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of goool., an income which is derived from a variety of
THE BEN BULBEN DISTRICT. sources :-Treasury grant, 4000l.; Gassiot Fund, 400l. (about); from Meteorological Committee, 400l. ; fees, &c.; THE region lying north of Sligo, which was visited by 42001. (about). In addition to this there has been 12001. a large party of naturalists last July on the occasion in donations.
of the fourth triennial conference of the Naturalists' Field Whether the laboratory can become self-supporting is a Clubs of Ireland, is one of much beauty and interest. In matter of doubt to my mind. Even if it should be so, that its general aspect it recalls the best features of the Yorkis no reason for taking it away from State control, which shire Carboniferous Limestone area. Its setting, with the always gives an impress to decisions, and it is a pledge that great limestone plain of Ireland stretching away on one gain is not its only object. Certainly it would never arrive hand, and the Atlantic Ocean on another, adds a dignity at the proportions that the huge, more than self-supporting and impressiveness to this group of cliff-rimmed, Alat-topped department, the Post Office, has arrived at. The example hills which might not be bestowed by their height alone, of Germany, where the State takes the fees, and supports though they are of no mean elevation (Truskmore, the the institution, is worth following.
highest point, rises to 2113 feet). The Ben Bulben range,
1 The annual grant was made before the work was started, and any balance left after paying salaries I believe was available for apparatus. • In these cases the State takes the fees.
3 For the first year.
4 Includes the Observatory Department.
I might refer to researches in solar physics also, which are carried out in the iron shanties at South Kensington, "izder the control of the Board of Education. The sum of zool. is allotted as a grant in aid for the work that is carried out there, and some of the staff are borne on the estimates; but if, as is to be believed, some of the tremendous problems of the causes of famine and plenty are dependent on the solar phenomena, then this work should be enlarged and encouraged. The expenditure of ten times the sum in one year may enable millions of pounds and lives to be saved which may be lost from the scant supply of needful means. It is true that the Solar Physics Observatory is under the Board of Education, but if its history were written, I doubt not that it would be found that from its very first inception (due to the repeated recommendation of a host of scientific men who foresaw something of what might be expected from it) the State wanted none of it. It may be said that if the Meteorological Office and the National Physical Laboratory were attached to a Government department, they might be starved in the same way. I do not believe it possible that such would be the case, for these two are of ostensible use to the ordinary public, and appeal to that most sagacious and popular person the man in the street, in a way that solar physics does not. The last deals with problems which are for future use, but it is intimately, most intimately, connected with meteorology. If the Meteorological Office becomes attached, as it eventually must be, to a Government department, the Solar Physics Observatory and staff should be attached to the same department.
If the Government will recognise the two institutions as doing essentially public service, and ask for the necessary funds, I believe Parliament would vote the supplies in the same ungrudging manner that Congress has done, as they would look upon them as a paying investment. Parliament realises most frequently before Government does the importance of any public work. The most happy solution of the problem would be (1) to have some department of State to which these and other kindred scientific institutions should be attached ; (2) to have a scientific advisory board ; (3) to distinguish clearly between grants for research, equipment, and material, and those for staff.
which derives its name from that of one of its spurs which projects boldly towards the Atlantic, represents the wreck of the Upper Limestone of this district. The fertile undulating low grounds all around are occupied by a lower and more argillaceous series, through which one of the old Caledonian folds of Ireland projects as a knobby ridge, its rugged outlines forming a charming contrast with the green and grey tabular forms of the limestone.
The Upper Limestone, 700 feet or 800 feet thick, massive and strongly jointed vertically, rests on the lower series as a cliff-bound plateau, intersected by several grand glens, which are cut through the limestone deep into the less resisting rocks underneath. The mural precipices are the result of the characteristic weathering of the massive limestones. Below them, where not obscured by talus, the Middle Limestones and shales fall away in steep concave slopes into the plain. The exquisite valleys of Glencar and Glenade cut right through the plateau, the first in an east and west direction, the other north and south. Each is from one to two miles wide from cliff-top to cliff-top, and about a thousand feet deep (Fig. 1). The floors of these valleys are undulating, and the scenery is much enhanced by the fact that each embosoms a lake at the point where the cliff scenery reaches its best.
On some parts of the plateau-edge denudation has been more severe, as in the beautiful wedge of Ben Whiskin (1666 feet), the western side of which displays a characteristic precipitous front, while the eastern side has been worn down to a uniform steep slope which drops into Gleniff.
