« AnteriorContinuar »
quantity of impurities which pour into it, and conse
NOTES. quently the quality of its water is steadily deteriorating:
The Professor considers it proved by European experi- The following are the members of the Royal Commission ence that a certain percentage of forest land is indispens- appointed to investigate the question of a Teaching University able for any civilized country, and that when the forest for London :-Lord Cowper (Chairman), Lord Reay, Bishop area sinks below that percentage, through carelessness, or a Barry, Sir Lyon Playfair, Sir William Scovell Savory, Sir selfish desire to get all the advantages from the resources George Murray Humphry, Mr. George G. Ramsay, Rev. Canon of a country for the present generation, regardless of the Browne, Mr. Henry Sidgwick, Mr. John Scott Burdon Sanderinterests of posterity, the result can only be an impaired industry and declining prosperity. He asserts that in
son, Mr. James Anstie, Mr. Ralph Charlton Palmer, and Mr. the United States nothing is being done to cultivate Gerald Henry Rendall. No one who has devoted serious forests, whilst vast areas, besides those which fall under attention to the subject is likely to be of opinion that the choice the axe, are being wasted by fires and by unregulated graz- of Commissioners is satisfactory. It shows that the Government ing; so that, to put it mildly, the Americans are using up has not grasped the problem. their forests at a much greater rate than they are replacing them, and are changing the character of their
The International Congress of Chemical Nomenclature at streams, soil, and local climate. Emphasis is laid on the
Geneva has been attended by many representatives from various fact that tree-planting is not forest-culture, and based on European countries. The representatives from England are the experience taken from European countries, Mr. James Prof. H. E. Armstrong, F.R.S., Dr. J. H. Gladstone, F.R.S., insists that only the State can insure the preservation of and Prof. W. Ramsay, F.R.S. the forests of America, and that private enterprise is powerless to prevent their eventual destruction.
PROF. A. CHAUVEAU has been elected to the presidency of His proposals to remedy matters are therefore that the the Société de Biologie, in place of Prof. Brown-Séquard, whose Federal and State Governments should remove timber term has expired. The Société de Biologie was founded by lands from the list of lands for sale, and after a thorough Claude Bernard and a group of friends. Claude Bernard and examination as to what forests are of climatic and indus- Paul Bert were Presidents before M. Brown-Séquard. trial importance, should retain them under the control of Government. He also advocates the establishment of a
A COMMITTEE has been formed to make preparations for the School of Forestry, where men could be trained to erection of a monument to Prof. de Quatrefages in his native manage the extensive tracts of forest lands in the owner- village, Vallerangue (Gard). ship either of private individuals or of the State; and calls for further legislation, and active enforcement of
We regret to have to announce the death of Prof. Annibale existing laws to protect forests from fires and browsing
de Gasparis, Director of the Observatory at Naples, which animals. Here we have in a nutshell a proper forest
took place on the 21st of this month. Born in Bugnara, in the policy sketched out for the United States; and it remains province of Aquila, on November 9, 1819, he passed the first to be seen whether there is sufficient patriotism in the few years of his youth in Tocco Casuria, where he studied leading men to carry it out, or whether the great power classics. Going thence to Naples in 1838 he began the study of the timber trade, which has always insisted on non- of mathematics under Prof. Tucci, dealing specially with the interference with their business on the part of the State, problems relating to bridges and rivers. Asterwards he de. will still obstruct the road to progress.
voted himself to astronomy, in which he soon gained great There is not space for much more than mere reference to the other papers contained in the Bulletin, the first being celebrity. In 1840 he was appointed assistant at the Capoa most comprehensive report, by Colonel E. T. Ensign, dimonte Observatory, where he became a diligent observer and on the forest conditions of the Rocky Mountains, show- an industrious calcnlator. His discovery of the three minor ing the estimated area of forest still existing in each planets-Hygieia, Parthenope, and Egeria-created a great stir county of the States of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, in the scientific world, and secured for him the Royal AstroColorado, and New Mexico, in 1887. A coloured map of nomical Society's medal. Nominated as Director of the Obserthe area shows the position and extent of the forest tracts. vatory in 1864, owing to the death of Capocci, he worked This report concludes with a most useful tabular state
incessantly for the advancement of practical astronomy, and ment, giving the area of forest in each county and for each State, as well as the character of the forest growth, Eunomia, Psyche, Massilia, Themis, Ausonia, and Beatrix were
followed up his observations for the capture of small planets. the uses made of the timber, the principal causes of
His theodestruction of the forests, chiefly fires.
all discovered owing to his ever careful scrutiny.
