« PreviousContinue »
Unsere Pflanzen. By F. Söhns. Dritte Auflage.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. Pp. iv + 178. (Leipzig : Teubner,
1904.) Price (The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions 2.60 marks.
expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he underlatz Children's Wild Flowers. By Mrs. J. M. Maxwell. to return, or to correspond with the writers of. rejected Pp. viii + 171. (Edinburgh : David Douglas, 1904.)
manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE
No notice is taken of anonymous communications.] Price 75. 6d. net.
A Great Oxford Discovery. The derivation of many botanical names being very uncertain, it is probable that the subject appeals In a recent study of some eighteenth century naturalists more to the philologist than the botanist. Who shall writings I was a good deal struck by the amount of attensay, for instance, whether the speedwell takes its tion devoted to the problem of whether the white man
was a sport from negroid stock or the negro a sport from name from a saint Veronica, or should be derived
a white race. The matter was discussed from every stand from “ vera icon" or “ vera unica ” ? Vernacular
point, physiological, geographical, and theological, but the names are perhaps more easily explained, but vary
consensus of opinion, based chiefly on the existence of greatly in different districts. Similar difficulties
albinotic and pied negroes, and on the misunderstood occur with German popular names, so that Mr. Söhns
effects of leucoderma, was that the white might be s has a number of problems of an indeterminate nature
negro sport, but that there was no evidence of a black to solve in his book, which deals with the nomenclature
sport in the case of the white races. If such an opinion of plants and their place in mythology and folklore. were correct, and the white man only a negro sport, we Generally the author's arguments care ully should certainly expect to find the negroid cranial type comdeduced and convincing, and, as might be expected, mon among the white races. Two distinguished Oxford the correct derivation is not always obvious. men of science have just thrown remarkable light on this Tausendgueldenkraut, the popular name of Erythraea problem. They have given a very simple series of oncentaurea, suggests a connection with “centum
ditions by which crania can be classed into skulls ol aurum,” but the specific name is undoubtedly given in negroid, non-negroid, and intermediate types. These con
ditions depend entirely on a classification of nasal and honour of the Centaur Chiron, who was skilled in
facial indices, and by their processes our authors are able medicine, and the German name, which was at first
to distinguish between the negroid, non-negroid, and hundert guelden Kraut, has apparently given place to
intermediate types among prehistoric Egyptian crania. Tausendgueldenkraut, where thousand is used in a
Not being an anatomist, I am quite unable to judge of hyperbolic sense, and thus the Centaur's plant has the processes by which they have reached their criteria. become associated with a fanciful expression. In and the photographs which accompany their volume art addition to etymology, the book contains many of so obscure a character-indeed, in the present state ni references to popular superstitions. On account of cranial photography somewhat unworthy of a university the dissimilarity between German and English press--that they hardly allow the uninitiated even with a popular names it cannot be expected that the book lens to appreciate the justification which the author will appeal strongly to English readers, but a third find for their classification in the outward appearances ca
their cranial groups. edition points to its success in Germany.
I think, however, we may safelt The book by Mrs. Maxwell is intended to interest give the greatest weight possible to a judgment formed children in wild flowers by narrating the legends and by the Oxford professor of human anatomy and the Oxford stories connected with them. Scientific description is syndics of the University Press.
reader in Egyptology in a folio volume just issued by the practically limited to habitat and comparative Taking their classification as beyond discussion, I have characters for distinguishing between the species of a
applied it :genus, and coloured illustrations are provided as First, to a fairly long series of admittedly negro crania means of identification of the plants. Obviously the all males. I find 73 per cent. are non-negroid, 390 per purpose of the writer is not to train the powers of are truly negroid. and 53.7 per cent. are inter observation inculcate accuracy, but rather to mediate. It is clear that we only need to let the negro stimulate the faculties of imagination.
change their skins, and a sensible percentage will be more
negroid. Superstitions about Animals. By Frank Gibson.
Serondly, to a fairly long series of English skulls, mal Pp. 208. (London and Newcastle-on-Tyne : Walter
and female. I find of Englishmen 20 per cent, are negroid. Scott Publishing Co., 1904.) Price 3s. 6d.
