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Fripay, NOVEMBER 17, 1911 


The Réle of Salts in the Preservation of Life: 
PROFESSOR JACQUES LOEB ............... 653 

Popular Misconceptions concerning Precocity 
in Children: PRoressorn M. V. O’SHEA ... 666 

The Washington Meeting of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science 674 

Scientific Notes and News ..........6..05+ 678 

University and Educational News ........ . 681 

Discussion and Correspondence :— 
A New Toy Motor: Dr. GEorGE F. BECKER. 
A Common Error concerning Cecidia: Dr. 
Me. T. Cook. The Air-bladder of Clupeoid 
Fishes: C. TATE REaGAN. Transference of 
the Term ‘‘Genotype’’: Dr. F. A. BaTHER 683 

Scientific Books :— 
Steinmetz’s Engineering Mathematics: Pro- 
FEssoR A. P. Witts. Timmerding’s Geom- 
etrie der Krafte: PRoressor E. R. HEDRICK. 
Toch on Material for Permanent Painting: 
Proressomn A. H. GILL 685 

Notes on Meteorology and Climatology: A. H. 

Special Articles :— 
The Life-history of a Parasitic N ematode— 
—Habronema musce: B. H. RANSOM ..... 690 

Sccicties and Academies :— 
The American Mathematical Society: Pro- 
Fessor N. Cote. The American Philo- 
sophical Society eer eee 692 

MSS, intended for publication and books, etc., intended for 
review should be sent to the Editor of Scrence, Garrison-on- 
Liudson, N, Y, 



Less is known of the réle of the salts in 
the animal body than of the rile of the 
three other main food-stuffs, namely, carbo- 
hydrates, fats and proteins. As far as the 
latter are concerned, we know at least that 
through oxidation they are capable of 
furnishing heat and other forms of energy. 
The neutral salts, however, are not oxi- 
dizable. Yet it seems to be a fact that no 
animal can live on an ash-free diet for any 
length of time, although no one can say 
why this should be so. We have a point of 
attack for the investigation of the réle of 
the salts in the fact that the cells of our 
body live longest in a liquid which con- 
tains the three salts, NaCl, KCl and CaCl, 
in a definite proportion, namely, 100 mole- 
cules NaCl, 2.2 molecules KCl and 1.5 
molecules of CaCl,. This proportion is 
identical with the proportion in which 
these salts are contained iii sei-w2ter; but 
the concentration of the three sa‘ts is not 
the same in both eases. It is about three 
times as high in the sea-water as in our 
blood serum. 

Biologists have long been aware of the 
fact that the ocean has an incomparably 
richer fauna than fresh-water lakes or 
streams and it is often assumed that life on 
our planet originated in the ocean. The 
fact that the salts of Na, Ca and K exist 
in the same proportion in our blood serum 
as in the ocean has led some authors to the 
conclusion that our ancestors were marine 

1 Carpenter lecture delivered at the Academy of 
Medicine of New York, October 19, 1911. 







animals, and that, as a kind of inheritance, 
we still carry diluted sea-water in our 
blood. Statements of this kind have mainly 
a metaphorical value, but they serve to 
emphasize the two facts, that the three 
salts, NaCl, KCl and CaCl,, exist in our 
blood in the same relative proportion as in 
the ocean and that they seem to play an 
important réle in the maintenance of life. 

I intend to put before you a series of 
experiments which seem to throw some 
light on the mechanism by which the solu- 
tions surrounding living cells influence 
their duration of life. 


In order to give a picture of the extent 
to which the life of many animals depends 
upon the cooperation of the three salts I 
may mention experiments made on a small 
marine crustacean, Gammarus, of the Bay 
of San Francisco. If these animals are 
suddenly thrown into distilled water, their 
respiration stops (at a temperature of 
20° C.) in about half an hour. If they are 
put back immediately after the cessation 
of respiration into sea-water, they can re- 
cuperate. If ten minutes or more are al- 
lowed to elapse before bringing them back 
into the sea-water, no recuperation is pos- 
sible. Since in this case death is caused 
obviously through the entrance of distilled 
water into the tissues of the animals, one 
would expect that the deadly effect of dis- 
tilled water would be inhibited if enough 
cane sugar were added to the distilled 
water to make the osmotic pressure of the 
solution equal to that of the sea-water. If, 
however, the animals are put into cane- 
sugar solution, the osmotic pressure of 
which is equal to that of sea-water, the 
animals die just about as rapidly as in dis- 
tilled water. The same is true if the os- 
motic pressure of the sugar solution is 
higher or lower than that of the sea-water. 

[N. 8. Vou. XXXIV. No, 881 

The sugar solution is, therefore, about as 
toxie for the animals as the distilled water, 
although in the latter case water enters 
into the tissues of the animal, while in the 
former case it does not. 

If the sea-water is diluted with an 
equal quantity of distilled water in one 
ease, and of isotonic cane-sugar solution 
in the other case, in both cases the dura- 
tion of life is shortened by practically the 
same amount. 

If the crustaceans are brought into a 
pure solution of NaCl, of the same osmotic 
pressure as the sea-water, they also die in 
about half an hour. If to this solution a 
little calcium chloride be added in the 
sea-water the animals die as rapidly as 
proportion in which it is contained in the 
without it. If, however, both CaCl, and 
KCl are added to the sodium chloride so- 
lution, the animals can live for several 
days. The addition of KCl alone to the 
NaCl prolongs their life but little. 

If KCl and CaCl, are added to a cane 
sugar solution isotonic with sea-water, the 
animals die as quickly or more so than in 
the pure cane-sugar solution. 

If other salts be substituted for the three 
salts the animals die. The only substitu- 
tion possible is that of SrCl, for CaCl,. 
We find also that the proportion in which 
the three salts of sodium, calcium and 
potassium have to exist in the solution 
can not be altered to any extent. All this 
leads us to the conclusion, that in order to 
preserve the life of the crustacean Gam- 
marus, the solution must not only have 4 
definite concentration or osmotic pressure 
but that this ostnotie pressure must be 
furnished by definite salts, namely, sodium 
chloride, calcium chloride and potassium 
chloride in the proportion in which these 
three salts exist in the sea-water (and in 
the blood) ; this fact could also be demon- 
strated for many other marine animals. 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

The relative tolerance of various cells and 
animals for abnormal salt solutions is, 
however, not the same, a point which we 
shall discuss later on. 

What is the réle of the salts in these 
cases? The botanists have always consid- 
ered salt solutions as nutritive solutions. 
It is a well-known fact that plants require 
definite salts, e. g., nitrates and potassium 
salts, for their nutrition, and the question 
now arises whether the three salts NaCl, 
KCl and CaCl,, which are needed for the 
preservation of animal life, play the rdle 
of nutritive salts. Experiments which I 
made on a small marine fish, Fundulus, 
proved beyond question that this is not the 
ease. If the young, newly hatched fish are 
put into a pure solution of sodium chloride 
of the concentration in which this salt is 
contained in sea-water, the animals very 
soon die. If, however, KCl and CaCl, be 
added to the solution in the right proportion, 
the animals can live indefinitely. These fish, 
therefore, behave in this respect like Gam- 
marus and the tissues of the higher ani- 
mals, but they differ from Gammarus and 
the majority of marine animals inasmuch 
as the fish can live long, and in some cases, 
indefinitely, in distilled and fresh water, 
and certainly in a very dilute solution of 
sodium chloride. From this fact I drew 
the conclusion that KCl and CaCl, do not 
act as nutritive substances for these ani- 
mals, that they only serve to render NaCl 
harmless if the concentration of the latter 
salt is too high. I succeed in showing that 
as long as the sodium-chloride solution is 
very dilute and does not exceed the con- 
centration of m./8, the addition of KCl 
and CaCl, is not required. Only when the 
solution of NaCl has a concentration above 
m./8 does it become harmful and does it 
require the addition of KCl and CaCl,. 



The experiments on Fundulus, therefore, 
prove that a mixture of NaCl + KCl + 
CaCl, does not act as a nutritive solution, 
but as a protective solution. KCl and 
CaCl, are only necessary in order to pre- 
vent the harmful effects which NaCl pro- 
duces if it is alone in solution and if its 
concentration is too high. We are dealing, 
in other words, with a case of antagonistic 
salt action; an antagonism between NaCl 
on the one hand and KCl and CaCl, on the 
other. The discovery of antagonistic salt 
action was made by Ringer, who found that 
there is a certain antagonism between K 
and Ca in the action of the heart. When 
he put the heart of a frog into a mixture 
of NaCl + KCl he found that the contrac- 
tions of the heart were not normal, but they 
were rendered normal by the addition of a 
little CaCl, A mixture of NaCl + CaCl, 
also caused abnormal contractions of the 
heart, but these were rendered normal by 
the addition of KCl. Ringer drew the 
conclusion that there existed an antagonism 
between potassium and calcium, similar to 
that which Schmiedeberg had found be- 
tween different heart poisons, e. g., atropin 
and muscarin. Biedermann had found 
that alkaline salt solutions cause twitchings 
in the muscle and Ringer found that the 
addition of Ca inhibited these twitchings. 
Since these experiments were made many 
examples of the antagonistic action of salts 
have become known. 

It had generally been assumed that the 
antagonistic action of two salts was based 
on the fact that each salt, when applied 
singly, acted in the opposite way from that 
of its antagonist. We shall see that in cer- 
tain cases of antagonistic salt action at 
least this view is not supported by fact. 


What is the mechanism of antagonistic 
salt action? I believe that an answer to 






this question lies in the following observa- 
tions on the eggs of Fundulus. If these 
eggs are put immediately after fertilization 
into a pure sodium chloride solution which 
is isotonic with sea-water, they usually die 
without forming an embryo. If, however, 
only a trace of a calcium salt, or of any 
other salt with a bivalent metal (with the 
exception of Hg, Cu or Ag) is added to 
the m./2 NaCl solution, the toxicity of the 
solution is diminished or even abolished. 
Even salts which are very poisonous, 
namely, salts of Ba, Zn, Pb, Ko, Ni, Mn 
and other bivalent metals, are able to ren- 
der the pure solution of sodium chloride 
harmless, at least to the extent that the 
eggs can live long enough to form an em- 
bryo. The fact that a substance as poison- 
ous as Zn or lead can render harmless a 
substance as indifferent as sodium chloride 
seemed so paradoxical that it demanded an 
explanation, and this explanation casts light 
on the nature of the protective or antagon- 
istic action of salts. For the antagonistic 
action of a salt of lead or zine against the 
toxic action of sodium chloride can only 
consists in the lead salt protecting the em- 
bryo against the toxic action of the NaCl. 
But how is this protective action possible? 

We have mentioned that if we put the 
young fish, immediately after hatching, into 
a pure m./2 solution of sodium chloride 
the animals die very quickly, but that they 
live indefinitely in the sodium chloride solu- 
tion if we add both CaCl, and KCl. How 
does it happen that for the embryo, as long 
as it is in the egg shell, the addition of 
CaCl, to the NaCl solution suffices, while 
if the fish is out of the shell the addition 
of CaCl, alone is no longer sufficient and 
the addition of KCl also becomes neces- 
sary? Moreover, if we try to preserve the 
life of the fish after it is taken out of the 
egg in an m./2 sodium chloride solution by 
adding ZnSOQ,, or lead acetate, to the solu- 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No, 881 

tion we find that the fish die even much 
more quickly than without the addition. 

If we look for the cause of this difference 
our attention is called to the fact that the 
fish, as long as it is in the egg, is separated 
from the surrounding solution by the egg 
membrane. This egg membrane possesses 
a small opening, the so-called micropyle, 
through which the spermatozoon enters into 
the egg. I have gained the impression that 
this micropyle is not closed as tightly im- 
mediately after fertilization as later on, 
since the newly fertilized egg is killed more 
rapidly by an m./2 solution of NaCl than 
it is killed by the same solution one or two 
days after fertilization. One can imagine 
that the micropyle contains a wad of a col- 
loidal substance which is hardened gradu- 
ally to a leathery consistency if the egg 
remains in the sea-water. With the proc- 
ess of hardening, or tanning, it becomes 
more impermeable for the NaCl solution. 
This process of hardening is brought about 
apparently very rapidly if we add to the 
m./2 NaCl solution a trace of a salt of a 
bivalent metal like Ca, Sr, Ba, Zn, Pb, Mn, 
Ko and Ni, ete. It is also possible that 
similar changes take place in the whole 
membrane. The process of rendering the 
m./2 Na solution harmless for the embryo 
of the fish, therefore, depends apparently 
upon the fact that the addition of the bi- 
valent metals render the micropyle or per- 
haps the whole membrane of the egg more 
impermeable to NaCl than was the case 

But these are only one part of the facts 
which throw a light upon the protective or 
antagonistic action of salts. Further data 
are furnished by experiments which I made 
together with Professor Gies, also on the 
eggs of Fundulus. Gies and I were able to 
show that not only are the bivalent metals 
able to render the sodium chloride solution 
harmless, but that the reverse is also the 

NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

case, namely, that NaCl is required to 
render the solutions of many of the bi- 
valent metals, for instance ZnSO,, harm- 
less. (That the SO, ion has nothing to do 
with the result was shown before by experi- 
ments with Na,SQ,.) 

If the eggs of Fundulus are put imme- 
diately after fertilization into distilled 
water, a large percentage of the eggs de- 
velop, often as many as one hundred per 
eent., and the larve and embryos formed 
in the distilled water are able to hatch. 
If we add, however, to 100 c.c. of distilled 
water that quantity of ZnSO, which is re- 
quired to render the NaCl solution harm- 
less, all the eggs are killed rapidly and not 
a single one is able to form an embryo. 
If we add varying amounts of NaCl we find 
that, beginning with a certain concentration 
of NaCl, this salt inhibits the toxic effects 
of ZnSO, and many eggs are able to form 
anembryo. This can be illustrated by the 
following table. 

Percentage of 
the Eggs Form- 
Nature of the Solution ing an Embryo 
100 c.ce. distilled water .............. 49 

100 ¢.e. distilled water 

+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 0 
100 e.c. m./64 NaCl+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 0 
100 e.e. m./32 NaCl+-8 m./32 ZnSO, 3 
100 ¢.e. m./16 NaCl+8 e¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 8 
100 e.e.m./8 NaCl+8 m./32 ZnSO, 44 
100 e.c.m./4 NaCl+8 m./32 ZnSO, 38 
100 ec. 3/8 NaCl+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 37 
100 e.e.m./2 NaCl+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 34 
100 ee. 5/8 NaCl+8 e.c. m./32 ZnSO, 29 
100 6/8 NaCl+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 8 
100 ¢.e. 7/8 NaCl+8 m./32 ZnSO, 6 
100¢c. m. NaCl+8 ¢.c. m./32 ZnSO, 1 

This table shows that the addition of 
NaCl, if its concentration exceeds a certain 
limit, namely, m./8, is able to render the 
ZnSO, in the solution comparatively harm- 

If we now assume that ZnSO, renders 
the 5/8 m. NaCl solution harmless by ren- 


dering the egg membrane comparatively 
impermeable for NaCl we must also draw 
the opposite conclusion, namely, that NaCl 
renders the egg membrane comparatively 
impermeable for ZnSO,. We, therefore, 
arrive at a new conception of the mutual 
antagonism of two salts, namely, that this 
antagonism depends, in this case at least, 
upon a common, cooperative action of both 
salts on the egg membrane, by which action 
this membrane becomes completely or com- 
paratively impermeable for both salts. 
And from this we must draw the further 
conclusion that the fact that each of these 
salts, if it is alone in the solution, is toxic, 
is due to its comparatively rapid diffusion 
through the membrane, so that it comes 
into direct contact with the protoplasm of 
the germ. 

As long as we assumed that each of the 
two antagonistic salts acted, if applied 
singly, in the opposite way from its antag- 
onist, it was impossible to understand these 
experiments or find an analogue for them 
in colloid chemistry. But if we realize 
that NaCl alone is toxic because it is not 
able to render the egg membrane imper- 
meable; and that ZnSO, if alone in solution 
is toxic for the same reason; while both 
combined are harmless (since for the ‘‘tan- 
ning’’ of the membrane the action of the 
two salts is required) these experiments 
become clear. 

We may, for the sake of completeness, 
still mention that salts alone have such 
antagonistic effects; glycerine, urea and 
aleohol have no such action. On the other 
hand, ZnSO, was not only able to render 
NaCl harmless, but also LiCl, NH,Cl, CaCl, 
and others; and vice versa. 

These experiments on the egg of Fun- 
dulus are theoretically of importance, since 
they leave no doubt that in this case at 
least the ‘‘antagonistic’’ action of salts con- 
sists in a modification of the egg membrane 

: : 


by a combined action of two salts, whereby 
the membrane becomes less permeable for 
both salts. 

It is not easy to find examples of experi- 
ments in the literature which are equally 
unequivocal in regard to the character of 
antagonistic salt action; but I think that 
some recent experiments by Osterhout sat- 
isfy this demand. 

It has long been a question whether or 
not cells are at all permeable for salts. 
Nobody denies that salts diffuse much more 
slowly into the cells than water; but some 
authors, especially Overton and Hoeber, 
deny categorically that salts can diffuse at 
all into the cells. Overton’s view is based 
partly on experiments on plasmolysis in 
the cells of plants. If the cells of plants, 
for example, those of Spirogyra, are put 
into a solution of NaCl or some other salt 
of sufficiently high osmotic pressure, the 
volume of the contents of the cell decreases 
through loss of water and the protoplasm 
retracts, especially from corners of the 
rigid cellulose walls. Overton maintains 
that this plasmolysis is permanent, and con- 
cludes from this that only water but no 
salt, can diffuse through the cell-wall; since 
otherwise salts should gradually diffuse 
from the solution into the cell, and through 
this increase in the osmotic pressure of the 
cell the water should finally diffuse back 
into the cell and restitute the normal vol- 
ume of the cell. According to Overton this 
does not happen. 

