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XXV.

Easter does not fall on April 25, as given by the formula, mine that the note had its origin outside and was not but on April 18.

due to resonance within the room, and in the second peal These exceptions are caused by an inconsistency in the it was certainly outside, and probably had the first had Gregorian rule, caused by the adherence to the old custom, its origin within the room I should have observed it. that Easter should never fall later than April 25.

I should be very glad to hear if anyone has observed a Armagh Observatory, June 22. J. L. E. DREYER. similar phenomenon.

G. H. MARTYX.

i Marden Road, S. Tottenham, N., June 24. The discrepancy between the date of Easter, 1954, April 18 as given by the tables in the Book of Common

How do Inquiline Bees find tbe Nest of their Host? Prayer, and April 25 as given by the formula of Gauss, The following observation may serve to throw light on arises from a purely artificial contrivance of Clavius, who the above question, which has doubtless occurred to many arranged the reformed calendar, which is thus described entomologists. Yesterday I saw a specimen of the on p. 55 of The Prayer Book Interleaved," 1873, in an inquiline Coelioxys quadridentata enter the burrow vi account of the calendar founded on

a paper by Prof. leal-cutter bee, Megachile circumcincta. I dug the nest De Morgan :-“ It will never happen as to mean luna

out of the burrow, and in so doing scattered the sand ores tions, and rarely as to real ones, that in the same cycle an area of several square inches, completely destroying all there should be the lunation of a given month beginning appearance of a burrow. I sat down to await the return on the same day in two different years of the cycle; and of the Megachile, in order to identify the species, and such a thing never happened in the unreformed Calendar. much astonished to see and capture) in the course of ibe Clavius thought it desirable to imitate this in the new next ten minutes two more specimens of Cæliosys, which Calendar; and he observed that by taking the preceding came hovering over the spot and alighted on the disturbrd day whenever the Epact was xxv., and the year of the soil. I can think of no other explanation than that the cycle after the uth, he could avoid the reiteration, and "cuckoos were attracted to the spot by the scent of the thus make the desired resemblance." " Whenever the excavated nest. I may add that during several hours spent Epact should be xxv., the year of the cycle being upwards on the heath where this occurred I saw no other spev)of ni, say that the Epact is 26. This is not an astro- mens of Cælioxys, and, further, that there was a fresh nomical correction, but mere conventional mode of south-east breeze blowing at the time, and that the bees reconciling the choice which Clavius made of the mode came up against the wind. of writing the Epacts with an essential peculiarity of the

OSWALD H. LaTTER. old cycle of 19 years which that mode of writing would Charterhouse, Godalming, June 24. have otherwise destroyed. “In 1954 the Golden Number is 17, the Sunday letter C, and the Epact according to the ordinary rule,

Call it therefore xxvi. Thence THE DISTURBANCE OF GREENWICH April 17 will be the 14th day of the Paschal Moon,

OBSERIATIONS. April 18, Easter Day. If the Epact xxv. were used April 25 would be Easter Day." The paper by Prof. De Morgan IN

N the House of Lords on Thursday last, June 21 will be found in the " Companion to the British Almanac

attention was directed to the threatened danger for 1845.

to the continued efficiency of the Royal Observaton My copy of Nature for April 5 has long since gone to Greenwich, caused by the great electrical generating Bolivia, but probably your correspondents will find that station erected by the London County Council about Gauss did not take into account this artifice of Clavius. half a mile due north of the observatory. The danger If in this century golden number 6 and Sunday letter C was referred to by the Astronomer Royal in his report had coincided, Easter would have been set on April 25, to the Board of Visitors on May 30, a summary of because 6 comes in the cycle before ii instead of after it

which appeared in NATURE of June 7 (p. 135). The as 17 does. An inspection of Table III. for finding Easter will show in the two half-lines for April 17 and 18 the

generating station is situated exactly in the Gnen.

wich meridian, as will be seen from the accompanying arrangement made by Clavius.

