« PreviousContinue »
the British Isles, Dr. A. R. Dwerryhouse; the fauna and flora of the Trias of the British Isles, which will be supplemented by an account of the progress of this investigation, illustrated by lantern slides, H. C. Beasley; and the fossiliferous drift deposits of Kirmington, Lincolnshire, and the East Riding of Yorkshire. This is the final report of the Committee. The papers will include:-the composition and origin of the crystalline rocks of Anglesea, E. Greenly; the faunal succession in the Carboniferous Limestone of the British Isles, Dr. A. Vaughan, which will be supplemented by an account of the progress of these researches, illustrated by lantern slides, by Prof. Sidney H. Reynolds, of Bristol; critical sections in the Palæozoic rocks of Wales and the west of England, W. G. Fearnsides; the microscopical and chemical composition of Charnwood Rocks, Prof. T. T. Groom; the igneous and associated rocks of Glensaul and Lough Nafovey areas, co. Galway, Prof. S. H. Reynolds; geological photographs, with illustrations of British scenery in relation to geology, Prof. S. H. Reynolds; the Glacial Lake Agassiz, Prof. Warren Upham; the advances in the knowledge of the glacial geology of South Wales, Dr. Aubrey Strahan; unconformities in limestone and their contemporaneous pipes and swallow-holes, E. E. L. Dixon; on new faunal horizons in the Bristol coalfield, Herbert Bolton; on the Permian succession in the north of England, Dr. D. Woollacot; a mineralogical paper, A. Hutchinson. Prof. J. W. Gregory, F.R.S., and Dr. Tempest Anderson are now making extended tours in Australia and the South Seas, and it is expected that they will have valuable and interesting communications to make to the section. An extended tour for four days has been arranged to the mining districts of Corall and Sudbury, under the direction of Prof. W. G. Miller, and Dr. J. W. Spencer will lead a party to Niagara and the glacial outlet of Lake Erie.
SECTION E (GEOGRAPHY). President, Sir Duncan Johnston, K.C.M.G.-The following are among the papers to be brought before the section:-some characteristics of Canadian Rockies, A. O. Wheeler; the evolution of wheat culture in North America, Prof. A. P. Brigham; water routes from Lake Superior to the west, Lawrence J. Burpee; Yellowhead Pass and Mt. Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, Prof. A. P. Coleman; the influence of traffic or transportation upon the framework of cities, with an introductory reference to the influence of geography in the same direction, G. E. Hooker; the cycle of Alpine glaciation, Prof. W. H. Hobbs; the teaching of geography in secondary schools in America, Prof. R. E. Dodge (to be read at a joint meeting with Section L); the formation of arroyos in the south-west of the United States, Prof. Dodge; the development of Nantasket Beach, near Boston, Mass., Prof. D. W. Johnson; floods in the great interior valley of America, Miss Luella A. Owen; the precious metals as a geographical factor in the settlement and development of towns in the United States, Prof. Hubbard. Mr. J. Stanley Gardiner, F.R.S., will give a lecture, illustrated by lantern slides, on his work in the Seychelles, and there will probably be papers also by Prof. Goode, Dr. C. H. Leete, and Prof. Hoke.
SECTION G (ENGINEERING). President, Sir W. H. White, K.C.B., F.R.S.-In addition to Sir W. H. White's presidential address, a report will be presented by the committee on gas explosions, and a paper on the some subject will be contributed by Mr. Dugald Clerk. Other papers are as follows:-Skimming boats, Sir John Thornycroft; the Isthmian Canal, Col. Goethals; the work of the International Electrotechnical Commission, Ormond Higman; torsion tests on materials, C. E. Larrard; dielectric stress in three-phase cables, Prof. W. M. Thornton. Papers on grain handling and transportation in Western Canada, on the navigation of the St. Lawrence, and on high-tension overhead lines are in preparation.
