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Comet 1909a (BORRELLY-DANIEL).-Several observations Johannesburg, South Africa. The instrumental equipment of this comet are recorded, and an ephemeris for it is is to be increased by the addition of a large refractor for given, in No. 4333 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. visual work, and a photographic astronomical telescope, Neither photographs nor eye observations show any re- the gist of Mr. Franklin Adams, so that this institution markable features, whilst the ephemeris indicates that the will now rank as an astronomical, as well as meteorbrightness is declining; on July 16 the comet will be but ological, observatory. about one-third as bright as when discovered. The distance from the earth is, at present, about 1.09 astro

THE COMETS OF 1907 AND 1908.-In a brochure pubnomical units, and is rapidly increasing.

lished by Prof. Kobold, comet observers will find a very

useful suinmary of the cometary phenomena of 1907 and THE SHAPE OF THE PLANET Mercury.-Referring to a

1908. Observations of fifteen comets were made during recent statement by Mr. Levander, that the equatorial those two years, and for each object Prof. Kobold gives diameter of Mercury has been shown to exceed the polar

a short summary of the observed phenomena, a diameter, M. R. Jonckheere, in No. 4333 of the Astro

elements where available, and a table of references to the pomische Nachrichten, expresses the belief that the opposite publications in which the observations were severally is the case. His observations, made during the most

recorded. recent transit of Mercury, indicated that the vertical diameter was the greater, the values being, vertical=9.46", equatorial=8.73" ; this is supported by other observers, THE ROYAL SOCIETY CONVERSAZIONE. whose results he gives. At present the positions of the equatorial and polar diameters of the planet are not THE ladies' conversazione at the Royal Society is always known, but M. Jonckheere contends that the statement

a brilliant function, and last week the presence of that the greater diameter is the one parallel to the celestial delegates and other distinguished foreign guests from the equator is, in the face of the evidence to the contrary,

Darwin celebration at Cambridge added to its interest. inadmissible.

The conversazione was held on June 24 in the rooms of

the society at Burlington House, and the guests were Observations of Sun-spots, 1908.—The results of the received by Sir Archibald Geikie, K.C.B., president. first year's regular observations of sun-spots at the Royal Many of the exhibits were also shown at the conversazione Observatory at Capodimonte (Naples) are given by Signor

held in May, and were described in NATURE of May 20 E. Guerrieri in No. 6, vol. iii., of the Rivista di Astro- (vol. lxxx., p. 347). Summaries of the other exhibits are nomia (Turin). The sun was observed on 304 days, and given below, based upon the descriptions in the official on five days was seen to be free from spots, whilst the catalogue, related subjects being here grouped together mean daily frequency of spot groups for the year was 5:3.

for convenience of reference. The first half of the year showed an excess of groups in

Dr. W. N. Shaw, F.R.S.: Representation of temperathe ratio 3/2, but the analogous ratio for single spots

tures and pressures in the atmosphere up to a height of was 4/5; altogether, 1606 groups and 9262 individual

fifteen miles, on July 27 and 29, 1908.--A. Fowler: spots were observed during the year. The observations Photographs of the spectrum of scandium. The photoare tabulated and discussed in several different ways, and, graphs show the varying intensities of the scandiumi lines if continued regularly, will form a useful supplement to

in the arc flame, normal are, and the arc in hydrogen. the work so ably performed by the other Italian observers. Corresponding differences are found in the spectra of sun

spots and prominences.-Messrs. Zeiss : Liquid crystals OBSERVATIONS OF SATURN AND ITS Rinds.-In No. 4331

observed under high temperatures with polarised light by of the Astronomische Nachrichten, M. Schaer records the micro-projection apparatus.-Dr. F. Edridge-Green : observations of Saturn and its ring system made at the Spectroscope for estimating colour perception. In the Geneva Observatory, with the 40 cm. Cassegrain reflector

focus of the instrument are two movable shutters, either constructed by himself, during the period September 18, of which is capable of moving across the spectrum. By 1908, to January 24, 1909. The chief feature recorded is means of the tivo shutters any given portion of the specthe discovery of the new dark ring announced on October can be isolated. Each shutter is controlled by a 7, 1908. This ring was

seen, but thought to be the drum graduated in wave-lengths, so that the position of shadow of the bright rings, on previous occasions, but

the edges of the shutters can be known.-C. E. S. Phillips : on October 5 it was seen to extend to the right and left, Permanently luminous watch dial and military night comand was therefore judged to be something more than pass. The watch dial is transparent (glass), and the shadow ; on October 6 the dark ring was to be figures are painted upon its upper surface. The dial is separated, and the planet, with its usual colour, was seen

backed with a compound containing a minute quantity through the interstice, which was about 3" to 4" long of RaBr, (radium bromide), which renders it luminous, so and 0.5" to 1" broad. In January of the present year

that the time may be casily read in the dark. The compass the new ring was seen more easily than during the pre

is arranged upon the same principle. By means of a ceding months.

