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namely, (a) the willing agreement among all technical writers to use the word weight to designate the earth pull on a body, followed by (b) a careless reversion to the usage of the coal man and the acceptance of his meaning when he sends a bill for 2,000 pounds weight of coal! Let it be understood that the coal man's weight is precisely the physicist's and the chemist's mass. The balance scale measures mass, it does not and can not measure force in any precise sense until the ratio of the local value of gravity to the value of gravity in London is known. WM. S. FRANKLIN, BARRY MACNUTT
THE CANONS OF COMPARATIVE ANATOMY
IN a recent number of SCIENCE1 Professor W. P. Thompson refers to a recent letter of mine to that journal. He maintains that the assertion on my part that he made use of the Canons of Comparative Anatomy through ignorance to reach an erroneous conclusion is inaccurate. This seems to be contrary to the facts, since Professor Thompson on his own showing is culpable either of inexcusable ignorance or deliberate misrepresentation. He emphasizes the value of the genus Vaccinium as a type illustrative of the relations between two main forms of vessel in the angiosperms, namely, the one with scalariform perforations and that with porous perforations. Had his acquaintance with the anatomy of Vaccinium been more complete, he would have realized that the type of vessel found in the Gnetalian genus Ephedra is also present there. Contrary to Mr. Thompson's statement, moreover, vessels of the Gnetum type prevail in the higher angiosperms rather than in the lower ones, being universal, for example, in the Compositæ and extremely common in the monocotyledons. It is unfortunate that Professor Thompson either through ignorance or intention has failed to emphasize the presence of the Gnetum type of vessel in the angiosperms, particularly as in many cases it has in that large group a mode of origin similar to that described by him in the case of Gnetum. It thus appears
1 N. S., Vol. XLVII., No. 1221.
that his contention that the Gnetum and Ephedra types of vessels are fundamentally different in origin from those of the angiosperms is without foundation in fact, since both these types are actually present in quite high angiosperms. Professor Thompson's attitude is further highly inconsistent, since in earlier publication he has called attention to the resemblances between the wood rays of Ephedra and those of certain angiosperms, and to the occurrence of nuclear fusions in Gnetum which he compares with that found in the case of the endosperm nucleus of the angiosperms. E. C. JEFFREY
TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: As a contribution to the discussion "Shall We Eat Whole-wheat Bread," may I quote from the findings of a special committee appointed by the Royal Society of England, to study this matter,2 as follows:
The bread now in use is prepared from grain milled to 90 per cent. with the addition of other cereals. After investigation, a committee of the Royal Society has issued a report on the following questions: (1) What gain, if any, in food value accrues from a rise in the milling standard from 80 to 90 per cent., and does the dilution of wheat flour with other cereals modify the food value of the bread? (2) What would be the effect on the health of the consumption of such breads? (3) How far would such breads prove acceptable? Experiments were made with wheat flour, extracted to 80 and to 90 per cent. The analytical work was done in the biochemical department of the University of Cambridge and in the physiological laboratories of the universities of Glasgow and London. The diet consisted of 800 gm. of bread with butter, cheese, minced or potted meat, fruit jelly, milk and sugar, tea or coffee, and in one case beer was taken as a beverage. This dietary yielded about 3,680 calories a day. The effects were remarkably uniform. Bread made from the 80 per cent. flour yielded for nutrition 96.1 per cent. of the energy contained in the diet; bread made from 90 per
1The Conservation of Wheat," SCIENCE, Vol. XLVII., No. 1218, p. 429; SCIENCE, N. S., Vol. XLVII., No. 1210, p. 228, March 8, 1918.