Measures are suggested for the adequate protection of the forest growth, retical labours included many on pure mathematics, while those and any noticeable changes in the flow and volume of on astronomy related principally to the best methods of delerwater in streams are noted. Under this head, we find mining the orbits of comets. The investigations he carried on that the streams have dininished in volume and their from time to time were numerous, and the results appeared in flow has become more intermittent in one-quarter of the many periodicals, of which we may mention the Alti della R. ninety-one counties referred to, which altogether com- Accademia delle Scienze Fisiche e Mathematiche de Napoli and prise an area of 555,081 square miles, still containing the Astronomische Nachrichten. De Gasparis was naturally 83,460 square miles of forests in 1887.
The other papers are: “ The Forest Flora of the Rocky robust, and enjoyed good health until he was attacked by the Mountain Region," by G. B. Sudworth, and “On the
maladies which killed him. His powers of work were tremenClimate of Colorado and its Effects on Trees,” by G. B.
dous ; he was always making either some calculation or obserParsons. The latter ascribes the barrenness of the eastern
vation. Being taken ill rather suddenly, he went away to slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the extremes of tem- recruit, but he became worse and worse, until at last he could perature, and to the desiccating power of the north and
The sad days of the last year of his life he spent north-west winds, which are frequently powerful enough in reading the classics which he loved best, until his sight to bark young trees by pelting them with gravel.
failed him. The Bulletin closes with a valuable paper on Slides and Avalanches," by B. E. Fernow, the present
MR. JOHN HARTXUP, the Astronomer to the Mersey. Docks Chief of the Forestry Division of the Washington Agricul- and Harbour Board, met with a fatal accident on the 21st while tural Department.
persorming one of his Observatory duties. It seems that he
W. R. FISHER. was accustomed to examine occasionally the anemometers
situated on the flat roof of the building, the roof being skirted the Essex Field Club. By means of the funds voted to this by a low wall about 20 inches in height. Being near the wall, joint committee, peripatetic courses of lectures on various scienand looking up at the anemometers, he was seized with a fit of tific and technical subjects have been carried on in different giddiness, such as he had lately been accustomed to, and fell to rural centres with considerable success during the past year. the ground, breaking his neck. His sister-in-law, who saw The principle on which the joint committee has carried on this the sad accident, had previously been cautioned by him not work has been to employ only thoroughly qualified lecturers, go too near the wall when on the roof, for he considered it a and to insist upon the instruction being made as practical as dangerously low one. Mr. Hartnup was a member of the possible. In some cases the lectures have been followed by Royal Astronomical and Liverpool Astronomical Societies, and practical work, in which the students have been taught how to a Fellow of the Meteorological Society. He had succeeded use the microscope, and to dissect plants, as a means of acquiring his father in 1885, so that he was thoroughly familiar with the a good working knowledge of vegetable physiology. This Observatory in which he had to work.
practical work has been so much appreciated in the rural centres Miss Amelia B. EDWARDS, whose death we bave already the class, the number of students being neces
that there has been an actual competition to gain admission to recorded, has in her will endowed a Chair of Egyptology. Her
cessarily limited by library, which is very valuable, she has bequeathed to Somer
the supply of apparatus and material. One of the most popular ville Hall, Oxford.