C. S. TAYLOR. Banwell Vicarage, June 22.

photograph of a view looking north over the top of the transit room; and the tall chimneys shown in the

picture, as well as the heated air from them, will Musical Thunder.

obviously interfere with some observations of northern Early this morning a storm broke in this neighbourhood stars, which are essential for latitude and refraction. accompanied by heavy thunder. During the storm I Moreover, from tests already made it appears that the noticed that two of the peals began with a musical note powerful engines which are being installed at the of distinct and definite pitch. The “musical” portion of generating station will cause vibrations that will the peal lasted for about two seconds in each case, and seriously affect the value of observations by reflection the frequency of the note was both times about 400 per from a mercury horizon, required for the fundamental second.

work of the observatory. This sound closely resembled a foot-fall in a

This is not the first time that the effects of generalley between high walls, and was only heard in two consecutive peals, separated by an interval of about a

ating stations and electric tramway systems in the minute, the first being much more definitely musical than

neighbourhood of the observatory have been pointed the second. In each case the interval between the flash

out. About six years ago the question of the possible and the first sound of thunder was about five seconds.

effect of disturbances from electric railways on the As is well known, a peal of thunder from lightning near magnetic work carried on at the observatory was at hand frequently sounds like a quick succession of raps given careful consideration; and the hope was then or a volley of guns. Can the successive raps have followed expressed that in the event of future electric tramways one another so rapidly in this case that they combined to regulations would be laid down by the Board of form a note?

Trade to secure adequate protection for the magnetic If so, and if this note was due to a special configuration work. The records in this department of the observ. of reflecting surfaces in the clouds, possibly to others in slightly different positions, considerably different frequencies system for sixty-five years, but the astronomical work

atory have been obtained continuously on a general may have been observed. The fact that two peals only sounded in this manner

extends over more than two centuries and a quarter,

and it would be unfortunate if circumstances should separated by the short interval of about one minute, and that the second was not so decidedly musical as the first, arise to break this chain of continuity. seems to indicate that they were due to some rapidly

The generating station established at Deptford changing source such as one might expect the reflecting

nearly a mile from the observatory-to supply the surfaces of a cloud to be. I listened carefully to deter

London County Council Tramways with electric

narrow

power, has not caused such serious tremors as are The essentials for observation of an astronomical kind produced by the small portion of the engineering are stability and quietude. Nothing is so dangerous in plant now available for work at the new station, astronomical observation as the unknown errors which which is much nearer and larger. It appears, there have to be guarded against at the present time. If an fore, that if the new station is completed and

error is known no great harm is done. In connection with

the meridian, careful observations of the moon require to equipped to supply electric power over London, though it was authorised only for the requirements of tram

be made. For very many years the moon has been given wars, the work of the observatory will be impaired The Royal Observatory has specialised on the moon mainly

over by the scientific world to Greenwich Observatory. to no slight extent. When the scheme was first put owing to the grand labours of Sir George Airy, the late forward, it was not supposed that the works or the Astronomer Royal, so that the position of the moon at engines would assume the gigantic and overpowering a given time hence may be fairly accurately predicted. proportions now contemplated, and the Astronomer The observations at Greenwich, and the manner in which Royal. in referring to this point in his report, they have been carried out by the late Astronomer Royal, remarks:

have led the whole scientific world to say, “ Gentlemen,

you know your moon so well, pray continue to be reThe question arises why the immediate neighbourhood sponsible for her.” If now Greenwich is reduced to the of the observatory should be selected for the planting of position of saying that its lunar observations have not the generating stations on an unprecedented scale to supply weight and value which so far have attached to them, it electric power to distant districts. The very powerful will be a terrible blow to the reputation of the Royal pagines required for such a large output are liable to cause Observatory and also to our existence as a scientific

country. Another difficulty is that disputes as to boundaries between countries are mainly settled by astronomical observation as to the position of the moon, and as the moon is being constantly watched at Greenwich Observatory, applications are frequently received from foreign countries as to the error of the moon at such an hour on such a day. This also shows how extremely important it is that the observations at Greenwich should be trustworthy.

The suggestion that the observatory should be moved from Greenwich was considered by Lord Kelvin to be a most undesirable solution of the difficulty. He added :

Even at present we may look forward to possible changes in the arrangement of the works by which the electricity will not seriously disturb or practically cripple the astronomical observations at Greenwich. The disturbance caused at the observatory by the vibration from the electric works may be to some extent avoided by the substitution of steam turbines for reciprocating engines and the use of different electric dynamos. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole world outside, as well as the British Empire, would deplore anything that would injure the great and good work done in the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, and both Houses of Parliament should unite in preserving it.

