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.innounced, and the quantitative composition of a complete list, but is intended to indicate the prinSorby's pearly constituent determined. This paper cipal and to give a good idea of the original work is admitted on all sides to be a classic.
done, which has been acknowledged by practical as In 1896, in “ The Influence of Impurities on Gold well as by professional men to have had great and and Copper (Arnold and Jefferson), the first micro- important influence. graphic investigation of gold alloys was described, and With regard to the students trained, every works of the discovery of brittle intercrystalline cements ren- any importance in the district has its quota of them, dered void atomic volumes as an explanation of the and many are reflecting great credit on their school results. 1897 produced The Influence of Sudden by the success with which they are holding responsible Cooling on Nearly Pure Iron” (Arnold), and "The positions. There is no doubt that all firms of importPermeability of Steel-melting Crucibles" (Arnold and ance, having ready at hand well-trained men, formed a Knowles), which showed a method for quantitatively potent factor in the signal success with which Sheffield measuring the volume of gas permeating the walls of not only repelled the American invasion of high speed crucibles 4-inch thick during metallurgical operations. I steel, but was able promptly and successfully to carry “ The Micro-chemistry of Cementation” was read in the war into the enemy's territory. The associateship 1898, and the discovery of the cause of the decay of in metallurgy has always been kept up to about the certain metals used in marine construction in con- standard of an honour examination, no second classes nection with the disastrous explosion on the S.S. Pro- being allowed, and the fight for the Mappin medal dano was given in a report to Lloyd's. “The and 151. premiun given to the head associate of the Diffusion of Elements in
(Arnold and year is long and severe. This medal and premium was McWilliam, 1899) divided the elements of steel into founded by Sir Frederick Mappin, Bart., who has confixed and migratory groups and confirmed Prof. Camp- sistently for more than twenty years used not only his bell's diffusion of sulphide phenomena. During this wealth, but his great influence with others, and his research two very important phases of carbide inter- | foresight and dogged perseverance, in furthering the penetration at different temperatures were discovered, cause of this technical department. His recent purand also a hitherto unsuspected segregation point chase and practical presentation of the adjacent which has cleared up some of the occasional mysterious Caledonian Works has enabled the authorities to apply failures of the highest grade cutting edge steel. their fifteen years' experience during the erection of a
* The Properties of Steel Castings, Part i.” (Arnold, new and magnificent teaching plant, which has been 1901) dealt with pure iron and carbon castings, and so recently described that it need not have further showed their unsuitability for general commercial mention here. Finally, as to the attitude of manuwork. “The Micro-structure of Hardened Steel" facturers, few who followed with interest the doings (Arnold and McWilliam, 1902), amongst other things, of fifteen years ago would have prophesied that steel first showed the cementite in the so-called austenite makers would send for associates at the end of each martensite structure. “The Elimination of Silicon in session, or that some even would ask for "
your the Acid Open Hearth” (McWilliam and Hatfield, medallist of the year if possible," but such is the fact 1902) is an interesting study, under works conditions, to-day. of chemistry at high temperatures in the reaction All Sheffielders asked feel certain that but for the of metal and slag on each other, in which a balance continued success of this and the technical departpoint in the composition of the slag was discovered, ment as a whole, Sheffield would never have successsuch that with more base C, Si, and Mn were elimin- fully demanded a university, and that, indeed, the ated from the metal, whilst with more acid C could | university inaugurated by the King on July 12, 1905, still be eliminated, but Si and Mn were reduced and may be taken as a monument to one of the influences returned to the bath. “ The Influence of Sulphur and of the technical department. Twice in its history has Manganese on Steel” (Arnold and Waterhouse) and this progressive department had to sever its connec“On the Dangerous Crystallisation of Steel” (Arnold) tion with constituted authority, and many are looking, were produced in 1903, and in the latter the author somewhat anxiously it must be confessed, to its proannounced his now well-known method for recording gress under the cumbrous