Osterhout has recently shown that Over- 
ton’s observations were incomplete in a 
very essential point and that in reality the 
plasmolysis, which occurs in this case when 
the cell is put into the hypertonic solution, 
disappears again in a time which varies 
with the nature of the salt in solution. 
This stage of reversion of plasmolysis had 
been overlooked by Overton. If the cell, 


[N.S. VoL. XXXIV. No. 881 

however, remains permanently in the hy- 
pertonic sodium chloride solution, after. 
wards again a shrinking of the contents of 
the cell takes place, which superficially re- 
sembles plasmolysis, but which in reality 
has nothing to do with plasmolysis, but is a 
phenomenon of death. That this second 
**false plasmolysis,’’ as Osterhout calls it, 
has nothing to do with the hypertonic char- 
acter of the solution was proved by the fact 
that hypotonic solutions of toxic substances 
may produce the same phenomenon. 

In one experiment which Osterhout de- 
scribes, ‘‘a portion of a Spirogyra filament 
was plasmolyzed in .2 m. CaCl,, but not in 
195 m. CaCl,. A .29 m. NaCl solution has 
approximately the same osmotic pressure as 
a .2 m. CaCl, solution. But on placing 
another portion of the same Spirogyra fila- 
ment in a .29 m. NaCl solution the expected 
plasmolysis does not occur and it is impos- 
sible to plasmolyze the cells until they are 
placed in .4 m. NaCl.’’ Osterhout explains 
this difference in the concentration of the 
two salts required for plasmolysis by the 
assumption that NaCl diffuses more rapidly 
into the cell than CaCl,, a conclusion which 
I reached also on the basis of my earlier 
experiments on animals. 

Osterhout’s experiments also show that 
the antagonism of NaCl and CaCl, depends 
partly on the facts that the two salts in- 
hibit each other from diffusing into the 
cells, and this conclusion is based among 
others upon the following experiment. 
‘‘By dividing a Spirogyra filament into 
several portions it was found that it was 
plasmolyzed in .2 m. CaCl, and in .38 m. 
NaCl, but neither in .195 m. CaCl, nor in 
.375 m. NaCl. On mixing 100 ¢.c. .375 m. 
NaCl with 10 ¢.c. .195 m. CaCl, and placing 
other portions of the same filament in it, 
prompt and very marked plasmolysis oc- 

The explanation for this observation lies 

NoveMBER 17, 1911] 

in the fact that in the mixture of NaCl and 
CaCl, the two salts render their diffusion 
into the cell mutually more difficult. After 
a longer period of time the plasmolyzed 
cells can expand again in a mixture of 
NaCl and CaCl,, but that occurs much later 
than if they are in the pure NaCl solution. 

These experiments are the analogue of 
the observation on the embryo of the eggs 
of Fundulus in which a pure solution of 
ZnSO, diffused rapidly through the mem- 
brane or micropyle, while, if both salts were 
present, the diffusion was inhibited or con- 
siderably retarded. 

While the observations of Osterhout show 
that Overton was not justified in using the 
experiments on plasmolysis to prove that 
the neutral salts can not diffuse into the 
cells, yet they do not prove that these salts 
diffuse into the cell under normal condi- 
tions. In Osterhout’s experiments the cells 
are in strongly hypertonic solutions and it 
does not follow that such solutions act like 
isotonic, perfectly balanced solutions. 


Wasteneys and I have recently shown 
that the toxic action of acids upon Fun- 
dulus can be annihilated by salts. If we 
add 0.5 e.e. N/10 butyric acid to 100 e.c. of 
distilled water these fish die in 24 hours or 
less. In solutions which contain 0.4 ¢.c. or 
less acid they ean live for a week or more. 
If we add, however, 0.5 ¢.c. of butyric acid 
to 100 ¢.e. of solutions of NaCl of various 
concentration, we find that above a certain 
limit the NaCl ean render the acid harm- 
less. It is needless to say that the NaCl 
used in these experiments was strictly neu- 
tral and that the amount of acid present in 
the mixture of acid and salt was measured. 
The following experiment may serve as an 

If the amount of acid was increased, the 
amount of NaCl also had to be increased to 


Number of Surviving Fish in 0.5 c.c, V/10 
Butyrie Acid 
After +0 | 4.0 | 6.0 | 8.0 | 10.0 | 12.0 | 15.0 
c.c. m./2 NaCl in 100 c.c. of the Solution 
2 hours......... 0 0 0 2 3 3 |.6 
4 hours ........ 0 3 2 5 
1 1 5 
2 days........... 1 0 | 5 
1 5 
4 days........... 1 5 

render the acid harmless. In order to ren- 
der 0.5 ¢.e. N/10 butyrie acid pro 100 c.e. 
solution harmless, 10 ¢e.c. m./2 NaCl had to 
be added; while 0.8 ¢.c. butyrie acid re- 
quired 20 ¢.e. and 1.0 ¢.c. butyrie acid re- 
quired about 28 ¢.c. m./2 NaCl in 100 e.c. 
of the solution. 

Not only butyrie acid, but any kind of 
acid, could be rendered harmless by neutral 
salts, e. g., HCl by NaCl. 

It is of great importance that the an- 
tagonistie action of CaCl, was found to be 
from 8 to 11 times as great or powerful as 
the action of NaCl. This harmonizes with 
the general observation that the protective 
action of CaCl, for the life of cells is 
greater than that of any other substance. 

Wasteneys and I could show that the rate 
of the absorption of acid by the fish is the 
same in solutions with and without salt. 
This proves that the action of the salts con- 
sisted in this case not in preventing the 
diffusion or absorption of the acid, but in 
modifying the deleterious effect of the ab- 
sorbed acid. 

We can state a little more definitely the 
cause of death by acid. If we put the fish 
into a weak acid solution in distilled water 
just strong enough to kill the fish in from 
1 to 2 hours (e. g., 500 ec. H,O + 2.0 c.c. 
N/10 HCl), we notice that the acid very 
soon makes the normally transparent epi- 
dermis of the fish opaque, and a little later 
the epidermis falls off in pieces and shreds. 

> x: 


This, however, is probably not the direct 
eause of the death, but I am inclined to 
assume that the fish die from suffocation 
caused by a similar action of the acid upon 
the gills. 

The action of the acid upon the epidermis 
of the body as well as upon the gills is pre- 
vented through the addition of neutral 

It is well known that the action of acids 
upon proteins can be inhibited by neutral 
salts. Thus the internal friction of certain 
protein solutions is increased by acids while 
the addition of neutral salts inhibits this 
effect (Pauli). The swelling of gelatine 
caused by acid is inhibited by salts 

It is possible that in the experiments 
with acid the fish is killed in the following 
way. The acid causes certain proteins in 
the surface layer of the epithelial cells of 
the gills and of the skin to swell, whereby 
this surface layer becomes more permeable 
for the acid. The acid can now diffuse into 
the epithelial cells and act on the proto- 
plasm, whereby the cells are killed. If 
salts are present in the right concentra- 
tion, the combined action of acid and salt 
causes a dehydration of the surface film of 
these cells, as it does in the experiments on 
gelatine or as in the cases of tanning of 
hides by the combined action of acids and 
salt solutions. This combined dehydrating 
or ‘‘tanning’’ action of acid and salts on 
the surface of the epithelial cells of the 
gills diminishes the permeability of this 
layer for the acids and prevents them from 
diffusing into the cells and thus destroying 
the protoplasm. In this way the gills are 
kept intact and the life of the fish is saved. 

As long as the amount of acid is small 
the amount absorbed is not essentially 
diminished by the presence of salts; but 
while in the presence of salts the acid is 
consumed in the tanning action of the sur- 
face layer of the cells, or is absorbed in 


[N.S. Vou. XXXTV. No, 881 

this layer; if no salt is present part of the 
acid diffuses into the epithelial cells and 
kills the latter. 


We have thus far considered the eases of 
antagonism between two electrolytes only. 
The case of the antagonism between three 
electrolytes is a little more complicated. 

We choose as an example the antagonism 
between NaCl, KCl and CaCl,—the antag- 
onism which is most important in life phe- 
nomena. If the mechanism of the antag- 
onism between NaCl, on the one hand, and 
KCl and CaCl.,, on the other, is of the same 
nature as that between NaCl and ZnSO, in 
the case of the eggs of Fundulus, it must 
be possible to show that not only is NaCl 
toxic if it is alone in solution, and that it is 
rendered harmless by the two other salts, 
but that the reverse is true also. This can 
be proved in the case of KCl. To demon- 
strate it, we have again to experiment on 
organisms which are, in wide limits, inde- 
pendent of the osmotic pressure of the sur- 
rounding solution since the concentration 
of the KCl in sea-water is very low. The 
experiments were carried out by Mr. Was- 
teneys and myself on FPundulus. The 
method consisted in putting six fish, after 
washing them twice with distilled water, 
into 500 ¢.c. of the solution. It was ascer- 
tained from day to day how many fish 

When the fish were put into pure solu- 
tions of KCl of the concentration in which 
this salt is contained in the sea-water 
(2.2 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 e¢.c. of the solu- 
tion) they died mostly in less than two 
days. This is not due to the low concentra- 
tion of the KCl solution, which is only 1/50 
of that of the sea-water, since the fish can 
live indefinitely in a pure NaCl solution of 
the same concentration as that in which the 
KCl exists in the sea-water. 

If we add to the toxie quantities of KCl 
increasing quantities of NaCl, we find that 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

as soon as the solution contains 17 or more 
molecules of NaCl to one molecule of KCl, 
the toxic action of KCl is considerably 
diminished, if not completely counteracted. 
The following table may serve as an ex- 


Number of Surviving Fish in 2.2 c.e. m./2 KCl 
After in 100 c.c. 
H,O |m./100| m./20/ m./8 | m./4 (3 m./8) m./2 | NaCl 

1 2 1 3 4 6 6 6 

2 0 0 0 0 6 5 6 

3 6 4 6 

4 5 3 5 

5 5 3 4 

6 5 3 1 

7 5 3 0 

14 4 3 

More accurate determinations showed 
that already a 3/16 m. NaCl solution ren- 
ders the solution of 2.2 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 
100 ¢.c. of the solution harmless. 

It was next determined whether different 
concentrations of KCl required different 
concentrations of NaCl. It was found that 
the coefficient of antagonization KCI/NaCl 
has an approximately constant value, 
namely, about 1/17, as the following table 


Coefficient of 

0.6 c.c. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 ¢.c. 3/64m. NaCl ......... 1/16 
0.7 m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 ¢.c. 4/64 m. NaCl ......... 1/18 
0.9 e.c. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 c.c. 5/64 m. NaCl ......... 1/17 

1.0 e.e. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 
100 ¢.c. 5/64-6/64 m. NaCl ....1/16-1/19 
1.1 ec. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 c.c. 6/64 m. NaCl ......... 1/17 

1.65 ¢.e. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 c.c. 5/32 m. NaCl ......... 1/19 
2.2 e.e, m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 ¢.c. 6/32 m. NaCl ......... 1/17 
2.75 ¢.c. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 ¢.c. 7/32 m. NaCl ......... 1/16 
3.3 ¢.c. m./2 KCl rendered harmless in 

100 ¢.c. 9/32 m. NaCl] ......... 1/17 



What happens if we vary this ratio? If 
we add too little NaCl to the KCl solution, 
namely, only 1 to 10 molecules NaCl to 
1 molecule of KCl, the solution becomes 
more harmful than if KC) is alone in solu- 
tion; if we add considerably more than 17 
molecules NaCl, e. g., 50 molecules to one 
molecule of KCl, the solution becomes toxie 
again; and the more so the higher the con- 
centration of NaCl. This indicates that 
the antagonistic effect requires a rather 
definite ratio of the two salts. This fur- 
nishes the reason why an m./2 solution can, 
as a rule, not be rendered completely harm- 
less by the mere addition of KCl, but that 
in addition CaCl, is needed. 

If we add to 100 ¢.c. m./2 NaCl enough 
KCl to make the ratio KCl: NaCl 1/17 
we find that the antagonization of KCl: 
NaCl becomes incomplete. If the amount 
of KCl in 100 ee. of the solution exceeds 
2.2 e.c. m./2 KCl, antagonization is still to 
some extent possible, but it becomes more 
incomplete the higher the concentration of 
KCl. For this reason it is not possible to 
render an m./2 solution of NaCl harmless 
by the mere addition of KCl. 

CaCl, acts upon KCl similarly as does 
NaCl, but it acts more powerfully; 1. e., the 
coefficient of antagonization, KCl/CaCl,, 
is several hundred or a thousand times as 
great as that of KCl/NaCl, as the follow- 
ing table shows. 


Coefficient of Antago- 
nization KCl/CaC}, 

1.1 ¢.e. m./2 KCl in 100 e.e. H,O 

require 0.1 m./100 CaCl, .. 550 
1.65 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 e.e. H,O 

require 0.5 m./100 CaCl, .. 165 
2.2 e.c. m./2 KCl in 100 e.e. H,O 

require 0.3 m./100 CaCl, .. 366 
2.75 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 e.e. H,O 

require 1.0 m./100 CaCl, .. 137.5 
3.3 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 H,O 


require 1.6 m./100 CaCl, .. 



The coefficients are not as regular as in 
the case of antagonization of KCl by NaCl. 
This is due to the fact that the minimal 
value of CaCl, at which it renders the KCl 
harmless can not be determined as sharply 
as the limit for NaCl. Why is less CaCl, 
required than NaCl? We can only answer 
with a suggestion first offered by T. B. 
Robertson, namely, that CaCl. produces its 
protective effect through the formation of 
a comparatively insoluble compound (in 
this case on the gills or the rest of the sur- 
face of the animal) while NaCl acts 
through the formation of a compound 
which is more soluble. This view is cor- 
roborated by the observation which we 
made, that Sr is just as effective to antagon- 
ize KCl as CaCl,, but that Mg is much less 
efficient. This would correspond with the 
well-known fact that many strontium salts 
are just as insoluble, if not more insoluble, 
than the calcium salts, while the magne- 
sium salts are often incomparably more 
soluble, for instance in the ease of the sul- 
phates. BaCl, antagonizes KCl also pow- 
erfully, but, probably, in consequence of 
the fact that the substances formed at the 
surface of the animal or the gills, diffuse 
slowly into the cells, the fish do not remain 
alive as long if Ba is used as if the more 
harmless Ca and Sr are used. 

It is very remarkable that CaCl, renders 
harmless any given concentration of KCl 
below 6.6 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 ¢.c. of the 
solution, but not above this limit. This 
limit is exactly the same which we found in 
the case of antagonization of KC] by NaCl. 
Even the combination of NaCl and CaCl, 
does not permit us to render harmless more 
than 6.6 ¢.c. m./2 KCl in 100 ec. of the 

If we try to render NaCl harmless by 
KCl and CaCl, we find that CaCl, ean 
antagonize even a 6/8 m. and a 7/8 m. so- 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No. 881 

lution of NaCl, while KCl ceases to show 
any antagonistic effect if the NaCl solution 
exceeds m./2 or 5/8 m. 

Experiments with pure CaCl, solutions 
give the result that this substance is harm- 
less in a solution of that concentration in 
which this salt is contained in the sea- 
water. Fundulus can live indefinitely in 
a solution of 1.5 ¢.c. m./2 CaCl, in 100 ec, 
Botanists have also found that weak solu- 
tions of CaCl, are comparatively little 
toxic. This gives us the impression that 
the effect upon the surface film of proto- 
plasm produced by CaCl, is especially im- 
portant for the protection of the proto- 
plasm. This conclusion receives an indirect 
support by the well-known experiments of 
Herbst, who found that in sea-water de- 
prived of calcium the segmentation cells of 
a sea-urchin embryo fall apart through the 
disintegration or liquefaction of a film 
which surrounds the embryo and keeps the 
cells together. If such eggs are brought 
back into solution containing calcium the 
film is restored and the cells come into close 
contact again. 

It is therefore not impossible that the 
mechanism of the antagonism between KCl 
and NaCl is similar to that found between 
NaCl and ZnSo,. It seems only due to the 
high concentration of the NaCl in the sea- 
water and in the blood that, in addition to 
KCl and NaCl, CaCl, is needed. But the 
ease is not so unequivocal as the previously 
mentioned eases of antagonism between 
only two electrolytes. 

It is necessary for our understanding of 
the life-preserving action of salts that we 
do not depend merely on conclusions drawn 
from experiments, but that we must be able 
to see directly in which way abnormal salt 
solutions cause the death of the cell. Such 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

an opportunity is offered us through the 
observation of the eggs of the sea-urchin. 
If we put the fertilized eggs of the sea- 
urchin into an abnormal salt solution, a de- 
struction of the cell gradually takes place. 
The destruction, as a rule, begins on the 
surface of the protoplasm, and consists 
very often in the formation and falling off 
of small granules or droplets. This process 
gradually continues from the periphery 
towards the center until the whole egg is 
disintegrated. For different salt solutions 
the picture of the disintegration is a little 
different, but sufficiently characteristic for 
a given solution, so that if one become fa- 
miliar with these pictures, one is able to 
diagnose to some extent the nature of the 
solution from the way in which the cell dis- 

This process of disintegration can be ob- 
served if the eggs are put into a pure solu- 
tion of sodium chloride or in a mixture of 
sodium chloride and calcium chloride, or in 
a mixture of sodium chloride and potas- 
sium chloride. If, however, all three salts 
are used in the proportion in which they 
occur in the sea-water no disintegration 
takes place and the surface of the egg re- 
mains perfectly smooth and normal. One 
gains the impression as if the protoplasm 
of the egg were held together by a continu- 
ous surface film of a definite texture. If 
we put the egg into an abnormal solution 
this surface film is modified and changed, 
and the change of the surface film is often 
followed by a gradual process of disinte- 
gration of the rest of the cell. 