As further development of the machinery equipment must increase the effects shown by the tests already made, Earl Cawdor considered that powers should be obtained, or set in action, to prevent the County Council from carrying out works that injure the observatory, and that the half a million pounds expended by the Council is a small sum compared with

the matter at stake. Fig. 1 - View of chimneys of the electrical works of the London

Replying on behalf of the Government, Lord TweedCounty Council, looking north over the transit room of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The roof of the transit room is shown at mouth, First Lord of the Admiralty, made the followthe bottom of the picture.

ing statement of the case; and his remarks, with

those contained in the recent report of the Astronomer vibrations the extent of which could hardly be anticipated Royal to the Board of Visitors, are the only official from previous experience of ordinary engineering plant or comments available upon the subject :of railway trains, which have hitherto not affected the

Since the subject was raised it has been closely conwork of the observatory.

sidered at the Admiralty. As to the origin of this generThe question as to the action the Government ating station, in 1901 the London County Council reproposes to take to prevent the Royal Observatory solved on it, and in 1902 a Bill was passed through Parliafrom being injuriously affected by electric stations or ment. In this Bill was inserted a clause, known as the other works, either at present or in the future, was

Observatory clause, which gave to the Board of Trade the asked in the House of Lords by Lord Ellenborough, power, if any use of electrical power was likely to affect who remarked that the difficulty which has arisen injuriously the instruments used in the observatory, to might have been obviated to some extent by the in- require reasonable and proper precautions to be taken. stallation of turbines or triple-expansion horizontal

This proposal was made public and approved by Parliaengines instead of vertical engines. The Earl of

ment. It is a pity that the County Council did not more

closely apprehend the possibility of danger in choosing this Crawford pointed out that the interference with

particular site, but some responsibility must also be observations would arise from the heated air of the attached to the various departments and to Parliament. chimneys and the tremors due to machinery in motion. At present, at any rate, no absolute damage has been He said in the course of his remarks :

done, but there is an apprehension of it when the station

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is developed to its fullest power. It will be almost the refer, however, to a few of the published opinions biggest generating station in the world when completed. of naturalists on the sea-serpent question. In his

Eight engines will work up to 52,000 horse-power, and the Challenger book, the late Prof. H. N. Moseley wrote electricity generated will be sufficient to work the whole as follows: of the London tramway system. At the present time the “ The sea-serpent, however, is always open tu Astronomer Royal said that no serious effect has as yet criticism. This wonderful animal has hardly ever arisen in the working of the principal meridian instrument.

been seen alike by any two observers. It is nearly The Astronomer Royal, however, says that the instrument always easy to a naturalist to understand the stories which has been affected is the portable transit instrument used for determining longitude. From the large generating

told. Sometimes it is a pair of whales that is seen ; station at Deptford no damage has resulted, and there is

sometimes a long mass of floating seaweed deceives no indication of any disturbance. What the authorities

the distant observer; sometimes the serpent has large have to do is to take very careful observation as to what eyes and a crest behind the head; then it is a ribbonis exactly going on at Greenwich. At present the station

fish. I myself am one of the few professed is never worked up to more than 3000 horse-power. A naturalists who have seen the serpent. It was on a trial has been made of two engines, but the experiments voyage to Rotterdam from the Thames, . . . are neither complete nor satisfactory. It is proposed to was a flock of cormorants, which were flying in line ask Prof. Ewing to represent the Admiralty in the observ- behind the waves, and which were viewed in the ations to be taken, which must extend over a considerable intervals between them with a sort of thaumoscopic time. The disturbances vary very much, and there is a effect.great deal to be said as to the possibility of meeting the difficulties by reducing the high chimneys, though the

Clearly Mr. Moseley was not "on the side of the Astronomer Royal does not think that the vapour of the

angels"; neither Sir Richard Owen, who chimneys seriously interferes with the observations. It is

attempted to explain the undermentioned appearance proposed also to ask the County Council to appoint a re

seen by the officers of the Daedalus by the seawered presentative of its own for observation in order to have theory; and that some of the appearances can be an independent report as to the exact amount of disturb- explained by Moseley's suggestions, or by a school ance that might arise. The London County Council will of porpoises, may be candidly admitted.

the other hand, in his partly erected. Before doing anything it is necessary 10 “ Animals of the Past," although confessing himself discover whether by any re-arrangement of the machinery an “agnostic" in regard to this subject, takes up the threatened damage can be averted. Every effort will a somewhat less uncompromisingly hostile attitude. be made to make the inquiry a thorough one, and one which should command everyone's respect.