machinery of university results of steel under alternating stress, the stress government, with its several forms of outside interbeing greater than the elastic limit instead of less, ference. . Change and progress are not now decided is is the case in other methods. “ Acid Open Hearth upon by those immediately interested, for at least a Manipulation” (McWilliam and Hatfield, 1904) is majority of a governing body, composed of professors another high temperature chemistry study on of all and sundry, must sanction all decisions, and in 23-ton furnace, with unusual bases, in which also it its effect on this hitherto uniformly progressive and was shown that the nature of the ingot is not merely successful department university government is una function of its composition as ordinarily determined, doubtedly on its trial, so far as its influence on the but varies with the history of the charge in a special application of science to industry is concerned. manner shown. “The Thermal Transformations of (arbon Steels (Arnold and McWilliam, 1904), too complex to describe in a sentence, shows the nature
EARTH-EATERS IN INDIA. of the transition forms of the constituents of steels NDER the name of geophagy, or earth-eating
are comprehended a number of customs of very small section, where they can be studied somewhat different origin and meaning. In practically every aiter the manner of examining rock changes over a part of the world is found the habit of eating finely tract of country. Winder and Brunton did early work
divided mineral substances in bulk, and not merely in on open hearth chrome steel castings; Longmuir here small quantities as condiments; but the purpose differs worked out what had been borne in upon him by his no less widely than the condition of the eaters as reworks experience, resulting in his two researches on gards age, sex, or health before and after acquiring ** The Influence of Casting Temperature on the the habit. We learn from Pliny that the Romans Properties of Metals and Alloys "; Baker did his work mixed corn with chalk from near Puteoli; Lemnian on * The Influence of Silicon on Iron,” and half the and Armenian earths, on the other hand, were famous work resulting in Ibbotson and Brearley's well-known for medicinal purposes--the use of the former has been book on “ The Analysis of Steel Works Materials" continued to our own day; in South America clay supis of this laboratory. The above is not by any means plies the place of food during floods; in Borneo and
Indo-China it is a surrogate for confectionery, and authors; but when the negroes reached the West in parts of India, America, and elsewhere its use'is Indies they found that ill-health resulted from their due to the perverted taste often found in dyspepsia indulgence in decomposed porphyroid lavas as suband hysteria, or to the strange abnormalities asso- stitutes for their African earths. In India and South ciated with pregnancy.
America anæmia and early death seem to follow as a In the paper here noticed the composition of the matter of course, but the anæmic diathesis often exists earth, marl, clay, shale has been carefully before the habit is acquired, and may be the actuai analysed; the main constituents are silica (the percent- cause of it. age varying from 84 per cent. to 22 per cent.), lime The quantity of earth or clay consumed is often con(61 per cent. to a mere trace), alumina (26 per cent. to siderable. Half a pound daily is the allowance for 2.5 per cent.), and ferric oxide (20 per cent. to a mere the Ottomacs; six ounces is recorded from Bengal. trace). But as a rule there is little definite informa- They are sometimes eaten raw, sometimes roasted; tion, other authors being content to speak of clay
one of the most curious features is that the earth or or earth without closer definition. We know, how- clay is sometimes made up into cups, figurines, and ever, that steatite is favoured by the Indians of Hud- other forms; thus the Lemnos earth used in Spain in son's Bay, and ferruginous clay by the Ottomacs, by the sixteenth century was cup-shaped, so is the clas the negroes of the Antilles, and by the Batanga of used to-day in Bengal; in Bolivia figures of saints are West Africa; earth rich in diatoms is used in North among the forms, and the Javanese eat figures of mer Europe, and the New Caledonians resort in time of and animals. In these cases a magical element mas famine to a mineral rich in lime, and ants' nests, perhaps be present. But the commoner form is that with or without the larvæ, are eaten in Africa. The of powder; the only edible earth of which the present physiological basis of the habit varies probably in some writer can speak from personal experience was in this degree with the different composition of the earths. shape; it was alkaline and more like tooth-powder than On the Gold Coast white clay is used as a sweet- anything else.
