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The Mysore Government has, the Pioneer Mail reports, ' takes place the individuals perish, several generations being published a note on the destruction of rats in Mysore city. completed in a year. The memoir on the Hydra forms a The system of rat destruction was given a fair trial in part of the results of a detailed study of the fresh-water the city of Mysore from July, 1905, with the result that fauna of India which is now being undertaken by Dr. the city, which used to be infected with plague year after Annandale, who has favoured us with copies of seven year, has been practically free during the year 1905–6, there papers from the Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal being only seven cases and five deaths against 1244 and relating to this subject. The first part deals with a 995 respectively in the previous year. The total number of brackish-water sponge (Spongilla), while in the second the rats killed in the city since the commencement of the author finds himself in a position to determine definitely campaign, i.e. from July 4, 1905, up to July 13, 1906, was the systematic place of the remarkable fresh-water polyzoan 23,741, of which about 12,000 are reported to be females. discovered at Nagpur by the geologist Hislop, in whose The following table shows the number of rats killed honour it was named Hislopia by his friend Carter. Other monthly in the city since January, 1906 :- January, 870 ; , interesting novelties are an aquatic cockroach belonging to February, 492 ; March, 708 ; and April, 1050.

a group hitherto known only from the Malay countries,

and an aquatic weevil, which, so far at any rate as habits A SPELL of exceptionally bright and hot weather occurred are concerned, is altogether unique. over England during the past week, and the thermometer

In the Times of August 30 is an excellent summary, by attained a higher reading than had been registered for

a correspondent, of the legislation and orders relating to many years. At Greenwich the shade temperature exceeded 90° on four consecutive days, and the following Islands. After referring to the statutes affecting the country,

the protection of wild birds and their eggs in the British will show the remarkable character of the weather :

in general, and mentioning the fact that sanctuaries," Absolute previous Average max. since 1841

within which no bird may be killed at any season, have air max.

been established in five counties and two boroughs in date

England, the writer comments on the absence of any proAugust 31

94:3
152'0 71 89

1886 vision in the law for permitting birds and their eggs to Sept. 919 71 88 1886

be taken when required for scientific purposes. Despite
93.5
147'0 71 83

1880
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many incongruities, if not absurdities-as, for instance, an 70 85 1880

enactment in Gloucestershire which practically amounts to There is no instance in the Greenwich records of the shade protection for a certain species of owl during the time it is temperature having previously exceeded 90° on four con- absent from the county and permission to kill it on secutive days at any period of the summer, and the only arrival-it appears to be the opinion of the executive instances of 90° on three consecutive days are August 13-15, authorities that the statutes and orders for the protection 1876, and August 16–18, 1893. The absolutely highest of birds work, on the whole, satisfactorily. On the other temperature ever registered at Greenwich is 97o. At the hand, the enactments with regard to the taking of eggs reporting station of the Meteorological Office, in St. are regarded as less satisfactory. In the first place, in James's Park, Westminster, the highest temperature the writer's opinion, such law must almost of necessity attained was 91°, and that reading occurred on each of work unequally, and weigh more heavily on the poor and the three days August 31 and September 1 and 2; on uneducated than on well-to-do people, such as the dealers, September 3 the reading was 88°. Equally high tempera- who do most mischief." Secondly, the scheduling of the tures occurred in other parts of England. At Nottingham eggs of certain species (to the exclusion of others equally the sheltered thermometer registered 93° on August 31 and I deserving of protection) is considered highly unsatisfactors, September 1, 94° on September 2, and 90° on September 3. since it affords (on account of the difficulty of identifiThe absolutely highest temperature reported 10 the Meteor- cation) a ready means of escaping conviction by thus ological Office was 95° at Colly Weston, in the Midlands. who know the ropes," while the unsophisticated stand A gentle southerly wind prevailed over the whole country, a great chance of being condemned, even though they trav and the sky throughout was peculiarly free from cloud, really be innocent of the particular charge. As an alterwhilst the shone continuously for several davs. native the writer suggests the passing of a short Art Cooler weather set in on September 4, owing to the spread making birds and their eggs the property of the owners ing over us of a north wind, and rain occurred in many of the soil on which they are found, waste lands being for parts of the country. In London rain set in very tardily this purpose vested in local authorities. at about 10 o'clock on Tuesday night, but it afterwards fell The Rev. Guy Halliday writes to report that on Juls 30 heavily. Very hot weather also occurred in parts of France

he found Goodyera repens in flower near Holt, in Vorfk. and Germany.

