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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions

expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE. No notice is taken of anonymous communications.) Mean Temperatures of High Southern Latitudes.

ON p. 131 of NATURE of December 8, 1904, you give an approximate calculation of the mean temperatures of high southern latitudes, by Mr. Krebs, based upon the observe ations of the most recent Antarctic expeditions.

For the new edition of my “ Lehrbuch der Meteorologie" I have made a similar calculation, and have made use of the observations in order to calculate afresh the mean temperature of the southern hemisphere. My preliminary results are as follows: S. latitude

50 60 70 80 Yearly temperature 55

- 1195 - 19:8 C. January

8:3 3'2 0:8 July 2'9 -7:6

- 31.5 » Mean temperature of both hemispheres :

Annual January July

variation S. hemisphere


yo C. N.


22-5 15'2 Whole earth 12.6 16-4


3.8 Ferrel and myself formerly determined the mean temperature of the southern hemisphere to be 15° C. (from temperatures up to 55° S. lat.). The new observations in high southern latitudes have now shown that the southern hemisphere is considerably colder than the northern, viz. by about 1.5 C. The publication of the temperature observations of the Discovery's second year will be very important for this question ; in my calculations I could only make use of the observations relating to the first year. Vienna, December 30, 1904.


- 2'0

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account as would warrant its use as a class text-book. By means of the first five chapters a reader who knows a little about the elements of electricity and magnetism will be able to appreciate the nature of electric waves and of Hertz's achievement in producing them. Then, after briefly alluding to the early system of Marconi, the writer passes on to the particular devices of Dr. Braun. The book is well and clearly written, but is in no sense a complete compendium on the subject, and the reader who derives all his knowledge from it will be inclined to think that there is only one system in the world, and that Eichhorn is its prophet. More recent methods of detecting waves by means of effects arising from hysteresis in iron are dismissed in a couple of pages, where there is no reference to Rutherford's early detector working on the same principle, while Lodge's steel-mercury-contact detector does not appear even to be mentioned, although the “ Literature appendix at the end includes the year 1903.

In appendix ii. the Thomson-Kirchhoff theory of the oscillatory discharge of a condenser is given; the credit, of course, belongs to Thomson (Lord Kelvin). Notes on the Natural History of the Bell Rock. By

J. M. Campbell. Pp. xv+112; title-piece. (Edin

burgh: David Douglas, 1904.) Price 3s. 6d. net. As a record of the various types of aërial and marine life commonly seen by the guardians of the lonely lighthouses of the east coast of Scotland in particular, and of the British coasts in general, these random notes are worthy of all commendation, more especially as they are written by a man who does not appear to have had a scientific training. Mr. Campbell was assistant light-keeper on the Bell Rock for the long period of nine years, and he is therefore well qualified to know all that is to be known with regard to the general habits of the commoner and more conspicuous species frequenting the environment of his station ; while a period of such a length is sufficient to include the visits of many of the rarer stragglers. Most or all of the notes, it appears, have been previously published in the local Press of the neighbouring mainland, and they are certainly worthy of rescue from such oblivion. The only point for regret is, perhaps, that the author does not say more about bird migration. Mr. James Murdoch, late secretary to the Board of Northern Lighthouses, has contributed an interesting introduction on lighthouses and lighthouse-men in general.

R. L. The British Journal Photographic Almanac, 1905.

Edited by Thomas Bedding. Pp. 1612. . (London: Henry Greenwood and Co., 1904.) Price is. 6d.

net. This bulky volume, with its mine of miscellaneous photographic information, is compiled on the same lines as the earlier issues, and will be found to be a necessary adjunct to the studio and library. Among the host of articles in these pages may be mentioned a condensed summary of the story of the British Journal of Photography and the almanac which appeared in the jubilee number of the above mentioned journal, and also a selected number of the jubilee articles. Recent novelties in apparatus, &c., by the editor, forms also a conspicuous feature, and represents the progress in this branch of photography. No less important are the practical notes on numerous subjects, the formulæ, tables, list of photographic societies of the l'nited Kingdom, &c., all of which add to the utility of the volume. The full indices to advertisers and contents make a quick reference to any portion of the book quite an easy matter, an important consideration in a book containing 1612 pages. The processed illustrations and woodcuts are as numerous as ever.

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Reversal of Charge from Electrical Induction Machines.

