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Lessons with Plants. By L. H. Bailey. Pp. xxxi + 491. Central Queensland, and states that it was not until he (London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1898.)
was fully conversant with their language that he could Though written for the use of teachers and students of acquire sufficient confidence from the natives to learn
their customs. botany in North America, this book will be found almost as useful on this side of the Atlantic. Very many of the
As an aid to future explorers, he begins his book with an plants employed as examples are either natives of, or elementary grammar and vocabulary of the language
spoken in the Boulia district : a table is added, comparing very generally cultivated in, the British Islands, and could easily be obtained both in country and in town.
the words in common use in adjacent districts. Even where the selected examples are not themselves
This race communicates ideas by signs as well as readily procured among us the methods of study, the
sounds; the origin of the actual manual movements is lessons drawn from them, and the suggestions offered for
usually easy to trace, and lucidity is added to the descripfurther personal investigation, are very often such as
tion by illustrations. Social and individual nomenclature could be readily applied by an intelligent reader to
among these races is developed to such an extent, that British species.
careful study of an admirable chapter devoted to the The author very consistently carries out his method of question is necessary for the reader to fully comprehend instruction. He assumes that the pupil is absolutely
that intricate organisation.
Roth describes the food and the method of obtaining ignorant ; and taking familiar objects, such as an appletwig, he shows simply and well the information that can
and preparing it ; the recreations and amusements of the be read in them by the trained eye and mind. The book people. Cannibalism, he states, is practised in the Boulia iş admirably fitted to give training in the methods of district; but a person is never slain for the purpose of observation, in so far as that can be given during school
supplying food, nor may any but relatives partake of a life. It should be of peculiar value to teachers if used (as
corpse. the author, in the introduction, points out that it is meant ceremonies, which are often too gruesome to dwell upon
The last chapter is devoted to descriptions of initiation to be) to suggest how lessons can be drawn from any in detail. and every plant. One cannot read many pages without
The book consists of a description of a number realising that the careful observation and accurate know- of facts ; the origin and development of customs is but
rarely attempted. ledge gained by the teacher that works out examples in the manner followed here will enable him to make the subjects taught by him very real and living. It is the L’Électro-chimie.
L'Électro-chimie. Production électrolytique des Comtrue scientific method applied to the first steps in botany. posés chimique. By A. Minet. Pp. 167. (Paris: To the beginner in the science, also, who wishes to learn, Gauthier-Villars et Fils ; Masson & Cie.) but cannot obtain systematic instruction, this book would This little work is a volume of the well-known “Enbe an excellent introduction. If each section were read cyclopédie Scientifique des Aide-Memoire," and is with the actual specimens in hand, and compared with devoted mainly to the industrial applications of electrothe description step by step, and, still more, if the lysis other than those of which the object is the prepar“suggestions” were followed out practically, the student ation of metals. The chapter dealing with the electrowould have gained a very valuable training, and a trust. lysis of solutions of sodium and potassium chlorides, worthy foundation on which to build up the wider study, which gives a good account of the more important proThe method followed is naturally somewhat informal ; but it allows of many sides and applications of botany caustic alkalis, hypochlorites and chlorates, may be
cesses which have been proposed for the preparation of being touched on in a way to awaken the interest of specially commended. The attempts which have been pupils ; and the information conveyed is of a kind that does not require to be unlearned, but can be built up into alcoholic liquids, in tanning, and in purifying, sugar, are
made to employ, electrolysis in purifying and ageing its proper place as the study becomes more systematic described, as well as a number of minor applications of and that it must leave a vagueness in the mind of a the theories de l'électrolyse” (pp. 175) is another beginner, as, for example, where we are told that it is
volume of the same series as the above, and by the "the custom of botanists” to “say that when either floral
same author. It gives a sketch of the theory of the envelope is wanting it is the corolla (unless there is some
voltaic cell, of the constitution of electrolytes and gases, special reason to the contrary). This is, generally, an
and of osmotic pressure. Electrolytic conductivity and arbitrary definition, but it would be just as arbitrary to
the migration of the ions are also treated at some length. say that the sepals are missing.” It is scarcely "evident”
The researches of the author's fellow countrymen are in respect of the ligulate flowers of the dandelion and Rudbeckia " that if the corolla of a floret were to develop work done in other countries receiving very inadequate
rather fully, though not always clearly, described, the to such a length, it could not spread equally in all
treatment. directions, as a mathematical calculation will prove ; it therefore develops in one direction, as a leaf does.” The description of the flowering spurge would scarcely be clear to a beginner. But such defects are so incon
LETTER TO THE EDITOR. spicuous as to detract little from the value of the book, which is enhanced by many excellent original “deline [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions exations from nature."
pressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake
to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected Ethnological Studies among the North-West Central
manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE,
No notice is taken of anonymous communications. ] Queensland Aborigines. By Walter E. Roth. Pp. xvi + 199, and Plates. (Brisbane : Gregory, 1897.)
Malformed Crabs. The chief difficulty which an investigator has to surmount in studying the habits and customs of a savage race is
In your issue of March 10 I observe a most interesting letter their innate suspicion, which often prevents them relating formed specimen of Cancer pagurus in the Dɔver Museum. I
from your correspondent, Mr. R. I. Pocock, regarding a malnot only the traditions of their tribe, but also their
have never seen such a remarkable case of malformation in the common customs.
common edible crab, but in the Robertson Museum here is to be Roth claims to have overcome this difficulty by a seen a very fine specimen of Nephrops norvegicus, having three prolonged residence among the natives of North-West digits on the right pincer or great claw. The supernumerary digit, which is fully two-thirds the size of the normal one, springs from lasting six hours, is invariably made to last six days, if not the inner side of the base of the inner movable finger, and is twelve. I am sure there ought to be some remedy for it." In sharply toothed on both sides, and directly opposable to the Ehrlich v. Ihlee” the Court of Appeal took occasion to comouter finger. The normal digit is fully developed and curves out
plain of the
frightful mischief” caused by the prolixity of the wards from the supernumerary one at a wide angle, the distance proceedings in patent actions. Mr. Wise suggests a remedy. between them being fully three-quarters of an inch at the points. He points out that the Comptroller-General of Patents or his They move together, and permit an opening of about half an inch deputy determines questions not unlike the questions of infringebetween the supernumerary and the normal outer digit, so that ment which come before the Courts; and he trusts that, if the little or no inconvenience would be caused to the animal during staff of the Patent Office were strengthened, a tribunal more life. This sprcimen was caught by fishermen in the neighbour- economical, expeditious, and not less fit than the present would hood of Cumbrae, and was given to a Millport gentleman, Mr.
be found. An appeal lies to the law officers; and it is a Liddle, who kindly handed it over to the Museum.
recommendation to the suggested system, in the eyes of our cor
ALEXANDER GRAY. respondent, that at all stages patent agents may appear for the Millport Marine Biological Station, March 6.
We have our doubts about the efficacy or success of this recommendation, though certainly not on ihe ground that patent
agents, whom the Legislature has very properly recognised, SCIENTIFIC EXPERTS AND PATENT CASES.
would have a larger field than is now theirs. We should be WE E have often had occasion to point out the many
glad to see them invested with more privileges, and corresdisadvantages which are connected with the ponding responsibilities when they proved ignorant and careless. present system of obtaining and using scientific evidence But such a tribunal would not satisfy patentees, who are the in courts of law. The disadvantage which chiefly con
most pugnacious and persevering of litigants. Beaten in one cerns us is that science and men of science are at times
Court, they will resort to another ; if they at last acquiesce in
the decision of the House of Lords, it is only because there is thereby drawn into and through mud of a most objection
no tribunal above it. Such are the uncertainties necessarily able quality; but there are many others.
attending many of the disputes, and, above all, such are the We are glad to see that the matter has again been rewards that come with success in patent actions, that every brought to the front, and this time by the Lord Chan
weapon is, and always will be, used in the fight. It is not to be cellor himself, and that alterations in the present mode expected that, to take two examples at random, the parties to of procedure are being discussed.
