« ZurückWeiter »
lowed to, and is easily caught, while after dark I must corner it to catch it. I have heard it make no vocal sound save a slight squeak if accidentally hurt. It appeared to be fully adult when caught, but I have no other means of knowing how old it then was. It now acts as if feeling the effects of age. At first I tried feeding it grain, seeds, and green food. It would eat no green food that I gave it and would not touch water. For two years I have given it only dry barley or dry wheat and no water. It seems to prefer the wheat. It is a mystery to me how such an animal can live and thrive for years on dry grain without water or moisture in any form. Once or twice a year I empty its box and put in fresh, dry sand, and set the box in an angle in the hall where it is perfectly dry. I put nothing more in the box but dry grain and a little cotton to make a nest of, yet under these conditions it has lived three years. Many birds and animals do not drink water, or but rarely, but most such eat either green food, soft insects, or freshly-killed flesh, from all of which sources some moisture is obtained.
From where does my pocket-mouse get its moisture? Some seems necessary to make blood, replace water evaporated from the lungs and skin and other waste. F. STEPHENS.
Santa Ysabel, Cal., Nov. 22.
Confusion in Weights and Measures.
THE interesting article in Science Nov. 25, on "weights and measures in England versus the decimal and metric system," recalls to my mind the difficulties I once experienced in stating the value in grains of a U. S. gallon of water at 60° F. A telegram was handed me one morning, requesting the above information, and I requested the messenger to wait until I had written a reply. Much to my astonishment, there existed the greatest confusion among the authorities upon this simple point, and it took me several months of investigation before I could write a satis factory answer to the above telegram. Among the values noted were the following:
The report on Weights and Measures," by the Secretary of the Treasury (Senate Doc., 1857), says: "The gallon is a vessel containing 58372.2 grains (8.3389 pounds avoirdupois) of the standard pound of distilled water, at the temperature of maximum density of water, the vessel being weighed in air in which the barometer is 30 inches, at 62° F."
In view of all this confusion I thought it best to calculate a value for myself, basing my work upon the weight of a cubic inch of water as given in Barnard's “Metric System." My result was: "The U. S. gallon of distilled water at 60° F., weighed in air at 60° F., with barometer at 30 inches, weighs
Referring to this result, Dr. Rice, Chairman of the Committee of Revision of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, was good enough to say: Until further information is supplied, the value reported deserves preference before all others. It seems, however, highly desirable that this whole question of standards and relation of weight to measure, be finally settled by law, and preliminary to this, by a new scientific investigation which might be most suitably conducted under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences or some other representative scientific body.”
This U. S. gallon, of which we have been speaking, is, as is generally known, a survival of the old English wine gallon of 231 cubic inches, which has become disused in England since the Imperial gallon was introduced in 1826. It is not generally known, however, that although dignified by an apparently "standard" title, the U. S. gallon has no statutory existence whatever. In this lack of formal recognition the gallon does not stand alone, for not one of our common weights and measures, with the single exception of the " Troy" pound has any place upon the na
tional statute books. In 1873 an act was passed providing that “For the purpose of securing a due conformity in weight of the coins of the United States, the brass troy-pound weight procured by the Minister of the United States at London in the year 1827, for the use of the mint and now in the custody of the mint at Philadelphia, shall be the standard troy pound of the mint of the United States, conformably to which the coinage thereof shall be regulated." Thus even the troy pound is seen to have no official recognition for general use, but only for the special purposes of the mint.
It is curious in this connection to note that the metric system, as a whole, was legalized in this country by act of Congress of July 28, 1866. The act reads: "It shall be lawful throughout the United States of America to employ the weights and measures of the metric system; and no contract, or dealing, or pleading in any court shall be deemed invalid or liable to objection because the weights or measures expressed or referred to therein are weights or measures of the metric system." By act of Congress the Secretary of the Treasury was directed to furnish each State with one set of the standard weights and measures of the metric system." It is true that an act passed June 14, 1836, directed a distribution to be made to the several States of complete sets of all the weights and measures adopted as standards.” reference being made to the weights and measures then and now in common use, but it will be found upon inquiry that the expression "adopted as standards" refers to an action of the Treasury department made on the recommendation of Mr. Hassler in 1832, and not to any action on the part of Congress.
