THE accompanying illustrations show a method of a new system of reinforced concrete building construction, in which the church walls are erected by means of raising jacks. On the foundation wall and on piles inside of the building lot are set a series of jacks made of steel. These jacks consist of a supporting carriage, a pivoted walking beam, and a collapsible screw driven by a worm gear and worm. A platform is laid on the jacks and on this platform are set in their proper relative positions, all door-frames, window-frames and other openings. The concrete is poured around the opening thus established. The reinforcement is easily and .properly placed horizontally and vertically, because the wall resembles a great draughtingboard and is very readHy “laid out.” The entire wall is poured at once, which can be done in a single day, even though the wall be 200 feet long and three stories high. After We wall is finished, it is allowed to set for forty-eight hours; then a small gasoline engine or electric motor is connected with the driving shaft, and thH wall rises from the inside slowly and quietly to its permanent vertical position. vhen all the walls are in place the corners where reinforcements from either wall project and interlock are poured, and we have a complete, monolithiC, well fnished structure. Floors and roof of concrete. or of any construction desired are put in place in the same way as in any other building. No forms are used whatsoever in this wall construc- SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN July 29, 1911 tion except the wooden jack platform, which is never destroyed, but is used over and over again. An air space can be made merely by filling in with loose sand, which is rodded out when the concrete sets and the wall is partiaHy raised. The reinforcement is placed both horizontally and vertically exactly where it belongs in both inner and outer wall. It is possible t use rods, fabric or any other kind of reinforcement without the slightest difculty. Al Airman's Weather Bureau D o YOU remember how, in Kipling's “With the Night Mail,” the Mark Boat fashes news of the wind and weather along the several “levels,” so that the aerial liners may take advantage of favorable currents, and avoid the besetting dangers of the sky so graphically described in the same prophetic tale? I was only yesterday that Kipling dreamed his dream-of “the year 2000"-and to-day we stand upon the threshold of its realization. Not to dogmatize about the future and assert that ihe airman will always be more at the mercy of the elements than the seaman, and that consequently the cultivation of aerial meteorology will be more urgently imposed upon our posterity than that of maritime meteorology is upon our contemporaries, we are safe at least in declaring that in the year 1911 such is decidedly the case. The sea has been robbed of nearly all its terrors. Even mal de mer is an anachronism and a solecism on a “Mauretania” or “Olympic.” The dangers of the air are not yet even half appreciated. To the meteorologist, already burdened with the heavy responsibilities imposed upon him by the mariner and the farmer, the producer and the transpOrter of perishable goods, the seeker of health and the seeker of pleasure, has suddenly been assigned the twofold task of charting the aerial ocean and giving the aeronaut timely warning of its dangers. That meteorology is even now ready to enter upon its new duties is the confdent belief of Dr. Richard Assmann, director of the Royal Pruss ian Aeronautical Observatory of Lindenberg. The noble institution over which Dr. Assmann presides-situated some forty miles southeast of Berlin-was fully described in the Scientific American Supplement of July 13th, 1907. It has been, ever since it was founded, the heart and brains of “aerology” in Germany; its contributions to meteorology have been almost epochal; but' its enormous practical signifcance to aeronautics has only recently begun to be realized. In a long article on “The Dangers of Aerial Navigation and the Means of DiminIshing Them,” contributed to the Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Luttschifahrt, Dr . Assmann a few months ago described, among other things, the aeronautical weather service that he was then organizing, and which, with Lindenberg Observatory as its center, is now in full operation. Dr. Assmann's account of his new undertaking is summarized in the following paragraphs. It should be stated at the outset that at least three tentative schemes of this sort had previously been put into execution in Germany, though on a relatively small scale. The frst was undertaken by Lindenberg Observatory in 1907, on the occasion of the trial· trips of the “Parseval;” observations of the upper air-currents were made simultaneously at fve stations by means of pilot-balloons and communicated to the crew of the airship, who were thus materially aided in shaping their course. The second similar undertaking was Dr. Linke's special weather service for aeronauts in connection with the aeronautical eXosition at Frankfort-the “lIa” (I. r A., Internationale Luftschifahrts-Austellung)-a notice of which appeared in the Scientific American of June 18th, 1910, pp. 511-512. The third aeronautical weather service was organized by Dr. Polis, at Aachen, and is still in operation. It is intended especially for the beneft of the many aero clubs of the Rheinland, but its utility was conspicuously demonstrated during last