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winds for the United States is 28.4: 9.5, and for the North Atlantic it is 18.0: 29.8; and this evidently depends largely on the control that land friction exerts on wind velocity.

FIG. 1.-SECTION OF FLOATING DOME AT NICE.

We learn from Nature that the floating dome presented by Bischoffsheim to the observatory at Nice is now finished, and has been recently on exhibition in Paris. It is intended to cover a colossal telescope. It is twenty-two metres in diameter inside, and has a circumference of more than sixty metres, or two metres more than the dome of the Pantheon. Instead of rendering it movable by placing it on rollers, according to the ordinary method, it is closed below by a reservoir for air, which rests on the water in a circular basin (fig. 2). A set of rollers is also placed under the dome to prevent oscillation, and for use when repairs are needed. This system of suspension is said to be so perfect, that, in spite of its great weight, a single person can turn it completely round the horizon. To provide against the water freezing, it has been proposed to dissolve in it a salt to the point of saturation, but it is feared that this may cause corrosion of the apparatus. Frosts, however, are rare in Nice, and special experiments on this subject will be made.

-The germ theory of disease' formed the subject of the Alumni lectures' given this year by Dr. W. H. Thomson before the graduates of the Albany medical college.

-We learn from Nature that Mr. Burbidge, of the Trinity-college botanical gardens, Dublin, points out that Edelweiss is easily grown in English gardens from seed. It is sown in common garden-earth in a cold-frame, and, when large enough, each little plant is placed in a small pot in a mixture of loamy earth and old lime rubbish; or the plants, Mr. Burbidge says, are equally well pleased by a niche in a sunny rock-garden, provided a supply of their favorite lime rubbish or old mortar be afforded them.

- At the meeting of the Board of visitors of the Royal observatory, Greenwich, the annual report of the astronomer royal was received. In this it is mentioned, that on the publication of Professor Pick

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ering's Harvard photometry,' all stars which he had noted as brighter than the sixth magnitude, and which had not been recently observed at Greenwich, were inserted in the working-catalogue, in order that the next Greenwich catalogue might contain all stars, down to the sixth magnitude, which have not been observed at Greenwich since 1860. It is also stated, that, as announced in the Times of Jan. 1, the public clock at the observatory entrance, and the other mean solar clocks, were put forward twelve hours so as to show Greenwich civil time, starting at midnight, and reckoning from 0 h. to 24 h., which would correspond with the universal time recommended by the Washington conference. The change from astronomical to civil reckoning has also been made in all the internal work of the observatory, and has been carried out without any difficulty. Greenwich civil time is found to be more convenient, on the whole, for the purposes of this observatory; but its introduction into the printed astronomical observations has been deferred to allow time for a general agreement among astronomers to be arrived at. It is proposed, however, to adopt the civil day without further delay in the printed magnetical results, thus reverting to the practice previous to 1848, and making the time-reckoning harmonize with that used in the meteorological

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FRIDAY, JULY 31, 1885.

COMMENT AND CRITICISM.

FROM A CIRCULAR signed by Elliott B. Page, F.T.S., general secretary for America, it seems that the American board of control of the Theosophical society held a session at Cincinnati on July 4, and, presumably among other business, passed a resolution to the effect "that the Theosophical society shall assume and exercise supervision of the American society for psychical research." This board of control thereupon authorized and required' one of their number, Professor Elliott Coues, the well-known ghost-smeller, "to act as censor of the said American society for psychical research, and to publicly review and criticise any and all of the proceedings, transactions, bulletins, or other printed matter which the said society may publish, at his judgment and discretion." The board further "expressly requires him, when any fact in psychic science shall have been satisfactorily established by the American society for psychical research, to explain such fact to the said [American] society according to the doctrines, and upon the principles of psychic science, of which the Theosophical society is the custodian in the United States."