To quote from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury for 1857:
"The actual standard of length of the United States is a brass scale of eighty-two inches in length, prepared by Troughton of London, and deposited in the Office of Weights and Measures. The temperature at which this scale is standard is 62° F., and the yard-measure is between the 27th and 63d inches of the scale."
"The gallon is a vesssel containing 58372.2 grains of the standard pound of distilled water, at the temperature of maximum density of water, the vessel being weighed in air in which the barometer is 30 inches at 62° F."
"The standard of weight is the troy pound, copied by Captain Kater in 1827 from the imperial troy pound. The avoirdupois pound is derived from this; its weight being greater than that of the troy pound, in the proportion of 7,000 to 5,760.”
This troy pound was, as has been said, afterwards recognized by act of Congress, thus becoming distinguished from the other so-called "standards." WILLIAM P. MASON.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y., Dec. 13.
Is There a Sense of Direction ?
On the first of May last, my camping outfit started from Austin, Texas, bound for the north western part of the State. They went through the country, taking with them our camp dog, "Old Rock," a common cur.
Professor Cope of Philadelphia and myself joined the party at Big Springs, two hundred and fifty miles from Austin. Our destination was the upper Red River and the Staked Plains. We travelled northward along the foot of the plains, sometimes without a road, for about one hundred and fifty miles. Thence we went west one hundred miles, and thence south across the high plateau of the Staked Plains one hundred miles. Thence we turned east, crossing our former route at Clarendon, continuing southeastward to Archer County, a distance of one hundred miles. We then went southwestward seventy-five miles, and then back eastward to Archer and Montague Counties. From there we turned southward to near Dallas, where I disbanded my party, and started my outfit back to Austin, the last of October. We had been in the field six months. "Old Rock" had faithfully followed the wagon except at one time, when, his feet getting sore from travelling in the hot sand, he had been hauled for a few days.
After the outfit started for Austin and when at Hillsboro, one
hundred and thirty miles from Austin, they lost the dog. We had travelled, in a general way, around two sides of a triangle, and were now making the third when the dog got lost. A few days ago, one month from the time he got lost, the dog came back home, fat and foot-sore.
Now it was utterly impossible for him to have taken the back track and to have returned home by the way we went out. How did he find the way from Hillsboro to Austin, if he had no sense of direction? for he had never been over a step of the way between the two places. W. F. CUMMINS,
Texas Geological Survey, Austin, Texas, Dec. 2.
The Need for Popular Scientific Instruction on Oriental Subjects.
THE prevailing fad for the uncanny and the remote, having passed beyond the stages of spiritism and "Korashan science" into those of Neo-Buddhism and "theosophy," is rapidly taking shape as an eager curiosity for information regarding the religious and philosophical ideas, the literature and the customs of the fareast, coupled with a tendency to look there for a fuller light and a more perfect practical direction to life than the religion and science of Christendom can afford. They who look upon the cultivators of this taste as grossly astray from the path of reason and common sense must assign the source of the delusion to an ignorance of the real character of that Oriental civilization to whose meretricious fascinations they have succumbed.
Those, on the other hand, who are more or less in sympathy with the orientalizing movement will, if perfectly sincere, retort that the contempt for Oriental ideas, or indifference to them, which exists in various degrees among the greater public, results from the prevalence of gross misconceptions regarding them, and a lack of familiarity with the literatures which express them and the social conditions in which they are practically realized.
The two parties are agreed, therefore, that more light needs to be thrown upon the subject; that there is, in fact, a crying need among the people at large for accurate information on Oriental subjects.
The same antithetical concord, if I may be permitted the expression, exists between the defenders and opponents of the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Scriptures. Both urge the necessity of a wider diffusion of the results of recent Egyptological and Assyriological researches.
The world is becoming so small since the apparition of steam and electricity, in their protean applications, that the thought and life of one portion of it can no longer be a matter of indifference to another, even the most remote; and a man can no longer be considered cultured whose thought and sympathy are limited by the boundaries of a nation, the shores of a continent, or the formulæ of a cult. No religion, and no social conditions, can be considered otherwise than as anachronisms, which are unable or unwilling to bear an impartial comparison with all others of every country and every age.
And if a truly scientific conception of the history and needs and destiny of humanity be the great desideratum, it is clear at the first glance that it can never be attained until we cease to identify humanity with the little ethnic, or geographic or religious group to which we may chance to belong; and we can never cease to do this until we have become far more familiar than we at present are with those oldest and most powerful of civilizations which have their seat upon the Asiatic continent.
For the student of anthropology there are other and special inducements for the fullest possible exploitation of the Oriental lands and peoples. They alone have a known history of a sufficient extent to be of any marked value in unravelling the numerous problems connected with the history of progress and the phenomena of retrogression. It is the East which has afforded, or must afford, the key to the chief enigmas of ethnology, of philology, of archæology, and, above all, of hierology, or comparative religion. In India we can follow the trend of philosophical speculation, and the changes of religious thought and sentiment, either internally elaborated or exteriorly impressed, for a period
of not less than 3,200 years; the less intense and all-absorbing religion of the Turanians can be traced backward through more than six thousand years to the lowlands of Mešapotamia or the plateaus of the Altaï; and in relatively modern times we are permitted to witness in the history of Buddhism the successive metamorphoses of a great cult in the course of its transmigrations from country to country, from continent to island, from lowland to upland, from the monkhood to the people, from the Aryan to the Turanian stock, from an agnostic or atheistic to a pantheistic, a dualistic, a monotheistic or a polytheistic form.
The wonderful richness of this field for the student of the history of religions would suggest that if a medium of popular instruction in Oriental lore could be established, it might well afford expression at the same time to that fascinating and allimportant science.
A recognition of the needs, some of which I have here roughly outlined, has induced me to undertake the publication of a bimonthly magazine, whose object will be an impartial presentation, from every point of view, of all branches of Oriental science and every aspect of the comparative history of religions. I shall be glad to have the coöperation of all who are at all interested in these subjects. MERWIN-MARIE SNELL.
Washington, D.C., Office of the Oriental Review, 2,128 H Street, N.W.
IN a communication to Nature, issue of Nov. 3, W. Cassie points out the advantages of a proposed new notation for indicating algebraical operations. In addition to the oblique line for division (now in use in some English scientific works), another oblique line, from left to right downwards, is employed to denote an exponential operator. Thus the quantity which follows this sign is the exponent of that which precedes. In complex expressions the lines also perform a bracketing function. Besides these two marks the radical sign is used to denote evolution, and it is this which the writer deems inexpedient.
In algebra the employment of both radical signs and fractional exponents adds unnecessary confusion to a subject rather difficult in itself. There is no good reason - except that both are in use— why both should be retained. The fractional exponent notation, of course, must be kept, since it serves for all cases; and there is certainly very little justification for setting apart a special symbol for indices whose numerators are unity. I tested all the radical expressions given in the letter referred to and found no difficulty in writing them in the fractional exponent notation. Indeed, the figure 1 in the numerator might be omitted, being understood. The symbol resulting suggests the radical sign itself, only that the quantity precedes and the exponent follows the sign. A notation which avoids all special spacing and various sizes of type, writing all expressions in ordinary letterpress has certainly a worthy aim, and it would be a pity to burden it with an unnec essary symbol out of symmetry if not out of harmony with another. JOSEPH V. COLLINS.
Miami University, Oxford, O., Nov. 30.
Electric Phenomena on Mountains.
Two notes of great interest regarding this subject have appeared in this journal for Sept. 23 and Dec. 2. The phenomena of electric discharges from elevated points on the earth's surface were first noted, so far as I know, by a savant on the great pyramid in Egypt. As he stood on the pyramid with a bottle held at arm's length above his head, he heard the peculiar spitting and sputtering produced by the electricity passing from the bottle. The description by Mr. Stone is especially valuable, and shows the extreme importance of making careful observations. Close attention is being paid by the Weather Bureau to all manifestations of this kind on Pike's Peak. It is my impression that the origin of the phenomenon is not an electric cloud passing overhead but a discharge from, or to, the earth under an electric strain or change of potential. A mountain summit forms a point for discharge of electricity like a point on the conductor of an electric machine. On Mt. Washington this discharge frequently
continues all night. One frequently finds it impossible to sleep there though in the very best of health, and this is directly attributed to the electric discharge, this fact is noted by Mr. Stone. To my mind the most important line of investigation is that regarding the connection between this discharge and the agglomeration of vapor molecules into cloud particles. Experiments have already shown a most marked effect upon steam when an electric discharge is passed into it. On Mt. Washington there are dense clouds weeks at a time, while a mile or two from the summit the sky may be perfectly clear. A most careful study of the phenomenon has shown that it could not be due to the rocks of the summit being cooler than the air, as thought by many, for the rocks were always warmer than the air except on nights when there were no clouds. Nor could the persistent cloud be due to the expansion and consequent cooling of air rushing up the side of the mountain for the peak is a sharp cone at the last 500 feet and the cloud-hood extended on all sides to a mile or two. It would seem probable that a careful study with instruments of the phenomena of mountain electric discharges would shed a great deal of light on the exceedingly complex subject of clouds and rain-formation about which we know nothing except that the ordinary theories need thorough revision. H. A. HAZEN. Washington, D.C., Dec. 10.
A Multiple Key. - Preliminary Note.
IN psychological laboratories it is frequently desirable to make or break two or more electrical currents at the same instant.
Ewald's key solves this problem for the most simple cases, but a need for something more elaborate was felt. This led to the invention by Dr. Scripture and the construction in the work-shop of the Yale Psychological Laboratory of a multiple key which meets all present requirements. Ewald's key costs 20 marks; this one, made by the laboratory mechanic, of unlacquered brass, without platinum contacts, was made at a cost of less than $10.
It is arranged so that five currents can run through it. One, two, or three of these can be made and one broken at the same time. The other can either be made or broken at the same time or broken for an instant and then made again; or these makes and breaks can be adjusted so as to occur one after the other in any order. By reversing the key, it gives three breaks and two makes.
An illustration of the use of the key can be taken from one of the problems in reaction time now being investigated. A single movement of the key first breaks the shunt of the tuning-fork circuit and starts the time-marker vibrating on the recording drum; an instant later, say, .03 of a second, it closes a telephone circuit running to the reacting-room from the sound-room, thus producing the stimulus; it simultaneously breaks a current running through the registering signal on the drum and a closed key in the reaction room. This current is automatically closed again within .02 of a second, and again broken by the reaction on the closed key. As soon as the reaction takes place, the key is released and the tuning-fork curve stopped before the drum has made a complete revolution, thus saving all motion of the marker during the experiment, as well as space on the smoked paper. This not only saves much time, but also renders the records more legible and consequently more accurate.
New Haven, Conn., Dec. 19.
CHARLES B. BLISS.
Excitement Over Glacial Theories.
PROBABLY I have as much reason to be thankful for the frankness of Mr. McGee's letter in Science for Dec. 2, as for the courtesy of Dr. Brinton's previous review of my volume on "Man and the Glacial Period," for it doubtless gives expression to sentiments held by many persons in private, and it is better that I should have occasion to explain the misapprehensions which evidently prevail in some quarters. I beg, therefore, the privilege of your space for a brief statement of some points.
Mr. McGee refers to an apparent discrepancy between my observations on the rate of movement of the Muir Glacier and those of Professor Reid. If he had read Professor Reid's article care
fully he would have seen that the discrepancy is more apparent than real. Professor Reid distinctly states that there was a quar ter of a mile or more of width in the glacier which he was unable to reach with his stakes, and whose motion he therefore failed to measure, whereas by our method of taking angles directly upon the ice-pinnacles we were able to measure the portions which were presumably moving most rapidly.
As to my connection with the U. S. Geological Survey, the facts are that after I had, on the Pennsylvania Survey and at much private expense, mapped the glacial boundary from the Delaware River to Illinois, and published the results with considerable fulness, I was asked, in 1884, to complete the work to the Mississippi River for the U. S. Geological Survey and prepare a report on the whole line from there to the Allegheny Mountains. This I did, and the report was duly published in 1890. My formal connection with the Survey did not terminate until a month after the publication of my last book. I am not aware that any substantial error has been pointed out in my delineation of the southern border of the ice-sheet, which I was set to accomplish (see The Dial for Dec. 16, 1892).
The real point at issue relates to the question of the unity, or one might better say the "continuity" of the glacial period, and the disturbance all arises over the fact that I have been led to interpret the facts in accordance with the theory of glacial continuity, while Mr. McGee and some of his associates are committed to the theory that there were two or more distinct epochs. It is sufficient for me here to say that my conclusions are based on a large amount of field-work, and are supported by a respectable number of able geologists, and have recently been set forth at considerable length in an article in the November number of the American Journal of Science. In this I have not wholly disregarded Mr. McGee's science of geomorphy though I have not called it by that name.
Perhaps the best way for me to answer the charge of general ignorance will be to state in a few words the conception of the progress of events during the glacial period which I have been slowly led to entertain.
During the most of the Tertiary period the lands were low towards the pole and a warm climate prevailed. Toward the close of the Tertiary a slow elevation of these northern lands was in progress until they stood, say, 3,000 feet higher than now. This is shown by the fiords which characterize both sides of the continent from the latitude of Chesapeake Bay northward.
This elevation of land was probably the predominant cause of the glacial period, for the ice-movement in North America radiated, not from the pole, but from Labrador and the region about Hudson Bay. This elevation was accompanied by a rapid deepening of the river channels over the area and the consequent accumulation of detritus about their mouths.
Ice finally accumulated nearly a mile deep over the area north of the linemarking the "drift" and extending to New York City and Cincinnati. This accumulation of ice was coincident with, if not the cause of, a'depression of the land in the more northern portions several hundred feet below its present level.
The final melting of the ice proceeded with great rapidity, but with various halts and oscillations of the front. The period of oscillation of the glaciers in the Alps is something like half a century. The periods during the great ice age were probably much longer, but a few centuries seems ample to account for the longest. These oscillations are marked by what Professor Cook aptly called "moraines of retrecession," of which there are
twelve in Ohio.
Applying the principles of Mr. McGee's science of geomorphy, I explain the phenomena of slackened drainage which characterize the deposits along the extreme margin of the glaciated area as connected with the subsidence of the land increasing to the north, which marked the climax of the period, while the more vigorous signs of drainage action farther north are the natural results of the northerly re-elevation which went on synchronously with the unloading of the weight of the ice by melting. It is in these later stages of the deposition of ground that we find the remains of palæolithic man.
Whether this theory of the progress of events is correct or not,
it is based on wide observations of facts and long reflection on the elements of the problem, in which I have had the assistance and support of many able geologists, and they are views which cannot wisely be dismissed without careful consideration of the arguments upon which they rest. The theory is not without its difficulties; neither is any other. Geology is not an exact science. There is no infallible court of appeal for the settlement of theories. Observers and students of the facts may widely differ for a long time in their conclusions without discredit to either party. I can only ask for freedom of opinion and freedom of utterance. G. FREDERICK WRIGHT.
Notice of the Occurrence of Nyctale Richardsoni, Richardson's Owl, in Nebraska.
THE Occurrence in this region of Richardson's owl, Nyctale Richardsoni, seems to be entirely established by the recent capture of one in Lincoln. This is a long distance below its southern limit, and its appearance is something of a surprise.
However, Professor Lawrence Bruner, who has stuffed and mounted this rare owl, noticed one as a boy, twenty four years ago, near Omaha. Ornithologists at the time questioned the accuracy of his observations, but this specimen confirms the probability of his claim.
The present specimen, which is the first actually taken in the State, was captured on 33d Street, in the city of Lincoln, Dec. 12, and was brought alive to the State Museum. It lived but a short time, however, owing perhaps to injuries, or to the heat. The bird is an adult, in fine plumage.
The unexpected appearance of this inhabitant of Arctic regions seems the more striking from the fact that the weather in Nebraska thus far, barring one snow-storm, has been a mild, protracted autumn rather than winter. ERWIN H. BARBOUR.
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb., Dec. 14.
Vagueness of Localization in a Child.
The following are illustrations of the vagueness of the localization of cutaneous sensations in children. The one referred to is 16 months old. The morning after she had been vaccinated, and for a considerable time afterward, she was unable to tell on which arm the sensitive spot was situated, often looking at or touching the wrong one. On one occasion the child sat down with her back close to a grate-fire; as soon as the heat had penetrated the clothing, she began pulling at and striking her chest as though the sensation were there. M. SCRIPTURE.
New Haven, Conn.
CAN any of your readers furnish me with complete references on the use of the ballistic galvanometer for measurements of time? E. W. SCRIPTURE.
Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
The California Vine Disease. By NEWTON B. PIERCE Bulletin No. 2. Division of Vegetable Pathology, U. S. Dep't. Agric. Washington, 1892. 222 p, pl. 25, charts 2.
Report on the Experiments made in 1891 in the Treatment of Plant Diseases. By B. T. GALLOWAY. Bulletin No. 3. Division of Vegetable Pathology, U. S. Dep't. Agric. Washington, 1892. 76 p. pl. 8.
descriptions and plates of fifty-two species of grasses found growing on the Pacific coast of our country, including Alaska.
The California vine disease seems to have first appeared in the vicinity of Anaheim, Orange County, in 1885, but it did not attract great attention until the following year, when it caused the death of a large number of vines. From this, its first appearance, it has spread over a wide section of the surrounding country and has caused the death of many thousands of vines and entailed a loss of many thousands of dollars. Mr. Pierce, as the special agent of the Department of Agriculture, had spent two years in studying the subject when the present report was submitted, in June, 1891, and since then has continued his investigations. The report is an exhaustive one in many respects, an unsatisfactory one in others. For example, while he has given a very full account of the rise and progress of the vine industry in California and Mexico, and has examined with great care the bearings of soil conditions and of meteorological phenomena on the disease, the remedy for the evil, or even suggestions for palliation of it, are meagre in the extreme. It might be said, it is true, that as the origin and cause of the disease is still unknown, it is not possible to prescribe a remedy. Everything that has so far been tried has given negative results. Numerous facts have been brought out by the investigation. Among them may be noted that drainage, irrigation, soil characters, rainfall, and temperature have had no effect in causing the disease. But that shade has in some unknown manner the effect of retarding the progress of the malady. It has also been ascertained that the disease is not caused by certain species of fungi or by certain animal or insect parasites, and that it differs in several ways quite markedly from Chlorosis and Pouritiore as these occur in Europe. The colored plates that are given illustrate very well the effects of the disease on the leaves and canes.
The second of the titles above given is an account of experiments conducted in the vicinity of Washington and in New York State for the prevention of plant diseases. These experiments bear out the previous work of the department. They show that, in the treatment of black rot of the grape, Bordeaux mixture still takes the lead; and that half strength, i. e., 3 pounds of copper sulphate, 2 pounds of fresh lime, and 22 gallons of water, gives as good practical results as full strength. In the treatment of apple scab, Bordeaux mixture was also very effective, but not so much so as Paris green. This is a new fact inasmuch as this substance, while known to be effective against insects, has not been generally supposed to be a fungicide. There was a higher percentage of first quality fruits and a less percentage of third quality as well as wormy fruits when this substance was used than any other. The experiments in New York were largely negative. since the amount of disease present was comparatively slight. The subjects treated were various kinds of nursery stock, and here again Bordeaux mixture gave as a whole the best results. Two plates showing sprayed and unsprayed grapes bear testimony to the good effects of the treatment for black rot. The third title, "Grasses of the Pacific Slope," consists of illustrations and descriptions of grasses growing in California. Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Some of them are of value for forage, while others are of scientific interest only. This is Part I. of the second volume of "Illustrations of North American Grasses," the first volume, also in two parts, having treated of the grasses of the south-west. The reports cannot fail to be of great interest and value to all students of botany. JOSEPH F. JAMES. The author,
Grasses of the Pacific Slope, including Alaska and the Adjacent Comparative Architecture. By BARRE FERREE.
THESE three publications which have followed one another rapidly from the Government printing office are of diverse character. The first deals with the results of an investigation extending over two years into the character of an obscure but virulent disease of vines in California; the second records the results of a series of experiments to prevent the ravages of several plantdiseases in the eastern portion of the country; and the third gives
THIS is a reprint of a paper read before the American Institute of Architects at its twenty-fifth annual meeting, at Boston, in October, 1891. Il is handsomely printed in royal octavo, and covers fifteen pages in clear and pleasing type. In this discourse, the distinguished author applies to architecture the comparative method which has proved so fruitful in the study of language and of biology. "Comparative Architecture" takes "the facts of historical and descriptive architecture, and describes the comparative progress made by all nations, and under all conditions."
It is thought that thus "the rich results obtained by the com-
Energy and Vision. By S. P. LANGLEY. Washington, Nat.
THIS small volume contains, as is always expected of the papers of the distinguished astronomer and physicist, very important matter. The work was first presented to the National Academy of Sciences at its April meeting in 1888. It relates to the differing optical effects produced by waves of light of varying magnitude though containing equal energy. Two lines of research are marked out: the one to ascertain the quantity of energy in each ray; the other to measure the corresponding visual effect. In the first the "bolometer" of Langley is used to measure energy of various heat and light waves. Solar measures constitute the second. The result gives the value of equal amounts of energy at different points in the spectrum as affecting the retina. It was at once found that energy itself is not uniformly distributed in the spectrum. The gauge of energy was taken as the intensity of light required to read a table of logarithms; which method is thought more accurate than any of the usual photometric systems. It is found that the eye requires
CALENDAR OF SOCIETIES.
New York Academy of Sciences.
New York Academy of Sciences, Biologi
more time to regain its sensitiveness for violet light, after having
AMONG THE PUBLISHERS.
The tenth and concluding volume of the new edition of "Chambers's Encyclopædia" will be issued by J. B. Lippincott Co. in a few weeks. Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole writes on Swift and Turkey; Mr. F. T. Palgrave contributes the memoir of Tennyson and that of Wordsworth, Mr. Richmond Ritchie that on Thackeray. Sir W. Lawson treats of Temperance, Mr. R. W. Lowe of the Theatre, Mrs. Besant of Theosophy, and Mr. G. Howell of Trades-Unions. Mr. Hamerton is the author of the biography of Titian and of that of Turner, while Mr. J. Gray writes on Van Dyck. The article on Anthony Trollope is by his brother, the late Thomas A. Trollope. Mr. Vámbéry writes on Turkestan, Professor Shaler on the Geology of the United States, Professor J. Geikie on Volcanoes, Mr. Austin Dobson on Horace Walpole, Mr. Loftie on Westminster and Windsor, Mr. Fraser
Publications Received at Editor's Office.
GEORGE, HENRY. A Perplexed Philosopher. New York, C. L. Webster & Co. 819 p. 12. $1. HALE, GEORGE E. Ultra-violet Spectrum of the Solar Prominences; The Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago; Some Results and Conclusions Derived from a Photographic Study of the Sun. Reprints. Chicago, The Author. NEWTH, G. S. Chemical Lecture Experiments. London and New York, Longmans, Green & Co. 323 p. 8°. $3.
ress. Washington, Government. 366 p., pl. 85.
Reading Matter Notices. Ripans Tabules cure hives. Ripans Tabules cure dyspepsia.
MINERALS. Cabinet Specimens, Collections, and
material by the pound, for minerSend for 100-page catalogue, paper bound, 15 cents; alogists, collectors, colleges, schools, and chemists. cloth bound, 25 cents; supplement 2 cents. GEO. L ENGLISH & CO., Mineralogists. 723 & 735 B way, N. Y.
Life, by F. M. Chapman. Conclusions from study of bird (and mammal) life were (1) distinctness geologically of Lesser from and mainland since the appearance of the Greater Antilles; (2) independence of islands present fauna; (3) original connection of Indes to Central America by way of Jamaica, Central America at this time an archipelago created by passage leading from Pacific to Carribean Sea; (4) the older U. S. Navy Dep't Notes on the Year's Naval Progfaunal forms of the Indes represent sur vivors of the insular Tertiary species; (5) the newer forms are immigrants and become differentiated under new conditions of living. H. F. Osborn reported the discovery Dec. 19.-W. B. Scott, Fossil Hunting in in the Miocene of South Dakota of a horned the North-West. Artiodactyl represented by male and female skulls and complete fore and hind feet. The female skull is comparatively hornless and proves to be identical with Protoceras celer Dec. 12.-The following is a synopsis of Marsh. The male skull exhibits no less the papers: On the Miocene Deposits of the than five protuberances upon each side, or B White River, by Dr. T. L. Wortman. These ten altogether. Two of these upon the frontals and sides of the maxillaries are deposits were arranged in three groups, Lower, or Menodus, beds; Middle, or Orco- very small; the parietal, supra-orbital, and don, beds; and Upper, or Protoceros, beds. maxilliary protuberances are very promiThe Protoceros beds were regarded as in nent and hed, apparently, a dermal coverpart contemporary with the John Day beds ing, as in the giraffe. There are four toes of Oregon. On the Ilco-Colic Junction of in front and two behind, as in the early Procyon lotor and Allied Arcthoids, by G. S. Tragulida. The types were found by Dr. Huntington. The absence of caccum in T. L. Wortman, and are in the recent colProcyon was noted as repeating the condi-lections of the American Museum of Natural History. tion found in Hyena and the Ursidae. The provision for preventing return of contents of large intestine appears to consist in a series of constructions in the terminal part of the ileum together with increase in the circular muscular fibres in these situations as well as at the ilco colic junction itself. There is a complete absence of an ilco colic valve. On the Origin of West Indian Bird
Society of Natural History, Boston.
ACK NUMBERS and complete sets of leading Magazines. Rates low AM. MAG. EXCHANGE. Schoharie NV
RESTORE YOUR EYESIGHT
Cataracts, scars or films can be absorbed and paralyzed nerves restored, without the knife or risk. Diseased eyes or lids can be cured by our home treatment. "We prove it." Hundreds convinced. Our illustrated pamphlet, Home Treatment for Eyes," free. Don't miss it. Everybody wants it. "THE EYE," Glens Falls, N.Y.
NEW ARC LAMP