SECTION K (BOTANY). President, Lieut.-Colonel Prain, F.R.S.-The following are some of the communications to be brought before the section :-On Thallophyta: On the production, liberation, and dispersion of the spores of Hymenomycetes, Prof. Buller; numerical determinations of the bacteria in the air of Winnipeg, Prof. Buller and Mr. Lowe; the nuclear phenomena of Ascomycetes in
relation to heredity, Miss H. C. I. Fraser; the nucleus of the yeast plant, H. Wager, F.R.S., and Miss Peniston; some problems connected with the life-history of Trichodiscus elegans, Miss E. J. Welsford. Ecological papers: The fundamental causes of succession among plant associations, Prof. H. C. Cowles; some observations on Spiraea Ulmaria, Prof. Yapp. Other papers: A paper on the anatomy of the Osmundaceæ, Prof. Gwynne-Vaughan; (1) the evolution of the inflorescence, (2) the rubber industry, J. Parkin. The annual semi-popular lecture will be given by Mr. Harold Wager, F.R.S., on the perception of light in plants. In addition to the above, there will be a joint sitting with Section B and the Agricultural Subsection of K for a discussion on "wheat. Dr. O. Stapf, F.R.S., will contribute a paper towards this discussion, on the systematic history of wheat. Several other papers have been promised by prominent American botanists, but the titles are not yet to hand.
SUBSECTION K (AGRICULTURE). President, Major P. G. Craigie, C.B.-Joint meetings: (1) With the Economic Section, Thursday afternoon, August 26. The future possibilities of extending the food production of Canada, Prof. Mavor. (2) With the Chemical and Botanical Sections, Monday morning, August 30. Subject, wheat problems. Papers--the miller's requirements; a review of recent chemical work on the strength of wheat, Dr. E. F. Armstrong; factors determining the yield of wheat, A. D. Hall, F.R.S., and Dr. E. J. Russell; milling properties of certain Canadian wheats, Prof. R. Harcourt; Canadian wheats, F. T. Shutt; wheat breeding in Canada, C. E. Saunders. Papers also by Dr. W. Saunders and by C. A. Zavitz. Ordinary meetings: Presidential address, Major Craigie; methods of crop reporting in different countries, E. W. Godfrey; the experimental farm system in Canada, Dr. W. Saunders; the fruit industry of British Columbia, R. W. Palmer. Prairie soil problems: Geography of the prairie soils, R. W. Brock; chemical characteristics of the prairie soils, F. T. Shutt; soil moisture and crop production, Prof. F. H. King; soil moisture as related to dry farming, Prof. F. J. Alway. Papers by A. D. Hall, F.R.S., and Dr. E. J. Russell. Live-stock problems: Paper by Prof. W. Somerville; the evolution of a breed of cattle, Prof. J. Wilson; some special features of the Danish system of cattle breeding, P. A. Morkeberg; paper by J. G. Rutherford. Forestry problems: Paper by Prof. W. Somerville; Canadian forest resources, R. H. Campbell; the insect pest problem, Prof. Lochhead; some forestry problems of the great plains of North America, C. E. Bessey.
SECTION L (EDUCATIONAL SCIENCE). President, Dr. H. B. Gray. After the president's address on August 26 a discussion on moral instruction in schools will be opened by Prof. L. P. Jacks, editor of the Hibbert Journal. He will be followed by Mr. Hugh Richardson, and it is hoped that American and Canadian educationists will also take part. On Friday, August 27, there will be a discussion on practical work in schools, which will be opened on behalf of the subcommittee of the association which is now considering the question by Mr. W. M. Heller. Dr. C. W. Kimmins will contribute some account of the London trades schools, Miss Lilian J. Clarke will speak on practical work in girls' secondary schools, and Mr. W. Hewitt on practical work in evening and continuation schools. On Monday, August 30, there will be a joint meeting with the Geographical Section of the associa- tion for the discussion of geography teaching. Prof. R. E. Dodge, of Columbia, and Mr. G. G. Chisholm, of Edinburgh, are expected to open the discussion. There will also be a discussion on the relations of universities and secondary schools, with special reference to the accrediting and examining systems. On August 31 the president of the section will open a discussion on education as a preparation for agricultural life, with special reference to Canadian conditions. Should time permit, it is also intended to discuss the subject of consolidation schools. The organising committee of the section is in correspondence with educationists in Canada and America, and it is hoped to arrange that each subject shall be opened by representatives of American, Canadian, and British education.