“ Like the “fossil man,'" he writes," the so

serpent flourishes perennially in the newspapers, and The position then, as stated by Viscount Goschen, despite the fact that he is now mainly regarded as a is that a mistake has been made—a mistake by the joke, there have been many attempts to rehabilitate Admiralty, by the Astronomer Royal, by the County this mythical monster and place him on a foundation Council, and by Parliament. The matter affects, not of firm fact. The most earnest of these was that oi only the Royal Observatory, but the whole world; M. Oudemans, who expressed his belief in the exist. and the best scientific knowledge available should be ence of some rare and huge seal-like creature whose utilised to avert any danger which imperils the useful occasional appearance gave rise to the reports of the existence of the observatory or interferes with its sea-serpent. Among other possibilities it has been work.

suggested that some animal believed to be extinct had really lived to the present day. Now there are

a few waifs, spared from the wrecks of ancient faunas. THE SEA-SERPENT.

stranded on the shores of the present, such as the

Australian ceratodus and the gar-pikes of North T! HE narrative of an encounter with the

America. . . . If a fish of such ancient lineage as the serpent on December last off the coast of gar-pike is so common, why may there not be a few Para, given by Messrs. Nicoll and Meade-Waldo at plesiosaurs or a mosasaur in the depths of the ocean? the meeting of the Zoological Society held on June 19, The argument was a good one, the more that we has once more awakened interest in the question as to

may 'suppose' almost anything; but it must be said the possibility of the existence of a large unknown

that no trace of any of these creatures has so far marine vertebrate animal. The appearance of the been found outside of the strata in which they have so-called sea-serpent” has been recorded from time long been known to occur, and all the probabilities to time by quite number of witnesses. Many of

are opposed to this theory, these alleged appearances were evidently based on The event recorded by Messrs. Nicoll and Meadeobjects other than vertebrate animals unknown to Waldo took place in the forenoon of December 7, 1903. 'science, but others, as being witnessed by trust- when they were on board the yacht Valhalla off the worthy and educated observers, are evidently worthy coast of Para. At a distance of about 100 yards from of more serious consideration. The importance of the the vessel the two observers saw what appeared to recent case of which more anon-is that it was wit be the vertical dorsal fin of some large animal, and nessed by two gentlemen who have undergone a long a short time afterwards the head and neck of an training in the observation of animals, and are there animal was raised above the water some distance 'fore far less likely to be mistaken than persons who in advance of the fin. The head was compared to have not specially devoted themselves to the study of that of a turtle, while the neck appeared to be about natural history.

6 feet in length. The description, so far as we can To attempt to record on the present occasion all the judge, suggests a creature of not more than about trustworthy cases of the alleged appearance of the 20 feet or 25 feet in length. Although the vessel was sea-serpent (for the sake of convenience we may dis- subsequently put about, no further signs of the seacard the inverted commas) would much exceed our serpent were seen during daylight. It is, however, limits of space, and we may therefore refer our

noteworthy that during the night two of the ship's readers to the volume by Mr. A. C. Oudemans officers became aware of the presence of some large entitled the “Great Sea Serpent,” published in 1892, animal swimming alongside the yacht at a rapid pace; where all the more important ones up to that date the two officers, it is stated, had no cognisance of the will be found mentioned. It may be profitable to | events of the morning.

sea

case

A most significant feature in this circumstantial Without offering any suggestion as to what the account is that it tallies to some extent with the nature of the object seen by Messrs. Nicoll and Meadenarrative given by the officers of H.M.S. Daedalus Waldo really was, it may be pointed out that the testiof the appearance of the sea-serpent seen by them in mony of two such trained observers (supplemented by the year 1848 in the Atlantic.

that of the officers of the Daedalus and by the two In the figures given by Oudemans the (double) “ apparitions” off Tonkin) cannot possibly be brushed back-fin is very low, and the neck seems relatively aside in the light-hearted manner with which Prof. short and ill-defined. Revised restorations, however, Moseley treated the evidence available in his time. give a longer neck and no back-fin. It is possible, if

R. L. a fin was present, that its apparent difference in height in the two instances was due to the animal swimming faster in one than the other. Megophias

THE ROYAL SOCIETY CONVERSAZIONE. megophias, it appears, is a name which has been suggested for the creature. In 1903 Prof. Racovitza