luminous disc and strip, direction may be determined at M. Schaer's observations also suggest the presence of a

night. cloudy, absorbing atmosphere, and the occurrence of W. M. Mordey : The effect of electrostatic condensers in slight changes in the white ring between the crape-ring preventing or extinguishing arcs. A suitable condenser and the Cassini division. The invisibility of the rings placed in shunt to an are, or in shunt to a resistance in when their plane passes through the earth is probably due

series with an arc, will instantly extinguish the arc. If to the masking effect of the newly discovered outer dark

connected in shunt to the contacts before they are separated ring.

it will prevent the formation of an arc even in a circuit

having considerable electromotive force.-The Linolite TABLES

REDUCTION “ STANDARD Co- | Company: Metallic filament tubolite. The metal filaORDINATES TO RIGHT ASCENSION AND DECLINATION.-In ment is held at each end by a zig-zag spring to take up No. 4329 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Herr A. the expansion, and is supported by anchors at two interHnatek published a series of tables for the computation mediate points. The lamp may be placed in any position, of a and ó from the standard coordinates given in the and can be run on an alternating current or direct current catalogues of the international carte du ciel. A few copies circuit.- Hon. C. A. Parsons, F.R.S.: (1) Model of leakof these tables, printed on stout paper, have been prepared, age path device for regulating voltage of alternators. and may be obtained from the publishers for one mark per The apparatus depends on the following very simple fact, copy.

that while an alternating current cannot directly produce a unidirectional field, it can have

a strong action in THE TRANSVAAL OBSERVATORY, JOHANNESBURG.–From diminishing magnetic flux. When applied to an alternator, the Observatory (No. 410, p. 262, June) we learn that the field magnets of the exciter are provided with a leakage from July i next the institution directed by Mr. R. T. A. path, around which windings carrying alternating current Inncs is be known as the Transvaal Observatory, are placed. (2) Some samples of the blades used in steam

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turbines of Atlantic liners.--Hon. R. C. Parsons : -F. Enock : Living stick-insects (Bacillus rossi). The (1) “ Panflex" spring wheel for motor vehicles. The eggs of these stick-insects are less than one-eighth of an " Panflex ” spring wheel is an invention which has for its inch in diameter, and much resemble minute vase. On object the easy motion of a vehicle when run at low or emerging they are half an inch in length, and quickly high speeds. This ease of motion is due to the springs stretch themselves along a green twig, which they exactly being capable of deflection in every direction. The wheel resemble. Most of the specimens have changed their skins is not subject to bursts or punctures, prevalent in the case five tinies, the old skin being generally eaten. When of wheels fitted with pneumatic tyres. The wear and tear mature, these stick-insects attain a length of more than is small, and, should a spring break, which is seldom the 4 inches, and become of a brown colour, which harmonises case in practice, another can be inserted in a few minutes with the brown twig on which they rest. They are at a very small cost. (2) Working model apparatus for nocturnal feeders, and exceedingly amicable toward each recording the effects produced upon wheels of various other, treating each other as sticks, several often clinging descriptions when passing over obstacles. (3) Seismograph together.-Prof. George H. F. Nuttall, F.R.S., and Dr. apparatus for registering the jolts felt by the body of a Seymour Hadwen : The discovery of a curative treatment motor vehicle when run “ Panflex or pneumatic for malignant jaundice in the dog and for redwater in wheels.

cattle, with a demonstration of the effects of trypanblau The Director, Royal Gardens, Kew: (1) Specimens to upon the parasites. The disease known as malignant illustrate the wood Lignum nephriticum, and the fluores- jaundice (piroplasmosis) in dogs is exceedingly fatal. It cence of its infusion. Lignum nephriticum is the wood of has hitherto resisted all forms of treatment.

