet beyond the river the vote is proposed to cover the salary and travelling expenses, sung, throw her head back and set up a most dismal howl, u!' for 1890, of the officer selected for the purpose."

the tears will run down her cheeks. If the tune is pler: A LARGE and rich collection of specimens of amber, illus-solemnly on an organ and no word spaken, the same things. trating all the varieties found in the amber district of North occur; but if any of the words are spoken, with not the slights Germany, has lately been sent to the New York School of musical intonation, she will run to the speaker

, and beg Mines by one of its earliest graduates, Mr. H. A. Demelli, now plead in her own way, and do everything but speak, to have

stopped." a resident of Berlin. At a recent meeting of the New York Academy of Sciences, this collection was examined with great The Annalen der Hydrographie und Maritimen Metsvara, interest by the members, and Dr. Newberry, the President, read for December, published by the German Admiralty, contains 42 an instructive paper on amber. After the reading of the paper, interesting discussion by Dr. W. J. van Bebber, on the deset Dr. N. L. Britton spoke of the occasional occurrence of amber ence of the force of the winds upon the surface over which bei in New Jersey, in connection with the lignites so abundant in blow. It is generally admitted that the winds at sea are, urus

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