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I perceive from your letter that my friend Dollo, whom I had informed of the critical conditions here with us, turned for aid to my friend Osborn. In fact, the past winter in Vienna was literally frightful. Your people have done a great deal for our children and in this way have aided materially in reducing the number of cases of sickness due to privation and hunger. The circumstance that Austria is reduced by the peace treaty to a relatively small country, and especially that it is limited to the mountain territories, which could not previously raise their own food supplies, and under the present bad conditions are still less able to provide for themselves, has shaped the situation since the end of the war for a catastrophe, as we are surrounded all about by new states which in part are unwilling to help us, as with Czechoslovakia and Hungary and Jugoslavia, and in part are unable to help because they themselves are in want, as with Germany. . . . Up to the present time destitution has attained terrible dimensions with us, and people have been dying like flies. The middle classes especially have been most heavily affected by these conditions as they were in no position to pass over to other classes the enormous increase in prices occasioned by the destitution, as the business and labor classes were enabled to do. We can only hope that as soon as political conditions will permit, Austria, now so much reduced in size and productivity in consequence of its geographical limitations that it will scarcely in the future be self-supporting, may be able to shape up some possibility for a continued existence. (April 4, 1920.)

Despite these circumstances the writer of the above letter has succeeded in publishing a monumental work, printed on paper of the poorest quality, which must be used by all American students.

I have taken the liberty of quoting from these personal letters from two men the very front rank in Europe, in order to present the actual situation to some of my colleagues who are still in doubt as to what their attitude should be. We geologists can not cut off communication with a country which has produced Edouard Suess. We paleontologists welcome the works of Othenio Abel.

As regards others, with whom personal relations are less close, I have decided neither to forgive nor to forget nor to extenuate, but to

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same first two digits as the year of the date in question.

Further study also reveals the fact that the formula for Old Style dates requires modification for dates in January and February of centennial years. This modification may best be made by starring the figure 5 of the formula and inserting the following footnote: *Use 4 instead of 5 for dates in January and February in centennial years. W. J. SPILLMAN


TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: A letter received from a friend in Berlin a few days ago brings information of the death of Professor N. Zuntz. The very great services of Professor Zuntz, extending over a long life time, devoted to the advancement of physiology and nutrition, his broad-mindedness and kindly character render his death at this time, when renewal of scientific associations severed by the war is so important, peculiarly sad.

The information comes also that, for the support of his widow who is a hopeless invalid, funds are needed. To this end it is desired to sell the large library which Professor Zuntz had collected. It includes complete sets of practically all of the journals in his field of work. By disposing of the library direct to some purchaser, or purchasers, in this country the advantage of the rate of exchange would accrue to the widow instead of to some book dealer.

I shall be glad to supply the address and such further information as I have to any one interested in the purchase of this library. YANDELL HENDERSON


a good many years ago a physician and surgeon named Dr. W. W. Mayo. He had been brought up in an atmosphere of scientific progress and had studied with the English physicist, Dalton. He settled down to a general practise in Rochester and attained eminence in his profession. He had two sons, William and Charles, who followed his profession and developed the highest known skill in surgery, acquiring a reputation that brought people from the country around to seek relief at their hands. They soon discovered that their income was quite beyond their own need, and they conceived in their breadth of vision the opportunity of philanthropic progressive work for relief of their stricken fellowmen. They turned half of their income over to a business friend, with the request that he invest it and increase it; and thus in the days of rapid increase in values this fund became $2,000,000. Meantime their reputation grew, the demand for their service and for the enlargement and development of their plant greatly widened. They adopted the principle that no one needing surgical aid and coming to Rochester should be turned away without receiving it; that the rich and the moderately circumstanced should me made to pay in proportion to their means, and that the man without anything should receive aid for nothing. The amount received from the wealthy they apportioned with a view of creating a foundation for their clinic, which should continually enlarge its usefulness. Rochester is now a town of 14,000. It now has constantly 4,000 to 6,000 transient residents who are there for treatment. There are 900 beds all told in the various hospitals, and something more than 300 are being added. Sixty-thousand cases of all kinds are received and treated a year. The iron rule is that the poorest shall receive as careful and as good treatment as the wealthiest. The result has been that the name of the Mayos and Rochester has spread to the uttermost quarters of the world, and to-day a most cosmopolitan group greets the visitor in all the buildings in which this great philanthropy is carried on. As one notes the


WORK OF THE MAYO BROTHERS A FRIEND of Christian civilization and a supporter of the present social order rejoices to visit such a shrine of philanthropy as can be found at Rochester, Minnesota. To that obscure and remote town came from England

crowds of people that gather from 7 in the morning until late in the evening exery day to await their turn for examinaton, diagnosis and treatment, he thinks that he has come to the shrine of a saint.-William Howard Taft in the Philadelphia Public Ledger.