Both trypan“ Coatli ” (Eysenhardtia amorphoides), a small leguminous blau and trypanrot injected subcutaneously will cure Mexican An infusion of the wood

used prevent the disease. The effect of the drugs is exerted medicinally by the Aztecs. Soon after the conquest of directly upon the parasites (Piroplasma canis) which cause Mexico the Spaniards brought the wood to Europe, where the disease. The parasites may be observed to degenerate it was used for similar purposes, and excited remark and disappear from the blood within a few hours after owing to the blue fluorescence of the watery infusion of treatment. The parasite of redwater in cattle (Piroplasma the wood. The phenomenon was first described more fully bovis) is likewise affected by trypanblau. by Athanasius Kircher (1646), and J. Bauhin (1651), who Dr. C. D. Walcott, Secretary of the Smithsonian Instituused cups made of the wood. It was carefully studied tion: Panoramic views in the Rocky Mountains, U.S., by Boyle (1064). During the next century the wood itself and Canada.-Dr. A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S.: Skull of was lost sight of ; its origin remained unknown until quite Megalosaurus from the Great Oolite of Gloucestershire. recently. Plukenet (1696) suggested, and Dale (1737) and This is the first nearly complete skull of a carnivorous Linnæus stated, that it was the wood of the horse-radish dinosaur found in Europe, and agrees with the skull of tree (Moringa pterygosperma), which is, however, a native Ceratosaurus, from the Jurassic of Colorado, U.S.A., in of the Old World. Another source that has been suggested exhibiting a bony horn-core on the nose. The specimen is Pithecolobium Unguis-Cati, a native of the West Indies. was discovered by Mr. F. L. Bradley near Minchinhampton. (In charge of Dr. O. Stapf, F.R.S.) (i.) Wood of true -Dr. C. W. Andrews, F.R.S.: Remains of rhinoceros and Lignum nephriticum and cup turned from the same, and mammoth from the Thames alluvium under the offices of samples of infusions, presented to the Kew Museum as Lloyd's Weekly News, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, E.C.

cuatl." (ii.) Medicinal substitutes of Lignum nephriti- The specimens exhibited were :-(1) a nearly perfect skull cum :-(a) wood of Moringa pierygosperma, from Scinde ; of a young individual of the woolly rhinoceros (Rhinoceros (b) wood of Pithecolobium Unguis-Cati, from Florida ; tichorhinus), in which some of the milk-teeth were still (c) wood of tree, possibly a species of Imbricaria in use ; (2) a maxilla and nearly complete mandible of a (Sapotacea), fron tropical America, received from Paris in young mammoth (Elephas primigenius); the first and 1831 as Bois néphritique. (2) Plants of Ecanda (Raphion- second molars were in wear, the third not yet having acme utilis), and sample of rubber prepared at Kew from appeared.-Dr. F. A. Bather, F.R.S.: Sections of seasonal a tuber of it.-R. A. Robertson : Photographs (for identifi- clay from Stockholm. This clay, which deposite cation purposes) of the transverse surface of timbers.- | during the melting and retreat of the great ice-sheet in Prof. R. H. Yapp: Photographs of tropical vegetation. Sweden, may be described as fossil vears and seasons. The photographs were, for the most part, taken during The alternating bands of dark and light can be easily the Skeat Expedition to the Malay Peninsula (1899-1900). seen, and Baron G. de Geer (from whom the specimens - Prof. F. E. Weiss : (1) Some alien aquatic plants from have been received) believes that each cycle represents a the Reddish Canal, near Manchester ; (2) some South vcar, the lighter rock having beer formed during the meltAfrican aquatics grown in the laboratory, University of ing of the snows in spring. He has traced these bands Manchester.

for great distances, and has been able to map the changing R. I. Pocock: Warning coloration in some weasel-like limits of the ice-sheet from year to year through a long Carnivora. Animals which are nauseous or poisonous or period. This is the nearest approach to a definite chronodangerous to meddle with commonly have some means of logy by years that has yet been made by geologists, but it self-advertisement, such as conspicuous coloration or sound- still needs to be linked up to the chronology of human ing organs, which appeals to the sense of sight or of hear history.-Dr. Marie Stopes : The microscopic structure of ing of their enemies, warning the latter to let them alone : fossil plants from Japan. The nodules containing the plants but most mammals are coloured so as to be concealed were obtained in the river beds of the mountainous region either from their enemies or from the prey they feed upon. of northern Japan. They are of Cretaceous age, and conSuch concealment is commonly effected by counter-shading, tain fossil plants with their tissues so well preserved that the upper side being dark to tone down reflected light, the cells can be seen in microscopic sections of the stony and the lower side white to counteract shadow, the result matrix. All the plants are new to science, and among being obliteration of the shape and solidity of the body. them are several specimens of the first petrifaction of a Some of the weasel tribe, however, form an exception to flower hitherto discovered. The nodules contain ferns, this rule, being light above and black below, often with gymnosperms, and angiosperms, which form an interesting the white of the back, as in skunks, or of the head, as mixed fora, the first of the kind to be described from in badgers, emphasised by black stripes : and since these specimens showing their anatomical structure.-Prof. animals are known to possess glands which secrete fluids Flinders Petrie, F.R.S.: Ancient modelled heads of various with a fætid or suffocating odour, and since, also, they