2 Copied from the J. Amer. Med. Assn., Vol. 70, No. 22, p. 1619, June 1, 1918.
3 The italics are my own.
cent. flour, 94.5 per cent. The loss of energy with the second bread was greater (5.5 per cent.) than with the first (3.9 per cent.). The intestinal secretions were considered to contribute largely to this. The feces with the 90 per cent. bread were more bulky, and the coarser particles of this bread produced a greater stimulation of the secretion of the intestine. The increase in the bulk of the evacuation is not an evil and in the case of many is even an advantage. As to the nitrogenous constituents, the average digestibility was 89.4 per cent. in bread made from flour extracted to 80 per cent., and 87.3 per cent. in that extracted to 90 per cent. In most of the cases there was a slight gain in body weight with both breads. Thus a greater proportion of the energy of the grains is available for human consumption when flour is milled at the 90 per cent. scale than on the 80 per cent. scale. The increase would extend the cereal supply of energy for the country for more than a month. Against this is to be set the loss of protein in the offal as food for pigs. Another set of experiments were made with bread made from flour consisting four fifths of wheat extracted at 80 per cent., and one fifth of maize. At first the flavor of the maize was commented on, and there was in some cases disturbance of digestion, attended sometimes with diarrhea, and more often with constipation; but these symptoms passed off. The general conclusion is that bread made with the addition of maize flour was as digestible as bread made without it, and it was well digested by children. The addition of maize made practically no difference in the utilization of energy and nitrogen. Observations were made at a canteen on the dietetic effects and on the palatability of bread made from flour containing four fifths of wheat extracted to 90 per cent., and one fifth of other permitted cereals (10 per cent. barley, made up to 20 per cent. with maize and rice, or rice alone). It was found to be palatable and never to cause indigestion.
These conclusions seem to strongly support my former statements that the "attack on the higher extraction flours is unmerited" and "that higher extraction flours are not normally harmful" and also when these flours are used more generally over the country more grain will be released for the allied armies."
R. ADAMS DUTCHER
SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY AND THE WAR THE Italian mathematician G. Vivanti opened the preface of his book entitled "Equa
zioni Integrali Lineari," 1916, with the fellowing words:
While our sons fight valorously to liberate Europe from the Teutonic yoke it devolves on us, whose age and strength do not permit to offer arms to our country, to work for its scientific emancipation. A national science is an absurdity and he would be foolish who would refuse a scientific truth because it arose from beyond the Alps or the sea; but the work of scientific exposition and publication can be and ought to be national. Who does not recognize a German treatise by its minute and sometimes wearisome care of particulars, an English by its good-natured and discursive tone, a French by its form which is sometimes a little vague but always suggestive and elegant?
These words of an Italian scholar may be of especial interest at this time when so many of us are considering the question of how to render the most effective service to our country. It is interesting to note that Vivanti emphasized scientific exposition and publication as a means towards securing scientific emancipation. While scientific investigation should always occupy the foremost place in a permanent scientific program, it must be admitted that there is danger in fixing our attention too completely on the most important element in our scientific progress. Our students should not have to feel that the great majority of the best expository works relating to their subject are to be found only in the language of a people of low ideals imbued with a morbid desire to dominate the world at any cost.
From a quotation found on page 9 of the May, 1918, Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors, it appears that the German professors are still very active in the production of scholarly works, while those of England and France are devoting themselves much, more completely to direct service connected with the war. This direct service is probably a natural concomitant of the high ideals which prevail in these countries, but it is evident that it points to the possibility "of winning the war in a military sense, only to find ourselves dominated by German knowledge and German science!"
The preparation of scholarly works of the
highest possible order at the present time is thus seen to be a patriotic service, which should be considered very seriously by those who are in position to render it. The uncertainty as regards prompt publication only adds to the credit due to those who are undertaking such service at the present time as far as opportunities connected with direct work for winning the war are not jeopardized thereby. It is perhaps reasonable to expect that scientific publications in the English language will find a wider market after the war than before, and that the public will then have acquired a higher appreciation of the nation's need of science.
It is perhaps especially important to emphasize the need of a vigorous development of pure science at this time in order that the applied sciences whose active development is being encouraged by immediate needs may not suffer later account of a lack of theoretic impulses. The fact that applications do not always appear along expected lines was recently emphasized by H. Lebesgue in a review published in the Bulletin des Sciences Mathématiques, April, 1918, where he refers (page 94) to the fact that from the time elliptic functions were first discovered about a century and a half ago, mathematicians decided that they should have practical uses. Up to the present time the only applications of elliptic functions are the applications of mathematicians, who still await the first confirmation of their a priori idea as regards their practical usefulness.
