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degrees between the initial and the final boiling points. gallon, less. Unfortunately, however, the With homologous hydrocarbons the lower-boiling supply of benzol is even more limited than that of member vaporises more readily than the higher; con- petrol; the yield from coal-tar is only some 06 per sequently, in practice, the vapour from the second cent., and much of what could be produced is already spirit would in the early stages of a run contain an absorbed by the chemical and dye industries. It seems, excessive proportion of the more volatile constituent, therefore, very unlikely that benzol will ever largely and in the later stages too much of that which is supplant petrol, though it may usefully supplement less volatile. For satisfactory combustion these two this fuel. constituents require very different proportions of air; Toluol (crude toluene), of lower density but higher hence if the carburetter was initially arranged to give boiling point than benzol, has also been recently tried, the proper quantity it would not do so in the later though not on a sufficiently extended scale to give stages. The practical bearing is that, to avoid waste much practical information. Benzol is essentially a of fuel or loss of heat, more attention must be paid to mixture of pure benzene and toluol, and in one respect the carburetter when the petrol has a wide range of the mixture is better than pure benzene, because the boiling points than when it is more nearly homo | latter freezes at o° C., and this is prevented by the geneous.
presence of toluol. As already mentioned, the petrols in actual use Alcohols as Fuels.-The industrial side of the ques. consist of several hydrocarbons; there is none contain- tion has encouraged the use of alcohol in France and ing only one, or even only two. But the foregoing Germany, since, other things being equal, it is better examples typify the better and the inferior qualities to support home agriculture than foreign oil-fields. respectively.
Strong alcohol can be bought in Germany at a cost Products from Coal-tar.—These are known com- of 81d. to rod. per gallon, and at this price its use mercially as benzol or benzole, benzine, and coal-tar is said to be economical compared with petrol. Pure spirit, all of which terms mean nearly the same thing, alcohol, of course, is heavily taxed—in this country and toluol, which is a very similar liquid of lower the duty amounts to 175. per gallon of 90 per cent. density. (Benzol or benzine should be distinguished alcohol-and that used for motor purposes is “defrom benzoline, the petroleum product previously re- natured” by the addition of foreign substances. In ferred to.) In the first group the aromatic hydro- England the denatured product is methylated spirit, carbon benzene, CoHg, is the chief constituent, but obtained by mixing “ spirits of wine" with not less toluene, C,H, and xylenes, C,H., also accompany it. than one-ninth of its bulk of wood-naphtha, and when Benzol is commercial benzene, i.e. benzene with sume intended for retailing, with 0.38 per cent. of mineral impurities and homologues; benzine is a cruder naphtha or petroleum oil in addition. In France the variety; these differ only in the proportions of the denaturant is a mixture of heavy benzine " and admixtures, and are often indistinguishable the one malachite green. Ordinary methylated spirit, in some from the other. Coal-tar spirit is a general term for experiments made a short time ago, was said to give either. In America and in France, as well as some- an exhaust with an odour so vile as would preclude times in this country, the term “benzine” refers to its general use; this is attributed to the denaturant, the petroleum naphtha, not to the coal-tar product. and to obviate it one suggestion is that alcohol in
Benzol has a greater density than petrol (about 0.883 tended for motor-fuel should be denatured with petrol. at 150:5 C.), and a higher boiling point, viz. about There are, however, some fiscal difficulties in the way. 90° C. Nevertheless, it has the advantage of dis- Alcohol is a substance already partly oxidised; it tilling, as a whole, within much narrower limits than contains rather less hydrogen than does petrol, and most varieties of petrol do. Thus, while there may only about one-half as much carbon, the difference be a difference of more than 100° C. between the initial being made up of oxygen. Consequently its available and final boiling points of petrol, a good sample of heat-energy, viz. the heat developed by the complete “go's benzol ” will distil completely within a range of oxidation of its carbon and hydrogen, is not much about 55° C. or less, i.e. between 90° and 1450 more than one-half that of good petrol. Nevertheless, Benzol is consequently more like the ideal homo it has some compensations. It is of nearly uniform geneous fuel than petrol is, and this, together with the composition, and distils within much narrower limits necessity of supplementing the supply of petrol by than petrol; in fact, strong alcohol, not denatured, is some other fuel,' has led to its frequent employment an almost homogeneous body, which boils away oomabroad and to experimental trials in this country. pletely at a practically constant temperature. More Deutz benzol locomotives have been used for some time over, it is claimed that the alcohol engine has a much in Germany, and the tram-cars of the Saalgau- greater efficiency than the petrol motor. To get the Herbertingen-Riedlingen line are worked by a 14 h.p. best results, however, it has been found necessary to benzol motor, whilst a mixture of benzol and alcohol a higher compression than that given by the is used in some of the French racing cars. So far as ordinary petrol engine. In some cases both petrol and the German experience has gone, the results are said alcohol are employed, with two carburetters; the petrol to indicate that the benzol motor is about 10 per cent. is used for starting, and is automatically cut off by a cheaper in working than the alcohol engine. The governor when the motor is sufficiently hot. The net British trials seem to show that benzol works more result of the alcohol trials at present seems to be that. uniformly than petrol, and is generally satisfactory, for equal volumes, petrol is appreciably more efficient except that with too great a compression in the than denatured alcohol ; but the difference is not concylinders there is a liability to pre-ignition.
