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mutability of matter has been shaken; even the notion THIS

more than six years since the second supplement REDUCTION OF GEODETIC MEASURES. appeared, and in the interval the study of the kathode

The Adjustment of Observations by the Method of stream, the phenomena of radio-activity, and in general

Least Squares, with Applications to Geodetic Work. of everything concerned with the propagation of elec- By T. W. Wright, with the cooperation of J. F. tricity in gases has given rise to a new conception Hayford. Second edition. (New York: D. Van of electrical conductivity, and of the ultimate con- Nostrand Co.; London : A. Constable and Co., Ltd., stitution of what were once called the “electrical

1906.) Price 3 dollars net, or 12s. 6d. net. fluids." The faith of scientific men in the non-trans

'HIS is a book which in its original form grew out of

the experience and requirements of the U.S. Coast of material mass tends to be absorbed in that of

and Geodetic Survey. As points of novelty or diffielectromagnetic inertia.

culty arose in the course of the work and were solved This is the state of things as set forth in the pre

by the staff, Mr. Wright collected the decisions and face to this supplement; no surprise need be felt, then,

the methods as guides for the treatment of similar at its large size compared with that of the preceding cases in the future. The systematic arrangement of numbers. The portion dealing with radiations in

these cases, and the discussion of the principles which cludes amongst other things an account of recent

furnished the solution, provided a mass of materia work on the energy of a block body, the pressure which has been of great service to the department of radiation, the laws of dispersion (normal and An opportunity has now arisen for the revision o. anomalous), remainder rays, and N-rays. In regard this work, and in the belief that the information to the last-named subject, we have no wish to be dog- would be of advantage in many operations connected matic; there is certainly some evidence that M. with scientific engineering, the original author, in Blondlot has been experimenting with objective, and collaboration with Mr. J. F. Hayford, chief of the not entirely with subjective; phenomena, and if this computing division and inspector of geodetic work, isso, experiments should not cease until the exact

has given to this material the form of a treatise. nature of these phenomena has been established. But

The book is eminently practical. The authors do when M. Bouty devotes nearly two pages to this sub- not enter into the question whether the principle of ject, and does not even hint that there is doubt, least squares suggests the best or the only method amounting to disbelief, in the minds of most of the

for deriving from a mass of imperfect data a result leading physicists of the world in regard to this that will command general confidence. They recogmatter, we think that he is hardly doing justice to it. nise the fact that the method has secured an im

In electricity, leading sections deal with wireless pregnable place in all inquiries to which it is aptelegraphy, polyphase currents, the ionic theory, and plicable, and proceed at once to discuss the law of the work of Nernst. Under the head of ionisation

error on the ordinary Gauss-Chauvenet lines. The are taken the phenomena of ionisation in gases and subject necessarily does not lend itself to any novelty radio-activity. The volume concludes with some mis- of treatment. The value of the earlier chapters at cellaneous practical applications of electricity.

least lies in the fact that the authors place before Any who are familiar with the main treatise and us the results of a wide and profound experience. the previous appendices will know that M. Bouty is Everywhere they keep in sight the practical treatment, a master of lucid exposition; there is no need to com- insisting on the importance of arithmetical checks mend this volume to them. Those who are desirous and processes of abbreviation. In this connection one of learning, in brief but clear summary, the present is glad to see Doolittle's system of solution set out state of knowledge in regard to the above supremely in a complete scheme, as well as other processes which important subjects may be recommended to read this have a practical application. appendix.