The uniformity of the post-Carboniferous uplift is shown by the almost absolute horizontality of the beds of limestone throughout the region. The surface of the plateau, while retaining in a general way this horizontality, is seen on a nearer approach to be undulating, a feature chiefly due to the fact that patches of the Yoredale sandstone still remain here and there isolated on the surface of the limestone. The whole plateau, limestone as well as sandstone, has in general a thick covering of peat.
To the botanist the Ben Bulben range is well known as the only British habitat of Arenaria ciliata, a species with a high northern and alpine distribution, which is locally
to the British Isles, which accompanied it here, is likewise coast and the protective works put up to stop the erosion northern; and other instances might be quoted. Among at Hornsea, Withernsea, and Spurn were dealt with in a other results of the Field Club visit (which are fully de- paper by Mr. Pickwell on the encroachments of the sea scribed in the September number of the Irish Naturalist) from Spurn Point to Flamborough Head printed in the may be mentioned the discovery of three water-mites, one Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, of which, Eylais bicornuta, is new to science, and the two vol. li., 1878. others new to Britain.
The whole subject, both as descriptive of the coast of England, the losses that have taken place, and the works
that have been carried out to prevent erosion, is also very COAST EROSION AND PROTECTION. fully dealt with in the work on “ The Sea Coast
lished by Messrs. Longmans in 1902. TWO papers on this subject were recently read at the Mr. Matthews in his paper makes a statement that has
Institution of Civil Engineers, one by Mr. A. E. frequently been made before, but for which there does not Carey on coast erosion, and the other by Mr. E. R. appear to be any warrant, to the effect that the material Matthews, the borough engineer of Bridlington, on the eroded from the Holderness coast is carried into the estuary erosion of the Holderness coast of Yorkshire.
of the Humber. This subject was very fully dealt with in The first paper deals generally with the whole coast of a paper read at the British Association at Glasgow in 1901 England, and briefly enumerates the salient geological on the source of warp in the Humber, in which it was confeatures of the coast' line and points out their connection clusively shown that it is physically impossible for this with the relative rates of erosion. The second paper is con- material to be carried into the Humber, and that, as a
matter of fact, no warp is carried into the river from the the sea shore either by increasing the powers of the Board sea, but that the warp in suspension is derived entirely from of Trade or by the appointment of a special commission, as the solid matter brought down by the various tributaries suggested by the author of the paper. The great difficulty of the river. The paper describes this matter as oscillating will be in dealing with the rights of the persons claiming the backwards and forwards with the tides in a zone confined ownership of the beach material, which in many cases is to the lower reaches of the Ouse and the Trent, except that sold and removed in very large quantities for concrete when heavy freshets are running it extends into the Humber making, road repairs, or other purposes. The Board of and is then partly carried out to sea. This peculiar action Trade occasionally, on being applied to, intervenes and is made use of to improve the value of the land adjacent to issues notices prohibiting the removal of sand and shingle, the rivers by the process of “ warping.' Any solid matter but its power to do so is not so well defined as it ought to brought into the Humber on the food tide consists entirely be, and the whole subject requires investigation, and legisof clean sand, and has no relation to the waste of the Holder- lative action for regulating and controlling works carried ness coast.
out on the sea shore and the removal of beach material ; The only novel features, therefore, in these papers is the but the preservation of the property of landowners and urban suggestion of Mr. Carey that the matter should be taken authorities out of funds provided from the national exchequer up by Parliament, and that a body of commissioners should would be entirely contrary to the methods of administration be created with the special function of dealing with the hitherto pursued in this country. foreshores of England and Wales. He proposes that the coast should be divided into districts placed under commissioners, each having an engineer to act as coast warden, with power to deal with the material on the beach, and the THE NOVEMBER METEORS OF 1904. general control and management of all foreshore lands, the costs incurred by this commission to be divided between THOUGH there was no prospect of a brilliant display the Treasury, the local authorities, and the landowners.