WE announce with deep regret the death of Prof. Simon Newcomb, Foreign Member of the Royal Society, or July 11, at seventy-four years of age.
THE next international congress of mining and metallurgy is to be held in June, 1910, at Dusseldorf. The last congress was in 1905, and the place of meeting Liége.
Ar an audience on July 10, the King conferred upon Mr. E. H. Shackleton the Insignia of a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of his work in the Antarctic.
Ir is stated by the St. Petersburg correspondent of the Globe that a Bill for the substitution of the new style for the old style of date reckoning in Russia will be brought before the Council of the Empire and the Duma in the autumn. There is at present a difference of thirteen days between the Russian calendar (old style) and the reformed Gregorian calendar introduced in 1582 and used in our country since 1752.
ANOTHER exhibition, arranged in connection with the Model Engineer, on similar lines to that which proved successful in 1907, will be held at the Royal Horticultural Hall, Westminster, S.W., in October next. The exhibits will include engineering models, electrical and scientific apparatus, lathes and light workshop appliances, model aeroplanes, and technical education equipment. An attractive feature will be the exhibits in the competitions for model and scientific apparatus making, several classes for both amateur and professional workers having been arranged, for which valuable prizes are being offered. Full particulars may be obtained from the organisers, Messrs. Percival Marshall and Co., 26-29 Poppins Court, Fleet Street, London, E.C.
THE first Gustave Canet lecture was delivered by Lieut. Trevor Dawson at the twenty-fifth anniversary meeting of the Junior Institution of Engineers on June 30. The lecturer is the recipient of the first gold medal, which is to be awarded every fourth year by Madame Canet in memory of her husband, the award being made through the council of the institution. In his lecture, Lieut. Dawson gave many instances of the increased power and accuracy of guns. One photograph showed six 100-lb. shots striking the water, having been fired as a volley from 6-inch guns on a British cruiser at a range of 7300 yards. The total space embraced by the six shots was only 88 yards. Towards the end of the lecture the question of airship attack was dealt with, and the special ordnance to be used against these vessels described.
THE British and Irish Millers' Convention was held at Chester on July 7, when a paper was read by Mr. A. E. Humphries, of Weybridge, on "Ideal British Wheats." Mr. Humphries pointed out that the British farmer no longer grows what the miller wants; instead of producing a strong wheat, capable of making large, shapely loaves, he produces a weak wheat, the flour from which is usually a drug in the market. The home-grown wheat committee of the British Millers' Association has been investigating the question of improvement, and is very hopeful about the future; it is believed that wheats will be produced of better quality, with better straw, less susceptibility to disease, and greater cropping power than those now available. The committee asks for a national cereal-breeding station, and commends this to the Board of Agriculture and the Chancellor of the Exchequer as one important means of agricultural development.
AT the end of last year we observed with regret the report that Mr. James Parsons, principal mineral surveyor of Ceylon, had disappeared in the jungle, and his death was presumed. It seems that on the morning of December 29 last Mr. Parsons left his hotel at Nuwara Eliya for a walk in the open country, intending to return in time for lunch. About noon he was seen traversing a certain tea-estate, but from that date he was never seen alive. We now learn that, after three months' search, his remains were found in the jungle on April 11. Death was probably due to exposure. Mr. Parsons went to Ceylon in 1902 as assistant to Dr. A. K. Coomaraswamy to undertake a mineralogical survey of Ceylon. On Dr. Coomaraswamy's retirement he took his place in 1906. His last writings were two papers in Spolia Zeylanica on fluor-spar in Ceylon and votive offerings of weapons.
