From the February 15, 1930, issue


Penguins by the acre are among the profusion of water animals inhabiting the regions adjacent to the desolate lands of Antarctica that help make its exploration of value, Dr. Isaiah Bowman, director of the American Geographical Society, told the American Philosophical Society. Dr. Bowman spoke in the 141-year-old hall of the society, built with money raised by Benjamin Franklin, its founder. A portion of the address was broadcast over a network of radio stations of the National Broadcasting Company, including a short-wave station at Pittsburgh. Through this station three expeditions now in Antarctica–those of Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Sir Hubert Wilkins, and Sir Douglas Mawson–heard their labors described.


With a method so delicate as to detect the presence of a chemical compound when dissolved in 10 billion times its own weight of water, Dr. Fred Allison and Edgar J. Murphy, of the physics department of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, have located the unknown element number 87 in two well-known minerals. They will make a preliminary report of their research in the forthcoming issue of the Physical Review, official journal of the American Physical Society.

Lepidolite, a form of mica, and pollucite, a mineral consisting chiefly of the elements cesium, aluminum, and silicon, were the substances studied. As the properties of element number 87 are known in a general way, even though it has not yet been discovered, Dr. Allison and his colleagues were able to predict its effect. Studies of the substances in four different chemical combinations all showed the effects that would be caused by element 87. This, say the experimenters, “affords evidence of considerable weight for its presence in the sample under test.”


The forces that wage defensive war against the European corn borer met at the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the chairmanship of Dr. W.H. Larrimer of the Bureau of Entomology. This was the fourth conference of its kind, and the attendance represented not only the federal workers against the pest, but also all the states of the corn belt, especially those where the borer is now active, together with delegations from farm organizations, scientists, and farm machine manufacturers. An international note was injected by the participation of the Canadian Department of Agriculture and of the Province of Ontario.

The area of known infestation made its usual annual advance of from 20 to 30 miles during 1929, Dr. Larrimer stated. Its most westerly point is now in Boon township, Porter County, Indiana, about 30 miles west of Chicago. From there the borer frontier sweeps across Indiana and Ohio in a wide southeasterly curve, reaching its farthest south at the southern tip of Ohio.

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