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III. BOTANY. 1. Field, Forest and Garden Botany. By Asa Gray. Revised by L. H. Bailey. Am. Book Co., N. Y. 1895. By the publication of the first edition of a popular treatise on our more common, wilal and cultivated plants, Professor Gray met a want which had long been felt. The work was received with pleasure and used with profit by a great pumber of teachers and pupils throughout the country, and it has ever since held its own. But for some years it has been apparent that the treatise could be made more useful by additions and modifications. It was Professor Gray's intention to undertake this revision himself, but a great increase of care connected with the Synoptical Flora of North America, led him to defer the task, and the wished-for leisure never came. After the death of Professor Gray the revision was taken in hand by one of our energetic systematists and carried by him through a good part of the Polypetale. But certain reasons led him to the relinquishment of the work, and so the whole matter remained without change until it was taken up by Professor L. H. Bailey, of Cornell University.
It is apparent that the revision of a treatise constructed on the broad lines of the Field, Forest and Garden Botany, presents peculiar difficulties. Not only is it very hard to know what to add and what to leave out, but, at this time, when nomenclature is undergoing so many changes of one kind and another, it is almost impossible to preserve consistency throughout.
Professor Bailey has been successful in a high degree in meeting all these difficulties. Although he is inclined personally to favor one of the new systems of nomenclature, he has preserved in a remarkable manner the system which was preferred by Professor Gray. Moreover, the additions and omissions have been determined with excellent judgment, and have resulted in keeping the treatise on nearly the lines laid down by its author. A careful examination of these changes has convinced the present writer that the proportions have been well maintained throughout. Some species, which it would have been a pleasure to see in the revision, are lacking, and there are some species given which might perhaps have been well spared, but, as a whole, the selection is good, and the book is sure to be of great use to the mass of pupils and amatenrs employing it. " Professor Bailey is to be sincerely congratulated on his work.
G. L. G. 2. A Popular Treatise on the Physiology of Plants, for the use of Gardeners or for Students of Horticulture aud Agriculture, By Dr. Paul SORAUER, Director of the Experimental Station at the Royal Pomological Institute, in Proskau (Silesia). Translated by F. E. Weiss, B.Sc. F.L.S., Professor of Botany at the Owens College, Manchester. London, Longmans, Green & Co., 1895. Some of our older readers will doubtless remember the valuable Theory of Horticulture, by Professor Lindley, which was introduced to American students in an edition revised and annotated by Professor Asa Gray. In that work, which was then well up to date, the practice of the gardener was explained as far as might be, and a great amount of thoroughly digested material was placed at the disposal of all interested in cultivating plants. In comparing that work with the present, one is struck by the very slight change in practice which has been demanded by the vast advance in theoretical knowledge. The old rules, many of which were very plainly empirical, still hold, although their raison d'étre, may be put in a different manner nowadays.
Professor Weiss has given us a clear, idiomatic translation, and with his work no fault can be found. But the original is of very uneven quality. In some places, as for instance, the treatment of manures, the whole might serve as an exercise for correction, but in others, for example, the subject of shoots and their management, all the statements are correct and telling. In the hands of a teacher, this volume can be made of great use in systematizing and coördinating the cardinal facts relative to the vegetative processes, and in applying them to the practical needs of the gardener.
G. L. G.
IV. MISCELLANEOUS SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE. 1. Prize-Question pertaining to Physical Science proposed by the Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation for Arts and Sciences at Zurich.*_The Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation proposes, for the year 1897, the following prize-question concerning problems in the domain of physics.
As the numbers which express the atomic heats of the elements still show very considerable divergences, the researches conducted by Professor H. F. Weber on boron, silicon and carbon, regarding the increase of the specific heat with the temperature, are to be extended to several other elements prepared as pure as possible and also to combinations or alloys of them. Further the densities and the coefficients of thermal dilatation of the substances investigated are to be ascertained as carefully as possible.
The conditions are as follows:
(1.) The treatises handed in by competitors for the prize-question may be either in German, French or English and must be sent in by September 30th, 1897, at the latest to the address given in paragraph 6.
(2.) The examination of the treatises will be entrusted to a jury composed of the following gentlemen : Professors Pernet, Zurich, A. Hantzsch, Wurzburg, E. Dorn, Halle-on-the-Saale, T. Wislicenus, Leipzig; also G. Lunge, Zurich, as member of the committee proposing the prize-question.
(3.) The prize committee has at its disposition a sum of four thousand five hundred francs, of which a first prize, of no less
* For an earlier announcement, for the year 1894, see this Journal, vol. xliii, 240. than three thousand francs will be awarded and minor prizes for the remaining sum.
(4.) The work to which the first prize is awarded remains the property of the Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation, which has to arrange with the author regarding its publication.
(5.) Every treatise sent in must bear a motto on the title page and be accompanied by a sealed envelope, containing the author's name and bearing the same motto outside.