this year, there seemed the probability of a pretty conMr. Matthews confines his ideas of Government inter
spicuous shower. In 1838-five years after the great ference to the coast of Yorkshire, and suggests that this
meteor-storm of 1833–Mr. Woods, of London, reported in ought to be protected against the inroads of the sea by the
the Times that on the night of November 12, between Government, quoting as a precedent for this that the Board 15h. 25m. and 15h. 55m., “ nothing could exceed the ut Trade protects the Spurn Peninsula. He loses sight, grandeur of the heavens. Meteors fell like a shower of however, of the fact that this is done for the protection of
bombshells in a bombardment and in such rapid succession the lighthouses which stand on the peninsula, and for the as to defy every attempt to watch their particular directions preservation of the entrance to the Humber. Mr. Matthews
or to ascertain their numbers. Mr. Woods estimated gives an estimate for protecting this reach of coast by sea that he saw 400 or 500 meteors during the half-hour walls and groynes, and shows, as has been done by others mentioned. on previous occasions, that the value of the land swallowed In 1872 also, about five years after the brilliant displays up by the sea within a reasonable period would not amount
in 1866, 1867, and 1868, the Leonids returned pretty to one-third of the first cost of the protective works, apart
abundantly, for on November 13, 12h. to 18h., several from their maintenance.
observers at Matera, Italy, counted 638 meteors, and the It will be remembered that recently, owing to the great de
display was regarded as having been much brighter than struction of sea protective works that occurred at Lowestoft usual. and Southwold, the representatives of the sea coast towns In these circumstances it was expected that the return on the east of England held a conference at Norwich and of 1904 would be deserving of careful observation, and so appointed delegates to interview the Prime Minister it has proved, though the shower was perhaps not quite so and the officials of the Government departments more par
rich as expected. The earth, however, probably passed ricularly concerned in this matter, urging that the pre- through the denser part of the stream at about Greenwich servation of the coast and the sea defence works ought to noon on November 15, and thus it must have escaped observbe a national charge. So far, however, they do not appear
ation in England. Reports from American stations are to have justified their claims for such aid. It has been awaited with interest. In this country fogs were very prepointed out that most of these towns have gradually valent at the important time, and at some places appear to emerged from mere fishing villages into sea-side resorts, and have obliterated the phenomenon. have erected promenades and other similar works for the At Bristol during the night of November 13 there were purpose of making their places popular, and have by this very few meteors visible, with only occasional Leonids, but means increased the value of the land in the neighbourhood the stars were dim in the fog. from a mere agricultural price to that of building land, very On November 14 the conditions were more favourable. greatly to the profit of the owners of such land. It appears Between 13h. 3om. and 15h. 45m. about 55 meteors were therefore manifestly unfair to ask the owners of the agri- seen (including 33 Leonids) by the writer during a watch cultural land at the back, whose rents have already been extending over jh. of the period named. It was considered greatly depleted by the fall in value of agricultural produce that Leonids were appearing at the horary rate of 25 for during the last few years, to contribute towards works for one observer. After 16h. increasing fog interfered with the improvement of their neighbours' land on the coast, observation. The Rev. S. J. Johnson at Bridport had, howwhich they would have to do if these works were made a ever, a very clear sky after 16h., and noted a fairly numerous charge on the national revenue, and it would be equally display of Leonids, including one as brillianť as Venus and unjust to levy contributions on inland towns which have several equal to Jupiter. He does not mention the exact Borne the costs of large improvements for sanitary and number seen. health purposes out of their own rates.
Mr. C. L. Brook at Meltham, near Huddersfield, watched Mr. Carey describes in his paper the evolution of a on November 14 between 16h. and 18h., and counted 69 Pa-side village, subject to intermittent inundation, into a Leonids, of which number 17 were observed in the first watering place, in front of which the local authority charged quarter of an hour. Other results have come to hand which with the works not only encloses within the sea wall nearly corroborate Mr. Brook's figures, and show that the the whole of the shingle beach which afforded a natural maximum was attained between 15h. 5om. and 16h. 2om., protection to the shore, but also by groynes traps the whole when the rate of apparition was i Leonid per minute in the tof the travelling shingle, with disastrous results to the sphere of vision commanded by one observer. owner of the land to leeward. It may also be pointed out, There appear to have been very few Leonids seen either as stated in the British Association report for 1895, that on the nights of November 13 or 15. many of the disasters that occur to the sea walls and As observed at Bristol, the radiant seemed to be an area promenades of these sea-side towns are due to defective 4 or 5 degrees in diameter, with its centre slightly west engineering and a complete disregard of the laws of of u and į Leonis, or at 151° +23°. There were several nature.
minor showers visible, and two of these were well proIt is obvious that it would be very desirable to set up nounced at 43° +21° and 144° +37o. wme better control over the works now carried on along
W. F. DENNING,
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
ledge of the United Kingdom and of other parts of the
Empire, a syllabus of seven lectures on the United Kingdom,
each to be illustrated by about forty lantern slides, has been
drawn up by a committee connected with the Colonial Office.
