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should take place at the beginning of June. In addition to the bounding plates of glass, and the corresponding stream-lines Paris, Strasburg, Berlin, and Petersburg stations, two new calculated mathematically for the irrotational motion of a perfect stations will be established in Vienna at the expense of the liquid in two dimensions. It has been one of the great objections Minister of War, and in Brussels. The expenses will be sup. to the mathematical theory of Auid motion that the conditions ported by the Belgian-Deutsch Society of Astronomy, which imposed by the mathematician differ considerably from those sent to Strasburg, as their representative, M. Fievre, one of their occurring in practice. Prof. Hele-Shaw's investigations, hoxsecretaries. The next meeting will take place in Paris in 1900, ever, bid fair to bring hydrodynamics within the range of on the occasion of the forthcoming exposition. Among the experimental sciences, besides fulfilling the object for which they members present at the recent meeting were the director of the were primarily undertaken--that of teaching naval architects Russian Meteorological Service; Commander Kovanko, director how to minimise the surface-resistance on ships. of the Russian Aeronautical Service ; Herr Assmann and Dr.

Ar the meeting of the Institution of Civil Engineers on April Berson, of the Berlin Meteorological Institute ; M. Cailletet, 5, Mr. A. H. Preece gave an account of the present state of member of the French Academy of Sciences ; M. Teisserend electricity supply in London. There are now in London eleven de Bort; Mr. Rotch, director of the Blue Hill Observatory in important companies and five vestries supplying electricity, and Pennsylvania ; M. Besançon ; and Prof. Heim, the Swiss geo

three other companies and three vestries are taking steps to start logist, professor in the Zürich Polytechnicum.

works. Five companies and three vestries supply the alternating We regret to see that Mr. James l'Anson, an occasional con

current, and the remainder use direct-current systems. The tributor to our correspondence columns, died a few days ago.

direct-current systems are divisible into two classes--the highFrom the Engineer we learn that Mr. l'Anson was born at

pressure and the low-pressure. In the former, rotary transGateshead in 1845, and came of an old North-country family. formers are used to reduce the high pressure to a low pressure, Soon after leaving school he commenced his apprenticeship as a

while the latter produces and distributes electricity at the same mechanical engineer, and in 1866 he entered the engineering pressure at which it is supplied to consumers. The direct-curren: works of the late firm of Charles l'Anson and Co., becoming systems are applicable to compact areas, and, with the use of subsequently a partner. Some time after he became managing high pressure, to scattered or isolated compact areas. Tbe partner, a position which he held until his retirement in 1885.

chief advantages of the direct current system are the possibility Mr. l'Anson was for many years a Fellow of the Geological

of using storage-batteries, which can not be employed with the Society, and he also sat upon the Council of the Mineralogical alternating-current systems, greater efficiency in distribution, and Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He was a member of the greater adaptability to motive power. The favourite methods Iron and Steel Institute and of the North of England Institute of distributing electricity are to transmit current at a high of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, to whose proceedings he

pressure in heavily-insulated cables in iron pipes, and current a: contributed papers, as also to those of the Cleveland Institute of

a low pressure in insulated cable in stoneware conduits, or in Engineers, the Mineralogical Society, and the British Archæ- cables heavily armoured and laid direct in the ground. Rubber ological Association.

is now little used, paper and jute, impregnated with insulating

compounds, having been extensively adopted. The electric Among the problems interesting to the physicist and mathe supply industry is rapidly growing, and no less than 40,000 h.p. matician which are discussed at the meetings of the Institution is now being installed in London in order to meet the demand of Naval Architects, few open up such a wide field of inquiry for electricity in the immediate future. as those which form the subject of Prof. H. S. Hele-Shaw's paper, entitled “Investigation of the nature of surface-resist.