THE recently issued account of the income and expendi ture of the British Museum for the year ended March 31 last, and the return of the number of persons admitted to visit the Museum and the Natural History Museum, South Kensington, in each year 1903 to 1908, both years inclusive, provides much information of interest. The number of visits made by the public to the Natural History Museum during 1908 was 517,043, as compared with 497,437 in 1907, showing an increase of 19,606. attendance on Sunday afternoons showed a slight falling off, the figures being 65,986, as against 66,367 in the previous year. The average daily attendance for all open days was 1420.4. The total number of gifts received during the year by the several departments was 2259, as compared with 2105 in 1907. Among other donors may be mentioned Mr. F. D. Godman, valuable collections of insects from Central America and other localities, and a series of water-colour drawings of butterflies of the family Hesperiida; the Hon. Walter Rothschild, mounted specimens of a male and female Californian sea-elephant, from fornia; the trustees of the Percy Sladen Fund, a large the island of Guadeloupe, and a male sea-lion from Calicollection of reptiles, batrachians, and fishes from the Seychelles, Chagos Islands, and the Indian Ocean; Mr. C. D. Sherborn, a valuable collection of specimens of the handwritings of naturalists, consisting of some 8000 letters and other documents; and Mrs. R. P. Murray, the extensive herbarium made by the late Rev. R. P. Murray, comprising about 15,000 sheets.
ACCORDING to the curator's report for 1908-9, the Otago University Museum at Dunedin has been augmented by a new wing the Hocken wing-which will shortly be opened to the public, and is mainly devoted to art and literature. A living tuatara lizard has been kept alive for some time on the museum premises.
THE report of the Rhodesia Museum at Bulawayo for 1908 shows continued progress on the part of that comparatively juvenile institution, despite the fact that one source of revenue has been cut off, while the Government has declined to be responsible for an annual subsidy to the funds. The largest increase to the collection has taken place in the entomological section.
THE most important additions to the Giza Zoological Gardens, as we learn from Captain Flower's report for 1908, were the hippopotamus and the Nubian bustard. The curator finds it necessary to take special precautions to protect the smaller mammals and birds from nocturnal four-footed marauders, of which the worst is the junglecat, although jackals, dogs, and foxes also do much harm. During the year a jungle-cat killed a pelican. The pro
tective measures rendered necessary by these raids have given rise to protests from European visitors ignorant of the true facts of the case.
Naturwissenschaftliche Wochenschrift for June 27 includes an illustrated article, by the Rev. E. Wasmann, on the origin of slavery and social parasitism among ants, in which it is urged that, before these can be properly understood, it is essential that we should acquire a knowledge of a series of independent developmental histories of different species, genera, and subfamilies, which commenced in past geological times. Only with such histories before us will it be possible to construct anything like a true working hypothesis of the origin of the phenomena in question.
To Mr. G. Gilson, director of the Royal Museum of Natural History of Belgium, we are indebted for a copy of an address read before a conference held in the apartments of the Royal Zoological and Malacological Society of Belgium on June 12, on the subject of the proposed The establishment of an educational museum in Brussels. address is chiefly concerned with the aims and objects of such a museum and the manner in which the scheme should be carried out. A teaching museum, it is urged, of the should be kept entirely apart from As ordinary type, and on totally different lines. regards the selection and installation of the objects to be shown in the museum, it is pointed out that this task should be entrusted, in the first instance, to scientific experts, but that after this the collections should be handed over to the actual teaching staff.
To the July number of the Century Magazine Mr. R. W. Yerkes contributes an article on "imitation in animals,' a considerable portion of which is devoted to an account of the behaviour of three Manx kittens, which had never previously seen mice, when confronted with one of these the first introduction rodents. When was made the kittens were five months' old, and the mouse was uninjured. Six weeks later the experiment was repeated, when the kittens were hungry, but still no attempt was made to devour the mouse. Later on the parent cat was introduced into the cage, when the mouse was killed by her, and, little by little, the kittens eventually learnt to follow their mother's example. The experiments, in the author's opinion, serve to show that these particular kittens had no instinctive propensity to kill and eat mice, and that they only learnt to do so by the force of example. Whether this holds good for kittens generally remains to be proved.