This is the most southerly limit recorded for this on hid. Birds and their habits constitute the whole of the con

The plant, which was identified at Kew, has not hitherto, tents, so far as separate articles are concerned, of the

Mr. Halliday thinks, been found south of Market Weighion,

in Yorkshire. Zoologist for August, Mr. G. Dalgleish discussing the wild duck and grebe, Mr. E. Selous the ruff, Messrs. Clark In continuation of previous descriptions of new or fare and Rodd the avifauna of Scilly, and Mr. G. W. Kerr that pyrenomycetous fungi, Mr. C. E. Fairman notes some new of Staines.

Notes Mr. Aplin's account of the species from western New York in vol. iv. of the Procerda breeding of the black-necked grebe in this country will be ings of the Rochester Academy of Science. A new species read with interest.

of Sporormia was found on pods of the locust, Robinia

pseudacacia, thus furnishing another species growing in The Indian fresh-water polyp, according to Dr. Nelson vegetable matter, whereas most are saprophytic on duns Annandale (Mem. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, vol. i., No. 16), is | Among new species of Amphisphæria' one receives the entitled to rank as a distinct species (Hydra orientalis). specific name of aeruginosa, but it is not evident whethe? Although diæcious, sexual reproduction does not apparently the green colour is due to this fungus or to a Chliroplay a very important part in its development; when this splenium.

66

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In the "

No. 5.

sense.

One of the most important collections of plants in recent vears was collected by Mr. E. H. Wilson, chiefly in western China, for Messrs. James Veitch and Sons. A few of the mere striking new species are described in the Kew Bulletin,

Three species of Berberis, a new genus Hosiea under the order Icacinex, and some roses are among the number. Sir George Watt contributes an interesting article on Burmese lacquer-ware and varnish, the basis of which is the oleo-resin, thit-si, of Melanorrhea usitata. Less generally known than the Pagan and Prome lacquer boxes and trays is the Mandalay moulded lacquer ; the resin, thickened with ground rice husk, furnishes a material suitable for modelling figures and ornamentation in relief. Mr. C. H. Wright continues his diagnoses of new African plants, and Mr. J. H. Hellier identifies the Eben tree of Old Calabar as Pachylobus edulis.

No. 4

revert

In a forest survey the examination and measurement of selected plots provide data for working plans. A more detailed study of certain plots in a forest reserve on the island of Luzon with the object of investigating the origin of the different types of vegetation is being undertaken by Mr. W. H. Whitford, who has published the first part of his account in the Philippine Journal of Science, vol. i.,

Even here disturbances caused by human agency have to be taken into account. The natives clear the land for cultivation, but leave the clearings after a while, when they change to grass-land or

to forest. Again, where the timber has been ruthlessly cut out or burnt, only brushwood mixed with trees of invading species is left. For such a type of vegetation the writer adopts the term parang, distinguishing the parang according to the dominant tree or trees.

A FORMULA giving the influence of frequency upon the self-inductance of coils is discussed by Mr. J. G. Coffin in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, xli., 34. The formula itself involves hyperbolic functions, but the author shows by means of curves that the results for large or small frequencies can be given with sufficient accuracy by simple approximations.

In a short paper in the Verhandlungen of the German Physical Society, Prof. F. Kohlrausch suggests the use of the term “ resistance capacity as applied to the space between two electrodes to denote the resistance of that space when filled with a medium of unit electrical conductivity, and he shows how this quantity is related to the capacity of a condenser the dielectric of which occupies the space in question.

DR. JOSEPH Nasl, of Vienna, contributes to the NaturTussenschaftliche Rundschau an article written for the purpose of explaining in simple language the meaning of the second law of thermodynamics and its connection with the theory of probability (Boltzmann's minimum theorem), as well as the notion of entropy and the properties associated with it. The account is probably as good a one as could be given in so limited a space for the instruction of pon-mathematical readers.

the envelope of a string which is rubbed either transversely or longitudinally at an aliquot point ilk of its length is not Helmholtz's parabola, but k chords inscribed in that parabola—a result which strikes the reader as being, on the face of it, in accordance with common

A number of other results, such as the verification of Krigar Menzel's law, have been discussed.

Vol. iii., No. 2, of Investigations of the Departments of Psychology and Education of the University of Colorado contains several interesting papers.

