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The source of Peter Martyr's information was undoubtedly Columbus himself, for we find the same fishing incident related, together with a more trustworthy description of a species of sucking-fish (probably Echeneis naucrates), in those fragments of the Journal of the second voyage of the great discoverer which have been preserved by his son Ferdinand, and by the chroniclers Bartolomé de Las Casas and Fray Andrés Bernádez.
Bernáldez, curate of Los Palocios, was a personal friend of Columbus, and had access to his Journals and other papers. Thirteen chapters of his history are devoted to the Admiral and his discoveries. In chapter 126 occurs an interesting passage relating to the Remora, which no doubt faithfully reproduces the famous navigator's own words. The only naturalist of modern times who has commented upon the incident in question, so far as the present writer has been able to find, is Alexander von Humboldt. Poey briefly refers to it in his description of the socalled Echeneis guaican, and Dr. Günther appears to doubt that the Remora was actually employed in the capacity narrated.
The passage in Bernáldez reads:-
"[At the Queen's Gardens, off the coast of Cuba]
FIG. 2.-The Remora or "Reversus" as described by Christopher Columbus. (After Conrad
on the day following [May, 1494] the Admiral being
"This our men did, and afterwards they took the canoe, and those in it, together with four turtles,
A Mistaken Wasp.
THE mistake made by the cabbage butterfly referred to in NATURE of May 20, appears to be made by other insects.
Quite recently (last week in April) whilst having lunch in a sunny room decorated with a light-coloured paper with a floral design of pink roses in full bloom, a large wasp entered and became very agitated; observing it for some little time, I noticed it alight every moment or so in the centre of one of the roses, remain a moment, then off again to another; it appeared to be getting very angry as it went from rose to rose, which it kept on doing during the time I was in the room-twenty minutes W. A. GUNN. Corporation Museum and Art Gallery, Dock Street, Newport, Mon., May 22.
THE PENGUINERY RE-VISITED.1
THE author's fascinating popular account of the
social life of the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) has been already reviewed in these columns, but the subject is of such great interest and Dr. Levick is such a consummate observer that we make no apology for turning to this second and more formal publication in the hope of adding to the completeness of the picture previously presented.
Apart from the observations made by the late Dr. Edward A. Wilson, which may be accepted, we are told, as "entirely correct," previous descriptions of the life of the Adélie Penguins have failed to do justice to these wonderful birds. About the middle of October they appear in ones and twos on the beach at Cape Adare, and by the end of the month there may be three-quarters
1 British Museum (Natural History). British Antarctic (Terra Nova Expedition, 1910. Natural History Report. Zoology. Vol. i., No. 2. "Natural History of the Adélie Penguin." By Staff Surgeon G. Murray Levick. Pp. 55-84+plates i-xxi. (London: British Museum (Natural History), and Longmans, Green, and Co., 1915.) Price 55.
FIG. 1.-A long line of Adélie Penguins approaching their breeding ground. From!" Natural History of the Adélie Penguin.'
Some of them stop on the low ground; others make straight for the cliffs and nest on the ledges. Dr. Levick found a colony established at the very summit, about 1000 feet above the sea, a site that involved a prodigious amount of labour
been built too low, and were in danger of being flooded in thaw time.
In connection with the mating, with its deadly but never fatal encounters of rival cocks and the quaint approaches that the victor makes to the
later on when the young had to be fed. Several journeys up and down had to be made in the twenty-four hours, and the up-journey meant about two hours' strenuous climbing. Very interesting in its prescience was the entire avoidance of an attractive knoll rising out of a shallow lake
coy hen, the observer proved by marking the breasts with paint that couples remain perfectly faithful to one another all through the breeding season. Careful watching of marked nests showed that the shortest period of fasting (between the arrival at the rookery and the hatch
ing of the chicks) is about eighteen days, and the longest about twenty-eight days. The reason for the close-sitting is to guard the stones of the nest from being stolen, and to guard the young wives from the attentions of strange cocks. Consequent on the abstinence from food the excreta around the nest are bright green-the colour of the bile, and without the red guano which is deposited after the birds begin to feed. They depend solely on euphausias, somewhat prawn-like crustaceans rich in zoonerythrin.
