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The report for 1905 of the Botanical Exchange Club of Nova's discovery (March, 1903) and February 27, 1900, the British Isles, prepared by Mr. J. W. White, has been appear in No. 6, vol. Ixvi., of the Monthly Notices

(R.A.S.). received. Besides being the official organ for the publi

At the time of discovery the magnitude of the Nora was cation of notes by the collectors or special authorities on

8.0, but it steadily decreased until at the present time the the correct determination of the plants, the report provides object is but very little brighter than the fifteenth-magas. a record of new or rare species with the localities in which tude star which slightly precedes it.

The observations made in order to discover any possible they have been found. The new records include Caltha

difference of focus between the Nova and the surrounding radicans for Perthshire, Ulex Gallii, var. humilis, for Corn

stars indicated no such difference at first, but on September wall, the aliens Hibiscus Trionum and Bromus unolioides

21, 1903, it was found that the focus for the Nova was collected in Salop, Lotus tenuis from near Cardiff, and 0.29 inch further from the object-glass than that of a tenthEpipactis atrorubens from Banff. The specific determination magnitude preceding white star. In connection with these of the large-flowered Cnothera so plentiful on the Lanca

observations a curious feature was noted on March 30. shire coast having been questioned, Mr. C. Bailey sent

1903. The Nova appeared to have two distinct foci, both

of which gave sharp images. The one image was of about specimens to Dr. O. Focke, of Bremen, who considers that

8.5 magnitude, of reddish-yellow colour, and

at the it is probably a form of the famous variable Enothera ordinary stellar focus, whilst the second was of the tenth Lamarckiana.

magnitude, about 0.39 inch further out, and of a beautiful

crimson colour. On April 6 the crimson image was still The Home Office has issued for 1905 statistics of the present, though not so strong or definite, and on April 27 persons employed, output, and accidents at mines and it had entirely disappeared. This image was probably due quarries in the United Kingdom, arranged according to the

to the strong Ha line in the spectrum of the Nova. inspection districts. The total number of persons employed surrounding comparison stars, of which Prof. Barnard

Measures of the distances between the Nova and the was 887,524, of whom 858,373 worked at the 3252 mines gives a chart, indicate a decrease of distance between one under the Coal Mines Act and 29,151 at the 688 mines of the latter and the Nova. From this it would apprar under the Metalliferous Mines Act. At the quarries under

that the Nova is in motion, but that cannot be stated as the Quarries Act there were 94,819 persons employed. The

a fact until further measures have been made. The death-rate from accidents was 1.49 per 1000 persons em

measures of the position of the Nova gave no indication of ployed for coal miners and 2.49 per 1000 for metal miners.

a parallax.

PERSONAL EQUATION IN PHOTOMETRIC OBSERVATIONS.-In We have received the two latest additions to the valuable No. 4089 of the Astronomische Nachrichten Prof. Ceraski series of bulletins issued by the Peruvian Corps of Mining

directs attention to the fact that in recording the results of Engineers. In Boletin No. 30 Mr. Carlos E. Velarde gives often happens that no mention is made of the relative

observations made with the Zöllner photometer it very a detailed account of the means adopted to obviate acci- positions of the real and the artificial stars during the dents in the mines of the Cerro de Pasco. Boletin No. 31 observation, and asks that this should always be carefully is a monograph on the mineral resources of the province recorded by the observer. of Cajamarca, by Mr. F. Malaga Santolalla. The work

There is often an effective personal equation introduced covers eighty-three pages, and is well illustrated and

into the results, depending upon whether the real star in

to the right or to the left of the artificial star when the furnished with maps and sections. The coalfields of the observation is made, and as this equation varies with the province are of considerable importance, bituminous coal instrument employed and the magnitude of the variable being worked at Yanacancha and anthracite at Punre. star at the moment of observation, it becomes important Descriptions are also given of mines of silver-lead ores,

that the conditions should be carefully recorded and the of copper, antimony, and sulphur. In fact, the province resulting corrections applied when the final values are is one of exceptional mineral wealth.

computed.