N. W. T. meat; in India the taste or odour is often the attractive feature; it may be noted in this connection that steatite (one of the minerals mentioned above) is not
NOTES. only eaten by wolves, reindeer, and other animals, but actually used as bait for attracting them. To the Dr. L. A. Bauer's resignation from the United States pleasant taste may be due the Roman use of chalk Coast and Geodetic Survey took effect on September 1. mentioned above; we have a parallel in the Bolivian As already announced in Nature, he has accepted the Indian's use of a sauce of clay with his potatoes. In this category, too, we may range the German work: magnetism of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. All
permanent directorship of the department of terrestrial man's “ Steinbutter,” and perhaps the salty earth used in Persia. In Senegal ochreous earth is mixed
his correspondence should be addressed to “ The Ontario," with rice, but it does not appear whether this is due
Washington, D.C. to its pleasant taste or to a desire to increase the
At the annual meeting of the Hull Scientific and Field mass available for ingestion so as to produce a feel- Naturalists' Club just held, Mr. T. Sheppard, who for ing of repletion. In Rajputana the latter cause is undoubtedly the
thirteen years has been the honorary secretary, was elected main factor; for only in times of famine are ashes,
president of the society. powdered steatite, clay or mud mingled with bark
Prof. A. H. CHURCH, F.R.S., will give six lectures on meal. On the other hand, it is not so much actual chemistry at the Royal Academy of Arts on Mondays and famine in Persia as the desire to keep the digestive Thursdays, beginning on October 1 at 4 p.m. The subjects organs at work without suffering inconvenience from an over-supply of nourishment which is said to lead
of the lectures are :-Paper, canvas, panel, and other to the use of the two kinds of earth frequently sold grounds; composition and classification of pigments; tests in bazaars; one is described as a fine, white,“ fatty and trials of pigments; selected and restricted palettes ; clav, the other as forming hard and irregular lumps. vehicles and varnishes; and methods of painting. The material of ants' nests, like the Bergmehl (Kieselgur) of North Europe, is rich in organic matter,
A note from the Rev. Guy Halliday recording the disand may have real nutritive value; but on this point covery of Goodyera repens near Holt, in Norfolk, was relittle positive information is available.
ferred to in Nature of September 6 (p. 472). Mr. W. A. Especially in India the habit of earth-eating is Nicholson, honorary secretary of the Norfolk and Norwich indicative of a morbid condition, either anterior to the Naturalists' Society, informs us that the plant was found acquisition of the taste or after it has been adopted at Holt so far back as 1891, and at Westwick in 1&ng from imitation or some other cause. The same con
It has since been noted in two other places in Norfolk. ditions seem to prevail widely in South America, where not only Indians and negroes, but whites, are A REUTER message from Palermo states that earthquake slaves to the practice; it is even said that masks are shocks were felt on September 19 at 11.20 a.m. and put on children at night to restrain them from pulling 1.38 p.m., principally at Trabia and Termini. A message mud or plaster from the walls and eating it.
from Lima reports that shocks were felt on September 18 The medicinal use of earths is a wide subject on
at Huarmey, Alija, and Casma. which a large literature exists; our authors quote, among others, El-Baitar, who gives a list of the earths AN International Congress for Cancer Research was used in Spain in the thirteenth century; but the use opened at Heidelberg on Tuesday by the Grand Duke and of mineral substances in medicine hardly belongs to Grand Duchess of Baden in the presence of numerous rpthe same category as the other facts with which they presentatives of medical, scientific, and municipal inst tudeal; the same may be said of the ingestion of earths tions of the world. At the same time, a new hospital and for magical purposes. The effects on the eater seem to differ widely. In
scientific laboratories for investigations into the cause ! West Africa no bad effects follow, according to some
cure of cancer was opened. We learn from the Times
correspondent at Heidelberg that the new buildings or cup I "Earth-eating and the Farth.enting Hahit in India." By D. Humper and H. H. Mann. (Memoirs of the Asiatic Scriety of Bengal, vol. I., No.
nearly an acre, and are fitted with all the latest imprar. 12, PP 249-270.)
ments, both for the treatment of operable cases and *,*
investigation. The institution has already cost more than of congratulation from other societies were presented, and 40,0001., which was derived partly from public and partly the secretary, Dr. J. P. Thomson, gave an account of the from private sources.
history of the society. At an evening meeting on June 27 Prof. HERMANN Coun, the well-known ophthalmologist
a paper by Dr. H. R. Mill, on the present problems of of Breslau, died recently at the age of sixty-eight. His
geography, was read. A garden-party was given at
Government House in the afternoon of June 28, and at the contributions to ophthalmic science and practice had reference more particularly to the eyesight of school children.