The T'imes correspondent at Cairo makes the important ance of water, and of stream-line motion under certain experi

announcement that M. Loret has discovered and opened a: mental conditions," read before the recent meeting of the In

Thebes the tomb of Amenophis II , a king of the XVIII

The toonb contains stitution. In a previous paper, read last July, the author dynasty, who reigned some 1500 years B.C. showed how the flow of water in two dimensions past obstacles

the mummies of Amenophis and of seven other kings, beside of various cylindrical and prismatic forms could be investigated

two mummies bearing no name, and four bodies which, though experimentally by the use of water containing a quantity of air they have not been embalmed, are all in a complete state of Aowing between two parallel plates of glass, the air rendering preservation, with the features perfect. The hair upon each a the water turbulent where the motion was most rapid. The

these bodies is luxuriant, and the features are said to resemble photographs, which Prof. Hele-Shaw reproduces, show in every

to a marked degree those of the fellaheen of the present day. case a clear line round the boundary of the solid, indicating a

M. Loret's find is amongst the most interesting ever made in thin film in which shearing motion takes place past the surface, Egypt. while outside this comparatively calm region streaks of air The Central Physical Observatory of St. Petersburg has are noticeable. The figures, moreover, show the presence of published an interesting pamphlet showing, for the whole of the regions of dead water behind obstacles with blunt edges, fully Russian Empire, the absolute maximum and minimum temconfirming the view that to minimise resistance a solid must peratures at about 230 stations, accompanied by three maps, be made to taper at its stern end rather than at its bow end. illustrating the above elements, and the ranges of temperature. In the present paper diagrams are given showing the vari- The observations at some of the stations extend over a lock ations in thickness of the entrained film according to the series of years, e.g. St. Petersburg, 142 years; Moscow, 9 smoothness or roughness of the surface of the solid, the addition years ; and Archangel, 80 years. The most remarkable temof soap to the water, and other circumstances. A second field peratures and ranges are recorded in the Province of Yakutsk, of experiment has been developed by the use of thin films of in Siberia :-Verkoiansk, 90° F. with a range of 1827; water flowing between parallel plates, in which the stream-lines Markinskoe, - 85°'o, range 1859-2 ; Yakutsk,

84''1, range are shown by the introduction of coloured bands. Unless the 18597. All these extreme minima occurred in the month of film be very thin (about 0'5 mm.), the lines of colour become | February, and the stations being a considerable distance apar, blurred, especially after flowing round an obstacle. The most

testify to their accuracy and to the great rigour of the winter a remarkable result is the coincidence between the stream-lines in that locality. The work has been compiled by Mr. A. Varnek; these experiments, where we are probably dealing with a case of but the text being in Russian only, detracts somewhat from is laminated motion of a viscous liquid largely affected by the general usefulness.

The sources of commercial india-rubber form the subject of may mention that the experiments appear to have been carried two Cantor Lectures to be delivered at the Society of Arts on / out with great care. The thermometers were placed at various Monday, April 18 and 25, by Dr. D. Morris, C.M.G.

depths below and heights above the ground, and show clearly An instructive article upon processes of alkali manufacture,

the effect of the soil upon the air temperature and humidity with special reference to the works of Messrs. Brunner, Mond, during the various hours of the day and night. The conditions and Co., appeared in yesterday's T'imes.

of humidity were found to be very different between the level

of the ground and the height of about 33 feet (at which the highest We have received from Mr. C. Leeson Prince the summary

thermometers were placed), being less in the night and greater for the year 1897 of meteorological records which he keeps in the day in the lower than in the upper strata of air. at his observatory on Crowborough Hill, Sussex. Perhaps the most important event of the year occurred on May 30, The Rev. W. Sidgreaves, in his report of the Stonyhurst when, as he says, “a more memorable thunderstorm passed College Observatory for 1897, gives us the results of the. over a portion of this country than has happened within living meteorological and magnetical observations made during the past memory.” This storm, from all accounts, did not actually year, with notes and comments. In addition to these observ. occur at Crowborough Hill; but from its elevated position the ations, which have been carried out with the utmost regularity, progress of the storm, though twenty miles distant, could be other branches of work have been followed. Thus prepara


[From a Photograph by Wynter, Seaford. A reproduction (natural size) of some hailstones which fell at Seaford during the thunder-storm of May 30, 1897.