16 per cent. non-negroid, and 34 per cent, are intermediatr
in type. Among English women u per cent. are negroid. This is an unpretentious little book which will interest 48 per cent. non-negroid, and 41 per cent. arr of intes many people. It brings together some of the most
mediate tyne. Thus of the whole English pomlatica common superstitions about animals, “ dealing with
slightly more than 50 per cent. are either pure negroid or them in a light and popular way,” with copious quota- partially negroid: while in an outwardly pure "negro tions from the poets. One of its aims is to sweep
group, upwards of 60 per cent. are non-negroid or mised
with non-negroid elements. away those superstitions that are foolish and de
I have not yet had time to apply Prof. Thomson and grading, to clear the air for a free appreciation of the
Mr. Randall-Maciver's test to Asiatic races, but I have the real wonders of nature. For “ there is no subject the least doubt that I shall find there also pure negroid under heaven which will give more pleasure or lasting and intermediate negroid elements. But that the Englishand real profit than that of Natural History.” Mr. man should have as large a negroid element in his conGibson deals first with omens, such as the ticking of stitution as the prehistoric Egyptian. and only hall se the death-watch and the baying of a dog; he goes on
little pure negroid element as admitted negroes, is to mm to distortions of facts of natural history, such as
mind an epoch-making discovery, which will at on “ salamanders in the fire,” “ crocodile's tears," “ the
attract attention to Oxford as a centre for a novel school hibernation of swallows"; he ends up with creatures
of craniometrv and anthropology. KARL PEARSON. of the imagination, like the " basilisk,” the
University College, London. “phænix,” and the “griffin." The author is a devout admirer of the real things of nature with an
Inversions of Temperature and Humidity in Anti
cyclones, unusual knowledge of the poets both great and small. He has not seriously tackled the difficult side of his
IN NATURE of February 16 Mr. W. H. Dines cited a subject--the attempt to account historically and psycho- kites during the prevalence of very high barometrk
example of a large temperature inversion, observed with logically for the origin and persistence of the more
pressure in England, and remarked on the possible con important superstitions. He has forgotten the salt. tion between the two phenomena.
At the beginning of the report a general plan of the park is given, showing the proposed improvements. At first sight the plan appears very elaborate and overcrowded with detail, but this is due
Observations with kites at Blue Hill during the past ten years, and with balloons elsewhere, show that inversions of temperature occur at some height in the free air under almost all weather conditions. In a discussion of the kite observations at Blue Hill, published in 1897 in part i., vol. xlii., Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College, Mr. H. H. Clayton probably first pointed out that marked inversions of temperature at heights of from a quarter to half a mile in the free air occur in the rear of anti-cyclones. He gives one example of a rise of 26° F. between 2 180 feet and 2530 feet, accompanied by a corresponding fall of 50 per cent. in the relative humidity, this rise of temperature being more than twice that mentioned by Mr. Dines.
Prof. Hergesell's soundings with kites on board the Prince of Monaco's yacht last July, in the permanent high barometric pressure south of the Azores, showed a decrease of temperature of 6° F. up to about i800 feet, when the temperature suddenly rose 14° F., and so remained throughout a stratum 3000 feet thick, above which it fell at the adiabatic rate, the relative humidity decreasing 50 per cent. with the rise in temperature. It would appear, therefore, that such inversions of temperature and relative humidity at a moderate height are characteristic of areas of high barometric pressure, both over the land and water.
A. LAWRENCE Rotch. Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, Hyde Park,
Mass, U.S.A., March 13.