the litigation before Mr. Justice Wills in 1896 and 1897 in “ The We content ourselves this week by reproducing the Incandescent Gas Light Company v. the De Mare Incan. following leading article in Wednesday's Times :
descent Gas Light System” and “The Pneumatic Tyre Company
V. the Ixion Pneumatic Tyre Company” would be content In the recent sittings of the Law Courts nothing has been with the decision of a few officials of the Patent Office. In the more remarkable than the large number of patent actions. great majority of the cases referred to by the Lord Chancellor Certain inventions have been veritable gold mines to patent and by our correspondent much money is at stake ; and the lawyers, agents and experts. The bicycle is scarcely more parties will spare no expense to gain their point. familiar in the streets and highways than in the Courts. We A more plausible suggestion is that the evidence should not could name patentees who are never out of litigation to protect be left, as it now is, solely to the discretion of the parties; that their menaced rights ; certain lamps, gas burners, and explo: the Judge should nominate some experts—if possible one in sives are always “going to the Lords.” A very substantial whom all have confidence-to report on the invention and the part of judicial time is taken up in examining the rival claims question of novelty, validity, or infringement; and that he of inventors, and they are likely to ask for more. The history should be guided by the report unless it was shown to be of science is constantly illustrating the fact that the same ideas erroneous. This would prevent the competition, so common are in many minds at the same time, that often it is an accident and so ruinous to poor litigants, in the production of expert whether A or B first propounds his suggestions, and that the evidence. It is no small recommendation of this suggestion priority of one over the other may be a matter of a few months that under other systems of law it is adopted and is found to or even days. That is a partial explanation 'of the multi- answer. There is, however, some force in one criticismtitude of disputes as to bicycle tires, bicycle saddles, metal Where, in many cases, is a truly impartial expert to be found? rims, chains, and gear of all
If the question is one of great importance, a scientific witness planation is to be found in the profits derivable from of eminence has probably in his writings or in some discussion patents as to articles used by hundreds of thousands. committed himself, directly or indirectly, to an opinion on one Sometimes the Courts are called upon to decide between or more of the points involved. To take an actual instance, two independent inventors. Just as often the fight is between it would have been difficult in the recent litigation between the one who has an honest claim and another who wishes to levy Maxim-Nordenfelt Company and Sir William Anderson to have blackmail or to be bought out. The mode of determining such found a chemišt whose report on the properties of the actions is far from satisfactory. The Lord Chancellor, in a case explosives under consideration would have been accepted as in the House of Lords which we reported the other day, gave prima facie valid. Good might come of a special tribunal framed expression to a widespread opinion on this point. The case on the lines of the Commercial Court. But sometimes what is im. turned on five or six lines in a specification relating to the tires peratively needed is the unbiased opinion of an intelligent of bicycles; but it occupied inordinate time both in the Court Outsider with no theories about physics. One point of delicacy below and in the Court of Appeal. “ Having regard to the ex- is rarely touched by the critics of the existing system. It must travagant and extraordinary consumption of time which was in. be present to them all. In some professions a traditional sense volved in the determination of this case," said the Lord Chan- of honour prevails to which all must conform, or appear to do cellor, “witnesses of great eminence being called upon both so, and which prevents open and Aagrant deviations from rectisides and evidence given which amounts in the book which I tude. Among doctors, for example, there are black sheep ; but hold in my hand to 500 printed quarto pages, it is no wonder they keep well out of sight. It is notorious that, even in cases that, if a case so simple in its character is so protracted, there in which life and death are at stake, or when there happens is what is called a “block’ in the Courts of law.” So serious is to be a temptation to speak loosely, it is rare to find a doctor the state of things that the Lord Chancellor intimated that it giving evidence in favour of theories which his brethren might be necessary to hand over to a special tribunal the trial of would scout as manifestly absurd. Could as much be said of cases for which the ordinary procedure seemed inapt. A well- the testimony of scientific experts in patent actions ? There informed correspondent, Mr. W. L. Wise, in a letter which we may be countries in which such witnesses never overstate the publish to-day, expresses much the same opinion in even stronger case and never sell their opinion. Ours is not one of them. terms. “ The present state of things virtually amounts to a Many scientific witnesses who ought to know better have denial of justice to all but those having the command of large acquired a very bad habit ; they have come to regard themselves sums of money." This is an old complaint. Years ago the late as advocates in the witness-box. It seems a poor palliation of Master of the Rolls said, “There is something catching in a real evil to press on scientific experts--some do not need that patent cases, which is that it makes everybody argue and ask counsel-a loitier notion of their function than befogging the questions to an interminable extent. A patent case, with no Judge or finding more or less plausible reasons for what they more difficult question to try than any other case, instead of | know to be untenable and absurd.