(7) defences of the Empire. Mr. H. J. Mackinder will give
an account of the scheme, and exhibit some of the slides
which have been prepared to illustrate it, at the Whitehall
Rooms, Hôtel Métropole, on Wednesday, December 7, at
At the inaugural meeting of the new session of the Royal
to illustrate prominent educational features of various coun-
purely technical instruction is necessary in this country.
Among other interesting comparisons instituted in the
of central and local administration, it appears that the
average expenditure per child on the register is in Prussia
il. 155. 60. if buildings are included, and il. ros. 8d. ex-
are al. 125. 9d. and il. 175. Further, the number of scholars
per teacher is 66 in Prussia and 57 England, excluding
Germany, with a smaller expenditure per child than our
own, succeeds in securing better results, and it is to be
more in accordance with our expenditure. The address also
pointed out that in secondary education German activity is
shown in the provision of technical schools for special
branches of metal industries, for wood-working, engineer-
ing, and textile industries, and for agriculture.
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES.
acids were determined in order to compare the results with
the case of inversion by enzymes, which are apparently all
asymmetric substances. Wilhelmj's law holds accurately
B-sulphonic acids. The velocity constant (equal to
10*/i logi, a/a- *, where a is the initial cane sugar concen-
tration, and x the concentration of the inverted sugar at
the end of t minutes) was found to be 10-07 and 10-13 in
two experiments with the dextro-acid, and 10.05 and 10-05
for the lævo-acid. The author concludes that there is no
difference in the inverting power of the two acids attribu-
table to their asymmetric structure. This result is in accord
with the conclusion arrived at by Emil Fischer regarding
the d- and l-camphoric acids (Zeits. Physiol. Chem., 1898.
November 17.-“ Enhanced Lines of Titanium, Iron,
and Chromium in the Fraunhoferic Spectrum." Ву
Sir J. Norman Lockyer, K.C.B., LL.D., F.R.S., and F. E.
In this paper the authors give the results of a detailed
study of the enhanced lines of Ti, Fe, and Cr in relation to
the lines of the Fraunhoferic spectrum. In previous
lines of some of the metals are prominent in the spectra of
number of galvanometers were shown in which the design It was found that many of the enhanced lines fell exactly was based upon the use of a moving coil, supported on one on isolated lines of the solar spectrum, and in these cases pivot in a powerful and uniform magnetic field, and conthe solar wave-lengths were adopted and the identification trolled by a spring. A simple non-reflecting, suspended-coil considered established. If, however, for any of these solar galvanometer for the student's use, with a sensibility of lines Rowland had given alternative origins, special com- I division per micro-ampere, was also exhibited. A new parisons were made of the enhanced line photograph with design of lantern, adapted for science lectures, and for use those of the metals given by Rowland. Notes (given at with three Nernst filaments arranged closely together, was the end of the tables) were made as to the agreement or shown in action. It is capable of being instantly changed non-agreement of the metallic lines involved, and also of from horizontal to vertical projection, can be fitted with a the relative intensities in their individual spectra, so that reversing prism, and has a wide adjustment for focusing. due weights could be given to the respective metallic lines Another exhibit was an Ayrton Mather reflecting electrowhich were thought conjointly to produce compound solar static voltmeter with a magnetic damping device. The lines.
instrument shown had a sensibility of 500 mm. at 1 m. foi Where there was any doubt as to the exact coincidence 30 volts, but similar instruments are made to give this of a metallic and solar line, or where by the close grouping deflection with pressures as low as 8 volts. of several solar lines it was not possible to say by direct comparison to which solar line the metallic line corre
Paris. sponded, careful measures were made of the metallic line, Academy of Sciences, November 14.-M. Mascart in the and its wave-length found by interpolation between closely
chair.-Researches on the desiccation of plants : the period adjacent lines of known wave-length. The resulting wave- of vitality. Moistening by liquid water : imperfect reversilengths were then compared with Rowland's solar wave- bility : M. Berthelot.-New researches on the Cañon lengths, and in cases of close agreement with solar lines it Diablo meteorite : Henri Moissan. A very careful and was deemed probable that the two lines were really identical. complete examination was made of a block of this meteorite.