courses given under the auspices of the joint committee has been
that on general science, a kind of elementary introductory WE regret to hear that the venerable Prof. Sven Lovén has course showing the advantage of acquiring scientific knowledge been compelled, as a result of the infuenza, to retire from his in its applications to daily life. There has been such a demand position as Senior Keeper in the State Museum of Natural His. for this subject that four lecturers have been engaged to meet tory, at Stockholm, where he has been active for fifty-one years. the wants of different parts of the county. Special courses on Prof. Lovén is now seeing through the press two important marketable fish and oyster culture will shortly be commenced works on Echinoderm morphology, one dealing with the young for the benefit of the maritime centres. The organizing joint stages of Echinoidea, the other with the Cystidea. We trust he committee has, we are informed, not been reappointed by the may long be spared to enrich the world with these and other new County Council, but that its labours have been appreciated fruits of his wide knowledge and deep thought.
is shown by the fact that the Council has decided to merge i he
joint committee in the main Technical Instruction Committee. The twelfth annual exhibition of natural history objects of the latter will thus secure directly the co-operation of the six the South London Natural History Society will be held on
representatives of the Essex Field Club, among whom are Sir May 5 and 6 at the Bridge House Hotel, London Bridge, the Henry Roscoe, Prof. Meldola, and Mr. G. J. Symons. Essex whole of which building has been secured for the occasion.
is to be congratulated upon the wisdom which its Councillors These exhibitions are growing in popularity, and several
have displayed in securing the services of such well-known thousand visitors have each year taken lively interest in the scientific advisers. exhibits. This year they will be exceptionally varied and novel. Lectures will be delivered by Mr. F. Enock on “The Lise
A very beautiful aurora was visible from Westgate-on-Sea on history of the British Trapdoor Spider," by Mr. Step on
Monday evening last. When it was first observed, about 9.30 “Edible and Poisonous Fungi," and by Mr. George Day on
p.m., the sky was brilliantly illuminated to a height of about 30° " Various Natural History Subjects."
above the horizon, extending laterally quite 50°. It seemed to
be decidedly of a pinkish colour, but to all appearance this AN Exhibition which will be interesting from a scientific as
tint gradually disappeared. About ten minutes later, two fine well as from a popular point of view will be held this year in
streamers were thrown out, their approximate positions on the the open ground near the Earl's Court railway station. It will celestial sphere corresponding to the lines joining the stars no illustrate the development of horticulture, and as Mr. H. E. Cygni, e Draconis, and a Lacertæ, * Cephei. Their light was Milner, F.L.S., is the chairman of the executive committee, we
considerably more intense than the aurora itself, the beams may expect that the scheme will be admirably carried out.
reminding one rather of those produced by a strong search light. There are to be examples of the gardens of all ages, including East and west of these, two more beautiful bright streaks were shot restorations of the ancient gardens of Egypt, Greece, and Rome; out, extending to a height not quite so great as the former two. copies of those in China and Japan, and types of the Baronial, The west one became especially fine, its light exceeding that of Italian, Tudor, Jacobean, Georgian, and Victorian eras. A
any of the others. Their positions, as near as could be gathered, large sub-tropical garden will be laid out, and there will be representations of the tea gardens of India and Ceylon. Various lay between the stars p Cygni and o Draconis for the west one,
and for the east one o Andromeda and + Cassiopeia. Five foreign countries—especially Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, minutes later these vanished, and the two central ones merged and Germany-will co-operate to show the progress they have
into one and also disappeared. At 12.30, only one streamer made in horticulture.
was visible, while its light and that of the aurora itself was of a In September a splendid Exhibition of fruit will be held in a very feeble nature. temporary building, which is to be erected on a site on the Thames Embankment, near Blackfriars, lent for the purpose by much more seasonable all over the country. Westerly winds
The weather during the past week has become on the whole the City Corporation. The Exbibition will be held under the auspices of the Fruiterers' and Gardeners' Companies, the Royal
have prevailed during the greater part of the period, and the air
has been mild and genial ; but the temperature, although high Horticultural Society, the British Fruit Growers' Association,
for the season, was lower than at the commencement of the and other kindred societies, and will last at least a week. In
month. Rain has fallen very generally within the last few days connection with the Exhibition lectures and object-lessons will be given on subjects relating to fruit culture and the planting have occurred in many places. A brilliant aurora, to which
in all parts of the kingdown, and thunder, lightning, and hail of fruit trees.
