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simple comparison of positions at the extreme limits of time. It is not made clear why observations at intermediate dates, such as those of the Radcliffe Observatory, have not been used. The plan adopted seems the more strange, since the precessional variation has been applied and a comparison has been instituted. Considering the important part these proper motions were to play in the subsequent discussion, it would seem that too much care could not be exercised in their determination. These proper motions have been arranged in tables according to their amount, or the magnitude of the stars, or the character of spectrum, and, indeed, in every way that ingenuity 1 ould suggest as likely to be useful. This method of distribution cannot but be of essential service to those who wish to make further use of the material.

Next we have a determination of the precessional constants. The final result may not possess more than an academic interest, but the research is thorough and valuable. It would serve no useful purpose to enter into details since those who are interested in such recondite questions must refer to the original sources for information but the numerical results may be quoted, since they differ from Newcomb's values by a greater amount than would have been anticipated. For the centennial values of m and n we have:

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Another result which follows incidentally from the method of discussion is to show that, so far as this material is available, there is no reason to suspect any rotation of the anghter stars, as a whole, relatively to the fainter stars.

Lastly, the authors assign a direction to the solar motion, or rather many directions, for the material is discussed in many ways, all interesting. Here, again, we must content ourselves with the final result, which places the apex of the sun's motion in right ascension 275° and north declination 37°, referred, presumably, to the equinox of 1850.

In tendering our congratulations to Messrs. Dyson and Thackeray, and all who have been engaged in this work, we cannot help remarking that, as in the past, the Royal Observatory has distinguished itself by its energy in laboriously piling up observations, so in this instance, it demonstrates equally happily its power to make the accumulated material available for the advance of philosophical


The title of the second book reminds us how loyally the Greenwich Observatory has served the purposes of its foundation. To determine, or to supply the means for determining, the longitude has constantly figured in its programme of work. The times have altered, the conditions of the problem have changed, and, above all, accuracy has increased, but, steadfast to its original design, the Royal Observatory has always been willing to assist in such inquiries, whether in the interests of navigation or for the purposes of geodesy. The Paris meridian seems to have been a constant source of anxiety to Greenwich, and the present volume gives the history of no less than three attempts to grapple with the difficulty. The two earlier results, om. 20-85s. and 9m. 20.79s. west of Greenwich, sem fairly accordant to the lay mind, but since they both differed in the same direction from the results of the French observers, the small discrepancy led to a third attempt in 1902, from which it appeared that Paris was west of Greenwich gm. 20-9328., with a probable error of only noons. Since this probable error is equivalent to about the length of an ordinary writing table, it would seem to possess the necessary accuracy, and the problem of the distance between the meridians of Greenwich and Paris may be considered as laid aside for some time to come. The remaining portion of the book is concerned with the longitudes of Montreal, Waterville, and Canso, and of stations incidentally connected with the scheme of operations. The result is to place Montreal in west longitude 4h. 54m. 18.625., with an uncertainty of about 20 feet. Doubtless the day will come when this error will be felt to be intolerable, but if a demand is made for a fresh inquiry, we may be sure that the best traditions of Greenwich will respond to the appeal. W. E. P.



"On the Standardisation of Anti-typhoid Vaccine," by Captain George Lamb and Captain W. B. C. Forster, has just appeared (Scientific Memoirs of the Government of India, No. 21. Calcutta: The Government Printing Office, 1906. Pp. 15. Price 7d.). After reviewing the various methods which have been proposed for the standardisation of Wright's anti-typhoid vaccine, Captains Lamb and Forster come to the conclusion that the virulence of the organisms used in the preparation of the vaccines must be taken into account. Since it

appears that virulence is in direct proportion to the number, or avidity for immune body, of the receptors, an estimation of these latter in any vaccine will take cognisance of the virulence of the organism from which it was prepared. Admitting this as a basis, the method of standardisation suggested by Captains Lamb and Forster is to estimate what dilution of the various vaccines when mixed in equal parts with serum is able to remove completely the bactericidal power of that serum; in other words, to determine in what dilution of vaccine the receptors completely neutralise the amboceptor content of the serum. This is carried out by preparing a number of different dilutions of the vaccine, which are each mixed with the same amount (100 of fresh goat serum, and left in contact for an hour at 37° C. At the end of this period a small quantum of living typhoid culture is added to each tube, the several tubes are incubated for about twenty-four hours, and then sterile broth is added to each tube in order to ascertain whether the bacilli have been killed or no, and in this way various vaccines may be compared. The memoir must be consulted for the details of the method. R. T. HEWLETT.


