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THE authorities of the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, at the request of several county education committees, have organised a series of short courses for teachers and others at the college during the month of August next. Classes in the following, among other, subjects have been arranged: geography and nature study, rural science, and hygiene and temperance. A special course in geographical survey, nature survey, and allied subjects will be held under the joint auspices of the Provisional Committee for the Development of Regional Survey and the Department of Geography in the Aberystwyth University College. Prof. H. J. Fleure will give a course of lectures on the geography of western civilisation, and Mr. W. E. Whitehouse courses on map-reading, and local climatic surveys. The course in rural science is intended primarily for teachers in rural schools, and will include lectures on agriculture and land surveying by Mr. A. E. Jones, on agricultural chemistry by Mr. J. J. Griffith, and on school horticulture by Mr. J. L. Pickard. All inquiries with regard to the summer school should be directed to the registrar at the college.
COMMEMORATION day at Livingstone College was celebrated on June 3. The former principal and founder of the college, Dr. C. F. Harford, who is at present an officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps, presided. The secretary of the London Missionary Society, in the course of an address, said the training given at the college enables men to look after their own health, and that is an important point. In the first ten years of the history of the London Missionary Society's mission in Central Africa, eleven of the missionaries died and six were invalided home, and with one exception were never able to return to their work. In the last twelve years there has not been a single death in the mission, nor a single case of a man being invalided home. The average term of service of the first ten men who were sent to Central Africa was well under three years; for the last ten men sent to Central Africa, already their average term of service is more than fourteen years, and their average age about forty. The men have learned what Livingstone College teaches, the care of their own health, hygienic conditions, the need for building their houses in a healthy position and not on the side of a lake because it is a beautiful spot, the need for trying to drain the land round their houses, to avoid mosquitoes, the need for taking care of their heads when they are out in the sun.
THE pamphlet entitled "Suggestions for the Teaching of Elementary Science, including Nature Study," just issued by the Board of Education (Circular 904, price 1d.), is intended to supersede earlier suggestions on the same subject. It is a clear and practical guide, which embodies the experience of the most enlightened teachers of elementary science, and particularly of nature study. The needs of both teachers and scholars are considered sympathetically, and no more gratifying recognition of the value of nature study has, so far as we know, ever been printed in this country. Experimental science is, of course, treated slightly in the earliest stages of school life, but the beginnings of all kinds of science are here discussed with knowledge and insight. Hints to those who are called upon to prepare lessons in nature study are much more abundant than in the earlier editions, and being both practical and engaging, may be expected to kindle enthusiasm for the work. Of the many distinct merits which we find in the suggestions before us, none is more salutary than the spirit in which they are conceived and expressed. The Board of Education does
much to encourage those who, during the last five-andtwenty years, have striven to improve school methods in elementary science, and we warmly recommend its counsels, not only to teachers in public elementary schools, but to all who teach children. Had the suggestions been locked up in a big report, we should have quoted some of the more remarkable passages, but the whole document can be bought for a penny and read in an hour; to enthusiastic teachers the task will be a pleasant one.
SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES,
Zoological Society, May 25.-Prof. E. W. MacBride, vice-president, in the chair.-S. Hirst: A minute blood-sucking mite belonging to the family Gamasidæ. The mite was found on Couper's snake in the Society's Gardens, and is described as a new species of the genus Ichoronyssus.-H. R. Hogg: The spiders of the family Salticidæ, collected in Dutch New Guinea by the British Ornithologists' Union and Wollaston expeditions. One new genus and eleven new species were described.-G. A. Boulenger: The snakes of Madagascar, Comoro, Mascarenes; and Seychelles. The fauna of these islands is remarkable for the absence of snakes dangerously poisonous to man, with the exception of two sea-snakes known from the western part of the Indian Ocean. The paper contained a complete list of the species known to inhabit these islands, with keys to the identification of the genera and species.-Dr. F. E. Beddard: Toenia tauricollis of Chapman and on the genus Chapmannia. Dr. P. Chalmers Mitchell: The anatomy of the Gruiform birds, Aramus giganteus, Bonap., and Rhinochetus kagu. It was shown that A. giganteus resembled A. scolopaceus very closely in the details of its muscular and bony anatomy, and that the genus Aramus, in these respects, was very close to the true
where q is 728077 × 10-3. The square of this numerical constant is p=5'30096 x 10-5. The charge e on an electron in E.S.U. is found to be, within o' per cent., 9px 10-6. The ratio e/m of the charge to the mass is found to be px 1022, with the same order of accuracy.-H. Moore: A method of calculating the absorption coefficients of homogeneous X-radiation. The action of X-radiation when passing through a gas is to liberate electrons from the gas. The number of electrons emitted by any atom in a beam of X-rays is proportional to the fourth-power of its atomic weight (or possibly its atomic number). Thus, equal numbers of atoms of different elements, when subjected to similar X-ray beams, will liberate amounts of electronic radiation proportional to the fourth powers of the atomic weights of the elements.