evening meeting a paper by Prof. R. E. Dodge, Columbia He was one of the first to press the needs of many reforms University, on school geography, was read, Lord Chelmswith the object of conserving the pupils' vision, and he
ford taking part in the discussion. A conversazione was a strenuous advocate of the systematic examination given on June 30, at which it was announced that a paper of the eyes of school children, his knowledge and experi- by Sir John Murray, on the oceanography of the southence in this connection being of the greatest value in
western Pacific, had been received too late for reading at evolving and perfecting the practical details of an important society's Transactions. The Royal Geographical Society
the business meetings, but would be included in the branch of work. In 1883 he was honoured by receiving of Australasia was founded in 1885, chiefly on the initiative the State gold medal of hygiene. He lived to see much good fruit result from his labours, and it may justly be
of its present secretary, Dr. J. P. Thomson. Its activities said that with him there passed away one who served
include the whole range of geographical work, and it has well both his own and future generations.
published twenty-one volumes of Proceedings and Trans
actions containing communications, of which “ about A plea for the preservation of natural scenes and objects 80 per cent. are original contributions to geographical in Germany was put forward a couple of years ago by literature, the remainder being the result of research work, Prof. H. Conwentz, director of the West Prussian Pro- in contradistinction to mere compilations." vincial Museum at Danzig, in a work on “Naturdenkmäler,” described in these columns in November, 1904
Tuus is the season for great hurricanes within the (vol. lxxi., p. 73). By Naturdenkmäler is meant the whole
northern tropical belt. Thus far the West Indies have natural landscape, with its various soil formations, its
escaped, but the China Sea region was last week the scene water courses and lakes, its special plant and animal com
of two very violent and destructive typhoons. On the munities, as well as single rare species and individuals
morning of September 18 there does not seem to have been of the original flora and fauna. Prof. Conwentz proposed anything in the aspect of the weather at Hong Kong to that these results of nature's handiwork in the different
suggest the proximity of a storm. People went about their States of the German Empire should be placed on record
business as usual, suspecting no danger, and the authoriso as to make them known, and that provision should be justify the hoisting of the warning signals, expecting only
ties at the observatory found nothing in the reports to made for their protection. The Prussian Minister of Instruction has just consented to the establishment of a
moderate winds to prevail during the day. central office for this purpose. For the present the office
a.m. the neighbourhood was startled by the sudden will be at Danzig, and will be under the direction of Prof.
bursting of a storm of great violence, which maintained Conwentz.
its strength until midday. In these couple of hours it
| occasioned enormous damage ashore and afloat. Many In his presidential address at the annual congress of
war vessels, merchant steamers and sailing ships, lighters, the Sanitary Inspectors' Association at Blackpool
junks, and other craft were severely crippled or totally lost, September 13, Sir James Crichton-Browne dealt particu- and one of the latest estimates places the loss of life at larly with the rapid and remarkable fall in the birth-rate
10,000 Chinese and several Englishmen and other Euroof Blackpool. It was in 1895 that a turn in the tide in
peans. The Governor, Sir Matthew Nathan, has decided the birth-rate of England and Wales was first recorded,
to appoint a committee to inquire into the failure of the since when it has gradually decreased, until in 1904 it observatory to give due warning of the approach of the dropped to 27.9, the lowest on record.' In Blackpool the typhoon, but he is confident that Dr. Doberck is not to decline did not begin until 1898, when the rate was 27:74,
blame in the circumstances. Four days later, showing a slight increase on the previous year ; but since September 22, news was received of the Philippines, south then it has been precipitous, reaching 20-30 per thousand
of Manila, having been struck by a typhoon. The informfor 1905. Many facts suggest that this decline in the ation to hand at present is very meagre, owing to the birth-rate has occurred especially among the more intel
destruction of the telegraph wires, but a gunboat was lectual, more cultured, and more prosperous classes of the
driven ashore, and the arsenal and the shipping at Cavité community. Bearing in mind that 25 per cent. of the
suffered considerably. married population produce 50 per cent. of the next gener- A PAPER, by Messrs. B. Stracey and F. W. Bennett, on ation, and that mental and moral traits are not less
the felsitic agglomerate of Charnwood Forest, is the most hereditary than corporeal appearances, it is impossible to important of the contributions relating to natural science exaggerate the importance of the problems that are raised
contained in vol. X., part ii., of the Transactions of the by the figures adduced. If we are recruiting our population Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society. from the poorer and mentally and physically feebler stocks of the community at a greater rate than from the better
According to the report for 1905-6, the Manchester and more capable stocks, then gradual deterioration of the
Museum, Owens College, recently received a valuable race is inevitable.
