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analysis appear to be no better than the one found the method suggested for the analysis first mentioned.

of limestones, raw mixtures and Portland While in our judgment Mr. Richardson's cements, by the committee on uniformity in committee is all wrong, and will ultimately be technical analysis of the American Chemical admitted to be so, it is hardly to be expected Society, with the advice of W. F. Hillebrand.' that Mr. Eckel would do otherwise than he As a method of ultimate analysis of the subhas; nevertheless the book, addressed as it is stances named the method proposed is wellmainly to those who use cements, limes and nigh perfect; but for any purpose associated plasters, while well-nigh complete in other with the technical composition of cements, respects, is deficient in respect to furnishing cement mortars and concretes, it has no value a method of chemical analysis that will give whatever. results that enable one to distinguish good The authors of this book are not chemists, cements from bad cements.

hence they may be excused for any defects in We congratulate those seeking information the book involving a purely chemical problem; upon this interesting subject that Mr. Eckel nevertheless, with all the good qualities the has given them such a comprehensive and valu book possesses it is a defect that the book does able work.

not contain a scheme of chemical analysis by

means of which good cements can be distinA Treatise on Concrete, plain and reinforced; guished from bad cements and also by means materials, construction and design of con- of which the analyses of cements and cement crete and reinforced concrete. With chap- mortars and concretes may be correlated with ters by R. FERET, WILLIAM B. FULLER, one another and with the physical tests of the SPENCER B. NEWBERRY. By FREDERICK W. cements used. We believe the time is not far TAYLOR, M.E., and SANFORD E. THOMPSON, distant when those who use cement will be S.B., Assoc. M. Am. Soc. C. E. New York, brought to realize the supreme importance of John Wiley & Sons. 1905.

such a method.

S. F. PECKHAM. The preface of this work states: “ This treatise is designed for practising engineers Technique de psychologie expérimentale (Exand contractors, and also for a text and refer- - amen des sujets). In Toulouse’s ‘Biblioence book on concrete for engineering stu

thèque internationale de psychologie expéridents."

mentale. Toulouse, Vaschide et Piéron. As hydraulic cement is the basis of all con

Paris, 0. Doin. 1904. Pp. 335. crete structures, this announcement exhibits The scope of this work is much more limthe book as designed to inform and instruct ited than the first title would indicate; the those who use cement. While many of the subtitle indicates more exactly the ground technical and engineering problems involved in covered; yet the scope is still narrower than the use of cement in mortar and concrete are this at first suggests. The book does not, of of interest to us, we naturally turned to those course, attempt to condense into one small portions of the book devoted to the chemistry volume the whole subject of experimental of cements and cement mortars. A careful technique in psychology; it limits itself defiexamination of the book reveals an exceedingly nitely to the technique of ‘tests,' by which the interesting chapter by Mr. Spencer B. New- mental traits of individuals are measured. berry (a very successful manufacturer of But, further, the book makes no attempt to Portland cement), on the 'Chemistry of cover the already rather extensive literature Hydraulic Cements. We found nothing in of mental tests; it scarcely refers at all to this chapter especially designed to instruct the other authors. Its sole and consistent purusers of cement. We looked in vain through pose-a purpose which has guided the authors the body of the work for anything concerning in several years of experimentation, of which the analytical examination of cements, cement this book presents the outcome—is to formumortars and concretes. In an appendix we late a system of mental tests which shall take rank as the standard tests, and so introduce the conformity of all workers in the field to order into the existing confusion, and make any one set of tests. the future results of different workers in this

R. S. WOODWORTH. field comparable with one another. The prin- . COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. cipal difficulty to which the authors address themselves is the selection of materials and

SCIENTIFIC JOURNALS AND ARTICLES. conditions which can be described with such

The first number of Economic Geology, a scientific precision as to be reproducible from

semi-quarterly journal devoted to geology as the mere description by any other worker.

applied to mining and allied industries has For example, in a specially difficult test to

been issued under the editorship of John Duer standardize, that for sensitiveness to faint

Irving, of Lehigh University. The associate colors, the authors use aqueous solutions of

editors are: Waldemar Lindgren, Washington, analin dyes; light passes through the solu

D. C.; James Furman Kemp, Columbia Unitions, under definite conditions, to the sub

versity; Frederick Leslie Ransome, Washingject's eye, and his sensitiveness is measured

ton, D. C.; IIeinrich Ries, Cornell University; by the strength of the weakest solution in