The labor of sifting the evidence in regard to psychical phenomena is no mean one; and we feel sure that the managers of the American society for psychical research will feel deeply indebted that one so well posted in the phenomena of the occult world should have been appointed to the duty of aiding them, pointing out their errors when they may have gone astray, and informing them when they have made a discovery. To be sure, on account of our kindly feeling toward Professor Coues, we declined last winter to publish some of his statements in regard to ghosts which

No. 130.-1885.

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ALTHOUGH THE CONFLICT over the evolution of man is practically ended so far as the general question in the opinion of scientific biologists is concerned, yet the special question through what series of forms man has been evolved is still unsettled. In regard to the descent not only of the vertebrates and the various classes of vertebrates, but also of the various orders of mammals, our knowledge has been rapidly extended, and we can now outline with some degree of accuracy the genealogical history of the higher animals. Of some forms we can give with remarkable precision the exact ancestry for some distance, but man is not one of these forms. The origin of a species may be ascertained either by direct observation or by inference: the former is the method of paleontology; the latter, of embryology and morphology. Since the paleontologist has as yet gathered no material to trace the immediate ancestry of man, we are obliged to trust to the indications of the embryologist, who finds in the foetal structures hints of ancestral organization, which, properly utilized, guide investigation to sure results. A most interesting step in advance is the discovery by Professor Fol, noted in another column, that the human embryo has four temporary caudal vertebrae, which must be interpreted as proof that man is derived from a long-tailed animal. Evidence is thus accumulating that the human

species is indeed related to the monkeys, possibly more closely than even to the anthropoid apes.

THE REPORT ON THE MUSEUMS of America and Canada, recently made by Mr. Ball of the Dublin museum to the Science and art department of England, is not a very satisfactory document. Apparently designed to furnish hints to similar museums in the United Kingdom, it is nevertheless chiefly occupied with descriptions of the scope of the different establishments and of the contents, and to some extent the general arrangements of the several museums. But the account of the last is generally unsatisfactory and imperfect, while very slight or no mention is made of such devices as are characteristically American, and in which museology has been notably advanced by us. The best applications of American ingenuity to questions of installation are unnoticed such as, the methods by which cases are made air-tight, and are locked at several points by a single turn of the key; by which shelf-supports are made light, secure, and graceful, and variable at pleasure with slight labor; by which a case applied to one use can be converted in a few minutes to another very different one without interfering with its sightliness; these and many other problems of museum economy are altogether overlooked. The unit system of the National museum and the systematic registry of the Smithsonian institution are praised but not explained; while the applications of museums to public educational uses by the special arrangement of their material is very inadequately treated. Although it is true that in this last point our museums have more to show in promise than in fulfilment, we have still not a little to teach Europe; while America, on its side, has much to learn from such collections, for example, as the Liverpool free museum.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
Miocene deposits in Florida.

IN view of the discussion as to the extent of miocene deposits in Florida, it may be of interest to call

attention to the discovery of the extremely characteristic Ecphora quadricostata by Dr. R. E. C. Stearns at Tampa. The matrix is a compacted fine greenish sand, crumbling under moderate pressure. The locality of the find is on the long rocky point. It is probable that there is a large area in Florida corresponding in age to what has been called miocene in Virginia and the Carolinas, and that it includes part of the phosphatic sandstones, as well as the mammalian and reptilian bone-deposits noted by Jeffries Wyman, Leidy, Neill, and others. WM. H. DALL, U.S. geol. survey.

Washington, D.C., July 23.

Abert's squirrel.

I have read with interest the article in Science respecting the Sciurus Aberti, from Dr. Shufeldt.

Sciurus Aberti is not uncommon in northern Colorado. I have seen it as far north as the Câche à La Poudre River, about 40° 30′ north latitude, and up to eleven thousand six hundred feet altitude near Gray's Peak. In this part of Colorado (latitude 39° 45′ north), and along the South Platte River in the mountains south-west of Golden, I have seen this spring three different individuals, two of them black; one gray and lighter beneath, with tips of its hair on its back and sides mottled with black. In fact, we see them here from gray to blackish gray, and entirely black, although but little differing in size, and all noticeable by long, tufted ears. It is more terrestrial than arboreal in its habits, and, from its extreme range, cannot be called or considered a southern species straggling northward. Having been in the San Francisco mountains, and in all northern Arizona, I have not seen any S. Aberti as deep black as those in northern Colorado.