These heads were found in the foreign quarter of are known to be desperate fighters and fearless and extra- Memphis, the capital of Egypt, and represent the various ordinarily tenacious of life, and to feed, for the most part, peoples who were known there, 500 b.c. to 200 B.C.

The upon vegetables or upon animal food, for the capture of Persian Empire, at that time, brought together all races which concealment is unnecessary, there are strong reasons

between Scythia and India, and the Mediterranean peoples for believing them to be conspicuously and warningly were familiar with Egypt before that. The modelling was coloured.-H. F. Angus : Stereoscopic photomicrographs. probably done by Greco-Egyptians. Most of these were The series comprise eggs of butterflies, moths, and para- found in the excavations of the British School of Archicosites; botanical objects, such as mycetozoa, leaf hairs, &c. logy in Egypt.

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SOME PAPERS ON INVERTEBRATES. are also histological differences in the hypodermis of the

males as compared with that of the females, as well COMMENCING with entomology, mention may be as distinctive features in the mouth-organs. made of a paper on new and little-known North

Three papers published by the U.S. National MuseumAmerican Tipulidæ, by Mr. C. W. Johnson, published in two in the Proceedings and one in the Bulletins-are vol. xxxiv., pp. 115-33, of the Proceedings the Boston

devoted to crinoids. In the first of these (Proceedings, Natural History Society. In addition to the description vol. xxxvi., pp. 391-410) Mr. A. H. Clark describes a of a number of new species, the paper contains the second collection of these organisms obtained by the S.S. diagnosis of the new genus Aeshnasoma, proposed for a Albatross, of which fifteen species, together with four left large tipulid with antennæ of the type of those of over from the first collection, are regarded as new, and Longurio, but with a wing-venation differing from both duly named, one of these forming the type of a that genus and Tipula.

genus. Eudoxocrinus alternicirrus, hitherto known only To the March number of Spolia Zeylanica Mr. T. B. by Challenger specimens, has been re-discovered, and its Fletcher communicates the first part of a monograph of habitat definitely determined, but several other Challenger the plume-moths of Ceylon, dealing in this instance with forms have not been met with. the members of the family Pterophoridæ. There are, it In the second of these papers (Bulletin No. 64) Miss will be remembered, two families of plume-moths, the one Elvira Wood, of Columbia University, gives a critical already mentioned and the Orneodida, or 24-plumed summary of Dr. Gerard_Troost's unpublished monograph group. Both are regarded by the author as very ancient of the fossil crinoids of Tennessee. Dr. Troost, who was types, but there appears to be little or no near relationship born in Holland in 1776, settled in Philadelphia in 1810, between the two groups, so that their mutual resemblance where he became one of the founders, and the first presimay probably be attributed to convergence. Although dent, of the Academy of Sciences. In 1827 he removed nothing definite is known in regard to the advantage to Tennessee, where he became professor of geology and gained by the splitting of the wings in these moths, the mineralogy, in Nashville University, holding that chair author suggests that when pace is not essential, a light until his death in 1850. Only about a month before his framework of wing supplemented by cilia will be superior death the manuscript of the monograph of Tennessee to the ordinary lepidopterous wing, in that it gives an crinoids was sent to the Smithsonian Institution for publiequal measure of support with less expenditure of muscular cation. After passing through various hands for five years, force. In the same issue Mr. P. Cameron describes certain this manuscript came into the possession of Prof. Hall, new Ichneumonidæ and Braconidæ rcared by Mr. Fletcher in whose custody it remained for upwards of forty years. from Ceylonese plume-moths.