UNDER the title of Technitella thompsoni (after Prof. D'Arcy Thompson) Messrs. E. Heron Allen and A. Earland describe in the Journal of the Quekett Microscopical Club a new species of arenaceous foraminifera which constructs its enveloping test entirely out of regularly arranged calcareous plates of echinoderms. Of this foraminifer two specimens only have been found from dredgings in the North Sea. It possesses no oral aperture, the perforations in the echinoderm plates furnishing a sufficient outlet for the pseudopodia. Other species of the genus make their tests out of sponge spicules, but it is believed that the present species stands preeminent in its selective power of building material.
THE annual address to the Armstrong College Agricultural Students' Association, by Mr. A. Tindall, has been printed in the Proceedings of that body, and will be interesting to students of agricultural economics. It deals with the history and development of the Newcastle cattle
market, and includes a number of valuable statistics, such
THE United States Department of Agriculture Bureau of Entomology has issued a circular (No. 42) on the control of the San José scale. This pest has, in the past, proved a serious menace to the fruit-growing industry, but experience both in California and in the eastern States Seven methods have shows that it can be controlled.
proved successful when properly carried out, viz. :—(1) the lime-sulphur wash; (2) soap wash; (3) pure kerosene; (4) crude petroleum; (5) mechanical mixtures of either of these two oils with water; (6) petroleum emulsion and soap; (7) miscible oils. Instructions are given for carrying out each of these methods.
BULLETIN No. 166 of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station contains a discussion, by Messrs. Raymond Pearl and Frank M. Surface, of the inheritance of fecundity in poultry. The daughters of " 200-egg" hens (i.e. hens or more eggs in twelve months) were kept laying 200 under observation. It is, as yet, too soon to draw general conclusions, but no evidence was obtained to show that a good winter layer necessarily produces another good winter layer, as is said to be assumed by practical poultry. breeders. On the contrary, the exact opposite happened here the mothers, on the whole, were exceptionally good, and the daughters unusually poor, as winter layers.
RECENT bulletins from the Colorado Agricultural College include three on strawberry growing, dewberry growing, and the pruning of fruit trees, one on animal diseases, A disease of and one on bacterial diseases of plants. lucerne, first described by Paddock in 1906, and shown to be bacterial, is dealt with at some length. The bacteria seem to come from the soil and work up the stem, giving rise to a watery, semi-transparent brownish appearance of the tissue, which turns black with age." Blisters are present, containing a sticky, yellow liquid swarming with bacteria. Other diseases dealt with are pear blight, soft rot of sugar beet, black rot of cabbage, bacterial blights of the potato family, of beans, and of cucumbers; specific organisms have in several of these cases been isolated.
THE endoparasites of Australian stock and native fauna form the subject of two papers by Dr. Georgina Sweet, of the Melbourne University. The work, which is still going on, aims at making a systematic and thorough inquiry into the nature of the internal parasites infesting Australian animals, both native and domesticated, and then into the life-history and conditions of increase and spread of these injurious forms. The work is both of scientific and practical importance; species exist in Australia that have not been recorded elsewhere, and it is desirable that their lifehistories should be worked out; methods of control are also necessary, since Australia is largely dependent on its livestock, and suffers great losses of revenue as a result of parasitic diseases. In part i. the author gives a census of forms recorded up to date, in which the work of Dr. N. A. Cobb in New South Wales and others has been drawn upon; part ii. contains the new and hitherto unrecorded species.