used separately. In the English form, Mr. Bridges Lee
has wisely determined that while each photograph should , a successfully employed a process which greatly sents, it should also carry on its face the information facilitated the work of surveying, and which in its modern necessary for the correct interpretation of the picture, developments is likely to supersede the tedious work of and the subsequent construction of a map. When measurement in the field. Where the greatest accuracy was
passing through countries where roads are scarce and not required, the method recommended itself on account travelling difficult, notebooks are apt to be lost; but of its great practical utility, enabling contoured maps to without more words, every one must appreciate the be produced without the labour of heavy calculations. arrangement by which the “ constants of reduction" M. Beaupré availed himself of the principle of the camera are made as permanent as the picture to which they lucida, and by its aid sketched the panorama about him refer. from two ends of a measured base line. In a paper The general principles on which the Bridges Lee recently communicated by Prof. E. J. Mills to the Institu- camera has been constructed, and the objects sought to tion of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, it is be attained, have already been briefly explained in contended that the best work is still done when this these columns (vol. li. p. 191). Its present form has principle is utilised. From two views taken at a known been adopted because experiment has proved the distance from each other, however procured, one is able necessity of great nicety of mechanical adjustment to to plot a map with a fair amount of accuracy, and knowing obtain the best results. To ensure the necessary the correct relative distances of the objects their vertical lightness and rigidity, the camera box is made of height can be deduced. No doubt there were diffi- aluminium. The direction in which the instrument is culties in the application of the method. Any one who pointed can be read off an azimuthal circle, graduated to has attempted to draw a picture of a distant object by minutes, on which the camera turns. A level on the top means of Wollaston's invention knows that the result is of the box ensures the horizontality of the instrument, apt to be a little disappointing, though successive improve and when this adjustment has been made, a telescope, ments in the mechanism have removed many of the effects also securely attached to the top of the camera, will move arising from parallax, which interfered with correct deline in a vertical plane through a sufficient range of angle for ation in the early days when the instrument was first used. all ordinary terrestrial work. The angle through which But the process still remains long and tedious, and it was the telescope can be moved in altitude is also read to inevitable that the introduction of photography with its minutes. This supplies the observer with a theodolite, rapid and accurate results, should be welcomed as likely and its position is so arranged with reference to the other to banish the slow methods of hand drawing in the initial parts of the instrument, that the line of collimation and stages of the work.
the vertical wire of the theodolite are in the same plane To obtain a photograph which should be free from with that which bisects the photographic lens. In this optical distortion, and to which the laws of geometrical same vertical plane, a “wire" is fixed to the frame of the perspective could be applied without any correction, has camera, cutting the optic axis of the lens at right angles, not been an easy task. But now it may be said that we and consequently marks on the photograph the median do possess lenses which will cover an angular field of vertical plane of the instrument. Another wire, also about 60° without measurable distortion, and give uniform through the optic axis at right angles to this, will mark the definition all over the plate. Enlargements and printing horizon of the instrument on the picture, and the interfrom the original negatives doubtless still present some section of the two wires will give the “principal point” of difficulties. Prof. Mills, we notice, recommends that the the perspective. Inside the camera is placed a magnetic prints should be made on bromide paper, and developed compass, and the scale being transparent, it is printed on with amidol. Shrinkage and distortion of the paper will, the picture. The axis of rotation of this compass is in the it is asserted, be prevented, when soaked in a two per cent. same plane as the axis of collimation of the theodolite, solution of formalin, and dried at a gentle heat. Other and of the vertical wire. The distance between the authorities, however, distrust paper altogether, and prefer scale of the compass and the vertical wire is kept to use a bromide emulsion on opaque or translucent plates constant by a device which works automatically when the of fat glass as likely to give less error. But the posses
camera is in use, and since this distance very slightly sion of accurate optical arrangements, combined with exceeds the radius of the compass, the wire can be used exact manuipulation of the photographic result, suggests as a pointer to read the scale. One very important many new applications to which the camera can be addition to the usefulness of the instrument is the profitably applied, and the surveyor now finds himself insertion of a scale of angular distance, photographically equipped with an instrument of scientific precision, in prepared by the same lens as that fitted in the which are combined the main features of a theodolite instrument when complete for surveying purposes. The and a level, and which replaces the plane table and its scale is so attached to the frame, that it is photographed accessories.