The Planet Fortuna.
to the fact that its designer has endeavoured to show One point of interest to Airy's brother men of science all the essential details in the plan, in order to reduce has not been noticed—that he either misunderstood or the number of blocks in the text, and a little study wilfully misapplied the lines of Juvenal. The “ Purists
is all that is required to show that the proposed imurged that planets had always been named after deities,
provements are not of such a radical nature as a and that Fortuna was not a deity. Airy said that she was, and quoted “nos te, nos facimus, Fortuna, deam.
first impression might convey. The proposed treatWhat did Juvenal really say? He said,
“ the wise see no
ment is essentially a conservative one, and the divinity in Fortune; it is only human 'folly that calls her suggested changes and improvements have been goddess, and assumes for her a place in heaven. As
designed to interfere as little as possible with the Gifford renders it :
existing features, views, and even details of the park “ We should see
and glen. If wise, O Fortune, nought divine in thee ;
About one-half of the report is devoted to a detailed But we have deified a name alone,
consideration of the park, its environs, gardens, and And fixed in heaven thy visionary throne.”
nature museums. The possible approaches and " Nullum numen abest" belongs to a
entrances carefully considered and selected.
numerous class of misquotations, and spoils the whole tenor of the passage.
These must render easy access to, and be in keeping The supreme authority on Juvenal, J. E. B. Mayor, does
with, the important centre to which they lead. The not even condescend to cite it.
W. T. park must not end abruptly where the town begins,
but its environs or setting should be such that a harmonious blending—one with the other—is secured,
and in this connection the author seems to have made CITY DEVELOPMENT.1
the most of the material at his disposal.
Prof. Patrick Geddes in response to an invitation by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. The report is copiously illustrated, and embodies a very great amount of valuable and important information, plans, and suggestions as to the laying out of the public park, and as to the buildings, in or around it, needed or desirable for carrying on the work of the trust.
The author set to work by having a complete photographic survey made of the park and its environments. All those photographs, however, could not be incorporated in the report, but they will be preserved as a permanent record of the appearance of the park and its surroundings before any changes inaugurated by the trust. Not content with mere photographs and maps, the author strongly recommends the construction of a relief model of the park, bearing on its surface pasteboard models of the new buildings proposed, in order that the general effect of these buildings on their surroundings may be clearly anticipated, and thus the erection of structures out of harmony with their surroundings may be avoided.
I "City Development, a Study of Parks, Gardens, and Culture Instifutes." A Report to the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. By P. Geddes. Pp. 232. (Westminster : Geddes and Co., 5, Old Queen Street.) Price
are too numerous to be noticed individually here. certain organism are not uncommonly met with. Shortly stated, the author has given the benefit of his Again, on p. 204 the reader, owing to the misuse of extensive knowledge and wide experience in the the pronoun “ they," is informed that the jaws of a planning, equipment, and arrangement of parks and snail possess neither jaws nor teeth; while in the all their accessories. Every practical expedient that ingenuity can suggest to encourage that open-air life and physical exercise so necessary and beneficial for young and old has been adopted in the schemes and plans submitted by the author of the report.
A word or two about the nature palace may not be out of place. This very important building has been designed to serve several different purposes, such as a winter garden adapted to receptions and saziones, and it also could be used as a promenade and popular assembly room, and as centre for bazaars, periodic industrial exhibitions, flower shows, &c. The author further proposes to give this building the additional and educational interest of a great museum-a museum which, however, should not aim at having a large general collection of geological, botanical, zoological, and anthropological material, such as those which already exist in larger cities. Indeed, the author points out that it would be cheaper for the trust to send whole schools to the museums of Edinburgh than to attempt to possess an independent institution containing, say, the sixth best collection of skeletons in Scotland or the like. This museum Fig. 1.-Magnified egg of the orange-tip butterfly, on a flower-stalk. From
Peeps into Nature's Ways." in the nature palace is to be something apart from any existing type of museum; in the words of the author, “A museum not primarily of geology, botany,
second paragraph on p. 91 we observe a plural natural history, anthropology, and so
so on, yet the pronoun used in connection with a substantive in the whole of these within the living unity of nature,
singular. The misprint in the first sentence on p. 181 scene by scene--in short, a museum of geography.
is perhaps excusable; but the statement (p. 186) that So far as the special requirements of the various natural sciences are concerned, the author recommends as a model the Perth Museum, with its well chosen collection of types.
The latter half of the report, forming book ii., deals with the culture uses of museums and institutes. In this part of the volume, art, music, history, and science are all provided for and suitably housed, with a view not merely to their immediate wants, but ample allowance and provision are made for the future development and expansion of each and every phase of human activity bearing on culture and industry.