COMET 1906b (KOPFF).—In No. 4087 of the Astronomische Messrs. Swan SONNENSCHEIN AND Co., Ltd., have pub- Nachrichten Herr M. Ebell publishes a newly derived set lished a second edition of Mr. C. H. Hinton's book on the of elements and an ephemeris for comet 1900b.

The fourth dimension. The first edition was reviewed in the

following are the elements :issue of NATURE for July 21, 1904 (vol. Ixx., p. 269), and

T = 1905 Oct. 18.6620 (Berlin M.T.) it is only necessary to say that the new edition differs

00 = 158° 42' 11" 4) chiefly by the addition of a new chapter of twenty-three

B = 342° 13' 35"-1 1906'0

4° 14' 32":4 pages on a language of space. The new chapter is also

log 9 = 0'522130 published separately.

The ephemeris shows that the comet has just passed

from the constellation Leo, wherein it was discovered on OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

March 13, into Virgo, and is situated about one-third of

the distance between v Leonis and B Virginis, reckoning PHOTOGRAPUING UIE CORONA WITHOUT A TOTAL ECLIPSE. from the former. --A communication from MM. Millochau and Stefanik A note in the Observatory (No. 371) points out that the referring to a recent note in these columns (May 31, p. 112) perihelion distance of this comet is greater than any on their proposed method of photographing the corona previously recorded, with the exception of that of the without a total eclipse of the sun points out that the comet of 1729. Prof. Wolf has found an image of the meaning of part of their note in the Comptes rendus was comet on a plate secured on January 14, 1905, more than misinterpreted.

a year before the discovery, an event which is unique in The successful experiments at Meudon dealt with the the history of cometary observations. At that time the feasibility of photographing the line at 1 5393 with a magnitude of the object was about 04 that at the time of spectrograph ; and others, performed since their communi- discovery, and approximately equal to the present magnication to the academy was published, have clearly attirmed tude. the possibility of observing the green coronal line when the atmosphere is sufficiently pure and suitable screens

OBSERVATIONS of Variable STARS.--Twenty-two newly dis

covered variable stars in Carina are announced in Circular employed. It is this study of the spectrum of the corona that they hope to complete on the summit of Mont Blanc.

No. 115 of the Harvard College Observatory. The vari.

ability of these stars was discovered by Miss Leavitt from OBSERVATIONS OF NOVA GEMINORUM.-The results of the examination of six plates taken with the Bruce up some interesting observations of Nova Geminorum, which scope, the total number of variables discovered from these were made by Prof. Barnard between the date of the plates being now thirty-nine. The star 1 1232 is found 10

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be an Algol variable, and a number of the observations the l'niversity, showed how the ideal of Adam Smith of made near minima, together with an ephemeris for May, free and competitive teaching, and the ideal of Dr. JohnJune, and July, are given in the circular.

of an endowed and privileged university were united plan proposed by Prof. Bailey for the construction of in the University of London with its external and internal -3 variable star Durchmusterung, in which the cooperation sides, and he amused his audience greatly by pointing out o amateur and other astronomers is sought, is described that while the test of residence at the Inns of Court in No. 110 of the same publications.

was eating, and at Oxford and Cambridge was sleeping, The rexults of a number of variable-star observations that test in London had been divorced a mensâ et thoro ; made by Mr. S. D. Townley at the Lick Observatory Prof. Sadler, as past-president of the Modern Languages during the summer of 1902 are published in No. 95 of the Association, a number of the French guests of which were lick Observatory Bulletins. Most of the stars observed entertained by the University, gave an interesting and 1657 taken from the “ Catalogue of Stars recognised as suggestive sketch of French influences on English educaVariable since the Appearance of Chandler's Third Cata- tion. After the addresses tea was served in the new, and iegue,"* which appeared in the Astronomical Journal still unfinished, chemical and physical laboratories of the avul. xii.) in 1902.

Royal College of Science, over which the visitors were conducted by Sir Arthur Rücker, Prof. Tilden, Prof.