WE are in receipt of the Journal of Agriculture of South Australia, a publication which is devoted almost exclusively to practical matters of local interest. The statistics for 1907 are discussed in one of the articles. The area under crop was 2,265,017 acres, nearly one-fourth of the whole
area of the State, and 100,000 acres more than in the previous year. South Australia was at one time the granary of Australia, but here, as elsewhere, there is a strong tendency for other branches of husbandry to be taken up, and for wheat to lose in relative importance. The exports of wool were nearly 51 million pounds, again a considerable increase on the previous year. The acreage under barley and oats is the highest on record, while the fruit industry has made very rapid progress. Perhaps the best indication of improvement in method is found in the increasing use of artificial manures. Not many years ago the use of artificial manures was practically unknown. In 1897 it is estimated that 3000 tons were used for cereal crops; the consumption then steadily increased, and has been uniformly greater every year; in 1906 no fewer than 59,000 tons were used. In another article there is an account of the Roseworthy Agricultural College, an institution which not only provides instruction for those intending to be farmers, but also conducts investigations in the area it serves.
A FRIENDLY, and for the most part favourable, criticism of forest practice is provided by an American forester, Mr. B. Moore, in an article on the forests of northern India and Burma, published in the April and May numbers of the Indian Forester. He expresses a very decided opinion in favour of a regulated fire policy for forests of young teak and sal where the forests are situated in a moist climate, as in Assam. He also agrees with those who consider that Indian foresters in training should gain their practical experience in India.
A SERIES of papers by Dr. B. L. Robinson, Miss A. Eastwood, and Mr. H. H. Bartlett, describing chiefly new or little-known Mexican and Central American plants, are collected in vol. xliv., No. 21, of the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The most important is the synopsis of Mexican species of Castilleja, with diagnoses and clavis compiled by Miss Eastwood; seventeen new species contribute to a total of fifty-four species for the genus. Dr. Robinson furnishes a revision of the genus Rumfordia with six species, and diagnoses of various tropical American phanerogams. New identifications are presented by Mr. Bartlett in a synopsis of American species of Litsea and other articles.
MR. G. MASSEE is responsible for two articles in the Kew Bulletin (No. 5), the one being a list of exotic fungi, the other a note on witches' broom of cacao. The latter
is produced by a Colletotrichum receiving the specific name luxificum. Both vegetative and flowering branches are attacked, with the consequent production of hyper trophied shoots and flowers and diseased pods. The fungi are all new species of Boletus-except one Strobilomycescollected by Mr. Ridley in Singapore. Another article in the bulletin is devoted to notes, by Richard Spruce, on the vegetation of the Pastasa and Bombonasa rivers, providing a description supplementary to chapter xvii. of the second volume of "Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon and Andes."
WE have been favoured with a copy of the address delivered by Prof. J. W. Moll before the members of the Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen te Amsterdam when presenting the dissertation of Dr. K. Zijlstra on the transport of carbon dioxide in leaves. Prof. Moll presents an excellent summary of the investigations, which prove that, to a limited extent, the transport of carbon dioxide is possible through the intercellular spaces; but it is obvious that such transport, if it takes place under natural conditions, is of no appreciable advantage to the
plant, and could not enable the plant to absorb carbon dioxide from the soil. Thus the primary conclusion of Prof. Moll's original investigations is confirmed.
THE prosperity of Egypt depends largely on the successful cultivation of the particular types of cotton known as "Egyptian." During the last twelve years, however, the yield of cotton has steadily and appreciably diminished, the loss amounting at current rates to about 51. per feddan (1.109 acres). Many causes have been suggested as contributing to this result, and in "Cotton Investigations in 1908 (Cairo Scientific Journal, February, 1909) Mr. W. Lawrence Balls puts forward the view, for which there is some direct evidence, that a rise in the water-table in Egypt has been an important factor. Owing to improvements in irrigation, the supply of water in Egypt is greater than formerly, whilst the natural loss remains more or less constant. Artificial drainage is lacking, and in his view Egypt is in danger of becoming water-logged, in which condition the soil is rendered impervious to the roots of most plants. The remedy advocated is extension of the drainage system, an expensive proceeding, but justifiable if the reduced yield is due to the rise in level of stagnant water. Another important matter dwelt on in Mr. Balls's paper is the depreciation of cottons grown in Egypt owing to the hybridising of the Egyptian varieties by the less valuable "American Upland raccs, cultivated because of their heavy yield. To combat this he proposes the breeding of a cotton bearing flowers in which the stigma is buried deeply amongst the stamens, thus reducing to a minimum the risk of natural crossing. The report is accompanied by a photograph of a section of such a synthesised flower. Egypt is leading the way in the practical application of Mendel's discoveries, for 1909 has seen the establishment by the Khedivial Agricultural Society of a Mendelian experiment station.
