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50 & 100 Years Ago

    50 Years Ago

    On September 18 the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization of Australia held a conference in Melbourne to plan the country's myxomatosis campaign for the season... Reports from all the Australian states indicated that rabbit populations are extremely low. Myxomatosis has been largely responsible for the reduction in rabbit numbers, but other factors have also contributed... The conference urged all landholders to use poison '1080' and all other effective methods after the current myxomatosis season ends. Advantage should be taken of low rabbit numbers to kill off all survivors. The aim must be to eradicate the rabbit from Australia.

    From Nature 1 December 1956.

    100 Years Ago

    Lieut.-Colonel C. D. Durnford has a second paper on the flying-fish problem... [T]he author in his original paper...endeavoured to prove on mathematical grounds that the “aëroplane theory” of the flight of these fishes was a physical impossibility, owing to the relatively small wing-superficies, and that consequently progression through the air must be due to intensely rapid wing-vibration, aided in certain circumstances by movements of the tail... In the supplementary communication Colonel Durnford adduces further evidence in favour of this explanation of the phenomenon... [T]he chief features of the flight appear to be as follows:— (1) the tail-impelled, visibly wing-assisted jump from the water to a height where the wings can work visibly; (2) the flight continued by an intensely rapid and laboured wing-movement, generally mistaken for a condition of rest, and, if seen at all, visible only as a blur; (3) short periods of slowing down of wing-movement, when the vibrations again become perceptible; (4) either sudden cessation of wing-movement...or a short slow-down into visibility immediately preceding immersion.

    From Nature 29 November 1906.

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