on every picture taken, and by its aid one can easily read In the earliest form of surveying camera or photogram- off the angular distances of any point in the picture meter, to give it a polysyllabic title, the instrument con- right or left of the median vertical plane. sisted of little more than an ordinary bellows camera, set A method of surveying in which the necessary observon a horizontal circle, and moving about a vertical axis. ations are easily and rapidly collected, or are implicitly The distance between the plate and the lens was fixed, contained in a series of photographic views, has the and the camera could be levelled by means of screws in promise of a large future. In travelling over unsettled the head of a tripod in much the same way that a theo- districts, where it is impossible to remain for any length dolite is adjusted. In the subsequent development and of time on a particular spot, the photographic method increased effectiveness that have been added to this seems likely to supersede all others. Indeed no other surveying instrument, two names stand out prominently, method seems possible. Moreover, a photograph contains that of Colonel Laussedat, the present Directeur of the an amount of detailed information concerning the country Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, Paris ; and in this photographed, which it is quite impossible to gather country that of Mr. Bridges Lee. In the French form, from notes of observations and sketches, although much the camera is placed on the top of a stand carrying a time may be spent in making these additions as carefully transit theodolite, and the disposition of the several parts as possible. In this connection, one might call attention is arranged to ensure stability and symmetry about a to the beautiful mountain maps which have been vertical axis, while each part of the instrument can be prepared for the German and Austrian Alpine Club
Here the work is based on the original ordnance survey this economy; the great improvement consists in the submaps, and the topographical details filled in from photo stitution of the methods of photography--methods, which graphy. These maps represent one of the most suc- proving highly popular, must tend to displace more and cessful applications of photographic surveying. Again, more the use of the plane table. in preliminary experimental surveys for irrigation purposes, or for deciding on the best route for a proposed railway, the camera, properly controlled, possesses many advantages over ordinary surveying instruments. In such
BALNIBARBIAN GLUMTRAP RHYME. cases it is often excessively difficult to determine (Repeated by the children in the nurseries of Bainibarbi.) beforehand how much plotting will be necessary to secure the object in view. The district may have to be
DI ISTANT scintillating star, re-visited over and over again to supply the requisite
Shall I tell you what you are ? details, all of which may prove useless in the end. But
Nay, for I can merely know with the photographic pictures secured by a camera, the
What you were some years ago. plan may be plotted so far only as required, and if additional information be needed, the photographs can be
For, the rays that reach me here made to give all the detail wanted without going again to
May have left your photosphere the field. Irrigation surveys for agricultural purposes
Ere the fight of Waterloo have been effected in the North-West Provinces with
Ere the pterodactyl flew ! complete success by the photographic method, and are likely to be still further extended. Prof. Mills tried to
Many stars have passed away apply the method to the determination of the content of
Since your æther-shaking ray a ship in dock by constructing a model of the vessel in
On its lengthy journey spedclay, the necessary dimensions for which were to be
So that you, perhaps, are dead ! taken from measured photographs. When the amount of clay in the model, and the scale of the photograph
Smashed in some tremendous war from which the necessary measurements have been taken
With another mighty starare both known, the capacity of the ship is at once
You and all your planets just determined. In this particular instance, it is true, the
Scattered into cosmic dust! method failed, owing to the impossibility of selecting suitable stations for the photographs amid the crowded
Strange, if you have vanished quite, machinery of a busy ship-building yard. But the attempt
That we still behold your light, shows the wide applicability of the method and the ex
Playing for so long a time tent of the field open to the intelligent use of photo
Some celestial pantomime ! graphic appliances. But its greatest triumphs are, of course, to be seen when
But, supposing all is well, the method is continuously applied over a large area. One
What you're made of, can I tell ? of the most successful operators is Mr. E. Deville, the
Yes, 'twill be an easy task Surveyor General of Dominion Lands, who has carried
If my spectroscope I ask. his investigations over the difficult passes of the Rocky Mountains, and surveyed the country up to the United
There—your spectrum now is spread States boundary of the Alaska terr tory. No less than
Down from ultra-blue to red, 14,000 square miles of this inhospitable country were
Crossed by dark metallic lines, surveyed in the years 1893-94. The proper administra
Of your cooler layer the signs. tion of the country, he tells us, required a tolerably accurate map, and means had to be found to execute it
Hence among the starry spheres rapidly, and at a moderate cost. The ordinary methods
You've arrived at middle years-of topographical surveying were too slow and expensive
You are fairly old and ripe, for the purpose ; rapid surveys, based on triangulations,
Of our solid solar type. and sketches were tried and proved ineffectual ; then photography was resorted to, with the result just
Ah, your sodium line is seen mentioned. The same authority, as was natural to one
Strongly shifted towards the green. in his official position, has made a very careful comparison
Hence you are approaching me of the relative expense of a survey made with the plane
With a huge velocity! table and one with the camera : all such comparisons are liable to be modified by the climatic conditions of the
But, if some celestial woe country, and the amount of detailed plotting required.