IN the June number of Folk-lore Mr. T. C. Hodson, author of a valuable monograph on the Meithei tribe in Manipur, describes the custom of head-hunting among the hill tribes of Assam. The custom is, in the first place, ancillary to and a part of the funeral rite, which is affected by the social status of the deceased and the manner of his death. The funeral of a Kuki chief is incomplete without the head of a victim. The corpse is placed within the trunk of a tree, where it remains until it is sufficiently desiccated to allow of the preservation of the bones. The heads, again, are presented before piles of stones, the abode of the Lai, a powerful, mysterious entity, not always or necessarily anthropomorphised. The rite of deposition of the head of the victim is thus partly piacular, intended to propitiate the spirit of the deceased; partly religious, inasmuch as it is devoted to the vaguely conceived tribal spirit. The custom has also its social side, as success in a raid is held to be a proof of manliness, marking the transition from adolescence to maturity. It is also protective, because the spirit of the owner of the head becomes guardian of the village; and hence, as a necessary corollary, the head of a stranger is most highly valued, because, being ignorant of its surroundings, it is less likely to escape from the village of which, perforce, it has become protector.
AN account of the life and philosophical doctrines of Henri Poincaré is given in the Revue des Idées for June 15 by M. Jules Sagret.
PROF. GARBASSO, writing in the Atti della Società italiana per il progresso della Scienza (Rome: G. Bertero, 1909), discusses the structure of the atom, and gives a brief account of the theories of Briot, Kirchhoff, Bunsen, Helm
holtz, Hertz, Lockyer, Kayser and Runge, Rydberg, Puccianti, Stoney, and J. J. Thomson.
In the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, cxvii., 8, 9, Dr. Philipp Forchheimer discusses certain mathematical solutions of the problem of underground flow of water in a homogeneous stratum bounded by a plane impervious floor, the equation of continuity in this case being the ordinary two-dimensional form of Laplace's equation, with the square of the depth as the dependent variable.
THE theory of the polar planimeter is treated in a novel way by Dr. Gabriele Torelli in the Rendiconto of the Naples Academy, xiv., 8-12 (1908). The author finds that the treatment of the subject given in text-books is far from convincing, and he proposes an alternative treatment based on the use of Jacobians. Those who have worked with planimeters in this country will fully agree with the author as to the need of a more satisfactory investigation of their principle, and if such a need exists in the case of the polar planimeter it is still more necessary for the so-called hatchet planimeter," which is usually worked by rule, with little attempt, if any, to explain its principle.
AN important contribution to our theories of wave-propagation in wireless telegraphy is given by Prof. A. Sommerfeld in the Annalen der Physik, xxviii., 665-736 (1909). The investigation, while taking account both of surface waves and of waves distributed in space, tends to support the view that we have to deal with waves propagated along the surface of the earth in accounting for the transmission of Marconi signals. Prof. Sommerfeld, further, in his analytical results obtains analogues of properties associated with electrodynamic waves in wires and certain optical phenomena (Brewster's law).
IN the Rassegna contemporanea for May, 1908, Mr. Gino Cuchetti discusses the project for anti-seismic houses, due to Prof. Giuseppe Torres, of Venice. This project is based❘ on the view that circular structures are the best calculated to withstand earthquake shocks, and in the designs shown in the illustrations each building consists of several circular turrets of different diameter communicating with each other, an arrangement having considerable artistic merits, though wasteful of space. In the succeeding number of the Rassegna Dr. Enrico Pantano discusses the problem of "internal colonisation" as applied to Italy, and we note with considerable interest the important bearing on this problem of the campaign against malaria.