OXFORD.-The thirteenth "Robert Boyle" lecture of the
Junior Scientific Club will be delivered by Prof. J. H.
Poynting, F.R.S., on Wednesday, May 30, upon the sub-
ject of
The Pressure of Light.'

Mr. J. S. C. Douglas, Christ Church, has been elected to the Radcliffe travelling fellowship for 1906.

Prof. Ritchie, fellow of New College, has been nominated as an examiner in preventive medicine for 1906, 1907, and 1908.

The 284th meeting of the Junior Scientific Club was held on May 16, when Mr. P. W. Robertson read a paper on "A New Method of Estimating Quinine," and Prof. E. G. Hill one on "Chemistry in India."

CAMBRIDGE.-The museums and lecture rooms syndicate has reported that the chemical laboratory of Gonville and Caius College will be closed at the end of the academic year 1906-7. It will therefore be necessary to provide further accommodation in the University for the students who have hitherto found places in the chemical laboratory. The museums and lecture rooms syndicate recommends that a site in the museums' grounds contiguous to the buildings of medicine should be set apart for this purpose. It is also recommended that the proposed extension of the Cavendish Laboratory should take place on a site with a frontage to Free School Lane to the north of the existing building. Lord Rayleigh's gift of 5000l. of the Nobel prize will, it is hoped, enable this building shortly to be begun.

The Vice-Chancellor has been authorised to convey to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths the thanks of the University for its munificent gift of 5000l., to be applied to the present needs of the University library.

The well-known authority on coral reefs and oceanography, Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner, has been nominated by the master and fellows of Gonville and Caius College to be pro-proctor for the ensuing year.

Dr. Bonney will lecture at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 31, in the Sedgwick Museum, on "Volcanoes and Man's Experience of them.'

Steps are being taken for the provision of a permanent endowment to place the Balfour library in a secure position. The library owes its origin to the generosity of the family of the late Prof. F. M. Balfour, who after his death in 1882 presented his scientific books to the University for the

use of the zoological laboratory. The library so constituted was housed in a room adjacent to the laboratory, and has ever since been freely open to all members of the University and to others qualified to make use of it. The library has been maintained hitherto out of the fees paid by students attending the classes; and the burden which it thus places upon the resources of the laboratory is undesirable. A committee has therefore been formed for the purpose of collecting subscriptions, and of establishing a fund to be called the Balfour Library Endowment Fund, with the object of putting the library on a secure and satisfactory basis. The committee at its first meeting agreed that the fund, when established, "be offered to the University at such time and under such conditions as the subscribers shall hereafter determine, provided that the management be closely connected with the zoological laboratory, and that the library be freely open to students." Subscriptions may be paid to the Balfour Library Endowment Fund, at Messrs. Barclay's Bank, or to the treasurer, Mr. Adam Sedgwick, Zoological Laboratory, New Museums, Cambridge. The sum already received or promised amounts to about 500l.

THE King and Queen will visit Newcastle on July 11 to open the new wing that completes the Armstrong College. The King will also open the new university buildings at Aberdeen on September 24.

IT has been resolved by the Corporation of McGill University, Montreal, to confer the honorary degree of LL.D. on Dr. D. Macalister, president of the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom.

It is announced from the Agricultural Department of the University of Edinburgh that Mr. E. Thompstone has been appointed assistant deputy director of agriculture for Bombay Presidency, and Mr. Roger Prosser will go to La Germania, Argentina, to investigate salt soils.

THERE is a vacancy for a junior assistant secretary, holding a science degree or possessing equivalent qualifications, in the office of the department of technology of the City and Guilds of London Institute. Applicants for the appointment should communicate with the superintendent, Exhibition Road, London, S.W.

ACCORDING to the Chemiker Zeitung, the University of Basle has fallen into line with the German universities, and now requires from all German doctor candidates the leaving certificate of a nine-year gymnasium or of a corresponding

Swiss institution. The German Government had threatened not to recognise the doctor's degree if the University continued to grant it on the old conditions.

A GENERAL meeting of old students of the Technical College, Finsbury, was held on May 8 to discuss the proposal to form an Old Students' Association. In a short opening speech Sir Owen Roberts, who occupied the chair, expressed his approval of such associations, and said that it gave him great pleasure to preside at the organisation meeting of such a one as this promises to be. Dr. M. O. Forster, F.R.S., was elected president of the association.