M

ANY of the exhibits of scientific apparatus and (Bull. Soc. Zool. Paris, xxviii., p. 11) gave an account objects at the second, or ladies', conversazione of a sea-serpent seen by Lieut. Lagresille 1898 held at the Royal Society on June 20 were the same in Along Bay, Tonkin, and in 1904 M. Vaillant (Bull. as those shown at the gentlemen's conversazione on Mus. Paris, x., p. 217) mentioned another apparition May 9. As these have already been described of an apparently similar creature in the same locality. (May 17, p. 59), it is only necessary to refer now to In this second account the animal is described as the new exhibits. During the evening demonstrabeing probably scaled, with a head like that of a tions, with lantern illustrations, were given by Dr. turtle or a seal, and as “spouting" from terminally Tempest Anderson, Sir William Crookes, and Mr. placed nostrils. It was also stated to move in un- Fred. Enock. Dr. Tempest Anderson described the dulations—at one time vertical, at another horizontal. recent eruption of Vesuvius, his photographs showing Two occurrences in the same locality are very note- the phenomena during the later stages of the erupworthy.

tion, as well as some of the results. In several cases In each of these four instances it can scarcely be the views afforded a comparison with the conditions doubted that the object seen was a living creature of the same places as previously observed. Sir (or creatures) of some kind, and that it (or they) was William Crookes gave a short address with experiof the same general type. If the object were formed ments in illustration of some properties of the by more than one animal, cadit quaestio. If, on the diamond; and Mr. Fred. Enock described slides showother hand, it consisted of a single individual, fur- ing by means of colour photography (Sanger Shepnished with a dorsal fin, a long, snake-like neck, and herd process) the adaptability of lepidopterous insects a head like a turtle, it could scarcely be any known to their environment. living animal. Neither, it may be suggested, could In the subjoined summary of the official catalogue, it be even an unknown type of seal, especially since the exhibits are arranged roughly in groups of related all the known members of that group come ashore subjects. to breed. The next question is, Could it have been

Dr. H. Forster Morley on behalf of the International a survivor of some Mesozoic reptilian?..Two argu- | Catalogue Committee : A map of the world was shown ments, so far as they go, are against this. Firstly, upon which thirty-one countries or regions were coloured. the one referred to by Mr. True as to the absence Each of these has established a Regional Bureau for indexof the remains of any such creature in Tertiary de- ing its scientific literature. The literature indexed is that posits, and secondly (on the hypothesis that it is an published since January 1, 1901. Each annual issue of air-breathing vertebrate, and if not, why should it the catalogue contains seventeen volumes, dealing with come to the surface at all?), the rarity of the sea

seventeen sciences. A copy of the second annual issue was serpent's appearance, the latter argument being shown. The Regional Bureaus for France, Germany, and applicable whether the creature is considered to belong for the International Catalogue for the compilation of

that for Polish literature employ the material prepared to a supposed extinct group or not. With regard to the fossil theory, it might be urged of these bibliographies were shown.-Prof. H. McLeod on

bibliographies of their own scientific literature. Specimens that the creature is an inhabitant of the deep sea,

behalf of the Committee of the Royal Society's Catalogue and consequently that its remains should not be ex- of Scientific Papers : An exhibit illustrating the course of pected to occur in Tertiary deposits, which belong operations in the preparation of the catalogue, which was for the most part, at any rate, to more or less shallow fully described in an appendix to the descriptive programme water. For what it is worth, it may be mentioned of the conversazione. in reply that no traces of the creature have been found Sir James Dewar, F.R.S.: (1) New charcoal calorimeter on the ocean bottom, where sharks' teeth and cetacean and thermoscope. Charcoal at the temperature of liquid ear-bones are common. A more forcible objection is hydrogeo that has absorbed at atmospheric pressure conthat, if the creature is in the habit of coming to the

siderable quantities of helium or hydrogen-or alternatively surface (as on the hypothesis of its existence it must),

of nitrogen, oxygen, or air at their respective boiling points

-is utilised in this instrument as it cannot be a denizen of the abysses, no animal

a material that, by (despite the old belief in regard to whales) being able

reason of changes in the volume of the occluded gas, to live under such diversities of pressure. Ergo, its

exhibits great sensibility to heat and light radiation, and

can be used in calorimetry at the temperature of solid remains ought to occur in Tertiary deposits. Its hydrogen. (2) Charcoal vacua. Electric discharge tubes stranded carcase ought also to have been found. If showing gradual gas absorption by charcoal cooled in liquid the creature be a " living fossil," the plesiosaurian air until, after the Röntgen radiation stage, the electric group has the strongest claim to its ownership, as, resistance becomes so great that a discharge will not pass. although the zeuglodont cetaceans are the latest in