Overtook you long ago, In the climate of the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Deville
And to swift destruction hurled estimates that on one half of the number of days in a
Life on every living world, season, no work can be done with a camera, owing to smoke, fog, rain and snow storms. But quite as great a
Did there in the fiery tide loss of time is experienced with the plane table, added to
Perish much of pomp and pridewhich the apparatus is more weighty, requiring more
Many emperors and kings, porterage, and therefore additional expense in removal.
Going to do awful things? But neglecting these and some other slight advantages which are on the side of photography, he finds that the
Mighty schemes of mighty czarsplane table survey is three times (rigorously as 164 : 56)
Mighty armies, glorious wars ! more expensive than that accomplished by the camera.
From the Nebula they may This is a real practical advantage which is immediately
Rise to curse a world some day! appreciated, and on several grounds, not taken into
G. M. MINCHIN. Mr. Deville's estimate, such as the possibility of reducing the number of highly-trained assistants, it would seem 1 Balnibarbi is one of the countries visited by Gulliver ; the "Glumtrap that the difference of expenditure has not been over
is the Balnibarbian equivalent of the English nursery; and the tabies of
Balnibarbi are brought up on strictly scientific principles-as is evidenced estimated. There is no sacrifice of accuracy to secure by their knowledge in these verses.
afternoon short addresses will be delivered by MM. Ducretet,
Morin, and Hurmuzescu. The preliminary circular for the jubilee meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to be held at The Liverpool Marine Biology Committee's Easter party, Boston, August 22-27, has just been issued. Prof. Frederick now at the Port Erin Biological Station, includes Mr. Isaac L. W. Putnam, the president-elect, repeats the assurance given to Thompson, Mr. Frank J. Cole, Mr. R. A. Dawson, Mr. H. C. the nominating committee at the last meeting, that this second Chadwick, Prof. Herdman, and several students from University Boston meeting, held on the fistieth anniversary of the found. College, Liverpool. Prof. Boyce and others are expected later ation of the Association, “gives promise of being the most im. in April. The Lancashire Sea Fisheries steamer is also at Port portant scientific gathering ever held in the United States.” A Erin, and several dredging and trawling expeditions are taking special effort will be made to increase the membership, in the place. Spawn of several fishes has been obtained, and fertilised, hope that at least one thousand new members will be added.
and is now developing in the tanks. Under the care of Mr. The meetings will be held at the rooms of the Massachusetts Chadwick, Curator of the Station, the aquarium is in a flourishing Institute of Technology, and of the Boston Society of Natural condition, and contains a number of interesting animals, some History, occupying three closely adjoining buildings.