The question of the rejection of discordant observ(3) The third of the above books is the first volume ations will always occasion a computer some anxiety of a course of elementary physics based on lectures The authors have evidently suffered, and the practical delivered to classes consisting largely of medical rule given here may not be generally accepted, but students. As the reader is assumed to be attending is valuable as showing, presumably, what is the prar. experimental lectures and, if possible, performing ex- tice in the U.S. Geodetic Survey. The authors advis. perimental work himself in a laboratory, small space that no observation should be retained for which the is given here to descriptions of experiments and of residual exceeds five times the probable error of a methods of observation.

single observation, and that all observations the reThe subjects dealt with are mechanics, and the pro- siduals of which exceed three and a half times the properties of bodies in the solid, liquid, and gaseous bable error of a single observation should be examined, states. The sixth chapter consists of thermodynamical and rejected, if any of the conditions under which the considerations in respect to gases. This chapter is observation was made were such as to produce any undoubtedly very lucid, but we think that its proper

lack of confidence. The conviction is also expressed place is later on-after calorimetry. The mathematics

that an observer's best observations are poorer than employed is simple, and the treatment very clear. The

he believes them to be, and his poorest better. As name of the author is, of course, a sufficient guar- a consequence of this the range of weights that obantee of the nature of the book. We look forward servers attach to their observations is too large. to seeing the German translation of the remainder. Actual geodetic measures necessarily introduce the



problem of conditioned observations, in which no set points out how easy it is to get wonderful results of values can be assumed to satisfy approximately by means of a sharp tool running for short periods the observation equations which does not exactly by comparison with work done under ordinary shop

conditions. Such work, as a rule, does not pay. satisfy some a priori conditions. This problem may

We can recommend this volume to all interested not necessitate any fresh method of treatment, but the

in machine-shop practice. The machines dealt with applications are somewhat unusual, and, again, it are of the latest type, and much useful information of very great importance to know what is done in will be found scattered through its pages. actual practice. The authors have given us a valuable

N. J. L. treatise, prepared with care, and generally free from

Lectures on the Method of Science. Edited by T. B. errors. There is some confusion in the numbering of Strong, Dean of Christ Church. Pp. viii + 249. the figures after p. 193, but this, if annoying, is of (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1906.) Price 75. 6d. net. less importance than any error in the formulæ. These lectures formed part of a course on scientific

W. E. P.

method delivered at the University Extension summer meeting at Oxford last August. The discourses are

intended to illustrate the forms taken by scientific OUR BOOK SHELF.

method in various departments of research. Prof. Modern Milling Machines. By Joseph G. Horner.

Case deals with scientific method as a mental operPp. ix + 304. (London: Crosby Lockwood and

ation; Prof. Francis Gotch, F.R.S., treats of various Son, 1906.) 125. 6d. net.

aspects of the method; Prof. C. S. Sherrington,

F.R.S., describes the scope and method of physiology; MODERN machine shop in any large works would the lecture by the late Prof. Weldon discusses inheritbe very incomplete indeed without a full comple

ance in animals and plants; Dr. W. McDougall exment of milling machines. The proportion of ini plains the psychophysical method; Dr. A. H. Fison class of machinery very largely depends upon the applies the method to the question of double stars, class of work dealt with. For instance, in a sewing- Sir Richard Temple to the evolution of currency and machine, cycle, or motor-car factory the milling coinage, Prof. W. M. Flinders Petrie, F.R.S., to machine would predominate, being in many specialised archæological evidence, and the Rev. Dr. Strong to forms, each machine designed for some particular history. function. On the other hand, in a general engineer- From the nature of the case, the arguments are ing establishment any milling machines installed

such as to appeal to persons of general culture rather would be of the universal type, and capable of deal- than to specialists. If Oxford were as energetic in ing with many different operations, such as the uni

the prosecution of scientific research as she is in versal machines made by Brown and Sharpe, of U.S.A., and many others.

popularising knowledge by means of extension lec

tures, men of science would probably be disposed It is only during recent years

that milling to think her activities better and more suitably machinery has come prominently to the front, prin- directed. The omission of an index can never be cipally due to the fact that designers of such machines justified in the case of a scientific book, but that a have grasped the fact that they must be made

work devoted to scientific method should be deficient of ample weight with large bearing and wearing in this respect is an irony which cannot be overlooked. suriaces, so as to ensure steady running without spring of the machine and consequent vibration. The Secrets of Dog-Feeding. By “Great Dane." Another very important consideration is the possi- Pp. ix + 58. (Southampton : Toogood and Sons, bility of obtaining suitable material for the cutters