Under the title “ Proportion as the Quotient of Two Forms of One Equation,' Mr. Heman Burr Leonard suggests certain new methods of teaching problems in proportion, and if these do not look quite so simple on paper as they really are, the article certainly confirms an important point, namely, the necessity of familiarising pupils with the use of formulae in solving problems, instead of the more restricted methods of “ rule of three.' Under the title “ Relation of Course of Study to Higher Wages ” Prof. John B. Phillips directs attention to the large number of important inventions that have been made by men of little or no education. His suggestion that “ invention " should form part of an educational curriculum is interesting, though one may perhaps ask whether teaching people to be original is not rather a contradiction of terms. Lastly, we have an account of the Colorado Mathematical Society, founded last year, from which it appears that several important points in the teaching of mathematics, such as over-elaboration of textbooks, athletic and other distractions, and what has sometimes been called “ spoon feeding ” on the part of teachers, have been discussed.

Mr. R. J. THOMPSON deals with the development of agriculture in Denmark in a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Ixix., 2. He attributes the prosperity of the country to three causes : land tenure, education, and cooperation. So far from rural depopulation taking place, the land is better farmed than it was forty years ago. The rate of wage is lower than in England, and thrift is a national characteristic. The bulk of the land is cultivated by the owners in small farms.

About forty years have elapsed since Gustav Theodor Fechner laid down his principle of association. The Psychological Review has marked the occasion in a fitting way by devoting its May number to a paper by Prof. Lilien J. Martin on an experimental study of Fechner's principles of asthetics. It is illustrated by a portrait of Fechner and a coloured reproduction illustrating a case of chromanästhesia.

The isolation and identification of radio-thorium from the sediments of Bad Kreuznach is described in detail by Messrs. Elster and Geitel in the Physikalische Zeitschrift (No. 13). The fact that radio-thorium is associated with iron in these sediments suggested a simple method of isolating radio-thorium from ordinary thorium salts. А. nearly neutral solution of thorium chloride was mixed with a solution of ferrous bicarbonate, when it was found that the ferric hydroxide precipitated in the course of a few days was highly active. After removal of the iron, several milligrams of a thorium hydroxide were obtained having an activity twelve times that of the original thorium. These results, taken in conjunction with those already recorded (NATURE, vol. Ixxiv., p. 385), leave little doubt that thorium owes its activity to radio-thorium.

Despite the many attempts which have been made to elucidate the nature of the blue substance formed by the action of iodine on starch paste, the question still remains

In the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, xli., 32, Mr. Harvey N. Davis discusses the longitudinal vibrations of a rubbed string. Instead of basing the investigation on the use of Fourier's series as was done by Helmholtz in his well-known investigation of the vibrations of a violin string, Mr. Davis makes use of the graphic methods which have been commonly employed by mathematicians in discussing the impact of elastic beams. It appears both from theory and experiment that

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without a definite solution. Messrs. M. Padoa and B. COMET 1906e (KOPFF).-Circular No. 90 from the Kir! Savare in the Gassetta (vol. xxxvi., p. 310) have attacked Centralstelle gives three ephemerides for the comet recente

discovered by Herr Kopff at Heidelberg, The followirs the problem in a new way by investigating the change in

was computed by Herr M. Ebell :the electrical conductivity of

solution of iodine in potassium iodide caused by the addition of starch in known

Ephemeris 12h. (Berlin M.T.). proportions. The conclusion is drawn from their experi- 1906

log Brightes ments that the blue substance is an additive compound of Sept. 4 22 39 58

+9 360 0'0490 075 iodine, starch, and potassium jodide (or hydrogen iodide)

8
22 37 19

+9 14:9 00639 007 containing the former constituents in the ratio

22 34 57

0'0797 22 32 55

+8 28.1 1:C,H,O, =1:4. While this result supports the opinion

оробі 0 51 of Mylius, enunciated some twenty years ago, it is directly

Several observations of this comet are recorded in lo. opposed to the more recent view of Küster that the blue

4117 of the Astronomische Nachrichten. Prof. Robolo

observing at Kiel on August 23, saw it as an underided substance is not a definite substance, but is formed as a

round spot of 2' diameter with a central condensation of result of adsorption by the colloid starch. Küster's conten

magnitude 11.0. The magnitude of the whole was 15 tion recently received striking support by the work of From an observation, also made on August 23, Prof Biltz in 1904, who showed that basic lanthanum acetate,

Hartwig described it as having a diameter of 1':5, a rudeu which resembles starch in its colloidal nature, also pro

of magnitude 13.0, and a round shape, the total magnitude

being 12.0. duces with iodine an intensely blue substance similar in all respects to that formed from starch ; in this case there

A NEWLY-DISCOVERED PLANETARY NEBULA.-On examining seems to be no evidence to consider the substance as

one of the plates taken with the 10-inch Brashear lens of the definite chemical compound.

