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university, at which many Scandinavian men of science were present, and the occasion was marked by the publication of some of Oersted's scientific correspondence. It was during the winter of 1819-20 that Oersted observed that a wire uniting the ends of a voltaic battery affected a magnet placed in its vicinity, and after prosecuting his inquiries some months longer, in July, 1820, he published his Latin tract, "Experimenta circa effectum Conflictus Electrici in Acum Magneticum." The importance of his discovery received instant recognition. Ampère, Arago and Davy all seized on the idea, and four months after the publication of his tract Oersted was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society and awarded the Copley medal. Efforts to connect magnetism with electricity had hitherto met with little success, and Wollaston, in his discourse as president of the Royal Society, referring to Oersted's discovery, expressed the hope that "the gleam of light which thus beams upon us may be the dawn of a new day, in which the clouds which have hitherto veiled from our sight the hidden mysteries of light and heat, of electricity and magnetism, may be dispelled." Oersted, who was the son of a country apothecary, originally studied medicine, but turning his attention to chemistry and physics while at Copenhagen University, and he held that position until his death in March, 1851, at the age of seventy-three. Known alike for his genial and kindly nature and for his scientific labors, he was the author of some two hundred memoirs, and received many honors at home and abroad. Twentyfive years after his death a bronze statue of him was erected on the old fortification of Copenhagen.

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that this report may be released for publication early in October. It includes a general discussion of the present problems connected with college entrance requirements in mathematics, a report of an investigation recently made by the National Committee concerning the value of the various topics in elementary algebra as preparation for the elementary college courses in other subjects and a suggested revision of the definitions of entrance units in elementary algebra and plane geometry. A copy will be sent to any person interested upon application to the chairman of the committee, Professor J. W. Young, Hanover, N. H.

A preliminary draft on mathematics in experimental schools was discussed at this meeting. Mr. Raleigh Schorling of the Committee has spent over a year collecting material for this report. Miss Vevia Blair of the committee presented her report on the present status of disciplinary values in education. It is expected that this report also will be released for publication in October. It gives a critical review of the complete literature concerning the experimental work on the transfer of training.

Professor E. R. Hedrick presented a report which he prepared at the request of the National Committee on 66 The Function Concept in Secondary School Mathematics." This report also will be published in the near future. A preliminary report on junior high school mathematics is in the press of the U. S. Bureau of Education and should be ready for distribution early in October. A subcommittee under the chairmanship of Professor C. N. Moore in preparing a report on "Elective courses in mathematics in secondary schools." A committee under the chairmanship of Professor David Eugene Smith is preparing a report on "The standardization of terminology and symbolism" and Professor R. C. Archibald is preparing one on "The training of teachers." It is expected that all three of these reports will be presented for the consideration of the national committee in October.


THE First Pan-Pacific Scientific Conference closed its three weeks session at Honolulu on August 20. Delegates were present from Australia, Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, the Philippines, Samoa and from several scientific organizations and Federal Bureaus of the United States. The proceedings of the conference are to be published by the Bishop Museum under the direction of a committee consisting of Dr. Arthur L. Dean, president of the University of Hawaii, Dr. Herbert E. Gregory, Yale University, Dr. T. Wayland Vaughan, United States Geological Survey and Dr. Henry S. Washington, Geophysical Laboratory. This committee announces that the daily proceedings of the conference, including the discussions and the resolutions adopted, will be issued shortly and that the detailed programs of research in various branches of science will appear early in 1921.

DR. CHARLES MACFIE CAMPBELL, assistant director of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, has resigned to become professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Boston Psychopathic Hospital. Dr. Campbell will assume his new work on October 1.

DR. OLIVER KAMM, of the chemistry department of the University of Illinois, has been appointed director of the Chemical Research Department of Parke, Davis & Co.

DR. C. D. SHERBAKOFF, hitherto truck pathologist at the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville, has accepted the position of station pathologist at the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, Knoxville.



DR. HARRY BEAL TORREY has resigned from the faculty of Reed College to become professor of zoology and director of fundamental education in medical science in the University of Oregon. He will divide his time between

Eugene and the School of Medicine in Portland. An attempt will be made to bring together in one course the premedical and medical years and to obliterate the divisions commonly existing between premedical, preclinical and clinical studies.

AT Tulane University the following appointments have been made: Dr. D. S. Elliott, head of the department of physics in the Georgia Institute of Technology, professor of physics; Dr. S. A. Mahood, chemist of the Forest Products Laboratory of the University of Wisconsin, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Herbert E. Buchanan, professor of mathematics in the University of Tennessee, professor of mathematics.

DR. LANE has been appointed clinical professor of dermatology in the Yale Medical School and Dr. Alfred G. Nadler has accepted a similar position These two physicians will divide between them the work heretofore carried on by Dr. Ralph A. McDonnell, resigned. DR. C. MCLEAN FREASER has been appointed professor of zoology in the University of British Columbia, at Vancouver.

