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porting Gegenbaur's theory of the origin of limbs. The We have received a copy of the results of the meteorsame material is thought by Mr. Punnett to favour theological observations made at the stations in connection hypothesis of gametic purity-a view from which Prof. with the Deutsche Seewarte (Hamburg) for the year 1903. Pearson dissents for reasons given. Dr. Beddoe's cranio- The stations number sixty-nine, and include hourly readmetric formula, lately published in L'Anthropologie, is ings at four first-order observatories. The tables are arvigorously impugned by M. A. Lewenz and Prof. Karl Pear-ranged as in previous years, and leave nothing to be desired son, who produce in evidence the “auto-icon” of Jeremy either in thoroughness of discussion or in detailed exBentham preserved at University College. In another planation of the methods employed. Mid-European time paper, Prof. Edmond Gain deals with variation in the flower was adopted in Germany in April, 1893, but the observaand heterostylism in Pulmonaria officinalis. Local races are tions are recorded according to local time as before, with shown to present significant differences in the former the exception of the occurrences in the remarks column, respect. The miscellanea include interesting applications which are stated in Mid-European time. A table is given of a new method of determining correlation.
showing the difference of these times for each of the
stations. THE Bureau of Forestry of the United States Department of Agriculture has erected an extensive plant on the grounds
The last published Bulletin of the Philippine Weather of the St. Louis Exposition for carrying out a series of
Bureau (for August, 1904) contains, in addition to the usual
useful summaries of meteorological and seismological obexperiments under the direction of Drs. von Schrenk and Hatt on the value and methods of preserving timber.
servations at various stations, a valuable discussion of the
cyclones which affected the archipelago, with a map showAccording to the general programme, which is outlined in the Press Bulletin, No. 02, the timber will be subjected Manila, the Rev. J. Algué, S.J., author of the valuable
ing their tracks. The director of the central observatory at both to static and impact tests. Preliminary results indicate
work, that steaming reduces the strength of the timber in pro
" The Cyclones of the Far East,” makes a special portion to the pressure and duration of the process.
study of these interesting phenomena, and his discussion of
their behaviour is most instructive. During the month in UNDER the title “ Place-constants for Aster prenan
question five typical cyclones are dealt with. One of them thoides," Mr. G. H. Shull has contributed to the Botanical | (August 17-21) moved at the rate of thirty miles an hour; Gazette (Nove
this storm ber, 1904) a biometric article based upon
was experienced by the U.S. Army transport the number of bracts and florets which were counted on the
Sherman, near Formosa, and an interesting account of it inflorescences of this plant as collected in a specified area
is given by the second officer of that vessel. during the autumn of 1903. In general, the first head to
A SUMMARY of the present state of knowledge in regard bloom on any stem had the highest number of parts, and the last to bloom the lowest, but precocious flowering on
to long range weather forecasts, by Prof. E. B. Garriott,
has been published by the Weather Bureau of Washington. the part of the weakest individuals produced a low mean at It is accompanied by a paper by Prof. C. M. Woodward on the beginning of the season, and the belated flowering of
the planetary equinoxes. Prof. Garriott finds that at the a few vigorous specimens caused a rise towards the end.
present time practically no value is to be attached to A PRACTICAL and detailed comparison of the cost of
weather predictions based on astronomical phenomena or production of sugar on
observations of birds, animals or plants. At the same time, a muscovado estate and in a central factory using the vacuum pan with triple effect,
every attention is being given to the advancement of such as that given by the Hon. R. Bromley, administrator
meteorology on such a basis as may lead to substantial of St. Kitts, in vol. v., No. 3, of the West Indian Bulletin,
improvements in weather forecasting. In his prefatory should carry conviction to the planters of Barbados and
report Mr. Willis L. Moore remarks :-“ It is to be reother islands, who, trusting to the high saccharose yield these harmful predictions, but actually pay for them. Fore
gretted that so many newspapers not only give space to of their canes, and the profit on molasses, have preferred
casts of this description may properly be classed with adto retain their simple process of manufacture. Apart from
vertisements of quack medicines--they are both harmful in the advisability of manufacturing a product of the best
the extreme.” quality, the figures show that the profit per ton of sugar prepared in a central factory is four times that obtained In the February number of the Bulletin de la Société on a muscovado estate.
astronomique de France, M. J. Loisel presents his annual
summary of the climatology of the past year. On one chart THE Société Helvétique des Sciences naturelles cele- he shows the rainfall, the daily temperatures, the humidity, brated, at its eighty-seventh congress at Winterthur, the the barometric pressure, the insolation, the amount of fiftieth jubilee of the discovery of ancient pile dwellings, cloud, and the declination and phase of the moon.
