We do not hold ourselves responsible for the opinions expressed by our correspondents. ' TO THE EdITOK. gnt —The matter of which I write is of such public importance as to require no apology for asking your permission to ventilate it in the columns of your journal. I have often wondered at the long silence respecting the Borough bye-laws, and whether, on account of their inoperative character, the private and public wrongs I wish to allude to are prevalent. It may be a comparatively small annoyance that cattle keepers can coolly allow their cows, &c., to thrive at the expense of their neighbor’s hedges and plants, or let their horses’ tether stretch right across the street to the danger of the pedestrian after dark; but when men and women cannot pass along a public street in broad daylight, or night either, without being Jostled, rudely stared at, made the subject of impertinent remarks, and sickened by tlni filthy fumes of drink and tobacco smoke, and the belchings of the nasty stomachs of a crowd of idlers who coolly monopolise the pathway —a glaring public wrong is committed, for which somebody is to blame. It is not long since that a woman had to push her way through such a crowd in yw. street, and, as she did so, a filthy fellow spat upon her dress, and gave a glance at his comrades, intimating he had , done that which was worthy of their approval. Only this morning, a gentleman Informed me, it was pot without an impro-
per amount of trouble he had to make his way through such a mob ; and I saw some females who had to turn into the middle of the street and risk themselves among the horses and conveyances which were getting off for the racecourse, because they could not face the crowd without great annoyance. Even the presence of three policemen did not move that blockade of men. I thought surely the men in blue, are powerless in the matter because of the absence of the bye-laws, or they would not allow such a gathering. And it is to be noted that only institutions, and sports, and associations of a certain kind, attract and shelter nuisances of such a character ; and that some men whose education and standing in society bespeak for them at least a proper selfrespect, show they have it not, by the various ways in which they countenance the moral degradation of the town in which they live. Feeling that it is the duty of every resident to seek the good of the town in which he lives, though not by trespassing on the rights of others, 1 write, and am, &c., W. Kkall. Ashburton, 20th Nov., 1879.
THE EARTH’S INTERNAL HEAT. To the Editor. I must ask permission to say a few words in reply to Mr. Oliver’s letter of Nov. 10, as he makes the great mistake of putting into my first letter words that do not occur therein. Mr. Oliver makes me say that “at 100 feet from the surface we find the mean temperature of the earth. What I said was that at 100 feet from the surface “the temperature is about (mark the qualifying preposition) that of the mean annual temperature of the locality.” When I mentioned thatroundnumber I was only following the example of many eminent men of science. In fact, it is so far recognised that scientific travellers obtain, by boring, the temperature at 100 feet and consider that they have at once the mean annual temperature of the localty. Until this principle was recognised the mean annual could only be obtained by at least, a year’s careful and frequent observation. And then I fail to see any point in that part of Mr. Oliver’s letter where he expresses “ strongest doubts as to the uniformity of that heat, at the same level, all the world over ; ” when, in the very letter Mr. Oliver is criticising, I remarked, “It is found that the nature of the rock, the dip of the strata, the quantity of contained water and other circumstances will considerably modify the temperature of the rocks in the same locality.’ 4 Mr Oliver contends for the correctness of the registration of. temperature in the Afa.gdn.la. mine. Let it be conceded that these measurements were made with absolute accuracy, yet surely Mr Oliver will not contend that it was an expert in science who would think to modify his views of the earth’s heat because in his measurements in the surface office and at the bottom of the mine he discovered a discrepancy when the result was compared with the commonly received rate of increment. I would again point out that it is not tjxe temperature of the atmosphere in the mine, but of the rocks, which should be measured, to obtain data for such calculations. Regarding Mr. Oliver’s fryingpan theory, I shall have to refer to the temperature of the ocean in some of the papers I have yet to send you. I have only noticed Mr. Oliver’s letter from a desire to be courteous to one who differs from me in opinion ; but, as I shall, in any letters, upon scientific subjects, that I may send you, be only giving the result of my readings and thoughts in spare moments and when travelling, I must state that I have not sufficient time at my disposal to reply to correspondents who may deem it advisable to animadvert upon my humble endeavor to give the readers of your valuable journal the result of my desultory reading. With this understanding, and with the knowledge that many of your country readers have not time to read—or indeed, in many cases money to buy—-costly scientific books and reviews, I shall be pleased to sometimes send you a few lines. 1 can heartily join Mr. Oliver in his expression of the esteem in which your excellent paper is held. 1 am, &c., B. J. Wbstbbookb.
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