The long period which has elapsed since it was written Part v. of the second volume of Records of the Indian

rendered re-writing practically imperative, but certain porMuseum is devoted to the revision, by Mr. E. Brunetti, of tions have been printed direct from the original MS. two groups of Oriental insects, namely, the flies of the Many of the original illustrations have been replaced by families Leptidæ and Bombyliidæ; the latter paper con- photographs or new drawings. taining a list of the known Oriental species, of which In the third paper of this series (Proceedings, vol. some are described for the first time.

xxxvi., pp. 179-00) Mr. Springer describes, under the To the Proceedings of the South London Entomological name of Isocrinus knighti, a new crinoid from the Jurassic and Natural History Society for 1908-9 Mr. H. S. Fremlin of Wyoming. contributes a paper on the results of experiments to show The molluscs collected on the north side of the Bay of the effect of physical and chemical agencies on butterfly Biscay by the Huxley in the summer of 1906 form the pupæ. The species forming the subject of the experiments subject of an article by Mr. A. Reynell in vol. viii., No. 4, were Vanessa urticae and Abraxas grossulariata, the total of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association. Out number of specimens treated being just over two thousand. of the seventy-five species collected, sixty-two have been Water and high temperature were the agents for the in- recorded from the British area. fluence of physical conditions, while the chemical agencies In No. 1678 of the Proceedings of the U.S. National employed were nitric and hydrochloric acids, chloride of Museum (pp. 431-4) Miss H. Richardson describes and lime, sulphur, hydrogen sulphide, and carbon disulphide. figures a specimen of the curious spiny woodlouse (Acantho. In the case of V. urticae, the death-rate was excessive niscus spiniger) of Jamaica. Although this isopod is stated when the pupæ were exposed to continuous high tempera- to be common in its native island, the type specimen in ture, hydrogen sulphide, and carbon disulphide. The pupa the British Museum and the one described by Miss Richardof A. grossulariata were in great measure destroyed in the con are believed to be the only examples in collections. water-laden atmosphere, and in the continuous high temperature failed to develop; hydrogen sulphide, on the other hand, was less harmful than in the case of the other species, although it crippled such adults as developed.

THE RESEARCH DEFENCE SOCIETY. Chlorine had a marked effect on the red colour of urticae, THE Speeches at the annual general meeting on June 25 but showed little result in the case of grossulariata.

of the Research Defence Society illustrated the wide To the June number of the Entomologists' Monthly and manifold interests of its work. It is, indeed, a Magazine Mr. R. S. Bagnall contributes an account of national society for telling the truth about a matter of four species of Thysanoptera new to the British fauna, national importance. It defends the good name, the among which Megathrips nobilis is also new to science. honour, of science against reckless and unscrupulous That species, the largest European representative of the opponents, and we are not surprised at the welcome that group, was first obtained by Dr. D. Sharp in Wicken Fen it received. The list of its 2500 members includes a very during 1896.

powerful and thoroughly representative collection of great Leaving insects for arachnids, we find in the April issue

The society has already formed a dozen branch of the Proceedings of the Philadelphia Academy Mr. N. societies, has given many lectures, and has distributed Banks cataloguing a collection of spiders from Costa Rica, much wholesome and honest literature: it has also pubwith descriptions of new species. The new forms are lished a volume of essays, written with authority, and about seventy in number, in addition to which there are pleasantly free from all controversy. Thus it has begun about a score of species not mentioned in “ Biologia well; and the report of its committee is justly satisfied Centrali-Americana.” Of the web-making species, a con

with the work of the past year.

We note here two of siderable number are common to the United States, but of the points made by speakers at the annual meeting. the other groups few kinds range so far north.

Sir James Dewar emphasised this fact, that Germany To vol. xxxviii., part iv., of the Travaux Soc. Imp. is far ahead of us in the equipment of great laboratories Nat. St. Pétersbourg, Mr. E. K. Suworow contributes for research in the “ borderland between physiology and an elaborate account of the anatomy of Ixodes reduvius, chemistry." Money is spent lavishly over the investigait tick exhibiting sexual dimorphism in a strongly marked tion of organic chemical bodies, the discovery and the degree. The much smaller males are, for instance, dis- / preparation of new organic drugs. The services of a tinguished from the females by a peculiar system of hundred expert and highly qualified men of science are at divisions in the external envelope of the body, while there the command of a single fir.n. They receive large salaries,

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In the long run, their united work is immensely these enemies cannot reach it. Most of the trees in profitable. Here is commercial rivalry, and more; here Paraguay are subject to the attacks of the leaf-cutting is better understanding of the right conditions of Atta, but, nevertheless, though unprotected by the presence applied science."