These observations on the sea-urchin 
egg, therefore, suggest the possibility that 
the combination of the three salts in their 
definite proportion and concentration has 
the function of forming a surface film of 
a definite structure or texture, around the 
protoplasm of each cell, by which the proto- 




plasm is kept together, protected against 
and separated from the surrounding media. 

The previously mentioned observation of 
Herbst again shows the important réle of 
calcium in this process. 


The objection might be raised that the 
beneficial action of the three salts could 
only be proved on marine animals or on 
tissues of higher animals, which are said 
to be ‘‘adapted’’ to a mixture of NaCl, 
KCl and CaCl, in definite proportions. 
Experiments on fresh-water organisms, 
for which ‘‘adaptation’’ to a mixture of 
NaCl, KCl and CaCl, in these definite pro- 
portions can not be claimed, show that this 
objection is not valid. Ostwald worked 
with fresh-water crustaceans which he put 
into mixtures of various salts. It was 
found that these animals live longer in a 
mixture of NaCl + KCl + CaCl, than in a 
solution of NaCl, or NaCl+ KCl, or 
NaCl + CaCl, of the same osmotic pres- 

Osterhout was able to show that the spores 
of a certain variety of Vaucheria die in a 
pure 3/32 m. solution of NaCl in 10 to 20 
minutes, while they live in 100 ¢.e. 3/32 m. 
NaCl+1 ec. 3/32 CaCl, 2 to 4 weeks, 
and in 100 e@e. 3/32 m. NaCl+1 ee. 
3/32 m. CaCl, + 2.2 ¢.c. 3/32 m. KCl 6 to 
8 weeks. The reaction of the solution was 
strictly neutral and the NaCl the purest 
obtainable. The results remained the same 
after the NaCl had been recrystallized six 
times. Experiments with Spirogyra gave 
a similar result. The solutions were all 
3/32 m. In NaCl the Spirogyra died in 
18 hours; in NaCl + KCl in two days; in 
NaCl + KCl + CaCl, they lived 65 days. 
Osterhout caused wheat grains to develop 
in such solutions and measured the total 
length of the roots formed. 


Total Length of } 
Nature of the Solution Roots after 40 Days 
cc 740 mm. 
100 0.0. 59 mm. 
100 c.e. 3/25 NaCl+2.0 3/25 CaCl, 254 mm. 
100 e.e. 3/25 NaCl+2.0 3/25 CaCl, 
+2.2 3/25 m. KCl 324 mm. 

These cases, to which many other similar 
observations might be added, prove that 
the life-preserving effect of the combina- 
tion of NaCl+ KCl+ CaCl, in definite 
proportions is not due to the fact that or- 
ganisms are ‘‘adapted’’ to this mixture but 
to a specifie protective effect of the combi- 
nation of the three salts upon the cells. 


It seems, therefore, to be a general fact 
that wherever tissues or animals require a 
medium of a comparatively high osmotic 
pressure—like our tissues—their life lasts 
much longer in a mixture of NaCl+ KCl+ 
CaCl, in the proportion in which these 
salts exist in the blood and in the ocean, 
than in any other osmotic solution, even a 
pure solution of NaCl. But the reader has 
noticed that there are considerable differ- 
ences in the resistance of various organ- 
isms to abnormal solutions. While marine 
Gammarus die in half an hour in an iso- 
tonic solution of NaCl or cane sugar, red 
blood corpuscles or even the muscle of a 
frog can be kept for a day or longer in 
such a solution (of course even the muscle 
of a frog lives longer if the NaCl solution 
contains in addition KCl or CaCl,). What 
causes this difference? 

Six years ago I found that the unfertil- 
ized eggs of the sea-urchin (Strongylocen- 
trotus purpuratus) can keep alive and re- 
main apparently intact in a pure neutral 
solution of CaCl, or of NaCl for several 
days at a temperature of 15°, while the 
fertilized eggs of the same female are 
killed in a pure neutral solution of CaCl, 


[N.S. Vou. XXXTV. No. 881 

in a few hours. The same difference igs 
found for other salts also. What causes 
this difference? Several authors, Lillie, 
McClendon and Lyon, have suggested that 
it is due to the fact that the fertilized egg 
is more permeable to salts than the unfer- 
tilized egg. But the recent experiments by. 
Warburg, which were confirmed and ampli- 
fied by Harvey make it doubtful whether 
the salts which are not soluble in fats can 
enter the fertilized egg at all. I believe 
that the explanation of the difference is 
much more simple. The unfertilized egg is 
surrounded by a cortical layer and this 
layer is destroyed or modified in the proce- 
ess of fertilization. One result of this 
modification is the formation of the fertili- 
zation membrane, for which I have been 
able to show that it is readily permeable 
for salts. As long as the cortical layer of 
the unfertilized egg is intact, it prevents 
the surrounding salt solution from coming 
in contact with the protoplasm or at least 
it retards this process. If, however, the 
cortical layer is destroyed by fertilization 
the surrounding salt solution comes directly 
in contact with the protoplasm and if the 
solution is abnormal it can cause the dis- 
integration of the surface layer of the 

I am inclined to believe that differences 
in the resisting power of various cells or 
organisms to abnormal salt solutions are 
primarily due to differences in the consti- 
tution of the protective envelopes of the 
animals or the cells. Microorganisms 
which can live in strong organic acids or 
salt solutions of a high concentration prob- 
ably possess a surface layer which shuts off 
their protoplasm from contact with the so- 
lution. For the protoplasm of muscle the 
rather tough sarcolemma forms not an 
absolute but nevertheless an effective wall 
against the surrounding solution. 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

But aside from differences of this kind 
there are other conditions which influence 
the degree of resistance of cells to various 
solutions. I have found that the fertilized 
eggs of the sea-urchin will live longer in 
abnormal salt solutions if the oxidations in 
the egg are stopped, either by the with- 
drawal of oxygen or the addition of KCN 
or NaCN. Warburg and Meyerhof have 
drawn the conclusion that in a pure NaCl 
solution the rate of oxidations of the egg of 
Strongylocentrotus is increased and that 
it is this increase in the rate of oxidations 
which kills the eggs. But this increase of 
oxidations can not be observed in the eggs 
of Arbacia when they are put into a pure 
NaCl solution and, moreover, lack of 
oxygen prolongs the life of the fertilized 
egg just as well in solutions of NaCl + 
CaCl, or of NaCl + BaCl,, for which salts 
these authors do not claim that they can 
raise the rate of oxidations of the egg. I 
am inclined to believe that in the process 
during or preceding cell division, besides 
phenomena of streaming inside the cell, 
changes in the surface film of the proto- 
plasm occur, whereby this film is more 
easily injured by the salts. If we suppress 
the oxidations we suppress also the proc- 
esses leading to cell division and thereby 
retard the deleterious action of the ab- 
normal salt solution upon the surface layer 
of the protoplasm of the egg. 


If we now raise the question as to why 
salts are necessary for the preservation of 
the life of the cell we can point to a num- 
ber of cases in which this answer seems 
clear. Each cell may be considered a chem- 
ical factory, in which the work can only 
go on in the proper way, if the diffusion 
of substances through the cell wall is 
restricted. This diffusion depends on the 



nature of the surface layer of the cell. 
Overton and others assume that this layer 
consists of a continuous membrane of fat 
or lipoids. This assumption is not com- 
patible with two facts, namely that water 
diffuses very rapidly into the cell, and 
second, that life depends upon an exchange 
of water-soluble and not of fat-soluble 
substances between the cells and the sur- 
rounding liquid. The above mentioned 
facts of the antagonism between acids and 
salts suggest the idea that the surface film 
of cells consists exclusively or essentially 
of certain proteins. 

The experiments mentioned in this paper 
indicate that the réle of salts in the preser- 
vation of life consists in the ‘‘tanning’’ 
effect which they have upon the surface 
films of the cells, whereby these films ac- 
quire those physical qualities of durability 
and comparative impermeability, without 
which the cell cannot exist. 

On this assumption we can understand 
that neutral salts should be necessary for 
the preservation of life although they do 
not furnish energy. 

As far as the dynamical effects of salts 
are concerned it is not impossible that 
some of them belong also to the type of those 
mentioned in this paper. The fact that 
the addition of calcium to an NaCl solu- 
tion prevents the twitchings of the muscle, 
which occur in the pure NaCl solution, 
suggests the possibility that the CaCl, 
merely prevents or retards the diffusion of 
NaCl through the sarcolemma. But other 
effects of salts, e. g., the apparent depend- 
ence of contractility of the muscle upon 
the presence of NaCl; or the rdle of PO, in 
the nucleus, do not find their explanation 
in the facts discussed in this paper. 



~ 4 : 




Srupents of the history of education 
know that at one time or another since 
Plato’s day efforts have been made to 
hasten the development of children in re- 
spect to the acquisition of the formal 
branches of school instruction. Programs 
have been worked out with a view to teach- 
ing children to read and to write almost 
as soon as they should begin to talk. How- 
ever, it is significant of our latter-day 
theories on this subject that the classical 
writers on education esteemed most highly 
in our times are distinguished because of 
their vigorous opposition to these forcing 
systems. Locke, Rousseau, Spencer, and 
their numerous disciples have devoted 
themselves to exposing the evil, as they 
have thought, of introducing children too 
early to reading, writing, arithmetic and 
the like, maintaining that children who 
were put to books too early were thereby 
made dull and stupid instead of intelligent 
and eapable. These pioneers in the dis- 
cussion of a rational educational régime 
endeavored to convince the parents and 
teachers of their day that the early years 
of life should be spent in spontaneous ac- 
tivities, in contact with nature, and in 
give-and-take relations with playmates. 
When Spencer took up the problem, he at- 
tempted to give scientific validity to the 
common-sense views of Locke and Rous- 
seau by pointing out that it is easily pos- 
sible to arrest the development of the 
child’s brain by crowding him through 
subjects of study which are not suited to 
his stage of development. According to 
the Spencerian view, it is a mistake to 
stimulate brain areas before nature in- 

* Presented before Section L, American Associa- 

tion for the Advancement of Science, at the Min- 
neapolis meeting. 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No, 881 

tended they should be exercised; which 
means, for one thing, that the child should 
not be taught the three R’s at two or three 
or even four years of age. The followers 
of Spencer have been wont to interpret his 
views on this question by likening the de- 
velopment of the intellect to the develop- 
ment of the digestive and assimilative sys- 
tems. If a babe be given meat before 
nature has prepared the organism for it, 
nothing but harm can result therefrom, 
which fact may be observed by any one 
who is not obsessed by notions to the con- 
trary. Spencer brought forward biolog- 
ical and psychological evidence showing, 
as he believed, and as practically all stu- 
dents in this field now think, that there is 
a definite order in which the intellectual 
activities should be awakened; and if we 
try to upset this order in our educational 
programs we can hardly fail to disturb the 
delicate adjustments of the mind, and so 
to leave the individual all the weaker 
therefor in the end. 

These views expressed by Locke, Rous- 
seau, Spencer and many more recent stu- 
dents of education, biology, and psychology 
have profoundly influenced the thought 
and practise of teachers, and to a lesser ex- 
tent of parents, in our own country. In 
some of the older countries the view is still 
popularly entertained that the child is a 
small-sized copy of the adult, possessing in 
miniature all the powers and faculties of 
a grown person. So that whatever is ap- 
propriate for the adult is also appropriate 
for the child, except that the doses must 
be reduced for the latter. It is the usual 
practise in certain of the schools of the 
Old World, and it was quite the fashion in 
our own schools a few decades ago, to in- 
troduce a child of four or five years of age 
to all the ordinary subjects of instruction 
in the elementary school. But the develop- 
ment of biological and psychological sci- 

j ’ 

NoveMBER 17, 1911] 

ence in America, and its application to the 
problems of human life, have caused people 
to regard the child as different in most re- 
spects from the adult. And in his train- 
ing he must receive what is adapted to his 
needs at different points in his evolution; 
which must be determined by observing 
him, rather than by giving him what may 
be suited for adults, only less of it, 
since he is not so large or strong. Dur- 
ing the past few decades we have been 
hearing constantly that if the modes of 
thinking and the activities proper to an 
immature individual be suppressed in the 
child in order to rush him through the 
period of childhood, then the modes of 
thinking and the activities normal to adult 
life will be abortive or disordered, or they 
may not appear at all. 


But within the last two or three years, 
teachers and parents have been thrown 
into a state of doubt and wonder on ac- 
count of the reports which have been put 
in circulation to the effect that normal 
children two years of age or less have 
been taught to read readily, not only in the 
mother tongue, but in foreign languages; 
and at this tender age they have shown 
great facility in spelling, in numbers, and 
in all branches of elementary education. 
Recently an educational magazine pub- 
lished the following account of the abilities 
of Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr., of Palo 
Alto, Cal., who was eight years of age at 
the time the report was made. The ac- 
count says: 

She can carry on a conversation in English, 
French, Spanish, Latin, Esperanto, Japanese, Rus- 
sian, German, Polish and Italian, while in the first 
five she can think as well as talk. Miss Stoner is 
a healthy, normal child, as fond of dolls and play 
as any other little girl who knows only one lan- 
guage. Miss Stoner is also precocious as a writer 
of verse, and a volume of her compositions has 



been published. This young lady shows not only 
remarkably good sense of meter and rhyme, but a 
keen sense of humor not often allied with pre- 
cocity. This brilliant young woman of eight years 
walked when she was six months old, talked when 
eight months old, and scanned Virgil at one year 
of age. She can take a sheet of music for the first 
time, and, after looking it through once, can tell 
every note that was on it and its place on the staff. 
These are only a few of the wonderful things that 
Winifred Sackville Stoner can do off-hand. The 
interesting part of it all is that she has no one 
unusual natural ability, but all this, from walking 
at six months, talking at eight months and scan- 
ning Virgil at twelve months, is acquired skill or 
art, as you please, the result of the prodigious 
activity of her teacher, Mrs. Stoner. 

During the past three years accounts of 
extraordinary precocity, similar to that of 
Winifred Stoner, have been published re- 
garding William James Sidis, of Brook- 
line, and other children of various ages, 
but all under twelve. The news has been 
spread abroad very generally that these 
children mastered the mother tongue in its 
oral and written forms at two or three 
years of age; that in a single year, at five 
or six, they completed the eight grades of 
the elementary school, and that they 
pushed through the high school in a year 
or two. While they have been accomplish- 
ing these feats, they have had leisure to go 
far beyond the work of either the elemen- 
tary or the high school in special subjects, 
as in mathematics in the case of Master W. 
J. Sidis, for instance. The accounts of the 
achievements of these children have all 
laid emphasis on the mastery, in infancy, 
of reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, 
grammar and a little later of geometry, as- 
tronomy and the principles of physics, 
chemistry, mechanics, and even history, 
political economy and kindred branches. 
These reports have all emphasized the 
statement that the precocious children had 
not been robbed of their childhood, but 
that they spoke and conducted themselves 

4 4 


as children, even though they thought as 
adults, and even beyond most grown per- 
sons. One reads that a certain boy of 
eleven, on entering college, gave lectures 
in higher mathematics to the professors of 
the institution, some of whom had grown 
gray in the unsuccessful attempt to solve 
complicated problems which this child 
solved easily. At the same time he would 
romp like any ten-year-old; and on the 
street or on the playground he could not 
be distinguished from other typical boys of 
his age, concealing a highly developed 
brain behind childish features and actions. 
Magazine and newspaper writers have as- 
eribed this marvelous intellectual develop- 
ment wholly to a rational educational 
system, wherein children were taught to 
concentrate their attention, and never to 
waste their time or energy. 

During the last eighteen months, the 
writer of this paper has listened to nine 
different addresses by educators in various 
parts of the country, all of which assumed 
that the accounts of the precocity of Sidis 
and other children were founded on fact, 
and that somewhat similar results could 
and ought to be attained in the regular 
work of the school. The writer has read 
hundreds of newspaper editorials and com- 
ments on these childish prodigies; and the 
gist of most of them is that our prevailing 
methods of teaching in the public schools 
are, on the whole, of more harm than good, 
for they waste much of the period of 
childhood, and develop bad mental habits 
in the young. Naturally these criticisms 
have raised in many teachers’ minds the 
queries whether our present conception of 
childhood is not altogether erroneous, and 
whether our educational system is not en- 
tirely wrong. Already in some localities 
the suggestion is being made that chil- 
dren should enter school two or three years 
earlier than they commonly now do, and 


[N.S. Vou. XXXTV. No. 881 

that they should devote themselves at the 
outset wholly to reading, writing, spelling, 
grammar and arithmetic; that work with 
the hands, stories of all sorts, nature study, 
drawing, music and the like should be 
eliminated from the curriculum. State- 
ments have been made to the effect that 
any typical boy can be got ready for col- 
lege at ten or eleven by starting him in to 
read at two. The chief trouble in our 
schools of to-day, say the newspaper 
writers and some educational lecturers, is 
that children do not learn to think cor- 
rectly or effectively, because they are not 
trained from the beginning in the subjects 
which are of chief value in developing 
right modes of thought. 