year's army maneuvers in West Prussia. These local and quasi-experimental undertakings have paved the way for a national aeronautical weather bureau. For the moment its feld of operation is northern and central Germany-i. e., Prussia and the states that are especially under Prussian infuence -but its extension to the remaining German States will follow as soon as the wheels of diplomatic machinery have performed the requisite number of revolutions. Political heterogeneity still hampers imperial undertakings in Germany to a degree that Americans fnd it difcult to realize. If we examine the facilities available for the proposed extension of the domain of practical meteorology b the upper air, we fnd that Germany is much better prepared for such an undertaking than the other European states. Four years ago the Prussian Government decided to infuse new life into its weather service, especially with a view to the require- ments oif agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Domains and Forests established in Prussia and the neighboring states, independently of the previously e:isting institutes, a network of seventeen forecasting and map1pubUshing weather stations, modeled, in a large measure, after those of the United States Weather Bureau. Dr. Bornstein, of Berlin. was a leading spirit in this undertaking, and Dr. Polis, of Aachen, spent two months in the United States, inspecting the methods and materiel of the American weather stations. Germany's new Public Weather Service is now in vigorous operation, and represents an intensive application of the methods of applied meteorology that is hardly paralleled elsewhere outside of the United States. In the summer of 1909 the writer of this summary 'aid a visit to Dr. Hergesell, 'President of the International Commission for Scientifc Aeronautics, at Strasburg. This distinguished aerologist was even then unging the equipment of the Public Weather Service stations with pilot-balloons, in order that daIly observations of upper-air currents might be secured at many points throughout the empire for the information of forecasters. It is, however, signifcant o the mode in which scientifc ideas unfold themselves, step by step, that in the course of a half-hour's conversation on this subject Dr. Hergesell never once suggested the advantages that the adoption of his project would ofer to aeronauts-notwithstanding the fact that he is an aeronaut himself and had at that time made several voyages with Zeppelin. So far as the writer can recall, his point of view was entirely meteorological; the forecasts that he hoped to improve were those applying to land and sea; and certainly the same may be said of his writing at that period, as well a those of Querpllin, Schreiber, Kremser and the other enthusiastic advocates of the pilot-balloon. The hopes of Hergesell are now being realized, but the point of view has shifted. Lindenberg Observatory has now equipped the PubUc Weather Service stations with the apparatus needed for daiy observations of the upper air; not primarily for the purpose of improving the regular weather forecasts, but in order to secure the means of lessening the dangers of aerial navigation-dangers, in Assmann's opinion, largely avoidable, which cost twenty valuable lives in Germany during the year 1910 alone. To-day the aeronaut launches his craft with no more knowledge of the meteorological conditions in the upper air than can be vaguely surmised from those depicted in the ground-surface weather map. To-morrow he will have a weather map all his own, representing, a a rule, quite a diferent set of conditions from those prevailing at the lower level. The details of the plan by which this desideratum is being accomplished can best be stated in its originator's own words. We quote from his memoir, referred to above, which was written a few weeks before the new service began its work. "A number of the Public Weather Service stations, or better, if the cost does not prove too great, all of these stations in northern and. central Germany, are to be furnished by the LindeIberg Observatory with a theodolite, an infating-balance for determining the ascensional force of the balloons, a sufcient number of rubber balloons, and the necessary graphic tables for rapidiy working lP the observations. Where i is not practicable to provide compressed hydrogen gas in steel tanks, a Nass-Gradenwitz gas.generator will be supplied. "The stations will be expected to send up a pilot-balloon at 8 A. M. on every day when the weather and state of the sky are fayorable, and to follow its course with the theodolite as long as possible. The observation wUI then be worked up-a matter of barely a quarter of IIn hour for a practised observer-and telegraphed in cipher to Lindenberg. Here the observations received from all the stations will be assembled, and redistributed, in a single telegram, to each of the co-operating stabions, where, if they arrive in time, they can be utilized in connection with the ordinary daily weather forecast, as well as in prepar· ing special forecasts and warnings for aeronauts. At Lindenberg the regular observation with a kite or oaptive balloon is made daily at 8 A. M., and in summer an observation is also made about 5 or 6 A. M. These furnish not only data concerning the wind such as are obtainable with a pilot-balloon, but also data of the other meteorological elements. It 1s also proposed to make a daily observation at Lindenberg with a