of Azteca, they continue to maintain their existence, even Lord Cromer, president of the society, took as a signal if belonging to introduced, and native, species. instance of the necessity for experiments on animals the Cecropia itself is not tenanted by ants until it is some recent discovery of a serum treatment in cases of epidemic years old. The presence of colonies of Azteca does not cerebro-spinal meningitis, that ghastly disease which goes prevent Cecropia from receiving much damage from the by the foolish name of " spotted fever." It is an acute attacks of other insect enemies, and Fiebrig is of opinion septic inflammation of the membranes of the brain and that the constant loss suffered by the tree from the dethe spinal cord. By experiments on animals it was proved predations of Azteca itself involves a more serious drain to be due to special germs of the order of diplococci. upon its vitality than the occasional raids of the leafFlexner and Jobling, working at the Rockefeller Institute, cutters. Finally, the occupation of Cecropia by these ants discovered a way of preparing, from immunised horses, a not only fails to afford protection against enemies other seruin containing a direct antidote, and this serum than the leaf-cutters, but even encourages the assaults of first used in the spring of 1907.

Before that time there such formidable foes as woodpeckers and internally feedwas no special treatment of the disease, and the mortality ing lepidopterous larvæ. ranged from 68.4 per cent. to 80.5 per cent. The children With regard to the association between Acacia cavena -it was mostly children-suffered terribly, and died in a and Pseudomyrma fiebrigi, the author points out that this few days; and of those who survived many were left, tree, in common with other species of Acacia, is profrom the intensity of the inflammation, imbecile, paralysed, tected against the ground-haunting Atta by the fact that or blind. By the use of the serum the mortality has been it grows only in situations which are constantly liable to reduced to 36.7 per cent. In Belfast, of 275 cases treated inundation. The thorns in which the ants take up their before the use of the serum, 72-3 per cent. died, and of abode have frequently been already hollowed out and ninety-eight cases treated with the serum 29.6 per cent. furnished with apertures of access by lepidopterous larvae ; died.

moreover, the spaces tenanted by the ants are not conThe Research Defence Society exists to keep the public fined to the thorus, but extend also to the stem. In neither informed of such facts as these, and we hope that it will situation do they occur naturally, but in both they are have a long record of such victories over disease.

cxcavated, as in Cecropia, whether by ants or caterpillars, at the expense of the living tissues of the trec.

On these grounds Fiebrig concludes that, at any rate IS THE ASSOCIATION OF ANTS WITH

so far as the species observed by him are concerned, the

benefits of the association between trees and ants are not TREES A TRUE SYMBIOSIS?

mutual, but are enjoyed by the ants alone. There is no THE fact has long been known that some species of

doubt that the reasons for his view adduced by Fiebrig anis occur in constant association with certain kinds

are of great weight. At the same time, it cannot be said of trees. Thus members of the dolichoderid genus Azteca

that these observations are sufficient of themselves to disare often found inhabiting the interior of the stems of

prove altogether the existence of ant-plant symbiosis, Cecropia peltata, and among the Pseudomyrmini P. bicolor

F. A. D. forms its nests within the spines of the “ bull's-horn" acacia. The view has been held by many naturalists, amongst others by Fritz Müller and Bates, that in these

UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL cases the benefit is mutual, the tree affording both shelter

INTELLIGENCE. und sustenance to its occupants, and receiving in return protection from the attacks of the formidable leaf-cutting

OXFORD). --The following is the text of the speech ants of the genus Atta and of other enemies. Doubts on

delivered by Prof. Love in presenting Dr. G. E. Hale for this point have been expressed by several authorities,

the degree of D.Sc., honoris causa, at the Encænia on among them by Dr. David Sharp, in whose opinion

“there June 24:is reason to suppose that a critical view of the subject

Inter Astronomos qui ea quæ in æthere solem circumwill not support the idea of the association being of supreme

fuso geruntur investigant nemini cedit Georgius Ellery importance to the trees."

Hale. Qui vir duodeviginti abhinc annos primus omnium A careful investigation of the relations subsisting

fabricatus est instrumentum illud, ad lucis e solis puncto between the arboreal species of Azteca and Pseudomyrmà quovis emisse naturam cognoscendam aptissimum, quo and the trees which they inhabit has lately been conducted

hodie utuntur omnes fere solis observatores. Hoc subin Paraguay by Karl Fiebrig, who has published his

sidio fretus potuit flammas illas excurrentes, quæ solis results, illustrated by numerous photographic reproduc- defectu plerumque cernuntur; sole pleno quasi in pictura tions, in the current volume of the Biologisches Central- exprimere : mox plagas lucidissimo candore fulgentes, quas blatt. His conclusions may be summarised as follows:-

faculas vocant, eodem modo repræsentare. Idem nuper Azteca not only makes use of internodal cavities already

docuit procellis hunc æthera vexantibus tenuissimas existing in the stem of Cecropia peltata. but excavates

materiæ particulas quasi turbine quodam agitatas vim fresh spaces or enlarges existing ones at the expense of magneticam miro modo gignere : quæ omnia nemo deliving tissues of the tree. Fritz Müller described certain

monstrare potuit nisi excogitandi peritissi:mus, in obserpits, in the stem of Cecropia where the wall is much

vando patientissimus, in causis cognoscendis sagacissimus. thinner. These spots, he says, are selected by the female