(3) Spectrum tubes. (a) The less condensable gases of the time of possible extinct representatives, the smallness atmosphere-helium and neon. (b) The more condensable of its head prevents the reference of the sea-serpent gases of the atmosphere-krypton and xenon, each set (as described) to that group. As to the rarity of its

of gases being separated by the charcoal method. (4) Some

scientific uses of liquid air. (a) Electric ice crystals. appearance, it can scarcely be urged that only two of three (or even half a dozen) examples of the (6) Rough measures of relative thermal conductivities in creature are in existence.

metals and alloys, by observing the height of the deposited

ice cap when similar wires are placed alongside each other

a

sures.

and the ends immersed in liquid air. The relative con- oxide. The metal being protected from the air, such ductivities are as the squares of the height of the ice mirrors retain their lustre permanentiv. columns. (c) Spheroidal state of liquid air on the surface of Mr. G. F. Herbert Smith: l'recious stones and simple different fluids and solutions, showing changes of volatility methods for their identification. This exhibit illustrated from the varying amount of vapour condensation ; at the the variety of precious stones which are available for same time exhibiting interesting rotatory and translatory ornamental purposes. A gem stone must be hard enough movements.-Department of Applied Mathematics, Uni- to resist the abrasive action vi ordinary dust, and at the versity College, London : (1) Investigation into the stresses same time be either transparent or, if opaque, or pleasing in masonry dams, Prof. Karl Pearson, F.R.S., and Mr. colour. The number of mineral species suitable for the A. F. C. Pollard. The investigation suggested that the purpose is not so restricted as popularly supposed. The shear distribution should in each case be found from a names employed by jewellers ir-quently differ considerably model dam, before the stresses are determined by graphical from the scientific nomenclature, being often associaird methods. The existence of stretch in the tail of dams of with certain colours rather than particular species, e.g. ordinary type is confirmed by the experiments illustrated. topaz (yellow), sapphire (blue), ruby (red), emerald (gren), (2) Solution of the problem of the random walk, Prof. and amethyst (violet). The colour, though the most obvious Karl Pearson, F.R.S., and Mr. J. Blakeman. The character of a stone, is the least trustworthy; and the diagrams shown give the sections of the frequency surface hardness, while of immense importance as regards its for two, three, four, five, six, and seven stretches or durability, is of little discriminative value. On the other flights, and show the passage of the discontinuous function hand, the optical characters (refractivity, double refraction, into Lord Rayleigh's continuous surface. The problem is and dichroism) and the specific gravity may be easily and of considerable importance from the standpoint of the accurately determined, and lead to the precise identification migration of species, and was suggested by Major Ross's of the stone. In the case of practically all faceted transinvestigations into the infiltration of mosquitoes into a parent stones the refractivity and double refraction arr cleared district. The solution has been obtained by suc- sufficient for the purpose, and the stone need not be recessive mechanical integration from the first case by using moved from its setting.—Sir William Crookes, F.RS: the functional relation between successive flights.—Mr. (1) Occurrence of the dianiond. (a) Example of “ blue A. A. C. Swinton : Visibly luminous electrical discharges ground in which diamonds are found, from the 1320-leet in vacuo obtained with comparatively low electrical pres-level, De Beers Mine; (b) diamantiferous gravel from the