siderable, and fluctuations in price may yet make One disadvantage of benzol is the presence in it of alcohol a serious competitor with petrol where the fiscal sulphur compounds, chiefly carbon disulphide and thio- difficulties can be overcome. phene. These not only give an evil-smelling exhaust, The cheaper higher alcohols of fusel oil (chieffs but may conceivably corrode the metal of the cylinder amyl and butyl alcohols) have also been proposed for through the formation of acid vapours in the combus- use as motor-fuels. But practical trials are lacking. tion. Probably at a cost of about a penny per gallon and in any case the supply of fusel oil is only a limited the benzol could be sufficiently freed from sulphur,
one. For the principal motor-fuel of the future it is and it is thought that, with a good demand, the purified probably to kerosene that we must look. liquid might be supplied at a price of about 7d. a
ADMIRAL SIR ERASMUS OMMANNEY, welcome, and at the banquet which formed part of the proK.C.B., F.R.S.
ceedings it was very much impressed upon them that what A -to to
circles by the death of Admiral Sir Erasmus scientific men of the various countries together not merely Ommanney, K.C.B., F.R.S., which occurred for the advancement of science, but to promote good feeling December 21, at ninety years of age.
and the cause of peace between the nations of the world. Erasmus Ommanney was born in London so long Lady. Rayleigh afterwards distributed the prizes to the ago as the year 1814, and entered the Navy in 1826.
students of the local science and art classes. He became Lieutenant Ommanney in 1835, and at once volunteered to serve under Sir James Ross in Lord Kelvin has accepted the nomination of the council the voyage for the relief of a number of missing for the presidency of the Faraday Society, in succession to whalers reported to be caught by the ice of Baffin's
Sir Joseph Swan, F.R.S. Bay, and on the coasts of Greenland and Labrador. The objects of the expedition were successfully carried The death is announced of the Rev. J. M. Bacon at the out, notwithstanding the extreme danger of the navi- age of fifty-eight. Mr. Bacon had made a number of gation during the winter months.
balloon ascents for scientific purposes, and some of the In 1850 he was appointed second in command under
results of his tudies are described his works “The Captain Horatio Austin on the Arctic expedition in
Dominion of the Air " and " By Land and Sky.” search of Sir John Franklin; and in August of that year was the actual discoverer of the first winter
ACCORDING to the Patria, negotiations have been entered quarters of Franklin's ships. He also directed an
upon by the Italian Minister of Posts and Telegraphs and extensive system of sledge journeys, by which the
the British Postmaster-General with a view to establish coast of Prince of Wales Land was laid down. After his return from the Arctic he was elected a Fellow
wireless telegraphic communication between the stations of
Poldhu and Bari. of the Royal Society for his services to science.