I have mentioned its existence here up to eleven thousand six hundred feet altitude; but I should qualify this statement by saying, that a squirrel in every respect identical with the S. Aberti was seen by me several times at the Loneland Pass, west of Gray's Peak. But it was more than twice its size; indeed, larger than any other species of gray, black, or fox squirrel I have ever shot or seen. Its habitat was near timber-line, feeding on pine-cones, and generally returning to the enormous heaps of disintegrated rocks which seemed its usual abiding-place. I never succeeded in getting a specimen of this rare squirrel at that place. E. L. BERTHOUD.

Golden, Col., July 2.

Color associations with the months.

A lady whom I had the pleasure of visiting to inform myself concerning some curious planchettewriting in which she had participated, has, she told me in answer to my inquiries, several interesting arbitrary associations of the class which was discovered by Mr. Francis Galton, and of which the number-form is the most familiar example. She had a curious number-form, - a form for the twenty-four hours, and another for the months. A sister had likewise various forms, but different from those of the first-mentioned lady. Both said that music always speaks. Why, yes! it speaks, of course,' they both remarked.

The one to whom I wish specially to refer associated colors with the months, and in a way which struck me as particularly curious, as it is a jumble of arbitrary and of obviously natural associations.

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Sir William Thomson has shown that since work is readily converted into heat, while heat is never wholly transformed into work, or in fact into any other form of energy, there must continually take place what Tait calls a degradation of energy; while its dissipation is pronounced to be the inevitable consequence of certain laws, connecting heat and work, established by thermodynamics.

Maxwell has pointed out that one of these laws is by no means a necessary truth [Theory of heat,' chapter xxii., Limitation of the second law of thermodynamics]. Theory shows, that, in what is called a state of uniform temperature, some of the molecules of a body have by chance much greater velocities than others. If, therefore, as Maxwell says, we could suppose the existence of small beings, capable of following the motion of each molecule, and opening or shutting holes in a partition so as to allow the fastest molecules to pass through one way and the slowest the other, it might be possible theoretically, without expending any work, to separate a gas into two portions, -one hot and the other cold, in contradiction to the second law of thermodynamics.

It seemed to me of interest to point out that what, as Maxwell has shown, could be done by the agency of these imaginary beings, can be and often is actually accomplished by the aid of a sort of natural selection.

When the motion of a molecule in the surface of a body happens to exceed a certain limit, it may be thrown off completely from that surface, as in ordinary evaporation. Hence in the case of astronomical bodies, particularly masses of gas, the molecules of greatest velocity may gradually be separated from the remainder as effectually as by the operation of Maxwell's small beings.

It is true, that, in overcoming the attraction of the central mass, the escaping molecules may be deprived of the whole or a portion of their velocity; but the transformation of heat into work marks the process still more distinctly as an exception to the second law of thermodynamics, which asserts," according to Maxwell, that it is impossible to transform any part of the heat of a body into mechanical work, except by allowing heat to pass from that body into another at a lower temperature" ["Theory of heat,' chapter viii.].

One might now dismiss the subject as a mere curiosity; but is it not possible that what may be called the renovation of energy plays an important part in the history of the universe? While philosophers, anxious to preserve their store of available energy,

may speculate on the possible equivalence of renovation and dissipation, will not the scientist hesitate, without further examination, to extend the principle of universal dissipation from physical to astronomical phenomena ? HAROLD WHITING.

The classification and paleontology of the U. S. tertiary deposits.

In penning my protest (Science, June 12) against some recent geological and paleontological speculations of Dr. Otto Meyer, I had intended that it should represent my final words in the matter, inasmuch as the article under discussion appeared to me unworthy of exhaustive criticism. The appearance of instalment No. 2 of the same series (which, if any thing, is only more remarkable than No. 1), and a rejoinder to the first from Prof. E. W. Hilgard, constrain me to add a few additional paragraphs, more, perhaps, of a general than of a special character.