Callendar, and the staff of the college. In the evening the VISIT OF REPRESENTATIl’ES OF FRENCH guests were invited to meet fellow-specialists informally at UNIVERSITY EDUCATION.

parties given by Sir Edward Busk (modern languages and

literature), Prof. and Mrs. E. A. Gardner (classics, THE French visitors have come and gone. To describe archæology, and philosophy), Sir William and Lady Ramsay

in detail the events of a crowded programme would (mathematics and physical sciences), Mr. Mackinder (history Dimpissible. We can here only give a brief sketch.

and geography), and Dr. Waller, Dr. Farmer, Dr. HalliFrom the first meeting on Whit Monday, at the informal burton, and Dr. Starling (biological sciences). dinner given at the Empress Rooms of the Royal Palace On Wednesday morning, June 6, and afternoon, the Hotel, it was obvious that the entente between the French County Council took charge of the visitors ; they were odtants and their English hosts was sincere and cordial, driven in thirty-five carriages, headed by two mounted and that it was of much older standing than the political policemen, from the Royal Palace Hotel to Westminster, igreement. The Vice-Chancellor, Sir Edward Busk, speak- where they inspected the Abbey and school, then to the ing in French, struck the right note at the outset, and Sir excellent Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts and the Walter Paliner, the chairman of the reception committee, Oliver Goldsmith School, and so to Belair, the beautiful anu VrP. J. Hartog, the academic registrar of the uni- park of Mr. Evan Spicer, where lunch was served in an versity (who acted with Mr. W. K. Hill as secretary), both open marquee. The guests returned via Dulwich College formes students of the Sorbonne, welcomed, in the French and Picture Gallery, and drove through the Dulwich Sursis, old teachers and fellow-students.

Common Park, now maintained by the County Council, in To the coast of " Our Guests,” proposed by Sir Walter which there is a magnificent show of rhododendrons and Palmer, responses

made by M. Bavet (for the azaleas. In the evening private dinners were given by the Ministry of Public Instruction), M. Boutroux (for the Vice-Chancellor and Lady Busk, the Principal and Lady Faculty of Letters of Paris), M. Lippmann (for the Faculty Rücker, Dr. and Mrs. Bradford, Sir William Collins, ! Sciences of Paris), M. Chavannes (for the Collège de M.P., Dr. Headlam, principal of King's College, Mrs. Franca), M. Thamin and M. Angellier (for the French pro- J. R. Green, Sir Philip Magnus, M.P., and Lady Magnus, vinsial universitesi, M. Morel (for the Société des Pro- Dr. and Mrs. T. L. Mears, Sir Walter and Lady Palmer, fesseurs de Langues vivantes), and M. Gautier (for the Dr. and Mrs. Pye-Smith, and the principal, professors, fouine Internationale), several of whom, including MM. and lecturers of University College. Lippmann and Angellier, spoke in excellent English.

The evening concluded with a brilliant and crowded reOn the following morning the official proceedings began ception at the French Embassy. with a reception by Lord Fitzmaurice and Mr. Lough, On Thursday morning, June 7, a series of eight addresses Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education, in the was given in the Great Hall of the University of a large room of the Foreign Office, followed by luncheon singularly varied and interesting character, in which it for 30 guests in the East Gallery of the l'niversity.

fairly be said that the English speakers, Prof. This gallery, which is nearly 200 feet long, was decorated Gardner, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who spoke in Latin, with French and English bunting, and with red, blue, and Dr. Waller, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, and Sir white Houers; and the French robes of crimson silk

William Ramsay, who spoke in French, did not fall short 1-4 reich) and yellow silk (arts), with the ermine-barred of the high literary level characteristic of French eloquence. proga, the starlet gowns and many-coloured hoods of the M. Croiset and M. Appell, the Deans of the Faculties of Englishman, and the light summer dresses of the ladies, Arts and Sciences of Paris, M. Léger, professor at the lonned a gorgeous display. It was a surprise to the Collège de France, M. Benoist, Rector of Montpellier, and Frinchmen, who had been somewhat loth to don academic M. Morel, vice-president of the Société des Professeurs de toutumevery rarely worn in France, and only on solemn Langues vivantes, gave addresses on which it is impossible uttial Gruasions, to discover its value in a pageant.