ON April 3, 1919, the American Society of Mammalogists was founded at Washington, D. C. One of the principal objects of this society was the publication of a journal of mammalogy and on November 28 the first number of this journal appeared, from the press of Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore.

The arrival of the journal must have been a matter of gratification to the many students, scientific workers and others who are interested in the subject of mammalian life, for the need of such a publication has long been felt. In its aims this journal is broad, including within its scope morphology, evolution, paleontology, taxonomy, life histories and habits, in fact "every phase of technical and popular mammalogy." It is the announced purpose to make the journal indispensable to all active workers in mammalogy and of value "to every person interested in mammals, be he systematist, paleontologist, anatomist, museum or zoological garden man, big game hunter, or just plain naturalist."

In its make-up the journal seems in the opinion of the reviewer to be both substantial and attractive. The type is well chosen, the paper of good quality and the photographic reproductions contained give evidence that the illustrative features will be well handled. The front of its gray-green cover presents as decoration a pen drawing by Ernest Thompson Seton of the prong-horn antelope-symbol of something distinctively American. Below this is the table of contents and a glance at the list of contributors reveals the names of many well-known authorities in the field of mammalogy.

The first number consists of 51 pages, of which about 37 are devoted to major articles,

5 to general notes and about the same number to recent literature and 2 pages to editorial comment. On the closing pages are found the by-laws and rules of the society adopted at the time of its founding. The second number, which appeared promptly, includes pages 53 to 110.

An idea of the contents of the journal may best be conveyed by mention of a few representative titles. Among the major articles, of technical character are "Criteria for the recognition of species and genera," "Preliminary notes on African Carnivora," "Notes on the fox squirrels of the southeastern United States," "Names of some South American mammals," "A new fossil rodent from the Oligocene of South Dakota," "Identity of the bean mouse of Lewis and Clark." Among articles dealing with distribution, habits and other phases of life-history may be mentioned "Bats from Mt. Whitney, California," "The mammals of Southeastern Washington,” “Migrations of the gray-squirrel," "An apparent effect of winter inactivity upon the distribution of mammals," "For a methodic study of life-histories."

Under General Notes, a department of the journal which promises to be one of unusual interest, are found among others, "An easy method of cleaning skulls," "Red bat and spotted porpoise off the Carolinas," "The Florida spotted skunk as an acrobat," "Rodent mountaineers," "Does the cuterebra ever emasculate its host?" "The coyote not afraid of water," "The flying squirrel as a bird killer," "Technical names of two Colobus monkeys."


In addition to reviews of recent literature each number contains a long list of titles of recent mammalogical publications, domestic and foreign, while in the correspondence and editorial departments appear some very readable letters and comments on topics of cur rent interest to mammalogists.

In a magazine of the scope of the Journal of Mammalogy it seems inevitable that articles of certain types will at times predominate over other kinds and it is perhaps too much to expect that every number shall

have equal interest for all of its readers. It is a matter beyond the control of the management but one of which it is fully mindful and the editor very properly points out that if the magazine is to be a well-balanced one those members who are particularly interested in certain special phases of mammalian life must be largely responsible for furnishing the materials relating to their respective fields. In the opinion of the reviewer the management is to be congratulated upon the manner in which the journal has been launched. That the magazine will be indispensable to the active worker in the domain of mammalogy is a matter of course, but it seems also eminently worthy of a place in the libraries of all our schools and colleges where biological subjects are taught, for a sufficient number of articles of non-technical nature are assured to furnish highly profitable reading of a kind that can not help but be an incentive to a wider and more intelligent interest in mammalian life. CHARLES E. JOHNSON





EARLY attempts to account for fluorescence as due to radiation produced by the return to the parent molecules of electrons which were photoelectrically emitted by the exciting light have been unsuccessful, since the fluorescence of gases and vapors is not generally accompanied by ionization. Consequently, the recent viewpoint is that the primary effect of the exciting light is to cause one or more electrons of a molecule to take positions or conditions of abnormally large potential energy, without being necessarily removed from the parent molecule. This additional energy is absorbed from the exciting light, and is reemitted as radiation when the electrons return to their initial stable configurations. This fluorescent radiation may be of the same, of longer, or of shorter wave-length than the exciting light according as the return is accomplished in a single step,

in several steps, or in a single step following the absorption of additional radiant energy.