watched for a considerable time. Mr. Prince gives a repro- tion was made for photographing trails of the November duction of some of the hailstones which had previously fallen at meteors, five cameras having been mounted round the objectSeaford during the same storm. These were found to be still glass end of the equatorial, but the weather proved too un. larger, as will be seen by the accompanying illustration showing favourable. Again, 174 drawings of solar spots and faculæ the hailstones in their natural size.

were made during the twelve months, and enlarged drawings of We have received from Dr. T. Homén, of the University of spots near the solar limb were undertaken to obtain evidence Helsingfors, a laborious investigation, entitled “Der tägliche

about the level of the umbra. As regards stellar spectroscopy Wärmeumsatz im Boden und die Wärmestrahlung zwischen 240 plates were exposed, the work in hand being directed to the Himmel und Erde,” being a continuation of a work published sequence of spectrum differences of the yellow and red stars, from in 1894, in which the author dealt more particularly with earth

those of the solar type to the type of a Herculis. An appendix temperature, evaporation and dew. In the present publication

to this report contains the results of meteorological observations Dr. Homén attempts the determination of the amount of heat

for 1897, made at St. Ignatius' College, Malta, by the Rev. J.

F. Dobson. which enters various kinds of soil during the day, and the amount given up by radiation during the night. We are un- Science states that in addition to the plans of the Geological able to give an adequate account here of the various interesting Survey for explorations in Alaska, the Treasury Department are results contained in a quarto volume of about 150 pages, but we about starting five or six expeditions to explore the Yukon river,



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Copper river, and other water routes of the Territory, the United de l'ail. Voila ce qui doit fatalement arriver, el ce qui arrive States Congress having granted 100,000 dollars for the purpose.

en réalité."

M. Camille Flammarion tells us in the same journal that SCIENTIFIC facts are presented to the public freely and M. Adolphe de Bae, of Anvers, in the year 1891 suggested, in a attractively in three lectures which have been arranged at the letter to him, that this doubling might be the result of secondary Whitechapel Free Public Library and Museum. On Tuesday images which, under certain conditions, might be formed in the Prof. Hobday lectured on “The Horse and Dog and their idea, as it does not seem to sufficiently explain all the phenomena

M. Flammarion is, however, no great believer in this relations and friends.” On Tuesday, May 10, Prof. W. F. R.

of doubling, germination, &c., which have been observed on Weldon, F.R.S., will discourse upon “ Butterflies ” ; and on the surface of this interesting planet, although the arguments June 7, Prof. Marshall Ward, F.R.S,, will give an address upon brought forward reproduce very ingeniously the greater part of " A Piece of Wood.” Admission to the lectures is free by ticket,

the observations. With him we echo the sentiment of wishing

to know what M. Schiaparelli has to say on the subject. which can be obtained in the Museum and Library.

Comet Perrine.-The latest elements and ephemeris of this APPENDIX II. for 1898 of the Kew Bulletin is entirely occu- comet have been calculated by Prof. H. Kreutz, who gives the pied with a list of New Garden Plants of the year 1897, includ. results in No. 4 Circular recently distributed. ing also the most noteworthy of those which have been re-intro.

The elements computed from the observations of March 19, duced after having been lost from cultivation. In addition to 23, 27 and 31, differ slightly from those we have previously

given, being : species and botanical varieties, all hybrids, whether introduced or of garden origin, with botanical names, and described for the

T = 1898 March 17'37558 Berlin M.T. first time in 1897, are included.

47 34 12'1 Messrs. J. AND A. CHURCHILL announce that they will

12 = 262 33 596 1898.0

72 27 481) publish in a few days a new work on “The Blood : how to

log 9 = 0·040842 examine and diagnose its diseases,” by Dr. Alfred C. Coles,

The ephemeris for the ensuing week is as follows :illustrated with six coloured plates. They will also issue a fifth


log logs edition of “A Manual of Dental Anatomy, Human and Comparative,” by Mr. Charles S. Tomes, F.R.S., with many new April 14 23 7 15 + 40 47 17 0'0757 0'2233 0*77 illustrations. The part dealing with comparative odontology


41 32.9

16 has been expanded to meet the requirements of students of

17 15 42 16:9

17 biology.