One

to comment adequately. It is understood that they will the most distinguished of them prophesied that the be published later, when we hope to have occasion to English fashion would before long be followed in France. describe them.

Oficial distinction was given to the reception by the On the afternoon of Thursday, June 7, the French guests province ol M. Cambon, the French Ambassador, who journeyed by special train to Windsor, where they were inTrupi nded to the toast of the President of the French troduced by Lord Rosebery, Chancellor of the University, Rrpuble; and the connection of the University with London and by the Vice-Chancellor, to the King and Queen, and Wux emphasised by the toast" Welcome to London pro- were afterwards entertained at tea in the Castle ; and in the proud los Jr. Evan Spicer, chairman of the London County evening the proceedings, so far as London was concerned, Cruncil, and responded to by V. E. Hovelaque, the French concluded with a brilliant conversazione at the University. Injuttur-Girneral, who has of late vears transformed the On June 8 half the guests of the University and of the muhing of English in French schools, and who spoke with Modern Language Association were entertained at Oxford in ras and distinction that Englishmen might well envy. and half at Cambridge. The majority left London on Stor lunch came addresses in the Great Hall to an audience Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. obalut 1800 persons. The Vice-Chancellor gave a brief In these festivities there has been much brilliancr, much but interesting skrich of the relation between the University pomp and circumstance. But behind the show there has of Paris and the older English universities; V. Liard, the been real and solid work accomplished or begun. Lessons Vier-Rector of the University of Paris, gave an account of arr learnt better from men than from books, and the the great and fruitful reforms in French secondary and lessons to be derived from French education, to which university education, on which, as Sir Edward Busk justly with the Army) France has devoted the best part of her saitl, he has for many years overted “a commanding and energies since 1871, have been sadly neglected by England. lueneficent influence"; Sir Arthur Rücker, principal of We have still to learn that solid secondary education is a

mav

or

necessary preliminary to fruitful university education ; that an attack we must be prepared for in many localities in it is possible to combine literary and scientific training; this country when grass land is broken up, an unlikely that both in secondary and in higher teaching, if the proceeding, however, at the present day with the low price teachers are to stimulate individuality in their pupils, they

of corn.

Probably a good deal of damage is done here must be given time and opportunity to cultivate and develop now, but has been attributed to other causes. The figures their own; that examinations may be used to test the given by Forbes are thus repower of taking general views, as well as of remembering produced to give an idea of an infinity of details; and many other things, which France the larval stage, during which can teach us. But apart from intellectual profit, there is the damage is done. a moral profit in a meeting of this kind. Blessed are the In this country, again, we peace-makers; and the discovery of unsuspected and deep have not observed any inhuman sympathies between workers in the same intel- jurious Syrphidæ hover lectual fields, between men and women whose business it is

flies, but we find recorded by to train up the young minds of their own people, makes Forbes (p. 162) that Mesofor the peace of Europe.

gramma politum, Say, feed,
not on Aphides, but on the

pollen and juices of corn and
ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY.

cotton (Ashmead). The whole

work is full of interesting and (1) SINCE 1867 the State entomologists of Illinois have sound material alike to the

constantly issued very able reports on noxious practical man and student. and beneficial insects. The first were by Walsh and

One point we notice; the Le Baron; the last twelve have been by Prof. Forbes, the corn-worm or cotton-worm is writer of the present work. In 1894 he issued the first still called Heliothis armiger, part of A Monograph of Insect Injuries to Corn." This

Hübner, instead of Heliothis extended to some 170 pages, with fifteen plates, and dealt obsoleta, Fabricius, which only with those insects that attack the planted seed and the antedates it. roots of corn of various kinds. This dealt mainly with A key to the discussion of wire-worm, white-grubs or chafer larvæ, ants, aphis, their insect injuries to corn is given natural enemies and means of prevention. The second which will prove very useful part that has just appeared is very much better than that to those studying the subject issued nearly twelve years ago.