After his retirement in 1877, he threw himself with We are informed that the constitutional amendment zeal into the work of numerous learned societies, of exempting the California Academy of Sciences from further which he was an energetic member. He was
taxation was carried at the election, November 8, by a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and had been a member of the council. He was also a Fellow majority of nearly 11,000. of the Royal Astronomical Society. An active member of the British Association, he had served upon its occurred on December 7 between Frenchpark and Castlerea,
The bog-slide reported in several newspapers as having council, and went with it to Canada in 1884 as treasurer, receiving on that occasion the honorary
in the north part of the county of Roscommon, appears degree of LL.D. from the McGill University,
now to have come to rest, after invading a village and Montreal.
covering a large area of agricultural land. Local informThe funeral took place at Mortlake Cemetery on
ation reaches us to the effect that clefts still remain visible Tuesday afternoon. Among the wreaths placed upon
in the bog, but that the hollow formed at the origin of the coffin was one from the president and members the slide is gradually closing in. The flow is attributed to of the Royal Geographical Society.
heavy rain, with which existing means of drainage were unable to cope. Lord de Freyne is erecting huts for the dislodged tenantry, and about twenty men
were still NOTES.
engaged at Christmas in clearing the main road from its It is proposed to establish in the University of Liverpool peaty covering.
a memorial to Mr. R. W. H. T. Hudson, late lecturer in On December 22 the airship Lebaudy II. made its
mathematics, whose brilliant career was so tragically cut short at the end of last September.
thirtieth experiment in aërial direction at Moisson, near
The memorial will probably take the form of an annual prize in mathematics,
Mantes. In these voyages the Lebaudy II., the volume of to be awarded for distinction in geometry, the subject in
which has been brought up to 2063 metres, returned each which Mr. Hudson's work chiefly lay. For this purpose
time to the shed which shelters it, after having gone away
to distances so great as ten miles. The length of the a sum of 100l. would be required. Contributions to the fund should be sent to Mr. Alexander Mair, the University, people. Several times, however, it has taken passengers,
balloon is 64 metres, and its regular crew consists of three Liverpool.
as many as six persons having ascended at one time. The DR. J. MacIntosh Bell, a nephew of Dr. Robert Bell, speed attained by its own propulsion, measured with a F.R.S., has just been appointed Government geologist of registering anemometer, may be estimated at 40 kilometres Saw Zealand. Dr. MacIntosh Bell has seen much active per hour. The airship has been taken out in wind blowservice on the Canadian Geological Survey, having worked ing at 5 or 6 kilometres, and in rain. It has risen to the during four seasons under his uncle, the director. In the altitude of 500 metres. The ascent of December 22 was spring of 1899 he went with Dr. Robert Bell to Great Slave
the last of the autumn campaign, eighteen ascents having Lake, where he spent the following winter, and in 1900
been made during the months of November and December. he was sent to Great Bear Lake, several hundred miles
During this season experiments were made to decide further north. On his return he was employed in 1901 and
whether an astronomer aboard an airship can know the 1902 as geologist by the Lake Superior Commercial Co., precise geographical position of the balloon when he makes and in 1903 by the Ontario Bureau of Mines.
his observation. An ascent was made between 1 and 2 a.m.
on a foggy morning. In the car had been taken an REPLYING to a vote of thanks, after laying the foundation- acetylene searchlight equalling 100,000 lamps of ten candles stone of the Chelmsford Free Library, School of Art, and each, like those at the Exposition of the Grand Palais. Museum on December 21, Lord Rayleigh said that the visit | The balloon was invisible to persons on the earth, and the to Stockholm from which he had just returned was of great | earth itself could not be seen by the aëronauts. But the interest. His colleagues and he received almost a royal light could easily be distinguished, and its movements
followed. Next year new voyages to considerable distances are abundant among the worked flints. The collection has will be undertaken, like that from Moisson to Paris, or to been acquired by Mr. Ludovic Mann, and will be exhibited the Crystal Palace from London. In its last trial the for a few weeks in the People's Palace, Glasgow. Lebaudy II. remained inflated for sixty-four days.