The present writer has attempted to get 
from those close to some of the precocious 
children referred to precise and detailed 
accounts of just what they had accom- 
plished in the various branches in which 
they have been reported to be proficient, 
but nothing but general and unsatisfactory 
statements have been secured. So far as 
ean be ascertained, there are accessible no 
really reliable data of a sufficiently de- 
tailed and specific character to enable one 
to determine exactly what kind of ability 
Miss Stoner, Jr., or Master Sidis, or any of 
their class possesses in reading or arith- 
metie or caleulus or Hebrew or what not. 
So we must take the popular accounts, 
such as parents, teachers and editors are 
attaching importance to, and see what les- 
sons may be drawn from them. Take read- 
ing, for instance; some of these children 
‘‘can read very readily at the age of two.”’ 
Now, one may learn to recognize words so 
that he can pronounce them, but still not 
be able to read in a true sense—that is to 
say, his knowledge of a word may not be 
anything but merely verbal. 1t may sug- 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

gest to him but a very slight part and pos- 
sibly not any, of the subtle meaning which 
it has come to possess through a long process 
of development. The writer, to try out this 
principle, has conducted some experi- 
ments upon school children, with a view 
to discovering whether individuals could 
correctly pronounce words they did not 
understand in any adequate or precise 
manner. The method of teaching reading 
in the schools in which the experiments 
were made leads pupils to endeavor to at- 
tach some meaning to all new words in 
their lessons; but even so, there was not a 
pupil tested beyond the third grade who 
could not readily pronounce words which 
were utterly unintelligible to him, these 
words being chosen from the works of 
Shakespeare, Spencer, Emerson § and 
Roosevelt. Practically all these pupils 
could easily pronounce the words in com- 
plete passages which meant nothing to 
them. Again, I tried these pupils in read- 
ing problems in arithmetic and theorems 
in geometry; and most of them could with- 
out hesitation pronounce the words in 
problems they could not interpret. Other 
tests, some of them with university stu- 
dents reading a foreign language, simply 
impressed the principle that the oral rend- 
ering of words and sentences is one thing, 
while the correct appreciation of them in 
all their significations is an altogether dif- 
ferent thing. 

It will be readily granted that the least 
important part of the process in reading is 
simple recognition of words as mere verbal 
forms, either visual or auditory. Most of 
what is vital in learning to read, and 
which is a test of the degree of mental de- 
velopment one has reached, has reference 
to the gaining of the meaning which words 
and phrases have gradually come to de- 
note. He who can not bring these mean- 
ings before consciousness when he looks 


upon words, even though he can pronounce 
them, has not learned to read in a true 
sense, as this term should be understood. 
He has simply gained a certain degree of 
familiarity with a peculiar kind of visual 
object—an extremely simple, mechanical 
sort of thing, requiring no very high de- 
gree of mentality to master. 

Perhaps a special phase of the general 
matter before us should be impressed at 
this point. A child, or even an adult, may 
be able to recognize isolated words, so that 
he can pronounce them, and an onlooker 
may say that he can read them. But read- 
ing for the gaining of content does not con- 
sist so much in dealing with isolated words, 
as in grasping, as a whole, the phrase, the 
clause or the sentence. Any good reader 
is largely unconscious of particular words 
in his reading. These fuse into larger 
unities, which alone eonvey real meaning. 
But a child may be taught to recognize 
and vocalize detached words, while at the 
same time he may be utterly unable to com- 
bine these into patterns in the way in which 
they must be actually utilized in gaining or 
expressing thought. One often comes across 
children who ean call off the individual 
words in a sentence, but they may be 
utterly at sea when asked to give the 
meaning of this sentence. They fail to 
grasp it as a unity, and so it has little, if 
any, meaning for them. 

It is a simple matter of psychology that 
reading for content, instead of simply for 
verbal recognition, can not go beyond the 
individual’s experience with the meaning 
which is denoted. No one would be quite so 
foolish as to claim that a child of two who 
had had no experience outside of his nur- 
sery could read understandingly the Old 
Testament, for instance, er Tennyson’s 
‘‘In Memoriam,’’ or Milton’s ‘‘ Paradise 
Lost.’’ It is possible he might be taught 
to pronounce the words; but reading for 



him would be a process simply of verbal 
recognition and vocal execution, and the 
really essential element in the reading 
would be entirely beyond him. 

But when reports are circulated of the 
extraordinary reading ability of two- or 
three-year-old children, adults are likely 
to interpret the statements made from the 
standpoint of their own processes in read- 
ing, wherein they are concerned almost 
wholly with content instead of form, and 
they are amazed, because they can not con- 
ceive how a child of so tender an age could 
amass such a fund of experience as read- 
ing Plato and Shakespeare and Darwin re- 
quires. The majority of people, in their 
off-hand way, consider reading as a unit- 
ary process, and they jump to the conclu- 
sion that pronouncing words denotes ap- 
preciation of meaning; and herein is the 
foundation for one popular misconception 
regarding precocity as described in the 
publie prints. 


Reports of the remarkable mathematical 
ability of four-year-old American children 
have been extensively circulated through- 
out our country and abroad. It has been 
said that these prodigies have worked 
through algebra, geometry, caleulus and 
other branches of higher mathematics at 
this early age. But as in the case of read- 
ing, so here it is necessary to determine 
just what kind of mathematical ability is 
displayed by these children. The writer 
has tested a group of pupils in the second 
grade who are able to perform the funda- 
mental operations in arithmetic, but who 
have no true arithmetical images or con- 
cepts. It is a simple matter of psychology 
that the figures 4, 5 and 9 may be so fre- 
quently seen together in a certain special 
relation that when the first two are per- 
ceived the last will inevitably arise. This 

[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No. 881 

is nothing but a mere mechanical associa- 
tion of impressions—the lowest form of in- 
tellectual organization. 

Again, any one who will take the trouble 
to look for them may find children who are 
able to apply the fundamental operations 
in a variety of ways following certain mod- 
els that have been shown them, but they 
do not comprehend the actual situations 
which are symbolized by these processes. 
They simply manipulate figures according 
to a given pattern; they do not construct 
mentally any vital content for their sym- 
bolic operations. This latter thing is what 
the mature individual is constantly doing, 
if he has developed properly, and he is apt 
to assume that the child too conceives ac- 
tual situations in the world of things when 
he solves his problems; and this is another 
reason for popular error in reacting upon 
tales of precocious children. 

We might illustrate this latter point by 
referring to some common game, as check- 
ers. No one will say that if a child should 
learn how to jump men on a checker board, 
imitating examples of the method given 
him by others, that on this account he 
would display any knowledge of the world 
of people or things about him. He would 
simply be required to establish a series of 
mechanical associations which may never 
be utilized anywhere in the world except 
on the checker board. To say that because 
a two-year-old child could play checkers 
he was therefore highly developed intel- 
lectually would be rather absurd. There 
are on record cases of persons wholly in- 
eompetent, even feeble minded in most 
things, who could carry through a game 
like checkers very well; and even simpler 
and easier is the process of arithmetical 
computation, which has in certain cases 
been developed to a marvelous extent by 
persons who have been imbeciles in most 
other respects. For a two-year-old child 

NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

to be able to play checkers would indicate 
simply that he had developed the power of 
attending to this sort of thing beyond 
what most normal children of this age 
spontaneously manifest; though if it were 
thought to be worth while the typical child 
could easily be trained to do this thing 
with a greater or less degree of success. 
But while a two-year-old might be able 
to attend to the sort of situation presented 
on a checker board, he might at the same 
time be utterly deficient in attending to 
an unfamiliar human face so that he could 
recognize it the next time he saw it, and 
especially so that he might know whether 
to laugh or to ery in the presence of the 
stranger, It can scarcely be doubted that 
it requires a much higher order of intel- 
lectual process to discern the traits of a 
stranger in order to discover what to do 
with regard to him, than to learn to move 
checkers on a board, or to tell that six and 
six make twelve, or to solve a problem in 
cube root or quadratie equations, or to 
speak seven different languages, and so on. 
The analysis of a human personality, and 
the interpretation of what is observed, is 
a more complicated matter than the analy- 
sis of any situation presented in mathe- 
matics. More factors have to be taken 
account of in deciding what sort of atti- 
tude to assume toward a person than to 
solve any problem in caleulus. And more- 
over, these factors are very subtly related 
to one another; they are plastic and dy- 
namic, and extremely variable as compared 
with mathematical phenomena. One can 
take his time about a problem in Euclidean 
geometry. The relations to be discovered 
will not change from one moment to 
another; they are static and permanent. 
They are not affected by environing con- 
ditions, which characteristic makes them 
far more simple psychologically than any 
living thing, and especially than a human 



being, whose expressions, which the child 
must apprehend and interpret, vary with 
a varying environment, so that they are 
likely to be constantly passing from one 
variety into another. But even so, every 
normal child of two years of age is con- 
stantly analyzing living, and particularly 
human beings, and drawing more or less 
correct inferences from the phenomena ob- 
served. A_ typical two-year-old child 
knows what sort of an attitude to take 
toward his father and mother and brothers 
and sisters and servants in many of their 
different moods. If he has come in con- 
tact with people outside the family, he may 
be able to adjust himself fairly well to a 
considerable number of people who may 
differ from one another in various respects. 
The child of this age who has pets knows 
how to deal with them appropriately to 
their main distinguishing traits; and he 
will modify his attitude toward them ac- 
cording as their expressions change. 
When it comes to inanimate objects, the 
young child understands the essential na- 
ture of a large number of them, so that he 
ean adapt himself to them. 

From the standpoint of precocity, all 
this vital knowledge of living and inani- 
mate things, which the typical two-year- 
old possesses, is far more wonderful than a 
knowledge of the forms of words, or opera- 
tions with numbers, or even applying geo- 
metrical formule to particular problems. 
It seems reasonable to say that every nor- 
mal five-year-old child has performed 
much more difficult feats in discovering 
the qualities of human beings say, and ad- 
justing himself to them, than would be 
essential in learning to speak sentences in 
Spanish, French, German and Greek. 
This statement will doubtless be ques- 
tioned by one who has not reflected upon 
the matter; but the reason it may seem ex- 
treme is because it is more in line with 



custom and with native tendency for a 
young child to learn how to adapt himself 
to the world of people and things about 
him than to memorize verbal combinations. 
It is to be expected that people will marvel 
at the accomplishments of a boy of ten who 
can speak divers tongues, and recite geo- 
metrical demonstrations, because such 
feats are unusual, not because they are at 
all impossible for the typical child, or be- 
cause they denote a superior order of 
mental development. What such pre- 
eocious performances indicate is simply 
that the mind of the ‘‘prodigy’’ has been 
stimulated in these particular directions, 
often, if not always, to the exclusion to a 
greater or less extent of stimulation in the 
ordinary directions. 

The writer has subjected certain so- 
ealled precocious children in language and 
the like to tests which were designed to 
show whether they had learned as much 
about nature and human nature, and had 
acquired as much skill in manipulating 
inanimate objects about them at the age 
of nine or ten, as the typical child whose 
time and energies from birth onward had 
been devoted largely to learning things as 
contrasted with words and formule. Ma- 
king allowances for rare exceptions, it may 
be said that pupils who are precocious in 
speaking and reading foreign tongues, and 
working text-book problems in arithmetic, 
algebra and geometry, are distinctly in- 
ferior to the typical children of their age 
in their understanding of realities, and 
especially in effective reaction upon the 
environment in making it over into new 
forms or patterns, or directing the forces 
of nature into new channels. These pre- 
cocious children often memorize the con- 
tents of an arithmetic say, without having 
any adequate notion of the realities which 
arithmetical processes ought to symbolize. 
They may learn the table of dry measure, 


[N.S. VoL. XXXIV. No, 88] 

for instance, so they can recite it off, and 
apply it in text-book problems, but with- 
out having any just conception of the size 
and relation of the units which are men- 
tioned in the table, or any notion of how 
they are utilized in every-day life in facili- 
tating the relations between human beings. 

And what is true of precocity in arith- 
metic is true in principle of all the studies 
pursued in the schools, especially of such 
subjects as algebra, geometry, and other 
branches of mathematics, which are so fre- 
quently mentioned in all discussions of 
precocity. Marked ability in the formal 
aspects of these subjects, such aspects as 
are emphasized in the schools usually, may 
go along with utter incapacity in adjust- 
ment to the vital situations of life. Con- 
sider which requires the higher degree of 
mental development—to look on a group 
of algebraic symbols at leisure, change 
their positions according to a _pattern- 
method which has been presented; or to 
discern the characteristics of a new com- 
panion who may come into a group, and 
to determine with celerity what he can be 
used for, and how he must be dealt with. 
The fact that the former situation is less 
interesting to the child than the latter 
should not prevent one from seeing its 
relative simplicity. Inasmuch as algebra, 
geometry, German and so on lack color, 
life and vitality for the young child they 
do not appeal to him as do the human face 
and many natural objects, which are so 
intimately bound up with his welfare. 
The mind of the child is unquestionably 
constructed on a plan whereby attention 
must be given primarily to people and to 
things as contrasted with words and sym- 
bols, because the former have played the 
leading réle in human evolution. If our 
forbears had not shown a spontaneous in- 
terest in the realities in their environment 

NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

the race would have been eliminated long 

This fact may warrant the statement at 
this point that the study of people and of 
natural objects and forces should furnish 
the principal material for the young 
child’s education. He must get his mental 
set in the direction of gaining insight, first 
into the qualities and needs of his fellows, 
and second into the constitution of nature, 
and the operation of her laws. Not books 
but realities should constitute the earliest 
nourishment of the mind. To give the 
child a set in the beginning so that he 
would be more interested in the symbols 
for realities than in the realities them- 
selves would result in arresting his mental 
development, and in developing in him a 
type of mind capable only of working on 
the lower planes of mechanical association. 
And it is easily possible to commit this 
latter sort of crime. One who will look 
about him in the schools will not lack for 
evidence showing that children who have 
early been nurtured upon symbols have 
never gained a true feeling for or interest 
in the real world in which they must live 
and have their being. 

One of the most interesting phases of 
present-day discussion of precocity is the 
high value which the average person puts 
upon the ability of a child to enter college 
at an unusually early age. When a boy 
passes college entrance examinations at the 
age of eleven or twelve, everyone who 
hears of it is likely to exclaim at his re- 
markable intellectual development. But 
one might justly say of the requirements for 
entering college that they are mainly ver- 
bal, conventional, and symbolic; they con- 
cern the tools of knowledge, not true knowl- 
edge itself. A pupil might be able to pass 
brilliantly in every examination for admis- 
sion to many colleges, without possessing the 
ability to adjust himself to life efficiently. 



A boy might have to sit in a corner when 
he was among a group of his own fellows, 
but yet he might work out quadratic equa- 
tions with success. <A child might be quite 
incapable of using his muscles in the per- 
formance of any useful motor task, and 
still he might be able to demonstrate that 
the sum of the interior angles of a triangle 
equals two right angles. The college en- 
trance examinations, speaxing generally 
(it is not so true to-day as it was formerly) 
test only a low order of knowledge, mostly 
the variety requiring for its mastery mainly 
mechanical memory. The colleges them- 
selves now appreciate this, and the prob- 
lem of changing the examination system 
so that it may measure real ability in- 
stead of mere verbal learning is receiving 
attention throughout the country. 

Finally, it may be said that in all times 
students of mental development and of 
education have recognized that if knowl- 
edge be presented to the child in accord- 
ance with the laws of apperception, he will 
progress far more rapidly in comprehend- 
ing the world around him than if he be 
left wholly to himself, or if ignorant 
teachers present facts to him so that he can 
not grasp them and assimilate them. One 
who has skill and patience in leading a 
child always to understand what he sees 
about him, and to discern the laws which 
govern things, can in time give him a set 
so that he will spontaneously come to 
search after the real connections between 
the objects and phenomena he observes. — 
It seems evident that this has been done to 
some extent in the case of certain children 
whose intellectual attainments have at- 
tracted attention during the past two or 
three years; and they may perhaps be 
said to be really precocious. However, 
there can be no doubt that many children 
have attained just as great advancement 
in informal education; but knowledge of 



this latter kind does not attract the atten- 
tion of the multitude, partly because it can 
not be readily tested in examination, and 
secondly because it is more ordinary, more 
common. It is the unusual thing always 
that arouses the wonder of people, and sets 
them to talking. 


These modern instances of intellectual 
prodigies, then, give us no new view of hu- 
man nature, and no new theory of educa- 
tion. They simply indicate what may be 
achieved in any particular direction by 
persistent, systematic, organized instruc- 
tion. The particular intellectual achieve- 
ments of these cases serves as no indication 
of how the majority of children ought to 
be trained; but they do impress the value 
of educational principles which are fa- 
miliar to all who are in the business. 




Tue sixty-third meeting of the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science, 
and the tenth of the “convocation week” 
meetings, will be held in Washington, De- 
cember 27 to 30, 1911. A meeting of the exec- 
utive committee of the council (consisting of 
the general secretary, the secretary of the 
council, the permanent secretary, and the sec- 
retaries of all of the sections) will be held at 
the office of the permanent secretary, in the 
New Willard Hotel, at noon, on Tuesday, De- 
cember 26. The opening general session of 
the association will be held at 8 o’clock p.m., 
on Wednesday, December 27, in the main as- 
sembly hall, new U. S. National Museum. 
The council will meet Wednesday morning, 
December 27, in the New Willard Hotel at 9 
o’clock. Sections will meet in their respective 
halls at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. 

The program for the entire meeting will be 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No. 881 

issued on Wednesday, December 27, and 
copies may be obtained at the office of the 
permanent secretary in the New Willard 
The following events may be announced in 

The register for the Washington meeting will be 
open from 9:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., at the general 
office of the association in the Smithsonian Insti- 
tution, and on following days from 9:00 A.M. to 
5:00 P.M. at hotel headquarters, New Willard 
Hotel. The register will be open from 6:30 to 
9:00 P.M. at hotel headquarters, New Willard 


9:00 a.M.—The council will meet in the council 
room at the New Willard Hotel. Registration 
from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. 

10:00 a.M.—The sections will meet in their 
respective meeting-places for organization, and 
where sections have programs the reading of 
papers will begin after organization. 

2:00 P.M.—Meetings of the sections and affili- 
ated societies. 