Last week, while working with a small Voss machine, I accidentally observed, on stopping the machine, giving about two turns in the wrong direction and then re-starting the machine in the original direction, that the poles had reversed. I repeated the experiment a dozen times, and invariably the reversal occurred. The reversal was observed by examining the spark between the knobs.

I mentioned the fact to Prof. Gray, and we then tried the effect with a vacuum discharge tube connected to the knobs. While the tube was fresh the reversal occurred, but after a little time the reversal occurred but seldom. It was found, however, that if the discharge was made to pass by connecting one terminal of the tube to earth, the other terminal to one pole of the machine, while the second pole of the machine was kept insulated, then the reversal invariably occurred when the procedure mentioned was followed.

We next tried the large Wimshurst machine in the laboratory with the same results. It was noticed, however, when the induction rods were so arranged that the machine excited both ways, that the reversal did not occur.

As I do not remember to have seen the experiment mentioned before, I think it worth directing attention to, as it provides a simple way of getting the discharge to pass in whatever direction it is required.

GEORGE W. WALKER. Physical Laboratory, The University, Glasgow.

Fishing at Night. There are, as I have explained in the book referred to by “ S. W."in Nature of December 29, 1904 (p. 201), many reasons for night-fishing by our pilchard and other fishing fleets. He quotes one, however, which is quite unsatisfactory, namely, the convenience of catching the morning market. To a few ports this might apply, but as a general rule the fish-train for Billingsgate leaves the coast towns about six or seven in the evening, the fish reaching the central market by van first thing in the morning. The actual reasons for this preference for night-fishing are many. In the case of pilchards taken in drift-nets, the habits of the fish themselves furnish the explanation. In the case of trawlers, the reasons are diverse. In some cases the water is so shallow that the nets would be seen and avoided by the fish in daylight, and this, in fact, is still more the case with the drift-nets. Elsewhere, they trawl at night because they want soles, just as many Plymouth boats trawl by day because their best market is for the rougher kinds of fish. There is no night-trawling in Cornwall by reason of the local regulations, which clear the sea by night of other fishing craft in order that the drifters may work without interruption or risk.

F. G. AFLALO. 14 Westover Villas, Bournemouth, Hants.

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The Cost of Chemical Synthesis. IN your review of Prof. Meldola's * Synthesis of Vital Products,” your reviewer argues that though certain products, viz. alizarin and indigo, can be synthesised so cheaply that natural products cannot compete with them in the market"; yet this is of little interest from the biochemical point of view.

May I point out that this argument is even stronger than it seems, for the cheapness is quite accidental, and due to the fact that the world requires coal gas, and iron.

If the syntheses above were dependent on anthracene and naphthalene obtained from coal treated strictly ad hoc this cheapness would disappear.

R. J. FRISWELL. 43-45 Great Tower Street, London, E.C., January 2.

“Bastard” Logwood, Tue Jamaica Bulletin of the Department of Agriculture for November, 1904, prints a very interesting article on this subject by B. C. Gruenberg and William Gies, contributed originally to the Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club.

During the past few years the growers of log wood in Jamaica have been greatly disturbed by an apparent increase on their properties of an unmerchantable variety of the plant known as " bastard” logwood ; the exportation of this wood along with real logwood has served to condemn all the logwood from the districts which have shipped it.

Bastard " logwood differs from the genuine varieties, from the dyer's standpoint, in yielding little or no hæmatoxylin, but instead a yellowish-green pigment which is of no value, and which, when mixed with the commercial extract, reduces the characteristic tinctorial properties. Chips of the “bastard” logwood present a yellow, pale pink, white, or even chocolate coloured surface, instead of the dark red or deep purple bronze-tinted colour of the best logwood. There appears great uncertainty, even when the trees are cut down, as to whether a tree is really a * bastard" tree or not. What is known as a “bastard" tree is frequently dark enough when first cut to lead one to believe that it is a good red-wood tree, but instead of darkening with age it remains the same colour, or becomes lighter rather than darker. “Bastard" wood is not the result of disease or of any lack of vigour; the trees producing it are perfectly healthy and normal.

It is not the result of soil or climatic conditions, since bastard and normal trees are found growing side by side under absolutely identical conditions.

It is not the result of immaturity; aged trees may produce bastard wood.