THE chair of chemistry in Berlin University, rendered vacant by the death of Emil Fischer, will be filled by Professor Fritz Haber, who will retain also his present position of director of the Emperor William Institute for Physical and Electro-Chemistry.



TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: I have frequently observed the phenomenon described by F. W. McNair in SCIENCE for August 27. Contrary to the assumption of Mr. McNair, however, it may be observed under any conditions of weather and temperature. I have seen it ahead many times while driving an automobile over concrete and tar-surfaced roads. There can be little doubt that it is a phenomenon of simple reflection and is therefore entirely independent of atmospheric conditions. Any compara

tively rough surface seems to act as a polished mirror toward light striking it at a very small angle of incidence. The mirage on the plains, being a phenomenon of refraction, is of an entirely different nature.


TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: In his communication to the issue of August 27, Mr. F. W. McNair touches upon a matter which seems to me worthy of further consideration.

In the course of numerous trips about the country by automobile, I have had repeated occasion to note the sort of mirage mentioned, particularly on stretches of surfaced road. The phenomenon commonly takes the form of an apparent small pool of water, which appears suddenly a little way ahead, and disappears with equal suddenness.

In most cases the reflecting air-surface would appear to be only a few inches above the road: the effect is that of a shallow pool, and one involuntarily dodges the apparent depression. On one or two occasions, however, I have noted a reflecting surface high enough to cut off the wheels of a vehicle driven through the lower stratum of air.

It occurs to me that the condition suggested may serve in part to account for ideas of temporary disappearance, or dematerialization, of solid objects, and for occasional accounts of apparent hallucination.

This matter would seem to be interesting and important enough to warrant fuller discussion. FREEMAN F. BURR

RATTLESNAKE ISLAND, past which Perry sailed his fleet to the battle of Lake Erie in 1813, lies two miles northwest of Put-in-Bay and occupies about eighteen degrees of the horizon.

On Sunday, July 18, at about one o'clock, while watching a thunderstorm approach over Rattlesnake, a second island was seen, somewhat higher than the real one and shifted to the westward approximately one third the apparent length of the island.

At first this was thought to be a mirage of Middle Sister which lies some miles to the

northwest. Two small islets, the Rattles, which lie off shore from the western end of Rattlesnake and which were projected to the left of the phantom island, indicated, however, that we were looking at an image of Rattlesnake.

The apparition was seen from a cottage three hundred yards to the southwest as well as from the laboratory cottage. It persisted for some time, possibly as long as fifteen minutes, disappearing just before the sheets of rain from the storm blotted out Rattlesnake entirely. The outline of the real island was at all times more distinct than that of the image, which was or seemed to be slightly behind it as well as above.





TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: I have read with much interest Oberholser's thirteen rules for family and subfamily names appearing in the issue of SCIENCE of August 13, 1920, which he says have the approval, in part at least, of thirteen named persons well known for their work in systematic zoology. If Dr. Oberholser had stopped with number 12 his rules would appear to be quite ideal.

Why rule 13? Two family or subfamily names having the same spelling are comparatively rare. They are for the most part going to be used by persons who know what the type genera are. It is quite inconceivable that there would ever be any real confusion because of identical spellings. If it is desirable to distinguish between two families or subfamilies that would be spelled alike by following rules 1 and 2, a prefixed Pro seems to me to be the least desirable method. Any one not familiar with the case would naturally think the type genus of Propicide to be either Propicus or Propica. In Palmer's "Index Generum Mammalium" there are over 100 generic or subgeneric names beginning with the prefix Pro and at least half a dozen of these names are used in forming family or subfamily names.

The simplest method to distinguish between two family or subfamily names that would otherwise be spelled alike, would seem to be to add ide or ina to the full generic names in the few cases in which duplication would occur, as Picaide and Picusida. Other expedients would be to write 2d after the later name, or the year in which the name was published, or the Greek letter ẞ. To make a prefix as Pro a part of the family or subfamily name and so cause the name to appear in alphabetic lists far away from its logical place and to lead the uninitiated into thinking of a Pro genus which does not exist seems as absurd as it is unnecessary.

M. W. LYON, Jr.


TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: Please publish in SCIENCE the following extract from a letter of Professor Marinesco, a leading scientist and physician in Rumania.

I believe that our American colleagues, whose country made such a noble contribution to victory, ought to take notice of the unhappy state of the Rumanian men of science which is due to the occupation of our country by the enemy. It is probably unknown that after the occupation we were in extreme distress, because all our instruments were then taken away or destroyed. A part of our libraries has been destroyed. Furthermore, since Rumania has no chemical industries, we do not possess the chemical reagents, etc., indispensable for scientific research. Allied European countries which would aid us, France for instance, have been equally devastated.

Perhaps the United States which has contributed so largely to the restoration of Europe would make a grand gesture and help the investigators of our country by sending some instruments and a certain amount of reagents as far as they are able to do so. They can not be accepted gratuitously; but we believe that we will be able to repay the debt later when the unfavorable exchange no longer weighs so heavily upon our laboratory budgets.