Neque ei satis erat Vature arcana reserare, sed Obserant for the purpose of gaining access to the interior of

vatoria duo in orbe terræ maxima fere et instructissima the stem. But, according to Fiebrig, the ants effect their

condidit atque ornavit : idem Ephemeridem, in qua reentrance into new internodal spaces by perforating the

centissima de siderum natura ubique reperta pervulgantur, partitions in the stem before they have gnawrd through

conscribendam curavit. Sodalicium denique maximum inihe thin bottoms of the pits; morcover, openings to the

stituit quo omnes omnibus ex terris huius militiæ cælestis exterior are often made irrespective of the situation of the

contubernales congregarentur. pits, and when the latter are perforated the boring is, in ST. ANDREWS.-Dr. William Vicoll, who has for some certain cases, effected from within, and not from without. years carried out important researches on the parasites Neither the internodal spaces nor the pits can therefore of birds, fishes, and other forms at the Gatty Marine reasonably be considered as myrmecophilous adaptations. Laboratory, has just been elected to the Ernest Hart Again, the alleged protection against leaf-cutting ants memorial scholarship. must often be superfluous, since the Cecropia, with its Dr. J. C. Irvine, lecturer on organic chemistry in the

University, has been appointed by the University court to 1 "Cecropin peliata und ihr Verhältnis zu Azteca Allari, zu Atta sexdens und anderen Insekten. Ein kriti«cher Reitrag zur Ameisenpflanzen-Hypo

the chair of chemistry in St. Andrews, vacant by the By Karl Fiebrig (San Bernardino, Paraguay).

resignation of Prof. Purdie.

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The Viscountess Falmouth will present the prizes at the consists of a president (Mr. S. S. Young), four English Horticultural College, Swanley, Kent, Thursday, professors in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, July 15. Sir John Cockburn will take the chair mining, and physical faculties respectively, two Chinese 4 p.m.

literati, and a clerical staff. A four years' course A American physicist, Prof. E.

F. prescribed, and there are now more than 200 students in Nichols, of Columbia University, has been elected presi- regular attendance from various parts of the country.

Residential accommodation is provided for 160 students, dent of Dartmouth College, a leading New England

together with houses for the staff, dining hall, and three institution with more than 1200 students. Dr. Nichols is a graduate of Cornell, and held chairs at Colgate and

educational buildings. All technical lectures are delivered Dartmouth before being appointed to his present post at

in English. While the equipment is as yet far from Columbia.

being complete, it is indisputable that the existence of

such an institution is a factor which cannot be disregarded The issue of The Record, the magazine of the South- when considering the future position of the Empire. Western Polytechnic Institute, Chelsea, London, for May,

MR. David BOYLE, the curator of the Provincial Museum contains an account of this year's prize distribution, when

of Toronto, had the degree of LL.D. of the University of Dr. H. A. Miers, F.R.S., the principal of the C'niversity

Toronto conferred on him on June 12, for his eminent of London, delivered an address. The report of the principal of the institute, an abstract of which is printed in

services in the cause of archæology and ethnology. Dr. the magazine, shows that there were 2573 students under

Boyle has been incapacitated for some time, and as he his supervision during 1907–8.

was too ill to attend the regular Convocation, the authori

ties paid him the unique compliment of holding a special The King has consented to lay the foundation-stone of Convocation at his residence, and of conferring the degree the new buildings of the Imperial College of Science and while he was lying in bed. Dr. Boyle was presented by Technology, South Kensington, on July 8. The building Prof. Galbraith, and in the absence of the president, who is to accommodate the departments of mining and metal- had sailed for England, the degree was conferred by the lurgy of the Royal School of Mines, geology of the Royal vice-president, Prof. Ramsay Wright. Dr. Bovle went to College of Science, and the extension of the engineering Canada in 1836, and in the face of great difficulties has department (City and Guilds College), and will be

built up the fine archæological and ethnological collections situated on the land in Prince Consort Road lying to the in the Provincial Museum of Toronto. He is best known east of the Royal College of Music, and extending so far to students as the editor of, and chief contributor to, the as Exhibition Road.