IT is announced in Science that Mr. Andrew Carnegie has made a donation of 20,000l. to Lehigh University; and that the movement to increase the endowment of Victoria University, Toronto, by 60,000l. is now practically completed. The amount has been raised all but 2400l., counting the 10,000l. given by Mr. Carnegie. The latter gift was conditional upon the raising of an additional 10,000l., but no trouble in fulfilling the condition is expected. According to the N.Y. Evening Post Sir William McDonald, of Montreal, has given 11,00ol. for the purpose of erecting an extension to Prince of Wales College, Charlottetown, P.E.I. Additional facilities will be provided for teaching nature-study, domestic science and kindred subjects, and for training teachers.

THE Commission appointed by the German Association of Naturalists and Physicians at Breslau in 1904 to consider the mathematical and scientific instruction in German schools held a general meeting in Elberfeld on April 9-11, and discussed the following questions at length:-the syllabus of the mathematical and scientific teaching in the girls' high schools, in the six-class Realschulen and in the Reformschulen; the science teaching of the elementary and continuation schools, as well as that of the commercial

and special schools; certain hygienic and sexual questions in connection with school life; the chemical instruction given in the training colleges. While the results and reports of these discussions will be laid before the society at the Stuttgart meeting in the autumn, it has been decided to issue a report on the form of instruction recommended for the girls' high schools as early as possible.


AN addition to the many proofs which have reached us of the active interest taken on the Continent in the reformn of mathematical teaching is afforded by the publication of German translation of the address delivered to the Mathesis Society by Prof. Gino Loria on April 22, 1905. at Milan. The translation, which is literal, has been made by Dr. H. Wieleitner, and is published by G. J Göschen, of Leipzig, under the title of "* Vergangene und künftige Lehrpläne.' The address affords evidence of a general tendency on the Continent to attach less importance in school curricula to the performance of gymnastic exercises of little educational value, and to introduce the wider ideas of higher mathematics at an earlier stage in the curricula. The object of mathematical teaching should be to give the pupils as wide an insight into mathematical methods, especially higher methods, as is consistent with thoroughness. It is impossible to study a paper like this without seeing how much better off in this respect our Continental rivals are than we are. This difference is due partly to the fact that under our university systems a large proportion of the mathematical teachers of our schools never learn any higher mathematics whatever, whereas in Germany or Italy every student has the opportunity of studying under specialists. A second cause of difference is due to the lesser importance attached on the Continent to examinations and syllabuses. In illustration of the spirit of the paper, Prof. Ĝino Loria considers that "elementary conics" is of little value as usually studied, as the subject contains no new ideas, and the pupils are only wearied with complicated exercises. This is certainly true of the subject as commonly taught, but, at the same time, a course of elementary mathematics ought to contain some introduction, however small, to the study of common curves, their tangents, and their other simpler properties treated geometrically and not as graphs.

THE Conditions of admission of students to college not only vary in different countries, but also often in the colleges ceiving interested attention among educationists in the and universities of the same country. This subject is reUnited States. Science for April 27 prints an address by President G. E. MacLean, of the State University of Iowa. which discusses the question: Can there be a coordination of the examining, certificate, and accrediting (including school inspection) systems for admission to college, looking toward a common or national administration in the interests of students, colleges, and the preservation of standard? The American procedure in this matter is not uniform The western plan may be said to be the admission of students to colleges and universities by certificates from duly inspected secondary schools, while in eastern States the method is to admit only by examinations conducted by representative boards or otherwise. Some valuable opinions are collected in the address as to the relative value of the two courses. President MacLean says that the accrediting system has raised the standard of the work done. It has linked the secondary school into one system with the college. It has given an increase of students entering college, and with better average preparation. It is sometimes alleged that the scholarship of students admitted on certificate is lower than that of students who are required to pass examinations, but President Schurman, of Cornell, says the experience at his university does not support the contention. On the other hand, Prof. Hadley, of Yale, believes that the examination method is fairer to boys who come from a distance to the university. Yet, with the exception of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, practically a coordination of the examining, certificate, and accrediting system has been reached inasmuch as testimonials issued by the college authorities are interchangeable. President MacLean concludes by urging the need for liberty to each institution, and records his belief that it is a question of evolution-the best system or combination of systems will survive.