A REPORT on the resistance of rivets is presented by M. Ch. Fremont to the Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement for April. It is pointed out that the resistance of riveted plates to statical forces or shocks should be borne as much as possible by the adhesion of the plates and as little as possible by shearing of the rivets themselves, and the author emphasises the necessity of standardising the heads of rivets and of regulating the maximum temperature during the process of heating, so as not to destroy the elastic qualities of the rivet. The increased efficiency obtained by the application of continued pressure during the riveting is also mentioned.
In a paper on the most general problem of uptics, published in the Proceedings of the Turin Academy of Sciences, Prof. Antonio Garbasso and Guido Fubini point out that little has been done in solving problems of propagation of light waves in a medium which is neither homogeneous nor isotropic. The authors propose a theory for the special case of a medium in which the ellipsoids of elasticity are of revolution having their axes parallel, and the lengths of these axes are the same at all points in a plane perpendicular to the axis of revolution. An illustra
tion of such a medium is afforded by a stratum of gelatin placed in contact with a solution of zinc chloride and subjected to pressure; the colours seen in such a medium under polarised light are shown in a plate accompanying the paper.
WE have received part iii. of "Klimatographie von Oesterreich," issued by the Meteorological Office of Vienna, in which the climatology of Styria is fully and ably discussed by Dr. Robert Klein. The treatment of the subject follows closely along the lines laid down by Hann in his "Handbuch der Klimatologie," and is, indeed, similar to that adopted by that author in the earlier parts of the work which deal with Austria proper. The book is a model of what the treatment of the special climatology of a restricted area should be. It gives for each region the probabilities of the occurrence of phenomena such as frosts of different degrees of intensity, heavy rainfall, and others. At the same time, the underlying principles are not lost sight of. Styria presents many features of special interest, as the altitudes included in its boundaries vary from about 200 metres to 4000 metres above sea-level. The cultivated region extends up to about 1500 metres. We have thus a great variety of meteorological conditions brought before us in the records from the stations of the second order which are discussed in the volume.
In the April number of Meteorologische Zeitschrift Mr. E. Alt gives an interesting account of the double daily oscillation of the barometer over the globe, especially with reference to the Arctic regions. He preludes his paper by a résumé of the efforts hitherto made to elucidate this intricate problem by harmonic analysis, by Lamont, Angot, Hann, and others, and gives useful explanations of the several terms of the series. The theory now generally accepted is that referred to by Lord Kelvin (Proc. Roy. Soc. Edin., 1882) and developed by Prof. Margules (Sitzungsber. Vienna Acad., 1890). Mr. Alt has discussed a large number of observations both on land and at sea, and has exhibited the synchronous distribution of the double wave of air pressure by a series of charts. With reference to the Arctic regions, observations taken mostly from the Challenger report show that the maxima of the oscillations occur, on an average, about 11h. 20m. a.m. and p.m., and of the minima, on an average, about 5h. 20m. a.m. and p.m. (G.M.T.). The amplitude is small, amounting, on the average, to about 1/10 mm. The investigations of several physicists, including Prof. Margules, point to the view that the synchronism of the oscillation in the polar region is due to the existence of a second half-daily oscillation of the atmosphere which occurs in the direction of the meridians.
WE direct attention to a very laborious and important work by Dr. H. Fritsche entitled The Mean Temperature of the Air at Sea-level exhibited as a Function of Longitude, Latitude, and Period of the Year" (Meteorologische Publication I.). The author has, inter alia, calculated from the constants of the harmonic formula the resulting values of mean temperature for the whole surface of the earth, for each 10° of longitude and 5° of latitude, for twenty-four equidistant epochs of the year, and for the whole year, with maxima, minima, and phase times. But this general description in no wise gives an idea of the immense work covered by some 184 closely printed tables; these are rather difficult to follow, being, with the explanations in German, printed in facsimile lithography. The calculations are based mostly on Buchan's monthly and yearly isothermal charts ("Atlas of Meteorology," by Bartholomew and Herbertson). The mean yearly temperature of the globe is given as 14.6° C., and the amplitude