annual archæological reports of the museum. They were The fourth annual issue of the “Girls' School Year | begun in 1898, and form a valuable record of Canadian Book (Public Schools) has now appeared. The book archæology and ethnology. The later reports have been becomes year by year complete, and certainly duly noticed in Nature. We congratulate Dr. Boyle on provides a useful directory for those interested in the this academic honour, which

life of selfeducation of girls. It is, however, still difficult to under sacrificing and poorly remunerated toil for the subjects he stand the editors' method of selection of schools for de- has so much at heart. tailed treatment. Among new features this year The proceedings at the inauguration of Mr. R. C. articles on domestic science, teachers' registration, the Maclaurin as president of the Massachusetts Institute of teaching of music in public secondary schools, and a list Technology have been reported at considerable length in of lecturers suitable for schools. The volume is published the American Press. One of the chief speakers was Mr. by the Year Book Press, c/o Messrs. Swan Sonnenschein Bryce, who greeted the new president as a fellow-Briton, and Co., Ltd., and its price is 2s. 6d. net.

a fellow-Scotsman, and a fellow-member of Lincoln's Inn. A FULLY illustrated description of the college of engineer

Mr. Bryce said that Englishmen and Scotsmen would ing of the University of Illinois is contained in the issue

naturally be sorry that Mr. Maclaurin was not serving of the University of Illinois Bulletin for March 8.

their country “in one of the new institutions which we Descriptions are provided of the work and equipment of

have lately founded to try to make up for lost time in

the promotion of scientific instruction. the eight departments of the college, as well as those of

Still, “a scienthe engineering experiment station and the school of

tific inquirer and teacher helps the whole world by the railway engineering and administration. The college has

work which he does anywhere in it." In his own inbeen organised to give such training to young men

augural address, President Maclaurin emphasised the will enable them to do efficient work in the branch of

following articles in his creed as an educator :-(1) that engineering or architecture they may select, to meet the

the end of education is to fit men to deal with the affairs demand for highiy specialised instruction and research,

of life honestly, intelligently, and efficiently ; (2) that in and to conduct investigations of value to the industrial

the higher education of a large and increasing section enterprises of Illinois and distribute the knowledge gained.

of the community science should play a very prominent,

if not a leading, part; (3) that science and culture must In the course of his recent presidential address to the Society of Chemical Industry, of which a short abstract

go hand in hand, science being studied and taught in

such a way as to make for that broad and liberal outlook appeared in NATURE of June 3. Prof. Meldola made the on the world that is the mark of the really cultured man; following appreciative remarks on the modern methods of laboratory instruction in chemistry :-“ It is unnecessary

and (4) that “ above all we must preserve in our students here to dwell at too great a length upon the general prac

the freshness and vigour of youth, and see to it with

all care that their natural powers of initiative are improved tical training, although I should like to add that if the level has been raised, and if our teaching has become more

and not checked by our training." philosophical, we are mainly indebted to a former occupant

In recent years there has grown up in connection with of this chair, Prof. Emerson Reynolds, who is unquestion

local education authorities in all parts of the country ably the pioneer reformer in the laboratory teaching of

systems of scholarships providing for the education of chemistry. I am glad of this opportunity of acknowledg- different grades, and also for young men and

boys and girls of varying ages and attending schools of ing the indebtedness of teachers to Prof. Reynolds, because, amidst the later clamour, his share in the develop

anxious to continue their education after school days are ment of chemical teaching has been overlooked. This

The report of the higher education subcommittee address is published in full in the current number of the

on the scholarship scheme of the London County Council, journal of the society.

recently adopted by the Council, provides an exhaustive

account of the educational facilities offered in London to EVIDENCE of the rapid development of the Chinese the sons and daughters of parents of limited incomes who Empire will be found in an article in Engineering for have sufficient ability, as tested by examinations, to profit June 18 dealing with the engineering and mining college by continued attendance at school and college. The report at Tang Shan, North China. This college was founded indicates that in London, as elsewhere, there has been a in 1906 for the education of Chinese students, and is in disposition to multiply unduly the number of scholarships connection with the Imperial Railways of North China, ofiered for competition, with the result that in certain both being under imperial administration. The

staff

districts there has had to be a marked lowering of standard

as

women

over.

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