The annual conversazione of the Royal College of Science With Mr. C. G. Barrett, whose death was announced and Royal School of Mines was held at the college as we last week, has disappeared one of the last of the old school went to press last week, and was attended by about five of British lepidopterists, contemporary with Doubleday and hundred guests. The company included Sir Norman Newman. The first mention we can find of Mr. Barrett's Lockyer, Sir Arthur Rücker, Mr. Morant, Prof. Judd (the name is in the list of entomologists in the “ Entomologist's dean), Prof. Tilden, Prof. Perry, Prof. Callendar, Proi. Annual ” for 1857, but from that time onwards he became Gowland, and Mr. G. W. C. Kaye (secretary). There were a frequent contributor to the Entomologist's · Weekly many interesting exhibits in the various departments in Intelligencer, and afterwards to its successor, the Entom- chemistry, physics, astrophysics, mechanics, metallurgy, ologist's Monthly Magazine, the first number of which mining, geology, and biology, under the direction of their appeared in June, 1864, so that the fortieth year of this respective professors. The Solar Physics Observatory was periodical has been marked by the demise of two out of open by permission of Sir Norman Lockyer, and a kinematothe seven editors whose names appear on the early numbers graph exhibition was given, while the college company of of 1904, Robert McLachlan, the last of the original staff the Corps of Electrical Engineers showed a searchlight. who still continued to act, and C. G. Barrett, who joined Dr. W. Watson, F.R.S., delivered a lecture during the the staff of that magazine in 1880, and became a member evening on radium and twentieth century alchemy. of the Entomological Society of London in 1884.
Mr. Barrett was an enthusiastic and very successful collector of
Spolia Zeylanica for October contains the description by British Lepidoptera, and as he held a position in the Excise
Mr. Boulenger of a new snake of the genus Aspidura, and which involved his being moved from one station to another,
an illustrated account by Mr. J. L. Hancock of the he had great facilities for investigating the insects of Cingalese representatives of the grasshoppers of the family widely separated localities. Perhaps the most important of Tettigidæ. his captures was the extremely interesting moth which he THE October number of the American Naturalist is obtained on the Hill of Howth, near Dublin, and was named
entirely devoted to botanical subjects, even the usual pages Dianthoeia Barrettii after him. Mr. Barrett's contributions
of notes being omitted. In the first article Prof. Penhallow to entomology, with one notable exception, were published completes his account of the anatomy of conifers, in the almost exclusively in magazines, but in 1892 he commenced second Dr. B. M. Davis contributes the fourth instalment his great work, “ The Lepidoptera of the British Isles," in
of his studies of the plant-cell, while in the third Prof. serial parts, and he had completed the Macro-Lepidoptera D. H. Campbell discusses the affinities of the ferns of the at the time of his death. Mr. Barrett's last paper, a de
groups Ophioglossaceæ and Marsilaceæ. scription of the larva of Doryphora palustrella, Douglas (one of the Tineina), appeared in the Entomologist's At the meeting of the Zoological Society held on Monthly Magazine for the present month, so that he may December 13 Mr. Rothschild exhibited a wonderful series be said to have died in harness.
of mounted skins and skulls of gorillas and chimpanzees,
most of which had been set up by Rowland Ward, Ltd. A The Standard's correspondent states (December 26) that long paper was also read on this unique collection, in the the Vienna Veterinary Institute has just opened a labor- course of which the author stated that he recognised four atory for the study of the diseases of fish, which will be different forms of gorilla, two of which constituted species. in charge of Prof. Fiebinger.
Unfortunately, in our opinion, he advocated the transference
of the name Simia satyrus, so long applied to the orangThe Paris correspondent of the British Medical Journal utan, to the chimpanzee. Surely a title to a name ought details some of the conclusions of the committee appointed to become valid after such a long period of unchallenged to investigate Dr. Doyen's claims respecting the cause and treatment of cancer (December 24, p. 1720). M. Metschnikoff, one of the committee, states (1) that in culture tubes
Two articles from the twentieth volume of the Journal inoculated by Dr. Doyen with cancerous material in his of the Imperial University of Tokyo were received by last presence the Micrococcus neoformans developed ; (2) that mail. In the first Mr. T. Fujita discusses the mode of the characters of the microbe so obtained agreed with
formation of the germinal layers in gastropod molluscs. those described by Dr. Doyen as characteristic of the
More general interest attaches, however, to the second, in M. neoformans ; (3) it is not yet possible to report on the
which Mr. H. Yabe describes a number of cephalopod re specificity or pathogenic characters of the microbe ; (4) it
mains from the Cretaceous rocks of Japan, this being his is not possible yet to state whether Dr. Doyen's serum has
second contribution to the subject. Most of the species a curative action or no. It will be seen that this report of the specimens of turrilites is very noticeable. We have
belong to European genera, and the large size of some is a very guarded one, and very different from the details
also received article 8 from vol. xviii. of the same serial, published in the daily Press.