reference is made in the preceding note and in several letters, The Technical Instruction Committee of the Essex County was observed in Scotland and in several parts of England during Council appointed last year an organizing joint committee, Monday night. The weather report of the Meteorological consisting of six members of their own body, and six members of Office for the week ending April 23, showed that bright sunshine, although less than in preceding weeks, still exceeded a field card, directing observation in each of the seven sections of the mean value in nearly all districts.
the Society, is in preparation. A course of lessons, treating in
detail of the leading natural families of the Manchester Flora, is LAST week California was visited by the most severe earth
being given in the city. quake which has been known in that region since 1868. On
At the meeting of the Royal Statistical Society on Tuesday, April 19 shocks were felt over a distance of 200 miles, the
Mr. R. Henry Rew read a valuable paper on the statistics of intensity varying at different points. In San Francisco a number
the production and consumption of milk and milk products in of large buildings trembled perceptibly, but only one was
Great Britain. The subject, as he pointed out, is one of extreme damaged—an old church building until lately occupied by the
complexity. The effective production of milk by a single cow Academy of Science. The front wall gave way, tearing away
ranges from nil (in the case of a cow which only rears her calf) the balconies. The centre of the disturbance was Vacaville,
to 1200 gallons or more. The number of cows and heisers rewhere a number of brick buildings both in the town and in the
turned in 1890, the year taken as a basis for calculation, was vicinity were destroyed or damaged. Many walls also fell into
3,956,220, of which it is reckoned that 3, 544,575 are productive. the streets. At Winters and Dixon serious damage was done
Returns now collected from a large number of districts, together to buildings. On April 21 further shocks occurred at San
with other data, justified an estimate of 400 gallons per cow, Francisco, and were felt in the surrounding districts. A number
making the total quantity of milk available for consumption in of buildings were demolished at Winters, and several persons received injuries. Eight distinct vibrations were felt. At Biggs The number of cows has decreased in proportion to population.
various forms in the United Kingdom 1417 million gallons. clocks stopped, and plaster fell from the ceilings of the houses.
In Great Britain there were in the period 1866-70 82'1 cows per At Woodville several brick buildings were damaged, while at Vacaville some walls which had been cracked by the previous absolute number of cows had increased, but not sufficiently to
1000 of population, while in 1886-90 there were only 77'9. The shocks were demolished, and the ceilings in most of the houses keep pace with the growth of population. The latest return were cracked. At Sacramento also some damage was caused,
(for 1891) is more encouraging, showing as it does the largest but the place which seems to have suffered most severely was
number of cows on record. In Ireland the period 1886-90 Dixon, where extensive damage had already been caused by the shocks of April 19.
showed a higher proportion (290-8) of cows to population than
in any of the four preceding quinquennial periods, but this was DR. A. C. OUDEMANS, Director of the Zoological Gardens due not to an increase in the number of cattle, but to the at the Hague, has for some years made the sea-serpent a subject
decrease of population. The 1417 million gallons of milk proof special study, and now he is about to issue a book in which duced in the United Kingdom is thus accounted for :-Consumed he will present his conclusions. He states in a prospectus that as milk 570 million gallons ; butter, 617 million gallons (reprehe was attracted to the question by “ an account of the appear.