pilot-balloon at 11 A. M., and whenever circumstances require another about 2 P. M., so that soundings of the air up to an ,a,ltltude of several thousand meters will be made three or four times daily within a period of from six to nine hours, afording valuable information as to rapid changes in the upper atmosphere. I is hoped that it may be found practicable also . to make a midday observation at some of the other stations; especially at the kite-station of the Deutsche Seewarte, at Hamburg, which is already well equipped for such work. "It is altogether likely that the Public Weather Service stations wHl be supplemented with stations eSIecially erected for the purpose at the larger aviation felds, airship sheds, and the like. One of these has already been assured at Bitterfeld. Another important addition to the aerological reseau will be the 'Aeronautical Observatory on the Inselberg,' near Gotha, the erection of which has been intrusted to the authorities of Lindenberg Observatory by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, and which will be installed next spring. There is also a prospect that the long-promised aeralogical station on the Taunus wUl soon be erected, and will contribute its part to the new service. Lastly, aerological stations will probably be installed at certain nautical schools on the coast, thus providing observations from a region that is particularly dangerous to the aeronaut. "While pilot-balloons aford the easiest and cheapest method of exploring the upper air, they labor under the serious disadvantage that they cannot be used in foggy weather, or even when the douds hang very low. During the winter months, especially, one cannot count upon obtaining observations by this method up to one or two thousand meters more than about half the time. This of course applies espeoially to an early morning observation, at a fxed hour; toward midday there is a better prospect of clear sky, especially if one is on the alert to t!ke advantage of occasional breaks in the clouds. As a measure of economy, the stations will be supplied with balloons of two sizes; the smaller and cheaper to be used when !t is evident that the state of the sky will not permit the balloon to be followed with the theodolite to a great distance. In special cases it may be possible to make .bservations at night by the use of the illuminated 'alloons manufactured by Saul of Aachen; this method, however, is relatively expensive. "There will, however, undoubtedly be many days on which few if any observations can be secured with pilot-balloons, and or.;ervations will be available only from stations equipped with captive balloons and kites. In order to meet this serious difculty, the Lindenberg Observatory is ,oonsidering the plan of supplying a few selected stations with a simple and easily manage8 ble kite-outft." This plan leaves to be considered only the relatively infrequent case of cloudy or foggy weather combined with a calm air, in which a kite could not be raised. The obvious way olt of this difculty, if the expense did not forbid, would be to further equip the stations with captive balloons, carrying self-registering apparatus. However, Dr. Assmann admits t'at such an expedient must b relegated to “a happier future." The plan outlined above was approved by the German Government and, in its main features, went into operation January 2nd, 1911. Funds have subsequently been granted that insure the continuation of. the enterprise at least until April, 1912. The service is being used to the fullest extent by the many aeronautical societies of Germany, and is adapting itself to practical reqlirements in various ways not contemplated in the original programme. Thus it is interesting to notice that special arrangements were made for supplying meteorological infomnation to the participants in the great “Rundfug” of June 11th to July 7th; two ofcials of the service were detailed to accompany the fiers, and to make frequent observations of the upper air-currents, wLth pilot-balloons, at the beginning Of each stage of the course; and all stations were e:pected to make and telegraph aerological observations three times a day during the period in question. It is hoped that the feld of observation will soon include the South German States; especially as this would bring to the enterprise the valuable co-operation of the so-called “kite-station” at Friedrichshafen, on Lake Constance, which is really a “balloon-station,” a the wind over the lake is rarely strong enough to raise a kite, even though aided by the motion of the small steamboat from which the apparatus is fown, and muoh the larger part of the daily observations arl made with captive balloons. One of Dr. Assmann's {)herished plans is the erection of a similar “foating kite-station” on Danzig Bay, as an appendage to the Lindenberg Observatory. The founder of the aeronautical weather service realizes that his plan is open to the objection applying to weather services generally; viz., it cannot hope to provide detailed infomation and forecasts of local conditions except in so far as these may be inferred from the general outlook. To revert to Kipling, one of the gravest situations in which the aeronaut may be placed arises “when the Heavens are balancing their volt-accounts;” and to forecast the occurrenc' and movement of a thunderstorm from the observations of a few widely separated stations is a well-nigh hopeless undertaking. Is it feasible to secure