Zoological Society, May 1.-Dr. Henry Woodward, F.R.S., vice-president, in the chair.-Skin of a remarkable new duiker from Nyasaland, presented to the British Museum by Mr. S. W. Frank: Oldfield Thomas. animal was named Cephalophus walkeri, sp.n.-Further notes on anthropoid apes: Hon. W. Rothschild. author exhibited five mounted specimens, one skeleton, six skulls, and a photograph of the following races:-Gorilla gorilla, dark-headed race, G. gorilla, red-headed race, G. gorilla matschiei, G. gorilla diehli, Simia vellerosus, and S. vellerosus fuliginosus.-Mammals collected in SouthWest Australia for Mr. W. E. Balston: Oldfield Thomas. Thirty-two species and subspecies were enumerated, of which the following were described as new-Scoteinus balston, sp.n., Tachyglossus aculeatus ineptus, subsp.n.-A series of papers on the Lepidoptera collected in South Tibet by the officers during the recent expedition to that country under Colonel Sir Frank Younghusband. Mr. H. J. Elwes gave an account of the butterflies contained in the rullection, which comprised thirty-three species and varieties, four of which were described as new. The moths, exclusive of the Tineidae, have been worked out by Sir George Hampson, Bart., who enumerated the sixty-three species of which specimens were obtained. Of these, examples of thirty-six species were taken at moderate elevations in Sikhim, and belonged to the Indian fauna, two being described as new; twenty-seven species belonged in the Palearctic fauna, of which nine were widespread and eighteen Tibetan; ten of these were described as new. An account of the Tineidae was supplied by Mr. J. Hartley Durrant; they were referred to four species, two of which were new. Contributions to the knowledge of the vascular and respiratory systems in the Ophidia and to: anatomy of the genera Boa and Corallus: F. E. Beddard.

Chemical Society, May 3.-Prof. H. E. Armstrong, F.R.S., past-president, in the chair.-The chairman gave expression to the sense of loss sustained by the Chemical Society in the death of Prof. Pierre Curie. The meeting endorsed

the letter of condolence addressed by the president to Mme. Marie Curie, an honorary and foreign member of the society-The relation between absorption spectra and chemical constitution, part v., the isonitroso-compounds: E. C. C. Baly, Miss E. G. Marsden, and A. W. Stewart. From observations of the absorption spectra of several isonitroso-compounds in neutral and alkaline solution it is found that the free substances most probably have the R.C:O



-The constitution of the hydroxides and cyanides obtained from acridine, methyl-acridine, and phenanthridine methiodides C. K. Tinkler. The constitution of ammonium

amalgam: Miss E. M. Rich and M. W. Travers. The results of determinations of the freezing points of a series of samples of ammonium amalgam have led the authors to the conclusion that it is a true solution of ammonium in mercury.-Action of light on potassium ferrocyanide: G. W. A. Foster. When a neutral or alkaline solution of potassium ferrocyanide is exposed to light, a purely photochemical action ensues, and ferric hydroxide is slowly precipitated. A mercury vapour lamp was used as a source of light.-Note on the constitution of cellulose: A. G. Green and A. G. Perkin. The supposed tetra-acetate of cellulose has been re-investigated and found to be in reality a triacetate. This affords further evidence of the correctness of Green's formula for the nucleus of the carbohydrate. -Some new derivatives of pinene: F. P. Leach. When pinene nitrosochloride is treated with potassium cyanate in alcohol at 50° to 60°, a compound, C,,H,,O,N,, separates. When heated with concentrated sulphuric acid it yields a base, CH,ON. This is amphoteric, and appears to be an amino-oxime, it is also obtainable from pinene nitrosochloride by the action of ammonia.-Glutaconic and aconitic acids: S. Ruhemann. A criticism of Rogerson and Thorpe's work on these acids.

12 17

Anthropological Institute, May 8.-Mr. H. Balfour, expresident, in the chair.-Phonograph records of native songs from the Congo, collected by Dr. J. L. Todd, were exhibited. The songs were all collected in the upper waters of the Congo, and were of great interest as specimens of native African music.-Notes on the ethnography of the Ba-Mbala: E. Torday and T. A. Joyce. The data on which the paper was based were collected by Mr. Torday. The Ba-Mbala are a Bantu tribe inhabiting the district between the Kwilu and the Inzai, tributaries of the Kasai, in the Congo Free State. The country had not previously been visited by a white man, at least for many years. The most interesting feature connected with these people is perhaps the fact that they are cannibals, men, women, and children all indulging, with the exception of a particular class known as Muri, who are distinguished by wearing a particular kind of bracelet. Another interesting feature of these people is that they appear to have borrowed all their knowledge of crafts from the neighbouring tribes. The paper was illustrated by a collection of specimens sent home by Mr. Torday, and also by lantern-slides.

