Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/570

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560
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of the lake without taking any water. The raft was then brought up and the ship was easily placed upon it and brought back to the balloon house. The weight is 200 centners (22,000 pounds).

 

A joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Astronomical Society has been held in London to hear preliminary reports from several British expeditions that went out to observe the recent eclipse of the sun. Mr. Christie, the astronomer royal, first presented an account of the observations made by himself and Mr. Dyson at Ovar, in Portugal. There totality lasted 841/2 seconds, and though the sky was rather hazy he secured some good photographs. The corona seemed distinctly inferior in brightness, structure and rays to that seen two years ago in India. Sir Norman Lockyer next described the observations made by the Solar Physics Observatory Expedition and the officers and men of H. M. S. Theseus at Santa Pola. Professor Turner spoke of the observations he had made with Mr. H. F. Newall in the grounds of the observatory near Algiers. From observations on the brightness of the corona he concluded that it was many times brighter than the moon—perhaps ten times as bright. Prof. Ralph Copeland described the observations he made on behalf of the joint committee at Santa Pola, endorsing Sir N. Lockyer's remarks as to the advantage of having the aid of a man-of-war. Mr. Evershed presented a preliminary report on his expedition to the south limit of totality. His reason for choosing a site at the limit of totality was that the flash spectrum was there visible very much longer. Unfortunately, he accepted the guidance of the Nautical Almanac Office, and found himself outside the line of totality—about two hundred meters according to his informants, who said a small speck of sunlight was visible all the time. He was successful in obtaining some fine photographs of the flash spectrum.

 

During the last session of Congress a law was enacted, commonly known as the Lacey Act, which places the preservation, distribution, introduction and restoration of game and other birds under the Department of Agriculture; regulates the importation of foreign birds and animals, prohibiting absolutely the introduction of certain injurious species and prohibits interstate traffic in birds or game killed in violation of State laws. Persons contemplating the importation of live animals or birds from abroad must obtain a special permit from the Secretary of Agriculture, and importers are advised to make application for permits in advance, in order to avoid annoyance and delay when shipments reach the customhouse. The law applies to single mammals, birds or reptiles, kept in cages as pets, as well as to large consignments intended for propagation in captivity or otherwise. Permits are not required for domesticated birds, such as chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, pea fowl, pigeons or canaries; for parrots or for natural history specimens for museums or scientific collections. Permits must be obtained for all wild species of pigeons and ducks. In the case of ruminants (including deer, elk, moose, antelopes and also camels and llamas), permits will be issued, as heretofore, in the form prescribed for importation of domesticated animals. The introduction of the English or European house sparrow, the starling, the fruit bat or flying fox and the mongoose, is absolutely prohibited, and permits for their importation will not be issued under any circumstances.