It treats of the insect

in America, and even elseinjuries to those parts of the corn plant above ground, in- where, for where species cluding stalk, leaves, and ear.

differ genera often agree in A very excellent plan we do not remember having seen various parts of the world. FG. 1.-The Sod

Web.worm before is adopted in the text, namely, that of grouping A very complete bibliography (Crambus) wet (a) containthe insects under the following three headings :-(1) the and a copious index complete

ing larva, at base of young more important pests; (2) the less important pests; and the work, which is useful to

corn plant; 6, s, injuries to

leaf and stem. (3) the unimportant species.

us in many regions other than In dealing with the first it is pleasing to note that the America. insects are dealt with in a strictly practical manner. Such (2) This work contains a good deal of useful information reports as these can well be made to serve a double pur- and a lot of what appear scrappy notes, which will, how. pose if properly drawn up as this one is, namely, as a serve a useful purpose later on. The great difficulty reference book for practical men and also for those who of working at such a subject as the one Mr. Stebbing is are studying the subject from a student's point of view. engaged upon can only be estimated by those who have The coloured plates, of which there are eight, include the atter ted the like. army-worm, corn bill-bugs, the chinch bug, the corn-worm, The economic entomologist is often too apt to jump at white-grub, the seed-corn maggot, and other well-known specific and even generic determinations, or is loth to corn pests. The plates are good, and show in some cases, not merely the perfect insect, but the whole life-history and the damage produced on the growing plant.

Among the more interesting sections we find a good account of the damage caused by the chinch bug (Blissus leucopterus, Say) and the means of preventing it, of the army-worm (Leucania unipunctata, Haw.), and of the corn-leaf louse (Aphis maidis, Fitch). In regard to the latter some interesting new observations are recorded, although nothing very definite has been arrived at in regard to the life-history of this corn pest. The author (p. 133) refers to “ the failure of all attempts to find or produce a bisexual generation or an alternative food plant of Aphis maidis or to learn how and where it passes the winter."

Some interesting notes are given on several species of Crambus, called popularly in the States “sod web-worms

root web-worms (Figs. 1 and 2). Although we have many species of Crambus in Europe, no very material damage has been recorded. In America we learn that not infrequently these 'web-worms become so abundant

cause brown and deadened spots in a lawn or meadow, sometimes, indeed, deadening the turf thoroughly as white-grubs or cut-worms can do." Corn

to be very heavily injured and even completely destroyed over considerable areas in early spring. This is Fig. 2.- The Common Sod Web-worm (Crainous Irisectus): * adult

slightly enlarged; b, back and side views of larva (much enlargel) 1 (1) "A Monograph of the Insect Injuries to Indian Corn." Part i. By S. A. Forbes. Twenty-third Report of the State Entomologist on the Noxious and Beneficial Insects of the State of Illinois. Pp. 273+xxxiii ;

publish his observations unless the scientific name can be 238 Figures and 8 Coloured Plates. (Chicago, 1905.)

given. Some groups of insects are almost impossible to (2) " Departmental Notes on the Insects that affect Forestry.". By

name specifically, and many others should only be treated E. P. Stebbing, F.L.S., F.Z.S., F.E.S. No. 3, with Preface and Index to vol. i. Pp. 335-469+8 plates. (Calcutta : Government Printing Office,

by specialists, who have not always time or inclination to 1900.) Price 25.

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Nevertheless, it is very necessary that we should record limits between the earliest and latest unfolding of the leaves the bionomics of arthropods of economic importance, even in various trees and to the attempts which have been though we have to leave to some future date the scientific made by phænologists to explain these periodic phenomena nomeoclature, which in many cases is quite as diverse as as being strictly regulated by temperature. the sometimes derided popular one! It is thus pleasing to In the end, however, Dr. Darwin was able to show that find in this work valuable information recorded without the plant is really master of the situation, and not the waiting for even the definite generic status of the pest in temperature, for among other things buds in ordinary question.