These facts point to heredity as the probable cause of the trouble, that is, certain

trees produce “bastard" wood because they grow from seed of a “ bastard ” tree; in other words, “ bastard"

logwood is a variety of Haematoxylin Campechianum that normally produces little

no hæmatoxylin. The chemical differences existing among all these logwoods are quantitatively very slight,


HISTORY.' IN a handy little volume, to which we have much

pleasure in directing the attention of our readers, Mr. L. W. King, or the British Museum, has published the cuneitorm text and a translation of a very important historical Assyrian document, which has been recently exhibited in the Assyrian and Babylonian room in the British Museum. This document is a slab of limestone, about 153 inches long and 114 inches wide, which is inscribed with sixty-seven lines of cuneiform text, thirty-seven lines being on the obverse and thirty on the reverse. The writing is in bold, well formed characters, but it seems to have been cut somewhat hurriedly, for the mason was obliged to make nine erasures, and in two passages he has left out a sign, apparently without having detected the omission. We need not discuss the palæographical importance of the text, which is of considerable interest, and it is only necessary to state that it exhibits the style of Assyrian characters employed in monumental inscriptions in the early part of the thirteenth century before Christ.

The contents of the text, which is actually the official summary of the principal events in the reign of TukultiNinib I., King of Assyria about s.c. 1275, fall readily into four divisions, which respectively record the king's name and titles, his military expeditions, the foundation of the city Kar Tukulti-Ninib, and an appeal to future rulers. The stone tablet or slab which supplies this information was either placed in a niche in the wall or laid in a box of stone or clay, and then built up in the foundation of the city Kar Tukulti-Ninib. In passing, Mr. King discusses briefly but clearly the question of foundation deposits, both in Egypt and Assyria, and shows how the ideas concerning them in the two countries agree in some respects and ditier in others.

Turning now to the campaigns of Tukulti-Ninib I.. we find that in the first he conquered the Kuti and the inhabitants of four other districts; in the second he became master of the land of Shubari, and ten other provinces; in the third he vanquished forty kings of the land of Na'iri; and in the fourth he defeated Bibeashu, King of Babylon, and completely subjugated the regions of Sumer and Accad. The last campaign was undoubtedly the most important of all, for with

I "Records of the Reign of Tukulti-Ninib I., King of 'Assyria abrum n.c. 1275." By L W. King, M.A., E.S.A. Pp. xvi+ 185, and 11 illustations. (London: Luzac and Co., 1904.) Price 6s. net.


the fall of Babylon Tukulti-Ninib became master of inscription is very important, for it enables us to assign all Mesopotamia. The resistance offered by the the date of Tukulti-Ninib's reign provisionally to about Babylonians was stubborn in the extreme, and the B.c. 1275; its length cannot at present be stated with Assyrian king slew large numbers of them and de- exactness. stroyed their city wall. Tukulti-Ninib looted the city In addition to the interesting text of Tukulti-Ninib, and plundered the treasuries of E-sagil, the great of which a general summary has been given above, temple of Marduk, and he carried off to Assyria not Mr. King adds the inscriptions of Shalmaneser I. from only Bibeashu himself, but the statue of his god the fragments of inscribed bowls now in the British Marduk. No victory could have been more complete, Museum, a passage from the synchronous history, and even at this distance of time it is impossible not the inscriptions from the lapis-lazuli seal of Shagaraktito feel some sympathy with the vanquished Babylonian Shuriash, and Sennacherib's accounts of his capture king when we read that he, a prisoner and bound in of Babylon both in 702 B.C. and 689 B.C. ; in fact, every chains, was led, with his god Marduk, into the bit of evidence which relates to the period of which presence of Ashur, the great god of Assyria, as his book treats, and is found in the cuneiform inscripwitnesses of the comprehensive manner in which tions, is appended for the assistance of the reader, with Tukulti-Ninib had performed Ashur's commands. full transliterations and translations. That Mr. King

The account of the conquest of Bibeashu and of the capture of Babylon by TukultiNinib is especially important from a chronological point of view, for it establishes beyond

PHCM a doubt the fact that these two kings were contemporaneous. For some time past it has been known from the “Babylonian Chronicle" that Tukulti-Ninib conquered

FO Babylonia, but the name of the Babylonian king, although it occurs on this document, was not recognised. Both Mr. Pinches, who published a translation of this “ Chronicle," and Dr. Winckler, who published a copy of the text, misread the passage in which the name occurs. The identification of Bibeashu and the correct reading of his name we owe to Mr. King, who has succeeded in establishing a new and very important synchronism in Assyrian and Babylonian history. Thus the system of chronology which made Bibeashu to live sisty or seventy years after Tukulti-Ninib I. is proved to be incorrect.