senting 105,000 tons of butter); cheese, 224 million gallons ance of a sea-serpent published in NATURE of November 8, | (representing 100,000 tons of cheese); miscellaneous (condensed 1880.” As NATURE was not published on November 8, 1880,
milk, &c.), 6 million gallons. Mr. Rew admitted that the results a good many people may be tempted to think that this reference arrived at were only tentative. He expressed a hope that before (due, of course, to a slip of the pen or to a misprint) is very
long some official help might be given in the solution of a suitable to the nature of the animal to which it relates. Dr. problem which was of the deepest interest to statisticians, Oudemans has placed side by side “all the accounts, tales, and agriculturists, and social economists. reports of this great unknown animal,” and has convinced him- The Bath and West of England Society decided some time self that "through all the reports there runs only one red thread, ago to appoint a' research chemist to make investigations upon that there must be one single animal species which has given the making of cheddar cheese. Mr. Fred. Jas. Lloyd was rise to all the reports." The author has chosen to write in chosen to fill this post, and he has recently presented his report English, because it is a language “known to all navigators, as of the work done in August, September, and October of last well as to all zoologists, and other men of education." The full
year. The results obtained, though by no means complete, are title of the work will be “ The Great Sea-Serpent. An His both valuable and interesting, and it is to be hoped that the torical and Critical Treatise. With the Reports of 166 Ap. Society will continue and extend the work. The experiments pearances, the Suppositions and Suggestions of Scientific and
were made at the Society's Dairy School, near Frome, and it non-Scientific Persons, and the Author's Conclusions." There
was found possible to make a cheese in such a way as to be will be 82 illustrations,
guided in judging the condition of the curd by determinations We are glad to hear that Mr. J. J. Wild, Ph.D., who ac
of acidity alone. The product was a decided success in every companied the Challenger as secretary to the Director (Sir respect. The average acidity of the mixed milk before adding
rennet was '24 per cent., but on setting the whey only showed Wyville Thomson) and artist to the Expedition, is settled in Melbourne, Victoria, where he is engaged in producing plates ment, that when the whey showed a percentage of acidity
'16 per cent. of lactic acid. It was proved, by continued experiillustrative of the zoology and palæontology of the colony, under the direction of Sir Frederick MacCoy, F.R.S. He is slightly greater than that in the milk before renneting the pro
cess was sufficiently advanced to draw off the whey and pile the at present figuring the fossil remains of Acanthodian fishes
curd. Determinations of acidity in the later stages of manufacdiscovered in the Old Red Sandstone of Mansfield, Victoria.
ture have yielded similar results, and it appears to be certain THE programme of the first series of summer excursions of that the careful development of definite amounts of lactic acid the Manchester Field Naturalists' Society has just been issued. at definite steps in the process is essential to success. The Mr. Leo Grindon, the founder of the Society thirty-two years bacteriological observations show that, although very many since, has been compelled, by advancing years and impaired organisms are liable to get into the milk, the majority of them health, to resign the presidential chair, which Mr. Chas. are not able to exist in an acid material, consequently by Bailey has undertaken to occupy. Mr. Grindon retains the insuring a proper development of acidity in the curd we destroy office of botanical referee, with the assistance of Mr. W. Gee, their activity, which would otherwise spoil the cheese. Not only who is engaged in teaching natural history subjects under the does the Bacillus acidi lactici play the most important part in Science and Art Department. A special study, appropriate the making of the cheese, but it is also the chief agent in the to the season and locality, is appointed for each meeting ; and | ripening process.
