Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
409
SCORE—SCORPION

SCORE (O.E. scor, from sceran, to cut, notch, cf. "shear"), properly a notch or groove cut in a piece of wood, called a "tally" (q.v.), as a method of counting; hence an account or reckoning made in this way. Either from a custom of keeping each series of twenty numbers or notches on a separate tally, or of marking the twentieth number by a longer or deeper mark, the word was early used to denote the number twenty; it is still used as a measure of weight, equivalent to 20 lb, computing the weight of animals sold for slaughtering for food. In music, a score is the written or printed copy of a composition on two or more staves, barred and braced together. For instrumental and vocal music a "full score" has the parts for each class of voice and instrument on a separate staff.


SCORESBY, WILLIAM (1789–1857), English Arctic explorer, scientist and divine, was born near Whitby, Yorkshire, on the 5th of October 1789. His father, William Scoresby (1760–1829), made a fortune in the Arctic whale fishery. The son made his first voyage with his father when he was eleven years of age, but on his return he was sent back to school, where he remained till 1803. After this he was his father's constant companion, and was with him on the 25th of May 1806, as chief officer of the whaler "Resolution," when he succeeded in reaching 81° 30' N. lat. (19° E. long.), for twenty-one years the highest northern latitude attained in the eastern hemisphere. During the following winter, Scoresby attended the natural philosophy and chemistry classes at Edinburgh university, and again in 1809. In his voyage of 1807 he began the study of the meteorology and natural history of the polar regions, among the earlier results of which are his original observations on snow and crystals; and in 1809 Robert Jameson brought certain Arctic papers of his before the Wernerian Society of Edinburgh, of which he was at once elected a member. In 1811 his father resigned to him the command of the "Resolution," and in the same year he married the daughter of a Whitby ship broker. In his voyage of 1813 he established for the first time the fact that the temperature of the polar ocean is warmer at considerable depths than it is on the surface, and each subsequent voyage in search of whales found him no less eager of fresh additions to scientific knowledge. His letters of this period to Sir Joseph Banks, whose acquaintance he had made a few years earlier, no doubt gave the first impulse to the search for the North-West Passage which followed. In 1819 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and about the same time communicated a paper to the Royal Society of London "On the Anomaly in the Variation of the Magnetic Needle." In 1820 he published An Account of the Arctic Regions and Northern Whale Fishery, in which he gathers up the results of his own observations, as well as those of previous navigators. In his voyage of 1822 to Greenland he surveyed and charted with remarkable accuracy 400 m. of the east coast, between 69° 30' and 72° 30', thus contributing to the first real and important geographic knowledge of East Greenland. This, however, was the last of his Arctic voyages. On his return he was met by the news of his wife's death, and this event, with other influences acting upon his naturally pious spirit, decided him to enter the church. After two years of residence in Cambridge he took his degree (1825) and was appointed to the curacy of Bassingby, Yorkshire. Meantime had appeared at Edinburgh his Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery, including Researches and Discoveries on the Eastern Coast of Greenland (1823). The discharge of his clerical duties at Bassingby, and later at Liverpool, at Exeter and at Bradford, did not prevent him from continuing his interest in science. In 1824 the Royal Society elected him a fellow, and in 1827 he was elected an honorary corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Sciences, while in 1839 he took the degree of D.D. From the first he was an active member and official of the British Association, and he contributed especially to the knowledge of terrestrial magnetism. Of his sixty papers in the Royal Society list many are more or less connected with this department of research. But his observations extended into many other departments, including certain branches of optics. In order to obtain additional data for his theories on magnetism he made a voyage to Australia in 1856, the results of which were published in a posthumous work—Journal of a Voyage to Australia for Magnetical Research, edited by Archibald Smith (1859). He made two visits to America, in 1844 and 1848; on his return home from the latter visit he made some valuable observations on the height of Atlantic waves, the results of which were given to the British Association. He interested himself much in social questions, especially the improvement of the condition of factory operatives. He also published numerous works and papers of a religious character. In 1850 he published a work urging the prosecution of the search for the Franklin expedition and giving the results of his own experience in Arctic navigation. He was twice married after the death of his first Wife. After his third marriage (1849) he built a villa at Torquay, where he died on the 21st of March 1857.

See the Life by his nephew, Dr R. E. Scoresby-Jackson (1861).


SCORIA (Lat. scoria, slag), in geology, a name applied to lava when moderately vesicular and having a structure like that of a clinker. Ejected masses of scoriaceous lava are often called "cinders," a term conveniently used for all lumps of vesicular lava (see Volcano).


SCORPIO ("the Scorpion"), in astronomy, the 8th sign of the zodiac (q.v.), denoted by the symbol Scorpio.svg. It is also a constellation, mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), and catalogued by Ptolemy (24 stars), Tycho Brahe (10), Hevelius (20). The Greeks fabled that Orion having boasted to Diana and Latona that he would kill every animal on the earth, these goddesses sent a poisonous reptile—a scorpion—which stung him so that he died. Jupiter raised the scorpion to heaven, and afterwards, at Diana's request, did the same for Orion. The chief star in this constellation α Scorpii or Antares, a reddish star of the first magnitude, accompanied by a green companion of the seventh magnitude. μ Scorpii is a spectroscopic binary; T Nova Scorpii is a "new" star discovered in 1860 by G. F. Auwers in the cluster Messier 80.


SCORPION (Lat. scorpio), the common name for members of the class Arachnida (q.v.), distinguishable at a glance from all the other existing members by having the last five segments of the body modified to form a highly flexible tail, armed at the end with a sting consisting of a vesicle holding a pair of poison glands, and of a sharp spine behind the tip of which the ducts of the glands open. Like spiders they have four pairs of walking legs; but the limbs of the second pair form a couple of powerful pincers, and those of the first pair two much smaller nippers. They feed entirely upon animal food, principally upon insects such as beetles or other ground species, although the larger kinds have been known to kill small lizards and mice. The large pincers are studded with highly sensitive tactile hairs, and the moment an insect touches these he is promptly seized by the pincers and stung to death, the scorpion's tail being swiftly brought over his back and the sting thrust into the struggling prey. Paralysis rapidly follows, and, when dead, the insect is pulled to pieces by the small nippers and its soft tissues sucked into the scorpion's mouth. Scorpions vary in size from about 1 in. to 8 in.; and the amount of poison instilled into a wound depends principally upon the size of the animal. But the poison is more virulent in some of the smaller than in the larger species. Upon mankind the effects of the poison are seldom fatal, though death has been known to follow in the case of patients in a poor state of health at the time. In small scorpions, like those belonging to the genus Euscorpius, which occurs in Italy and other countries of South Europe, the sting is said to be as bad as that of a wasp; but in many tropical species acute pain, accompanied by inflammation and throbbing of the wounded part, follows. But unless molested, scorpions are perfectly harmless, and only make use of the sting for the purpose of killing prey.

The belief that scorpions commit suicide by stinging themselves to death when tortured by fire is of considerable antiquity and is prevalent wherever these animals occur. It is nevertheless

quite without foundation in fact; for it has been proved