Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/588

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Kilimanjaro in 1859, but gave it up to seek for Lake Nyanza, and died in that attempt. Baron Claus von Decken, in the next year, climbed Kilimanjaro to the height of 8,360 feet, and ascertained the total height of the mountain (18,710 feet). Again, in 1862, he, with Dr. Otto Kersten, climbed the mountain to 14,160 feet, and determined its volcanic nature and its situation. Von der Decken was finally murdered by Somaulis, in his fourth expedition up the Juba River. Richard Brenner followed this adventurous traveler, and retraced his last journey. In 1875 J. M. Hildebrandt was sent out by the Karl Ritter Stiftung and the Berlin Academy of Sciences on an expedition to the mountain region, which was fruitful in scientific results. Other important expeditions were made by Clemens Denhardt, in 1878, by Dr. Schweinfurth, and, more recently, by Gerhard Rolfs and Dr. Nachtigal. Lastly, Dr. G. A. Fischer, who took part in Denhardt's expedition, has gone out under the auspices of the Geographical Society of Hamburg for an exploration of Somauli-land and the Galla country.


Brain-Health.—In a lecture at Edinburgh, on "The Establishment and Maintenance of Brain-Health," Dr. J. Batty Tuke pointed out a certain class of influences acting for good or evil on the brain over which the individual had no control. They were those connected with his antecedents and bringing up. A man might be handicapped for life by the mistakes or faults of his ancestors; and, differently from the race-horse, he had to carry weight in the race of life according to his imperfections, not according to his advantages. In respect to this point, every child's future history depends upon the food it gets and on its surroundings, and much upon the mother, whether she be well and vigorous or the contrary. Of other food than mother's milk, the Scotch oatmeal-porridge and milk is a "typical" food, and the best. Tea should be condemned. In education, home influence should never be spared. To send a child away from the family influence into an atmosphere of necessarily strict discipline and routine should be the last resource of misfortune. The life of a child so placed is artificial, its individuality is endangered, and its experience circumscribed. Therefore, at all hazards, keep the child in the family, and send him no farther than to the day-school. One of the great causes of overstraining in early youth is the vicious system of offering prizes for competition. It deflects the mind of the child from the main aim and object of its study, and often defeats them. Our whole educational system tends too much in the direction of abstract facts and theories, and to produce a sort of brain-dyspepsia or indigestion; for the child's brain is not given time to assimilate the food it gets. Among women, idleness and ignorance are much more prolific causes of disease than overwork. It is not work, but worry, that kills the brain. The most highly educated and hard-working women the lecturer knew were eminently healthy. Breakdown from overwork does, however, occasionally take place, and the first really important symptom is sleeplessness. When that sets in there is cause for alarm. Headache also comes on; and, as soon as a child or young person develops continuous headache, work should be discontinued at once. Most men working in this department of medicine recognize that, if there is a hope of diminishing the amount of brain-disease, it is to be effected by preventive measures. The lecturer had therefore directed attention more especially to the transgressions of the father than to those of the son.


Deformities due to School-Life.—Dr. Dally read a paper at the Geneva Hygienic Congress on the "Deformation of the Body during School-Life." The researches of Dr. Chaussier, who found that only 122 out of 23,200 newly-born infants examined by him possessed abnormal peculiarities of any kind, indicate that children are, as a rule straight when they start to school. The deformities which they exhibit at a later period may therefore be attributed to the enforced maintenance of one attitude for a considerable length of time. The various parts of the organism of youth are easily displaced, and, if the cause operates continuously, the displacement is liable to become permanent. Doctors were exhorted to pay more attention to the medical aspects of school-life.