We have obtained experimental evidence of the correctness of this viewpoint from measurements of the minimum energy required to ionize an iodine molecule in the normal state as compared with that required to ionize a fluorescing molecule. This energy is expressed, as usual, in terms of the minimum ionizing potential, which is found to be close to 10 volts for the normal molecule and 7.5 volts for the fluorescing molecule, excited by the green mercury line (whose wave-length is the same as that of the green absorption band of iodine, and which excites strong fluorescence). The difference, 2.5 volts, corresponds to the quantum of energy of the frequency of the exciting light by the quantum relation eVhr. This offers direct evidence, therefore, of the existence of molecules whose electrons possess abnormal potential energy as a result of the exciting light. The existence of such unstable, and therefore active, molecules has particular bearing on the explanation of photochemical reactions, and suggests the process of chemical action recently proposed by Perrin.


Two types of ionization were discovered in iodine vapour, a very weak ionization at 8.5 volts, attributed to the ionization of atoms present because of the hot filament which served as the source of the bombarding electrons, and a very intense ionization at 10 volts, attributed to the ionization of the molecules. This was tested by carrying out ionization experiments in a pyrex glass tube which could be highly heated in an electric furnace so that various degrees of dissociation of the iodine vapor could be obtained. The results thus obtained were consistent with the above assumptions that the ionizing potential of the iodine atom is 8.5 volts and that of the iodine molecule is 10 volts.

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tion of an iodine molecule may consist in its dissociation and the ionization of one of the parts by the same electron impact.

This kind of a process has been suggested to estimate the heat of dissociation of hydrogen from ionization data, but the present work is the first, as far as we are aware, to give direct evidence as to which ionization effect is due to the atom and which to the molecule. It is probable that this method may be of value in determining heats of dissociation which are too high to be found by ordinary methods.





AT the 1920 general meeting of the American Philosophical Society, held on April 22, 23 and 24, in Philadelphia, the following comprehensive program was followed.

April 22, 2 o'clock

WILLIAM B. SCOTT, D.Sc., LL.D., president, in the chair

Beach protection works: LEWIS M. HAUPT, Philadelphia.

Geographic aspects of the Adriatic problem: DOUGLAS W. JOHNSON, professor of physiography at Columbia University. (Introduced by Professor W. M. Davis.)

The reefs of Tutuila, Samoa, in their relation to coral reef theories: ALFRED G. MAYOR, director of the department of marine biology, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

A distribution of land and water on the earth: HARRY FIELDING REID, C.E., Ph.D., professor of dynamic geology and geography, Johns Hopkins University. The conception of the land of the earth as being a deeply dissected and loosely joined together mass, with its center about half way between the equator and the poles, explains nearly all the characteristics of the distribution of land and water, such as: the antipodal relation, the concentration of land about the north pole and of water about the south pole, etc.

Thyroxin: E. C. KENDALL, Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic, assistant professor of chemistry of the University of Minnesota. (Introduced by Dr. Philip B. Hawk.)

The dualistic conception of the processes of life: SAMUEL J. MELTZER, M.D., LL.D., head of department of physiology, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York. Animal life manifests itself by an uninterrupted stream of various forms of activities. But each of the activities is discontinuous, it is interrupted by a longer or shorter resting phase. Most physiologists look at life proeesses from a monistic point of view. In their opinion only action needs a cause; the reduction in action or the resting phase needs no special interpretation; they are simply due to a reduction in the extent of the cause or to its entire absence. However, seventy-five years ago, it was discovered by the brothers Weber that stimulation of the peripheral end of a vagus nerve stops the beating of the heart which remains resting in an increased state of diastole. Here a special cause, a stimulation of a nerve going to a muscle, causes a resting phase in the heart muscle. This action was termed inhibition. In the three quarters of a century since this discovery was made, numerous instances of inhibition in the various processes of animal life were discovered. From all the facts as they are known now, it must be assumed that there is in the animal life probably not a single function in which the phenomenon of inhibition is not an important factor. The part played by inhibition is on one hand to remove obstacles to an efficient action, and on the other hand to permit the living tissues to perform in the resting phase anabolic 'processes, that is, to build up the tissues or to replenish the material expended during the action phase. The dualistic conception of the life processes may be presented as follows. Irritability is a characteristic property of all living tissues. Irritability means the property of the tissues to react with a change in each state to a proper stimulus. The change may consist in an excitation, an increase of activity, or an inhibition, a decrease in activity. Each and every state of life of the plain tissues or of the complex functions is a resultant from the combination of the two antagonistic factors, excitation and inhibition. In a state of utmost rest the factor of inhibition prevails greatly; but there is still a remnant of the factor of the excitation which permits the tissues or the functions to remain in a state of tonus, of dormant life. On the other hand, in a state of extreme excitation there is still a remnant of the factor of inhibition which prevents the excitation from completely destroying the life of the involved tissues.

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