1906.) used. The cost of making a milling cutter is in- The mere fact that this little work has reached finitely more than the value of the cast steel used. its second edition within less than a year of the It is evident, therefore, that when_once completed date of its first appearance may be taken as a suffithe cutter should have a long life. This desideratum cient guarantee that it has obtained the verdict of has been rendered possible by the introduction of approval from dog-owners, and is therefore a success, high-speed tool steel, the results obtained being of The author is of opinion that the nature of the food a most satisfactory nature, particularly those_from is a matter of prime importance in the case of valuthe " Air-hardened” steel manufactured by Edgar able, highly-bred dogs, and one which too often Allen and Co., of Sheffield. The cost of the material, receives but insufficient attention on the part of their therefore, is a secondary consideration.

masters. While advocating a mixed diet, he depreIn the volume under notice the author describes cates the use of green vegetables, which has of late very fully many different types of machines, and years come much into fashion among many dogprobably one of the best chapters is that dealing with owners; and he adds that to a dog which has been the design and manufacture of the cutters. The kept largely upon farinaceous food the change to power required very largely depends on the design a meat diet in later vears will often produce highly of cutter used, other things being equal; to use satisfactory results. The constituents of nearly all cuttra in any degree dull is also poor economy.

the foods referred to are given, so that readers can Inother valuable assistant to the milling machine judge for themselves as to their nutritious value, and its cutters is the introduction of special cutter

R. L. grinding machines, which, I believe, emanated from the Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing Company.

In My Garden. A Little Summer Book for Nature Many of these machines are described and illus- Lovers. Pp. 72. (Wellingborough: The Laventrated, the author having gone very fully into the

der Press; London : Philip and Tacey, Ltd., 1906.) subject. This is as it should be, since a good cutter

Price is. net. is of the utmost importance in milling work. Tuis dainty little memorandum book, with its blank

Chaptes xi. is too short, though very interesting; pages for notes on experiments in gardening and it deals with the subject of feeds and speeds. On other observations of natural objects, will please all these constant worries of a machine-shop manager students of country life. The well-selected quotations our author has much to say, and sensible advice to and the hints on table decoration should appeal to a give, and we cordially agree with him where he wide circle of readers.


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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. (The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions

expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. No notice is taken of anonymous communications.)

Inheritance of an Abnormality, A Case of the heredity of an abnormality of the hand may be of interest to some of your readers.

A father and a mother with normal hands had a family of three sons and seven daughters. The eldest son had an abnormality of each hand, the second and third fingers being apparently jointed to the same bone, and the third daughter has a different abnormality, both hands being affected. The accompanying skiagram, kindly taken for me by Mr. J. J. Blake, of Onslow Road, Richmond, will

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Thermometer Scales. A DECIDED disadvantage of the centigrade scale in meteorology is the use of negative numbers for temperatures below freezing point. In taking out means of months where negative numbers occur the labour is doubled, and other additional sources of error have to be avoided.

The Fahrenheit scale is not so liable to this trouble, but there are other objections to its use. Both of these scales might be superseded by a scale starting from absolute zero, on which the temperature of melting ice is 350° Such a scale is compared in the following table :


• Positive Absolute zero


- 459 Mercury melts


300 Ice melts

+ 32 350 Very hot weather

+ 39 + 102 Water boils

+ 100

+212 The great advantage of this positive scale in meteorology is that temperatures, except the most unusual, fall between 300° and 400°, so that temperature columns might be headed

300° plus." On this scale water, under a pressure of 31.3 inches, boils at 480°, so that the most important temperatures in physics are easy to remember.