In connection with the conquest of Babylon by Tukulti-Ninib I., mention must here be made of the copy of an inscription which is found on a small clay tablet (K. 2673), now in the British Museum. This copy was made from a lapis-lazuli seal, on which the original

19 inscription was engraved by a scribe of Sennacherib, who caused some lines to be added to commemorate his conquest of Babylon and the recovery of the seal by himself. The lapis-lazuli seal, as Mr. King tells us, was not made for Tukulti-Ninib I., as was

generally thought, but for 42 Shagarakti-Shuriash, a Kassite king. When Tukulti-Ninib captured Babylon he found the seal there, and carried it off to Nineveh, and he had his own inscription engraved upon it without erasing that of Shagarakti-Shuriash. The seal was subsequently, in circumstances unknown to us, carried back to Babylon, where Sennacherib found it about 600 years later, and he, of course, restored it to Fig 1.-Limestone Tablet inscribed with the annals of Tukulti-Ninib I., King o Nineveh, and, having added his own in

Assyria. From " Records of the Reign of Tukulti-Ninib I." scription to it, had a copy of the inscription of the Kassite king, that of the King of has published not only a new, but important historical Assyria, and of his own made on a tablet. The first inscription is clear, and all who are in any way familiar to translate the copy of Tukulti-Ninib's inscription on with the subject will find his sober and concise observthe tablet was Mr. George Smith, but that of ations on its contents helpful and stimulating. Messrs. Shagarakti-Shuriash baffled him, and he failed to read Harrison's large cuneiform type has been used for the characters of which it was composed. Profs, printing the text, and paper and binding leave nothing Hommel, Bezold, and Schrader were likewise unable to be desired. We note that the volume is the first of to translate it, and Mr. King has been the first to prove a series of “ Studies in Eastern History which that, in addition to the words added to the seal by the Luzac and Co. are about to publish, and we feel that order of Sennacherib, the copy contains two distinct ' if the succeeding volumes are as valuable as the inscriptions, namely, one of Shagarakti-Shuriash and “ Records of the Reign of Tukulti-Ninib I.” the success one of Tukulti-Ninib l. The copy of Sennacherib's of the undertaking is assured.



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and various phenomena. Earthquakes which have a

submarine origin are most frequent in summer, when UNDER the title of “ Recent Seismological Investi- the level of the Pacific Ocean bordering Japan is

gations in Japan," Baron Dairoku Kikuchi, higher than in winter. Those originating on the land former Minister of Education, has issued for private are most frequent in winter, at which season barocirculation only an “ address " prepared for the late ex- metric pressure is at a maximum. Out of forty-seven

destructive earthquakes which 1

originated beneath the Pacific, twenty-three were accompanied by tsunami or sea waves, which probably means that on these occasions marked and sudden changes had taken place in the configuration of the sea bed.

Among the instruments which are described we notice a hori. zontal pendulum the bob of which is controlled by a small inverted pendulum. Although the vertical and horizontal dimensions of this apparatus are each only i metre, Prof. Omori tells us that a period of one minute can be obtained without difficulty. Macroseismic motion is described, and after this reference is made to microseisms or pulsations. These two classes of movement Prof. Omori finds alternate in their frequency, so that when the small movements are at a minimum the larger ones

may be expected. This observ. Fig. 1.-Model of a Farmer's Cottage. Showing the essential points of construction recommended

ation, we learn, has enabled him by the Earthquake Investigation Committee. The chief points to be observed are diagonal

several occasions to predict bracing, the use of iron straps, and the avoidance of mortices and other cuts at joints.

within ten or twelve hours the

occurrence of an earthquake. position in St. Louis. When we look at this address, The geological investigations which have been made which is a quarto volume of 136 pages filled with chiefly refer to the survey of volcanoes, which is a illustrations, we feel that its author should have doffed work outside that done by the Geological Survey. his modesty and called it seismology as developed in The investigations of relationships that may exist Japan. To describe the work more closely, we shall between earthquakes and various physical phenomena not be far from the mark if we say it is an epitomised translation of a number of publications which to Europeans have hitherto been cryptogramic. It gives us not only a résumé of sixteen numbers of the publications of the Tokyo Earthquake Investigation Committeecalled for short the E. 1. C.which have been published in a European language, and with which we are more or less familiar, but there is added an abstract of forty-seven numbers or volumes published in Chinese idiographs. Many seismologists have looked at them and wondered what they meant. The contents of these sixty-three publications have been epitomised, mixed, and systematised.