In this handsome volume, the author has included a vast amount of detailed information and convincing arguments to show the value of parks, gardens, museums, and culture institutes in the social advancement, education, and well-being of munities.
class, this little volume takes no notice of birds, but, as its title implies, is entirely devoted to the lower forms of life which may be met with during rambles in different parts of the country, including both animals and plants. As in the case of his earlier book, all the articles have previously been published in various periodicals and journals; and the opportunity for revision given by their re-publication ought to have enabled the author to correct certain deficiencies in style and expression by which the present issue is disfigured.
For example, on p. 29, Mr. Ward manages to introduce the word " which " three times in the course of a single sentence without the use of any higher stop than a comma. On p. 2 we find an obtrusive instance of the ego et rex meus class; and on p. 172 we are told that occasionally examples of a
1. “Peeps into Nature's Ways; being Chapters on Insect, Plant, and Minute Life." By J. J. Ward. Pp. xviii + 302 ; illustrated. (London: Isbister and Co., 1905.)
carbon chemically combines with the water sucked up by plants is scarcely an exact definition of what taks place.
Apart from blemishes like the above, the author may
be heartily congratulated on his work, which is planatory of the scope of the work, and a detailed interesting and readable from start to finish; while account of the apparatus, &c., exhibited. They served the illustrations, reproduced from his own photo- a twofold purpose, that of informing visitors to the exgraphs, are in most cases exquisite, as our readers hibition as to what there was to see, and also that of may see for themselves from the examples bringing together an account of the best products of furnished herewith. Although he appears to have German workmanship in the respective subjects of little or nothing new to record, Mr. Ward is evidently the catalogue. a careful and accurate observer, with the faculty of In the catalogue of scientific instruments the introrecording his facts in language that “can be under- ductory description is very full and of real use; standed of the people."
special reference is made to novel instruments. Dr. With the exception of one chapter on the hydra and Lindeck, of the Reichsanstalt, who edited the a second on the “ tongues ” of molluscs, Mr. Ward's catalogue of the German exhibit in Paris in 1900, is work is restricted to insects and plants. In his open- responsible for this, while Dr. Krüss had charge of ing chapter he details the fascinating life-history of the section. the orange-tip butterfly, showing how its coloration The description of the instruments which follows is harmonises with the plants it frequents, and how the arranged alphabetically according to the names of beautiful green mottling on the hind wings is pro- the exhibitors. The system of classification with cross duced by the blending of dots of black and yellow. | references is somewhat less complete than that As an example of the author's skill in microscopic adopted in the 1900 catalogue, but by aid of the introphotography, we reproduce from this chapter his en- duction it is easily possible to find any given kind of larged figure of the egg of the butterfly in question. apparatus. A glance through the catalogue is
Another chapter we have read with special interest sufficient to show its utility, and it is to be hoped that is the one on the gorse, in which the author points the support given to the proposed optical convention out how this plant retains evidence of its relationship and exhibition in May next will be sufficient to justify to the clovers in the form of its seed-leaves; while he the committee in issuing a catalogue of English also suggests that the broom may be regarded as in optical goods which will serve the same purpose. some degree representing a plant in course of evolu- The chemical section at the exhibition contained a tion to the gorse type, but that its career to this reading-room and library, and in this an interesting goal has been checked by the fact of its having a collection of alchemistic work was shown. Besides bitter taste, which renders its leaves, unlike those of these most of the important modern German works the gorse, uneatable by cattle, so that a protective on chemistry were to be found on the shelves. Two panoply of spines is superfluous. As a specimen of very interesting exhibits were the alchemistic laborathe author's exquisite photographs of plants, we re- tory, containing partly original apparatus, partly produce the one showing the broom in blossom. Of copies of old examples from the
in the other chapters dealing with plants, one is devoted Nuremberg, and the Liebig laboratory, a faithful to their hairs and scales, in the course of which the copy of the well-known laboratory at Giessen. The author expresses his belief that he has brought to rest of the exhibition illustrated' modern chemical notice a hitherto undescribed type (in the Auricula); apparatus, methods and preparations. a second chapter is accorded to the sensitive plant, a The object of the medical exhibit is said to have been third to the flowers of woodland trees, a fourth to "to show how the German universities deal with the plant-battles, and a fifth to plants that catch flies. subject of medical instruction,” and this was attained by