Each described by Dr. Ferdinand Keller. The report and appre- of the atmospheric elements is then discussed in detail ciation of the work of Keller and others is written by month by month. Among other outstanding features, one M. F. A. Forel. The same authority lately directed sees that the temperature during July, 1904,
was abattention (Gazette de Lausanne, January 19) to the dis- normally elevated, whilst that of December was higher than covery at Boiron, near Morges, by the Lake of Geneva, of
that obtaining during November. The figures and the a tomb or place of burial of the Bronze Age-the age of curve indicating the number of hours of sunshine are the old lake-city of Morges. Human bones, cinders and especially interesting, and show that in each of the months burnt earth, bronze trinkels, vas.'s and other pottery were May, June, July and August there only occurred one day found, but of special interest was the discovery alongside when the sun was completely obscured at Juvisy, whilst the calcined human bones in the burial chamber, of leg- in July the number of hours of effective sunshine amounted bones of a goat uninjured by fire, and evidently deposited to 72 per cent. of the theoretical number. A comparison with the flesh as an offering to the shades of the departed of the solar radiation during 1903 and 1904 shows an M. Forel concludes from the evidence that a belief in the increase of about 23,134 calories, or rather more than resurrection of the dead was held in the Bronze Age.
16 per cent., in the latter year.
More than ten years ago Prof. Landolt described a series Messrs. Henry SOTHERAN AND Co. have issued a new of experiments which were considered to throw doubt on the catalogue of second-hand books, containing works un law of the conservation of mass in chemical action, and in mathematical, astronomical, physical, and chemical sub1901 Heydweiller concluded that a change in the total mass jects. The works catalogued include the library of the late had been experimentally established in a number of cases. Prof. A. W. Williamson, F.R.S., and many important In a paper published by Antonino Lo Surdo in the Nuovo foreign works on the exact sciences published within the Cimento (1904, series 5, vol. viii.), the question is re-inves- past twenty years. tigated. By excluding all possible sources of error, such, for instance, as a difference of temperature in the two arms
OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. of the balance, differences of volume of the vessels used, it is established that the change of mass due to the interaction
THE ALTERNATING VARIABILITY OF MARTIAN CANALS.between iron and basic copper sulphate, which by Heyd- in the visibility of the Martian
During 1903 Mr. Lowell observed an apparent alternation
canals Thoth and weiller was considered to be about 0.2 milligram, in reality Amenthes, which he suggested might be due to the artifalls within the limits of the error of weighing, being cer- ficial regulation of a deficient water supply for irrigation tainly less than 0.02 milligram. In the experiments de
purposes (NATURE, vol. Ixix. p. 496). scribed, the sealed tubes in which the interaction took place E. C. Pickering and published in No. 4003 of the Astro
In a telegram, dated March 10, communicated to Prof. were not removed from the balance during the whole of the
nomische Nachrichten, Mr. Lowell announces that he has series of weighings, and an ingenious mechanism was de- again observed a functional alternative visibility signed by which the tubes and weights were manipulated these two canals, both of which are double. within the case.