Physical Society, May 11.-Dr. C. Chree, F. R.S., vicebut in presence of sodium hydroxide president, in the chair. The dead points of a galvanometer needle for transient currents: A. Russell. When many types of needle galvanometer are connected with a condenser and a battery in the ordinary manner by a charge and discharge key the following phenomena can easily be observed. When the needle is initially at right angles to the axis of the galvanometer coil, and the spot of light is in the centre, X, of the scale, the throws on charge and discharge are equal. If the controlling magnet be turned through a small angle, or if the suspending fibre be twisted slightly so that the spot of light is not in the centre of the scale initially, the throws on charge and discharge are not equal. The algebraic difference between them, however, is constant. Hence, for an initial position P of the spot of light there is no throw on charge, and similarly for another initial position P, there is no throw on discharge. The author shows that these effects can be explained with considerable accuracy by supposing that the magnetism of the needle consists of two parts, one permanent and the other proportional to the magnetising force. He finds that it is easy to arrange with a lowresistance galvanometer so that a, relatively speaking, gigantic charge can be passed through the coil without producing any throw at all. He also finds that all the galvanometers he has tested, whether needle or moving coil, will produce throws when certain transient currents pass through them, even although the integral value of these currents is zero. It also appears that the effective internal resistance of ordinary condensers is appreciable in certain cases.

the starred hydrogen atom is replaced by sodium and becomes labile. Isorropesis then takes place between the >C:0 and >C: N groups, a tautomeric process being the actuating mechanism.-The residual affinity of coumarin as shown by the formation of oxonium salts: G. T. Morgan and Miss F. M. G. Micklethwait. Platinichlorides of coumarin, 6-aminocoumarin, ethyl-6-aminocoumarin, dimethyl-6-aminocoumarin, acetyl-6-aminocoumarin, and a coumarin hydriodide periodide were described. The formation of these salt-like additive compounds of coumarin agrees with the results of earlier investigators. Coumarin also exhibits an amphoteric character in combining with metallic oxides and hydroxides. -Brazilin and hæmatoxylin, part vii., some derivatives of brazilein: P. Engels and W. H. Perkin, jun. Brazilein is the colouring matter produced when brazilin is oxidised in alkaline solution by means of air. Trimethylbrazilein, tr,methylbrazilein formic acid, trimethylisobrazilein sulphate, and trimethylbrazilein hydroxylamine were described.The action of tribromopropane on the sodium derivative of thyl malonate: W. H. Perkin, jun., and J. L. Simonsen. -Pipitzahoic acid: J. McConnell Sanders. The author Ponsiders that the composition is best represented by the formula C.,H,,O,, it being thus isomeric with camphorquinone and similar to, although not identical with, the 150camphorquinone discovered by Manasse. The acid seems to behave as a hydroxy-ketone, forming a resinous areal compound and a greenish-brown copper derivative.

Royal Meteorological Society, May 16.-Mr. Richard Bentley, president, in the chair.-An instrument for testing and adjusting the Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder : Dr. W. N. Shaw and G. C. Simpson. Experience has shown the necessity of an instrument for testing the shape and dimensions of recorders, and for verifying their adjustment when installed. But it is not at all easy by mere inspection or simple measurements with ordinary measuring instruments to check the adjustment, nor is it possible cn a sunless day, without some special instrument, to check the orientation, and so the time-scale of the sunshine recorder. The authors have devised an instrument for this purpose, which they fully described in the paper.-The development and progress of the thunder-squall of February 8, 1906 R. G. K. Lempfert. This squall was first noted at Stornoway soon after midnight, and the last station in England to feel its effects was Hastings, over which it passed at about 4 p.m. The rate of progress was nearly uniform, though it increased somewhat in the south-east of the country, where the thunder and hail storms were most intense. The average speed of advance of the line of squall was about thirty-eight miles per hour. The most marked feature of this squall was the sudden shift of the wind in the course of a few minutes from south-west to north-west, and it was during this period that the thunderstorm occurred, accompanied by a rise of barometric pres sure and a fall of temperature.