Professor Hilgard says, "I emphatically agree with Heilprin as to the impossibility of subverting the cumulative stratigraphical evidence to the effect that the relative superposition of the several principal stages the Burstone, Claiborne, Jackson, and Vicksburg groups cannot be otherwise than as heretofore ascertained;" and, further, "I recall to my mind that years ago I had occasion to repel a similar attempt, on the part of Mr. Conrad, to subvert the relative position of the Jackson and Vicksburg groups upon supposed paleontological evidence." It might appear, from the conjunction of these expressions, that the only evidence supporting the accepted superposition of the different members of the southern old tertiaries was of a stratigraphical character, and that the paleontological evidence was in conflict with that derived from stratigraphy. As a matter of fact, however, the paleontological evidence, whatever it may have been when Conrad first devised his scheme of classification, is, as we now know it, absolutely comfirmatory of the pregnant facts which the stratigraphy of the region presents; and, indeed, it would be difficult to find a region of similar deposits where it is more so. The absence or scarcity of forms of a distinctively old-type facies in the Vicksburg beds, and the introduction there of new forms whose equivalents or immediate representatives are known only from the newer horizon, are sufficient in themselves to establish the position. While it may be true, although this is far from being proven, that not a single one of the Vicksburg fossils is identical with species belonging to the typical oligocene basin of Germany, it is equally true that several of the species find their analogues or equivalents in the deposits of San Domingo, which are indisputably of post-eocene age; and whatever Dr. Meyer's own individual opinion may be as to the bugbear Orbitoides, and to its value as a 'leitfossil,' the keen appreciation of Hautken, Rupert Jones, Karrer, Fuchs, Suess, and Duncan has long since settled the question. It is amusing to have the forty-year old opinions of D'Orbigny and Edward Forbes referred to as authority on the value or no-value of certain fossil forms whose organization was barely known at the time that the opinions were rendered, and whose differences from other (distantly) allied forms were not even dreamed of. With singular perversity of purpose, Dr. Meyer fails to inform his readers that the American foraminifer whose merits are discussed by Professor Forbes, is confounded by that naturalist with a form which belongs not only to a distinct genus and family from Orbitoides, but to a distinct sub-order.

Aside from the testimony of the Vicksburg fossils

themselves, however, the dominating faunal features of the intermediate Jacksonian ought to have carried conviction, or nearly that, to the mind of any unprejudiced paleontologist. The Zeuglodontidae, represented (as generally considered) by the two genera Zeuglodon and Squalodon, are thus far positively known (in their earliest forms) only from late eocene or miocene (and oligocene ?) deposits; and the only species of the former other than the American forms, and those obtained by Schweinfurth from Birket-el-Keroun (and recently referred by Dames to the eocene or oligocene horizon), is a member of the same group of deposits (the Bartonian) which in England correspond in position with the Jackson beds; i.e., overlie the Parisian (equal Claibornian). In that which relates to the oligocene (Orbitoide, Nummulite) rock of the peninsula of Florida, whose existence appears to give Dr. Meyer a considerable amount of anxiety, and which would better suit the requirements of the new theory were it cretaceous, our author need entertain no doubts: the rock is there, and has recently been found in several other localities which were not known at the time the mapping for my book was executed. No amount of chastising of Orbitoides will efface the testimony which it has unguardedly left behind.

I fully agree with Professor Hilgard as to the value of tracing derivative relationships between the speIcies of the different formations, a field of inquiry which I entered some years ago, but from which I have thus far drawn but barren fruit. In such inquiry it is necessary, however, to know the relative positions of the different deposits with which one is dealing, and not to proceed, as Dr. Meyer has done, from top to bottom, believing that top was bottom, and bottom top. Some curious evolutionary results might arise from this novel method of procedure.