Reverting to the zoological series, it may be judiciously grouping the articles shown, and by carementioned that the devotion of two chapters to the fully selecting the apparatus. Naturally, various biographies of a couple of nearly allied species of methods are adopted in the different branches; thus, hawk-moth is perhaps an ill-judged arrangement, as in the department of internal medicine a complete giving too much importance to one group. Be this clinical lecture on the diagnosis and therapeutics of as it may, the chapter entitled “Living Files and tuberculosis is included, the objects required for Rasps,'' in which are described and figured the lingual | demonstrating it being exhibited. ribbons of a number of species of gastropods, can Among the apparatus, the microscopes and projecscarcely fail to be generally interesting, although it tion apparatus of Karl Zeiss occupy a prominent place. would have been better had the author in every case It is noteworthy that among the infectious diseases particularised the genus and species to which his and disease germs tuberculosis comes first. specimens pertain, instead of merely labelling them The catalogue contains a full list of the exhibits " snails.” In the chapter on mosquitoes and gnats with some account of the principal among them, and the author does his best to clear up the popular mis- it is clear that great pains have been taken to secure conception with regard to these insects, and show's that the primary object of the exhibition should be how the female, so far as mankind is concerned, is carried out. the source of all harm and evil.
The three catalogues, in their completeness and While, as already stated, it is somewhat marred by orderly arrangement, are examples of the German plan errors and inelegances of style, the book as a whole of carrying the teaching and method of science into may be pronounced decidedly interesting and everyday life. attractive, and free from all cant and faddism.
The council of the Linnean Society has appointed a comGERMAN EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS AT ST.
mittee to consider the question of zoological nomenclature. LOUIS.
Prof. LANCEREAUX has been elected president for 1905 THE German educational exhibit at St. Louis was, of the Société internationale de la Tuberculose.
as is usual with German exhibits, remarkably The Canadian Government has decided to place a complete, and to enhance its value series of descriptive catalogues was issued. Among the science
Marconi wireless telegraph station on Sable Island. The catalogues three scientific instruments,
station will come into operation by August i next. chemistry, and medicine respectively which have
M. PAUL LABBÉ has been appointed general secretary of special interest for readers of NATURE. They are all on the Paris Society of Commercial Geography in success on the same plan, and include a general introduction ex- to the late Ch. Gauthiot.
Mr. Alfred Bert has informed the honorary treasurers 262,7041., is in respect of the elementary education grants of the Institute of Medical Sciences Fund, University of With a view to the further development of the National London, that he has decided to increase the amount of Physical Laboratory, Parliament is being asked to sanchis donation to the institute from 5000l. to 25,000l.
tion an increase of 1500l. on the grant in aid of salaries
and other expenses of the laboratory, and also an additional Senor Don IGNACIO BOLIVAR, of Madrid, has been
grant of goool. in aid of new buildings and equipment for elected an honorary fellow of the Entomological Society.
the same institution. Further provision is also included Profs. W. G. Farlow, H. S. Jennings, E. B. Wilson, and
for investigations in connection with the North Sea R. B. Wood have been elected honorary fellows of the
fisheries. Royal Microscopical Society.
The fourth International Ornithological Congress will The King's Institute of Preventive Medicine was opened
be held in London in Whitsun week, June 13-17. The at Madras on March 11. The institute supplies animal organising committee has been able to obtain from the vaccine to the whole of the Presidency, besides preparing University of London accommodation for the meeting at curative and prophylactic sera. On the opening day there
the Imperial Institute, and from the trustees of the British was an exhibition of bacteriological and sanitary engineer- Museum the use of the Natural History Museum for the ing appliances.
purpose of a conversazione on one evening of the week of A MOUNTED specimen of the great auk, formerly in the the congress. The Prince of Wales has consented to be Hawkstone collection, has been sold by Rowland Ward,
come the patron; and the two honorary presidents are Ltd., of Piccadilly, to one of the American museums for
Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria and Dr. A. R. Wallace, 4501. This is the “record ” price, the next highest being
F.R.S. The president-elect of the congress is Dr. Bowdler 3501. obtained some years ago by the same firm for a
Sharpe. The congress will be divided into general meer specimen now in a private museum.