Marius R. Campbell, Washington, D. C., and which he detects the color. This seems, on

Charles Kenneth Leith, University of Wisthe whole, the most ingenious of the authors'

consin. The contents of the first number are: innovations, of which there are many. In

“The Present Standing of Applied Geology,' addition to determinations of the least notice

Frederick Leslie Ransome; 'Secondary Enable sensations and differences in sensation,

richment in Ore-Deposits of Copper,' James the authors suggest a system of tests on mem

Furman Kemp; ‘Hypothesis to Account for ory, association, imagination, judgment, rea

the Transformation of Vegetable Matter into soning, attention, etc. They frankly point

the Different Varieties of Coal, Marius R. out the gaps in their system, which they are

Campbell; “Ore-Deposition and Deep Mining,' as yet unable to fill satisfactorily. A chapter

Waldemar Lindgren; 'Genesis of the Lake is devoted to the general technique of experi

Superior Iron Ores, Charles Kenneth Leith; mentation, the necessity of noting the condi

• The Chemistry of Ore-Deposition-Precipitation of the subject, and of excluding certain

tion of Copper by Natural Silicates,' Eugene subjects as unsuited to psychological tests,

C. Sullivan; Editorial; Discussion; Reviews; the proper attitude toward working hypotheses

Recent Literature on Economic Geology; and toward the literature of a question, the

Scientific Notes and News. necessity, in addition to quantitative tests, of less rigorous observation, which should, how- The American Museum Journal for October ever, be brought up as nearly as possible to is termed the Batrachian Number, its major the exact standard of experimentation. An portion being devoted to an illustrated synappendix of sixty pages is devoted to the re- opsis of the salamanders, toads and frogs that printing of tests which can be fully presented have been found within a radius of fifty miles in alphabetical or musical notation.

of New York City. The text is by R. L. DitIn view of the slack attention to standard mars, illustrations from photographs by Herconditions that characterizes much work in bert Lang, mainly of animals living in the psychology, this book should do considerable New York Zoological Park. W. M. Wheeler good. As the most serious attempt to present tells ‘llow the Queens of the Parasitic and a standard series of tests, it is worthy of at- Slave-making Ants establish their Colonies,' tention and a large measure of acceptance. and announcements are made of three courses It can not hope, of course, to be definitive, of lectures, for members, pupils and teachers, and, indeed, the authors repudiate any such in October-December. There are, besides, claim. More is to be gained, perhaps, by many notes concerning additions to the colinsistence on the general principle of standard lections and other features of interest at the and exactly reproducible conditions, than by museum. The figures of the batrachians are

excellent, the nearly life-size picture of a bullfrog that forms the frontispiece being par ticularly fine.

The special feature of the Zoological Society Bulletin for October is the announcement of the reception at the park of a young African elephant of the small-eared species, from West Africa known as Elephas cyclotis. Few realize that specimens of the African elephant are far more uncommon in this country than mastodons and it is quite probable that this specimen is the first of the species seen in the United States. Other interesting animals on exhibition are the great anteater, echidna, crested screamers and ruffs.

The Museum News (Brooklyn) for October has for its longest article an account of the rearrangement of the insect room at the Children's Museum, to better adapt it to the needs of teachers and children. The collections comprise a very considerable number of the local insects, examples of the largest and smallest insects in various orders, and instances of striking differences between the males and females. These are supplemented by small groups showing life histories, interesting habits, protective coloration and mimicry. There is an extended series of lectures at the Children's Museum for pupils. Various changes are noted at the Central Museum, in the main already announced in SCIENCE. An interesting addition to the collection illustrating variation is a group of eleven ruffs, Pavoncella pugnax, in full breeding plumage, showing the striking differences found among these birds.

greater than 1:160,000, it was found that even aqueous solutions of formaldehyde of 1:10,000 to 1:40,000 lose strength steadily on standing at room temperature, the loss being due to an actual destruction, and not merely to polymerization, of the formaldehyde; while when added to milk in the same proportion formaldehyde disappears ten to twenty times as rapidly as from water.

The hydrochloric acid and ferric chloride test is capable of showing 1 part of formaldehyde in 250,000 parts of milk. Sourness of the milk does not in itself diminish the delicacy of the reaction, but when milk is preserved by means of formaldehyde the latter will have largely disappeared before the milk becomes sour. Considerable data regarding the time required for the disappearance of the reaction is given.

The gallic acid test, applied to the distillate obtained from the milk after acidulation with sulphuric acid, is much more delicate than the hydrochloric acid and ferric chloride test, and gives more conclusive results with samples which have stood until the formaldehyde has largely disappeared. J. B. WHITNEY and S. A. TUCKER: Observat ions on the Preparation of Metallic Calcium by Electrolysis.

The method used was that of J. H. Goodwin, and the attempt was made to improve the yield of the metal. The electrolyte was molten calcium chloride. The apparatus used at first was similar to Goodwin's and the results obtained agreed satisfactorily with his. It was found that the proper temperature limits were so difficult to maintain that a new form of kathode was devised, in which the temperature of the iron rod was kept down by water cooling. With this improvement the vield of calcium was increased to sixty per cent.

A modification of the kathode was tried in which the iron kathode was inclosed by an insulated graphite bell, the object being to prevent the oxidation and chlorination of the calcium as formed, but it was not found to work well in operation. F. H. Pough,

Secretary.

SOCIETIES AND ACADEMIES. THE AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY. NEW YORK

SECTION. The first regular meeting of the season was held at the Chemists' Club, Friday evening, October 6, 1905. The program of the evening was as follows: R. H. WILLIAMS and H. C. SHERMAN: The

Detection, Determination and Rate of Disappearance of Formaldehyde in Milk.

l'sing a method which permits approximate estimation of any amount of formaldehyde

SAN FRANCISCO SECTION OF THE AMERICAN

MATHEMATICAL SOCIETY. The eighth regular meeting of the San Francisco Section of the American Mathematical Society was held at the University of California on September 30, 1905. During the morning session the following officers were elected for the ensuing year:

Chairman-R. E. Allardice.
Secretary-G. A. Miller.

Program. Committee-E. J. Wilczynski, D. N. Lehmer and G. A. Miller.

Seventeen members of the society were in attendance; in addition to these there were present a number of high school teachers of mathematics who are not members of the society. The following papers were read and discussed during the two sessions of the section.

PROFESSOR C. A. Noble: ‘Note on Loxodromes.

DR. W. A. MANNING: ‘Groups in which a large number of operators may correspond to their inverses.'

PROFESSOR M. W. HASKELL: "A new canonical form of the binary sextic.'

PROFESSOR A. O. LEC SCHNER: ‘On a new method of determining orbits.'

PROFESSOR ARTHUR RANUM: 'The representa tion of linear fractional congruence groups with a composite modulus as permutation groups.

PROFESSOR E. J. WILCZYNSKI: "On a system of partial differential equations in involution

PROFESSOR G. A. MILLER: The groups which contain only three operators which are squares.

PROFESSOR R. E. MORITZ: "On logarithmic in volution, the commutative arithmetic process of the third order.'

PROFESSOR L. E. DICKSON: “The abstract group simply isomorphic with the general linear group in an arbitrary field.'

PROFESSOR L. E. DICKSON: 'The abstract group simply isomorphic with the symmetric group

PROFESSOR M. W. HASKELL: ‘On a class of covariants which give rise to birational transformations.'

DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE. STEGO MYIA AND YELLOW FEVER-A CONTRAST.

The magnificent work done in New Orleans this summer and autumn in fighting the yellow fever outbreak on the sole basis of the transfer of the disease by Stegomyia fasciata, and which has resulted in the practical extirpation of the epidemic long before the first frost, has convinced the most stubborn among the citizens of New Orleans and many other cities and towns throughout the south of the fact that only in this way can an epidemic successfully be handled. The acceptance of what has been termed “the mosquito theory' is now almost universal, and this brings us to the contrast.

In the New Orleans States of May 2, 1902, appeared an article with the following scare headlines: “Taxpayers to Protest Against Passage of Anti-mosquito Ordinance. Has been Resurrected. A Meeting To-night. Property Holder Discusses Taxation without Benefit.'