collection of mammals from N.E. Rhodesia, but funds
are lacking for mounting and encasing a representative THE coming of age' of the Royal Geographical series of these in the gallery. The museum will shortly Society of Australasia was celebrated at Brisbane at the also receive a collection of insects made in the same disend of June last by a festival extending over four days.trict. The well-known and extensive series of stone impleOn June 26 a reception and luncheon were given by the ments collected during the last forty years by Mr. R. D. Mavor (Mr. J. Crase), and at an evening meeting addresses Darbishire has been presented by that gentleman to the
It is satisfactory to learn that the financial (September 1) gives the opinions of the foremost scientifi. condition of the institution has materially improved since plant-breeder on the work of one of the most successit! the date of the previous report.
practical plant-breeders. While fully recognising the ri
markable acumen of Burbank's judgment and the practic, I Prof. Hickson's letter on remarkable colenterates from
value of his work, Prof. de Vries finds a marked conira? the west coast of Ireland in NATURE of November 2, 1905
between the aims and methods of the two types of work. (vol. lxxiii., p. 5) is reprinted in a volume just issued on
Careful experiment in the cultivation and crossing on Irish fisheries (Scientific Investigations, 1905, v.). This is
limited scale of pure types with definite characters is th:followed by a notice of a leach parasitic on torpedoes taken
task of the scientific investigator; the hope of the nurseryon the Irish coast, and this, again, by the mention of a
man lies in the chance possibilities arising out of the premollusc of the genus Lamellaria captured in a trawl off
duction and selection from a vast number of variations; for Cork. The particular species, which is common to both
instance, Mr. Burbank selected his plums from 300,000 sides of the Atlantic, is new to the Irish fauna. Finally, hybrids. One of the most important features of Mr. Bura Mr. S. W. Kemp adds ten species of long-tailed crustaceans
bank's work has been the cultivation of remote spec*** to the marine fauna of Ireland.
with possibilities that have escaped the consideration oi The report of the Danish Biological Station for 1903 less conventional cultivators. The stoneless plum was and 1904, recently issued at Copenhagen as a translation obtained from crossing some plants, prunes sans noyau, from Fiskeri-Beretning, deals with the distribution and at one time cultivated in France. An intuitive genius tcr dispersal of the young and eggs of fishes which at one selection of promising varieties is the key to Mr. Burhank's period or another are pelagic. From the study of the Icelandic seas it has been found that three belts may be
Two examples of fluctuating variation " as met with distinguished in the neighbourhood of land, the first of which is characterised by the presence of pelagic eggs and
in certain New Zealand plants are noted by Dr. L.
Cockayne in vol. xxviii. of the Transactions of the New the minute fry of species with demersal (deep sea) eggs,
Zealand Institute. In the first case, two Celmisias were while the second is inhabited by the young fry of species found, one growing on the coast, the other in the alpine with pelagic eggs and the older fry of those with demersal
region, both very similar, except in the proportions of the In Danish waters the conditions appear to be some
leaf and general appearance. The question arises whether what more complex, but, speaking generally, it may be
they should be regarded as distinct species. This, Dr. stated that the area within the Skaw approximates in its
Cockayne points out, can best be determined by ascertainfauna to the first belt, and that outside the Skaw to the
ing whether the two forms reproduce “ true." The second second zone.
paper refers to leaf variation in Coprosma baueri. When We have to acknowledge the receipt of a copy of the exposed to sun and wind, the plant bears glossy, recurved, first part of the “ Bergen's Museum Aarbog ” for the or rolled leaves, whereas in the shade they are thin, flat, current year. In the first paper Mr. J. Rekstad discusses and much larger. There is no question of two species in the terraces and raised beaches of western and northern this case, as the two types of leaf may be observed on Norway. Among the more noteworthy remains are nodules, the same plant, but it suggests a starting point for the from more than one locality, containing beautifully pre
evolution of two distinct species. served specimens of the skeleton of young coal-fishes (Gadus virens). In a second article Mr. C. F. Kolderup Zealand, the fora of the Poor Knights Islands had not
ALTHOUGH not far distant from the North Island of New records the occurrence in Norway during 1905 of twenty
been explored until Dr. L. Cockayne was enabled to get three earthquakes, all of which were, however, small and
ashore for a very brief period last year. Distinguishing local. The capture, in the middle of January, 1904, of
three formations of cliff, tall scrub, and meadow, Dr. no less than forty-seven killer-whales (Orca gladiator) at Bildöströmmen is recorded by Mr. J. A. Grieg, who
Cockayne was particularly impressed by the luxuriance cf furnishes an illustration of the landing of one of these
the foliage of the arborescent plants in the scrub, and Several skeletons were preserved, of some of especially of the dominant plants Suttonia divaricata and
Macropiper excelsum. Apart from the fertility of the soil which the author gives measurements and descriptions.