Hoping that my prayer will find a favorable response among my American colleagues, we would like you to be our spokesman.




THIS is the heading of a leaderette in the Daily Mail, which states that "Light is to be 6 caught bending' next week at Cardiff." It goes on to say that "We have in Britain today as original a group of scientific men as any country in the world; and they are beginning at last to see the wisdom of coming out of their caves and laboratories and applying their brains to practical affairs; to the laws that govern heredity, to wireless apparatus, to the uses of alcohol, to the migration of fish, to medicinal thought-reading, to the possibilities of intensive cultivation-which bulks largely this year-indeed to scores of practical themes to which their more abstract studies are leading.

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"In any case, it is time most profitably spent if for one week in the year our men of science bend their united energies to the work of interesting the public in the advance of science. It is as much the duty of the public to appreciate the men of science as of men of science to come to meet the public."

Now, what does the Daily Mail think " our men of science" had been doing during the period before they began to see the wisdom of coming out of their caves and applying their brains to practical affairs? Does it really think that they have suddenly awakened and hurriedly worked up papers on the laws of heredity, on wireless apparatus, etc., just for the purpose of interesting the public during this British Association week?

The Mail speaks of "our men of science" with a patronizing air, a kindly condescension which implies that they are rather weird uncanny folk, not quite normal, who dwell in

caves and laboratories," and do not usually apply their brains to practical affairs-so unlike the brainy trumpeters of the daily press, who gaily talk of "catching light bending" without having the faintest conception of the significance of the allusion. This superior attitude of the journalist who, in many cases, can not even write English correctly, and whose mind is blankly opaque to the most elementary notions of physical science, is galling to those

who are able to appreciate the nature and value of the work of that band of British scientific heroes, without whose efforts, the result of long years of patient training in research, the war would inevitably have been lost, on the land, on the sea, and in the air. If the lay press would descend from its wooden pedestal and inculcate in the public mind that knowledge and love of science through which our men of science "-unexcelled in the whole world-acquired their equipment for winning the war, instead of perpetuating the silly and antiquated notion that they are habitually immersed in useless hobbies of no practical utility, it would do real service to the country.— The London Electrical Review.




A FEW weeks ago an official of the Weather Bureau was asked this question: How many tornadoes will a healthy cyclone hatch in a day? This, naturally, was a difficult question to answer; but it must be admitted that the tornadoes of March 28, in the middle western and southern states, and those of April 20 in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, afford striking examples of the fecundity of barometric depressions when other conditions are favorable. The Monthly Weather Review1 for April, 1920, contains about 18 papers, discussions, and notes concerning these very destructive tornadoes, as well as those which occurred in North Carolina and Oklahoma on April 12 and May 2, respectively.

Eleven of the thirteen tornadoes of March 28 occurred in the region surrounding lower Lake Michigan and two occurred in western Alabama and eastern Georgia. It appears that they were associated with the passage of the squall front or line of wind-convergence which marked the barrier, in the southeastern quadrant of the deep "low," between southeasterly and southwesterly winds. The "low" which

1 Papers on tornadoes, pp. 191-213. Reprints of these papers may be obtained upon application to the Chief, United States Weather Bureau, Washington, D. C.

gave rise to this wind-shift line moved from east-central Nebraska to northern Wisconsin in the course of the day. In the region of lower Lake Michigan, it was possible to trace the hourly progress of the line as it advanced on a slightly curved front in a general eastnortheasterly direction. It appeared at 6 A.M. in northeastern Missouri and southeastern Iowa; at noon, it extended along the eastern line of Illinois northward to the lake, thence curving northwestward into Wisconsin; at 9 P.M., it had almost reached Lake Huron, and was over the western end of lake Erie. As its northern end reached Lake Michigan, there was a perceptible forward bulge which may be attributed to the decreased friction as the wind advanced over the smooth water surface.

Regarding the circumstances under which these tornadoes were formed, Dr. Charles F. Brooks, in his discussion, says:

Why did these 13 tornadoes occur on the afternoon of March 28? Let us review the facts as brought out by the weather observations:

1. There were strong, unusually warm winds from the southeast and south-southeast over a large area from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes.

2. A well-marked line. . . separated these winds from still stronger, but slightly cooler southwest or south-southwest winds in a belt immediately to the


3. Heavy thunderstorms, some with tornadoes and hail, occurred along this line of converging winds.

4. Immediately to the west of the northern portion of this line was a belt of diverging winds, characterized by brilliantly clear skies and exceedingly dry air, the driest on record at some stations. ...

5. Kite observations indicated the presence of a cold southwest-west wind at a moderate height overrunning the warm surface wind.

6. The northeasterly movement of the tornados and lower clouds and the fall of hail on or to the east of the tornado paths indicated a southwest to, at least, west-southwest wind not far aloft.

Surely this was an unusual set of conditions. With winds meeting at an angle of about 60° and at a rate of about 30 miles an hour, large volumes of air were sent upward and given a counterclockwise rotary motion by the thrusts of the southwest squalls routing under the rear portions of the

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