Fourth Meeting: 1st August, 1911.
Present: Mr. A. Bathgate, President, in the chair, and about twenty others.
New Members.—Dr. R. Church, Messrs. Sydney Beaumont, A. W. Bethune, A. Davis, and W. Gillanders.
Astronomical Society.—The chairman announced that the Astronomical Society had accepted the proposed terms of amalgamation with the Institute, and that the Society's members would shortly be elected members of the Institute, forming a separate branch in the same way as the Technological Society had done.
Exhibit.—Mr. D. Tannock exhibited some fine specimens of Primula sinensis, grown by himself in such a way as to exhibit mendelism. Both Mr. Tannock and Dr. Benham, in speaking of the exhibit, referred to the fact that mendelism had been of great service to horticulturists and agriculturists, instancing several changes that had been brought about by the application of Mendel's laws.
Papers.—1. “New Species of Lepidoptera.” By G. W. Howes, F.E.S.
2. “On the Larvae and Pupae of some New Zealand Butterflies.” By G. W. Howes, F.E.S.
3. “The Food Value of Kumaras.” By Dr. J. Malcolm.
Of the kumara, two-thirds consisted of water; carbo-hydrates were present in the kumara to the extent of 19 per cent. of the whole. The sweet taste of the kumara was due to the presence of a substance which promoted a plentiful flow of saliva, which converted the starch into sugar. There was only 0·27 per cent. of fat in the kumara. It was a vegetable that did not keep well. Mould grew quickly, owing to the presence of sugar; the ordinary potato was not so affected, owing to the absence of glucose.
4. “The Application of Phonetics to English Pronunciation,” and “The Question of a New Zealand Dialect.”
Nearly all of the English dialects could be heard in New Zealand, but people-born in this country and educated in its schools showed a uniformity of pronunciation. New Zealand speech was more like the southern English type, and least like the Scottish. As the Dommion was only some fifty years old, the difference in speech. was very slight. The chief and noticeable feature was the distinct tendency, when uttering vowel sounds, to lower the tongue, the result being the expression of more open vowel sounds and a mispronunciation (in the vowels) of such words as “sea,” “twelve,” “mood,” “put.” These differences in pronunciation showed what was. probably the beginning of a distinctly New Zealand dialect. In the discussion that followed Mr. Morrell advocated the inclusion of the study of phonetics in the curriculum of our training colleges.
Fifth Meeting: 5th September, 1911.
Present: Mr. A. Bathgate, President, in the chair, and fifty others.
New Members.—Messrs. T. B. Hamilton, M.A., B.Sc., C. E. Pfeifer, R. Price, A. L. Murray, T. Thomson, and the following members of the Astronomical Society: Professor J. M. E. Garrow, B.A., LL.B., Wellington (life member), Mr. W. H. Price (life member), Rev. Bro. Brady, Rev. D. Dutton, F.R.A.S., Rev. P. W. Fairclough, F.R.A.S., Messrs. E. Anscombe, O. Balk, James Bremner, A. C. Hanlon, J. W. Milnes, H. E. White, G. R. Hercus, J. Loudon, Tompson Lamb, J. F. Morris, W. G. Somerville, J. Swann, C. S. Smith, W. S. Wilson, and Mrs. Buckland.
Address.—“Soap-bubbles and the Forces that mould them.” By E. E. Stark, M.Am.I.E.E.
The address was illustrated by a very large number of experiments with soap-films.
Sixth Meeting: 3rd October, 1911.
Present: Mr. A. Bathgate, President, in the chair, and about twenty-five others.
New Member.—Mr. L. J. Wild, B.A.
Exhibit.—Dr. Benham exhibited a plaster mould and gelatine cast of a warehou or sea-bream as an illustration of the modern method of mounting museum specimens of fishes, contrasting it with the result obtained by the old method of stuffing the dried skins.
Papers.—1. “Some Rocks of Mount Cargill.” By J. A. Bartrum, M.Sc.; communicated by Dr. Marshall.
2. “Geology of the Bluff.” By L. J. Wild, B.A.; communicated by Dr. Marshall.
3. “Report on Sundry Invertebrates from the Kermadec Islands.” By Dr. W. B. Benham, F.R.S.
4. “Description of Three New Species of Lepidoptera.” By Alfred Philpott; communicated by Dr. W. B. Benham, F.R.S.
5. “Vascular System of Siphonaria obliquata.” By A. J. Cottrell, M.A., M.Sc.; communicated by Dr. W. B. Benham, F.R.S.
6. “Structure of the Nephridium of the Earthworm Maoridrilus rosae.” By Miss G. Cameron, M.Sc.; communicated by Dr. W. B. Benham, F.R.S.
7. “The Plant Covering of Codfish Island.” By D. L. Poppelwell.
Observations on the flora of Codfish and Rugged Islands (Stewart Island) made by the author on a recent visit there, and a comparison of it with that of Stewart Island.
8. “The Food Value of Frostfish.” By Dr. J. Malcolm.
The waste in frostfish amounts to over 30 per cent. In the remainder the percentage of fat varies from 5 to 8 in the flesh of the sides, and rises to over 16 per cent. in the part surrounding the body cavity. The frostfish must therefore be classified as one of the less digestible kinds of fish. The amount of protein is about 16 per cent. No glycogen was detected.
9. “An Ancient Maori Stone-quarry.” By H. D. Skinner.
A description is given of an ancient tool-manufactory near the Dun Mountain, in the Upper Maitai Valley, Nelson, and of the processes employed in breaking the stone and fashioning the tools.
Third Meeting: 18th July, 1911.
Mr. E. E. Stark in the chair.
Address.—Mr. F. W. Furkert, District Engineer of the Public Works Department, gave an address on “The Hapuawhenua Viaduct.”
The lecturer, in addition to giving a detailed description of the structure itself, illustrated by lantern-slides, gave an interesting account of the history and building of the viaduct, and of the nature and climate of the Hapuawhenua country.
Fourth Meeting: 15th August, 1911.
Mr. E. E. Stark in the chair.
Address.—“The Stability of Ships,” By Mr. H. McRae.
Fifth Meeting: 19th September, 1911
Present: Mr. E. E. Stark (in the chair) and a large number of members.
Lecture.—Professor D. B. Waters: “Coal—its Classification and Analysis.”
In concluding his address, Professor Waters referred to the experiments that had been going on at St. Louis to determine the best use to which inferior coals could be put, and to ascertain the relative cost per horse-power generated by coal and by producer-gas. These experiments were still going on, and in America the use of gas-engines was rapidly increasing. He thought the Government, through the Mining Department, should take steps to ascertain what uses could be made of the inferior coal in the Dominion.