2:30 p.M.—Addresses by retiring vice-presidents 
as follows: Vice-president Frankforter, before the 
Section of Chemistry, on ‘‘The Resins and their 
Chemical Relations to the Terpenes’’; Vice-presi- 
dent Reighard, before the Section of Zoology, on 
‘* Adaptation’’; Vice-president Harper, before the 
Section of Botany, on ‘‘Some Current Conceptions 
of the Germ Plasm,’’ 

8:00 p.M.—First general session of the associa- 
tion in the assembly ‘hhall of the new U. S. Na- 
tional Museum. The meeting will be called to 
order by the retiring president, Dr. A. A. Michel- 
son, who will introduce the president of the meet- 
ing, Dr. Charles E. Bessey. It is expected that 
the address of welcome will be given by the presi- 
dent of the United States. Reply by President 
Bessey. Announcements by secretaries. Agree- 
ment on the hours of meetings. Annual address 
by the retiring president, Dr. A. A. Michelson, on 
‘‘Recent Progress in Spectroscopic Methods.’’ 
Adjournment of the general session, to be followed 
by an informal reception and inspection of the 
exhibits of the new National Museum. 

9:00 A.m.—The council will meet in the council 
room at the New Willard Hotel. Registration 
from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. 

NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

10:00 A.M.—Programs of sections and affiliated 

2:30 p.M—Addresses by retiring vice-presidents 
as follows: Vice-president Rosa, before the 
Section of Physics, on ‘‘ Work of the Electrical 
Division of the Bureau of Standards’’; Vice- 
president Rotch, before the Section of Mechanical 
Science and Engineering, on ‘‘ Aerial Engineer- 
ing’’; Vice-president Hill, before the Section of 
Edueation, on ‘‘The Teaching of General Courses 
in Science.’’ 

3:00 to 4:30 p.M.—Exhibition cavalry drill at 
Fort Myer, Va. 

8:00 p.M.—Informal reception at the Corcoran 
Art Gallery, by invitation of the trustees of the 


9:00 aA.M.—The council will meet in the council 
room at the New Willard Hotel. Registration 
from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. 

10:00 a.M.—Continuation of programs of sec- 
tions and affiliated societies. 

2:30 p.M.—Addresses by retiring vice-presidents 
as follows: Vice-president Moore, before the Sec- 
tion of Mathematics and Astronomy, ‘‘On the 
Foundations of the Theory of Linear Integral 
Equations’’; Vice-president Dixon, before the Sec- 
tion of Anthropology and Psychology, on ‘‘ The 
Independence of the Culture of the American In- 
dian,’’ Vice-president Novy, before the Section of 
Physiology and Experimental Medicine, title to be 

3:00 P.M.—Vice-president Burton, before the 
Section of Social and Economic Science, on ‘‘ The 
Cause of High Prices.’’ 


10:00 A.M.—Continuation of programs of sec- 
tions and affiliated societies. 

There will be a number of joint meetings 
and the usual smokers. and dinners and meet- 
ings of special societies and groups. 

The plan of meeting places is as follows: 

Section A—-Mathematics and Astronomy—Car- 
negie Institution, corner Sixteenth and P Streets. 

Section B—Physies, with American Physical So- 
ciety—Bureau of Standards, Connecticut Avenue 

Section C—Chemistry, with American Chemical 
Society—MeKinley Manual Training School, 
Seventh Street and Rhode Island Avenue. 

Section D—Mechanical Science and Engineering 



—Georgetown Law School, 506 E Street N. W. 

Section E—Geology and Geography, with Geo- 
logical Society of America—New National Mu- 
seum, Eleventh and B Streets. 

Section F—Zoology—New National Museum. 

Section G—Botany, with Botanical Society of 
America—Business High School, Ninth Street and 
Rhode Island Avenue. 

Section H—Anthropology and Psychology, with 
American Anthropological Association—Public 
Library, Seventh and K Streets. 

Section I—Social and Economie Science, with 
American Economie Association—New Raleigh 
Hotel, Twelfth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Section K—Physiology and Experimental Medi- 
cine—To be announced in daily program. 

Section L—Education—To be announced in 
daily program. 

A railroad rate of one fare and three fifths 
for the round trip, on the certificate plan, has 
been granted by the Trunk Line Association, 
the Eastern Canadian and the New England 
Passenger Associations (not including the 
Bangor and Aroostook Railroad and the 
Eastern and the Metropolitan Steamship 
Companies). The Southwestern Passenger 
Association offers no special rate, but advises 
members to take advantage of the “ Christmas 
Holiday Excursion Rates,” the dates of sale 
being December 15, 16, 17 and 21 to 25, inclu- 
sive, with final return date of January 8, 1912. 
From the states of California, Nevada, Ore- 
gon, Washington and west of, and including, 
Mission Junction, B. C.; also from what are 
known as Kootenay common points, namely, 
Nelson, Rossland, Sandon, Kaslo and Grand 
Forks, B. C., the Transcontinental Passenger 
Association has on sale daily Nine Months 
Tourists fares, approximating two cents per 
mile in each direction, or about one fare and 
one third for the round trip. The nine months 
fares apply to the eastern gateways of the 
transcontinental territory, and station agents 
will cheerfully advise delegates as to the east- 
ern points to which it will be most advan- 
tageous for them to purchase nine months 
tickets in rebuying through to Washington. 

The officers for the Washington meeting are: 

President—Charles E. Bessey, University of Ne- 
braska, Lincoln, Nebr. 




A—Mathematies and Astronomy, Edwin B. 
Frost, Yerkes Observatory, Williams Bay, 

B—Physics—Robert A. Millikan, University of 
Chicago, Chicago, Il. 

C—Chemistry—Frank K. Cameron, U. 8S. De- 
partment of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 

D—Mechanical Science and Engineering— 
Charles 8S. Howe, Case School of Applied Sci- 
ence, Cleveland, Ohio. 

E—Geology and Geography—Bohumil Shimek, 
State University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 
F—Zoology—Henry F. Nachtrieb, University of 

Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 

G—Botany—Frederick C. Neweombe, University 
of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 

H—Anthropology and Psychology—George T. 
Ladd, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. 

I—Social and Economie Science—J. Pease Nor- 
ton, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. 

K—Physiology and Experimental Medicine— 
William T. Porter, Harvard Medical School, 
Boston, Mass. 

L—Education—Edward L. Thorndike, Columbia 
University, New York, N. Y. 

Permanent Secretary—L. O. Howard, Smithsonian 
Institution, Washington, D. C. 

General Secretary—John Zeleny, University of 
Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 

Secretary of the Council—Theodore 8S. Palmer, 
U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. C. 

Secretaries of the Sections— 

A—Mathematics and Astronomy—George A. 
Miller, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. 
B—Physies—A. D. Cole, Ohio State University, 

Columbus, Ohio. 

C—Chemistry—C. H. Herty, University of North 
Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C. 

D—Mechanical Science and Engineering—G. W. 
Bissell, Michigan Agricultural College, East 
Lansing, Mich. 

E—Geology and Geography—F. P. Gulliver, 
Norwich, Conn. 

F—Zoology—Maurice A. Bigelow, Columbia 
University, New York, N. Y. 

G—Botany—Henry C. Cowles, University of 
Chieago, Chicago, Il. 

H—Anthropology and 
Grant MacCurdy, Yale 
Haven, Conn. 

I—Social and Economie Sciencee—Seymour C. 
Loomis, 69 Church Street, New Haven, Conn. 

University, New 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No, 88] 

K—Physiology and Experimental Medicine— 
George T. Kemp, 8 West 25th Street, Balti- 
more, Md. 

L—Edueation—C. Riborg Mann, University of 
Chicago, Chicago, Il. 

Treasurer—R. 8S. Woodward, Carnegie Institution, 

Washington, D. C. 

Assistant to Permanent Secretary—F. 8. Hazard, 

Office of the A. A. A. S., Smithsonian Institu- 

tion, Washington, D. C. 

The following societies have indicated their 
intention to meet in Washington during con- 
vocation week in affiliation with the American 
Association for the Advancement of Science: 

American Anthropological Asscciation.—Meets 
on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 
December 27 to 30, in the Public Library. One 
afternoon to be devoted to discussion of topie, 
‘*Environment and Culture.’’ Joint meeting with 
American Folk-Lore Society on Thursday, Decem- 
ber 28. Secretary, Dr. George Grant MacCurdy, 
Yale University Museum, New Haven, Conn. 

Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of 
America.—Meets on Wednesday, Thursday and 
Friday, December 27 to 29, in Carnegie Institu- 
tion. Secretary, Professor William J. Hussey, 
Ann Arbor, Mich. 

Society of American Bacteriologists.—Meets on 
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December 27 
to 29, in the Cosmos Club. Joint meetings with 
Section K and American Phytopathological So- 
ciety. Secretary, Dr. Charles E. Marshall, East 
Lansing, Mich. 

American Society of Biological Chemists.—Meets 
in Baltimore, Md., from Wednesday morning, De- 
cember 27, to Friday noon, December 29. Joint 
session to be held in McKinley Manual Training 
School, Washington, D. C., with the Biological Sec- 
tion, American Chemical Society, on Friday after- 
noon, December 29. Secretary, Professor A. N. 
Richard, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 

Botanical Society of America.—Meets on Wednes- 
day, Thursday and Friday, December 27 to 29, in 
the Business High School. Joint session with Sec- 
tion G and American Phytopathological Society on 
Friday, December 29. Secretary, Dr. George T. 
Moore, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Mo. 

American Chemical Society.—Meets on Wednes- 
day, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 
27 to 30, in the McKinley Manual Training School. 
Biological Section meets in joint session with 
American Society of Biological Chemists on Fri- 


17, 1911] 

day afternoon, December 29. Secretary, Professor 
Charles L. Parsons, New Hampshire College, Dur- 
ham, N. H. 

American Civic Alliance.—Meets on Friday, De- 
cember 29, in the New Raleigh Hotel. Secretary, 
Gerald Van Casteel, 165 Broadway, New York, 
N. Y. 

American Economic Association—Meets on 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, De- 
eember 27 to 30, in the New Raleigh Hotel. Sec- 
retary, Professor T. N. Carver, Harvard Univer- 
sity, Cambridge, Mass. 

American Association of Economic Entomolo- 
gists.—Meets on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 
December 27 to 29, in the new National Museum. 
Joint session with the Entomological Society of 
America on Wednesday, December 27, at 1 P.M. 
Secretary, A. F. Burgess, Melrose Highlands, Mass, 

Entomological Society of America.—Meets on 
Tuesday and Wednesday, December 26 and 27, in 
the new National Museum. Secretary, Dr. Alex. 
D. MacGillivray, 604 East John St., Champaign, 

American Fern Society.—Meets in the Business 
High School. Dates of meetings not yet an- 
nounced. Secretary, Professor L. S. Hopkins, 
Lincoln High School, Pittsburgh, Pa. 

American Folk-Lore Society.—Meets on Thurs- 
day, December 28, in the Public Library. Joint 
meeting with American Anthropological Associa- 
tion. Secretary, Dr. Charles Peabody, Peabody 
Museum, Cambridge, Mass. 

Association of American Geographers.—Meets 
on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 28 
to 30, in Hubbard Memorial Hall. Secretary, 
Professor Albert P. Brigham, Colgate University, 
Hamilton, N. Y. 

Geological Society of America.—Meets on 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, De- 
cember 27 to 30, in the new National Museum. 
Secretary, Dr. E. O. Hovey, American Museum of 
Natural History, New York, N. Y. 

American Federation of Teachers of the Mathe- 
matical and the Natural Sciences.—Meets on 
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December 27 
to 29, in Georgetown Law School Building, 506 
E Street, N. W. Joint sessions will be held with 
Section L. Secretary, Professor Eugene R. Smith, 
Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

American Home Economics Association—Meets 
on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 28 
to 30. Place of meeting to be announced. Secre- 
tary, Dr. Benjamin R. Andrews, Teachers College, 
Columbia University, New York, N. Y. 



Society for Horticultural Science-—Meets on 
Friday, December 29, at the Business High School. 
Secretary, C. P. Close, College Park, Md. 

American Association for Labor Legislation.— 
Will meet in the New Raleigh Hotel. Dates to be 
announced. Secretary, Dr. John B. Andrews, 
Metropolitan Tower, New York, N. Y. 

American Microscopical Society.—Will hold 
business session only, on date to be announced. 
Place of meeting: New Ebbitt House. Secretary, 
Dr. T. W. Galloway, James Millikin University, 
Decatur, Ill. 

American Nature-Study Society.—Meets on 
Wednesday and Thursday, December 27 and 28, 
in the Business High School. President and Act- 
ing Secretary, Dr. Benjamin M. Davis, Miami Uni- 
versity, Oxford, Ohio. 

Paleontological Society of America.—Meets on 
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 28 to 
30, in the new National Museum. Secretary, R. 8. 
Bassler, U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

American Physical Society.—Meets with Section 
B at the U. S. Bureau of Standards. Dates to be 
announced. Secretary, Professor Ernest Merritt, 
Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 

American Physiological Society.—Meets on Fri- 
day, December 29, in the George Washington Med- 
ical School. Joint session with Section K. Secre- 
tary, Dr. A. J. Carlson, University of Chicago, 
Chicago, Il. 

American Phytopathological Society.—Meets at 
the Business High School on dates to be announced. 
Joint sessions with Section G and Botanical So- 
ciety of America on Wednesday and Thursday, 
December 27 and 28. Secretary, Dr. C. L. Shear, 
U. 8S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, 
D. C. 

American Psychological Association.—Meets on 
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, December 27 to 
29, in the George Washington Medical School. 
Joint meeting with Sections F and L on dates to 
be announced. Secretary, Professor W. V. Bing- 
ham, Dartmouth College, Hanover, N. H. 

Sigma Xi.—Annual meeting in affiliation with 
A. A. A. S. to be held on Friday afternoon, De- 
cember 29. Place to be announced. 

American Sociological Association.—Will meet 
in the New Raleigh Hotel on dates to be an- 
nounced. Secretary, Professor A. A. Tenney, Co- 
lumbia University, New York, N. Y. 

American Statistical Association —Will meet in 
the New Raleigh Hotel on dates to be announced. 
Joint meeting with American Economic Associa- 
tion on Thursday, December 28, at 8 P.M. Secre- 



tary, Professor C. W. Doten, Massachusetts Insti- 
tute of Technology, Boston, Mass. 

Sullivant Moss Society—Meets on Thursday, 
December 28, in the Business High School. Secre- 
tary, Mrs. Annie Morrill Smith, 78 Orange Street, 
Brooklyn, N. Y. Acting Secretary, W. R. Maxon, 
U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. C. 

Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology. 
—Meets on Friday and Saturday, December 29 
and 30, in the George Washington Medical School. 
Joint meeting with American Psychological Asso- 
ciation on date to be announced. Secretary, Dr. 
R. M. Ogden, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 


It is cabled from Stockholm that the Nobel 
prize for chemistry has been awarded to Mme. 
Curie, of the University of Paris. These pre- 
liminary announcements are usually but not 
always correct. The Nobel prize in 1903 was 
awarded half to Professor Pierre Curie and 
Mme. Curie and half to Professor Becquerel. 

Tue daily papers state that Dr. J. M. T. 
Finney, A.B. (Princeton ’84), M.D. (Har- 
vard ’89), of the surgical staff of Johns Hop- 
kins Hospital, has been offered the presidency 
of Princeton University. 

Dr. Eimer E. Brown, late U. S. commis- 
sioner of education, was installed as chancellor 
of New York University on November 9. 

Proressor Ernest W. Brown, of Yale Uni- 
versity, has been elected an honorary fellow 
of Christ’s College, Cambridge. 

At the annual meeting of the Royal So- 
ciety of Edinburgh on October 23, Sir Wil- 
liam Turner, K.C.B., F.R.S., was elected 
president, and Professor J. C. Ewart, F.R.S., 
Dr. J. Horne, F.R.S., Dr. J. Burgess, Pro- 
fessor T. Hudson Beare, Professor F. O. 
Bower, F.R.S. and Sir Thomas R. Fraser, 
F.R.S., were elected vice-presidents. 

Tue following astronomers have been 
elected honorary members of the Astronomical 
Society of Mexico: Professor A. Abetti, Flor- 
ence; Professor G. Fayet, Nice; Professor R. 
H. Baker, University of Missouri; Professor 
F, W. Dyson, Astronomer Royal of England; 
Professor S. A. Mitchell, of Columbia Univer- 
sity, and Professor W. Ebell, Kiel. 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No, 881 

Dr. Grorce Biumer, dean of the faculty of 
Yale Medical School, was elected president of 
the Connecticut Society for Mental Hygiene, 
at the third annual meeting of the society, 
held recently in New Haven. 

Tue fellowship of the International School 
of American Archeology and Ethnology at 
Mexico City, has been awarded by Harvard 
University to George Plummer Howe, A.B. 
1900, M.D. 1910, of Lawrence, Mass. 

Dr. Wittis W. Warre has resigned as city 
bacteriologist of Syracuse, N. Y., to become 
director of Dr. Hugh Crause’s Clinical Lab- 
oratory, of El Paso, Texas. 

Proressor R. T. Crawrorp, of the Berkeley 
astronomical department, University of Calli- 
fornia, is absent on leave during the academic 
year and is at present in Germany. During 
his absence Professor D. W. Morehouse, of 
Drake University, has been appointed instruc- 
tor in astronomy. 

Dr. Osten BercstranD has been appointed 
professor of astronomy and director of the 
Observatory at Upsala. 

Proressor W. J. Hussey, who left Ann 
Arbor in June to assume the directorship of 
the Observatory of the National University 
of La Plata, Argentina, is engaged in the re- 
organization of the scientific work of that in- 
stitution and is prosecuting his own re- 
searches in the field of visual double stars 
with gratifying results. Professor Hussey 
retains his connection with the Observatory 
of the University of Michigan and is develop- 
ing the plan of cooperation in astronomical 
work between the universities of Michigan 
and La Plata, announced in Science earlier 
in the year. 