42 597

18 27 27 43 413 0:0851 0'2330 071 The additions to the Zoological Society's Gardens during the

19 32 37 past week include a Macaque Monkey (Macacus cynomoigus)

37 49 43 3

45 38.4 from India, presented by Mrs. Grace Currie ; a White-tailed

22 23 48 19 +46 15'0 0.0953 0 2438 064 Sea Eagle (Haliætus albicilla) from the Liautung Peninsula,

It will be noticed that the brightness of this comet is gradually China, presented by Mr. J. W. Carrell; ten Californian Quails decreasing, and by the end of the month it will be about hal? (Callipepla californica) from California, presented by Captain that at the time of discovery. Thos. Yardley Powles ; a Common Viper (Vipera berus)

. Tue April Lyrius. -As pointed out in this column on British, presented by Mr. R. Tucker ; an Egyptian Jerboa March 31 (p: 519), the April shower of meteors is due on 19-20 (Dipus ægyptius), four Egyptian Ichneumons (Herpestes ichneu- of this month. The conditions for viewing these bodies if they mon), six Gulls (Larus, sp. inc.), a Common Kestrel (Tinnun. should be numerous will be very favourable, as the moon will culus alaudarius) from Egypt, a Leopard (Felis pardus) from

be absent. As Mr. Denning tells us, the periodical maxima

of this stream of Lyrids has a computed time of revolution of West Africa, a Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus) from

415 years, a brilliant display having occurred on April 20 in the Malacca, deposited ; a Chimpanzee (Anthropopithecus troglo. year 1803. The radiant point is 270° + 32o. dytes, 8 ) from West Africa, a Rosy-billed Duck (Netopiana The Meudon OBSERVATORY.-Prof. Janssen is evidently deposača, 8 ) from South America, purchased.

bringing together a very strong force at the Astro-Physical 05. servatory at Meudon. We hear now that, in addition to the other experienced astronomers who are working there, M.

Deslandres has been transferred from Paris, and will in future OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

continue his valuable spectroscopic researches at Meudon. THE DOUBLING OF THE CANALS ON MARS.—The origin of the doubling of the canals visible on the surface of the planet Mars has again come to the front, and this time M. PREHISTORIC RUINS OF HONDURAS AND

URA Antoniadi has put forward an explanation. His suggestion is

YUCATAN. that the doubling is only a phenomenon caused probably by the eye of the observer ; in fact, it is the result of slight focus. IN 1891 the Directors of the Peabody Museum secured from sing errors when observing these markings. A full account of c. Bowditch, of Boston) the right to explore the ruins of Copar.,

the Government of Honduras (through the liberality of Mr. this curicus cause of error is contributed to Cosmos (No. 687) by and to take away half of the objects found in the excavations, M. Th. Moreux, and M. Antoniadi himself, gives a complete during a period of ten years. The preliminary report of the summary of his suggestion in the Bulletin de la Société Astronomi que de France for April. According to the latter, a thin line, gives the result of the first two years' work, and is accompanied

exploration,' now published by the Directors of the Museum, when gradually put slightly out of focus, becomes slowly double, by a plan and many excellent photographic plates. the inner parts of which are blurred ; in fact, a regular germination is observed. In addition to this, he finds that if several lines be

All those interested in American archæology must be for ever made to cross at a point, all of these do not become double, but grateful to the Committee directing the expedition for one in

struction given to the explorers; it was to the effect that a wall only certain of them. Not only do straight markings, but round and elongated spots become alike doubled. At the end of his and carved monoliths, so as to save them, if possible, from

should be built round the principal group of ruined structures paper, after remarking on the curious phenomenon of canals, as actually observed, becoming double in the course of a few hours, carried out, and the ruins, which were always safe from approach

further destruction. This work has now been most satisfactoris he says: Ainsi, si Mars est couvert de canaux,' la vision impar. Stantial stone wall nearly one mile in length.

on the river face, are now enclosed on the land side by a subfaite devra dédoubler ces lignes. Pareille vision indistincte peut provenir, ainsi que nous venons de le voir : 1° d'une minime 1 Memoirs of the Peabody Museum, &c. Vol. i. No. 1: “ Prehistori: erreur de mise au point ; 2° d'oscillations diplopiques (fatigue) | by the Museum, 1891-95."

