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or the revenues might be reduced or suspended. The teachings on certain subjects might be interfered with or controlled by the appointing power, and the appointments to positions would probably become political perquisites. Nothing more disastrous to the proper conduct of a university can be imagined, and an institution established under such conditions would soon cease to be a credit to the nation. We hope that the project will not prevail, not only for these reasons but for another. This is, that the Government has in connection with its departments various commissions and bureaus, which occupy themselves with original scientific research in connection with the various economic objects of their care. These should be continued and expanded if possible, and not, as is sometimes the case, weakened by insufficient appropriations. If the Government at Washington will support this work it will be doing more for education than any university can do, and will continue to add to its credit among nations in the future as it has done in the past.

-THE X-rays of Roentgen will prove of some utility to some branches of biological research by disclosing the characters of mineral substances enclosed within the walls of animals and plants. A good many characters of the skeleton, for instance, may be detected in specimens which cannot be spared for maceration, and other applications will occur to both botanists and zoologists. We present, as an illustration, a sciagraph of a species of sunfish (Lepomis), made by Messrs Leeds and Stokes, of Queen & Co., of Philadelphia.

-ANOTHER excellent journal, this time a French one, has been led astray by attaching too much importance to the romances of the American newspaper reporter. We refer to the story published some months ago by a San Francisco journal that a physician of that city had succeeded in grafting some snakes together by their tails. The fictitious character of the narrative is demonstrated by the statement that the said physician selected snakes in which the vertebral column does not extend to the end of the tail. If the editor of the journal had referred the question to the professors of the Museum of Paris, he would have learned that snakes of this kind exist only in the imagination of the author of the canard.

-WE published a statement some months ago that Mr. L. O. Howard of U. S. Dept. of Agriculture had discovered that the application of oil to water where mosquitoes breed, destroys both the eggs and the larvæ of those pestilent insects. We are reminded by an exchange that the alleged discovery was made by Mrs. Eugene Aaron in Phila

delphia. We were probably indiscreet in referring to Prof. Howard's observations as involving more than a modicum of "discovery." examination we find that the knowledge of this mode of destroying mosquitoes antedates not only his observations, but also those of Mrs. Aaron. The information has, however, not been generally disseminated until recently.

-THE American Society of Naturalists, at its last meeting, adopted a resolution commending to the public the importance of Antarctic exploration. A committee of three was appointed to take measures looking towards sending an expedition to Antarctica in the near future. At about the same time England and Australia joined in supplying the funds necessary for such an exploration of the land lying south of Tasmania within the Antarctic circle. The natural object of an American expedition is, of course, the exploration of Graham's Land, which lies due south of Patagonia. For the advance of knowledge of the physics of the globe, explorations of the polar regions are of the first importance; and the results to the history of its biology in past ages, will be scarcely less important. America has done her full share of Arctic exploration; and in the person of Commodore Wilkes made a beginning in Antarctic work. It is now fully time for us to resume this work, and it is to be hoped that the means of sending the expedition may be speedily obtained.

-THE Huxley Memorial Committee have raised the considerable sum of £1532, and are considering the uses to which it may be put. It has been resolved to erect a statue of Huxley in the British Museum, and to endow the award of a medal for meritorious work in biology. It is now desired that the amount may be increased for the purpose of creating another endowment. Should sufficient subscriptions be obtained in America, it might become appropriate that this new endowment should have its seat in this country. The scientific men of America hold in high esteem the biological work of Huxley, and there are many reasons why a foundation in his memory would be grateful to Americans.

RECENT LITERATURE.

Williams's Manual of Lithology' is written for the "beginner in the subject who wishes a thorough knowledge in the presentation of the subject, in a fuller and more compact arrangement than can be obtained in geological text-books. The arrangement is such that those who wish to continue the work in the microscopic analysis of rock forming minerals, as taught in petrography, will have nothing to unlearn."

The latter statement of the author is not quite true, for, in his classification of the rocks discussed, he places among the crystalline schists quartzite, pyroxene rock and olivine rock that present no traces of foliation. In the main, however, the classification is good. The rocks are divided into Primary Rocks and Secondary Rocks, and each of these groups is separated into "Divisions" in accordance with their chemical composition. Of the different families or "divisions" the effusive rocks are first described and then the intrusive ones. The Secondary Rocks embrace the Débris, the Sedimentary and the Metamorphic divisions, the first of which differs from the second in consisting of unconsolidated materials.

Nearly all the rock varieties recognized by petrographers are briefly described, and even many that are no longer recognized as distinct types. The descriptions are all based on macroscopic characters, but they are, in most cases, full enough to enable the user of the book to identify the type.

The terminology made use of in the description is somewhat different from that used in petrographical text-books, but, since it is employed in the description of hand specimens and not of their sections, this is to be expected. All the terms used are clearly defined, and many of the new ones introduced are perhaps needed.

The main faults to be found with the volume are that it attempts to discriminate between too many rock types, and that it contains too many rock names that have long since gone out of use. In spite of these faults, the treatise is a valuable one, and it should meet with success. The typographical work is excellent. The plates are from photographs, and are illustrative of rock structures.-W. S. B.