a corps of July 29, 1 91 1 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN 99 special thunderstorm observers reporting by telegraph and telephone large enough to en!ble the forecaster t follow the progress of these disturbances across the country and give timely warning to the aeronaut to get out of their path-possibly using wireless telegraphy for transmitting the warnings? Dr. Assmann thinks so and has even made a detailed estimate of the probruble expense. However, this is not part 0 the programme dfinitely formulated for Germany's “airman's weather bureau." SPECIAL WEATHER SERVICES FOR AERONAUTS. In Germany it has become the regular practice to organize a special meteorological service in connection with every important aeronautical competition. Some of these special services, as well as the permanent general service recently organizd by Assmann, have already been described in the Scientific American. The most important undertaking prior to Ass-mann's was that of Dr. Franz Linke in connection with the Frankfurt aeronautical exposition of 1909. The Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Luftschifahrt describes the weather service recently oper8Jted in connection with the German reliability fight in the upper Rhine district. A meteorologist traveled over the route with the contestants, making observations and issuing forecasts at each stopping-place. Three principal lines of work were carried out, viz: (1) The telegraphic weather reports of the Deutsche Seewarte were received and twice-daily forecasts were issued of the weather along the route. (2) Each day, before the fying was resumed, the movement of the upper air was observed locally by means of pilot-balloons; the general behavior of the upper currents over Germany was determined from telegraphic reports of similar observations made at the fifteen regular pilot-balloon stations operating under the Lindenberg observatory; and the wind 8Jt the surface was measured with ! portable anemometer. (3) A special thunderstorm service was in operation. Sixty observers, distributed over southwestern Germany, sent in an “urgent” telegraphic report whenever thunderstorms approached their respective localities. This service proved to be especially efcient and useful; several thunderstorms occurred and the aeronauts were warned, at least an hour in ;dvance, of the arrival of each of them. Freezing Experiments on Fish and Other Animals SOME remarkable experiments were made not long since at the University of Geneva by M. Raoul ,Pictet;- whose name is intimately connected with th'e 'production of artifcial cold. He was, in fact, one of the pioneers in this feld, which has now taken so wide a development. In the course of some recent work he was able to take live fsh, such as goldfsh and many of the fresh water varieties with which we are familiar, and place them in a tank. Then he freezes the water in which the fsh are swimming, so as to form a block of ice. Then he freezes the ice block still further, down to a low temperature, about 20 deg. C. below freezing point, and keeps the whole at this point by means of a freezing 8Jpparatus for two or three months. After this time the block of ice is thawed out very slowly, and the seemingly dead fsh come to life and swim about as usual. This is the simple but most remarlable experiment which M. Pictet realizes, adding a new discovery to the important ones .he has already made. However, these latter relate mainly to industrial processes, while the present experiment is one of far-reaching interest to science in general. In a recent interview with the ]atin, of Paris, M. Pictet states that his frst experiments upon Ufe at very intense cold date nearly eighteen years ba()k. He bec8Jme convinced that if the clJemical reactions of a living organism could be suspended without causing any organic lesion, the phenomena of life would disappear, but these would come back as soon as the organism was restored to the usual conditions. Great cold will suspend the operations of life as far a we are able to observe, but without losing it totally. He made some very conclusive eXperiments upon fsh, as we already noted, and these CQuId be completely frozen and then thawed out without causing loss Qf life. On one occasion, while working on this subject at the university, he put twenty-eight fsh in a deep glass basin, and left them for twenty-four hours in water at about the freezing pOint. Then he frQze the water to a soFr block, together with the fsh, going down to 20 degrees. By breaking of part of the block, one of the fsh coulr be taken out, and he found that it could be broken in small pieces just as if it were made of ice itself. After thawing out the block, it is found that no harm has been done the fsh, and they swim about just af I n o thing had happened. The freezing must not be carried down too far in the case of fr e h water fsh, and the temperat u re indicated above is about the lowest which can be used, otherwise the fish will be killed. However, there are other animals which can s tand a much greater amount of cold. Frogs come next in order to fsh in this respect, and c an Ibe frozen down to 28 deg. C. below the freezing point. Some water lizards or salamanders wil stand more cold, or 50 degrees. He fnds that snails will resist the greatest amount of coid among the specimens which he tried, and they can be frozen as low as 120 deg. C. below the freezing point, and will then lOme back to aimation.