In the body of the article the following statements are made:

An effort will be made to resurrect the antimosquito ordinance at the next meeting of the committee on police and public buildings to which are entrusted for consideration all questions pertaining to public health. The measure was introduced last November by Mr. Cucullu at the request of Dr. Q. Kohnke, president of the city board of health. The measure was not popular, as the taxpayers contended that its enactment was but another form of enforced taxation. * * * Because of its evident unpopularity, the promoters of the ordinance requested that it be not pressed, and for that reason it has remained untouched before the committee ever since.

In the meantime the endorsement of medical men and organizations has been sought with more or less success, so that now Dr. Kohnke feels that the chances are more favorable to call the measure up. * * *

But there are many taxpayers who are determined to resist the passage of the ordinance, and should it be defended by the committee on police and public buildings at its meeting next Monday evening * * * there will be taxpayers present who will strive to prove to Dr. Kohnke that the arguments in favor of this new venture are not so strong and convincing as he believes.

The next meeting of the section will be held at Stanford University on February 24, 1906.

G. A. MILLER, Secretary of the Section.

· A special meeting of this taxpayers' protective association has been called to be held this evening at 7:30 o'clock. * * *

* The passage of the proposed ordinance,' said a prominent taxpayer this forenoon, 'would be noth

he noth ing short of an outrage.?

I wonder what this 'prominent taxpayer' thinks about the ordinance now. It is a sad thing to suggest, but possibly he himself or some member of his family has died as a result of the senseless opposition, in which he took part, to a reasonable and public-spirited health measure.

In an evening paper of March 28, 1902, there appeared a note to the effect that a correspondent of the Associated Press had a talk with the State Health Officer of Texas, regarding the mosquito theory. He was reported as of the opinion that “The theory won't hold water, and stated that he would not accept it. He stated that he had been familiar with yellow fever from childhood and knew enough to keep rigid quarantine and disinfecting rules in effect.' A little more than a year later, however, he had a new lesson in the Texas outbreak of yellow fever in the late summer and autumn of 1903, and he too changed his mind in regard to mosquitoes.

L. 0. HOWARD.

absence of bacteria; but distinctly says, in the above quotation, that in the absence of the bacteria they dispense with the free nitrogen and take the nitrogen necessary for their growth in combination from the soil.

This is no new discovery, for Hellriegel, in 1886 and later, showed by decisive experiments that when the bacteria are absent, Leguminosæ, like other plants, can only take their nitrogen in compounds, and their growth, within limits, is a function of the combined nitrogen presented. In the presence of bacteria Leguminosæ can utilize the free nitrogen of the air, and build it up into organic compounds.

Before speculating on the possibility of the absorption of free nitrogen by human beings, it is well to remember that there is no evidence that higher plants can assimilate nitrogen of the air without aid of bacteria.

G. S. FRAPS.

THE POSSIBILITY OF ABSORPTION BY HUMAN BE

INGS OF NITROGEN FROM THE ATMOSPHERE.

Any one reading this article would conclude that it has been proved that plants can absorb free nitrogen from the atmosphere without the aid of bacteria, and that Dr. Wohltmann is a believer in this. The quotation which the writer gives does not bear out this interpretation of Dr. Wohltmann's work:

The association of the plant with the bacteria is not a necessity but an expedient, and whenever there is a rich supply of nitrogenous elements in the soil, they (the plants) dispense with the bacteria and with the free nitrogen, which the latter make available, by directly secreting it from the chemical combination of soil or air in which it is held suspended.

The italics are mine, but the translation is by Mr. Gibson. Dr. Wohltmann is far from saying that plants absorb free nitrogen in the

A TREE'S LIMB WITHOUT BARK. TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: In the summer of 1902 a large ash tree, some two feet in diameter, on the university campus was struck by lightning. The current, after knocking off a few branches, passed down on both sides of the main trunk leaving here merely two small furrows in the bark. From one limb, some six inches in diameter and perhaps ten feet from the ground, the bark all around was completely stripped for a distance of about five feet. To the surprise of some of us the leaves on this branch did not wither, nor fall to the ground till the leaves of the rest of the tree fell in the autumn. The next spring the leaves put out on this branch as on the rest of the tree; so again in 1904 and again the present year. In other words, the vegetation of this branch, wholly girdled for a space of several feet, differs from that of the rest of the tree only in being slightly less vigorous. The wood of the girdled portion looks much like a seasoned log of ash wood. The tree itself is rather less vigorous than the neighboring ashes, and will probably survive but a few years longer. Is it common for a limb,

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