1 Manual of Lethology: Treating of the Principles of the Science, with Special Reference to Meguscopic Analysis. By Edward H. Williams. 2d Ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1895. Pp. vi, 418; plates 6. Price, $3.00.

2

The Corundum Deposits of Georgia. This preliminary report on the corundum deposits of Georgia, by Francis P. King, has been issued as Bulletin No. 2 by the Geol. Survey of that State. The importance of corundum in the arts, and the high price paid for it, together with the fact that Georgia ranks second in the Union in the production of this mineral, make the report of special interest. The introductory chapters give the history, varieties and associate minerals of corundum, succeeded by a brief account of the geology of the crystalline belt in which the mineral occurs and the distribution of depos its. Several pages are given to the economics, including natural and artificial abrasives. There is also a bibliography of the American literature upon the subject.

The map accompanying the report is well-colored, showing at a glance the different formations. The other illustrations are reproductions from photographs, showing out-crops of the mineral bearing veins.

Bailey's Plant Breeding.'-No man in the country, perhaps, is better prepared to write a book on plant breeding than the accomplished professor of horticulture in Cornell University, and it is a pleasure to find that in the preparation of the work before us he has not disappointed his friends. There is, as the author says in his preface, much misapprehension and imperfect knowledge as to the origination of new forms of plants, and much of what has been written on the subject is misleading. "Horticulturists commonly look upon each novelty as an isolated fact, whilst we ought to regard each one as but an expression of some law of the variation of plants." The author might have included in the foregoing many "botanists" as well as the horticulturists, for, unfortunately, it is true that many who call themselves botanists, and who hold positions in honored institutions, have not yet risen to a biological conception of the science which they profess to cultivate.

Among the topics treated in these lectures are the following, viz. : individuality, fortuitous variation, sex as a factor in the variation of plants, physical environment and variation, struggle for life, division of labor, crossing, etc.

The book should be in every botanist's library, and every teacher of botany will do well to make copious extracts from it in his lectures.

A Preliminary Report on the Corundum Deposits of Georgia. By Francis P. King, Bull. No. 2, Georgia Geological Survey, Atlanta, 1894.

3 Plant Breeding, being five lectures upon the Amelioration of Domestic Plants. By L. H. Bailey. New York: Macmillan & Co., 1895. pp. xii, 293, 12 mo.

The following, from page 135, will show many teachers that much may be learned from this book: "Some two or three years ago, a leading eastern seedsman conceived of a new form of bean-pod which would at once commend itself to his customers. He was so well convinced of the merits of this prospective variety, that he made a descriptive and "taking" name for it. He then wrote to a noted bean-raiser, describing the proposed variety and giving the name. 'Can you make it for me?' he asked. 'Yes, I will make you the bean,' replied the grower. The seedsman then announced in his catalogue that he would soon introduce a new bean, and, in order to hold the name, he published it along with the announcement. Two years later I visited the beangrower. 'Did you get that bean?' I asked. 'Yes; here it is.' Sure enough, he had it, and it answered the requirements very well." -CHARLES E. BESSEY.

RECENT BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS.

Annual Report State Geologist of New Jersey for the year 1894. Trenton, 1895. From the Survey.

BARBOZA DU BOCAGE.-Herpétologie d'Angola et du Congo. Lisbonne, 1895. From the author.

Baur, G.-Die Palatingegend der Ichthyosauria. Aus Anat. Anz., Bd. x, Nr. 14.

-Ueber den Proatlas einer Schildkröte (Platypeltis spinifer Les.). Aus Anat. Anz., Bd. X, Nr. 11. From the author.

BREWER, W. H.-Atmospheric Phenomena in the Arctic Regions in their Relation to Dust. Extr. Yale Scientific Month, June, 1895. From the author. BRONN, H. G-Klassen und Ordungen des Their-Reichs, Sechster Bd. V Abth. 42, 43 u 44, Lief. Leipziz, 1895.

Bulletin No. 30, 1894, and 31, 1895, Agric. Exper. Station Rhode Island College Agric. and Mechanic Arts.

Bulletin No. 44, 1895, Agricultural Experiment Station University of Wiscon

sin.

Bulletin No. 57, 1895, Massachusetts State Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletin No. 112, 1895, North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station. Bulletins Nos. 21, 22 and 23, Wyoming Experiment Station. Laramie, 1895. Bulletins Nos. 30, 31 and 32, Hatch Experiment Station, Amherst, 1895. Cambridge Natural History, Vol. V. Peripatus, Adam Sedgwick. Myriapods, F. G. Sinclair. Insects, David Sharp. London and New York, 1895. Macmillan & Co. From John Wanamaker's.

CAMPBELL, D. H.-The Structure and Development of the Mosses and the Ferns. London and New York, 1895. From the Pub., Macmillan & Co.

Check-List of North American Birds. 2d Ed. New York, 1895. From the Am. Ornithol. Union.

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