G. A. MILLER
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Patenting and Promoting Inventions. By Moïs H. AVRAM, M.E., New York. Robert M. McBride & Co. 1918. Pp. 166. $1.25, postage extra.
By reason of the comprehensiveness, balance and candor of its brief discussions, this little volume seems to deserve clear differentiation from the familiar and misleading booklets designed merely to promote the soliciting business of firms advertised thereby. Beginning
with its preliminary chapter (a general survey) entitled Why Inventors Fail, and throughout the seven successive chapters covering in outline the evolution of the patent system, the United States patent practise, the patenting of inventions abroad, patent attorneys, and expert investigations extending even into the very practical collateral questions of manufacture, markets and financing, there is however maintained a natural emphasis upon the need, shared by the inventor and the investor, for advice and assistance on the part of those technically qualified. In proportion as this need seems both real and permanent, in the complex industrial organization from which there seems no possibility of a return, such emphasis seems timely.
In his references to those who have to do with the work and administration of the Patent Office the author is not ungenerous. The uncertainties at present inherent in the development of inventions are neither exaggerated nor concealed. But not every reader may be able to share the author's apparent conviction that a timely resort to expert private advice would notwithstanding save the day for the inventor or the investor. Disregarding the fact that there are, of course, experts and "experts," it may be suggested, by way of supplement, that so long as there shall continue at the Patent Office a rapid flux in its inadequate and disheartened force, apparent defects in its organization and in its informative resources and an atmosphere of legal technicality, without due time or incentive for a broad consideration of scientific, economic or equitable considerations, there can be little hope for such service and security as the patent system was designed to afford. To the reviewer, it is accordingly a matter of gratification to find that the need for collective effort, involving some legislative action, is appreciated, even though it is not stressed in the work under review.
Although perhaps hardly pretending to the solidity of a work of reference, this volume seems sufficiently comprehensive and exact to justify the inclusion, in any subsequent edition, of such an index as would facilitate
ready reference to numerous minor topicssuch as reissues, disclaimers, forfeitures, interferences which are discussed in brief but effective subordinate paragraphs.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
SECRETARY HOUSTON has received the recommendations of the agricultural advisory committee reported at the conclusion of its meeting in Washington, June 27 to July 2. The following are among the most important subjects considered by the committee:
1. Indorsement of Henry C. Stuart, chairman of the agricultural advisory committee, for appointment on the War Industries Board as representative of agriculture.
Following is the text of the resolution:
Resolved, That the full committee indorses the action of the executive committee in asking for the appointment of the Hon. Henry C. Stuart, the chairman of the Committee, upon the War Industries Board.
2. Facts were submitted to the committee showing that the harvest of spring wheat would come at a season when soldiers would probably just be entraining for military services, and they would therefore be lost to the wheat harvest in the spring wheat region. The committee, therefore, passed a resolution, to be presented to Provost Marshal General Crowder, asking that temporary deferred classification be granted to the men called July 22-27, before their entrainment, that they might help in the harvest before leaving home, rather than to report at their cantonments and then be furloughed back, thus saving expenses to the government and preventing a loss of time. for the men.
3. A full discussion was had of the unusual car shortage and the delays in the shipments of live stock and grain during the past winter, resulting in large financial loss to the producers. Attention was called to the fact that transportation conditions were still unsatisfactory and the Department of Agriculture and the Food Administration were requested to take up the matter again with the Railroad
Administration, with the view of insuring relief in these matters. A subcommittee on transportation was appointed, of which Henry C. Stuart was chairman, to act with the two departments in placing this matter before the Director General.
4. Consideration was given to criticisms that had been made in regard to the application by division heads of the rules and regulations of the War Industries Board regarding wool. There seemed to be ground for believing that some of the interpretations of the rules worked a hardship on the wool growers. A subcommittee was appointed to look into this matter and make such recommendations as seemed to them necessary to a readjustment of the matters complained of, and a recovery of losses incurred, if any.