Society of Chemical Industry (London Section), May 7.Mr. A. Gordon Salamon in the chair.-Notes on the Gutzeit test for arsenic: J. A. Goode and Dr. F. Mollwo Perkin. Owing to the difficulty of obtaining zinc free from arsenic, the authors used an ammonium salt-preferably the chloride-and metallic magnesium. Numbers are given showing the solution potential of magnesium in ammonium chloride and sulphuric and hydrochloric acids, also the difference produced by the addition of cadmium salts. The potential found was always lowered by the addition of the cadmium salt. Attempts to obtain a permanent stain were unsuccessful. The authors, however, do not consider that this is a matter of great importance, because as the test is so readily carried out it is easy to conduct several experiments simultaneously, one to produce a standard stain, one a blank, and the other with the substance under examination. The authors found that mercuric bromide is more delicate than mercuric chloride, and the stain is more intense. With mercuric bromide it is possible to detect 1/2000 mg. of arsenic. Although magnesium and ammonium chloride were employed by the authors, they also used zinc and acids, and obtained results equally as good. In fact, they consider that zinc and acid is fractionally more sensitive than magnesium and an ammonium salt.-The separation of brucine and strychnine by nitric acid; influence of nitrous acid: W. C. Reynolds and R. Sutcliffe. The authors have examined the processes proposed by Keller (Zeit. Oesterr. Apoth, Ver., 1893, 542), Stoeder (Ned. Tydschr. Pharm., 1899, xi., 1-5), and Gorden (Arch. Pharm., 1902, cexl., 641-4), and show under what conditions brucine can be completely oxidised with the minimum loss of strychnine. They have also investigated the part played by nitrous acid in the oxidation, and the action of alkalis on the products.Absorption of gallic acid by organic colloids: W. P. Dreaper and A. Wilson. The absorption of gallic acid by silk and hide powder is shown to be of a similar nature to its absorption by gelatin or albumin. The influence of general reagents and the curves obtained indicate that the reactions are due to absorption. The precipitation of these colloids by tannic and gallic acids indicates, when studied in detail, that the solution state is a determining factor in the production of these coagula. The influence of gallic acid on the nature of a tannic acid gelatin coagulum is also observed. The results confirm the pseudo solution theory of dyeing, and indicate the nature of tanning.


Philosophical Society, April 30-Mr. J. J. Lister in the chair.-Demonstration of new apparatus for psychological tests: W. H. R. Rivers.-The measurement of the earth air current and the origin of atmospheric electricity: C. T. R. Wilson. The experiments, so far as they go, yield no support to theories which attribute the positive


electrification of the air to effects of its contact with bodies at the earth's surface, e.g. to friction, or to greater loss of negative than of positive ions on account of their greater mobility. In an article in NATURE in June, 1903, it was suggested that the precipitation theory of the origin of the electrical field might have to be abandoned on account of the difficulty of explaining how positively charged air could be carried from wet-weather regions for any considerable distance without losing practically all its charge, and another possible origin of the electrical field was suggested, i.e. the arrival at the earth's surface, from external sources, of negatively-charged particles of the nature of extremely penetrating kathode rays. This hypothesis has been made less unlikely by the recent experiments of Campbell and Wood, which suggest the existence at the earth's surface of rays from cosmical sources. On the other hand, the difficulty in the way of the precipitation theory is removed if the current from the wet- to the fine-weather regions is regarded as due to conduction in the upper atmosphere, and not merely to convection of the positive charge by winds. A class of integral equations: H. Bateman.A suggestion as to the nature of the horny teeth of the Marsipobranchii: H. W. Marett Tims. It is difficult to accept the homologies which have been proposed between the horny teeth of the Marsipobranchii and the teeth of higher vertebrates. The published accounts of the development of the former appear to the writer to harmonise more closely with the development of the teleostean scale, from which it is suggested in the present paper that the horny teeth may have been derived.