circumstances will not develop at the end of summer, and at From p. 379 to p. 385 is detailed in a most able manner this time it is much milder than in the spring, when they the life-history and workings of a cerambycid beetle, begin to unfold and grow into shoots. The plant is, in fact, probably a Stromatium, which attacks the sandal-wood guided by internal rather than external conditions, for the tree,

bud has to go through certain invisible changes during This

** borer" is well known to be one of the most its winter's rest before it is ready for its normal growth, assiduous pests in the sandal-wood area of North Coimba- and these invisible changes are part of the plant's autotore, and yet Mr. Stebbing tells us that he is as yet unable matic rhythmic capacity which enables it to be independent, to attain any beetles and that he is not even sure of its to a large extent, of external changes. The same argugeneric position. So much is recorded, however, that one ments were found to apply to the daily movements of has only to find and name the beetle and fill in a few plants. Increase of temperature may cause flowers to open details and the account is complete. The sandal-wood borer in the morning, but it has no effect at night. Again, will remain the same to the Indian forester, who is in- leaves that show sleep movements by falling at evening debted to Mr. Stebbing for that work of special value, its from a horizontal position to one which is, roughly speaklife-history, whatever technical name it appears under later ing, vertical, will, even if kept in the dark, return to their on. Other forest enemies are recorded in similar manner; original station in the morning. At nightfall the sleep sometimes the genus is doubtful, sometimes the species. movements again occur, though as the plant becomes more

The most interesting part of this work deals with the and more unhealthy owing to the absence of light they bambou beetle or shot-borer (Dinoderus minutus, Fabricius). are gradually lessened. Dr. Darwin described a very This and allied species are often very destructive to interesting case of habit in a sleeping plant, namely, the bamboos.

scarlet runner, which he recently demonstrated. Like It is shown that this species is the chief pest to bamboos other plants, the one in question adapts itself to one-sided in Calcutta and in the hotter, damper parts of the country, illumination by placing its leaves obliquely so that they apparently taking the place of the pilifrons in Upper India. are at right-angles to the line of illumination, and get

In the account of this pest we find recorded some real the full advantage of the light. If a scarlet runner which practical work with regard to protecting bamboos from the has assumed this oblique position is allowed to go to sleep rivages of this insect. The conclusions arrived at show at night as usual, and is then placed in a dark cupboard, it that soaking the rods for five days in water, then drying will in the morning assume the diurnal position as already them and soaking them for forty-eight hours in common mentioned in the case of other sleeping plants. Most Rangoon oil, is the best method of treatment. Other remarkably, however, it does not return to its normal interesting wood-borers are also dealt with, including a day position, that is, with horizontal leaves, but takes up goat-moth (Duomitus leuconotus, Walker) found

in the oblique position already described. This looks like a Calcutta, Sikhim, and Ceylon, which attacks the Cassia reminiscence of its former position, and is interesting trees just as our goat-moth attacks the ash and oak; psychologically since it might almost be described as an and there is also a very full account of the Casuarina instance of a plant taking advantage of its individual bark-eating caterpillar (Arbela tetraonis, Moore), a wide- experience. spread pest in Casuarina plantations, where it often does Another experiment showing how a periodic movement much damage.

had been induced, and pointing to a kind of memory on the An unusual, yet useful, diversion we note in this re- part of a plant, was described by Dr. Darwin, who finally port is that at the end of each subject are mentioned the touched upon circumnutation, which he looked upon as

points in the life-history requiring further investigation." the raw material out of which movement in response to

The plates are for the most part rather crude, but serve stimuli has been developed. their purpose. The photogravure of bamboos tunnelled into During the congress several papers were read which by the bamboo-borer is, however, an exception. A great showed, not only that the neighbourhood of Eastbourne is foundation is being prepared in such a work as this; it is very rich in plants, birds, and insects, but that there are only a foundation, but, judging from what we have seen many keen naturalists in the county of Sussex. For of this and others, it is one upon which we need not be instance, Mr. J. H. A. Jenner dealt generally with nature afraid to continue building.