When the eggs are laid one of the parents goes off for some days (up to seven or ten), and on its return the other partner has a similar respite. When the chicks are hatched the alternations are
frequent. Very quaint is the way in which the parents often overload themselves with the euphausias with which they feed the young, so that they have to lean back to keep their balance. Sometimes the toil is too much for them, and they
to blame, of the "ecstatic attitude" and "chant de satisfaction which mark a high sense of well-being among the Adélies; of the toughness of the birds, seen, for instance, in their surviving being imprisoned for weeks in a superficially frozen snow-drift; of the puzzling "drilling on the ice," which may be a reminiscence of massing before migration; and of the autumnal farewell to the antarctic shores and the journey to unknown winter-quarters, the report itself must speak. The author has our felicitations.
THE ANTIQUITY OF HINDU
THE Panjabee of February 23 contains a report of a lecture on the antiquity of Hindu chemistry, given before the Punjab University, Lahore, by Dr. P. C. Rây, of the Presidency College, Calcutta, which is of interest as demonstrating the
lose all their take and all their trouble at the last moment. For the chicks will not pick anything off the ground, or eat save in the proper way by thrusting their heads down their parents' throats.
The rate of growth is astonishing. Thus the egg weighed 4'56 ounces, the newly-hatched chick 3 ounces, the five days' old 13 ounces, the six days old 1575, the eight days old 24'75, the nine days old 285, the eleven days old 37'75. When the chicks are about a fortnight old the parents "pool their offspring," leaving them in the care of domesticated individuals, while they enjoy themselves holidaying in the sea (Fig. 3) or on the ice. Of their touch-last" and "excursion steamer" games, of their mortal fear of the voracious sea-leopard (Hydrurga leptonyx)-their only enemy in adult life save man and his dogs, of the high mortality among the young for which the voracious skuas and the vicious cocks are largely
origin of Indian chemistry and the influence of Hindu learning upon that of the Arabs and of European nations. Two thousand five hundred years ago the Hindus were skilled in the examination and valuation of gold and gems; in a knowledge of the colouring of gems and jewels, and in certain metallurgical processes. Long before the age of Paracelsus they recognised that chemistry was the handmaid of medicine, and that its development was intimately bound up with progress in the art of healing. As with the Iatro-chemists, Hindu chemistry became, for a time, the chemistry of mercury. In the Sarvadarsansamgraha of Madhavacharyya the chemistry of mercury ranks, indeed, as a separate system of philosophy. "By the science of mercury is to be understood not only a branch of chemistry, but as applicable even to salvation, since the partaking of mercurial preparations renders the body imperishable."
which we may infer that the Hindus were aware not only of the therapeutic virtues of mercurials, but had recognised their remarkable antiseptic and preservative properties. In fact, according to Dr. Rây, the history of Hindu chemistry is emphatically the history of the progress of chemical operations grouped round the preparations of mercury. So much is this the case that in ascertaining the age of a medical work or of a chemical Tantra it may be laid down as a fairly safe guide whether any mention of the use of mercury occurs in it, and, if so, in what particular form.
Dr. Ray gives a number of instances in which discoveries usually considered of Western origin are to be found noted in old Hindu treatises, such as those of Vrinda and Chakrapani. The Tantra, the "Rasarnava" (about 1200 A.D.), is a repository of chemical lore, with elaborate directions and details of the construction of apparatus, furnaces, hearths, etc., required for distillation, sublimation, calcination, extraction of metals, etc., and shows remarkable powers of keen and accurate observation, The necessity for experiments is strictly enjoined in most of these old works, and the value of the Baconian method and of the precepts of the "experimentarian philosophers" of the Royal Society of Charles II. was long ago recognised and appreciated by their Indian predecessors. Even the influence of the experimental method on teaching was not lost sight of. "They alone," says Dhundhukanatha, are to be regarded as real teachers who can show by experiments what they teach. They are the deserving pupils who, having learned the experiments from their teachers, can actually perform them. rest, both the teachers and pupils, are merely stage actors.'
