Gesture-Speech of Man." Professor Mason read a paper on "The Uncivilized Mind in the Presence of Higher Phases of Civilization," the more immediate bearing of which was on the subject of Indian education; Horatio Hale, in "A Lawgiver of the Stone Age," sought, among other things, to inquire whether mental capacity increases with the progress of civilization, introducing in illustration the condition of the Iroquois when first visited by Europeans; Major William I. Beebe, of Brooklyn, read a paper of suggestive import on "The Decipherment of Inscriptions from the Mounds," to which we have referred more fully in another place; Mr. W. J. Hoffmann discussed "The Interpretation of Pictographs by the Application of Gesture-Signs"; Mr. Watson C. Holbrook, "Prehistoric Hieroglyphics"; while Mrs. E. A. Smith communicated the results of her researches on the "Animal Myths of the Iroquois." Dr. Stephen D. Peet contributed observations on "The Emblematic Mounds of the Four Lakes of Wisconsin," and on the "Buffalo Drives on the Rock River, in Wisconsin," a paper which provoked considerable discussion. Judge John G. Henderson discussed "Agriculture and Agricultural Implements of the Ancient Inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley"; and Mr. De Saas, of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, summarized the whole subject in his paper on the "Progress of Archæological Discovery." After this a resolution was passed, and referred to the Standing Committee, asking Congress to continue the appropriations for investigations relating to the mound-builders and to prehistoric mounds. The Association resolved to exercise its influence to preserve the great mound at Cahokia, Illinois, which is about to be sold; and excursions were made to Fort Ancient, one of the best-known earthworks in the Ohio Valley, and to Madisonville, where some very interesting discoveries have recently been made. In the microscopical department. Dr. G. M. Sternberg, of Baltimore, offered contributions to the study of bacterial organizations commonly found on mucous surfaces and in the alimentary canal of healthy individuals, in which he combated the opinion that each disease is produced by a microbe peculiar to itself. He bad never found living organisms in blood, healthy or diseased, but the alimentary canal was never without parasites. Dr. Lester Curtis, of Chicago, gave the results of the study of the blood of Griscom, who fasted forty-five days at Chicago, the genuineness of whose fast he attested; the blood appeared healthy in every particular throughout the fast and at its end. Among the papers on subjects of physics were one "On the Cause of the Arid Climate of the Far West," by Captain C. E. Dutton; one on "The Effect of Prolonged Stress on the Strain in Timber," by Professor R. H. Thurston; and one on "Standard Time," by Professor E. B. Elliott, of Washington. A committee which had been appointed to consider the latter subject presented majority and minority reports. The former, by Professor Stone, favored a single standard for the whole country; the latter, by Professor Waldo, favored a number of standards, beginning with New York for the East, another at St. Louis, an hour later, for the Central West, and others at points farther West, each exactly an hour later than the preceding one, and suggesting that the New York standard be fixed at five hours after Greenwich time. The two reports were ordered published, to be considered at Montreal next year. H. C. Hovey presented a paper on "Coal-Dust as an Element of Danger in Mining," as shown by the late explosion in the Albion mines in Nova Scotia. Mrs. A. B. Blackwell read a paper on "The Constitution of the Atom of Science"; and Dr. H. B. Parsons, in a paper on the "Composition and Quality of American Wines," drew the conclusion that wines of American manufacture are in many cases as good as or better than more expensive foreign wines of the same general character. W. H. Ballou, of Evanston, Illinois, reviewed the "Natural and Industrial History of the White Pine of Michigan," and predicted that, at the present rate of usage, the supply of timber will disappear in seven years. Mr. Charles Sedgwick Minot, by an inquiry whether man is anatomically the highest animal, excited considerable discussion, in which, the newspaper report tells us, "some feeling was unfortunately created." David D. Thompson, of Cincinnati, considered the "Influence of Forests on Water-Courses," and W. J. Beal communi-
Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 19.djvu/880
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.