DISCOVERY OF JUPITER's Sixth SATELLITE.-In Vo. 100 of the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the
Pacific, Profs. Perrine and Aitken describe the first ob. The operations of the Smithsonian Institution during the servations of Jupiter's sixth satellite, and abstracts of their year ending on June 30, 1904, and the work of the U.S. communications are published in No. 4002 of the Astor National Museum, the Bureau of American Ethnology, the
nomische Nachrichten. International Exchanges, National Zoological Park, and the
Prof. Perrine states that several years ago it was pro
posed that the Crossley reflector, when reconstructed, should Astrophysical Observatory, are described in Dr. S. P.
be employed in a search for additional satellites to the Langley's report which has just reached us. Among the outer planets. In accordance with this programme, phofematters mentioned is the removal of the remains of James graphs of Jupiter were taken on December 3, 8, 9 and 10. Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institution, from the 1904, and a comparison of them showed that the planet. British cemetery at Genoa to America, at the beginning of
which was slowly retrograding at the time, was apparently
accompanied by an object of the fourteenth magnitude The report states that the remains rest tem
Photographs taken on January 2, 3 and 4 showed that the porarily in a room at the Smithsonian Institution containing newly discovered object was following Jupiter in such a a few personal relics of Smithson, awaiting their final dis- manner as to suggest its dependence on that body. The posal by the Regents. Dr. E. W. Scripture, of Yale Uni- greatest elongation (west) of the new satellite, about 50', versity, has been awarded a grant from the Hodgkins
seems to have been passed on December 25, and the infund for the construction of a “ vowel organ." Dr. Scrip
clination of its orbit to the ecliptic appears to be greurs
than those of the inner satellites. The direction of the ture expects to be able to construct an organ which can satellite's motion, although apparently retrograde, cannot sing the vowels, or a vowel register which, attached to a be determined until further observations have been made pipe organ, may be used effectively in church music. An On January 28, Prof. Aitken, using the 30-inch re exploration of some of the glaciers of British Columbia has
fractor under unfavourable atmospheric conditions, found been undertaken by Dr. W. H. Sherzer, under the auspices
the satellite quite easily, using the position predicted from of the Smithsonian Institution, for the purpose of gathering
the Crossley photographs, and, after a few minutes' ob
servation, the identification was confirmed by the motion in definite information regarding glacial phenomena, such as right ascension. Following the object for nearly an hour, the nature and cause of the ice flow, the temperature of he found it to have an hourly motion in R.A. of about the ice at various depths, and its relation to air tempera
+ 20", and this agrees with the photographic result. A tures, the amount of surface melting, and the possible comparison with neighbouring faint stars showed that the transference of material from the surface to lower portions. magnitude.
satellite was about as bright as a star of the fourteenth Reference is made in the report to the new building of the National Museum in course of erection in the Smithsonian
FORTHCOMING OPPOSITIONS OF Mars.-As during the
oppositions of Mars in 1905, 1907, and 1909 the planet Park. The floor area in the four stories of the new build- will become successively more favourable for observation, ing will be about 93 acres. The accessions to the museum Mr. R. Buchanan has communicated to Popular Astronoms in the year covered by the report amount to 241,547 speci- (No. 3, vol. xiii.) the following figures, showing the remens, which bring the total number of objects in the
spective conditions for each opposition :-
Distance collections up to nearly six millions. The work of the
Brilliana astrophysical observatory has been chiefly concerned with
0*543 solar radiation, and its possible variability. The investi- 1907 Sept. 22 July 5 0°411
754 gations point to the conclusion that the radiation supplied 1909 Aug. 13
Sept. 25 0'390 866 by the sun may perhaps fluctuate within intervals of a few The sun's distance from the earth is taken as the unit months through ranges of nearly or quite 10 per cent., and
of the mean
“ distance from earth." In the oppositions of that these fluctuations of solar radiation may cause changes
1901 and 1903 the respective apparent brilliancies of the
planet were 20 0 and 23.4. of temperature of several degrees centigrade nearly simultaneously over the great continental areas of the world.
Variable RadiaL VELOCITY OF Sirius.--In No. 70 of the Lick Observatory Bulletins, Prof. Campbell discusses the
spectrographic observations of the bright component of The latest report issued by the Engineering Standards Sirius made at Lick since 1896, thirty-one plates in all. Committee deals with British standard specification for
Before treating the main subject, however, he discusses
the difficulty experienced in binary star work through the structural steel for marine boilers. Copies may be obtained employment of numerous different systems of nomenclature from Messrs. Crosby Lockwood and Son at 25. 6d. net. to define the orbital elements, and then propounds a new