Royal Society, May 7.-Dr. R. H. Traquair, vice-president, in the chair.-Vibrating systems which are not subject to the Boltzmann-Maxwell law Dr. W. Peddie. In this paper the question of the partitioning of energy in a system of mutually influencing masses is considered, the law of action assumed being the generalised Hooke's law. It is shown that equipartition of energy is in general impossible. An infinity of cases with a given number of degrees of freedom in which equipartition holds is possible, but the order of the infinity of cases in which it does not hold is greater. A method of time averages for a single system is used. When equipartition cannot hold in the case of any one system, the same result must be true for the space averages of a large number. In the course of the work a very symmetrical condition for the reality of the roots of an n-ic is found.-The superposition of mechanical vibrations upon magnetisation, and conversely in iron, steel, and nickel: James Russell. The wire under examination was, when required, set into mechanical vibration by means of an electric bell, to the sounding part of which the one end of the wire was fixed. The investigation was a systematic comparison of the temporary and residual magnetisations of these materials in various cyclic fields, according as the material was or was not in a state of vibration. The influence also of the condition of the wire, according as it was annealed or quenched," was carefully studied. Of the many results obtained the following may be mentioned :-With permanently acting vibrations hysteresis loss is increased when the limiting fields are low, increased when they are high, but always decreased when the comparison is made with the limits given inductions instead of fields. In the annealed condition of all three metals, vibrations greatly increase the effects of "field on and field off." When the vibrations are not maintained permanently, but are superposed upon the magnetised condition at different stages of the cycle, the results are very different. Thus with continuous vibration the slope of the curve decreasing from the same maximum is always greater with vibration than without. On the other hand, when the vibration is superposed an increase of induction always occurs on the down curve as the cyclic extreme is departed from, and this increase passes into decrease in the opposite sense as the other cyclic extreme is reached.-Neobythites brucei, Poisson abyssal nouveau recueilli par l'Expédition Antarctique Nationale Ecossaise : Louis Dollo. This is a unique specimen of a new fish (family Brotulidae) which Mr. W. S. Bruce found in the Weddell Sea at a depth of 2500 fathoms, Soo feet deeper than the deepest sounding obtained by the Challenger in the same

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region. The Nematoda of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition: Dr. v. Linstow. Seven species were described, five of the parasitic genus Ascaris, of which two were new species, and one undetermined. The others were a new species of Monorygma and a free-living Thoreostoma. MI. Bruce exhibited the specimens, the Monorygma dentatus found in the stomach of the Weddell's al being specially interesting.-A Pfaffian identity and related vanishing aggregates of determinant minors: Dr. Thomas Muir.


Academy of Sciences, May 7.-M. H. Poincaré in the chair. The discovery of the proper motions of the stars by the aid of the stereoscopic method of Dr. Max Wolf: M. Lowy. The method consists of a comparison in a stereoscope of two photographs of a given portion of the sky taken at several years' interval. Among the photographs shown was one bringing out the proper motion of a star of the ninth magnitude in the constellation of Leo. The proper motion can be evaluated stereoscopically with a greater precision than by the ordinary micrometric methods.-Remarks on the twelfth volume of the "Annales de l'Observatoire de Bordeaux": M. Loewy.The methods for the detection of aggregations of luminous particles, mixed with the gases and vapours in the lower part of the solar atmosphere, at other times than during eclipses: H. Deslandres. Very little has been done on the composition and distribution of the non-gaseous portion of the solar atmosphere. The author reviews the difficulties of the subject, and gives suggestions as to the best mode of attacking the problem.-The nidification of bees in the open air: E. L. Bouvier. An account of two cases in which domesticated bees have built hives in the open air on the branches of trees, and of the modifications in the structure necessitated by the exposure to wind and rain. Owing to the neighbouring buildings, one side of the hive was more exposed than the other. This fact was appreciated by the bees, and the exposed side was strengthened accordingly. The conglomerates from the explosions of Vesuvius, their minerals, and their comparison with the trachytic conglomerates of Mont Dore: A. Lacroix. Remarks by M. Albert Gaudry on the forthcoming International Congress of Anthropology and Prehistoric Archæolegy at Monaco.-The synthesis of penta-methyl-ethanol : Louis Henry. The substance (CH ̧),—C—C(OH)-(CH), was obtained in an attempt to prepare