in which Mr. B. Hayata gives a list of the plants of the We learn from the Times (December 21) that a consider
order Compositæ found in Formosa. able number of beautifully worked flints have recently been In the December number of Bird Notes and Neu's the discovered at Culmore, which is said to be in the south Royal Society for the Protection of Birds records its efforts of Scotland, but we have been unable to find the locality on
in regard to the late osprey case in Surrey. It may, howmaps. The spot where the flints were found has the appear
ever, be asked whether it would not be well to admit that ance of having been surrounded by marshy ground, and it the preservation of such stragglers is a practical impossi is possible that the flint-tools may have belonged to lake- bility, and that ospreys and motors are incompatible dwellers. Arrow-heads, scrapers, anvil and hammer stones, Similarly, in view of recent letters in the Field, the question
as to whether birds are or are not harmful requires dis- use of liquid sulphurous acid, carbonic oxide, carbonic acid, cussion on a business footing, altogether apart from senti- and the Clayton process are discussed. Carbonic oxide, ment. Ii they are proved harmful, we can decide whether while very fatal to rats, has no effect on insect vermin and we will put up with the damage for the sake of the attrac- no disinfecting action, and having no odour may be tion they add to the landscape ; but let us abandon attempts dangerous to man, and may form an explosive mixture co gloss over charges of damage and to defend birds at all with air. Carbonic acid, while fatal to rats, is similarly costs. The society urges the advisability of establishing without lethal effect on vermin, has no disinfecting action, a ** bird and tree day throughout the country; possibly and a large quantity is required, which makes it expensive, an excellent way of developing interest in nature—but this but it is less dangerous to man than carbonic oxide. 'Burntime will show.
ing sulphur is tedious and only applicable in empty cabins
and holds, but is cheap and fairly effective. Much the We have received four zoological papers from American
sarre may be said of liquid sulphurous acid, but it is quicker serials. The first (from the Proceedings of the Boston
though more costly. The Clayton process consists in burnNatural History Society) contains a list of molluscs from
ing sulphur in a furnace, the fumes from which are pumped Frenchman's Bay, Maine, by Mr. D. Blaney, while in the
into the holds, &c., and is probably the best of the methods second (from the same journal) Mr. W. R. Coe discusses
discussed. Properly carried out it is fatal to rats and all the terrestrial nemertean worms of the genus Geonemertes
vermin, has considerable disinfecting and penetrative from Bermuda. These worms, it may be remembered, were
power, is not likely to cause accident as its odour is so first discovered, dwelling in company with ordinary earth
marked, but it damages certain articles, especially if worms, during the Challenger cruise, but the specimens damp, and does not diffuse well in a closely packed hold. were lost, and no others were ever collected until 1898 and 1901. In the third paper (from the Proceedings of the The area planted with cotton this season in the West U.S. National Museum) Mr. P. Schmidt re-determines a Indies is estimated in the Agricultural News, November 19, Japanese fish, while in the fourth (from the Proceedings at from eight to ten thousand acres, excluding Carriacou, of the American Academy) Messrs. Parker and Starratt where four thousand acres were planted mostly with Marie record some interesting experiments with regard to the Galante cotton. Of this amount Barbados and St. Vincent effect of heat on the colour-changes of the American each have sixteen hundred acres under cotton, and in St. chamæleon-iguana (Anolis carolinensis).
Kitts the acreage exceeds two thousand acres. MESSRS. Jordan, Russell, and Zeit publish details of ex
generally are much healthier than in the previous year, and periments on the longevity of the typhoid bacillus in water
an output of about 5000 bales may be expected. Journ. of Infectious Diseases, i., No. 4, p. 641), from which
The Quarterly Record of the Royal Botanic Society of it appears that under conditions probably closely simulating
London for the second quarter of this year contains an those in nature the vast majority of typhoid bacilli intro
account of the horticultural exhibition held in June, and duced into a water perish within three or four days. This
most of the papers read at the conferences have been pubis rather opposed to the views now generally prevailing,
lished. The educational section attracted a number of and needs confirmation before it can be absolutely accepted.
speakers and visitors when nature-study and horticulture At a meeting of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy formed the subjects of addresses by Sir George Kekewich, beld on December 15 Messrs. Thomas and Macqueen read Mr. F. Verney, and others. At the forestry conference a paper on methods of dealing with dust in the air and Prof. W. R. Fisher delivered the address, in the course gases from explosives in a Cornish mine (Dalcoath).