After an introduction to the "recent" investigations, which tell us that the first earthquake recorded in Japan was in A.D. 416, and reference to various investi- Fig. 2.- Nagoya Spinning Mill. Showing the effects of the Mino-Owari Earthquake of 1901 on a gations made by Europeans in

brick building and on a chimney constructed according to European practice. Japan, we are introduced to the system under which investigations and their results which affect or are affected by strain in the earth's have been classified and discussed.

crust are particularly interesting. At present conUnder the heading “ Statistical ” we find data tinuous magnetic observations are being made in Japan relating to the distribution of earthquakes in space at five stations, from which, amongst other things, it and time, their relation to meteorological conditions, has been observed that on several occasions magnetic needles have been disturbed before or at the time of maps, very numerous and complete, illustrate both the large earthquakes. Speaking generally about these tribal areas and the range of the various social investigations, Baron Kikuchi considers that they systems. promise to throw light upon the state of underground In this matter of organisation Dr. Howitt traces the stress, and as one of the chief objects of the E. 1. C. is gradations in a way conclusive enough to point to the to devise means to predict earthquakes which may be probable course of evolution. In particular he reduces taken as announcements that stress has been relieved, the problem of exogamy to the bisection of the comit will be recognised that the inquiries relating to local munity into two exogamous intermarrying moietiesmagnetic disturbance are of a promising nature. the typical Australian system—which bisection is


Other phenomena which receive attention are vari- ! based, as he implies, on the prohibition of marriage ations in latitude, the determination of gravity, under- between brothers and sisters. It is to be regretted that ground temperatures, seiches, changes in the level of he does not fully discuss this ground of exogamy. He water in wells, and the elastic constants of rocks. quotes Dr. Frazer and the present writer as having

The last section of this interesting volume is an independently reached the same conclusion, and it account of investigations which have been made with seems that we are at last approaching unanimity as the object of reducing the disastrous effects of earth- to this primal law of human social relations.

He quakes to a minimum. To the practical person this is no doubt the most important branch of all seismological research. Already it has accomplished much, and after a severe shaking we have learned that in Japan new types of structures are to be seen standing amongst the ruins of older types.

We welcome Baron Kikuchi's volume, and trust that although its circulation is private it may also be wide.



DR. A. W. HOWITT is our highest

authority on the native tribes of Australia. Ever since the publication of " Kamilaroi and Kurnai," in 1880, he has been adding to our knowledge of the most instructive and interesting aboriginal population in the world. The present work, therefore, which summarises the data collected by him during forty years of personal intercourse with the “blackfellows,” is of the greatest importance. Most of the material here incorporated was written up before 1889; a few modifications of theory and many new facts have been introduced, and some corrections made, but the broad deductions remain unaltered.

The main body of the work is preceded by a useful summary and criticism of the principal views that have been put forward as to the origin and ethnological affinities of the Tasmanian-Australian stock; Dr. Howitt Fig. 1.- One of the Krauatungalung Clan of the Kurnai Tribe. From Howitt's “The Native rejects both the Dravidian and the

Tribes of South-East Australia." Malayan hypotheses. The tribes here dealt with came into contact with the white man at agrees with Spencer and Gillen that the primary a date too early, perhaps, to allow them much chance functions of totemism

in existence before of survival; many of them are now practically extinct, exogamy became established, and that the relation and most of them are at least deorganised. The area between totemism and exogamy is secondary only. they occupied is about one-quarter of the continent, On the other hand he sees no reason to modify his extending on the north to near the tropic of Capricorn, original view that the bisection was a resormatory and on the south bordered by the Southern and Pacific measure, instituted after a long reign of the “C'nOceans, connected by Bass Strait. This area has a divided Commune." It is doubtless impossible to wide range of climate and temperature, and the tribes deny some purposiveness to the innovation, if innovathemselves present almost every variety of social tion it was; Mr. Lang is here inclined to agree. But organisation, from that of the Dieri and central dis- to engineer such bisection in a large undivided comtricts through the ordinary Australian types to the mune seems beyond the powers even of primitive man. unique system of the Kurnai in Gippsland. Excellent A shorter way may be easily suggested :- the moieties "The Native 'Tribes of South-East Australia." By A: W. Howitt,

practically correspond to two groups of intermarrying DSC Pp. xix + Pro: illustrations and maps. (London: Macmillan and

relatives; we may suppose, then, to begin with, two Co., Ltd., 1904.) Price 218. net.

small families or fire circles, A and B, making inter


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