Bruce photographic telescope, Prof. Barnard discovered to

image of a fine planetary nebula which does not appear The current issues of the Lancet and the British Medical to be in the catalogues. "The approximate position of the Journal are educational numbers, and are entirely devoted

nebula, for 1855, is a=uh. 7m., 8= +15° 42'. In the to communications bearing upon preparation for the medical

same region there appear to be quite a number of spira:

nebulæ and nebulous stars (Astronomische Nachrichten, profession.

No. 4112). The Royal Geographical Society has issued through Mr.

PLEA FOR AN INTERNATIONAL SOUTHERN TELESCOP! - 119 E. Stanford a general index to the first twenty volumes of No. 182, vol. xlv., of the Proceedings of the American the Geographical Journal, 1893-1902. The work, which is Philosophical Society Prof. E. C. Pickering advances a divided into three parts, devoted respectively to papers,

businesslike plea for the institution of a large international maps, and general subjects, should prove

reflector in the southern hemisphere. He points out that

a boon geographers.

under the existing conditions, it is hard to see how any

great step may be made in the advance of astronoins, tu The third edition of Prof. R. von Wettstein's “ Leitfaden

thinks that if a reflector of about 7 feet aperture am der Botanik für die oberen Klassen der Mittelschulen”.

44 feet focal length were erected in the best possible alla has just been published by Mr. F. Tempsky, Vienna. The sphere to be found in the southern hemisphere, advaners

of immense importance might accrue.

The most book contains 236 pages, more than half of which (134 estimates at something less than 500,000 dollars (rathri pages) are devoted to systematic botany, while the remain- more than 100,000l.), and he suggests that such a scher ing sections deal with plant anatomy, organography, would be an eminently suitable one by which to curr'. physiology and ecology, geography, and economic botany.

memorate the Franklin bi-centenary. There are three coloured plates and more than a thousand figures upon 205 blocks. Within its limits, the work makes an admirable survey of the realm of botany, being attractive

THE PROGRESS OF AGRICULTURAL in illustration, concise in description, and sound in sub

SCIENCE,
THREE years ago the Royal Agricultural Society ?"-

ceived the happy idea of holding, in connection biti

its annual shows, an agricultural education exhibition, Ji OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN.

which the work of the various agricultural colleges mph RETURN OF Holmes's COMET (1906f).—The remarkable

be brought prominently before the public, and espere all comet discovered by Mr. Holmes on November 2, 1892, has

the latest results of agricultural scientific research. In been re-discovered on this, its second, return by Dr. Max

fourth annual exhibition of this kind was recently held ). Wolf at the Königstuhl Observatory, Heidelberg. From Derby, and the object of this note is to indicate sever-i. the Kiel telegram announcing this fact we learn that on

of the more important directions which agricultural researing August 28, the date of the observation, the comet's position

and rural education are now taking, and the results *** at 13h. 52:1m. (Königstuhl M.T.) was

illustrated at the exhibition. R.A. = 4h. 7m. 24s., dec. = +42° 28'.

Mendel's Laws of Inheritance, This position is between one-third and one-half the distance Important hybridising experiments the line between 52 and 53 Persei, and crosses our meridian at about Mendel's laws of inheritance are being carried out at 5.30 a.m.

Cambridge University Agricultural Department br lli Comparing the position with that given by the ephemeris R. H. Biffen. Mendel's laws prove the recurrench in published by Dr. H. J. Zwiers in No. 4085 of the Astrono- breeding of dominant and recessive characters in certain mische Nachrichten, we find that small corrections of about definite proportions, and their application renders possible +0.5m. in R.A. and +3':5 in declination need to be the production of new fixed types in two or three genere applied to the latter. A portion of this ephemeris is given ations with mathematical precision instead oi as former hereunder :

after years of more or less haphazard breeding hy selesEphemeris oh. (M.T. Greenwich).