Edison, Fleming, and others have shown that the Pulsator, De Beers Mine; (c) selected stones from the passage of the electric discharge in vacuo is much facili- Pulsator, De Beers Mine. (2) Models of crystals of tated by heating the kathode. Owen and Wehnelt have diamond. (3) Cut and polished section of a piece of proved that this effect is enormously increased if the heated silicified wood found about twelve years ago in the unkathode be coated with oxides of the alkaline metals. The touched “ blue ground” of the Du Toits Pan Diamond present experiments show that similar results can be Mine, Kimberley. (4) Polished section of the Canon Diablo obtained by coating the kathode with radium, and that the meteorite in which diamonds have been found.-Prof. I. effect will be greater when the kathode is heated than Gowland: (1) Portion of a meteorite containing diamonds obtains without heating.--Mrs. Watts-Hughes and Mr. found near Cañon Diablo, Arizona, and specimens of Richard Kerr: Floral, geometric, and other forms produced diamonds extracted from it. (2) Alloys of copper and by the human voice in singing. Moistened water-colour is calcium. A series of alloys ranging from 0.8 per cent. to spread on paper attached to an india-rubber disc stretched 61.5 per cent. of calcium. All are brittle, and those conover a cup-shaped vessel. The sound vibrations are com- taining 6 per cent. to 7 per cent. calcium extremely hard municated to the under side of the india-rubber through a The higher alloys decompose water, and are readily oxidised tube in the side of the cup.-Mr. Oliver S. Dawson: in the air. Specimens were also exhibited showing the Photographic prints in natural colours (Smith-Merckens effects of calcium on lead, tin, bismuth, aluminium, and process). - Messrs. Carl Zeiss, Jena : Photomicrographic coinage bronze.—Miss Rhodes : Stereoscopic views of the apparatus for ultra-violet light (designed by Dr. A. Victoria Falls and the Batoka Gorge of the Zambezi, and of Köhler).

the Batoka country east of the Falls. Photographed by Mr. R. G. Durrant: Evidence to show that ionic separ- the late Colonel F. W. Rhodes. ation occurs when solutions of acids or of salts are allowed The Director, Royal Gardens, Kew: Sturt's desert pea to diffuse into sensitised jellies or solutions.-Dr. 0. (Clianthus Dampieri). A prostrate herbaceous plant, Silberrad and Dr. R. C. Farmer : Stability test for cordite. native of West Australia, first collected by Captain William This exhibit illustrated a method recently devised at the Dampier. Under cultivation it is very delicate, but when Chemical Research Department, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, grafted on the bladder senna (Colutea arborescens) it grows for the determination of the stability of cordite and other with vigour and flowers freelv. Dr. F. E. Fritsch propellant explosives. It is well known that these ex- Method of colonisation of free surfaces by subaërial Algæ plosives decompose gradually storage,

and

(Cyanophyceæ) in the tropics.- 11r. E. A. Newell Arbai. eventually ignite spontaneously, if their stability be not Miss M. Benson, Miss W. Brenchley, Prof. F. W. Oliver, tested from time to time. The principle of the new test F.R.S., Dr. D. H. Scott, F.R.S., and Prof. F. E. fleiss: is based upon the results of several thousand experiments, Fossil plants from the English Coal-measures.--Mr. W and is the only method known which gives trustworthy Saville-Kent: Stereoscopic and other natural-colour photo results with cordites. The test has been adopted by the graphic transparencies illustrating the fauna of the PolyService, and will shortly be made use of as a safeguard | nesian coral reefs. This series of natural-colour photoagainst spontaneous explosions in powder magazines, par- graphs was more particularly illustrative of the coralticularly in the tropics, where the deterioration takes place frequenting fishes of Polynesia. A notable genus of mostly most rapidly. In examining cordites the procedure is minute percoid fishes, Tetradachnum, represented in the briefly as follows :-50 grams of the explosive are main- series, habitually make isolated bushy coral stocks their tained at 70° C. in a glass vessel fitted with a mercury headquarters. They cruise around these coral growths manometer; the alteration in pressure is measured at in sport and in search of food, retreating within the intervals. A contraction takes place at first owing to the

coral's ramifications

escape from any absorption of oxygen from the air ; subsequently a gradual enemy. expansion occurs; the former of these phenomena has never The Solar Physics Observatory, South Kensington: previously been observed.--Dr. F. D. Chattaway: Copper Recent photographs of some British stone circles.--Dr. mirrors obtained by the deposition of metallic copper upon

W. M. Flinders Petrie, F.R.S. :(1) Hyksos fortress mode. glass. The method of silvering glass by depositing the and pottery, 2000 B.C., Egypt. (2) Model of the temple metal in a thin film by reduction of some soluble silver and city of Onias, Egypt. (3) Photographs, enlarged, from compound has long been emploved in the production of Sinai. The Egyptian turquoise mines were worked from mirrors, but hitherto no method of similarly depositing 5000 B.C.

The oldest rock sculptures are those of the copper in a brilliant film has been discovered. The exhibit middle of the first dynasty of kings. Both centres of showed a number of glass vessels on which copper had mining, Wady Maghara and Serabit el Khadem, wert been thus deposited by a slow reduction of the black shown.

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