It is well known that serious loss is caused in the various expression.” The colours employed are mixed in the upper Australian colonies by the ravages of the rust fungus in wheat. shell of a turtle, and carried in joints of the bamboo. The arms An Intercolonial Conference met to consider the subject in 1890, of the Botocudos consist of the bow and arrow. For calling and this body has since held two other meetings, the third one another in the forest they have speaking trumpets made of having taken place at Melbourne last month. Many experi- the skin of the tail of the great armadillo. While travelling ments have been made, and it has been clear shown that there through the woods, they build for themselves temporary shelters are several varieties of wheat which, except under very unusual of palm-leaves, sticking the stems into the ground in a halfcircumstances, are never seriously attacked by rust. It has also circle, so that the tips of the fronds arch together and form a sort been shown that in many districts early sown wheats of a rust- of roof. When encamping for a considerable time in one liable kind generally escape damage by rust, when the same place, they construct houses often big enough to hold several wheats sown late suffer seriously. In view of these facts the families. The fire is placed in the middle of the dwelling, and Conference has directed attention mainly to encouraging the the beds are made of bark fibre. Gourds are used for drinking growth of varieties less liable to be attacked by rust, and also to purposes and in the preparation of food. The Botocudos have early sowing. At the March meeting it was recommended that been harshly dealt with by the Portuguese, and are rapidly dying a practical system for the production and distribution of rust
out. resisting wheats suitable to different districts should be im. mediately established, and that this system should, subject to CAPTAIN Bower, of the Indian Staff Corps, has arrived at modifications needed by each colony, be conducted on the Simla from China, after a very remarkable journey across the following lines :-A central station for each colony for the pre
Tibet tableland. He had with him Dr. Thorold, a sub-surveyor, liminary testing of new wheats introduced into the colony; for one Pathan orderly, a Hindustani cook, six caravan drivers, the production of new varieties by cross-fertilization and by and forty-seven ponies and mules. The Calcutta correspondent selection ; and for the distribution of suitable wheats thus ob- of the Times, who gives an account of the journey, says that tained to representative districts of the colony, to be there sub- Captain Bower, leaving Leh on June 14, crossed the Lanakma jected to a sufficient test, and, if necessary, fixed in their Pass on July 3, avoiding the Tibetan outpost placed further characters by farmers and others competent for the work ; and south. Journeying due east, he passed a chain of salt lakes, that such wheats as pass satisfactorily this test should then be one of which, called Hor-Ba-Too, is probably the highest lake distributed to the farmers around in such a manner and by such in the world, being 17,930 feet above the sea. Gradually agency as would be most suitable to the conditions of each working to the south-east, the explorer saw to the north a colony. A committee was appointed to take steps for the proper magnificent snowy range, with a lofty peak in longitude 83° and naming of the different varieties of wheat.
latitude 35°. After many weeks' travel over uplands exceeding
15,000 feet in height, where water was scarce and no inhabitTHE U.S. Department of Agriculture has received information
ants were to be seen, the party on September 3 reached Gyato the effect that Vedalia cardinalis has been successfully Kin-Linchin, on the northern shore of Tengri Nor Lake, in colonized at the Cape of Good Hope. Last autumn Mr. longitude 91° and latitude 31°. This is within a few marches Thomas A. J. Louw, a special commissioner from the Legis- of Lhassa, and two officials from the Devi Jong, or temporal lative Assembly of the Cape, went’to Washington charged with
governor of Lhassa, met him here and peremptorily ordered the task of collecting and taking back from America a supply him to go back. But he refused to return, and a compromise of the useful little lady-bird mentioned. He was furnished with
was effected, guides and ponies being provided on his agreeing letters to the California agents of the Department, and took
to make a detour to the north in order to reach the frontier of away from that State two parcels of Vedalia, one lot being
Western China. He reached Chiamdo on December 31, only shipped on ice and the other kept open and fed en route. Both
just succeeding in getting off the tableland before winter set in. were alive when he arrived at the Cape, and he writes that the He struck Bonvalot's route for a few miles when marching to experiment has been so successful that various parts of the
Chiamdo. The country about this town is very fertile and well colony have been supplied with the insect, which, no doubt,
wooded. Three thousand of the monks of Chiamdo, who will be as useful in clearing off the Cottony Cushion Scale there
lived in fine monasteries, threatened to attack the party, but as it has been in California and the Hawaiian Islands. Mr.
were deterred on learning that they carried breechloaders. Louw's letter, dated Malmesbury, Cape of Good Hope, March 5,
Captain Bower arrived at Tarchindo, an outpost on the Chinese 1892, to the Hon. Edwin Willits, Assistant Secretary of Agri
frontier, on February 1o. The distance covered from Lanakma culture, says: “While thanking you again for the kindness
to Tarchindo was over 2000 miles, all of which, save a few miles, displayed towards me, may I request you also to convey to Prof.
has now been explored for the first time. The route for thirteen C. V. Riley my extreme obligations for the service rendered by consecutive days lay over a tableland 17,000 feet high. Captain him to me, and which I assure him will ever be appreciated Bower is engaged in writing a report and completing his maps. by me."