tion. Thus in crossing smooth red with rough waite 1906 a (app.) 8 (app.) 1906 a (app.) 8 (app)

wheat, the first cross was apparently of fixed type; but

the second generation only one out of sixteen bred true Sept. 6 ... 4 17 +44 6. Sept. 14 4 25 +45 34 in the third generation three bred true; in the four**

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4 19 +44 29

4 26 45 56 generation four bred true, and the type was fixed. "Ta +44 51

18
4 28
+46 17

same principles are applicable to the inheritance of disease 4 23 +45 12

4 29 46 38 Rows of wheats were shown proving the possibilina

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btaining in three or four generations immunity from rust extent of 90 per cent. in the fifth year (1890) and 19 per in specimens the original parents of which were of rust- cent. in the ninth year (1904), but none remained alive in susceptible and rust-resisting types. Very interesting is the tenth year. Grasses were proved to lose their vitality the application of these laws to the breeding of animals. very much more quickly than the cereals. Sheep's fescue, Mr. ll. Bateson, F.R.S., and Mr. R. C. Punnett, of Caius for instance, reduced by one-half its germinating College, Cambridge, lent

preserved bodies of power by the third year, and all the seeds were dead by Andalusian and rosecomb bantam fowls. The blue the eighth year (1903). Of Timothy, 93 per cent. Andalusian never breeds true, but always produces a definite mained alive in the fifth year and 12 per cent. in the proportion of blacks and splashed whites. From a pen eleventh year. Crested dog's tail germinated 61 per cent. of blues, one-half of the offspring will be blue, one-quarter in the fifth year and ii per cent. in the eleventh year. black, and one-quarter white. When blue is mated with Of the rye grasses, in the seventh year the perennial and either blue, black, or white, one-half of the offspring will Italian rye grasses germinated 36 per cent. and 71 per be blue. When, however, black is mated with white, all cent., and in the eleventh year 6 per cent. and 10 per cent., the offspring are blue. In reality, the blacks and whites respectively. Of the root crops, swede turnips retained are both pure breeds, and the blue is the hybrid form their vitality almost unimpaired for the first three years, produced by crossing these breeds. It is therefore so con- and even up to the seventh year the germination was from stituted that it cannot breed true, and no amount of selec- 84 per cent. to 85 per cent. tion will ever bring about this result. White rosecomb bantams belong to the class of recessive whites, and the

Improvement of Pastures. progeny of a white rosecomb by any pure-coloured breed

The increasing importance of dairying has led to the are always coloured. Thus when a black and a white

renovation of a great deal of poor pasture. No small part rosecomb are crossed, all the hybrids are black. When such hybrids are mated together, three-quarters of the

of the work of some of the agricultural colleges has been

devoted to a study of the remedies appropriate to different hicks are black and the rest white. In Mendelian terms

conditions, whilst from 1885 to 1904 a series of experithe black is dominant and the white recessive. There

ments on the improvement of grass lands in various parts are, therefore, two kinds of blacks, those which carry

of the country was carried out by the Royal Agricultural white and those which do not. When crossed with white

Society. The results of these experiments were illustrated the former give equal numbers of blacks and whites, whilst

by turís cut from the actual pastures, and they brought the latter give blacks only. It is, however, impossible to before the farmers who visited the show lessons of supreme distinguish between the two kinds of black, except by a

practical importance. In a turf sent by the Royal Agribreeding test, the eventual result of which is the produc

cultural Society, and cut from a pasture in Yorkshire, the tion of blacks and whites, both of which breed true to colour.

application of lime was shown to have been remarkably

beneficial, and the dividing line between limed and unAssimilation of Nitrogen by Leguminous Plants.

limed portions was clearly indicated by the difference in

the character of the herbage. This turf was from land The nitrogen problem has received special attention at where basic slag without lime had no appreciable effect. the Midland Agricultural and Dairy College, and recently On the other hand, turf sent by the Cambridge University axperiments have been made with the pure inoculation Agricultural Department from land of the Boulder-clay cultures of Dr. Hiltner, of Munich. Tares, peas, alsike, formation proved the necessity for the application of phoslucerne, and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) were phates, and basic slag was the appropriate remedy. Lime sown in pots of boiled, sterilised, quartz sand, and the and cake-feeding in these cases proved of no avail. Turfs effect of inoculating the soil in these pots with the pure sent by the Royal Agricultural College showed that the cultures supplied by Dr. Hiliner shown to have addition of kainit and superphosphate resulted in a large decidedly beneficial effects upon the growing plants. Mr. increase of clover, and a large reduction of moss and unJohn Golding, by whom these experiments have been decayed vegetable matter that were conspicuous in the carried out, has introduced a new system of inoculation unimproved pasture. The character of the herbage was for leguminous crops, which consists in mixing dried also shown to be materially intiuenced by other applisterilised soil with crushed healthy nodules taken from the cations, such as sulphate of ammonia and nitrate of soda. roots oi plants of the same kind as those which it is whije the use of 5 cwt. per acre of guano- a natural desired to inoculate. The object of sterilising the soil is complete manure-produced a decided improvement, the to effect the destruction of harmful germs and pests such abundance of white clover and sheep's fescue providing as the wireworm, &c. Buhlert has shown that the microbes splendid food for sheep. of the leguminous nodules all belong to one species, but are modified so that nodules coming from a particular legu