Fred, V. THEOBALD. near Eastbourne, a communication by the late Dr. Whitney

and Miss Milner treated upon the fora of the Eastbourne

district, while Mr. Ruskin Butterfield compared the birds THE SOUTH-EASTERN UNION OF SCIEN

of Sussex with the list for Great Britain, showing that TIFIC SOCIETIES.

from the county in question there is a greater number of

birds recorded than from any other. THE cleventh annual congress of the South-Eastern

On Thursday evening, June 7, Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson Union of Scientific Societies was held at Eastbourne

gave a powerful discourse on the educational value of 09 June 6ng at the invitation of the local natural history

museums. He emphasised the need for large and insociety. On Wednesday evening, June 6, the retiring expensive buildings, and showed the great importance of president, Proi. Flinders Petrie, opened the proceedings museums now that it has been recognised that things, and and gave up his chair to Dr. Francis Darwin, who delivered

not words, must be studied if the memory is to be of any the presidential address. The title of the latter

real use. He dwelt on a graphic method of teaching history Periodicity," and in it Dr. Darwin pointed out that one adopted in Haslemere Educational Museum, which he of the most striking features of living things is their founded, and also alluded at length to the moral effect periodic or rhythmic character. Life itself may be de

of proper education. Stribed as a rhythm made up of alternate destruction and Two papers dealt with geology, namely, that on reconstruction. Protoplasm—" the physical basis of life" erosion and coast defence, by Mr. E. A. Martin, and the is alternately falling to pieces by a degradation into geology of the Upper Ravensbourne Valley, with notes on simpler compounds and rebuilding itself from the food the flora, by Mr. W. H. Griffin. The former contribution materials supplied,

summed up the present situation, and was particularly In the address simpler instances were mentioned, such suggestive, while the latter showed how much useful work * are seen in the process of reproduction, for instance in a naturalist can do who devotes his time ungrudgingly to a the case of a plant, which produces a seed that gives rise particular district. to another plant, and so on. Again, allusion was made to At the reception given by the Mayor of Eastbourne, Mr. the seasonal appearance and disappearance of the leaves Edward J. Bedford gave a most successful lecturette on of deciduous trees. Attention turned to the time bird architecture. The photographic lantern-slides which

NO. 1911, VOL. 747

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illustrated it were particularly good, which, seeing that creasing velocity, and falling temperature. These currents Mr. Bedford began his work in this direction so long ago end under cloudy skies and with rainfall. In some cu as 1890, is not, perhaps, to be wondered at.

the end is caused by the mecting with a cross-current The last lecture, on Saturday morning, June 9, to which The conclusion is that this air has fed the ascending the teachers of the district were invited, was given by current, and that the rain has been caused by the ex. Mr. Wilfred Mark Webb, on nature-study. As two years pansion and consequent cooling. These trajectories are ago Mr. Webb presented a formal paper to the union, he always from almost due south, and show very little contented himself, after a few brief remarks, with show- curvature. ing by means of lantern-slides what directions the pursuit Class ii.-Initial-stage trajectories. commencing ir in question has taken or might take.

regions of fairly still air which may be quite near to the A number of interesting specimens were brought together centre of the depression. The meteorological conditions to form the usual congress museum under the direction of and changes which characterise this class are the revers Mr. E. W. Swanton, and the photographic surveys of of those for class i., even to this extent, that they flow Surrey, Kent, and Sussex contributed a selection of photo- from low pressure to high. There are many cases of this graphs.

class shown; too many to suggest a mistake. The business done included the election of Prof. Class iii.-Looped trajectories generally cross the track Silvanus Thompson as president for 1907, and the accept- of the depression twice, once in front of the storm anii ance of an invitation to visit Woolwich for the twelfth once behind, and may be taken as a continuation of congress in that year. Dr. Abbott, the founder of the classes i. and ii. union, its first secretary and late treasurer, was added to Class iv.-Spiral trajectories generally represent cold the list of vice-presidents, of whom besides Dr. Hutchin- currents blowing from the east or north round the west son, Mr. F. Merrifield, Mr. F. W. Rudler, the Rev. of the centre of the depression to replace the southerls T. R. R. Stebbing, Dr. Treutler, and Mr. W. Whitaker currents of class i. attended the congress.

Class v. has three subsections :-(a) trajectories from a The perfect weather made the four excursions to Mickle- point in front of the trough ; (b) from a point in the rear ham Priory and elsewhere a complete success, and and (c) in the line of the trough. The meteorological conpleasing feature of the meeting was the votes of thanks ditions accompanying (a) and (b) are similar to those for to local secretaries, Mr. J. J. Hollway and Mr. Sparks, classes i. and ii. Trajectories in the line of the trough and their coadjutors, as well as that to the general secre- are remarkable for the strength of the wind and for the tary, the Rev. R. Ashington Bullen, which was emphasised small and irregular changes of pressure. The accompany. by the whole company rising in their seats.

ing weather is generally cloudy, but without rain.