5. The committee devoted a large portion of its time during the first three days of its session to a discussion of the grades and prices of wheat in which Mr. Hoover and members of his staff, with representatives of the Grain Division and the Bureau of Markets of the Department of Agriculture, participated. Practically all of the recommendations of the committee were provided for in the final draft of the announcement issued July 1.
A subcommittee had formulated an expression of suggested explanations of terms and conditions that were thought to be helpful in giving the farmer a clear understanding of the regulations and his personal status in their administration.
These suggestions were heartily indorsed by the full committee and the Food Administration.
6. A resolution was passed giving indorsement of the plan of the Bureau of Animal Industry for stamping out tuberculosis in cattle. Suggestions were made that some of the plans might be slightly modified in the matter of facilitating the disposition of tubercular animals.
7. WHEREAS the Department of Agriculture has submitted for our consideration a proposal for the elimination of certain less essential types or designs of farm machinery and parts thereof, giving as a reason therefor that because of the war
demands the allotment of steel for the manufacture of farm machinery must be limited to the amount strictly necessary to enable our farmers to maintain crop production, and that the multiplicity of types and designs now existing places an unnecessary burden upon steel mills in preparing steel and iron therefor; and whereas we believe the reasons given are just and valid and that the demand upon us is in line with the demands made upon other industries: Therefore be it
Resolved, That we indorse the schedule of eliminations submitted by the Department of Agriculture, with certain minor changes, with the understanding and with the assurance on the part of those who have prepared the schedule that no change in design of any implement has been made which will lessen its strength or efficiency, and no machine or implement has been eliminated which is essential for the efficient production of agricultural products in any extensive region, and the work performed by which can not be as efficiently done by other machines, the manufacture of which shall be permitted. We recommend, however, that measures be taken to afford full protection to farmers owning machines of types eliminated by requiring that manufacturers make and place on the market repair parts for eliminated machines or eliminated parts of machines for a length of time equal to the average normal life of such machines or parts.
The committee passed resolutions urging the Department of Agriculture to insist on the standardization of parts of farm implements, such as cultivator teeth, mower and harvester guards, mower and harvester sections, threads on bolts, skeins on wagons, surface cultivator knives and many other parts on which patents have expired. It was the opinion of the committee that this would result in very material economy in every way and increased convenience to the farmer in securing implement parts.
8. After discussing the prevalent prices of farm machinery and the advances made during the past three years, the committee passed a resolution asking for an investigation at the earliest possible date, into the cost of manufacturing farm implements and asked that the industry be required to operate on a basis of cost plus a reasonable profit.
9. The committee recorded its appreciation of the good work done by the Food Adminis
tration in increasing the consumption of potatoes, thus partially relieving the stress arising from the production of a heavy spring crop in the south, with large storage stocks held over in the north.
The promotion of war gardens was commended, as it was believed by the committee that the results not only showed a larger supply of fresh vegetables but converted many acres to the growing of staple crops that helped to increase the total food supply and to lessen transportation difficulties.
The Department of Agriculture was commended for its work in the selection and breeding of potatoes in the various potato-growing sections.
Much interest was expressed in the dehydration of vegetables, especially potatoes, and it was recommended that this work should be followed up.
Record was filed, briefly reviewing the poultry conditions of the country, showing that although the price of poultry had not advanced in keeping with the price of feeds, more eggs have been shipped and stored than at the same time in 1917, this being partly due to the early warm season and partly to the patriotic adherence to the industry in spite of adverse conditions.
A resolution was passed expressing the opinion of the committee that the vegetable forcing industry was important, and so blended with the forcing of plants for field crops, that the industry should be fostered and protected as far as the exigencies of the war may permit.
10. On reports of members of the committee from the west and south where wheat has already been harvested, regarding the highly efficient service rendered by the Farm Labor Division of the United States Department of Agriculture and the Federal Department of Labor, in the mobilization and distribution of harvesters to the wheat fields of the south and west up to the present time, the committee asked for a continuation of this service to the completion of the harvest in the spring-wheat region.
11. The following resolution was adopted by the committee: