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The stability of tetryl: C. L. KNOWLES. The examined are, viz.: iodine, .603; bromine, 1.307; following is an outline of the paper: Historical, chlorine, 1.06. When we consider the very small general methods of preparation; general methods amount of bromine and the minute trace of iodine of purification; properties; most common impuri- found in the water of the ocean, it is indeed reties; causes of instability in tetryl; methods of markable that these animal organisms can thus testing stability of tetryl; action of sodium car- select and collect them from the large portion of bonate on tetryl; detection of sodium picrate in chlorine in the salt found there. We also note in tetryl; effect of sodium picrate on stability of this an explanation of the fact that these sponges tetryl; conclusions; references.

can only grow in "open ocean water." The manufacture of trinitroxylene: JOHN MAR- Quantitative determination of potassium as The paper included the following: Dis

bitartrate: SIGMUND WALDBOTT and FRED. W. cussion of preliminary experiments on the pro

WEISSMANN. This method was evolved in order duction of TNX; a study of the properties of a

to avoid the use of the expensive and difficultly mixture of TNX and TNT when cast together; accessible platinum chloride. It is applicable to a discussion of the fraction of xylene best adapted

mixtures of K. and Na-salts resulting from the to the production of TNX for explosive shell fill- regular analytical separation of other metals ining. The methd of nitrating; the nitration of cluding Ca and Mg. Principle of procedure: To pure meta-xylene; the composition of the mixed

the neutral solution of K. and Na-salts add Na. acid; the study of raw materials with particular

bitartrate in slight excess, evaporate to dryness, reference to the rectification of solvent naphtha

displace the water-soluble salts by means of water and the results obtained from the various ranges

saturated with cream of tartar at or slightly below of the xylene fraction; the relative suitability of

the temperature of the laboratory, then judiciously coke oven and water gas tar xylenes.

displace the cream of tartar solution by the care

ful addition of alcohol. A straight calcium chlorThe preparation of heranitro-diphenylamine and

ide tube containing a plug of cotton is useful in its use as a booster for shell charges : John MAR

these operations. Finally heat to 100° C. for 1 SHALL The following is an outline of the paper:

hour in a current of air, cool and weigh. Fair Historical; the preparation of dinitrodiphenyla- uniformity of temperature is essential for the mine; preparation of tetranitrodiphenylamine; ni.

accuracy of the method. tration of tetranitrodiphenylamine to hexanitrodiphenylamine; preparation of hexanitrodiphenyl

The properties of pyroxylin plastics : R. P. CAL

VERT and J. H. CLEWELL. amine by complete nitration of dinitrophenylamine

The extraction of potash salts from kelp char. with mixed acid; the neutralization of free acid

coal: J. W. TURRENTINE, P. S. SHOAFF and G. S. in hexanitrodiphenylamine; the explosive proper

SPENCER. The charcoal yielded by the destructive ties of hexanitrodiphenylamine; sensitiveness of

distillation of dried kelp is porous and readily yields hexanitrodiphenylamine to detonation; sensitive

its values, potassium and sodium chlorides and ioness to impact; sensitiveness to friction; rifle

dides when treated with hot water. In order to obbullet test; explosive power of hexanitrodiphenyl

tain a highly concentrated solution and at the same amine; effect as a booster; conclusions.

time efficient extraction, some counter-current sysThe composition of sponges: F. P. DUNNINGTON. tem was found to be necessary. A solution of the The common sponge, used in washing, grows in problem was found in the adoption of a number of some warmer ocean waters and consists of a net- mechanical filter presses connected in series with work of fiber-like material which is somewhat re- each other and with leaching troughs interposed. lated in composition to silk fiber. Sponge has

The brine from one press is pumped into the leachlong been known to contain the somewhat rare ele- ing trough of the preceding one, while the press-cake ment iodine, and occasionally bromine is men- from each press falls into the leaching trough of tioned as occurring with it; but little has been the succeeding one. Thus the brine is pumped up published about it that is definite. The author hill while the charcoal passes downward by grav. proposed to determine the exact amounts of iodine, ity. The two streams passing in opposite directions bromine and chlorine in some sponges from differ- counter-current extraction results. Filter presses ent sources, and specimens from Florida, Cuba and of the revolving disk type and known as the AmerBahama Islands were analyzed. The amounts of ican are employed. Filtration and washing are these elements in these specimens differ greatly, effected under vacuum and the press cake is but the average percentages for 'the four specimens broken loose by compressed air. The apparatus

shows high efficiency, is automatic and is regarded as eminently satisfactory.

"Kelpchar" a new decolorizing carbon prepared as a by-product in the extraction of potash from kelp: J. W. TURRENTINE, P. 8. SHOAFF and G. C. SPENCER. Following the researches in the laboratories, respectively, of Dr. F. W. Zerban, of the Louisiana Sugar Experimental Station and of the Experimental Kelp Plant, of the United States Department of Agriculture, it was shown that a carbon of high activity could be produced in large quantities from kelp, depending on the method of retorting. One-stage retorting was efficacious, under certain conditons but did not yield a product of uniform or even dependable grade. Two-stage retorting, however, did yield a product of constant properties and made possible the large scale production. Accordingly this method was instituted pending the determination of the optimum conditions surrounding the one-stage operation. The product of the retorting or destructive distillation of kelp, a porous charcoal, is leached with hot water to remove potassium chloride and iodide and the residue, in the form of a press cake, is treated with the required amount of hot, dilute HCl to dissolve out soluble constituents and is then washed with water to neutrality. It is then dried and sacked for shipment. The tank system of extraction at present is in use. Acid proof construction is employed. The material is transferred from tank to tank in the sludge form by means of pumps, and spent acid and water are removed by filtering in situ over vacuum. The product compares favorably with Norit on molasses solution being equal in value and shows great usefulness when applied to materials of widely varying characteristics. It offers every promise ultimately of meeting the requirements of the chemical industry for a carbon of the highest grade.

CHARLES L. PARSONS,

Secretary (To be continued)

demonstrated the ideal condition of gatherings where members live close together for several days. There were about seventy members and guests present at the astronomical sessions.

In opening the first session, Acting President Schlesinger referred to the great loss which the society had suffered since the last meeting in the death of Professor Edward C. Pickering, who had been president of the society for thirteen years, and who had been the leading figure at its meetings throughout that time. The society had also lost Professor Charles L. Doolittle, who had acted as treasurer from the founding of the society in 1899 until he retired in 1912. The following resolution, which had been passed by the Council, was endorsed as representing the sentiment of the members of the society, and was ordered to be printed in the publications.

The council of the American Astronomical society records with regret the death on February 3, 1919, of EDWARD CHARLES PICKERING, who had been president of the society since December 30, 1905. His success in introducing new methods into the observatory, particularly with regard to the determination of the brightness and the spectra of stars, his extraordinary ability in carrying out large projects, and the extent and diversity of his experience and knowledge, have given him a permanent place among the great names in the his. tory of science. The society will keenly feel the loss of his presence at its meetings. The members of the society had every reason to regard him as a warm friend, and to them the sense of personal loss is very deep.

The visitors at Ann Arbor were hospitably entertained by the University of Michigan, and especially by Director and Mrs. Hussey at the Observatory. There was also opportunity to join forces with the mathematicians at a smoker and a dinner. There was one joint meeting of the three societies, with the following program.

"Mathematics and statistics.Retiring address of the president of the Mathematical Association of America. Professor E. V. Huntington, Harvard University.

«The work of the National Research Council with reference to mathematics and astronomy.Professor Ernest W. Brown, Yale University.

Reports on the International Conference of Scientists at Brussels." Dr. Frank Schlesinger, Allegheny Observatory, Dr. L. A. Bauer, Carnegie Institution.

The time and place of the next meeting of the Astronomical Society was left to be determined by the executive committee.

Officers were elected for the ensuing year:
President—Frank Schlesinger.

Vice-presidents-George C. Comstock, Walter S. Adams.

THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL

SOCIETY
THE AMERICAN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

The twenty-third meeting of the society was held September 2 to 5, 1919, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where during the same week were also being held meetings of the Amercan Mathematical Society and of the Mathematical Association of America. Members of all three societies were housed at the Newberry Residence and at the Michigan Union, and the arrangements

Secretary-Joel Stebbins.
Treasurer-Benjamin Boss.

Councilors—Ernest W. Brown, Otto Klotz, Solon I. Bailey, W. J. Hussey, Henry Norris Russell, V. M. Slipher.

The program of papers was as follows: Variations of type in the Cepheid variables 1 Carinae

and n Aquilæ as shown by the general spectrum:

SEBASTIAN ALBRECHT. A systematic search for novæ at the Harvard Ob

servatory: S. I. BAILEY. On the change in the period of the variable star

Bailey No. 33 in the cluster M5: E. E. BARNARD. Remeasurement of Hall's star in the Pleiades: E.

E. BARNARD, Variable stars in M 11: E. E. BARNARD. On the varnishing of astronomical negatives: E. E.

BARNARD. Some observations of the total solar cclipse on May

29, 1919, at Cape Palmas, Liberia: L. A. BAUER. Hypersensitizing commercial panchromatic plates :

S. M. BURKA. (Introduced by C. C. Kiess.) Some recent developments in the study of SS

Cygni: LEON CAMPBELL. The spectra of variable stars of long period:

ANNIE J. CANNON. Atmospheric refraction near the horizon: GEORGE

C. COMSTOCK. Studies of class B spectra having hydrogen emis

sion: R. H. CURTISS. Fluctuations in the moon's longitude in relation to

meteorological variations : RALPH E. DELURY. Apparent relation between Chinese earthquakes

and California tree growths, 0-1680 A.D.: RALPH

E. DELURY. Levels of the Great Lakes in relation to numbers of

sun-spots: RALPH E. DELURY. Simultaneous spectroscopic observations of the rate

of rotation in north and south solar hemispheres :

RALPH E. DELURY. The periodograph and its application to variable

star periods and other problems: A. E. DOUGLASS. On the eclipsing variables RT Persei and U Cephei :

R. S. DUGAN. Preliminary results of a comparative test of the

100-inch and 60-inch telescopes of the Mount

Wilson Observatory: GEORGE E. HALE. Rates of the standard sidereal clocks at the U. S.

Naval Observatory: J. C. HAMMOND AND C. B.

WATTS. Note on the spectrum of Nova Aquilæ No. 3: W.

E. HARPER, The orbit of the spectroscopio binary Delphini:

W. E. HARPER. The orbit of the spectroscopic binary Boss 4507:

W. E. HARPER. A desideratum in solving Kepler's problem: H. A.

HOWE. The red and infra-red arc spectra of eight ele

ments : C. C. KIESS AND W. F. MEGGERS. Color-index of planets: EDWARD S. KING. Photographic observations of the Great Nebula in

Orion: C. O. LAMPLAND. Star tables good to the year 2000 for civil engineers

and navigators: H. C. LORD. Origin of the sun's heat: W. D. MACMILLAN. False spectra produced by gratings: W. F. MEG

QERS, C. C. KIESS AND F. M. WALTERS, JR.

Evidences of change in coronal structure during the

eclipse of June 8, 1918: J. A. MILLER. The masses of 32 visual binary stars: J. A, MILLER

AND J. H. PITMAN. Measures of double stars on photographs: CHARLES

P. OLIVIER. Shifting absorption at the heads of the brighter

helium bands in the spectrum of y Argus: C. D.

PERRINE. Methods of asteroid observation and reduction:

GEORGE HENRY PETERS. The great eruptive prominences of May 29 and

July 15, 1919: EDISON PETTIT. Studies in prominence characteristics : EDISON

PETTIT. The proper motions and parallaxes of 359 stars in

the cluster h Persei: HANNAH STEELE PETTIT. The spectroscopic orbits and dimensions of the

eclipsing variables U Ophiuchi, RS Pulpecule,

and TW Draconis: J. S. PLASKETT. Report on progress of work with the 72-inch tele

scope: J. S. PLASKETT. Annular eclipse of the sun of 1919, November 22,

as visible in the United States: WM. F. RIGGE. Direct micrometrical observations of the sun: E.

D. ROE, JR. The spectrum of the milky way: V. M. SLIPHER. All-American time: ELLIOTT SMITH, Progress in photo-electric photometry: JOEL STEB

BINS. Peirce's criterion: R. M. STEWART. The treatment of discordant observations: R. M.

STEWART. Tests of dyes for red and infra-red photography:

FLORENCE J. STOCKER. Experiments with Kapteyn's method for reducing

guiding error: R. TRÜMPLER AND FRANK

SCHLESINGER. Meridian circle observations of Nova Aquile No.

3: R. H. TUCKER, The use of semi-absolute photographic positions in

double star astronomy: GEORGE VAN BIES.

BROECK. Note on proper motions of certain long period

variable stars: ANNE S. YOUNG AND LOUISE F.

JENKINS. Three spectroscopic binary orbits: REYNOLD K. YOUNG.

JOEL STEBBINS,

Secretary

SCIENCE

A Weekly Journal devoted to the Advancoment of Science, publishing the official notices and proceedings of the American Association for

the Advancement of Science

Published overy Friday by THE SCIENCE PRESS LANCASTER, PA.

GARRISON, N. Y. NEW YORK, N. Y. Entered in the post-office at Lancaster, Pa., u second claw pada

SCIENCE

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1919.

THE GENERAL BIOLOGY COURSE AND

THE TEACHING OF ELEMENTARY CONTENTS

BOTANY AND ZOOLOGY IN

AMERICAN COLLEGES AND The General Biology Course and the Teaching

UNIVERSITIESI of Elementary Botany and Zoology in American Colleges and Universities: PRO

The general biology, or elementary biology, FESSOR GEORGE E. NICHOLS

.. 509 course originated with Huxley about fifty

years ago and was introduced into this counState Academies of Science: DR. DAVID D.

try by the physiologist, H. Newall Martin, one WHITNEY

517

of Huxley's earlier students. In the introResults of the Total Solar Eclipse of May 29

duction to Huxley and Martin's little textand the Relativity Theory: DR. A. C. D. book on Elementary Biology, Huxley states CROMMELIN

518 as his conviction “ that the study of living

bodies is really one discipline, which is Scientific Events:

divided into zoology and botany simply as a Investigations on Influenza; Problems of

matter of convenience"; that sound and Food and Nutrition; The Elizabeth Thomp.

thorough knowledge is only to be obtained by son Science Fund; Endowment of the Med

practical work in the laboratory”; and, furical School of Vanderbilt University; The

ther, that through the study of a series of St. Louis Meeting of The American A880ciation for the Advancement of Science..... 520

selected animals and plants "a comprehen

sive, and yet not vague, conception of the Scientific Notes and News

522 phenomena of Life may be obtained, and a

firm foundation upon which to build up spe University and Educational News .... 523

cial knowledge will be laid.” A more recent Discussion and Correspondence :

text-book (Sedgwick and Wilson's “ General An Appeal: PROFESSOR RAYMOND PEARL. Biology”) states that general biology “deals Somatic Variation: PROFESSOR LEON J. COLE with the broad, characteristic phenomena and AND JESSIE MEGEATH. Steindachneridion:

laws of life as illustrated by the thorough PROFESSOR CARL H. EIGENMANN AND ROSA

comparative study of a series of plants and SMITH EIGENMANN. Acoustic Effects of

animals taken as representative types." Wires : DR. HARRY CLARK

524

In the average general biology course the Quotations :

laboratory material is selected more or less The Harveian Festival of the Royal College

indiscriminately from both the plant and the of Physicians of London

526

animal kingdoms, but with animal material

greatly preponderant. The study of animals Scientific Books :

thus alternates with the study of plants: now Miyake's Entomology: Dr. L. O. HOWARD. 627

a few animals and then a few plants. The Special Articles :

aim of such a course is not so much to bring Germinating Freshly Harvested Winter out the fundamental characteristics of plants Wheat: GEORGE T. HARRINGTON