of which are spawning. A recent addition to the laboratory Association will be for one day a guest of Harvard University, accommodation at the Station has been completed, which gives and for another of the Essex Institute of Salem ; the latter five additional work windows for students, so that there is now being the place of the museum of the Association, and its per plenty of room for other workers. manent office. A larger number than usual of the affiliated societies will meet in connection with the Association, including
Dr. H. M. FERNANDO will probably be the director of the the American Forestry Association, the American Geological Bacteriological Institute to be opened in Colombo shortly. Society, the American Chemical Society, the Society of The final plans for the building have been completed, and the
work will be taken in hand at once. Economic Entomologists, the Society for the Promotion of
It is expected that the Engineering Education, the Society for the Promotion of
Institute will be opened by the beginning of next year. Agricultural Science, the American Mathematical Society, and We learn from Science that the United States Senate has several more. After the meeting excursions will be made to
passed a Bill for the protection of song birds, providing that the the White Mountains and to Cape Cod. The local com- importation into the United States of birds, feathers, or parts of mittee has been fully organised under the honorary presidency birds for ornamental purposes be prohibited, and prohibiting of Governor Roger Wolcott. The honorary vice-presidents in
the transportation or sale of such articles in any territory of the clude the presidents of fourteen colleges and universities, besides United States or in the District of Columbia. many other prominent gentlemen. The local secretary is Prof. H. W. Tyler, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 491
The vanguard of exploring expeditions for the season is that Boylston Street, Boston ; and the general committee is a large of Dr. Carl Lumholtz and Dr. Hrdlicka, who left the American and representative one, composed of the foremost citizens. The Museum of Natural History a few days ago in search of anthro. chairmen of the other committees are : Finance, the honorary pological specimens for the museum. This will be followed in treasurer, Colonel Henry L. Higginson ; Reception, Dr. J. R. a few weeks by an expedition to the North-west, undertaken Chadwick; Rooms for meeting, Prof. Charles R. Cross; In- also for anthropological research, by Dr. Laufer, Mr. Gerard vitations to foreign guests, Dr. Henry P. Bowditch ; Excursions, Fowke, Mr. R. Dixon, and Mr. H. Smith. General Francis H. Appleton ; Cambridge committee, Prof.
The most violent earthquake in California since 1872 was felt Charles W. Eliot, of Harvard University ; Salem committee, Hon.
on Thursday night, March 31. The shock was felt only in Robert S. Rantoul, president of the Essex Institute ; Executive
Northern California. The direction of vibrations was from committee, Prof. W. T. Sedgwick. An unusual feature is the
The committee for the reception of foreign guests.
east to west ; and they were very heavy in a small area. The circular
seismograph showed the duration of the earthquake to have been explains that special efforts will be made to secure the presence
between thirty and forty seconds at the University of California, of many eminent men of science from abroad.
Berkeley. Damage was done to buildings at San Francisco A bust of the late Prof. P. Schützenberger, the distinguished and Vallejo ; but no loss of life has been reported. chemist, was unveiled at the Paris École de physique et de
The death of Prof. Salomon Stricker, the distinguished pro. chimie industrielles on April 3. Prof. Schützenberger was the
fessor of experimental and general pathology in the University founder and first director of the school, and the bust is a
of Vienna, at the age of sixty-five, is announced in the British testimony of the affection in which his memory is held by old
Medical Journal. Only a week or two ago Prof. Stricker cele. students.
brated the twenty-fifth anniversary of his appointment as proOLD students and admirers of Dr. W. K. Brooks, professor fessor, and the occasion was celebrated by presenting him with a of zoology in the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, pre. Festschrift entitled “ Thirty Years of Experimental Pathology,” sented him with his portrait, painted by Mr. T. C. Corner, upon the list of contributors including the names of E. Albert, A. the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his birth on March 25. Spina, G. Gaertner, Dr. E. Klein, and many other pathologists Many leading zoologists of the United States took part in this and histologists of note. expression of esteem for Prof. Brooks.
M. DE FONVIELLE writes :-The 1898 session of the interThe autumn congress of the Sanitary Institute will be held
national balloon scientific conference was held in Strasburg this year in Birmingham, under the presidency of Sir Joseph
with great success. A large number of resolutions were adopted Fayrer, Bart., K.C.S.I., F.R.S., commencing on September 27. referring to the ascent of free balloons carrying registering
apparatus, and balloons with meteorological and photographic The annual exposition organised by the Société Français de instruments. The conference passed a vote in favour of the Physique will open to-day with a visit to the works of the Paris extension of kite experiments with recording apparatus or kite. Compressed Air Company. On Friday and Saturday evening a balloons to the international meteorological stations, in order large collection of apparatus used in recent physical investigations to procure better information on prevailing meteorological inwill be on view in the rooms of the Society; and on Saturday Auences. It was resolved that an international experiment