Dr. W. A. Cannon, of the Desert Labora- 
tory, has returned to this country after travel- 
ing sixteen months in Europe and north 
Africa. He visited deserts adjacent to the 
Nile River in Upper Egypt, and the southern 
part of Algeria. In the latter country he 
explored the region little known to botanists 
between Ghardaia and Ouargla, and visited 
Tougourt and the Oued Rirh. 

NovEeMBER 17, 1911] 

Travis Howarp, M.D., professor 
of pathology, pathological anatomy and bacter- 
iology, and Hippolyte Gruener, Ph.D., pro- 
fessor of chemistry in Western Reserve Uni- 
versity, have returned from a year’s leave of 
absence spent in Europe. For the year 1911- 
12, leave of absence has been granted to Olin 
Freeman Tower, Ph.D., Hurlbut professor of 
chemistry, who will spend the year abroad. 

Dr. Tuomas E. Jones, of the new Univer- 
sity of Queensland, Australia, is at present in 
this country on a tour of inspection around 
the world to study the system of correspond- 
ence study at different universities. 

Durine the meeting of the American Min- 
ing Congress, Chicago, October 24-28, twenty- 
eight geologists were in attendance. These in- 
cluded five representing the U. S. Geological 
Survey, fifteen from various State Surveys 
and eight from the Universities of Chicago, 
Northwestern, Wisconsin and Illinois. One 
evening was made enjoyable by a birthday 
dinner tendered to Dr. Eugene A. Smith, 
state geologist of Alabama. Dr. Smith is still 
vigorous at the age of 70. He has been in his 
present official position since 1871 and has 
published thirty-five or more volumes pertain- 
ing to the geology of Alabama or related sub- 
jects. His name will go down with that of 
LeCgnte and Hilgard as pioneers in science 
in the south. On the recent occasion toasts 
were offered by Dr. George Otis Smith on be- 
half of the U. S. Geological Survey; by Pro- 
fessor A. H. Purdue on behalf of the state 
geologists, and by Professor T. C. Chamber- 
lin on behalf of the university group. 

THe council of the Institution of Civil 
Engineers has made the following awards in 
respect of papers published in the Proceed- 
ings for the session 1910-11: Telford premi- 
ums to S. M. Dixon, M.A. (Birmingham), H. 
J. F. Gourley, B.Eng. (London), J. Holden 
(London), A, Rogers (Horsell), A. E. Griffin 
(Hong-Kong), and F. Lea, D.Sc. (Birming- 
ham); and a Crampton Prize to Professor W. 
E. Dalby, M.A., B.Se. (London). The Indian 
premium for 1911 has been awarded to C. E. 
Capito (Ahwaz, Persia), and the Webb prize 
to F. W. Bach (London). 


Ir is stated in Nature that at the conclu- 
sion of the Harveian Oration, delivered by Dr. 
Theodore Williams at the Royal College of 
Physicians, on October 18, the president of 
the college, Sir Thomas Barlow, presented the 
Baly and the Bisset Hawkins gold medals. 
The Baly medal was awarded to Professor W. 
D. Halliburton, F.R.S. This medal was insti- 
tuted in 1866 “in memoriam Gulielmi Baly, 
M.D.,” and is awarded every alternate year to 
the person who is deemed to have most dis- 
tinguished himself in the science of physiol- 
ogy, especially during the two years immedi- 
ately preceding the award, and is not restricted 
to British subjects. The Bisset Hawkins 
medal was given to Dr. Clement Dukes. This 
medal was established in 1896 by Captain FE. 
Wilmont Williams, at the suggestion of Dr. 
Theodore Williams, to perpetuate the memory 
of Dr. Bisset Hawkins. It is bestowed tri- 
ennially on some duly qualified medical prac- 
titioner who is a British subject, and has dur- 
ing the preceding ten years done work deserv- 
ing special recognition in advancing sanitary 
science or in promoting public health. 

As Bross lecturer for this year, Professor 
Josiah Royce, Ph.D., of Harvard University, 
is giving a course of seven lectures on “ The 
Sources of Religious Insight,” at Lake Forest 
College from November 13 to 19. 

At a meeting of the Senn Club, October 31, 
plans were extended for a bronze statue to the 
memory of Dr. Nicholas Senn, to be placed in 
Lincoln Park. The statue is to cost $25,000, 
and the funds are to be sought by subscrip- 
tions from physicians. 

At a meeting of the Academy of Sciences 
in Havana, on October 13, Dr. Juan Guiter- 
eras delivered an oration on the life and work 
of Dr. Carlos Finlay. At the conclusion of 
the address Dr. Santos Fernandez spoke 
briefly on the same theme and urged the erec- 
tion of a monument to Finlay in the Havana 

Proressor St. Linpeck, of the Reichsan- 
stalt and editor of the Zeitschrift fiir Instru- 
mentenkunde, died on October 21, aged 47 
years. Dr. Lindeck was in America at the 



Columbian Exhibition with von Helmholtz, 
and was a member of the International Con- 
ference on Electrical Units and Standards, 
which met in London in 1908. 

THe death is announced at the age of sev- 
enty-four years of the Rev. Henry C. Mce- 
Cook, D.D., a leading Presbyterian clergy- 
man of Philadelphia, known also for his 
popular scientific publications on entomology. 

Dr. Antone Buiatin, former professor of 
physiology at the Ecole de médecine de Cler- 
mont, has died at the age of seventy-two years. 

THe twentieth annual meeting of the Amer- 
ican Psychological Association will be held in 
Washington on Wednesday, Thursday and 
Friday, December 27, 28 and 29. Hotel head- 
quarters will be at the Ebbitt House. A 
symposium on the demarcation of the distinct 
difference between “Instinct and Intelli- 
gence ” will be opened by Dr. Marshall. Pro- 
fessor Herrick, Professor Yerkes and Pro- 
fessor Judd have already completed the prepa- 
ration of their contributions to this sym- 
posium. Papers on the experimental study 
of animal behavior will be read before a joint 
session with Section F of the American As- 
sociation for the Advancement of Science and 
the society will unite with Section L for one 
session devoted to reports of research in edu- 
cational psychology. The committee on ex- 
periments useful in teaching psychology (class 
and home experiments) will have some defi- 
nite results of their year’s work to present to 
the association. Plans are brewing for a 
program on psychology in its relations to 
medical education. The proposal meets with 
the hearty approval of such representative edu- 
eators as Drs. Adolf Meyer, Donaldson and 
Prince. An exhibit of apparatus is being ar- 

Tue American Physiological Society will 
hold its twenty-fourth annual meeting in 
Baltimore and Washington during convoca- 
tion week, beginning December 26, 1911. The 
society will hold joint sessions in Baltimore 
with the American Society of Biological 
Chemists and with the American Society for 
Pharmacology and Experimental Thera- 


[N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No. 881 

peutics, and in Washington with Section K, 
of the American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science. In Baltimore the place of 
meeting will be the Johns Hopkins Medical 

THE tentative program for the sessions of 
Section D at the Washington meeting of the 
American Association for the Advancement of 
Science in convocation week is as follows: 
Wednesday, December 27. 

Miscellaneous papers. 

Thursday, December 28. 

Morning session. Papers on aeronautics and re- 

lated topics. 

Afternoon session. Address of Professor A. 
Lawrence Rotch, retiring vice-president of the 
section. Subject: ‘‘ Aerial Engineering.’’ 

Friday, December 29. 

Morning and afternoon sessions. Papers on 

highway engineering. 
Saturday, December 30. 

Highway inspection trips, in charge of Professor 
A. H. Blanchard. 

Members of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science expecting to con- 
tribute to the program of Section D should 
so advise G. W. Bissell, secretary, East Lan- 
sing, Mich., as soon as practicable and pre- 
ferably not later than December 1. Blanks 
for titles and abstracts will be furnished by 
the secretary on request. 

THe annual meeting of the Association of 
American Agricultural Colleges and Experi- 
ment Stations, will be held at Columbus, O., 
from November 15 to 17. Societies meeting 
in affiliation are the Society for the Promo- 
tion of Agricultural Science, American So- 
ciety of Agronomy, American Farm Manage- 
ment Association and the American Society 
of Animal Nutrition on November 13 and 14; 
American Association of Farm Institute 
Workers, November 13 to 15, and Association 
of Feed Control Officials of the U. S., No- 
vember 17 and 18. 

Mr. AnprEw Carnecie has turned over $25,- 
000,000 in first mortgage bonds of the United 
States Steel Corporation to the Carnegie Cor- 
poration of New York, the body which was 
incorporated by the legislature on June 9 of 

the present year for the purpose of taking 
over Mr. Carnegie’s work in connection with 
educational institutions, libraries and hero 
funds. The incorporators are Andrew Car- 
negie, Elihu Root, William N. Frew, Henry S. 
Pritchett, Robert S. Woodward, Charles L. 
Taylor, James Bertram and Robert A. 
Franks. Mr. Root is head of the Carnegie 
Peace Foundation, Mr. Frew is president of 
the board of trustees of the Carnegie Institu- 
tion of Pittsburgh. Mr. Pritchett is president 
of the Carnegie Foundation. Mr. Woodward 
is president of the Carnegie Institution at 
Washington. Mr. Taylor is president of the 
Carnegie Hero Fund. Mr. Franks is president 
of the Home Trust Company. Mr. Bertram 
is Mr. Carnegie’s secretary. The objects of 
the corporation are “receiving and main- 
taining a fund or funds and applying the in- 
come thereof to promote the advancement and 
diffusion of knowledge and understanding 
among the people of the United States, by 
aiding technical schools, institutions of higher 
learning, libraries, scientific research, hero 
funds, useful publications and by such other 
means as shall from time to time be found 
appropriate therefor.” The incorporators have 
elected officers as follows: Mr. Carnegie, 
president; Senator Root, vice-president; Mr. 
Franks, treasurer, and Mr. Bertram, secretary. 


As a result of the action of the Michigan 
Board of Tax Equalization, it is estimated 
that the University of Michigan will in the 
future receive $208,000 more from the state 
for its maintenance than heretofore. The 
total valuation of property in the state has 
been increased by approximately $555,000,000, 
and the three eighths mill tax will yield an an- 
nual income for the university of $858,000, 
instead of $650,000 as formerly. 

Turovucn the death of Joseph Pulitzer the 
$1,000,000 which he had given Columbia Uni- 
versity to found a School of Journalism has 
been automatically released. A meeting of 
the advisory board named in the agreement 
between the university and Mr. Pulitzer will 
be called in a few weeks. It is understood 

Novemser 17, 1911] SCIENCE 681 

that if the work of the school during the first 
three years is regarded as satisfactory by the 
board, it will receive a further endowment of 

At the last session of the legislature of the 
state of Minnesota among other appropria- 
tions for the university was one which will 
net $5,000 for each of the two years before 
the next legislature assembles to be voted ex- 
clusively to research, not agricultural, since 
that is cared for otherwise. When the ques- 
tion of the allotment of this sum was to be 
met, a research committee drawn from the 
faculty of the graduate school was consti- 
tuted for the purpose of passing upon the 
applications for aid in research and recom- 
mend to the president and regents what allot- 
ments they should make from this fund, as 
well as drawing up regulations under which 
the expenditures should be made. 

By the will of Miss Phoebe Caroline 
Swords, of New York City, $41,000 is be- 
queathed to St. Luke’s Hospital and $20,000 to 
Columbia University, of which $10,000 is for 
a scholarship at the College of Physicians and 

Tue plan of a joint committee of trustees 
and faculty to consider the “larger questions 
of educational administration” has been 
adopted by the trustees of Trinity College. 

In an article in the issue of Science for 
October 27, on “ The Number of Students to a 
Teacher in the State Colleges and Universi- 
ties,” by Professor C. H. Handschin, the fig- 
ures for the University of Minnesota are given 
as 26.1. We are requested to state that Min- 
nesota’s enrolment for 1910-11 was 6,037, 
which includes 72 correspondence students. 
Omitting these, the total is 5,955 students. 
The total number in the faculty is 455. This 
includes 65 who rank as assistants, 34 of this 
number being clinical assistants in the de- 
partment of medicine who receive no pay. In 
the 455, who are included in the staff of in- 
struction, are 89 who do not receive any com- 
pensation. These are mainly in the college of 
medicine and surgery. Omitting these 89, the 
faculty numbers 366. 5,955 divided by 366 is 







16.2 which indicates the maximum number of 
students per instructor. Using the larger 
number, 455, as the number in the faculty, the 
number of students to each member is 13. 

At a meeting of the Alumni Association of 
the University of Texas in June Mr. Will C. 
Hogg offered to raise between twenty-five and 
fifty thousand dollars annually for the next 
five years as a publicity fund. Within the 
past four months Mr. Hogg has collected a 
sum aggregating $147,625, which he has put 
at the disposal of an executive committee con- 
sisting of President Sidney E. Mezes, E. B. 
Parker, president of the alumni, and the presi- 
dent of the board of regents, Clarence Ousley. 
As has already been stated in Scrence, the 
objects of the movement are to stimulate 
higher education; to secure the counsel of dis- 
tinguished educational workers in the United 
States and Europe; to investigate and advise 
the people what the scope of higher educational 
institutions should be, and what methods and 
means of maintenance should be provided. 

Tue University of Washington celebrated 
its fiftieth anniversary last week. On “ Uni- 
versity and State Day” addresses were deliv- 
ered by Dr. Kendrie Charles Babcock, of the 
office of the United States Commissioner of 
Education; President Campbell, of the Uni- 
versity of Oregon; President MacLean, of 
the University of Idaho, and Governor Hay, 
Superintendent of Public Instruction Dewey 
and Judge Chadwick, of the state supreme 
court. On the following day Chancellor 
Samuel Avery, of the University of Nebraska, 
and President James H. Baker, of the Univer- 
sity of Colorado, delivered the principal ad- 

Dr. F. L. Stevens, of the North Carolina 
College of Agriculture, has accepted a position 
as dean of the College of Agriculture of the 
University of Porto Rico located at Mayaguez. 
He will take up his residence and begin the 
organization of the Agricultural College at 
that place on January 1, 1912. It is the in- 
tention to establish in connection with the 
Agricultural College and under the director- 
ship of Dr. Stevens, a Tropical Botanical- 
Zoological Laboratory. 


(N.S. Vou. XXXIV. No, 881 

Dr. F. R. Puiuurs, formerly dean 
of the medical department of George Wash- 
ington University, has been elected professor 
of anatomy in the School of Medicine, Uni- 
versity of Alabama, Mobile, and has moved to 
that city. 

Mr. Joun E. Boynton, B.S. (Wisconsin), 
for several years assistant professor in the 
University of Iowa, has been appointed pro- 
fessor of mechanical engineering at Lafayette 

Mr. Prevost Hupparp, chief of the Division 
of Roads and Pavements of the Institute of 
Industrial Research, has been appointed lec- 
turer in engineering chemistry at Columbia 
University. He will conduct the courses in 
bituminous materials given in connection with 
the graduate courses in highway engineering. 

At the West Virginia University appoint- 
ments have been made as follows: C. R. Jones, 
professor of engineering, to be dean of the 
college of engineering; Rollin P. Davis, of the 
college of civil engineering, Cornell Univer- 
sity, assistant professor of structural engineer- 
ing; C. R. Titlow, of the extension department 
of the Ohio State University, director of agri- 
cultural extension; J. B. Grumbein has been 
advanced to assistant professor of mechanical 
engineering; Robert H. Chandler, of Sommer- 
ville, Mass., has been appointed as instructor 
of woodwork and foundry. 

Mr. Bruce W. Benepict, for several years 
in the motive power department of the Atchi- 
son, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, has been 
appointed director of the shop laboratories in 
the department of mechanical engineering at 
the University of Illinois. 

Dr. Rate A. Hamitton has been appointed 
professor of histology and embryology in the 
school of medicine of Georgetown University. 

Mr. Georce FrepertcK CHARLES SEARLE, 
M.A., F.R.S., has been elected to a fellowship 
at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Mr. Searle was 
formerly a scholar of the college, and has been 
demonstrator of experimental physics at the 
Cavendish Laboratory since 1888 and univer- 
sity lecturer in experimental physics since 

NovEMBER 17, 1911] 


I mape of wood a nacelle about two inches 
long, pointed at one end and open at the 
other, shaped like a skiff without a stern- 
board. It was rendered water-repellent by a 
slight coating of paraffin. A slice of soap was 
fitted into the stern and the boat thus com- 
pleted was placed on still water in a bath tub. 
As was anticipated, the craft began to move 
off as soon as the water came in contact with 
the soap. After gathering way it reached a 
velocity of a couple of inches per second. 
Sometimes the course was nearly straight, 
sometimes erratic, as might have been ex- 
pected in the absence of steering apparatus. 

The power is derived from the potential 
energy of the surface water-film set free by the 
diminution of surface tension, this reduction 
being due to solution of the soap. 

If the whole immersed surface of the boat 
is allowed to become soapy, converse condi- 
tions set in. The boat is then approximately 
in stable equilibrium in the center of an area 
of low surface tension and, if displaced by a 
half an inch or so, may return to its place 
almost as if anchored. 

It seems a priori improbable that the means 
of locomotion illustrated by this little motor- 
boat has not been utilized in nature. If, for 
example, the ripe seeds of a plant growing in 
shallow, still water were boat-saaped and pro- 
vided with a store of soluble material at the 
blunt ends, they might attain a much wider 
dissemination or more varied environment 
than that open to similar seeds not fitted to 
utilize the potential energy of surface tension. 

I am not aware that such seeds have been 
described, but my acquaintance with botan- 
ical literature is of the slightest. If the facts 
are already known this note may assist to dif- 
fuse a knowledge of them. 