Verily one generation passeth away and another generation cometh, and there is no new thing under the sun.
THE SUPPLY OF OPTICAL GLASS AND INSTRUMENTS.
OPTICAL matters, and technical education
generally, continue to claim their share of public attention. Following upon the article which appeared in our issue of May 6 (p. 266) on the supply of optical glass, we had the important debate, published verbatim in our last issue, on the proposed Advisory Council on Industrial Research which arose on the education estimates. More recently, on the motion for the Whitsuntide adjournment on May 19, an important speech, which was entirely devoted to optical matters, was made by Sir Philip Magnus. The speech, so far as it related to the supply of optical glass, necessarily traversed the ground covered by our article of May 6, but added specific instances of the German "wire entanglements woven round the optical trade.
The speech, however, went further, and dealt with the supply of optical instruments, treating in detail the economic and educational aspects of the question. On the economic side it was laid down
as an axiom "that what is essential to the safety of the realm must be produced within the Empire." The questions of high tariff and of a bonus on production were referred to, but the suggestion most favoured advocated that it be an enforced condition of all Government contracts that every part of the optical instruments contracted for should be made in this country. With the Government trade thus secured, it was argued that German attempts to capture the whole industry must fail.
On the educational side, the country's requirements, which are well known to our readers, were summarised, but perhaps too little was made of the necessity, which is strongly supported by leading experts, for the provision of, at least, one place where the whole range, from the lowest to the highest, of teaching in applied optics shall be available. The final suggestion made. was "that a small committee should be appointed to co-ordinate the work of " the National Physical Laboratory, the Imperial College of Science and Technology, and the Technical Optics Department of the Northampton Polytechnic Institute. Sir Philip Magnus was followed by two other speakers, but the debate was interrupted by the Prime Minister's important statement regarding a Coalition Government.
Later on, Dr. Addison replied sympathetically on behalf of the President of the Board of Trade, and assured the House that the "subject was being closely attended to, and that the Government hoped at a very early date to have a comprehensive scheme to deal with this somewhat complicated and technical question.'
We regret to announce the death, on May 23, at eighty-one years of age, of Dr. Hugo Müller, F.R.S., past-president of the Chemical Society.
THE death is announced, in his seventy-first year, of Dr. Joseph J. Hardy, who had held the chair of mathematics and astronomy at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, since 1891. He was the author of “Analytic Geometry, Infinitesimals and Limits."
THE Paris correspondent of the Times announces the death of M. Pierre Martin, the inventor of the Martin process of steel manufacture. It was only last week that we announced that the Iron and Steel Institute had just conferred on M. Martin the Bessemer gold medal for 1915.
THE deaths are announced in Science of Prof. J. W. Seaver, for twenty-five years director of the Yale gymnasium, and professor of hygiene in the University, on May 5, at the age of sixty years, and of Mr. W. H. Reed, curator of the museum and instructor of
geology in the University of Wyoming, noted for his
collections of vertebrate fossils, who died at the age of sixty-seven years on April 24.
THE Albert medal of the Royal Society of Arts for the current year has been awarded to Sir J. J. Thomson, for his researches in physics and chemistry, and
their application to the advancement of arts, manufactures, and commerce. The Albert medal was founded in 1863 to commemorate the Prince Consort's presidency of the society, and is awarded "for distinguished merit in promoting arts, manufactures, and commerce."
DR. E. O. HOVEY, of the American Museum of Natural History, has just returned from three months' expedition to the Lesser Antilles. The time was largely given to an examination of Mont Pelée, the Soufrière, and other volcanoes of this region. It is reported by Dr. Hovey that the activity of Mont Pelée has continually diminished since the great outbursts of 1902-3. On the east or windward side vegetation has re-established itself up to the very summit, and even the forest is beginning to reassert itself. The rocks of the new cone are more or less thickly coated with moss.