R. T. A. INNES. Government Observatory, Johannesburg, May 12.

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Solar and Lunar Halos. An interesting halo round the sun was seen a few miles from here, on Dartmoor, from 7.30 p.m. to sunset on June 7. The halo consisted of a double circle, the inner one having an angular radius of about fifteen to twenty degrees, with concentrations of light at the top and at the right extremity--the bottom of the ring was below the horizon, and the left extremity hidden by clouds—and a concentrated ray from the sun to the top of the circle. The outer circle was double the diameter of the inner one, and much fainter. A similar halo round the moon (with the exception of the outer circle) was observed the same evening.

ROWLAND A, EARP. The Laboratory, Buckfastleigh, Devon, June 12.

Fig. 1.-Abnormal band of third daughter.

show the character of this abnormality. All the remaining children had normal hands.

The eldest son had two children without abnormalities, and the second son three children that were normal. The eldest daughter had one son and two daughters normal; i the son has two normal children, the first daughter one child abnormal, and the second daughter two children normal.

Reiurning to the third daughter with the abnormal hands, all her eight children are normal; the fourth daughter has two normal children; the fifth daughter has two children abnormal and five normal: the sixth has three normal, and the seventh five normal children.

There is no tradition of abnormalities in any of the relations of the father or mother. It may be mentioned that the husbands of the eldest and fifth daughters, some


THE GOVERNMENT. THE great deputation on behalf of the Roval

Society of Edinburgh, which waited on the Secretary for Scotland at the Scottish Office in Parliament Square in Edinburgh on June 1, stated a strong case in favour of more liberal treatment of the society by the Government. As one speaker expressed it, they were met there on Scottish soil. indeed at the very heart of the ancient metropolis of the kingdom of Scotland, to confer with their own Secretary of State, and to urge the claim of a society



which has been identified with scientific progress in accompanied by a statement of the willingness of the Scotland during the nineteenth century to remain in Government to do something to "help" the Society its old hope, and receive some small assistance in in the difficulty thus created for it by no fault of its producing its Transactions and Proceedings. It must Though Mr. Sinclair has now gone a good b: admitted that this appeal met with only a very deal further, and admitted that the Government will disappointing response.

be under an obligation to do something substantial, The Royal Society was the heir and successor of a he still merely speaks of “ help,” and urges the Society previous society which was established in 1731, and to trust to the “ liberal spirit” in which the Governtherefore has been practically contemporary with the ment is sure to view its necessities ! great sientific illumination which had its beginning in Now this is all very well, but, as Mr. Sinclair knows, Newton's “ Principia.” After an existence of about it is not exactly business. The Government of the day half a century the society was established, in 1826, in has always been lavish of assurances of its high conthe Royal Institution on the Mound in Princes Street, sideration to the men of science who have applied to it the building in the form of a classic Greek temple, in the past, whether for the Royal Society of Edinwhich with the unfinished national monument on the burgh, the Ben Nevis Observatory, or anything else, ('alton Hill-the Edinburgh Parthenon--and some but for science in Scotland at least it has consistently other public buildings on classic models, affords the refused to do anything, whatever beyond continuing outward and visible part of the claim of Edinburgh to the small dole it has hitherto given. The society is le called the Modern Athens. Of the real distinc- not justified, therefore, in being too trustful. It is being tion of the city, its eminence in the arts, science, and dispossessed, and its claim for compensation should letters, the Royal Society has undoubtedly contributed either be recognised by a clause in the Bill now before a very considerable part. Never a scientific society Parliament or acknowledged by being made the subject unly in the purely technical sense of the present day, of a definite pledge by the responsible Minister. and never imposing any arbitrary restriction on its Another assurance asked for by the society and no F.llowship, it has had on its roll and among its less essential remains to be given. Time is needed in presidents and office bearers all the authors, jurists, which to find the best possible premises, to fit them philosophers, mathematicians, and physical investi- up, remove the library, and arrange for the meetings, gators whom Scotland has produced during the without interruption of the society's work. At present eventful period of the society's existence.