Ruins of Copan, Honduras.' "A Preliminary Report of the Explorata a

Examination and excavation have thrown no light on the age fully incised figures and hieroglyphs. I have had the good of the buildings ; in fact, the further examination has only com- fortune to be able to examine this skull in the Peabody plicated the problem, as clearer proofs are forthcoming that the Museum, and can only express an earnest hope that photomass of masonry has grown up in the course of ages, old graphs of it, and drawings of the incised ornament, may be foundations being enlarged and covered in turn by new build-: included in the further publications which are promised us.

During the second year's work a sad event occurred in the death of Mr. J. G. Owens, the leader of the expedition, who contracted a malignant fever during a journey to the coast, and died 'soon after his return to the ruins, where he lies buried in the great Plaza surrounded by those strangely carved monoliths in which he had learned to take so keen an interest.

The Exploration Committee of the Pea. body Institute has not confined itself to organising expeditions in Honduras only; it has for some years worked with equal success in furthering the examination of ancient ruins in the peninsula of Yucatan. There, under the direction of Mr. Edward H. Thompson, for some time the United States Consul in Merida, a thorough examination has been made of the ruins of Labná; but, unfortunately, the report on that portion of the work has not yet been made public, and the second article in the Memoirs of the Museum deals only with the exploration of the Cave of Loltun, which Mr. Thompson undertook in 1888 before setting to work at Labná—from which it is twelve miles distant-and con. tinued in 1890-91.

One peculiarity of Yucatan is that it is a Fig. 1.- Foot of the hieroglyphic stairway.

country without any rivers. The copious

rainfall soaks through the porous limestone ings. One of the most interesting discoveries made during the rock, and it is to the pools in the deep caves or “cenotes” that explorations is connected with the great hieroglyphic stairway the Indian of to-day looks for his supply of water, as his forewhich leads to the summit of one of the largest soundation fathers did before him. Under such conditions the caves were mounds. The steps of this stairway had become disjointed sure to yield to the explorer many signs of human visitation, and displaced, so that it is not easy to determine the exact but it was of the greatest importance to ascertain whether the plan of its construction ; and it was probably in order to gain further information on this point that an excavation was commenced near the foot of the steps, which revealed the fact that the hieroglyphic stairway had been superimposed on an earlier stairway, which also had a clear cut inscription on the face of each step. A description of these stairways has been deferred until further exploration leads to a better understanding of their structure ; and it is to be hoped that the greatest care has been taken in numbering and recording the position of the stones, so that the continuity of the glyphs in the inscriptions may be retained, as the result of a comparison of the initial dates of the two inscriptions (one of which is in the rarer form of picture writing) will probably prove to be of the greatest value.

No regular burying place has been found at Copan, but a number of isolated tombs have been explored, in which human bones were discovered in more or less disintegrated condition. The human incisor teeth were found, in many instances, to be orna. mented by the inlaying of a little circular bit of jadeite, fitted into a hole drilled into the front of the tooth. These jadeite ornaments are slightly rounded outward, and highly polished. Many interesting

Fig. 2.-Two steps from the hieroglyphic stairway. pieces of pottery were secured during the excavations, some decorated with painted designs, others (such as the terra-cotta vase in the form of the evidences of human handiwork should be attributed only to the head of a carnivorous animal, figured on p. 48 of the Report) race inhabiting the land at the time of the Spanish conquest, or remarkable for the artistic skill shown in the modelling. The most interesting object of all, however, was not a piece of Yucatan." " Report of Explorations by the Museum, 1888-89 and 1890-91,

1 Memoirs of the Peabody Museum, &c., vol. i. No. 2: “Cave of Loltun, pottery, but the actual skull of a peccary covered with beauti- ly Edward H. Thompson.