The trajectories over the Atlantic are obtained from observations made between August, 1882, and September,

1883, and, as only daily records are used, the investiTHE SURFACE TRAJECTORIES OF MOVING gation is on a much coarser scale. Moreover, they an AIR.

more open to criticism, for there may be inany changes in

the meteorological elements in twenty-four hours. Some of THE Meteorological Office has just published the results the trajectories traced are remarkable for their length; for

of an investigation into the movements of the air example, between December 23 and 30, 1882, one is tratri! during storms and periods of barometric depression affect

from West Africa to North Russia, and another from ing the North Atlantic and western Europe. The authors

Florida to the British Isles, and between November 11 deal, not so much with the discussion of theories about

is followed from Hudson's Bay to the cyclones as with the results of direct observations on the

Adriatic. direction and force of the winds as recorded at as many

In seeking to locate the positions of ascending and stations and as often as possible. Apart from ships' logs, descending currents and the connection between these and the records from about 200 stations have been utilised.

the distribution of rainfall, it has been taken as proved The attempt has been made to trace the path of any

that an ascending current of air is necessary for the prebody of air from the point where it descended from the

duction of measurable rainfall, and we are reminded that upper regions of the atmosphere along the surface of the

it is not necessary or usual for these ascending or descendearth to the place where it ascended again, and the method

ing currents to be vertical. They are generally vert used is briefly as follows :-l'sing hourly observations oblique. The approximate positions of ascending currenis whenever possible, arrows have been drawn on

a map

are located by noting the convergence of air to such places, through the position of the recording station showing the

divergence denoting descension. direction of the wind, and the length of the arrow is equal Convergence may be produced by the trajectories being to the distance which the recorded velocity suggests as directed towards one point, or by air overtaking air which being the journey of the air during the half-hour pre

is preceding it in the same direction, or by the wind blowceding and the half-hour following the time of observ

ing towards a persistent cross-current. These are obvious ation. By this method the trajectories are made up step and typical cases. by step through station after station as the hourly maps If two sets of isochronous points or trajectories be joined are made up. Anemometer records are consulted to decide by lines, then the ratios of the enclosed areas will indicate where the velocity of the wind has been sufficiently con- convergence or divergence according to whether the second stant to carry the trajectory properly from one hour to area is smaller or larger than the first. the next.

The greater convergence takes place almost always in In the discussion of certain circular storms and baro- front of the centre of the depression, and this agrees with metric depressions which have passed over the British the area of greatest rainfall. As, however, the rain in Isles, and which have been selected as typical examples, generally brought by southerly winds, the rainy district 162 trajectories were examined, and also the changes in is somewhat to the north of the area of convergence, the the meteorological conditions along them. Naturally many current evidently having continued its onward of these trajectories do not represent the full course of the whilst rising. particular current considered, only the beginning, the Some of the general conclusions deduced during the middle or the end coming within the region under observ- | investigation may be given ation.

(1) In the front portion of travelling storms there is air These írajectories have been divided into five classes.

moving from high pressure to low and to lower temperate Class i.-Final-stage trajectories terminating generally, ture and rainfall, while in the rear, even quite close to but not always, near the centre or the trough of the de- the centre, there is movement from low pressure to high pression. These are marked by diminishing pressure, in- and towards improving weather conditions. I “The Life history of Surface Air-currents; a Study of the Surface

(2) Fast-travelling storms receive air from the righ! Trajectories of Moving Air.". By Dr. W. N. Shaw, E. R. ., and R. G. K.

hand (south) of the path in front of the storm, and Ince Lempfert. (London : Published by the Authority of the Meteorological an equivalent amount from the rear at the same side Committee, Wyman and Sons, Ltd.) Price 7s.6d.

Slow-travelling storms receive air from the south direct to

and 17

one

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