and the shelter afforded by the dense growth, it was not In addition to papers by other authors, Prof. R. Collett communicates notes on bottle-nosed whales (Hyperöodon) Another ecological contribution by the same writer, de
apparent why such luxuriance should be developed. and white whales (Delphinapterus).
scribing the subalpine scrub of the seaward Kaikouras, in The sixth number of the Kew Bulletin for this year
the South Island, is published with the former in the contains the diagnoses of new plants, published under the
Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, vol. xviii. title “ Decades Kewenses, XLII.," of which de- The peculiarity of this formation, that lies between the scribed by Dr. Stapf, forms the type of a new genus
forest and the subalpine meadow, consists in the dominance Diandrolyra, order Gramineæ. Mr. J. M. Hillier con- of the composite shrub, Cassinia albida, found only in the tributes articles on East Indian dragon's-blood, chiefly the Kaikoura Mountains, and in the occurrence of a produce of species of Dæmonorops and Ogea gum obtained
Ranunculus rowing under the scrub that Dr. Cockayne from the genera Daniella and Cyanothyrsus. The account separates as a distinct species, Ranunculus lobatus. by Mr. W. Watson of a visit to some well-known Irish gardens makes special mention of the magnificent develop and sediments, by Messrs. T. Mellard Reade and Philip
The third and final part of a series of papers on sards ment of the trees, showing how well the climate is suited
Holland, appears in the volume of the Proceedings of the to forestry. A historical article on the Sydney Botanic Liverpool Geological Society for 1905-6. The earlier parts Gardens, written by Mr. J. H. Maiden, is reprinted from
were published in the two preceding volumes. The papers the Sydney Morning Herald.
describe a number of experiments made upon modern and The review of Mr. Luther Burbank's work written by ancient sediments to determine the behaviour of the par. Prof. H. de Vries in the Biologisches Centralblatt ticles when suspended in water and in various solutions;
most of the material was also analysed. The principal variance. As one instance of how a locality may be inconclusions derived from their experiments by the authors fluenced by some artificial feature the smoke of London is are :-(1) that in many sediments of all ages extremely referred to, the effect of which is visible in the hilly fine particles, especially " quartz-dust," play an important villages of Oxfordshire when the wind is in the right part; (a) that most of the quartz-dust has been produced quarter. Again, it is well known that in large cities the by the collision and abrasion of quartz grains while average annual temperature is higher than in the surroundsuspended in water, and that the perfect rounding of some ing country, while the reduction of the amount of marsh quartz grains, usually assumed to be due to wind action, land, e.g. in the Fen district, has probably had a decided inay be largely due to this subaqueous abrasion ; (3) that effect upon the temperature. But these are local instances ; carbonate of lime may often be present in suspension in whether the climate has changed generally is another considerable amount in natural waters; and (4) that the matter. Hann and others have shown that there are microscopic suspended matter is probably an important item evidences of changes of small amount sometimes in one in the total solid content of the waters of the open sea. direction and sometimes in another, e.g. the fluctuations In the same volume Messrs. T. Mellard Reade and Joseph in the size of European glaciers. The author assumes that Wright have a short paper on the Pleistocene clays and British winters are later in coming than they used to be, sands of the Isle of Man, which is mainly occupied by lists and quotes that of 1894-5, “ when the rigours of the season of the Foraminifera found in the drift.