the council has only a legal right to two years' notice, Though, like others that might be cited, the Royal and a definite promise that this much too narrow limit Society of Edinburgh has been from time to time per- of time will not be insisted on is most important. As haps a little too closely identified with the city in which it is, the insistence of the Scottish Secretary on the it has had its headquarters, it has always been a necessity for promptitude of decision and action by national institution. Its library, which is rich in the society is ominous. scientific periodicals, has been consulted by men from With regard to the promise of “ help" towards the all parts of Scotland, and its rooms have been a rally- erection, or provision otherwise, of new rooms, it is ing place for Scottish workers, especially in later years to be observed that the society has no funds to confor the younger generation of biologists, mathe- tribute to the erection or purchase of a building. Every maticians, and physicists. It was never more active penny left after providing for a very modest budget than at present, and is in danger of being ruined by of ordinary expenses

goes to the publication of its very success, for the problem of providing for the scientific papers.

The dole of zool. made by • xpense of the publication of the many excellent Government is actually paid back to he Board of memoirs which have been received of late for its Manufactures as rent for the rooms in the Royal Transactions has seriously embarrassed the council. Institution. For publications the Royal Society of This point should be carefully borne in mind in con- Edinburgh receives nothing; the Royal Society -idering the reply of the Scottish Secretary to the depu- of London receives 1000l. per annum for public tition. The demand made was not merely that the cations; the corresponding body in Ireland-the society should not be dispossessed of its rooms with- Royal Irish Academy-- lives in its

house, out full compensation (though this was the immediate which was given it by the Government, and enjoys a reason for the deputation), but that it should be treated grant of 1500l. a year. Moreover, the houses in with regard to publications in a small degree at least London and Dublin are maintained by the Board of to the Royal Society of London and the Royal Irish Works, which means a further yearly contribution Academy are treated.

not made to the Edinburgh society. ] The request of As was explained in our last week's issue, the pro- the deputation that some small annual grant should posal of the Government is to provide the Royal be made for publications was ignored in the Secretary's Scottish Academy with a separate house in which, like i answer. That answer, it is to be observed, was written the Royal Academy at Burlington House, it mav out beforchand, and read as soon as Prof. Chrystal annually exhibit its pictures and sculpture to the had summed up for the Society, so that even the usual frineral public, and incidentally, of course--to the form of taking the representations made into conpatrons of Art. Hitherto this Academy has shared the sideration was omitted. In fact, except as regards . rooms provided for artistic purposes in the National the admission of the claim of the society to sonje comGallery building also on the Mound; and competent pensation for disturbance, the statements and claims judges, even within the Academy itself, have deemed of the deputation went the way of most representathe provision sufficient. Some of their chief men tions made to Scottish Secretaries, whether at home at have even dared to suggest that what was wanted was Parliament Square or on the alien soil of Dover House. not so much an extension of space as an elevation of The British Science Guild has not been established the standard of selection ! Nevertheless, the bitter

The Government and Mr. Sinclair may have Ty of the artists for some time has been for a house as generous intentions as the friends of the artists in of their own; and this the Government has now the Edinburgh Press urge th“ Royal Society to believe determined to provide, not by erecting a suitable new and we may sav that nobody doubts that the inbuilding from public funds, but by the cheaper method tentions of both are crood -but it will be the duty of of evicting the Royal Society of Edinburgh from the council to obtain the necessary guarantees for the the sceims which were arranged for it in a building continued usefulness, if not for the existence, of the printed mainly for its accommodation. When the society. If necessary the British Science Guild will decision was announced to the Royal Society it was no doubt lend its powerful aid.


to soon.