(CH,), CCI-C(OH)—(CH,),,

by the interaction of magnesium methyl-bromide and ethyl plorisobutyrate or the corresponding bromo-compound. The method described is the most advantageous one for the preparation of this alcohol.-Researches on the whitening of fur and feathers in winter: El. Metchnikoff. Observations are given showing the probability of the view that the blanching of the hair and feathers, in animals periodically and in man through old age, is due to the artvity of living amoeboid cells, chromophages, sensible to sternal influences, and capable of moving and attacking the pigment grains.-The generalisation of trigonometrical series: A. Buhl.-Certain asymptotic series: L. Echlesinger. The acceleration of spherical waves of shock: M Jouguet.-The application of the principle of superposition to the transmission of alternating currents over a long line. Its graphical representation: A. Blondel. -The interference effects produced by a grating limiting a thin plate: Georges Meslin. The theory of interference rings which appear when a grating is placed on the convex surface of a lens of small curvature, and are distinct from Newton's rings. These fringes can be applied practually to the verification of a surface without the use of monochromatic light, and this testing can be carried out without interrupting the working of the surface, owing to the fact that the diffraction grating may be placed at a distance of some millimetres from the surface without interfering with the production of the fringes.-The action of ammonia gas on anhydrous neodymium chloride: C. Matignon and R. Trannoy. Neodymium chloride forms seven different combinations with ammonia, containing respective one, two, four, five, eight, eleven, and twelve molecules of ammonia to one of NdCl,. These compounds form a further confirmation of the trivalency of neodymium,

as the assumption of divalency for this metal would lead to improbable formulæ for these addition products.-The existence of sulphides of phosphorus; mixtures of phosphorus and phosphorus sesquisulphide: R. Boulouch. A criticism of a paper on the same subject by H. Giran, and a discussion of the nature of the eutectic mixture formed by phosphorus and the sulphide P,S,.-Some special brasses: Léon Guillet. The addition of an element such as aluminium to a brass containing copper and zinc only yields an alloy possessing mechanical properties and a micrographic structure corresponding to a pure copperzinc brass of quite different composition. From numerous experiments on the addition of various elements, a quantitative expression is developed referring the properties of the alloys thus formed to the pure copper-zinc brasses of corresponding properties.-A method for the detection and estimation of small quantities of iron: A. Mouneyrat. The method is based on the production of a green colour in dilute solutions of iron salts by the action of sulphuretted hydrogen in ammoniacal solution. It is shown that the reaction is specific to iron and is of extreme delicacy, serving to estimate this metal between the limits of 1/1000 and 1/1,000,000.-The production of aromatic sulphamates by the reduction of nitro-compounds with sodium hydrosulphite: A. Seyewetz and M. Bloch. Nitrobenzene is reduced by sodium hydrosulphite in presence of sodium phosphate to the sodium salt of phenylsulphamic acid. The reaction is general for aromatic compounds, and has been extended to the three nitrotoluenes, metanitroxylene, and a-nitronaphthalene.-A seismic disturbance recorded at the Observatory of Ebro on April 18: P. Cirera.


Linnean Society, March 28.-Annual General Meeting.Mr. T. Steel, president, in the chair.-Annual address: the President. The question of rabbit destruction was dealt with, the proposal to introduce disease for the purpose being condemned, on the grounds that not only would it not affect the desired extermination, but also that it was extremely undesirable to introduce a foreign pathogenic microbe of unknown potency under to be broadcasted over the land. changed conditions, Attention was directed to the indiscriminate destruction, wilful as well as inadvertent, of useful and harmless

indigenous animals, and the deplorable results in loss of crops through attacks of insects which are sure to follow the killing off of insectivorous birds. Taking as the special subject of his address that of oceanic physics, the president briefly sketched the formation of the primary ocean, showing that it was in all probability highly saline and that calculations of the age of the earth, based on the present rate of transport of salt from the land to the sea, are misleading. Regarding the observed rate of increase in temperature downwards in the earth's crust, which has been found to be about 1° F. for each 51 feet of descent, reasons were given for considering that this rate is not maintained, and that a maximum temperature of about 7000° F. is reached at a depth of some 800,000 feet, after which the temperature to the earth's centre remains practically unaltered. Dealing with the phenomenon of windraised waves, it was shown that these have well-defined properties, waves of any given size having all their other functions in unison, the height, length, frequency, velocity, &c., being fixed and invariable, relative to one another. Allusion was made to the enormous amount of energy involved in the evaporation which takes place daily from the ocean surface, and to the profound effect on climate caused by the transference of heat absorbed in vapourising water from the sea and again liberated at the places where this vapour condenses to form clouds and rain. The address concluded with an examination of the possibilities in regard to the withdrawal of water from the ocean to be stored as ice at the poles, and the result on the relation of land and water levels, also on the adequacy of change of land level at the poles to account for the known former existence there of a comparatively mild climate.-The first recorded occurrence of Blastoidea in New South Wales: T. G. Taylor. The Australian Blastoids at present known comprise three species from the Gympie beds (permoCarboniferous) of the Rockhampton district, and provisionally referred to the genera Metablastus, Granato

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