WE announced last week the award, by Columbia University, of the Barnard gold medal to Prof. W. H. Bragg and his son, Mr. W. L. Bragg, for their researches in molecular physics and in the particular field of radio-activity. The Butler gold and silver medals have also been awarded. The gold medal is awarded every fifth year for the most distinguished contribution made during the preceding five-year period to philosophy or to educational theory, practice, or administration. The silver medal is awarded annually to that graduate of Columbia University who has, during the year preceding, shown the most competence in philosophy or in education theory, practice, or administration, or has during that time made the most contribution of any of these. former has been awarded to the Hon. Bertrand Russell, lecturer and fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, for his contributions to logical theory. The silver medal has been awarded to Prof. E. P. Cubberley, of Leland Stanford Jr. University, for his contributions to educational administration.
A SUGGESTION for the defence of our soldiers against poisonous gas in the present war is made by Dr. F. C. Coley, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in a letter to the Morning Post of May 25. He proposes the use, in the trenches near enough to the enemy to be in danger from such gases, of rotary fan-blowers worked by hand placed at about every three or four yards. The fan-blowers should be connected with pipes going through the base of the earthwork in front of the trench. If the number of blowers were equal to the number of gas cylinders used by the enemy, the blowers when vigorously worked would deliver a far greater volume of air than the volume of the poisonous gas, so that the gas would become much diluted, and with good respirators would be harmless to our men. We believe that experiments are being conducted at the front with the object of devising means to render the poisonous gases innocuous by spraying with water and in other ways. The former expedient would require only a supply of water in the trenches and a spraying apparatus, and it would seem afford an effective means of protection.
MR. RICHARD KERR, the genial and well-known lecturer on astronomy, microscopy, and other scientific subjects, died on May 19, at sixty-five years of age, after suffering greatly from a complication of disorders. For the last two years he had shown signs of breaking down in health, partly owing to anxiety and the difficulty of getting and fulfilling a sufficient number of engagements to keep him fully employed. He leaves a widow and a family of four. About twenty years ago he was associated with such men as Huxley, Sir B. W. Richardson, and Lant Carpenter in the work of the Sunday Lecture Society, and he was well known at the leading literary and scientific institutions in London and the country as one of the most popular exponents of science. His pleasant and easy manner, with occasional gleams of Irish humour, made him welcome to his audiences. He was the author of many books and articles on the popular side of science, such as "The Hidden Beauties of Nature," "Nature, Curious and Beautiful," and "Wireless Telegraphy Popularly Explained." He had also two or three books ready for publication, but on account of the war he found it impossible to get them published. He was an artist of no mean merit, and drew the illustrations for his books and lantern-slides with his own hand. His ability was recognised by the Home Office, who employed him as a lecturer to H.M. Prisons.
IT is proposed to found a memorial in honour of the late Mr. E. T. Busk, who met his death in November last at Aldershot while flying his own stable aeroplane, owing to its destruction by fire, thus terminating a career already marked by fine achieve. ment and full of promise for the future. At Cambridge he took first class honours in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos, and was awarded the John Wimbourne prize and a scholarship at King's College. After passing some years as an engineer, he joined the staff of the Royal Aircraft Factory, where he devoted his time especially to the mathematics and dynamics of stable flight of the full-size aeroplane, to researches into the nature and cause of wind gusts, and to the uses of aircraft in warfare for offensive and defensive purposes. Besides this work, he was entrusted with the general control of the chemical, metallurgical, and physical research and test work at the factory. The memorial will consist of (1) a studentship to enable a student to carry on some research in aeronautics or a kindred subject, and (2) a lecture on some such subject to be given annually by the holder of the studentship or by some other lecturer, and to be published in the Aëronautical Journal. Subscriptions to the amount of about 2500l. have been received or promised, and further contributions will be gratefully acknowledged by Sir Edward H. Busk, II Sussex Place, Regent's Park, N.W., or the secretary of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, I I Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C.
ACCORDING to a "neutral" correspondent of the Times, the Germans are busy with the preparation of smoke bombs to be dropped from Zeppelins when the long-talked-of air-raid on London takes places. We are told that an eye-witness saw the smoke cloud