ings and meetings of sections, of which there will be fire
as follows :-(1) systematic ornithology; general distribuDr. A. R. Wallace recently presented to the British tion,
anatomy and palæontology; (2) migration: 131 Museum a number of pencil drawings of fishes from the
biology, nidification, oology ; (4) economic ornithology and Rio Negro which were saved some fifty years ago at the bird protection ; and (5) aviculture. It is proposed to de time the veteran explorer's collections were burnt at sea
vote one day to an excursion to Tring to inspect the col on his return from the Amazonian journey. These draw- lection of birds belonging to Mr. Walter Rothschild. On ings, some fifty in number, were exhibited at one of the
June 16 the congress will be received by the Lord Mayce meetings of the Zoological Society, when it was stated
of London at the Mansion House. At the close of the that while some of the species depicted had been identified, proceedings in London, on the invitation of the Duke of others appeared to be still unknown to science. This
Bedford, an excursion will be made to Woburn to ries should stimulate investigation of the fish fauna of the the collection of live animals in Wobura Park, and the Amazonian system.
following day will be spent at Cambridge, where Pent M. JULES VERNE, whose works are better known in this
Newton will welcome the members at Magdalenc College country than those of any other French writer, died on Finally, a journey has been planned to Flamborough Head. March 24 at seventy-seven years of age. Jules Verne was
in Yorkshire, of special interest to ornithologists one of the first novelists to recognise and utilise the store of scientific knowledge as a source of material from which
The programme of arrangements for the Optical con
vention shortly to be held in London is now beginning tu attractive romances could be constructed. The charm of
assume a definite shape. The convention will be formall his style and the realism of his pictures have done much opened with an address from the president, Dr. R. T to encourage the study of science among boys and girls. Glazebrook, F.R.S., on the evening of Tuesday, May 3u. Few writers, indeed, have produced healthier and more and the gathering will extend over the four following days stimulating stories, or weaved fancy and fact together so up to and including Saturday, June 3. The mornings will successfully.
be devoted to papers and discussions, and in view of the On Saturday next, April 1, Lord Rayleigh will deliver interesting series of papers already announced, there is my the first of a course of three lectures at the Royal Institu- doubt that this most important section of the proceedingtion on some controverted questions of optics. On Tues
will result in valuable contributions to optical science, an: day, April 4, Mr. Perceval Landon will give the first of
will fulfil the aims which those who have been actise in two lectures on Tibet, and on Thursday, April 6, Prof.
promoting the convention have set before them. In addiMeldola will commence his course of two lectures on
tion to the papers, demonstrations of apparatus of special synthetic chemistry, experimental. The Friday evening
interest will be given in the afternoons in the laboratories discourse on April 7 will be delivered by Mr. Alfred Mosely
of the department of technical opties of the forthamptos on American industry, and on April 14 by Lord Rayleigh
Institute. An exhibition of optical and scientific instru on the law of pressure of gases.
ments will be held at the Northampton Institute, and mi
be open from May 31 to June 3, both dates inclusive. The The Estimates for Civil Services for the year ending catalogue is now in active preparation. The arrangems March 31, 1906, provide for education, science, and art, the made by the exhibition and catalogue " subcommitir total sum of 16,328,9471., being an increase of 533,409l. that each section should be dealt with by an expert in the over the grants for 1904-5.
There is an increase of construction of the instruments represented in the section 46,100l. for university colleges, the grant being raised from together with an independent scientific member of the 54,000l. to 100,000l. Of the increase 416,7901. under Board committee, will ensure that all classes of instruments shal of Education, the greater proportion must be described as be adequately dealt with and described. In addition to the automatic in character, due to the anticipated growth in presidential address to be given on the evening of May the number of scholars in average attendance, and to the there will be an evening lecture by Prof. S. P. Thompson larger number of teachers for whose training pro- F.R.S., on the polarisation of light by Nicol prisms and vision is made by the State. The principal increase, their modern varieties. On a third evening it is propose