ARCHÆOLOGY IN THE ISLE OF MAN." The Bronze age in the Isle of Man was evidently HESE notes form a useful handbook to the a time of considerable communication with the main

geology and antiquities of the Isle of Man, and land. The types of urns, as well as the fact that those responsible for persuading the authors to re- all the stone axes are of foreign material, show that print and amplify their scattered notices have con- trade must have been fairly brisk. The urn shown ferred a benefit on the public. Although the little in Fig. 23 is, for instance, nearly related to the volume runs to little more than 100 pages, it includes Scottish urns of the same time. This fact has, of a good survey of both branches of the subject, and course, an important bearing on the relative date of emphasises the interest of the island in the two aspects this and other periods when such communication of its remoteness in some respects from its neigh- existed. If the same types of funeral furniture are bours and as a meeting place of the arts of the Celt found here as on the mainland, it not only shows and the Northman. The evidences of man's presence intercommunication, but also, as a necessary conin the island naturally begin with the Neolithic sequence, proves the contemporary existence of the period, the climatic conditions of the Pleistocene age same burial customs in the two places. Thus effectually preventing him from reaching so far although it may well be that the remoteness of the north; but from Neolithic times onwards the story island prevented its inhabitants from being quite as of the island can be traced by its archæology. Flint advanced as the continental dwellers, yet the differappears only to exist in the form of nodules washed ence in time can only have been slight. The authors from the Boulder-clay, and the “ factories" of flint seem to lay rather more stress than the facts justify implements are always on actual deposits of Boulder- upon the retarding effect of the inaccessibility of the clay. Some of the implements figured are, as the island. It is probable that the civilisation was reauthors admit, of very rude make, as well as of very curious types (Fig. 4).

It is perhaps hardly surprising that signs of dwellings are not found near these Neolithic “ floors" or factories. Stone-age man, here as elsewhere, chose his dwelling for reasons of security or shelter from the weather rather than from the proximity of a good store of flint nodules. Dwellings in the form of hut circles have, however, been found in fair numbers, and though it is by no means improbable that they date from Neolithic times, the authors are justly cautious in dogmatising on their age. No type of exploration is more difficult than that presented by the ordinary hut circle, and often the principal evidence is that of analogy. Such remains, moreover, share with stone circles the danger of having been disturbed by treasure seekers, with the result that stratigraphical deductions cease to be of value. It cannot be too often insisted upon that the class of exploration that produces the fewest objects of in- Fig. 1.-Cross from Cali of Man. From "Illustrated Notes on Manks Antiquities." trinsic value, viz. those of prehistoric times, should be excavated with most care | latively further behind the rest of England during the and attention to detail. The reason is a simple one. eighteenth century, for instance, than it was in the The elucidation of the problems of early man depends Bronze age. The similarity of stone implements in solely upon such explorations, for no other docu- parts of the world widely separated is not always ments can possibly exist to help in the solution of easy to explain, though the similarity of need has a the puzzle. In later historic times the helps to know good deal to do with it. But an elaborated and more ledge are endless. Both Mr. Kermode and Dr. Herd complex object, such as an ornamented pottery vase, man clearly recognise the importance of careful work, can scarcely be reproduced in all its details without but, like most students of the earlier periods, they some relations between the two makers. Commonwill doubtless admit the need of this warning to the place though such an observation may be, it is very unwary or careless explorer.

necessary to bear such facts in mind in discussing Apart from the interest to those who study the an island civilisation like that of the Isle of Man, or Manks antiquities as part of the general archæo- even of Britain. logical scheme, this little book can scarcely fail to The most characteristic, and in some respects the have a good effect in the island itself. It is to be most interesting, antiquities of the island are the hoped that all the relics that may come to light in 'Scandinavian and Celtic carved stones of Christian future will be deposited in Castle Rushen, where they times. It is very useful to note how the Northmen will be available for comparison and study. It is sad appreciated the delightful complicated designs of to read of such things going astray when a little tact their Celtic forerunners. The respective shares of or trouble might have preserved them.

Scandinavian and Celt in the motives of these curious 1 "Illustrated Notes on Manks Antiquities." By P. M. C. Kermode and

monuments, and even in the finest Celtic manuscripts, W. A. Herdman. Pp. 108. (Liverpool : Tinling and Co., Ltd., 1904.) have never been adequately elucidated. The genius

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