British Forestry. minous plant are those best adapted for inoculation of the soil in which that plant is sown. Mr. Golding's inoculating

The exhibits consisted of seeds, cones, trees, shrubs, matcrial will contain, therefore, only the microbe of value

timbers, tools, photographs, specimens, models, diagrams, for the particular plant cultivated. If this material should

working plans, and maps. They were arranged under the prove practically efficacious on a field scale, it can be

supervision of members of the council of the Royal English

Arboricultural Society. The Duke of Northumberland, supplied at a cost of from id. to 2d. per 1b., which at the rate of an application of 56 lb. per acre represents a cost

Earl Egerton of Tatton, the Earl of Egmont, and the Earl por acre of from 4s. 8d. to gs. 4d.

of Yarborough sent timber specimens showing the economic uses to which British plantations may be applied, and

illustrating methods of preservation, chiefly by creosoting: Vitality of Farm Seeds.

Lord Yarborough's woods have been scientifically managed This question has received pracucal elucidation from ex- for a long period, and a chart was displayed showing that periments carried out during the last eleven years by Mr. 23,564,719 trees have been planted on the Brocklesby and William Carruthers, F.R.S., consulting botanist to the Manby Estates from the year 1700 to the present time. Roval Agricultural Society. The results were illustrated An exhibit sent by the Duke of Northumberland consisted at Derby by a large table, which showed in respect of all of young trees planted out of doors, and showing the the farm sreds in common use the percentage of living mixture of light-demanding and shade-bearing trees accordwerds remaining each year from the commencement of the ing to the following plan, as adopted in Germany :experiments in 1885 to the present year (1906). Of the | (a) outer row of beech' providing shelter; (b) second row preals, oats proved to have the greatest vitality. Black with sprinkling of sycamore as a wind-resister ; (c) oaks, bals retained 70 per cent., and white oats 57 per cent., of 9 feet apart, for permanent crop; (d) other hardwood treen hring seeds in the eleventh year (1906), whilst in the for returns during rotation ; (e) sprinkling of larch for early ninth year (1904) the percentage was no less than 95 per returns; () shade-bearers of spruce, silver fir, and beech mont, and 97 per cent. Wheat in the ninth year showed a for soil production and stimulation of main crop. Several Potininating power of 29 per cent., but none remained exhibits illustrated the evils arising from incorrect pruning alise in the tenth year. Barley retained vitality to the or from neglect of pruning. Where pruning is not effected

was

close to the stem, the projecting stump decays, and the (Amraphel, King of Shinar), a passage in the " Song of decay affects the trunk. Where branches are not pruned Songs

' about the cessation of winter and stoppage at all, or not at the right time, natural pruning caused by rains, a plant crowning the mummy of an Egyp: n. thick planting occurs, but the decay of the branches also princess, Quintus Curtius's account of Bactria in the time affects the trunk. Too early thinning prevents the growth of Alexander, down to the investigations of Heim, Hess, of clean boles with suppressed branches. All these points Bruckner, and Russian explorers. The writer adduces , require careful attention in forestry, or considerable de experiences of the Aral region in support of his conclusions preciation in the value of the timber ensues. The Royal In 1896, 1897, and 1899 Mr. N. A. Busch was con Agricultural Society, the Royal Agricultural College, the missioned by the Imperial Russian Geographical Society for Surveyors' Institution, and Mr. A. T. Gillanders (forester investigate the glaciers of the western Caucasus, kuid to the Duke of Northumberland) sent collections of mounted district, and Sukhum circle. The results are recorded is specimens of insects injurious to forest trees. Those of

his report,

** Glaciers of the Western Caucasus,” 195 Mr. Gillanders were very complete, and were classified (134 pages), which is furnished with a helpful index and as beetles, saw-flies, moths, scale insects, aphidæ, and some fine views. diptera.