For the rest, I need only reiterate my warning to geologists and paleontologists against the acceptance of the vagaries which are set forth in the two articles before us. Having given attentive study to the fossils from the region in question for a period extending over six years, and with the types of by far the greater number of species that have ever been described from the formation under my eyes and under my charge, I can say that those portions of Dr. Meyer's papers which relates to systematic paleontology are of about equal value with the geological, and clearly show that the author has not yet even found time to identify the numerous species which he is discussing. Pseudo-science of the kind to which we are here treated should be exposed. ANGELO HEILPRIN. Academy of natural sciences, Philadelphia, July 20.

The etymology of 'ginkgo.'

Mr. Lester F. Ward, in a note to his paper on the ginkgo-tree (Science, v. 495, June 19, 1885), says,

The orthography of this word ['ginkgo'] is not settled. Linné wrote ginkgo,' as did also, apparently, Kaempfer before him (Amoenitat. exotic.,' 1712), and as all botanists since have done, and do still; but nearly all lexicographers reverse the consonants, and write gingko.' In the supplement to Webster's dictionary the word is said to signify 'silver fruit;' and it would seem that the etymology ought to determine the orthography."

The first use of the word ginkgo occurs in Kaempfer's Amoenitates exoticae,' p. 811, where he says,

"Ginkgo, vel gin an, vulgo itsjò. Arbor

nucifera folio adiantino." And then he adds a page

of detailed description, and a page of figures of the leaves and fruit. He gives the two Chinese characters that are still used for the fruit in Japan: they are pronounced by two different methods, according to two provincial pronunciations brought to Japan long ago, and corrupted there, — either ginkiyoo (not the common English oo, but each o long, or as in 'oolite;' and the g as in 'give,' of course), or, much more commonly, ginnan; and they mean 'silver apricot,' or 'silver almond.'

It is plain that Kaempfer's ginkgo was a misprint

for ginkjoo; since the second character() is also

given by him on p. 798 for the apricot, and transliterated kjoo, a very reasonable way to write it, with the German sound of j, and the long o doubled, as actually pronounced. Undoubtedly, the last syllable of the word was written in the same way at p. 811; but, in printing, it became kgo, and the error has been sacredly perpetuated until the present time.

The word ginnan (the first n is doubled in pronunciation) is likewise misprinted, on p. 812, 'ginnaù.'

Instead of ginkiyoo, or ginnan, the name of the fruit, the tree is called in Japan ichoo (two long o's, as before, not the English oo, but the ch as in English), and that is what Kaempfer writes itsjò.

Thunberg (Flora japonica,' 1784, p. 358), probably guided by his own ear, in amendment of Kaempfer, writes the name ginko, which represents a third less common Japanese pronunciation of the second syllable, koo, with two long o's; and he speaks of the great size of the tree, comparing the thickness of the trunk to oaks. Possibly the evident errors of the Linnean name in spelling, pronunciation, and meaning (signifying the fruit rather than the tree, though Dr. Williams's dictionary says the same name is in China given also to the tree; and it is in Japan, too, sometimes given to the fruit-bearing sex of it), may be considered strong arguments in favor of the name 'Salisburia;' or, perhaps better, in favor of Thunberg's reform of the orthography-if that be not treading on altogether too holy ground.

Kaempfer pointed out the resemblance of the leaf to Adiantum, not only on p. 811, but again in the detailed description on the next page.

My copy of Kaempfer has an old manuscript note, as follows, "1753. See this plant in Mr. James Gordon's garden at Mile End, London," - showing that the tree was very early introduced in Europe.

The tree sometimes grows to a very large size, and there was one about five feet in diameter in my garden at Yedo, on high ground; but damp soil is said to be its preference. The juice of the thick pulp outside the nut is very astringent, and is used in making a somewhat waterproof, tough paper, and a preservative black wash for fences and buildings. The meat of the nut is cooked and eaten. Northampton, Mass.

BENJ. SMITH LYMAN.

THE RECENT LAND-SLIDE IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.

BETWEEN Jefferson and the well-known Fabyan House, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is an oblong elevation of thirty-six hundred feet above the sea, known as Cherry Mountain. It is about seven miles in length

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