528 as plants and of animals as animals, but

rather to demonstrate that the two are merely

different expressions of matter in the living MSS. intended for publication and books, etc., intended for review should be sent to The Editor of Science, Garrison-on

1 Contribution from the Osborn Botanical Labor. Hudson, N. Y.

atory.

"

state and that the same broad underlying bio- a noted contemporary botanist: general biollogical principles are applicable to both. In

ogy

“is a kind of course introduced years ago deed there are some teachers who become so by the Huxley and Martin book and discarded inspired with the idea of biology as the study when botany became strong enough to stand of living organisms and with the prime im- on its own legs." portance of underlying biological principles For a number of years it has been the conthat their students, pondering over the vague

viction of the writer that a course in general structures and intangible phenomena of a biology of the type specified above ought not mysterious microscopic world, are led to lose to be offered to elementary students, either as sight completely of the fact that, after all, it a cultural study or in preparation for more is plants and animals they are dealing with advanced work in botany or zoology. It has something they have been familiar with all seemed particularly undesirable that in an their lives.

institution having both a department of There are some botanists and zoologists to botany and a department of zoology such a whom a general biology course means some- course should be given by one department thing quite different from what has just been alone. With a view to ascertaining certain described. It means two virtually independ- facts and securing a consensus of opinion ent, but consecutively arranged and more or regarding certain relevant problems, a quesless closely coordinated courses, the one in tionnaire on this subject was recently subplant biology or elementary botany, and the mitted to 105 botanists, representing 67 colother in animal biology or elementary zool- leges and universities, and to 65 zoologists, ogy: these two, alike in their pedagogical ob- representing 49 similar institutions. Replies jects but different in their material, being have been received from 86 botanists and 46 grouped together for educational or adminis- zoologists, representing altogether 66 institutrative purposes. But this is not the sort of tions. The present article, in the main, is a general biology course with which the based on these replies and on a series of 19 present article

deals. We are concerned letters relating to similar problems which was rather with the first-mentioned type--the type secured a number of years ago and courwhich, in no small degree at any rate, has teously loaned to the writer by Professor been responsible for the popular delusion that Margaret C. Ferguson, of Wellesley College. biology is the study of animals: that the To a very large extent the writer has acted words biology and zoology are synonymous. merely in the capacity of editor or compiler

Through the influence of Martin and his in adapting and coordinating the various instudents general biology obtained a rather dividual expressions of opinion set forth in strong foothold in this country. It has been these communications. Although quotation widely adopted by the high schools and was marks are seldom used, much of the subject given a place in the curricula of many col- matter in this paper has been quoted verbatim leges and universities. Abroad, however, so or with slight inodification. For obvious reafar as the higher institutions of learning are sons neither individuals nor institutions are concerned, it was not so favorably received. referred to by name. “In the universities of Britain, Germany and For present purposes American colleges and in most cases of France,” according to a universities may be divided more or less natprominent American botanist, "a biology urally into two classes : Class A, those which course has never been admitted or regarded as maintain distinct departments of botany and of sufficient thoroughness.” And even in our zoology; and Class B, those in which both own country, as will be pointed out in detail botany and zoology are under one head, the presently, the number of institutions of col- department of biology. Among the institulege grade which offer a course in general tions investigated by the questionnaire, 47 of biology has diminished greatly in recent those heard from belong to class A, 19 to time. To use the picturesque phraseology of class B. Of those belonging to class A there

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