A work entitled “Materials for the Geography of it Nature-study in Rural Schools.

Urals," by Mr. P. Krotov, describes orohydrographical This, a new feature, was by no means the least interest investigations in the southern part of the central Ir.' ing department of this year's exhibition. It was organised

range. The preface opens with a reference to Dr. Cum by the County Councils Association, and was divided into

Hiekisch's work “ Das System des Crals " (Dorpat, 1192 groups of exhibits from public elementary schools,

to show that knowledge of the geography of these regions secondary schools, and school gardens. The counties from

is meagre and superficial owing to lack of expenditure ! which exhibits were sent included Cambridge, Cumber- | money and exertion. It is claimed that the northern and land, Durham, Derby, Essex, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Stafford, Suffolk, Sussex, and Worcester, and the work sent

was highly creditable to both teachers and scholars. It was stated that the specimens were collected and mounted by pupils of average intelligence, but the excellence of many of the water-colour drawings of common flowers was remarkable. The collections made by the scholars included mounted specimens of local flowering plants, some of them classified into hedge-row, wood, and water plants, collections of tree leaves, autumn fruits, fossils, common insects, snails, wireworms, &c. In the secondary schools the work was, of course, more advanced, and included classification into seeds, seedlings, branches, flowers, fruits, and wood in the case of common trees. The Staffordshire County Council exhibited collections of tools, seeds, and apparatus as supplied to school gardens, and a map showing that gardening classes are held in seventy-nine day schools, in thirty evening schools, and two grammar schools in that county. The introduction of nature-study into our rural schools appears to hold out great promise as a means of training and developing the intelligence of country children. It should go far to counteract that “ dulness of the country which is stated to be one of the potent causes of migration to the towns. Education of the youthful mind to the intelligent appreciation of natural phenomena may be regarded as a most important means of ensuring the future progress of agricultural science.

E. H. G.

[graphic]

RUSSIAN GEOGRAPHICAL WORKS. SEVERAL papers and memoirs of scientific interest and importance are included in publications received from

Ice-cave of the right glacier of the Tsberin-kol. Russia during the past few months. The publications are printed in the Russian language, and among them are four southern parts of the range are more familiar to scientific volumes of the Proceedings of the Imperial Russian Geo- explorers than the more accessible central part. In 1893 graphical Society.

it was decided to make an orohydrographical survey of In vol. xli., part iv., of the Proceedings of this society, portions of the Ekaterinburg and Krasnoufimsky distres, Mr. V. V. Markovitch contributes lengthy articles, one Perm government, but the area proposed was afterwards entitled In Search of Eternal Ice," and the other on the limited. Mr. Krotoff reviews previous explorations, ice-fields of the Caucasus, illustrated with beautiful photo- mentioning, inter alia, the labours of Tatistsheff, llumbadt, graphs and sketches. Botanists will be interested in his and Murchison. notes on the flora of the mountains. Elaborate reports on The six chapters contain :-historical sketch of previous the subject of ground ice, by a commission appointed to study explorations ; cartographical materials and geologu al the question, appear in the Proceedings, vol. xli., part ii. sketch ; orographical description : hypsometry of the western A map of European Russia is given, indicating results of slope of the Crals; hydrographical description; concluding investigations by many observers. In vol. xl., part iv., an notes; “ absolute heights" in the southern part of the important examination by Mr. A. I. Voieikoff of the ques- central C'rals; forty-two pages of lists of heights. Orotion whether the Pacific Ocean will become the chief com- graphical and geological charts are given at the end on a mercial route of the terrestrial globe appears, with statistics scale of five versts to the inch. and maps.

The report of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society In vol. xli., part iii., Mr. L. Berg differs from Prince for the year 1904 contains a vast amount of useful matter, P. Kropotkin's opinions on progressive desiccation of Eur- especially in the records of scientific exploration. Follow Asia, maintaining that the climatic conditions of Central ing the official lists there are short biographies of deceased Asia have been practically unchanged from the earliest members, including General P. S. Vannovsky and Admiral recorded times, and that geological desiccation has long S. O. Makaroff, medallist, constructor of the ice-breaker ceased. Mr. Berg refers to a canal called after Hammurabi Yermak.

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