SPLENDID specimens of mica are to be sent to the Chicago Dr. Hyades, as we noted last week, was impressed, while Exhibition from Idaho, where the supply is said to be practically in Tierra del Fuego, with the resemblance between the Yahgan inexhaustible. Mica is to be used in the Idaho building as a and the Botocudos of Brazil. Of the latter people an interesting substitute for glass in the windows. The Photographic News account appeared lately in the Washington Evening Star, and is suggests that, if the reports as to the quality of the material prove reproduced in the April number of Goldthwaite's Geographical to be accurate, it may become a rival to glass in photographic Magazine. The colour of the Botocudos is described as of a plate-making. light yellowish-brown. When brought into contact with Europeans they manisest not the slightest embarrassment on account of At the meeting of the Paris Geographical Society on April 1, their lack of clothing. From certain seeds and fruits they Lieutenant Vedel read an interesting paper on the Polynesians, obtain brilliant dyes, with which they adorn their bodies ; and whom he has had constant opportunities of studying during the a common custom is to paint the face above the mouth a bright last seven years. Referring to the Maoris, he said it was red, the upper half of the body being stained black, and a red impossible not to be struck with the extraordinary resemblance stripe encircling the waist. A warrior thus decorated, with which exists between their myths and those of the ancient lip and ear ornaments, is said to present "a most demoniacal Greeks.
The Southport Society of Natural Science has issued its first bulb and heated in a bath of the vapour of phosphorus pentareport, from which we learn that the Society, although still sulphide, the temperature of which (518°) is such that the bulb very young, is doing good work as a local centre of scientific becomes saintly luminous, no explosion occurred, but a small inquiry. The report includes a presidential address by Dr. H. proportion of the gases silently combined, with production of H. Vernon, on the material and educational utility of natural water. Upon immersing the bulb, however, in a bath of boiling science.
stannous chloride (606°), explosive combination instantly occurred, MR. EDWARD STANFORD has issued “The Hand-book of It was surmised, therefore, that the temperature at which explosion Jamaica for 1892.” This is the twelfth year of publication. occurs lies somewhere between 518° and 606°. But upon modifying The work has been compiled from official and other trustworthy the experiment in such a manner that the bulb was open, a slow sources by S. P. Musson and T. Laurence Roxburgh. It com- stream of the gaseous mixture being allowed to pass continuously prises all necessary historical, statistical, and general information through, it was found that no explosion ensued under these relating to the island.
conditions at the temperature of boiling stannous chloride,
although at this temperature the bulb glows with a cherry red The latest instalment of the Transactions of the Royal heat, and the glass is quite soft. It appears likely, therefore, Society of Victoria (vol. ii. part 2) opens with a paper on the that the extra pressure of the gases in the closed vessel deteroccurrence of the genus Belonostomus in the rolling downs mines the explosion at a lower temperature. The irregularity formation (Cretaceous) of Central Queensland, by R. Etheridge, in the rate of silent combination would appear to be due to the Jun., and A. S. Woodward. There are also papers on the different condition of the inner surfaces of the vessels containing structure of Ceratella. fusca (Gray), by Prof. W. Baldwin the gaseous mixture ; probably largely owing to the different Spencer; additional observations on the Victorian land plana- amount of etching action by the water vapour at these high rians, by Dr. A. Dendy; and land planarians from Lord Howe temperatures. In order to eliminate this disturbing element, Island, by Prof. W. Balwin Spencer. Each of the papers is the experiments have been repeated with bulbs whose inner illustrated.
surfaces have been equally etched beforehand and with bulbs Prof. S. H. Gage, of the Cornell University, has reprinted whose interior walls have been silvered, the results, however, an interesting paper contributed by him to the American showing in both cases the same irregularity. In connection, Naturalist on the life-history of the vermilion-spotted newt however, with the experiments with silvered bulbs, another (Diemyctylus viridescens, Raf.). He has added to it a valuable striking fact has been brought to light. It was found that in annotated bibliography.
these bulbs the silent formation of water occurs at temperatures
several hundred degrees lower than in unsilvered glass bulbs. A REPORT on the geology and mineral resources of the central
Complete combination had occurred in two hours' time at the mineral region of Texas, by T. B. Comstock, was included in
temperatures of boiling phosphorus pentasulphide (518°), sulphur the second Annual Report of the Geological Survey of that State,
(448°), diphenylamine (310°), and naphthalene (218); 70 per and has now been issued separately. It ought to be of good
cent. of the mixed gases had combined at the temperature of service to practical men as well as to students of science. The author has a valuable note in which he shows how the prospector,
boiling aniline (183°), and a small amount of combination had
occurred even at 155o. Finally, it was found that bright July the capitalist, or the property-holder may most advantageously sunshine is incapable of inducing the combination of hydrogen use the report.
and oxygen, even when it is concentrated upon a bulb traversed An excellent essay on aboriginal skin dressing, by Otis T. by the gaseous mixture and heated to 606° in a bath of boiling Mason, has been reprinted from the Report of the U.S. National stannous chloride. Museum for 1888-89. It is based on material collected in the Museum, and includes an account of skin-dressing among the
The additions to the Zoological Society's Gardens during the Eskimo and the Indians. There are many illustrations.
past week include a Patas Monkey (Cercopithecus patas) from
West Africa, presented by Mr. W. S. Hewby; two Orinoco The following science lectures will be given at the Royal Geese (Chenalopex jubata) from South America, presented by Victoria Hall during May :-May 3, “ Flying Bullets,” by C. Mr. Everard F. im Thurn, C.M.Z.S. ; two Mute Swans (Cygnus Vernon Boys ; May 10, “ Travels in Java and Sumatra,” by Olor), European, presented by Mrs. Melville ; a Herring Gull Wm. Hancock; May 17, “ The Wonders of the Rocky (Larus argentatus), British, presented by Miss Lota Bower ; Mountains,” by Wm. Carruthers; May 24, “Mines and
two Chinese White-eyes (Zosterops simplex) from China ; an Mining,” by Bennett H. Brough ; May 31, “The Alps in Egyptian Goose (Chenalopex ægyptiaca) from Africa, deposited ; Winter,” by C. T. Dent.
a Cheer Pheasant (Phasianus wallichii 8 ) from Northern India, The results of an investigation, concerning the conditions of
a Swinhoe's Pheasant (Euplocamus swinhoii 8 ) from Formosa, silent combination of the hydrogen and oxygen contained in the
a Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus ), British, six detonating mixture of these gases obtained by the electrolysis Wigeon (Mareca penelope, females), twelve Common Teal of water, are communicated to the current number of Liebig's (Querquedula crecca 6 6 6 9 ), European, purchased ; a Crested Annalen by Prof. Victor Meyer and Herr Askenasy. The Porcupine (Hystrix cristata), born in the Gardens. object of the experiments was to ascertain whether any regular connection existed between the duration of time, during which such a mixture of the two gases is maintained at a temperature
OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. at which silent combination slowly proceeds, and the amount of
SPECTRUM OF NOVA AURIGÆ.-On February 22, Mr. E. W. water produced. The main result of the experiments has been
Maunder obtained a photograph of the spectrum of Nova to afford a direct negative to this question, the amount of com- Auriga with an exposure of seventy minutes. The photobination under precisely the same conditions of temperature, graphic magnitude of the star was then 4.78, and its visual pressure, and time varying most irregularly. Although this is magnitude was about 5-7. Bright lines were observed upon the the case, however, some interesting phenomena have been plate at the following wave-lengths :-4919, 4860 (F), 4629,
4580, 4547, 4510, 4472, 4340 (G), 4229, 4174, 4101 (A), observed during the course of the experiments. It was found
3968 (H), 3933 (K), 3887.5 (a), 3834 (B). And dark lines had that, when a quantity of the pure dry mixture of two volumes of their positions located as follows :-4316 (G), 4212, 4155, hydrogen and one volume of oxygen was sealed up in a glass | 4085 (n), 3953 (H), 3913 (K). Measures of the displacement