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THE Civil Service Estimates for the year ending March 31, 1916, recently issued, contain various particulars with regard to the sums to be voted for carrying out the provisions of the National Insurance Act. The grant in aid of medical research, to be paid to the Medical Research Fund, is 56,500l., which is the same as for the last financial year. The grant to pathological laboratories to assist in the provision of laboratory facilities with a view to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease is 25,000l., which is only half that voted for the financial year 1914-15. The sums voted for sanatorium benefit and for the remuneration of panel practitioners remain the same as before.

For the meeting of the British Association to be held at Manchester on September 7-11, under the presidency of Prof. Arthur Schuster, Sec.R.S., the following sectional presidents have been appointed :-Section A (Mathematics and Physics), Sir F. W. Dyson; B (Chemistry), Prof. H. B. Baker; C (Geology), Prof. Grenville Cole; D (Zoology), Prof. E. A. Minchin; E (Geography), Captain H. G. Lyons; F (Economics), Dr. W. R. Scott; G (Engineering), Dr. H. S. HeleShaw; H (Anthropology), Dr. C. G. Seligman; I (Physiology), Prof. W. M. Bayliss; K (Botany), Prof. W. H. Lang; L (Education), Mrs. Henry Sidgwick; M (Agriculture), Mr R. H. Rew. Evening discourses will be delivered by Mr. H. W. T. Wager on the behaviour of plants in response to light, and by Dr. R. A. Sampson, Astronomer Royal for Scotland.

A MONUMENT to the late Prof. J. H. van't Hoff was unveiled at Rotterdam on April 17. It consists of a bronze statue, double life-size, in sitting position, and has been placed in front of the school at which Prof. van't Hoff was educated. The monument is about 30 ft. high, and the statue itself is flanked by female figures representing "Imagination" and "Reason." On the front of the base is the following inscription :—

VAN'T HOFF, 1852-1911.

Physicam chemiae adiunxit.

The principal speaker at the ceremony was Prof. A. F. Holleman, of Amsterdam, who directed attention to the fact that owing to the war no foreign delegates were present, and that the proceedings in memory of an international investigator were entirely national in character.

It is announced that a committee, under the presidency of the Director-General, Army Medical Service, has been formed to provide the necessary co-ordinating authority for the compilation of an adequate medical history of the war. In connection with each of the chief subdivisions of the work, military and civilian members have been appointed, except in the case of the Section of Hygiene, in which both members are military. The constitution of the committee under the presidency of the Director-General is as follows:Medicine.-Lieut.-Col. O. L. Robinson, R.A.M.C., and Sir William Osler, Bart. Surgery.-Lieut.-Col. E. M. Pilcher, D.S.O., R.A.M.C., and Col. F. F. Burghard. Pathology and Bacteriology.-Sir William Leishman, C.B., and Capt. F. W. Andrewes. Statis

tics.-Lieut.-Col. H. P. W. Barrow, R.A.M.C., Dr. John Brownlee, and Lieut.-Col. W. N. Barron, M.V.O., R.A.M.C. Hygiene and Sanitation.-Col. W. H. Horrocks, K.H.S., and Lieut.-Col. W. W. O. Beveridge, D.S.O., R.A.M.C. Historical and Secre tarial.-Capt. F. S. Brereton, R.A.M.C., and Dr. W. M. Fletcher. In each section the members of the committee have been given authority to co-opt for the purposes of the section other persons, and it is hoped that in the various sections the best results of the varied experience now being gained will be selected and arranged for publication in the Medical History, and not left to be distributed in scattered communications published independently by individual observers.