of which he discussed the selection of seeds of forest trees, Miners' phthisis is especially due to inhalation of stone
and advocated the formation of experimental stations in dust, and it is found that the use of a water-jet with machine
order to study the suitability of different trees for particular drills entirely prevents dust if used from the commence
districts and soils. ment of operations and properly directed, a coarse spray THE morphological nature of the ovary in the genus being more efficient than a fine one, but is difficult to apply Cannabis has engaged the attention of many botanists, inwhen the drill-holes become deeper than about two feet.
cluding Payer, C. B. Clarke, and Briosi and Tognini; James's water blast was found particularly effective for
finally, Dr. Prain, having been deputed by the Government laying the dust caused by shovelling and blasting.
of India to report upon the cultivation of gánjá, has upon As interim report has been issued by a committee
the evidence of certain abnormal forms contributed a new appointed by the British Association to inquire into explanation in No. 12 of the Indian Scientific Memoirs. ankylostomiasis in Britain. The Ankylostoma is an intes- Previously the views had been expressed that the pistil tinal parasite producing serious and sometimes fatal effects. consists either of a single carpel, or of two carpels of The report states that there are many channels by which which the anterior alone is developed, and bears an ovule; the Ankylostoma might be introduced into British coal the bicarpellary nature of the ovary is, in Dr. Prain's mines (it has been introduced into the Westphalian coal opinion, fully borne out by specimens showing phyllody of fields and into the Dalcoath tin mine in Cornwall, as the gynæcium, but it is the posterior carpel which is fertile. already recorded in these columns). The conditions exist- With respect to the character of the diclinism of the flower, ing in our mines are such that it would probably flourish
this is shown to be primitive and not vestigial. and become firmly established. Once introduced it is
We have received from the Rev. J. de Moidrey, S.J., of doubtful if it could ever be eradicated, and therefore it is
the Zi-ka-wei Observatory, an interesting and useful recommended that proper sanitary regulations should with
memoir on the climate of Shanghai, based upon observe out delay be formulated and enforced to prevent infection
ations made between 1873 and 1902. The coldest weather of the pits.
occurs about the beginning of February, and the warmest A REPORT by Drs. Haldane and Wade has been issued about August 1, nearly forty days after the solstices. The by the Local Government Board on the destruction of rats mean temperature for thirty years at Zi-ka-wei was 59°2 F., and disinfection on shipboard, with special reference to and the mean range 43°2. The extreme readings were :plague. For destroying rats the burning of sulphur, the maximum 102°:9, minimum 10°.2. A variation of the climate is not apparent. The average monthly relative volumes of smoke. In dealing with the question of the humidity is 78 per cent. ; the annual variation is insignifi- prevention of smoke from furnaces used in connection with cant, averaging only 4 per cent. The average yearly rain- steam boilers, the employment of smoke-consumers, smokefall is 43.6 inches; June is preeminently the rainy month, washers, and similar appliances is condemned, and a system both for frequency and amount, while December is the of gas firing is advocated. Mr. Fyfe, the sanitary inspector driest month. The paper contains useful remarks upon the
of Glasgow, in the course of the discussion of the paper, cyclones experienced over the China seas.
stated that although the Public Health Act empowered
prosecution in the case of " any chimney (not being the We have received a copy of " Meteorology in Mysore " chimney of a private dwelling house) sending forth smoke for 1903, being the results of observations at Bangalore, in such quantity as to be a nuisance," it was customary in Mysore, Hassan, and Chitaldrug; these observing stations Scotland, under the Burgh Police Act, not to proceed against lie at the corners of a quadrilateral comprised between other kinds of furnaces than those used for heating boilers. 12° 18' and
14° 14' N. latitude and 76° 10' and 77° 36' E. His own experience had convinced him that gas firing was longitude, Bangalore being 190 miles west of and 3000 not absolutely necessary in such cases, but that by means feet higher than Madras. The results, including the means of a suitable and inexpensive smoke-consumer, consisting for eleven years, 1893-1903, have been very carefully of ignited jets of producer gas, all the smoke could be get worked out by the director, Mr. John Cook, and contain rid of, and an additional supply of heat given to the boiler. some interesting features. The highest reading for eleven years of air temperature in shade was 103° at Chitaldrug
SAMPLES of an improved form of crucible lid have been in April 1901 and 1903, and the lowest 42°7 at Hassan in
sent to us by Messrs. J. J. Griffin and Sons. It is made December, 1895. The mean relative humidity varied from
slightly convex towards the crucible, and has been designed 57 per cent. to 62 per cent., but extreme dryness was
to obviate the loss of substance which so readily occurs in occasionally experienced, the humidity varying between
simple gravimetric experiments, such as the conversion of 4 per cent. and 6 per cent. Rainfall is fairly uniform
copper into copper oxide by means of nitric acid, when the throughout the province, varying from 261 to 371 inches
ordinary form of crucible lid is employed. per annum. The value of the report would be enhanced
ACCORDING to a paper by M. Bertrand in the Comples by a key-map of Mysore and surrounding districts.