(6.) The treatises are to be sent into the following address, within the time named in paragraph 1. An das Pràsidium des Conventes der Stadtbibliothek in Zurich (concerning prize-question of the Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation, for the year 1897).
Zurich, 31st December, 1894.
By order of the City Library of Zurich. The Committee for the Schnyder von Wartensee Foundation.
2. American Association for the Advancement of Science. A circular from F. W. Putnam, Permanent Secretary, dated Jan. 30, announces that at a special meeting of the Council, held on January 26th, it was decided to postpone the proposed meeting in San Francisco. An invitation from Springfield, Mass., to hold the meeting of 1895 in that city, was accepted. The date of the meeting was fixed as follows: Council meeting, Wednesday, August 28th, at noon; General Sessions, Thursday, August 29th, at 10 A. M. Special efforts will be made by the officers of'the sections to prepare program for the sections in advance of the meeting and for this purpose members are requested to send abstracts of their papers, as early as possible, to the Permanent Secretary, or to the Secretaries of the Sections.
3. International Zoological Congress. It is announced that the third meeting of the International Zoological Congress will be held at Leyden in September, 1895. The first meeting took place at Paris in 1889, and the second at Moscow in 1892. The arrangements for the reception and accommodation of the Congress at Leyden will be made by the Netherlands Zoological Society. The answers to invitations to be present and to coöperate are to be sent to Dr. P. P. C. Hoek, Secretary of the Society.
4. A Manual of the Study of Documents to establish the individual character of hand writing and to detect fraud and forgery including several new methods of research by PERSIFOR FRAZER. 218 pp. 8vo. Philadelphia, 1894 (J. B. Lippincott Company).The subject of this volume does not strictly fall within the range of pure science, but Dr. Frazer has treated it with great thoroughness and it is interesting to note some of the methods of examination he has employed, as the application of composite photography to the study of signatures; the use of colored prisms to distinguish inks of different colors, and others.
5. Smithsonian Geographical Tables prepared by R. S. WoodWARD. Washington, 1894 (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Contributions, No. 854). —This volume is the second of the series planned by Prof. S. P. Langley to take the place of the earlier Meteorological Tables of Dr. Arnold Guyot, the fourth and last edition of which was issued in 1884. The appearance in 1893 of the first volume of this new series, which is devoted to Meteorological Tables, was then announced in this Journal (vol. xlvi, 160): the third volume, still to come, is to include Physical Tables. The volume now issued contains 105 pages of introductory matter, giving useful formulas, discussion of mensuration, units, geodesy, astronomy, etc. Then follow forty-two tables, chiefly geographical in object, and finally the work closes with the Appendix giving the relations of units, prepared by the late Mr. G. E. Curtis for the earlier meteorological volume.
6. French Academy of Sciences. — The French Academy has recently conferred the Janssen prize upon Professor George E. Hale of the University of Chicago in recognition of his important discoveries in astrophysics.
Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, vol. vi, 384 pp. 8vo, with 10 plates, 1894.—This new volume of the American Museum Bulletin contains a paper by H. F. OSBORN and J. L. WORTMAN, On the Fossil Mammals of the Lower Miocene White River beds; two by J. L. WORTMAN, On the Affinities of Leptaretus primus of Leidy, and On Patriofelis, a Middle Eocene Creodont; several papers by J. A. ALLEN, On Mammals from New Brunswick, On Mammals of Aruusas Co., Texas, On Cranial variations in Neotoma micropus, On Chilonycteris rubiginosus of W. Mexico, and On fifteen new North American Mammals; two papers by F. M. CHAPMAN, On Birds of Trinidad, and On Mammals from Florida ; three papers by W. BEUTENMÜLLER, On some N. A. Egeriidae, On some N. A. Orthopters, On N. A, Moths, and a Catalogue of Orthopters found within 50 m. of New York; and a paper by R. P. WHITFIELD on new forms of Algæ from the Trenton limestone,
OBITUARY. Dr. GEORGE A. Rex.-Dr. Rex, of Philadelphia died suddenly on the fourth of February last. The following paragraphs are from the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, of which he was a member.
Dr. Rex was the highest authority on the Myxomycetes in the United States. It was his enthusiastic study of this group that first brought him to the Section, and his communications on this subject formed an interesting part of nearly every meeting. He was the author of numerous species, which, owing to his extreme conservatism, will doubtless continue to bear his name. Many forms, new to bim, remained in his collection unnamed for years, and were only published when he had thoroughly convinced himself that they were really new to science.
Although he was interested principally in the Myxomycetes, he was an earnest student of the lower orders of Fungi and an ardent admirer of everything beautiful in microscopic nature.
Recent deaths abroad are the following: MARQUIS DE SAPORTA, the eminent botanist, at Aix; Professor HEINRICH Wild, of St. Petersburg, well known for his researches in magnetism and optics; Dr. ALFRED W. STELZNER, Professor of Geology at Freiberg, on February 25th.