A final table is given of the enhanced lines of the three weighing 183 kilograms. It was found to be distinctly elements which are considered, as a result of the analysis, heterogeneous in structure, containing iron, nickel, sulphur, to be identical with lines in the Fraunhoferic spectrum. | phosphorus, silicon, and carbon. The latter element was Forty-two of these agree with solar lines unorigined by present in several forms : amorphous carbon, graphite, and Rowland, and as the majority of them are conspicuous diamonds, both the black and transparent variety of the lines in stellar spectra of certain types, it has been thought diamond being separated. Characteristic green hexagonal. that these results will be of importance in standardising crystals of silicon carbide were also isolated, the author rethe wave-lengths of many stellar lines.
marking that this is the first time that this compound has
been met with in nature.—The measurements of the velocity Physical Society, November 11.-Dr. R. T. Glazebrook, of propagation of earthquakes : G. Lippmann. An instruF.R.S., president, in the chair.-Investigation of the varia- ment is described capable of determining to 1/5 of a second tions of magnetic hysteresis with frequency : Prof. T. R. the exact time of the commencement of a seismic shock at Lyle. The experiments were made on twoʻrings of lamin- any given point. The author also discusses the following ated annealed iron, in one of which the radial breadth of problem : to find the direction of the seismic wave front at the iron was considerable relative to its mean radius. the surface of the earth, in a given region, and to measure These rings were magnetised by alternating currents of the velocity of its horizontal propagation.-On the inscripdifferent strengths and periods; both the magnetising- tion of seismic movements : G. Lippmann. In the photorurrent wave and the magnetic-flux wave were quantitatively graphic self-recording apparatus in common use for earthdetermined by a wave-tracer (described by the author in quake phenomena, owing to the considerable expense of the the Phil. Mag., November, 1903), and the wave-forms so strip of sensitised paper, its velocity through the apparatus obtained subjected to harmonic analysis. The experiments is very slow, about 12 cm, per hour. In the modification were divided into series, in which the period and wave-form now proposed, the slit through which the ray of light falls of the magnetising current were kept as nearly constant on the paper is closed by a shutter, and this is operated as possible throughout any one series, while its strength electrically by the seismic shock. By this means the speed was varied. The analytic expressions for the associated may be greatly increased, since the paper is only used up rurrent and flux waves for a few series are given in tabular during the period of the earthquake shocks.--On the seeds furm. From the analytic expressions for each pair of of the Neuropterideæ : M. Grand'Eury. As the result of Associated waves it was found that when the magnetising the examination of more than 1000 specimens of fossil current was approximately sinusoidal the total iron loss seeds, usually attributed to ferns, the author distinguishes I) was, within certain limits of the induction, given by a 15 genera or subgenera of Neuropterideæ, and 25 specific formula 1 = (a + bn) 197. where n is the number of periods types.-Remarks
Hugoniot's adiabatic law: M. per sec., B the " effective induction," and a and b are Jouguet.-On the use of helium as a thermometric subDastants. When from the total iron loss per c.c. per cycle
its diffusion through silica : Adrien the sum of the statical hysteresis and the value that Jaquerod and F. Louis Perrot. An attempt to deterrory assigns to eddy-current loss was subtracted, a con- mine the melting point of gold with a thermometer of fused siderable quantity remained, which increased both when silica, and containing helium, failed owing to the rapid - frequency and the flux-density increased. This quantity, diffusion of the gas through the silica at the high temperaalled by Fleming the kinetic hysteresis, has been obtained ture. The velocity of diffusion appears to be proportional ** each experiment.-On the practical determination of the to the pressure of the gas, and is very considerable, since man spiserical candle-power of incandescent and arc lamps : after six hours' heating at 1100° C. the pressure of the 11. B. Dyke. Mr. Dyke points out the need of an improved helium had fallen to about one-seventh of the initial pressure. method of expressing the efficiency of glow-lamps, and Below a red heat, at about 510° C., the diffusion is still adopts the suggestion of Dr. Fleming of expressing the fairly rapid, and a very slow effect could even be traced *hole flux of light in lumens per watt. The expression of at 220° C. For practical purposes, therefore, the nitrogen