The absorption coefficients are proportional to the amounts of electronic radiation liberated, and, therefore, the absorptions of two elements, when equal numbers of atoms are present, will be proportional to the fourth powers of their atomic weights. The corpuscular radiation liberated in the vapour of an element if it could be obtained as a monatomic vapour at 76 cm. can be expressed as 1'05 x 105 x (atomic weight), taking the corpuscular radiation in air as unity. The absorption coefficient of such a vapour would, therefore, be this number of times the coefficient of absorption of air for the same type of X-radiation. The absorption of any element is proportional to the number of atoms present, and having calculated the absorption in a hypothetical vapour of this type, the absorption in the same element in any condition can be calculated by a simple density law. This is done for several elements (metals), and also, assuming an additive law, it has been calculated for some compounds. The agreement between the calculated values and the values obtained by different observers by direct experiment is close over a considerable range of radiations and absorbers.-Prof. O. W. Richardson: Two experiments illustrating novel properties of the electron currents from hot metals. The first demonstrates the cooling of a tungsten filament when an electron current is allowed to flow from its surface. This effect is analogous to the cooling due to latent heat when a liquid evaporates. An experimental lamp containing a fine filament of double tungsten is placed in one arm of a balanced Wheatstone bridge actuated by the current which heats the wire. When the electron current is allowed to flow, by completing a side circuit from an electrode inside the lamp to a point in the adjacent arm of the bridge, the galvanometer is deflected in a direction which corresponds to a reduction of the resistance (and temperature) of the hot filament. The second, in which a similar experimental lamp is used, demonstrates the flow of electron currents from a hot filament to a surrounding cylinder against various opposing P.D.'s up to about 1 volt. On account of the large currents from tungsten this effect can easily be shown on a galvanometer. The data can be used to find the velocities of the emitted electrons.-Prof. Ernest Wilson Experiments on high permeability in iron. 1. When iron is subjected to a strong magnetic force it has the effect of reducing the permeability and increasing the hysteresis loss for given values of the magnetic induction. The effect can be largely removed by careful demagnetisation. It was thought that the earth's magnetic force might also have a polarising influence upon exposed iron, and an effort has been made to remove it by placing the specimen in a magnetic shield, and carefully demagnetising it. The permeability corresponding to small values of the magnetic induction is thereby considerably increased, and the hysteresis loss diminished. After a long period of rest in the shield the permeability has diminished, and on taking the specimen out of the shield it maintains its high value. 2. As regards higher forces, the specimen in this case is not shielded, but is subjected to a magnetising force during the time that it is allowed to cool through the temperature of recalescence. Either with an alternating or steady magnetic force a maximum value of the permeability of more than 10,000 is obtained. The material has been tested in the form of laminated squares or rings. With straight strips 8 cm. long, 15 cm. wide, and o'053 cm. thick, built into the form of test pieces, the effect, though produced, could not be maintained, and the specimen with ordinary handling was reduced to the normal state.-T. R. Merton An experiment showing the difference in
Philosophical Society, May 10.-Prof. Newall, president, in the chair.-W. H. Mills: 1. The ketodilactone of benzophenone-2: 4: 2': 4'-tetracarboxylic acid. The synthesis of 1: 5-dibromo-3-isopropylpentane.-Dr. H. B. Fantham and Dr. Annie Porter: Further experimental researches on insect flagellates introduced into vertebrates. Herpetomoniasis can be induced in various warm- and cold-blooded vertebrates when the latter are inoculated or fed with herpetomonads occurring in the digestive tracts of various insects. The infection produced and the protozoal parasites found in the vertebrates resemble those of human and canine leishmaniases. An infection can also be induced in certain vertebrates when they are fed or inoculated with Crithidia gerridis, and both flagellate and non-flagellate stages occur therein, but no transition to a trypanosome was found. The following Flagellata have proved pathogenic to warm-blooded mammals when the latter have been fed, or inoculated subcutaneously or intraperitoneally with them: Herpetomonas jaculum, H. stratiomyiae, H. pediculi, and Crithidia gerridis. The hosts used were mice of various ages. That H. ctenocephali can infect dogs has already been shown by the authors. Herpetomonas jaculum and Crithidia gerridis have also been successfully fed or inoculated into cold-blooded hosts. namely, fishes (Gasterosteus aculeatus), frogs, toads, lizards (Lacerta vivipara), and grass snakes (Tropi donotus natrix). The authors believe that leishmaniases are arthropod-borne herpetomoniases, and that these maladies have been evolved from flagellates of invertebrates (especially herpetomonads of insects) which have been able to adapt themselves to life in vertebrates. Sir G. Greenhill Note on Dr. Searle's experiment on the harmonic motion of a rigid body.— W. A. D. Rudge: The electrification given to the air by a steam jet.
Royal Dublin Society, May 18.-Prof. Wm. Brown in the chair.-Prof. G. T. Morgan and G. E. Scharff: Certain preliminary experiments in the utilisation of peat tar. Specimens of peat tar obtained from the hydraulic scrubbers of a producer plant burning peat were distilled fractionally and subjected to a preliminary chemical examination. The distillates consisted in the main of neutral (non-acidic) oils, containing a notable proportion of unsaturated pounds. The presence of these unsaturated substances was manifested by the following properties: absorption of bromine or of atmospheric oxygen, decolorisation of permanganate and interaction with chromic or nitric acid. The fraction boiling at about 300° deposited, on cooling, crystals of wax melting at 35-42; this material, when thoroughly drained from oil, was almost colourless. On washing the crude oils distilled from peat tar with dilute mineral acid a small proportion of ammonia was removed, together with pyridine and other organic bases. Extraction of the crude oils with aqueous alkali hydroxides and subsequent treatment of the alkaline liquor with dilute mineral acid led to the separation
of a considerable proportion of acidic (phenolic) oil. This material was redistilled and divided into three main fractions. The first fraction (b. p. 100-200°), when emulsified with gum acacia and compared with carbolic acid in regard to its germicidal action on Bacillus typhosus, gave a carbolic acid coefficient of 7. The second fraction (b. p. 200-250°), under similar conditions, gave a carbolic acid coefficient of 17, whereas the third fraction (b. p. 250-360°) gave a coefficient of 31. The phenolic substances present in these fractions couple readily with p-nitrodiazonium salts, forming dark red azo-derivatives, and they also give distinctive colorations with a 4-triazo-3:5-dimethylpyrazole, a reagent which has been found to furnish characteristic colours with aromatic hydroxyderivatives (Morgan and Reilly, Trans. Chem. Soc., 1914, vol. cv., 442). These tests indicate that phenol oils' immediate homologues, the cresols, are concentrated in the fraction of lowest germicidal power, and that the active substances present in the two higher fractions are evidently more complex substituted compounds of phenolic character.-Prof. Wm. Brown: The subsidence of torsional oscillations and fatigue of nickel wires when they are subjected to the influence of alternating magnetic fields of frequencies up to 250 per second. The fatigue of nickel wire is increased as the rigidity is increased, and for a wire of given rigidity the maximum fatigue is not increased beyond a certain value when the frequency of the applied alternating magnetic field is increased nearly three times, but the fatigue takes place in a shorter period of time. In soft nickel wire there is a great difference in the subsidence of torsional oscillations due to the application of a longitudinal magnetic field and an equivalent alternating magnetic field, but the difference is small when alternating magnetic fields of frequencies 50 and 250 per second are applied.-Louis B. Smyth: On the faunal zones of the Rush-Skerries Carboniferous Section, Co. Dublin. This coast section was described and zoned by Matley and Vaughan in two papers (Quart. Journ. Geol. Soc., 1906 and 1908). Owing to the scanty and poor material collected, certain parts of the exposure were only tentatively assigned to zones. Further collection has now cleared up their position as follows:-Rush slates (lower) Z2, Rush slates (upper) and Rush conglomerate (lower) C,, Rush conglomerate (upper) C2, Carlyan and Kate limestones CS (a confirmation, in the main, of the former correlation). Lane limestone C,, Lane conglomerate C2, Holmpatrick limestone CS (all three previously placed in"? D of unknown position "). The Holmpatrick limestone is found to have a' fauna closely resembling that of CS beds at Arnside, Westmorland.
Academy of Sciences, May 31.-M. Ed. Perrier in the chair.-J. Boussinesq: The problem of the cooling of the earth's crust considered according to the method and ideas of Fourier.-Maurice Hamy: A reduction formula for prismatic spectra. Starting with the result of M. Salet that any wave-length A can be expressed with a high degree of approximation by the formula A-λ=h tan k(1-1), in which A., lo, h, k are constants and is the reading of the micrometer screw of the dividing engine used in measuring the photograph of the spectrum. A simplified expression for A as a function of is given, as precise as that of M. Salet, but much less laborious.-J. Guillaume: Observations of the sun made at the observatory of Lyons during the first quarter of 1915. Observations were made on fiftyeight days, and tables are given of the results, showing the number of spots, their distribution in latitude, and
the distribution of the faculæ in latitude.-Arnaud Denjoy The descriptive theory of numbers derived from a continuous function.-M. Glagolev: The spectrum of the homogeneous secondary X-rays.-A. Leduc Remarks on the proportion of oxygen in the atmosphere, according to MM. Guye and Germann. The author considers that 20-8 per cent. of oxygen found at Geneva is too low.-A. Boutaric : The velocity of reduction of potassium permanganate by oxalic acid. The reaction has been studied by a spectrophotometric method based on the absorption by the permanganate. Under the conditions of these experiments the logarithmic law does not hold true; the velocity of the reaction is not proportional to the quantity of permanganate existing in the solution.-Ph. Flajolet: Perturbations of the magnetic declination at Lyons (Saint Genis Laval) during the first quarter of 1915.-M. Salet: The law of dispersion of prismatic spectra. The measurement of the distance of a line is related to the wavelength A by the relation λ=a tan (bl+c) + d. The differences between the calculated and measured values of I are of the same order as the experimental error (0.002 mm.).-J. Wolff and Mlle. Nadia Rouchelmann : Oxidation and reduction phenomena in the chromogens of plants. Ch. J. Gravier: Phenomena of replacement after mutilation of corals from great submarine depths.
Electricity for the Farm. By F. I. Anderson. Pp. xxiii+265. (New York: The Macmillan Co.; London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd.) 5s. 6d. net.
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Emma Darwin : a Century of Family Letters, 1792-1896. Edited by her daughter, Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. Vol. i., pp. xxxi+289; Vol. ii., pp. XXV+326. (London: John Murray.) 21S. net.
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Fifty-third Annual Report of the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture of the State of Michigan, and Twenty-seventh Annual Report of the Experiment Station, from July 1, 1913, to June 30, 1914. Pp. 559. (Lancing, Michigan: Wynkoop, Hallenbeck, Crawford Co.)
Library of Congress. Report of the Librarian of Congress, and Report of the Superintendent of the Library Building and Grounds, for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1914. Pp. 216. (Washington: Government Printing Office.)
Library of Congress. A List of Geographical Atlases in the Library of Congress. Compiled under the direction of P. L. Phillips. Vol. iii. Pp. cxxxvii+ 1030. (Washington : Government Printing Office.) 1.25 dollars.
Contributions from the Princeton University Observatory. No. iii.: A Study of the Orbits of Eclipsing Binaries. By H. Shapley. Pp. xiv+176. (Princeton, N.J.: Observatory.)
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16.
ROYAL METEorological SOCIETY, at 4.30.-Discontinuities in Meteorological Phenomena: Prof. H. H. Turner.-Battle Weather in Western Europe, 9 months August, 1914, to April, 1915: C. Harding.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17.
ROYAL SOCIETY, at 4.37.—Probable Papers: Analyses of Agricultural Yield. II. The Sowing-date Experiment with Egyptian Cotton, 1913: W. L. Balls and F. S. Holton.-Soil Protozoa and Soil Bacteria: E. J. Russell.-The. Enhanced Series of Lines in Spectra of the Alkaline Earths: Prof. W. M. Hicks.-On Certain Linear Differential Equations of Astronomical Interest: Prof. H. F. Baker.-The Partial Correlation-Ratio: Prof. Karl Pearson.-The Effect of Temperature on the Hissing of Water when flowing through a Constricted Tube: S, Skinner and F. Entwistle.-And other papers.
DIARY OF societies.
THURSDAY, JUNE 10.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, at 3.-Method of Presenting Character in Biography and Fiction: Wilfrid Ward.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, at 5.-The History of the Gradual Development of the Groundwork of Geographical Science: Sir Clements Markham.
INSTITUTE OF ACTUARIES, at 5.-Annual General Meeting.
OPTICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-Note on the Achromatism of a pair of separated Lenses: T. B. Vinvcomb.-Optical Accessories: W. Salt.-Trial Frame Manipulation:-John H. Sutcliffe.
FRIDAY, JUNE 11.
ROYAL INSTITUTION, at 9.-Music and Poetry: Dr. H. W. Davies.
PHYSICAL SOCIETY, at 8.-The Coefficient of Expansion of Sodium:
MONDAY, JUNE 14.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY, at 8.30.-Expedition to the Karakoram and Eastern Turkestan: Dr. Filippo de Filippi.
TUESDAY, JUNE 15.
ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY, at 5.-Annual General Meeting. At. 5.15.The Multiplier and Capital Wealth B. Mallet and H. C. Strutt. MINERALOGICAL SOCIETY, at 5.30.-Detrital Andalusite in Cretaceous and Eocene Sands: G. M. Davies.-The Garnets and Streaky Rocks of the English Lake District: J. F. N. Green.-The Errors in the Angle of the Optic Axes Resulting from those of the Principal Refractive Indices Determined by Total Reflection: Dr. S. Kôzu.-The Meteoric Stones of Warbreccan, Queensland: Dr. G. T. Prior.-Autunite: A. F. Hallimond.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 1915.
THE MOBILISATION OF SCIENCE Na letter to the Times of June 11 Mr. H. G. Wells gives utterance to a plea which, unheeded in days of peace, may awaken a sympathetic response while the stress of war is upon the nation. In asking that faith in the man behind the gun shall not be made any longer an excuse for providing him with fewer or inferior weapons, he invites political leaders and the War Office to make the fullest use of scientific men and method in the conduct of the war. He asks for the appointment of an acting sub-Government of scientific and technically competent men which will organise our utmost resources of scientific knowledge and promote the employment of the most effective means of dealing with the enemy.
There are signs that things are moving in the direction which Mr. Wells indicates as the road along which triumph must be assured, and his letter should hasten the organisation of the the organisation of the scientific forces which will assist to this end. The publication of the total number of casualties during the last ten months ought to convince the nation that this war is one in which we cannot afford to give odds; and that all the force of scientific ingenuity and scientific organisation must be concentrated upon the military and naval operations. There are hundreds of men of science in the country whose energies and expert knowledge are not being effectively used. We should possess a scientific corps, with men investigating at the Front as well as at home, instead of one or two committees advising officials as to possible means of offence or defence. When a man of science of such distinguished eminence as Prof. J. A. Fleming can say, as he does in the Times of June 15, that after ten months of scientific warfare he has never been asked to co-operate in any experimental work or place any of his expert knowledge at the disposal of the forces of the Crown, though he is anxious to give such assistance, it is evident that the people in authority cannot understand the value of the scientific forces which it cheerfully neglects. Not a day passes but we are asked by men of science how they can devote their knowledge to national needs; and there is no ready answer. The organisation of the scientific intellect of the country is essential, yet almost nothing has yet been done towards its accomplishment.
It seems necessary, in considering how national
needs may be met, to separate the invention of new methods of offence or defence from an increase in the supply of high explosive shell which has loomed so large in the newspapers. The novelty of the conditions and the unconventionality of the methods employed in this war carry the first problem outside the grooves in which naval and military engineers have hitherto worked; and the united efforts of civilians and Service men will be required for its solution. The necessity has arisen for surveying the whole scientific field to discover methods of destruction which we may use ourselves or from which our men look to us for protection. It is not enough that the Government should call in a scientific expert to advise in respect of what has occurred; they must be ready to meet it when it does occur. Moreover, such intelligent anticipation ought not to be the special property of one department, and departmental rivalry or indifference ought to be smothered at birth by the appointment of a National Committee with a free hand and ample funds for experimental work.
Such an arrangement is the more necessary in order to prevent the diffusion of effort over too wide a field. Some men are already engaged upon investigations of first-rate importance and yet unconnected either with industry or war; and others are doing work upon which the maintenance of trade depends. It should be possible to secure a sufficient number of men of adequate standing without encroaching in any way upon those we have mentioned. For the war will bring its aftermath of international competition, and we might as well lose as neglect to prepare for it. We plead, therefore, with Mr. Wells for a central organisation which shall direct into the most useful channels that mass of scientific knowledge and skill which is only waiting to serve the country's need.
But valuable as the work of such a committee might be, it would not obviate the desirability of using technically trained men to a far greater extent than is at present attempted, in increasing the output of the ordinary munitions of war. The problem before the new Minister is a dual one, and the two factors are labour and organisation. No man can do more than Mr. Lloyd George in persuading the workmen as a body to recognise the importance of unity and the danger which arises from industrial disputes; and every speech he delivers is both an inspiration and a warning. But it remains to be seen how far he will be able to secure that smoothness and efficiency of