Georce F. Becker 


October 27, 1911 


Ir is well known that many errors which are 
recognized by scientific workers are repeated 



in various publications, including text-books, 
until they threaten to become as thoroughly 
engrafted into our literature as the George 
Washington hatchet and cherry-tree story, al- 
though not nearly so useful. Among these 
errors is the prevailing opinion that vegetable 
galls which are due to insects are the result of 
an irritating fluid secreted by the female 
parent insect at the time of ovipositing. 
Many of our scientists cling to this ancient 
theory as tenaciously as the young American 
clings to the wonderful hatchet story. 

The latest outbreak is in the recent edition 
of the Encyclopedia Britannica, in which, 
under the heading “Galls,” it is said that 
“The exciting cause of the hypertrophy, in 
the case of typical galls, appear to be a minute 
quantity of some irritating fluid or virus, 
secreted by the female insect, and deposited 
with her egg in the puncture made by her 
ovipositor in the cortical or foliaceous parts of 
plants. This virus causes the rapid enlarge- 
ment and subdivision of the cells affected by 
it, so as to form the tissues of the gall. Oval 
or larval irritation also, without doubt, play 
an important part in the formation of many 

In consideration of this prevailing idea it 
may be worth while to review our knowledge 
on this point. This theory was first advanced 
by Malpighi in his “ De Gallis” (1686), who 
believed that the female parent secreted a 
poison when she deposited the egg and that 
this caused a fermentation of the plant acid 
which stimulated the plant cells and thus 
caused the gall. This theory was repeated 
almost without question until the latter part 
of the last century; Réaumur accepted it but 
thought that the egg might have some thermal 
effect and that the character of the wound 
might also be a factor; Dr. Derham said it 
might be “ partly due to the act of the plant, 
and partly to some virulency in the juice or 
egg, or both, deposited in the vegetable by the 
parent animal; and just as this virulency is 
various according to the difference of its ani- 
mal, so is the form and texture of the gall 
excited thereby ”; Darwin expressed the opin- 
ion that galls were caused “ by a minute atom 

¢ . 


of the poison of the gall insect”; and Sir 
James Paget as late as 1880 said that “the 
most reasonable, if not the only reasonable 
theory, is that each insect infects or inoculates 
the leaf or other structure of the chosen plant 
with a poison peculiar to itself.” In brief, the 
theory of a stimulus due to a chemical sub- 
stance injected into the plant by the female at 
time of egg laying was the accepted view of 
scientists from the publication of Malphighi’s 
“De Gallis” in 1686 until about thirty years 
ago. However, from about 1877 to 1882 there 
appeared a number of important publications 
by Dr. Hermann Adler and Dr. M. W. Beyer- 
inck which in a great part disproved the pre- 
viously almost undisputed theory. From this 
time the study of cecidology became a grow- 
ing factor in plant physiology and plant 

Beyerinck’s work indicated that the fluid 
injected by mother insect was tasteless and 
odorless and not perceptibly irritating when 
injected under the skin and that it probably 
served only as an antiseptic dressing to the 
wound of the host plant. The work of both 
authors indicated that there was no cell ac- 
tivity on the part of the host plant leading to 
gall formation until the larve emerged from 
the egg. Adler, as a result of a careful study 
of the galls of Neuroterus leviusculus and 
Biorhiza aptera, states that immediately fol- 
lowing the emerging of the larve from the egg 
that there is a rapid division of the cells of 
the host plant due to the attacks of the larve. 
He was inclined to believe this due to the 
influence of salivary excretions. However, 
Adler also made a study of the Galls of Nema- 
tus vallisnierii on Salix amygdalina, which is 
produced immediately following oviposition 
and is fully developed before the hatching of 
the larve. This is probably the only well 
authenticated case of gall formation previous 
to the hatching of the larve and is undoubt- 
edly the exception rather than the rule for gall 

It is well known that the gall makers be- 
longing to the Cecidomyide, Aphidide and 
Acarina do not puncture the plant tissues with 


[N.S. VoL. XXXIV. No. 881 

the ovipositors and that the young insects are, 
strictly speaking, never within the tissues of 
the host plant but are surrounded by plant 
growths due to an irritation by their own 
mouth parts. 

At the present time there is no proof, except 
in the case of Nematus vallisnierii that the 
gall is due to a secretion from the mother 
insect. Whether due to a chemical or a 
mechanical irritation of the young insect are 
questions with as much circumstantial evi- 
dence for the one as for the other. 

It may be added that the studies of the past 
few years on cecidia due to bacteria, myxo- 
mycetes, fungi and nematodes indicate certain 
striking resemblances to the zoo-cecidia and 
we have reason to believe that further re- 
searches into the anatomy and physiology of 
these various groups of hypertrophied struc- 
tures will lead to valuable contributions to our 
knowledge of cecidology. 

Met. T. Coox 




In a recent letter (Science, October 13) 
Dr. E. C. Starks has suggested that the pos- 
terior opening of the air-bladder in Clupea 
harengus needs further investigation. This 
opening was originally described by Weber in 
1820, was rediscovered by Bennett in 1880, 
and was again described by Dr. Ridewood in 
1892 in a paper entitled “ The Air-bladder and 
Ear of British Clupeoid Fishes” (Journ. 
Anat. Phys., XXVI., pp. 26-42). Dr. Ride- 
wood devoted a special section to the posterior 
opening to the exterior; he showed that it was 
present not only in Clupea harengus, but in 
C. pilchardus, C. sprattus, C. alosa and En- 
graulis encrasicholus. In Clupea finta, how- 
ever, he found that the air-bladder tapered to 
a point posteriorly and did not open to the 

C. Tate Recan 

BritisH MusEuM HIsToRY), 
Lonpbon, 8. W., 
October 30 

NovemBER 17, 1911] 


To tHe Epitor oF Science: Science for Oc- 
tober 13 just to hand contains announcement 
of Professor Johannsen’s Columbia Lectures. 
Permit us to protest again in the strongest 
possible manner against this unwarranted 
transference of the term “genotype” and 
change of its meaning. Professor DeVries 
set a bad example by using “ mutation” in a 
new sense. Is there to be no limit to this 
rough riding over workers in other branches 
of biology ? 

F. A. Batuer, 

W. T. Carman 
Lonpon, S. W., 
October 23, 1911 



Tuts book is based upon a lecture course 
given for some years by the author to stu- 
dents of electrical engineering at Union Col- 
lege. The title might well lead one to expect 
that here at last is a book by a competent au- 
thority presenting the mathematical founda- 
tion which in his opinion should constitute a 
part of the training of every engineer. But 
upon reading the preface expectations and 
hopes of this nature are abruptly terminated 
when the reader learns from the summary 

“Thus the following work is not intended 
as a complete course in mathematics, but as 
supplementary to the general college course of 
mathematics, or to the general knowledge of 
mathematics which every engineer and really 
every educated man should possess.” 

The book is even further limited in its scope 
than is indicated by the quoted paragraph. 
For it is largely devoted to the particular sort 
of mathematics which is of great service to 
the electrical engineer only. In spite of this 
the mastery of its contents would unquestion- 
ably not be a useless accomplishment to the 
student in any branch of engineering. 

The first chapter is devoted to an elementary 
exposition of the properties of the general 
number or complex quantity and the chapter 


is replete with graphical illustrations. A par- 
ticular feature of this chapter showing the 
usefulness of the theory developed is the dis- 
cussion of the steam path in a turbine. 

In the second chapter is given a discussion 
of series of the types 1+a2+a7+2°... 
and 1— ., designated as po- 
tential series. Examples from electrical engi- 
neering problems are given to illustrate the 
applicability of such series to the develop- 
ment of certain functions. The properties of 
the exponential function are adequately 
treated and the subject of differential equa- 
tions is briefly touched upon. 

The third chapter treats quite extensively 
of trigonometric functions and series. Inter- 
esting illustrative problems are discussed. 

Chapter IV. deals in an elementary but 
sufficiently comprehensive manner for the pur- 
poses of the engineer with the subject of max- 
ima and minima of functions. Numerous 
practical examples in electrical engineering 
are worked out numerically. There is also 
given a short discussion of the method of 
least squares with an illustrative example 
from the theory of the induction motor. 

Methods of approximation are treated in 
Chapter V. This subject, an art in itself, is 
one which is rarely discussed explicitly in 
books on mathematics or engineering. 

Chapter VI. contains an extensive discus- 
sion of the subject of empirical curves and the 
methods of obtaining analytical equations to 
fit them. 

The eighth chapter and the final one is de- 
voted to methods of numerical calculation. A 
thorough knowledge of the subject matter of 
this chapter and that of the two preceding 
chapters obviously should be a part of: the 
equipment of every computing engineer, elec- 
trical or otherwise. A striking feature of the 
book is the author’s continual insistence 
throughout upon the importance to every 
engineer of a thorough mastery of the sadly 
neglected art of numerical computation. 

There are two appendices, one containing 
notes on the theory of functions, the other 
tables of exponential and hyperbolic func- 



As is common in a first edition, there are 
numerous typographical errors, but usually 
they are of such nature as not to cause seri- 
ous ambiguity to the reader. 

The book is published by the McGraw-Hill 
Book Company, of New York. 

A. P. Wits 

Geometrie der Krafte. By H. E. Trmerprne. 
Leipzig, Teubner (Teubners Sammlung). 
8vo. Pp. xi+ 381. 

This book is an outgrowth of the author’s 
article “ Geometrische Grundlegung der Me- 
chanik eines starren Kérpers,” in the Enzy- 
klopiidie der Mathematischen Wissenschaften 
(Band IV., 1, pp. 125-189), which consisted 
principally in an account of the Ball theory of 
screws. The volume under review goes far 
beyond that article in its scope, both in deal- 
ing with the mechanics of deformable bodies, 
and in giving presentations of the vector 
theory and of line geometry. On the other 
hand it is limited by the desire to present the 
geometry of forces as an independent subject 
and to avoid a general treatment of mechan- 
ies as such, especially since Webster’s treatise 

appeared as a member of the same series of 


The geometry of motion, or kinematics, is 
better known as a distinct subject than is the 
geometry of forces. In general the two sub- 
jects have similar motives and enjoy similar 
advantages: both seek to present a purely ab- 
stract geometrical analysis of mechanical con- 
cepts, and each is suggestive and instructive 
to the student of geometry as well as to the 
student of mechanics. 

The author seeks to unify and complete the 
labors of his predecessors—Varignon, Poin- 
sot, Chasles, Moebius, W. Thompson, Bail, 
Study, and others—to form a symmetrical 
whole and to create a finished theory of forces 
“disassociated from all physiological, physi- 
cal, and metaphysical concepts,” which shall 
apply to the kinetics and statics of rigid bod- 
ies, and to the statics of deformable bodies. 

The first five chapters are devoted to the 
theory of vectors, following chiefly Grassman 


[N. 8. Von. XXXIV. No, 88) 

and Hamilton. The notation employed dif- 
fers from that of each of these writers, and 
also from that of Gibbs, thus adding another 
to the many existing notations.’ The ideas 
developed in these chapters are used to define 
the concepts moment of a vector, rotor, dy- 
name; but otherwise little use is made of the 
vector theory. The author defends this as 
against prospective criticism, on the ground 
that the results can be reached by methods of 
analytic geometry, and that the extensive use 
of the vector theory would render the work 
less accessible to beginners. Under the cir- 
cumstances a complete presentation of the 
vector theory might have been dispensed with 

The following chapters treat of instantane- 
ous rotation and of forces and dynames. The 
latter term was introduced by Pliicker’ and 
has been employed extensively by Study* and 
others, to denote the geometrical concept which 
corresponds to either a twist or a wrench in 
Ball’s theory. 

Chapter VIII. is an elementary presenta- 
tion of line geometry, which the author, fol- 
lowing many others‘ makes his fundamental 
link between geometry and mechanics. He 
also sets a bound to geometrical developments 
as a whole by restricting himself to this topic 
and its applications. 

After a chapter on equilibrium, the theory 
of screws is presented in detail in six chap- 
ters, which form the kernel of the entire 
book, and indeed constituted the motive for 
the original project. The chapter on the 
eylindroid is particularly worthy of notice. 

Two chapters on deformable bodies extend 
the theory beyond the realm of rigid bodies— 
an extension on which the author lays great 
weight in the preface. 

The remainder of the book deals with the 
mechanical concepts in distinction to the 

*See Wilson, Bulletin of Amer. Math. Soc., Vol. 
16 (1910), p. 415. 

Philosophical Transactions, 
‘*Works,’’ I., p. 548. 

**<Geometrie der Dynamen,’’ Leipzig, 1903. 

*See, e. g., Klein, Mathematische Annalen, 
Vol. 4. 

156, 1866; 


Noveser 17, 1911] SCIENCE 687 

purely geometrical work that precedes. Here 
again a treatment of deformable bodies and 
of elasticity is added to the more usual treat- 
ment of the mechanics of rigid bodies. 

As a whole the work seems a most satis- 
factory compilation, to which the author has 
added materially by careful readjusting and 
supplementing existing work. The bibliog- 
raphy and references are good. 

In being late, the present review has the 
advantage of referring the readers to a num- 
ber of admirable reviews already in print; 
among those most readily accessible are: R. 
S. Ball, Nature, LXXXI., July, 1909, p. 34; 
Longley, Bull. Amer. Math. Soc., XVI., 1910, 
p. 493; Revue Generale des Sciences, 21, 
1910, p. 75. Of these, that by Ball in Na- 
ture is of course the most interesting on ac- 
count of the close relation he holds to this 

E. R. Heprick 


August, 1911 

Material for Permanent Painting. A Manual 
for Manufacturers, Art Dealers, Artists and 
Collectors. By Maxrmian Tocn. New 
York, D. Van Nostrand Co. Pp. 208. 
Price, $2.00. 

It would seem that Mr. Toch had gotten 
into this small compass practically all that an 
artist need know about his materials from the 
standpoint of permanency. Judging from 
the author’s name, one would expect a work 
dealing solely with pigments: only about half 
of the book is so employed, the remainder 
consisting of interesting chapters on the his- 
tory of painting, preparation of canvasses and 
other foundations, the causes and remedies 
for cracking of paintings, their renovation, 
and the oils and other media used in their 
production. The articles on the photochem- 
ical effects of light and the proper use of 
madder are especially noteworthy and merit 
careful study. 

Some slight slips in proof reading or un- 
usual spellings are in evidence as, quick. silver 
(two words), cinibar, sulphureted, tuscan, 
Vanquelin and Guinet; but these will doubt- 

less disappear in the next edition. Indian yel- 
low is stated to be made from camel dung, 
whereas the commonly accepted source is cow 

The work admirably fills a long-felt want 
and a good knowledge of its contents should 
be part of the equipment of every painter. 

A. H. 


Tue Savannah-Charleston hurricane of Au- 
gust 27-28, 1911, has been made the subject 
of a special report by the United States 
Weather Bureau. This storm resulted in the 
loss of 17 lives, while the damage to property 
was estimated at $1,000,000. The synoptic 
weather charts which form a part of the bul- 
letin show that the storm lingered off the 
coast for four days before its approach was 
detected on shore. Though no wireless re- 
ports concerning the hurricane had been re- 
ceived, the weather officials in the two cities 
mentioned observed the characteristics which 
usually precede such a storm on the morning 
of August 27. Acting upon orders from the 
Washington office, they immediately sent out 
cautionary warnings. The wind continued to 
increase, and twelve hours later reached a 
velocity of 106 miles per hour in Charleston. 
The center of the hurricane reached the coast 
near Savannah at 8 a.m. of the 28th, the ba- 
rometer at that station reading 29.02 inches. 
Moving thence inland, it passed through 
eastern Georgia with diminishing intensity, 
recurved over North Carolina, on a course 
east-northeastward, and passed to sea off the 
New Jersey coast. It is a noteworthy fact 
that no storm of tropical or semi-tropical 
origin has reached the southern or eastern 
coasts of the United States without warning 
since September, 1893, when a disturbance of 
marked intensity devastated the Louisiana 
coast. At the present time the Weather 
Bureau is looking forward to the establish- 
ment of a service whereby observers regularly 
employed aboard coast-wise vessels would re- 
port weather conditions twice daily to the 
central office, and thus to provide early infor- 





mation concerning the approach of these de- 
structive storms. 

Turovcnout the greater part of the United 
States and Europe the excessive heat of the 
past summer will be long remembered, new 
maximum temperatures having been observed 
in many widely separated places. Unprece- 
dented temperatures of 98° and 99° F. were ob- 
served at Blue Hill Observatory (635 feet 
above sea-level) on six days during the early 
part of July, while the mean temperature for 
the month, 74.5° F., was the highest experi- 
enced in the vicinity in 63 years, which is the 
length of the record. At the Royal Observa- 
tory, Greenwich, new records have also been 
established. There the mean temperature for 
the six months, April to September, inclusive, 
was 60.7° F., the highest since 1841. The 
mean for the three months June, July and 
August was 66.1° F., which is 4.9° in excess of 
the average for the past 70 years, and 1.0° 
higher than any previous summer on record. 
On August 9 a temperature of 100° F. was ob- 
served at Greenwich, this being 3.0° higher 
than any previous record at the Royal Ob- 
servatory since 1841. The mean maximum 
temperature for August was 81.1° F., another 
new record. On July 22, August 4 and 9, a 
black-bulb thermometer exposed to the sun’s 
rays showed a temperature exceeding 160° F. 