were scarcely felt until February, and were extended well
into March.” A discussion of this frost in the Journal of On May 15 the city of Nuremberg opened a national exhibition in commemoration of the centenary of its sub
the Royal Meteorological Society shows that the cold jection to the Bavarian Crown. The exhibition, which
period commenced on December 30 and ended on March 5,
with a break of a week's mild weather from January 14-21. will remain open until October, has proved eminently successful. It contains a good display of Bavarian manu
On January 8 the temperature fell to -3° at Braemar, factures, and is of special interest from the admirable
and was below 10° over the central part of north Scotland ; manner in which the mineral resources of the kingdom are
after February 20 no readings below 10° were recorded. shown. The mineral deposits represented include the iron
As to the influence of forests, we can have no better
air ores of the Fichtelgebirge, coal from the Palatinate, iron authority than Hann; they do reduce the pyrites and galena from Bodenmais, salt from Berchtes
temperature, especially during the warmer part of the year, gaden, copper ore from Imsbach, and graphite from
but whether they increase the amount of rainfall, and, if Passau.
so, to what extent, cannot yet be definitely answered. We
hope with Mr. Bastin that special attention will be given THE Engineering Standards Committee has issued its to this important subject in the future, and that, with standard specifications for material used in the construc- better data at command, valuable conclusions may be tion of railway rolling stock. This report, No. 24 (London : obtained. Crosby Lockwood and Son, price 10s. 6d. net), covers sixtytwo folio pages, and is undoubtedly one of the most com
In the American Journal of Science (vol. xxii., p. 176) plate and valuable of the publications of the committee. Mr. S. E. Moody gives an account of experiments on the It contains specifications for locomotive crank axles and hydrolysis of iron, chromium, tin, cobalt, and nickel salts straight axles, carriage and waggon axles, tires, springs, by solutions containing alkali iodide and iodate. In this steel forgings, steel blooms, steel castings, copper plates, reaction an equivalent quantity of iodine is set free, the rods and tubes, brass tubes, and steel for plates, angles, estimation of which may be used for the quantitative deterand rivets. In each case specifications are given, with and
mination of any of the above metals. In the case of zinc without chemical analyses. The committee has also issued salts, the hydrolytic decomposition is only partial, and a a standard specification for steel conduits for electrical
basic salt is precipitated instead of the hydroxide. wiring (report No. 31, price 25. 6d. net), and a report In the Annalen der Physik (vol. xx., p. 677) Dr. E. (No. 28, price 25. 6d. net) on British standard nuts, bolt
Marx gives an account of an experimental investigation heads, and spanners.
relative to the velocity of Röntgen rays. It is estimated In the Journal of the Franklin Institute (vol. clxii.,
that the method and apparatus employed permit the velocity No. 2) Mr. Clifford Richardson concludes his elaborate to be determined with an accuracy represented by a probmemoir on the petroleums of North America, in which he
able error of i per cent. Within this limit the velocity compares the character of those of the older and newer of propagation of Röntgen radiation is equal to that of fields. Those of the earlier days of the industry, from the light. This result furnishes strong evidence in favour of Appalachian field, were paraffin oils, free from sulphur,
the view that Röntgen radiation consists in electromagnetic specially valuable for the production of illuminants. The pulse transmission through the ether. petroleums of north-western Ohio and Canada, next de
The velocity of the a particle emitted by radium C at veloped, being sulphur oils, were far less valuable. The California oil is composed of such a series of hydrocarbons,
various points of its path has been recently measured by
Prof. Rutherford (Phil. Mag., xii., 134). After traversing of a non-paraftin nature, that its value is comparatively small. The oils from the more recently developed fields of
7.0 centimetres of air the a particle is no longer capable of Kansas and Texas are of variable character. Those from velocity is still approximately four-tenths of the velocity
exerting any sensible photographic action, although its the Gulf Coastal Plain of Texas and Louisiana are
with which it is emitted from the active source. The strongly asphaltic as to be of value only for the production of lubricants, for use as fuel, and as gas-oil.
much more rapid decrease of the photographic effect of the
particle towards the end of its path as compared with the ** The Effects of Civilisation upon Climate " is the title alteration in its kinetic energy necessitates the assumption of an interesting article by Mr. S. L. Bastin in the of a certain critical velocity below which the particle is September number of the Monthly Review. As the author unable to produce the characteristic effects, or of a very points out, the subject is by no means new, and is a rapid decrease in the velocity when this reaches a certain matter upon which many authorities find themselves at value.