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though even there, where this connection is so clear, we should see at the same time how greatly the tops and sides of the long saddle-shaped arches of rock have suffered from subsequent waste. But among the contorted, inverted, and broken rocks of the Central Alps the task would be infinitely more difficult.

We could not advance far, however, in such a quest before observing that one feature stands out conspicuously enough among the mountains, viz., that whatever might have been their original outlines, these were most certainly not the same as those which we see to-day. No part of the history of the ground can be made more selfevident than that, since the birth of these mountains, millions upon millions of cubic yards of rock have been worn off their crests and ridges, and carved out of their sides. There is not a cliff, crag, or valley along the whole chain of the Alps which does not bear witness to this great truth.

If then, even when dealing with the young Alps, we cannot be quite sure what were their first or infant features, how impossible must it be to decide as to the early outlines of such immensely more ancient uplands as those which date from palaeozoic times! For, evidently, the higher their antiquity, and the longer, therefore, their exposure to ceaseless waste, the more must these outlines be changed. The general mass of land might still remain land, but trenched and furrowed and worn down, as the Alps are now suffering, until not a single vestige or indication of its first contour survived, the remaining portions being, as it were, merely the stump or base of what once was.

Now this is the position in which the question presents itself in Britain. The hills of the Highlands and Southern Uplands of Scotland, of the Lake district, and of Wales, are not mountains in the same sense as the Alps or Pyrenees, or other great continental mountain-chains. However much these long lines of elevated ground may have had their outlines modified by the universal waste of the earth's surface, their linear character, the general parallelism of their component ridges, the undulations of the strata along their flanks, as well as their internal geological structure, bear witness to the fact that they are but huge wrinkles upon the shrivelled globe—tracts which have been thrust up while the neighbouring regions have sunk down. But in Britain these characteristic features are wanting. In all probability there never was any true mountain-chain in our region. There is good reason to believe that in very ancient times, that is to say, previous to the Old Red sandstone, a wide plateau-like mass of land was upraised on the north coast of Europe, surviving portions of it being represented by the detached hilly regions of Britain and the great table-land of Scandinavia. The rocks underlying this upheaved tract underwent, at the time of elevation, enormous compression and consequent contortion. This could not happen without an infinite amount of resistance. The heat thus evolved among the grinding masses may have been amply sufficient even to melt them in part. And no doubt it was during this process that they became crystalline over such wide areas, and were injected with granite and other melted products. But all this had been wholly, or almost wholly,completed before the time of the Old Red sandstone, for the deposits of that geological system are formed out of the older altered rocks, and lie undisturbed upon them. Even now, in spite of all the subsequent denudation, the patches of old red conglomerate which remain show to what an extent the older rocks had been buried under it, for they are found rising here and there to a height of 2,000 or 3,000 ft. above the sea. But they prove further, not only that the contortion of the underlying rocks preceded the Old Red sandstone, but that these rocks hid suffered a vast extent of waste at the surface, before even the oldest visible parts of the conglomerate were deposited upon ihem. This waste has been in progress ever since.

We need not, therefore, hope to discover any vestige of the aboriginal surface. A geological section drawn across any part of the hills proves beyond question that the general surface of the country has had hundreds or even thousands of feet of solid rock worn away from it. Such a section shows moreover that our present valleys are not mere folds due to underground movements, but are really trenches out of which the solid rock has been carried away.

So far, this is a question of simple fact, and not merely of opinion. The language of Hutton may be literally true of Britain :—" The mountains have been formed by the hollowing out of the valleys, and the valleys have been hollowed out by the attrition of hard materials coming from the mountains." Our British hills, unlike the chains of the Jura and the Alps, are simply irregular ridges depending for their shape and trend upon the directions taken by the separating valleys. The varying textures ol the rocks, their arrangements with relation to each other, their foldings and fractures, and the other phenomena comprised under what is termed "geological structure," have greatly modified this result, but the process has nevertheless, as I believe, been one of superficial sculpturing, and not of subterranean commotion and upheaval. On the details of this process it is not needful to dwelL

From these cursory statements, which express, I believe, the general concurrent opinions of the modern Huttonian school, it should be clear how far that school must be from ignoring the influence of subterranean forces. Hutton himself never did so, and his followers now know far more of these forces than he did. But on the other hand, they claim for the surface-agents in geology a potency great enough to cut down table-lands into mountain ridges and gleus, 10 carve out the surface of the land into systems of valleys, and in the end to waste a continent down to the level of the sea.

(To betoutinufJ.)

ASTRONOMY AT OXFORD

"T\R. DE LA RUE having, in the course of last sum*-* mer, made a munificent offer of several astronomical instruments and apparatus, including a large reflecting telescope, to the University, the subject was brought under the consideration of the delegates of the Museum, who, at their first meeting in this term, appointed a committee to "report on the desirability of accepting the munificent offer of Dr. De La Rue to present to the University his celebrated reflecting telescope, on the probable cost of a building to receive the instrument, and on the precise purposes for which this instrument may be usefully employed, in distinction to the refracting telescope now being set up."

The committee, after full and careful examination of the whole subject, have sent in a report, to which they have unanimously agreed, and which the delegates recommended, with entire confidence, to the favourable consideration of the council. In consequence of this report, the following forms of decree will be submitted to a convocation to be held on Thursday, Nov. 27 :—

1. That the reflecting telescope and other apparatus offered to the University by Dr. De La Rue be accepted; and that the Vice-Chancellor be requested to return the thanks of the University to Dr.De La Rue for hismuiiificcnt gift. And that the curators of the University chest be authorised to pay to the delegates of the University Museum a sum not exceeding 1,500/., to be expended by them on the erection of buildings in the park suitable for the reception and use of the telescope and other apparatus presented by Dr. De La Rue, as also of the instruments at present in the small observatory on the east side of the museum, according to plans and specifications prepared by Mr. Charles Barry, architect, and adjoining the observatory now nearly completed.

2. That the curators of the University chest be authorised to pay annually to the Savilian Professor of Astronomy during five years, or until provision is made from some other source, the sum of 200/. for providing an assistant and defraying the expenses incurred in the maintenance and use of the instruments in the observatory, an account of the expenditure of such sum to be annually submitted to the auditors of accounts.

We cannot doubt that Convocation will sanction a

decre e which promises to make Oxford first in the field

in this country in the power of aiding the new astronomy

which is dawning upon us—thanks to the spectroscope

and the application of photography.

Such a position may not be thought much of now, but in the coming time Oxford men will refer to it as one of the things of which Oxford has the greatest reason to be proud.

NOTES

The Copley Medal and the two Royal Medals in the gift of the Royal Society, have this year been awarded as follows :— The Copley Medal to Prof. Helmholtz, the distinguished physiologist, physicist and mathematician, of Berlin; a Royal Medal to H. E. Roscoe, F.R.S., Professor of Chemistry in Owens College, Manchester; and a Royal Medal to Dr. Allman, Pro. fessor of Biology in the University of Edinburgh.

The Annual Meeting of the Royal Society will be held on December I, when, sfter dining together, the Fellows will adjourn to their new apartments.

A Deputation from the Council of the Society of Arts had an interview on Friday last with the Royal Commissioners of Scientific Instruction with reference to museums and galleries of science and art. The deputation consisted of Major-General F. Eardley-Wilmot, R.A., F.R.S. (Chairman of the Council), Mr. E. Chadwick, C.B., Colonel Croll, Mr. Hyde Clarke, the Rev. Septimus Hansard, Admiral Ommanney, C.B., F.R.S., Colonel Strange, F.R.S., Mr. Seymour Tewlon, with Mr. Le Neve Foster, Secretary. The Chairman of the Council stated that the object the Council had in view was to bring before, and ask the support of, the Commissioners to the action the society was now taking in reference to museums, and pointed out that this had special regard to the State giving increasing aid to existing museums, to aid in the multiplication of such museums, and rendering them available for educational purposes. He further pointed out the necessity for all such museums being placed under the control of a Cabinet Minister responsible to Parliament. He handed to the Commissioners a copy of resolutions embodying the views of the Council, stating at the same time that a large and influential committee was in the course of formation, and that a considerable number of members of both Houses of Parliament had already given in their names.

The first award of the Grand Walker prize of l,ooodols. was voted by the Council of the Boston Society of Natural History on October I, to Alexander Agassiz, of Cambridge, U.S.A., for investigations on the embryology, structure, and geographical distribution of the Radiata, and especially of the Echinoderms, and the publication of the results as embodied in his recent work. The Annual Walker Prize of 60 dols. for 1873 was at the same meeting awarded to A. S. Packard for his essay on the development of the common house-fly. For the Annual Prize of 1874, the subject is "The Comparative Structure of the Limbs of Birds and Reptiles." Memoirs offered for competition must be forwarded on or before April I, addressed to the Boston Society of Natural History, for the Committee of the Walker prizes, Boston, Mass., U.S.A., and each memoir must be accom

panied by a sealed envelope enclosing the author's name, and superscribed by a motto corresponding to one borne on the M.S.

Is the examination for Foundation Scholarships at Trinity College, Cambridge, to be held at Easter, 1874, one or more Scholarships will be obtainable by proficiency in the Natural Sciences. The Examination in Natural Science will commence on Friday, April 10, and will include the subjects set forth in the regulations for the Natural Sciences Tripos. It will be open to all undergraduates of Cambridge or Oxford, and to persons not members of the Universities, provided that these last are under twenty years of age. Candidates who are not members of Tr inity College musts:nd fheirnames to the Master, together with a certificate of age and good character, on or before Saturday, March 21.

We congratulate the University of Edinburgh on being the first in the United Kingdom to recognise the duty of universities so to frame their regulations for degrees in science as to encourage original work in opposition to mere book-knowledge. The University of Edinburgh has just issued a regulation that every candidate for the degree of Doctor of Science shall in future be required to submit a Thesis containing some original research on the subject of his intended examination, and that such thesis shall be approved before the candidate is allowed to proceed to examination.

Prof. Chevallier, for many years Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy in the University of Durham, died on the 4th inst., at the age of 80 years.

We team from Ocean Highways that Prof. Mohn, of the Meteorological Institute at Christiania, and Mr. O. Sars are preparing a plan for the investigation of the sea between Norway, the Faro Islands, Iceland,;and Spitsbergen, the expense of which will, it is expected, be defrayed by a grant of the Norwegian Storthing.

Dr. Rudolph E Wolf has recently published in the Vieruljahrschrift of the Zurich Society of Natural Science, the thirty-third number of his Astronomische Mittheilungen. The paper is important in reference to sun-spots chiefly, and as bringing out with great clearness the connection of these with variations in declination of the magnetic needle. The author gives a series of daily observations of sun-spots, during! 1872, made at Zurich, Peckelob, Minister, Palermo, and Athens. The mean relative number obtained is 1017; and for the years 1866-72 inclusive, the series runs thus :—l6'3,;7-3 (min. 1867), 37-3, 73-9, 139-1 (max. 1870), m-2, 1017. Dr. Wolf has constructed a formula by which the average yearly variations of magnetic declination, in a particular place, may be calculated from the relative sun-spot number (two constants for the place being given). In this way, for example, he obtains for Munich the quantity io'-8o as representing the magnetic variation for 1872 ; the number got from observation is 10'75, showing a close agreement. In the second portion of j his paper Dr. Wolf discusses several points connected with the history of the telescope, the vernier, the pendulum clock, &c ; among other things, attributing to Biirgi (who lived in the early part of the sixteenth century), a share in the discovery of the isochronism of the pendulum. The last portion of the paper reproduces some of the earlier sun-spot literature. The same number of Astronomische Nachrichttn contains a note by M. von Asten, furnishing evidence against the supposed identity of a cometary object observed by Goldschmidt on May 16, 1855, with Tempel's comet (1867, II.)

The recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science held at Portland, Maine, was considered on the whole a successful one. 157 papers were entered, and abstracts were received of all but nine; most of the remainder were passed by the sectional committees for reading, but a number of those that were read were not approved by the committees for publication, an example that might be very usefully followed in the case of our British Association. The general character of the meeting was stated to be decidedly scientific, and the discussions to have been carried on with good feeling, and free from personalities ; though complaint was made that less sympathy was exhibited on the part of the citizens with the objects of the Association than at any previous meeting. The next meeting will be held at Hartford, Connecticut, on the second Wednesday in August 1874, when a report will be received from a special committee appointed to revise the constitution of the Association with a view to a better carrying out of its objects. The general officers for the meeting will be Dr. J. L. LeConte, president; Prof. C. S. Lyman, vice-president; Dr. A. C. Hamlin, general secretary ; and Mr. J. W. Putnam, permanent secretary.

Dr. Beke writes to the Tinus as follows with respect to Dr. Livingstone :—" If the intelligence from the West Coast of Africa is to be depended on, we may very shortly expect the return of our great traveller, Dr. Livingstone, to his native country On the 1st and 4th inat. you inserted communications from me. to the effect that our countryman was detained a prisoner at a place about 300 miles from Embomma, on the Congo. According to the news brought by the last African Royal mail steamer, it was reported at St. Salvador that Livingstone was then in the interior, about 30 or 40 miles from that place. Now, as St. Salvador is only 80 miles (rom Embomma, the distance to the latter town from the spot at which, according to the later intelligence, our adventurous countryman was, is not more than 120 miles; and, Embomma being 70 miles from the mouth of the Congo, he would have been within 200 miles of the coast. As the hardy and energetic traveller is not in the habit of letting the grass grow under his feet, he may well be supposed to have come on nearly, if not quite, as quickly as the natives who brought the news of his whereabouts. Consequently, on the assumption that the intelligence received is founded on truth, we may not unreasonably look for the veteran traveller's arrival in England by the next mail steamer from the West Coast of Africa."

We learn from the Journal of the Society of Arts, that one of the first results in the rise of the price of coal has been the formation of a company in France, whose object is to utilise the power of the ocean tides on the French coast by proper machinery. The first experiment is to be made at St. Malo, where the tide rises nearly 80 ft., and overflows many square miles of flats.

Dr. George Burrows, F.R.S., has been appointed one of the Physicians-in-Ordinary to Her Majesty, in the room of the late Sir Henry Holland.

At a meeting of the Trustees of the Hunterian Collection of the College of Surgeons, held on Saturday, 8th inst., George Busk, F.R.S., was elected a member of the board, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of the Bishop of Winchester.

Dr. Lyon Playfair, C. B., F. R. S., M.P. for the Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, has been appointed Postmaster-General in succession to Mr. Monsell. Dr. Playfair was a pupil of Liebig, was formerly Professor of Chemistry in the University of Edinburgh, and was at one time Government Inspector-General of Schools and Museums of Science and Art. We hope the new Postmaster-General will endeavour to introduce something like scientific method into the postal department.

The promoters of the railway tunnel which is intended to cross the Mersey, the shafts for which have already been sunk, have always believed that they would have only a continuous

mass of solid sandstone rock to penetrate. A paper has just been published in the transactions of the Liverpool Geological Society for 1872, by Mr. T. Mellard Reade, C.E., of Liverpool, in which he contends that in all probability a deep gorge, filled up with clay or sand, will lie met with, being the [site of an ancient river or torrent formed in or before the times when England was covered with ice, and when its valleys were filled with glaciers. Mr. Reade believes that the ascertained data warrant the hypothesis, that before the boulder clays and othet recent strata were laid down, a river draining the land now drained by the Mersey flowed past Runcorn Gap, between land of some considerable elevation, to the sea.

We have received, in the form of a neat little pamphlet of 20 pp., price only one penny, an exceedingly interesting lecture on "How Flowers are Fertilised," delivered by Mr. A. W, Bennett, F. L.S., at Manchester, on the 5th inst. It is one ot a series of Science-Lectures for the People, published altrr delivery by Mr. Hey wood of Manchester; they are carefully and neatly printed, and judging from the one before us, purchasers have a very good pennyworth indeed. The enterprise is very creditable to the publisher.

Among the papers presented to Parliament, says the Times, relating to the South Sea Islanders, is a report by Captain C. H. Simpson, of Her Majesty's ship Blanche, giving an account of his visit last year to the Solomons and other groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean. While at Isabel Island. Captain Simpson, with a party of officers, went a short distance, inland to visit one of the remarkable tree villages peculiar, he believes, to this island. He found the village built on the summit of a rocky mountain rising almost perpendicular to a height of 800 ft. The party ascended by a native path from the interior, and found the extreme summit a mass of enormous rocks standing up like a castle, among which grow the gigantic trees, in the branches of which the houses of the natives are built. The stems of these trees lie perfectly straight and smooth, without a branch, to a height varying from 50 ft. to 150 ft. In the one Captain Simpson ascended the house was just 80 ft. from the ground; one close to it was about 120 ft. The only means of approach to these houses is by a ladder made of a creeper, suspended from a post within the house, and which, of course, can be hauled up at will. The houses are most ingeniously built, and are very firm and strong. Each house will contain from ten to twelve natives, and an ample store of stones is kept, which they throw both with slings and with the hand with great force and precision. At the foot of each of these trees is another hut, in which the family usually reside, the tree-house being only resorted to at night and during times of expected danger. In fact, however, they are never safe from surprise, notwithstanding all their precautions, as the great object in life among the people is to get each other's heads.

The additions to the Zoological Society's collection during the past week include an Alligator Terrapin (Cltelydra serpentina) from North America, presented by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington; a large Hill Mynah (Gracula intermedia) from North India, presented by Rev. T. Main; twelve Gray's Terrapins (Clemmys grayi) from Bussorah, presented by Captain Phillips ; a Changeable Tree Frog (llyla versicolor) from North America, presented by Prof. Rolleston ; a Ground Kat (Aulacodus s-ivinderianus) from West Africa; a Sharp-nosed Badger (Mela leptorhyncluis) from China ; a Telerang Squirrel (Sdnrus buolor) from the East Indies ; two Mantchuriau Crossaptilons (Crossaptilon mantchuricum) from North China, and two Bluerowned Hanging Parrakeets (Loriculus galgulus) from Malacca, purchased; an Agile Gibbon (Hylobales agilis) from Sumatra, deposited.

SCIENTIFIC SERIALS

THE November number of the Monthly Microscopical Journal commences with a paper by Dr. R. L. MaHdox on an organism found in Fresh-pond Water, which he thinks to be new. The accompanying illustration, as well as the description, shows that the monads under consideration are of the simplest structure, and amoeboid in character, of a violet tint, and highly refracting. They vary in size, and contain great numbers of little granular bodies embedded in the gelatinous matrix. The name Psaidoamaba violacea is proposed for the new form.—Mr. F. Kitton describes some new species of Diatomacex, including Aulacodiscus supcrbus from Barbadoes, and others of the genera Stictodiscui, Istkmia, Nitzschia, and Ttyilionella.—Mr. Carruthers answers Dr. Dawson's comments on hi* interpretation of the microscopic appearances of Nematophycus (Carruthers) or Prolelaxitcs (Dawson). As he remarks, the question whether the plant under consideration is a sea-weed or a conifer, is entirely an histological one. Dr. Dawson, in his sections of the fossil found "wood cells, showing spiral fibres and obscure pores ;" Mr. Carruthers finds "elongated cylindrical cells of two sizes, interwoven irregularly into a felted mass," and the latter observer substantiates the correctness of his observations and his drawings, which prove the accuracy of his views as to the affinities of the plant—Mr. J. J. Woodward explains the optical principles involved in the construction of Mr. Tolles' new immersion objective that has caused the contest between him and Mr. Wenham.—Dr. Braithwaite continues his description of bog mosses, treating of figuring Sphagnum ri^idum and 5". molle.— This paper is followed by one on the investigation of Microscopic Forms by means of the images which they furnish of external objects, by Prof. O. N. Rood, of Troy, N.Y., which gives an extremely ingenious and simple method of testing with certainty, when the refractive indices of the body examined and the fluid in which it is immersed, are known, of determining whether markings, as of Cescinodiscus triceratium, are depressions or elevations; by regarding the object as part of the optical system, and thence finding whether its influence is that of a convex or concave lense.

SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES

London

Geological Society, Nov. 5.—Prof. Ramsay, F. R.S., vicepresident, in the chair.—The following communications were read :—" On the Skull of a species of Halitherium from the Red Crag of Suffolk," by Prof. W. H. Flower, F.R.S. A description of ibis has been already given in Nature, at p. It, of the present volume.—" New Facts bearing on the Inquiry concerning Forms intermediate between Birds and Reptiles," by Henry Woodward, F. R.S. The author, after giving a brief sketch of the Sauropsida, and referring especially to those points in which the Ptcrosaurians approach and differ from birds, spoke of the fossil birds and land reptiles which he considered to link together more closely the Sauropsida as a class. The most remarkable recent discoveries of fossil birds are :—(I.) Archtcopteryx macrura |0*en), (II.) Ichlhyerms dispar (Marsh), (III.) Odontopteryx (oliapica (Owen). The author then referred to the Dinosauria, some of which he considered to present points of structure tending towards the so-called wingless birds. (I.) Compsognathus longtpes (A. Wagner), from the Oolite of Solenhofen. (II.) The huge carnivorous Megalosaurus, ranging from the Lias to the Wealden. The author next drew attention to the Frilled Lizard of Australia, Chlamvdesaurus A'ingii (Gray), which has its fore limbs very much smaller than the hind limbs, and has been observed not only to sit up occasionally, but to run habitually upon the ground on its hind legs, its fore paws not touching the earth, which upright carriage necessitates special modifications of the sacrum and pelvis bones. The Solenhofen Limestone, in which Pterosauria are frequent, and which has yielded the remains of Archceopteryx and of Compsognathus, has also furnished a slab bearing a bipedal track, r sembling what might be produced by Chlamydosaurus or Cempsegnathus. It shows a median track formed by the tail in being drawn along the ground; on each side of this the hind feet with outspread toes leave their mark, while the fore feet just touch the ground, leaving dot-like impressions nearer the median line. Hence the author thought that while some of the bipedal tracks which are met with from the Trias upwards may be the "spoor" of stru

thious birds, most of them are due to the bipedal progression of the Secondary Rept les.—" Note on the Astragalus of Iguanodon Manldli," by J. W. Hulke, F.R.S. The author exhibited and described an astragalus of Iguanodon from the collection of E. P. Wilkins. The bone was believed to be previously unknown. The upper surface presents a form exactly adapted to that of the distal end of the tibia, so that the applied surfaces of the astragalus and tibia must have interlocked in such a manner as to have precluded all motion between them. The author remarked upon the interest attaching to this fact in connection with the question of the relationship between the Dinosauria and Birds.—" Note on a very large Saurian Limb-bone, adapted for progression upon land, from the Kimmeridge Clay of Weymouth, Dorset," by J. W. Hulke, F.R.S. The bone described by the author presents a closer resemblance to the Crocodilian type of humerus than to any other bone, and he regarded it as the left humerus of the animal to which it belonged. The author refers it provisionally to a species of Ceteosaurus, which he proposes to name C. hunuro-cristatus.—A despatch from Mr. Alfred Biliotti, British Vice-Consul at Rhodes (dated June 16, 1873), communicated by H. M. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and relating to a volcanic outburst in the island of Nissiros, one of the Sporades, in which there existed a volcano supposed to be extinct. Shortly before June 10 new craters opened in this volcano, and from them ashes, stones, and lava were ejected; many fissures, from which hot water flowed, were produced in the mountain, and the island was daily shaken by violent earthquakes.

Royal Astronomical Society, Nov. 14.—Prof. Cayley, president, in the chair. Sir Geo. 'B. Airy, the Astronomer. Royal, explained the general state of the preparations for the transit of Venus. First, as to the selection of stations. He had originally selected five observing-stations, and in making his choice he had endeavoured to keep in mind what other Governments were likely to do. He had been induced to recommend another station in Northern India for the purpose of taking a series of photographic observations to be used in conjunction with the photographic records to be obtained at the southern stations. As the French would not support the station which he had selected in the Sandwich Islands, by an expedition to the Marquesas Islands, he had found it necessary to recommend to our own Government that there should be two subsidiary observing stations in the Sandwich Islands. The station which had originally been chosen was Honolooloo, at about the middle of the islands; the new stations were to be Ha-wai-i to the east and an island at the western extremity of the group. The three stations would thus be distributed over a distance of some 300 miles—a fact which would greatly add to their chances of fine weather. He had also been considering the propriety of establishing stations at Christmas Island, at Hurd Island, and in Whisky Bay, but at present they knew little of the chances of anchorage or fine weather at these places. The Challenger was, however, about to visit and survey them. It would then proceed to Australia, whence the results of their investigations would no doubt be telegraphed to England. As to the selection of stations in the extreme south, the Admiralty would have nothing to do with any station where there was no anchorage, and where there were no human beings. Any station which laboured under both disqualifications must undoubtedly be rejected as unsuitable. He felt himself borne out in this determination by the fact that other nations had adopted the same practical view in their selection of stations. The Astronomer Royal then enumerated and pointed out upon a globe the stations which had been selected : 8 American, 5 French, 4 German, 19 Russian, and 8 English, besides the private enterprise of Lord Lindsay. He then proceeded to give adescriptionofthenow well-known "black drop," which was sometimes described as being so large as to make Venus appear "pearshaped," at other times the illegitimate connection between Venus and the limb consisted only of a narrow black strap or band. The Astronomer-Royal had had a working model prepared at Greenwich with a black disc moved by clock-work. The black ligament, or drjp, came out as a very marked feature of the contact with the artificial limb. And he hoped that Capt. Tupman would be able, from a discussion of the observations of different observers with different telescopes, to determine in what proportion the phenomenon was due to the aperture of the telescope used, and to what he might call the personal equation of the observer. He then proceeded to explain how when Venus was upon the sun's limb measures are to be made of the common chord of Venus and the limb, and how these measures are affected by the formation of a "black drop " between the two images.—Lord Lindsay then showed some photographs of a model of Venus upon the limb, in which the "black drop " was photographed as a remarkable feature, fie pointed out lh.it« hi n the exposure was longest the "black drop" was most marked; and he showed that its size might be greatly reduced by using a stop which only permitted the rays from the central parts of the lenses to reach the plate. Dr. De La Rue said it was quite wonderful to see the amount of preparations which were going forward at Greenwich. It was not right to throw out such insinuations as Mr. Proctor had done about "official obstructiveness." Mr. Proctor's last paper in the Monthly Notucs wasa disgrace to the Society. In former days such papers never appeared.—A paper was read by Mr. Lassellonthe finding of longitude with small instruments.—Mr. Ranyard then read a note upon a remarkable spot observed by Pastorff upon l'e sun's disc of May 26, 1828. In June 1819 Pastorff ob-i ved a nebulous spot with a bright nucleus upon the sun, which has since been recognised as being the comet of 1819 projected upon the bright background of the photosphere. The drawing relerred to by Mr. Ranyard contained a similar though smaller nebulous marking, with a bright centre. His object in bringing the drawing to the notice of the society was to inquire whether any small comet or known meteoric stream was between the earth and the sun on May 26, 1828.

Anthropological Institute, Nov. 11.—Prof. Busk, F.R.S., president, in the chair.—Mr. T. J. Hutchinson, F.R.G. S., H.M.'s consul at Callao, read a paper on " Explorations amongst ancient burial grounds, chiefly on the sea-coast valleys, of Peru," Part I. The object of the paper was to describe the "huacas" or burial-grounds, especially those lying beweent Arica and the Huatica Valley, and to expose some popular errors respecting them. Every bit of old wall, every heap of gravel, mound of earth, large or small cluster of ancient ruins of any kind is there called a "huaca." The term huaca (Quichua) is synonymous with Quilpa (Aymara) and means "sacred ; " the title may therefore be considered as much applicable to the burying-grounds of Ancon, Pasamayo, and other places where there is no elevation above the country, as to those of Pando and Ocharan, large burial mounds in the valley of Huatica. The author proceeded to describe in detail the mode of interment and the various articles discovered. The celebrated Pacha- Camac was described. Along the whole course of the Huatica Valley—from Callao to Chorillos—a distance of ten miles direct or sixteen miles round by Lima, there is no natural elevation that could be made available as a sub-structure for those colossal burial mounds. He gave at considerable length his reasons for concluding that there was no "Temple of the Sun" and no "House of the Virgins" of the Inca religion, and that every huaca was not a "Huaca de los Incas."—Dr. Simms, of New York, gave a mest interesting and instructive communication on a flattened skull from Mameluke Island, Columbia River, and described minutely the practice ol flattening the head in infancy. In reply to questions put to him, he said that the flattening does not seem to cause pain ; that males and females are treated alike, although it had been supposed only males were so treated ; that flattening is not apparently transmitted from parents to children; and that, judging from the general intelligence of the native Indians, the practice does not seem in any way to affect the brain or injure the health of the people.

Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, October 7.—Edward Schunck, F.R.S., vice-president, in the chair. W. Boyd Daw kins, F.R.S., exhibited a fragment of a post struck by lightning on June 2, 1873. It was completely shattered, fragments being driven as far as the walls of the house, twenty-five yards off, and the downward direction of the loose splinters implied that the explosive force was exerted from below upwards, instead of from above downwards. Mr. Baxendell thought it was most probably due to the sudden conversion of a portion of the moisture in the post into steam of high tension by the heating action of the electrical discharge, and mentioned instances in which condensed vapour was said to have been seen rising from trees immediately after they had been struck by lightning.—" On the Relative Work spent in Friction in giving Rotation to shot from Guns rifled with an increasing, and a uniform twist," by Osborne Reynolds, M.A., Professor of Engineering, Owens College, Manchester, and Fellow of Queen's