THE current issue of the Quarterly Review publishes a symposium on German "Kultur," and one of the four contributions is by Sir William Ramsay, K.C.B., who deals with the subject as illustrated by German science. He institutes an inquiry as to what share Germans have had in scientific discovery and invention and utilises the data found in "400 Jahre PionierArbeit in den exacten Wissenschaften," by L. Darmstaedter and R. du Bois-Reymond, published in 1904. Between the years 1500 and 1600, out of a total of 176 names mentioned, 39 are German, or 22 per cent. Between 1600 and 1700, out of 312 entries, 48 are German, or 15 per cent. During the next century, the entries are 517, of which 72, or 14 per cent., refer to German discoveries. The period from 1800 to 1850 comprises 901 entries; of these Germans and Austrians form 234, or nearly 26 per cent. Between 1850 and 1900 the records comprise 1021 entries, of which 477, or 46 per cent., can be ascribed to Teutonic sources, but, as Sir William Ramsay points out, it should be remembered in connection with the large percentage of German names in the list that it was compiled by two German savants. The awards of the Nobel prizes are also summarised. "The awards of the Swedish Nobel Committee are unbiassed by any national spirit; four prizes of the approximate value of 8oool. are distributed annually, one for physics, one for chemistry, one for medicine, and one for literature. During the twelve years from 1901 to 1912 inclusive, 58 have been awarded, of which 17, or nearly 30 per cent., were received by Germans or Austrians." Similarly the ratio of German and Austrian foreign members and associates of the principal academies of the world is 28 per cent.

ON April 20 Prof. H. E. Armstrong opened at Cardiff a conference on the extension of British trade, which had been arranged by the city's Technical Schools Committee and Development Committee. Prof. Armstrong, in his address, which is reported in the Morning Post of April 21, pointed out that there is at the present moment much fiery talk of capturing the enemy's trade, but that in view of its many defects an urgent need will be to develop and improve our own trade, and to preserve it from the attacks to which it will be subject, not only by our present foes, but by our Allies and the Americans. To ensure future progress, the general average of intelligence must be raised in the schools, receptivity and plasticity of mind, and some measure of alertness must be

cultivated in the students. In addition to English and French, Spanish and Russian should be taught in place of Latin and Greek; for men will be needed to go out and discover exactly what is wanted in the countries which, after the war, will be opened to our trade. These men must be able to talk the language of the people whom they are seeking to make their clients. The proper use of coal is, in the future, one of the great problems which we have to face. No bituminous coal should be used directly as fuel; it should be first converted at least into soft coke, so that the ammonia and tar, which are ordinarily wasted, may be recovered and utilised. This is a duty we owe to ourselves and to posterity on economic grounds, as well as in the interests of agriculture and the internal-combustion industry in particular. Our future success as a nation will depend on the fruitfulness of our scientific research. The possession of enormous organisations such as they have in the great chemical works on the Rhine gives the Germans very great power. They do not hesitate to expend vast sums of money in research; they do not think in niggardly terms-as our Government has done within the past few weeks of 10,000l. a year, but without hesitation spend 50,000l. a year on a single problem. Thanks to our schools and universities, not forgetting the Civil Service examiners, the ignorance of our commercial community on all matters scientific is lamentable in the extreme; whilst owing to a literary test only being applied, a specially unpractical type of mind has been selected during generations to administer our public affairs.

ALTHOUGH the wrought flints found in great numbers in Egypt have been discussed in various isolated papers, no detailed survey of them has as yet been accessible to students. This want is now being supplied by Prof. Petrie in the first part of an elaborate survey of the subject in Ancient Egypt, part ii., for 1915. Flint-working, he points out, began in archaic times, and gradually blossomed out into the grand style of the splendid forms characteristic of the Chellean and Achulean periods, which no later work has The Mousterian and Aurignacian ages surpassed. reflect the decadence of European man in the third glacial period. In this paper the Egyptian and European forms of implements are carefully and with abundant illustrations correlated. This survey, when complete, will be of great value to students of prehistoric antiquities.

MR. W. CROOKE contributes to part i., vol. xxvi., of Folk-lore a paper dealing with the Dasahra, an autumn festival of the Hindus. It is held on or about the autumnal solstice, and thus coincides with the harvesting of the autumn and the sowing of the spring crops. It is hence an important crisis in the life of the farmer, during which it is necessary to control, by means of magical rites, the evil spirits which are active at such seasons. It is also the time when after the close of the rainy season the roads become open, and in older times the warlike classes started on their annual raids. Hence it is regarded as an auspicious time for the commencement of any

work of importance. A curious incident in the observances is the release of prisoners or their removal from the capital, lest by virtue of a sort of sympathetic magic the spiritual activities should be trammelled by their bonds or chains. It is thus in its original form a complex of animistic or pre-animistic usages, which have been worked over by Brahmans or courtiers, and have thus become associated with the later Hindu pantheon and with the ceremonial of native courts.