Unper the supervision of its director, Pro- 
fessor R. F. Stupart, the Canadian weather 
service has recently been carrying on experi- 
ments with registering balloons. These ascen- 
sions, the first of the kind in Canada, were 
made from Toronto and Woodstock. Of the 
balloons sent up enough were recovered to 
make the experiments successful. Several of 
the balloons entered the region of the upper 
temperature-inversion, and uniformly good 
heights were attained, the balloon sent up Sep- 
tember 9 reaching a height of more than 14 
miles. On July 5, the day on which new 
maximum temperature records were estab- 
lished in many places, the meteorograph on 
leaving the ground at Woodstock recorded a 
temperature of 81° F., while at a height of 
9.4 miles it was —93° F. Above the latter 


[N.S. Vou. XXXTV. No, 881 

level the temperature increased slowly with 

“Dre Winde in Deutschland,” by Dr. Rich- 
ard Assmann, director of the Lindenberg 
Aeronautical Observatory, is a volume pre- 
pared at the request of a German aeronautical 
society. Based upon more than a million 
ground and free-air observations of wind 
velocity and direction, it was designed to 
serve as a meteorological guide book for dirig- 
ible balloon transportation in that country. 
Tables and diagrams set forth in great detail 
the varied wind data of which an aeronaut 
must have a knowledge. For Lindenberg, 
where a kite flight or a balloon ascension has 
been made every day without a single excep- 
tion since 1905, the velocities and the frequen- 
cies of winds for each of the various directions 
at every 500-meter level up to 4,000 meters 
are shown by means of wind-roses. From a 
meteorological as well as from an aeronautical 
point of view the volume is a valuable book of 

“ WEATHER Science,” an “ elementary intro- 
duction to meteorology,” by Mr. F. W. Henkel, 
has recently appeared. This volume, consist- 
ing of 336 pages, is not designed as a text- 
book, but as a popular work it is very readable 
indeed. The few slight inaccuracies which oc- 
cur will doubtless be overlooked by the average 
reader. This is the first contribution to 
meteorology made by the author, who is an 
English astronomer. Dr. Shaw, the head of 
the English weather service, has also com- 
pleted a book, now in the hands of a publisher, 
called “ Forecasting Weather.” This volume, 
written primarily for aeronauts, is based upon 
the results in dynamic meteorology obtained 
by the Meteorological Office during the last 
ten years. A second edition of Mr. H. G. 
Busk’s “ What will the Weather be?” has also 
made its appearance. 

Forest Service Bulletin No. 86 contains a 
paper, “Windbreaks: their Influence and 
Value,” by Mr. Carlos G. Bates, which deals 
with a problem that is of interest from the 
point of view of meteorology, as well as of 
forestry and agriculture. Windbreaks, he 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

says, may be profitably employed in much of 
the agricultural portion of the United States. 
The distance at which the effect of the trees 
may be felt averages twenty times their height, 
although absolute protection of a crop such as 
corn, in a wind with a velocity of 50 miles per 
hour, can not be expected beyond a distance of 
from six to eight times the height of the wind- 
break. Partial protection is given over a dis- 
tance of from twelve to fourteen times the 
height. In extreme cases the efficiency of a 
windbreak in checking evaporation from the 
soil may amount to 70 per cent. of the mois- 
ture ordinarily lost. Protection in this respect 
is appreciable for a distance equal to five times 
the height of the trees in the windward direc- 
tion, and fifteen or twenty times the height 
leeward. The absorption of soil moisture by 
the roots of the trees may in the case of an 
orchard be appreciable, but need not result in 
real damage. There is little basis for the 
belief that windbreaks sap the fertility of the 
soil. The trees’ absorption of soil moisture 
may, however, reduce the activity of the nitri- 
fying bacteria and cause temporary sterility in 
the zone of root influence. The effect of a 
windbreak upon temperature in the region of 
its influence is much greater than is commonly 
supposed. The diurnal range in temperature 
in an area protected by a windbreak is nearly 
9° F. greater than where the air circulates 
freely. The effect of the superheating of both 
air and soil in a protected zone is favorable to 
crops which must begin growth at a time when 
the heat is barely sufficient for generation. 
An abstract of the book prepared by Mr. Find- 
ley Burns appears in the Journal of the Wash- 
ington Academy of Science, Vol. I., No. 3. 

Two recent studies of the rainfall in special 
regions are noteworthy. With characteristic 
German thoroughness, Dr. Hellmann and G. v. 
Elsner have completed an investigation of cer- 
tain heavy rains in the valley of the Oder 
during the years 1888-1903, inclusive, and 
their relation to the summer high water of that 
river. The research is published in two vol- 
umes, a descriptive text and an atlas, the lat- 
ter consisting of 55 large colored plates show- 



ing in detail the distribution of these rains in 
northern Germany and the meteorological 
conditions which accompanied them. “ The 
Rains of the Nile Basin” is a report by J. I. 
Craig, of the Survey Department, Egypt, 
based upon eleven years’ observations. The 
Nile flood has been of great moment to the 
residents of that valley from remote antiquity. 
The author now says “there are hopes that 
within a few years the prediction of the main 
features of the flood may be embodied in an 
algebraic formula such as has already been 
obtained for the Indian monsoon by Mr. G. T. 
Walker.” It is now well established that “the 
rainfall in Abyssinia during the flood months 
is due almost entirely to the precipitation 
caused by diurnal ascensional movements act- 
ing on the southwesterly current which again 
is kept at the point of saturation by its ascent 
on to the Abyssinian tableland.” The latter 
current has been traced backward across the 
Sudan plains, and the watershed between the 
basins of the Nile and Congo, and thence down 

the basin of the latter to the South Atlantic. — 

A COMPLETE summary of the free air data 
obtained at Mount Weather for the three years 
ending June 30, 1910, appears in Vol. IV., 
Part 2, of the Bulletin of the Mount Weather 
Observatory. The aeorological work is in 
charge of Dr. William R. Blair, who prepared 
the summary. On 980 of the 1,096 days of 
the period, 1,013 ascensions were made—896 
by means of kites and 117 by means of captive 
balloons. Air temperature, air pressure and 
wind direction aloft were observed, in addition 
to noting weather conditions and keeping the 
usual continuous meteorological records at the 
earth’s surface. The temperatures have been 
grouped by months and by seasons, and the 
means have been computed for levels 250 
meters apart up to 7,250 meters above sea 
level. Several other valuable tables summar- 
izing the data obtained for the various other 
elements are included, and their relation with 
reference to the centers of cyclones and anti- 
cyclones are also shown. Previously derived 
conclusions are verified by means of the new 
data. Since the beginning of this period the 



aerological work has been extended so that it 
is now carried on daily, including Sundays. 
Another innovation at Mount Weather is that 
of obtaining wind velocity aloft. The series 
of nine soundings of the free air made in two 
days is probably unprecedented in the annals 
of meteorology. This occurred on September 
12 and 13 last, when from 6:37 in the morning 
of the first day to 1:06 in the afternoon of the 
next day the nine kite flights were made one 
after another, without a pause between them. 
During the last of these flights a west-north- 
west wind with a velocity of 69 miles per hour 
was successfully navigated by a kite at a 
height of 10,177 feet above sea level. 

Tue “ spectre of the Brocken” is a phenom- 
enon usually observed only from mountain 
summits. But for two hours on the night of 
August 6 it was observed by the writer from 
the top of the Blue Hill Observatory tower, the 
height being about 700 feet above sea level. 
Fog, which had been brought in from Boston 
Harbor by a light easterly wind, arrived at 
Blue Hill shortly before eight o’clock. Its 
upper surface, which was very distinct, was 
about at the level of the upper windows of the 
tower. The moon, about three-quarters full, 
was well above the horizon, and a few scattered 
cirrus streamers were the only high clouds 
visible. From the top of the ladder on the 
anemometer poles the surface of the fog 
stratum had the appearance of a wavy sheet of 
water. Directly opposite to the moon the 
observer could see, at an estimated distance of 
75 feet, a dark image of himself enlarged about 
three times his natural size. The image was 
surrounded by a white light which faded away 
at its edges, leaving a dark space between it 
and a broad colorless circle, sometimes called 
“Ulloa circle” or “white rainbow.” The 
circle was complete and appeared to have a 
radius of about 22°. When the observer 
moved the whole apparition moved likewise, 
proving it to be an entirely subjective phe- 
nomenon. It disappeared later when the fog 
deepened, rendering the moon invisible. 

Anprew H. PALMER 
November 1, 1911 


[N. 8S. Vou. XXXIV. No. 881 



Firty years ago, from Bombay, India, the 
late H. J. Carter* reported the discovery of 
nematodes parasitic in the house fly, giving 
them the name of Filaria musce, and suggest- 
ing that their investigation might throw light 
on the life history of the guinea-worm. In 
the same year Diesing’ transferred Carter’s 
species to the genus Habronema, making it 
the type. Carter’s description and figures, 
though not accurate in all respects, particu- 
larly in the interpretation placed on certain 
details of structure, are sufficient for the recog- 
nition of the species. Subsequently to Carter, 
several writers have mentioned the presence of 
nematodes in the house fly, in some cases iden- 
tifying them with Carter’s species, in other 
cases being apparently unaware that the spe- 
cies had ever been described or named. Leidy’ 
noted the occurrence of Habronema musce in 
about 20 per cent. of flies examined at Phila- 
delphia. Further than occasional records of 
the occurrence of Habronema musce@ in flies, 
practically nothing up to the present time has 
been added to Carter’s account of the worm, 
though it has long since become known that 
this parasite has nothing to do with the 

In the summer of 1910, the present writer 
found Habronema musce fairly common in 
house flies caught at Washington, D.C. The 
fact that this nematode occurred in the larval 
stage in flies suggested two alternative hy- 
potheses, first, that the adult was a free living 
form, second, that the adult occurred para- 
sitic in some host other than the fly. No 
evidence favoring the first hypothesis was ob- 
tained, as the nematodes from flies when 
placed in various media such as water, damp 

1Ann. and Mag. Nat. Hist., Lond., 3 s. (37), 
v. 7, January, 1861, pp. 29-33, pl. 14, Figs. 1-4. 

* Sitzeungsb. d. k. Akad. d. Wissensch., Wien, 
Math.-naturw. Cl., v. 43, 1 Abt. (4), pp. 273-274, 

* Proc. Acad. Nat. Sc. Phila. [v. 26, 3 s., v. 4] 
(2), April-September, 1874, pp. 139-140. 


NovEMBER 17, 1911] 

earth, horse manure, etc., invariably died with- 
out showing any indication of further devel- 

Further observations on Habronema musce@ 
were made during the summer of 1911, when 
it was found commonly present in house flies 
in Colorado and Nebraska. A series of stages 
in the development of the parasite was ob- 
tained by examination of various stages of the 
fly from larva to imago, and it became evident 
that the fly acquires its infection during its 
larval stage. This suggested the hypothesis 
that Habronema musce@ is the larval stage of a 
nematode parasitic during its adult stage in 
the horse, inasmuch as horse manure is a 
favorite breeding place of the house fly. The 
structure of the esophagus of Habronema 
musce suggested the further hypothesis that 
this parasite belonged either to Spiroptera 
megastoma or to S. microstoma, nematodes 
which occur in the stomach of the horse. 

Ordinarily the testing of the hypothesis that 
Habronema musce@ is the larval stage of a 
horse parasite would require properly con- 
trolled feeding experiments, but, in September 
of the present year, the problem of the identity 
of the parasite was solved in another way. 
The stomachs of two horses were examined 
shortly after death. In one of them, a few 
adult nematodes were found which, from their 
naked eye appearance, closely resembled Spi- 
roptera microstoma. In the other, a large 
number of the same species of adult worms 
was found, and in addition numerous smaller 
nematodes of various sizes. Microscopical ex- 
amination of the worms collected from these 
horses revealed the presence of a complete 
series of stages in the development and growth 
of a single species of nematode from larva to 
adult, only the one species being represented, 
except that a few individuals of a species of 
Trichostrongylus were also present. The 
smallest forms corresponded perfectly to the 
nematodes found in adult flies, and the cor- 
rectness of the hypothesis that Habronema 
musce is the larval stage of a nematode para- 
sitic during its adult stage in the horse, was 
thus confirmed. The adults of Habronema 
musc@, though very similar to, proved to be 



different from, Spiroptera microstoma, most 
noticeably in the structural details of the head 
and pharynx, vagina of the female and bursa 
and spicules of the male. The spicules alone 
present sufficient evidence of a specific differ- 
ence in the two forms, as will appear from the 
following measurements: 

In Habronema musce the left spicule meas- 
ures about 2.5 mm. in length and about 5 y in 
diameter near its middle, the right spicule 
about 500 » in length by about 10 » in diam- 
eter near its middle. In Spiroptera micros- 
toma, or, giving this species its correct generic 
designation, in Habronema microstoma the 
left spicule measures about 800 ,» in length by 
about 15 » in diameter near its middle, the 
right spicule about 350 » in length by about 
20 » in diameter near its middle. 

The life history of Habronema musce, as 
determined by the results of the investigations 
which have been briefly sketched in the present 
paper, may be summed up as follows: 

A horse infested with the adult worms ex- 
cretes their embryos in its feces. These em- 
bryos enter the bodies of fly larve developing 
in the feces from eggs deposited by house flies. 
During the development of the fly larve and 
pup, the worms with which they have become 
infested also undergo a process of growth and 
development, reaching their final larval stage 
at about the time the flies emerge from the 
pupal state. Further development of the 
worms waits upon the swallowing of the in- 
fested flies by a horse, in which event the life 
cycle becomes completed by the growth of the 
worms to maturity. 

Of interest to entomologists and sanitarians 
is the fact that Habronema musce affords a 
means of determining with some degree of 
accuracy what proportion of the flies occur- 
ring in a given locality find their breeding 
place in horse manure, to this extent, that if 
examination of a considerable number of flies 
shows that a certain per cent. are infected, it 
may be safely assumed that at least that per- 
centage of the flies in the locality have devel- 
oped in horse manure. A percentage obtained 
in this way would of course probably be con- 
siderably smaller that the actual percentage, as 





it is unlikely that all horses in the locality 
would be infested and as some flies even 
though developing in manure from an infested 
horse would probably escape infection. 

A more comprehensive discussion of Habro- 
nema, illustrated with figures, will be pub- 
lished at a later date, probably as a bulletin of 
the Bureau of Animal Industry. 

B. H. Ransom 




THE one hundred and fifty-fifth regular meeting 
of the society was held at Columbia University on 
Saturday, October 28. The attendance at the two 
sessions was about forty, including thirty-five 
members. President H. B. Fine occupied the 
chair. The council announced the election of the 
following persons to membership in the society: 
Professor T. B. Ashcraft, Colby College; Professor 
Clara L. Bacon, Goucher College; Professor J. M. 
Davis, State University of Kentucky; Professor 
W. C. Eells, Whitworth College; Dr. J. L. Jones, 
Yale University; Professor F. C. Kent, University 
of Oklahoma; Professor L. C. Plant, University 
of Montana; Mr. R. E. Powers, Denver, Colo.; 
Mr. T. M. Simpson, University of Wisconsin; 
Professor Evan Thomas, University of Vermont; 
Professor H. C. Wolff, University of Wisconsin; 
Mr. W. A. Zehring, Purdue University. Nine 
applications for membership were received. 

A list of nominations of officers and other mem- 
bers of the council, to be placed on the ballot for 
the annual election, was adopted. Provision was 
made for committees to audit the treasurer’s ac- 
counts and to make arrangements for the summer 
meeting to be held at the University of Pennsyl- 
vania in 1912. The invitation of the University of 
Wisconsin to hold the summer meeting and col- 
loquium at that university in 1913 was accepted. 
It was decided to change the form of the Annual 
Register of the society by omitting all mention 
under the personal entries of membership in other 
organizations. A committee was appointed to con- 
sider and report to the council a plan for placing 
the business of the society on a permanent basis. 

The following papers were read at this meeting: 

A. R. Schweitzer: ‘‘On a functional equation.’’ 


[N.S. Vou. XXXTV. No. 881 

E. V. Huntington: ‘‘A new approach to the 
theory of relativity.’’ 

L. P. Siceloff: ‘‘Simple groups from order 2,001 
to order 3,640.’’ 

H. H. Mitchell: ‘‘ Determination of the quater. 
nary linear groups by geometrical methods.’’ 

G. A. Bliss: ‘‘A new proof of the existence 
theorem for implicit functions.’’ 

R. E. Powers: ‘‘The tenth perfect number.’’ 

E. W. Brown: ‘On the summation of a certain 
triply infinite series. ’’ 

L. L. Dines: ‘‘On the highest common factor of 
a system of polynomials.’’ 

R. D. Carmichael: ‘‘A_ generalization of 
Cauchy’s functional equation.’’ 

R. D. Carmichael: ‘‘ Fundamental properties of 
a reduced residue system mod n.’’ 

R. D. Carmichael: ‘‘On composite numbers P 
which satisfy the Fermat congruence a?-!1= 
1 mod P.’’ 

Edward Kasner: 
infinite order.’’ 

B. H. Camp: ‘‘Series of Laplace’s functions.’’ 

N. J. Lennes: ‘‘A new proof that a Jordan 
eurve separates a plane.’’ 

The San Francisco Section of the society also 
met on October 28, at the University of California. 
The Southwestern Section holds its fifth annual 
meeting at Washington University on Saturday, 
December 2. The annual meeting of the society 
for the election of officers will be held at Columbia 
University on December 27-28. The Chicago Sec- 
tion will also meet in the Christmas holidays. 

F. N. Coie, 

‘*Differential invariants of 

Factors affecting Changes in Body Weight: 


The normal human body is continually under- 
going changes in weight, graduallly losing weight 
between meals, and increasing it when food is 
taken. Very great losses incidental to excessive 
muscular exercise are chiefly due to variations in 
the water content of the body. By means of ex- 
periments with the respiration calorimeter, it has 
been shown that a change from a diet with a pre- 
ponderance of carbohydrates to one with a pre- 
ponderance of fat may cause a loss in weight 
amounting to two pounds per diem for three days. 
Experiments made with diabetics also show large 
changes, chiefly due to the retention or the loss of 
water. The gains or losses of body material, 
chiefly fat, are especially emphasized.