rendus (No. 20, p. 802) mountain ash berries not only conIn the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, cxiii., 3
tain the alcohol sorbitol, but an isomeric alcohol, sorbierite, and 4, Dr. Fritz Hasenöhrl discusses the laws of reflection
is also present. To obtain it the sorbitol is completely conand refraction of light as applied to a body which is moving
verted into sorbose by the action of the sorbose bacterium, relative to the ether, in connection with the thermodynamical and the sorbose is removed by crystallisation. Sorbierite aspects of the principle of reciprocity, and also the vari- has been obtained from the mother liquor in the form of ations in the dimensions of matter due to motion through deliquescent crystals. That the new alcohol is hexahydric the ether.
has been established by the cryoscopic determination of its
molecular weight, and by the preparation and analysis of IN No. 86 of the Communications from the Leyden the di- and tri-benzoic acetals. Physical Laboratory Dr. H. Kamerlingh Onnes and Dr. H. Happel discuss the application of Gibbs's volume-energy- A very interesting paper dealing with the primary foreentropy model to the representation of the continuity of the ation of optically active substances in nature is contributed liquid and gaseous states on the one hand, and the various by Dr. A. Byk to the Zeitschrift für physikalische Chemse solid aggregations on the other. For this purpose models (vol. xlix. p. 641). It is shown in an indirect experimental have been constructed for an ideal substance, showing the manner that it is possible to effect the resolution of racemic continuity of the solid and liquid as well as of the liquid substances by a purely physical agent-circularly polarised and gaseous states.
light. The reflection of the plane polarised rays of sun
light from the surface of water under the influence of the A series of experiments on the influence of abnormal
earth's magnetism is supposed to give rise to a predominposition upon the motor impulse is described in the Psycho- ating quantity of one form of circularly polarised light, and logical Review for November 1 by Mr. Charles Theodore this is the cause which determines the production of optically Barnett. Without going into the theoretical aspect of these active substances in the photochemical processes taking investigations, we notice that the author refers to the well
place in animal and plant life. known puzzle of drawing a rectangle and its diagonals in front of a looking-glass, and the difficulty of playing the We have received Williams and Norgate's " International piano with crossed hands, as Beethoven so often requires in
Book Circular." An article on some contemporary foreign his sonatas, is another illustration which suggests itself.
chemists, illustrated by twenty portraits, is contributed by
Dr. M. O. Forster. Part i. of vol. xlviii. of the Transactions of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders of Scotland contains a paper Prof. M. W. TRAVERS's work on the experimental study by Mr. F. J. Rowan on the smoke problem, which is of of gases has been translated into German by Dr. T. especial interest on account of the recent inquiry by Sir Estreicher, and the translation has been published by Messrs. John Ure Primrose at the sanitary congress in Glasgow F. Vieweg and Son, Brunswick. into the connection of smoke with the production of rain and fogs in large cities. It is pointed out that although An authorised translation, into German, of Prof. J. J. domestic fires are principally responsible for atmospheric Thomson's lectures on Electricity and Matter," reviewed pollution in a large town, only the smoke issuing from in NATURE of May 26 (vol. Ixx. p. 73), has been made by factory chimneys is subject to municipal control, and that Herr G. Siebert, and published by the house of F. Vieweg many kinds of industrial furnaces, other than those used and Son, Brunswick. The work forms the third volume for raising steam, are employed in operations of such a of a series of monographs issued under the general title nature that they cannot but necessarily produce large “Die Wissenschaft.”