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whether they could be ascribed to some earlier and more people revealed in the caves had reached the country in geoprimitive race.

logically recent times ; (3) that these people, substantially the The interest attaching to the result of Mr. Thompson's labours ancestors of the present Maya Indians, had not developed their has been somewhat discounted by the publication in 1896 of the culture in Yucatan, but had brought it with them from someadmirable treatise on the caves of Yucatan by Mr. Henry where else. Mercer, but to Mr. Thompson must remain the credit of having In a country where water is so scarce, it is only reasonable to been first in the field.

suppose that the inhabitants would have devised some means of Mr. Thompson's report is accompanied by some capital pho; storing the precious Auid ; and in the existence of numerous tographs of the rock carvings, taken by Mr. H. N. Sweet and “chaltunes" we have almost certain evidence of the means or

storage most commonly employed. These chaltunes are " single chambers of a vault-like appearance, built from ten to fifteen feet beneath the surface of the ground, and communicating with the outer world by means of a narrow well-like opening placed near the apex of the vaulted roof.” They are somewhat irregular in shape, but the prevailing form is shown in the following section.

Mr. Thompson paid particular attention to the chaltunes amongst the ruins of Labná,' a neighbourhood where-if the opinion that they were used for the storage of water be correct—it is likely that they would be found in considerable numbers, as the nearest permanent water supply is found at the Cave of Loltun, twelve miles distant. Mr. Thompson is of opinion that many of the rougher class of chaltunes were formed in the cavities or pockets from which the white earth, called by the natives “zahcab," had been taken. “This earth is of a


FIG. 3.-Terra-cotta vis: (f size

Mr. M. H. Saville, showing them all to be rude and primitive in character, with the single exception of a life-sized human figure with the mutilated remains of a date expressed in the Maya notation above its head, which is just such a figure as one might find on the walls of the ruined temples above ground.

Mr. Thompson's main conclusion is that from the earliest period of the cave's use as a human habitation the people seem to


Fig. 5.-The mouth of a chaltune.

peculiar character, and served the ancient builders, as it does those of the present day, as a building material to mix with lime in place of siliceous sand, which is practically unknown in Yucatan." The other chaltunes are well-built chambers, having their walls, roof, and floor of dressed stones, and finished with a coating of fine, hard stucco. In the ruins of Labná, each edifice and each terrace was found to be provided with one or more of these subterranean chambers, the largest of which, however, would not hold more than 10,000 gallons.

Many of the chaltunes had become hopelessly ruined, and many were filled up with earth and rubbish; but some of them had been purposely sealed up by the ancient inhabitants, and these presented a new and interesting field for investigation. Human bones and various objects of human workmanship were found among the deposits at the bottom of the chambers; and Mr. Thompson is led to the conclusion that many of these singular structures, after having been first used as reservoirs, were finally used as depositories for human remains, probably secondary burials, in connection with some special rite, after which the entrance of the chaltune was closed and cemented.

ALFRED P. MAUDSLAY. P.S. - While the foregoing was in the printer's hands, an

article on Copan has been brought to my notice, published Fig. 4.-Section of a chaltune.

in the Century Magazine for January, in which Mr. Gordon

states that he has finished his work on the hieroglyphic stairhave been of the same manners, religious customs, and house. way. It proves to have been a single flight of steps, and not hold habits as those who built the great structures above ground one stairway built over another. The illustration given on p. now in ruins. Mr. Mercer, after pointing out that the caves 569 shows the foot of the stairway as it was at first disclosed were not properly dwellings but rather temporary halting-places, has given it as his opinion, (1) that no earlier inhabitant pre

1 Memoirs of the Peabody Museum, vol. 1. No. 3: " The Chaltunes of

Labná, Yucatan.' ceded the builders of the ruined cities of Yucatan ; (2) that the 1890-91," by Edward H. Thompson.

Report of Explorations by the Museum 1888-89 and

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