College, Cambridge. The object of this paper was to show that the friction between the studs and the grooves necessary to give rotation to the shot consumes more work with an increasing than with a uniform twist'; and that in the case of grooves which develop into parabolas, such as those u<cd in the Woolwich guns, the waste from this cause is double what it would be if the twi=t was uniform. The following conclusions were arrived it by Prof. Reynolds :—

1. That when the pressure of the powder is constant,

Work spent in friction with parabolic grooves J
Work spent in friction with plane grooves ... 2

2. That when the pressure diminishes rapidly the al._>v; ratio = 2.

3. That this ratio may have any values between these two, but that it cannot go beyond these limits.

Paris Academy of Sciences, November 10.—M. de Quatrefarje?, president, in the chair.—The following papers were read :— An examination of the law proposed by Herr Helmholtz for the representation of the aclion of two elements in a current, by M. J. Bertrand.—Remarks on an historical point in relation to animal heat, by M. Berthelot—On the foundation of a meteorological observatory at the foot of the peak Du Midi by the Ramnnd Society, by M. Ch. Sainle-Claire Deville.—An extract from 1 letter from M. de Lesseps to Lord Granville on the projected Central Asian Railway. In the letter M. de Lessepi argued against the supposed danger of a Russian invasion of India, and expressed a hope that the Viceroy would permit his son and Mr. Stuart to commence their surveys.—On the structure of the teeth of the Helodermata and Ophidians, by M. P. Gervais.—Memoir on the problem of three bodies, by M. E. Mathieu.—Note on magnetism, by M. J. M. Ciaugain. This formed the fifth of the author's notes on this subject.— Researches on the absorption of ammonia by saline solutions, by M. Raoulu The auihor stated that the difference between the coefficient of solubility ol this gas in pure water and in saline solutions of the same salt is proportional to the weight of the salt dissolved in a given volume. —On the transpiration of water by plants in air and in carbonic anhydride, by M. A. Barthelemy.—New researches on the upward transport of nourishment by the bark of plants, by M. Faivre.—On the development of swellings on the rootlets of the vine, by M. Max. Cornu.—On certain cases of mtermittence of the electric current, by M. A. Cazin.—On a process lor finding the nodes of a sonorous tube, by M. Bourbouze.—On the presence and estimation of titanium and vanadium in the basalts of Clermont-Ferraud, by M. G. RousseL—A method of estimating sugar by means of iron, by M. E. Riffard.—Certain facts relating to the development |of bony tissue, by M. Ranvier.—On the Pemphigus of Pislacia tercbintkus compared with the PkyU loxcra qucrciis, by M. Derbcs.—On a new kind of fossil Lemur recently found in the Qucrcy deposits of tricalcic phosphate, by M. Filhol.—On the influence of the moon on meteorological phenomena, by M. E. Marchand.—On a method for the determination of the direction and force of the wind; abolition of weathercocks, by M. H. Tarry.

CONTENTS Pxcn

The Arctic Expedition Of 1874 37

Local Scientific Societies, II 3R

Hartwig's "sea And Its Wonders" 40

Our Book SliELr (i

Letters To The Editor:

Transfer of South Kensington Museum —P. L. Sclatiie, F.R.S. . 41

Deep-sea Soundings and Deep-sea Thermometers. —L. P. Casella 41

Squalus spinosus —C. Fox aa

Zodiacal Light.—E. H Pringle 43

Cold Treatment of Gases.—T. Guthrie 43

The Relation of Maa to the Ice-sheet.—Rev. O. Fisher, F.G.S. . 4a

Wave Motion .3

Elementary Biology j.

Black Rain and Dew Ponds.—E. Highton 43

Albany Hancock 43

Fertilisation Of Flowers, IV. By Dr. Hermann Mulllr {.With

IllHSlratUtu) .4

On The Science Of Weighing And Measuring, And The Standards Of Weight And Measure, VIII. By H. W. Chisholm, Warden

of the Standards (With Illustration) ...

Earth-sculpture. By Prof. Geikie, F.R.S 50

Astronomy At Oxford s,

Notes . . . .; |,

Scientific Serials A

Societies And Academies * 55

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