Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/711

This page has been validated.

been noticed. The advocates of this view plead very plausibly that, as the moisture in the air is the food of the storm, so, where that moisture is deficient, the storm dies of starvation.

We may, however, point out to them that eddies in a river and dust-whirls at street corners waste and wane without any assistance from vapor condensation.

In conclusion, though it is a humiliating confession for us to make, meteorologists are as yet entirely in the dark as to the reasons why one depression fills up while another becomes deeper. As I have already stated, no meteorologist is able to give a straightforward answer to the simple question, What causes the barometer to rise or fall?—Popular Science Review.


PROFESSOR BARKER, who is this year President of the American Scientific Association, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, July 14, 1835. His parents were in comfortable circumstances, his father being in command of a packet-ship sailing between Boston and Liverpool. His early education was received in the public schools of his native place, though before graduating at the high school the family removed in 1849 to South Berwick, Maine, and he continued his studies, first at the Classical Academy in that village, and subsequently at the Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, and at Yarmouth Academy, Maine. In 1851 he accepted an invitation from his father to visit the Crystal Palace International Exhibition in London. On his return he entered, as an apprentice, the shop of the Hon. J. M. Wightman, of Boston, the well-known maker of philosophical instruments, where he remained until he attained his majority in 1856. Faraday was not so fortunate; he was an apprentice to a bookbinder, whereas young Barker was indentured to a trade that laid the foundation of his scientific education.

In September of that year, by the advice of friends, he entered the Yale Scientific School (now the Sheffield School) in New Haven as a student in chemistry, and was graduated therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy in 1858. During the last year of this course of study he held the position of Professor Silliman's chemical assistant; and during the winter of 1858–’59, and again in 1860–’61, he was assistant to Dr. John Bacon, Professor of Chemistry in the Harvard Medical School, Boston. In 1859, at the Springfield meeting, he was made a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In the winter of the same year he gave, on invitation, a course of public lectures in the city of Pittsburg, under the