IT has often been noticed that an interval of time, marked off by sounds, appears longer than an equal interval marked off by flashes of light. The illusion has commonly been attributed to the so-called visual after-sensation-the persistence of the effect of light the retina. A recent research, carried out in the upon psychological laboratory of the University of California, and reported in the Psychological Review for January, 1915, shows that when the intervals are very short (I sec. or less) and the stimuli repeated, the rate in the sound-series actually appears quicker, as a rule, than the rate in the light-series, although the two rates are really the same. A sound-rate of 154 taps a minute appeared equal to a light-rate of 128 flashes a minute for one observer, and 134 to 150 flashes for others. The higher the rate and the longer the series, the more marked becomes the illusion. Those exhibit it most who depend either upon "general impression" or upon overt tapping with the hand.

THE presidential address delivered by Prof. Tufts at the joint meeting of the American and Western Philosophical Associations had for its subject "The Ethics of States." The address is published in full in the Philosophical Review for March. The lover of paradox, says Prof. Tufts, can find no richer field than that of the ethics of States. "The State hales private persons before its bar if they violate person or property, break contracts, or enslave their fellows; but itself commits homicide and trespass, breaks treaties, and takes possession against their will of the persons and property of multitudes who have done no harm." The article analyses the historical and logical grounds for these paradoxes. Historically, States have been built by two great forces: lust for conquest and desire of gain. America has learnt the dangers implicit in corporations organised for profit when they are not themselves controlled. The evils of present inter

national politics are due, not to too much, but to too little political organisation. Logically, the doctrine of the survival of the fittest should involve the conclusion that everything that exists is good-the victor is always the better, the king on the throne can never do wrong, the martyr on the cross has never been right. On the contrary, the article urges that competition between nations may be just as unfair and just as much in need of higher control as competition between individuals or companies in business. It concludes the present situation is bringing home to all nations the consequences of past political ideals in all their horror; and that the very appeals which both sides make for moral approval are indications of the emergence of a larger and higher international

conscience.

THE Ichthyological Laboratory of Astrakhan ascertained the existence of more than sixty representatives of the Caspian fauna in the branches of the lower Volga, some species of Mysidæ occurring at a distance of 180 miles from the sea. A dozen years ago also a number of Caspian forms were found near Saratof by the biological station at that town, and the same forms were found in 1911 by A. Derzhanin in the Volga below Kazan and in the lower Kama, one of which, Metamysis strauchi, occurs as far up as Yaroslavl. This is identical with the M. volgensis of Tretyakof, to which he assigned an Arctic origin. These Caspian forms Mr. Derzhanin believes to have been left behind on the regression of the Mæotis-Caspian sea (Proceedings of the Naturalists' Society of the University of Kazan, 1912-13).

THE Journal of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland (No. 2) contains several papers of general interest. Mr. Falkner C. Mason describes a series of experiments which have been carried out during the past year in the veterinary hygienè division of the Department to ascertain how long an injection of tuberculin will confer upon a tuberculous animal the power of resistance to a second injection. This fact has occasionally been taken advantage of by unprincipled persons for fraudulent purposes. In the paper now referred to the trustworthiness of the test in such circumstances has been studied and methods are suggested to counteract any attempt to render the test abortive. The "Boom in Flax" is dealt with by Mr. A. L. Clark, who gives statistics of the extraordinary advance in the prices of this crop brought about by the war. All past records have been broken; not even during the American Civil War has flax realised so high a price as it is being sold at to-day. Mr. Hunter deals with the question of the improvement of the flax crop by propagation from selected plants, a field of work which apparently offers a very hopeful outlook.

THE history of the plantation rubber industry of the east is given by Mr. T. Petch in the recently issued part of the Annals of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya (No. vii. of vol. v.). The story affects Ceylon principally, where the records have on the whole been carefully kept. It is unfortunate that certain gaps in the early history are due to the lack of proper records during Thwaite's directorship. The successful introduction of Hevea is due to Wickham, and possibly also to Cross, through the agency of Kew; a few plants have probably also been derived from those collected by Collins near Para. Much diversity, both in leaf and bark characters, is noticeable among the trees of the plantations, but there appears to be no ground for supposing that the trees in the east differ essentially from those in Brazil from which fine hard Para rubber is obtained. The reports of Wickham and Cross are reprinted, and careful details are given of the distribution of the original trees in and from Ceylon. An account of the plantations in the east generally is also given, and is followed by chapters on tapping experiments, Brazilian methods, etc. The history of the introduction of

Ceara and Castilloa in 1876 and of other rubberyielding plants is also given.

THE Geological Survey of Canada has published as Memoir No. 38, in three cloth-bound volumes, the report of the Chief Astronomer on the North American Cordillera, forty-ninth parallel. The author of this work, Prof. R. D. Daly, acted as geologist to the International Boundary Commission between 1901 and 1906, and the report, circulated in 1915, bears the date 1912 upon its title-pages. The recording of the fieldobservations in a highly mountainous region was hampered by the absence of large-scale and accurate maps; but coloured geological maps and sections are here published of the whole traverse across British Columbia, from long. 114° W. almost to the coast. Fossiliferous horizons are unfortunately scarce; but the igneous phenomena provided ample material for so keen a worker as Prof. Daly, and have led him to insert as chapter xxiv. an "introduction to the theory of igneous rocks." The possible origin of pre-Cambrian dolomites and limestones by chemical precipitation is discussed with similar breadth of view in chapter xxiii. During hard mountaineering work, the author's mind always sought for explanations, and this adds considerable brightness to his description of the structure of the Rocky Mountains, the Selkirks, and the Cascade Range. An overthrust of forty miles is suggested as one explanation of the grouping of strata in the Clarke Range.

AMONG recent Bulletins of the Commission Géologique de Finlande, H. Hausen issues (No. 31) a study of types of porphyry found in the glacial beds of south-west Finland, and points out that many of these are still of uncertain origin and cannot be used as guides in estimating directions of ice-movement. In No. 32, he utilises well-recognised types of erratics in tracing the spread of glaciers from Fennoscandia into Russia, and shows how the "Baltic ice," moving mainly from north to south, has locally obscured the traces of the earlier and greater glaciation of Russia by ice from the north-west. One of his maps shows interesting features of drumlins near Dorpat, and a lake at the south end of the Gulf of Riga, held up between the ice-front and an abandoned terminal moraine. W. W. Wilkman (No. 33) deals with the later shore-lines in eastern Finland, and indicates wave-like movements of the ground; while the director, J. J. Sederholm, in No. 37, emphasises the influence of fracture-lines in controlling existing features in Fennoscandia. He urges that fracturing and faulting may characterise the cover which conceals folded masses, and that this zone is commonly removed from considerable mountain-chains. Students of igneous contacts and metamorphism will find much to interest them in P. Eskola's detailed memoir (No. 40), written in English, on the Orijärvi region. The alterations undergone by limestones, siliceous "leptites," and basic igneous rocks consist almost uniformly in the introduction of iron and magnesium and the leaching out of lime and alkalies.

THE Canadian Department of Mines continues the issue of its useful publications with the object of

directing attention to the mineral wealth of the Dominion and of assisting all who may be inclined to take part in its development. A compact summary of the subject is to be found in a pamphlet of some eighty pages, "Economic Minerals and Mining Industries of Canada," which has been prepared especially in view of the Panama-Pacific Exposition of San Francisco. It contains indeed no particularly novel features, but brings the subject well up to date. Messrs. H. T. Kalmus and C. Harper have published the second portion of their researches upon cobalt and cobalt alloys, this part dealing more particularly with the physical properties of the metal cobalt. Elaborate tests have been made, and are recorded with much minuteness of detail; it might be suggested that the full plate illustration of the testing machine used in making the tensile tests is decidedly superfluous. An elaborate report is published by L. H. Cole upon gypsum in Canada. From the technical point of view this appears to give all the necessary information, but somewhat more attention might have been devoted to the geological problems involved; thus there is no mention of the accessory minerals, such as the native sulphur and the borates, the existence of which in some of the Nova Scotian gypsum deposits has long been known, and which shed a very interesting light upon the probable mode of origin of these deposits. The third part is also issued of the Report on the building and ornamental stones of Canada, this dealing with the province of Quebec. This report also is very rich in detail, and contains much valuable information; attention may be directed to the beautiful coloured plates illustrating the appearance of some of the more notable of the ornamental stones, which are admirably executed.

IN the Tohoku Mathematical Journal, vi., 2, 3, Mr. Kichiji Yanagihara, of Sendai, discusses the history of the Pythagorean equation connecting the sides of a right-angled triangle in Japanese mathematics. Methods of obtaining integral solutions of this equation were given by Matsunaga (eighteenth century), Ammei Aida (1747-1817), who gave a table of the first 292 primitive solutions, Shôzô Kikuma, Tanehide Chipa (1830), and Sôhei Kaneko (1845). The theorem of Pythagoras was in constant use in Japanese mathematics, and many wasanists gave their demonstrations in their works, but owing to the lack of systematic establishment of geometry many of their demonstrations are found to resemble that of Bhaskara's "Behold" method in his Vija Ganita.

It is easily shown that the ordinary linear differential equation of the first order between two variables represents a family of curves such that the tangents at all points having the same abscissa pass through a fixed point on an associated curve S. This method was used by Czuber to obtain an approximate graphical solution of the equation by building up the curve out of consecutive small elements much after the fashion of the common construction for the logarithmic curve. In the Science Reports of Tôhoku Imperial University III., 6, Mr. Tetsuzô Kojima gives a method of obtaining a better approximation than that afforded by the original construction, and further employs

graphic methods of a similar character to the approximate solution of certain other first-order equations, including the general equation of the first order and second degree.

THE majority of recent researches on thermal radiation deal exclusively with stationary phenomena such as occur in a field when it has attained a state of constant temperature. In a note communicated to the Atti dei Lincei, xxiii, (2), 9, 10, Prof. T. Levi Civita has formulated a scheme applicable to the case of a variable field subject to given arbitrary initial and boundary conditions. The investigation is based on the assumption that energy of radiation is propagated with constant velocity, but that the specific intensity of radiation across any surface is not only a function of the temperature, but depends also on the direction of the surface. This hypothesis is necessary in order to account for the transference of heat from a hot to a cold region, Levi Civita represents this effect by the addition of a term in the expression for the intensity containing as a factor the temperature gradient along the direction of the normal. The analytical work leads to the deduction of an equation closely resembling that applicable to conduction of heat in a variable medium.

THE April number of Science Progress contains an article by Mr. F. Hyndman in which the recent work of Prof. Kamerlingh Onnes and his pupils on the high electrical conductivity of metals at very low temperatures is summarised. In the case of mercury the conductivity at 2.5° absolute is 1010 times as large as at the freezing point of water, but Ohm's law no longer holds the electromotive force required to drive the current increases a thousandfold for a 10 per cent. increase in the current. If the metal is tested in a magnetic field a small increase in the field may produce a similar large increase in the resistance. Dr. C. Davison, in another article, points out that increase of seismic disturbances along a geological fault may herald a serious earthquake and that attempts should now be made to foretell earthquakes in this way. In a further article Dr. J. Johnstone shows the uselessness of considering the organism as a thermodynamic mechanism, since it is continually arresting the increase of entropy which goes on in inorganic bodies. In an essay review of mathematical text-books the author directs attention to the need of mathematical books which will help men of science to use mathematics without having to wade through the presentday text-books, which seem only intended for the use of schoolboys and undergraduates.

PUBLICATION NO. 9 of the Central Meteorological and Geophysical Institute of Chile consists of a discussion by Dr. Walter Knoche of the Hertzian waves recorded at San Carlos de Ancud in 1913. The wireless apparatus employed gives a continuous record from which the number of Hertzian waves, or atmospherics, can be enumerated. Assuming the apparatus equally sensitive throughout the whole period, and the nature of the atmospherics always the same, the daily and monthly totals show remarkable variability. July had more than 16,900 occurrences, the total for

the year-allowing for failures to register-being about 40,000. One July day is credited with the enormous number of 8604. The winter months-the station is in 41° 52' S. latitude-showed the largest numbers. No clear connection was established with barometric pressure, temperature, wind, humidity, or cloudiness. Rain fell on almost all the days of greatest frequency; but 107 days of the mid-winter months, May to August, were rainy days, so no inference could be drawn. In winter there seemed a distinct increase of atmospherics on days in which thunder was recorded, but in summer this was not the case. The data, however, as to distant thunderstorms do not seem to have been altogether adequate, owing to paucity of stations. A series of tables shows the number of atmospherics recorded for each hour of each day from April to December. For the first three months of the year only daily totals are given.

THE damage done to telephone systems in the tropics by animal life was mentioned in the course of a paper and discussion published in the last number of the Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. The culprits are of all sizes, from elephants and giraffes down to white ants and spiders. Mr. W. Ll. Preece described how the giraffes in East Africa, when their progress is impeded by a telephone line, have not the sense to draw back or "duck" their heads, but push on and carry the wires with them--and sometimes the poles too. The only wood which is respected by white ants is teak, and instrument cases should be made of this or of metal. A telephone instrument was shown which had been persistently used as a hive by a swarm of "bee-like insects," who entered by the slot for the switch-hook, and formed a comb inside which they re-formed as often as it was cleared away by the engineers. Instruments and also insulators have an attraction for spiders, and are often rendered hors de combat by their webs, but apparently they leave glass insulators alone, although much trouble is experienced in this connection with the ordinary porcelain type. The webs get coated with dew, and the insulation resistance is brought down to a few ohms only. Sir John Gavey said that the trouble was not always caused by the spiders building their webs in the insulators themselves, but that, in the Argentine these insects breed in millions in the pampas grass; as soon as they come to life they spin a single web, which the wind carries across the country, and veils of these webs sometimes collect from pole to pole and cover the whole of the wires. Cases of beetles boring holes in lead cable and laying their eggs in them have also been well authenticated, and Mr. J. E. Kingsbury had an instance of moths making their home in a multiple switchboard cable. Finally, owing to the troubles which not infrequently occur in bringing difficult local conditions into line with the requirements of home administration, one speaker said that the engineer in charge ran the risk of becoming a mere "red-tape worm" himself.

A LONG and important paper on the compressive and flexural properties of a series of Scottish building and road stones was presented by Mr. Robert Boyle to the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland !

on March 23. Twenty varieties of stone, consisting of 211 specimens, were tested. The principal deductions from the tests on Scottish sandstones are as follows. The average ultimate compressive strength for specimens tested dry, at right angles to the bedding, was 479-4 tons per square foot. The average percentage difference in individual results for compression tests varied from 4.3 to 50-3, with a mean of the averages of 23.2 for sixteen varieties. The average percentage differences in individual results in bending tests were much less than in compression, whether dry or saturated. Plaster of Paris coating appeared to have no effect on the ultimate strength of the stone. The crushing strength, hardness, and specific gravity vary approximately as the lime and magnesia compounds, and the crushing strength and specific gravity as the percentage of iron oxides. The crushing and bending strengths vary directly as the specific gravity. The percentage ratio of absorption of water and the percentage porosity diminish as the specific gravity increases.

Engineering for April 23 gives an account of the Brooks Aqueduct, Alberta, Canada. This aqueduct forms part of the irrigation works of the eastern section; last year construction on this section was completed for the irrigation of 440,000 acres. The aqueduct is the first in which the hydrostatic catenary has been adopted for the shape of the water section; it has a length of 10,500 ft., and a capacity of 900 cu. ft. per second, and is the longest aqueduct yet constructed for carrying such a large quantity of water. The reason for adopting the hydrostatic catenary was that the total fall was limited to 4.85 ft. in 10,000 ft., and that consequently it was necessary to use this head to the very best advantage. The water section chosen is the most suitable, as it gives a maximum hydraulic radius for the given area, and a consequent low friction head. Structurally it is economical, for, when full, the shell is in simple tension and free from bending moments and shears. The idea of using this catenary for the water section is due to Mr. H. B. Muckleston, assistant-chief engineer, and it was adopted after experimenting with a full-sized model.

WE regret that by an accident at the printing office after last week's NATURE had been passed for press, the letter on "The Green Ray' at Sunset," appeared on p. 204 without the name of our correspondent, Mr. T. B. Blathwayt.

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