Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/588

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

short, erect mane, with no forelock. Its general color is a whitish-gray, paler and whiter beneath, and reddish on the head. The legs are reddish to the knees, and thence blackish down to the hoofs, and very thick and strong. The head is large and heavy, and the stature of the animal is small. This horse inhabits the great Soongarian Desert, between the Altai and Thian-shan Mountains, and goes in troops of from five to fifteen mares, led by an old stallion. The animals are shy, and of keen senses. It was only possible to secure one specimen, which has been placed in a museum at St. Petersburg.


Evils of Children's Parties.—Dr. Cullimore, of London, has published a protest against children's parties in winter. His objections apply to the collection of children under seven years of age on such occasions. The "Lancet" would extend them to children under twelve. They apply principally to the general effects upon the health of the children, among which are those to which the excitement they have to endure before and after the event renders them liable, the exposure to the danger of chill, and to improper food and drink, and other influences that wear upon the organism at this most tender period of life. Besides these are injuries to the mind and nerves: "A perfect storm of excitement rages in the little brain from the moment the invitation has been received, and the affair is talked about in the nursery until after the evening. Sleep is disturbed by dreams, or, in some cases, prevented by thinking of the occasion, and afterward the excitement does not subside until days have elapsed, perhaps not before another invitation is received." The amusements of young children ought to be simple, unexciting, and free from artificiality. "Parties" are in no way necessary to the happiness of child-life.


Increase of Cancer.—If the data of the registrar-general's reports are correct, cancer is steadily increasing in England, and the rate of increase is augmenting. Thus, during the ten years 1850-1859, the increase in the number of deaths from this disease was 2,000, showing an average increase of about 200; from 1860 to 1869, the number of deaths was 80,049, and the average annual increase 248; and from 18*70 to 1879, 111,301 deaths occurred, with an annual increase of 320. Dr. Charles Moore attempted to show, in a book published in 1865, that cancer thrives with good living, and that its increase was an accompaniment of the improved economical condition and vitality of the British people. It abounds where the conditions are ordinarily most favorable to health, and more among the rich than among the poor. According to a French observer, about ten per cent of the wealthy classes and seven per cent of the poorer classes are afflicted with cancer. The disease, according to Dr. Crisp, also prevails among animals, more frequently among flesh-eaters than among herb-eaters, and among domesticated than among wild animals. It is not zymotic or infectious, or conveyed in any way, nor is it transmissible, though the predisposition to it may be inherited; but it begins do novo in each individual whom it attacks. The only efficient remedy for it is the surgical one, and that should be applied at the earlier stages of the disease, while the affection is still local.


International Medical Investigation.—Dr. Sir William Gull presented before the recent International Medical Congress at Copenhagen a scheme for an International Collective Investigation of Disease, which is in effect an enlargement of the plan of organized research already in operation with the British Medical Association. The British organization has allotted its work among some fifty sub-committees, in which are included in all some thousand members. One of its methods of work is by the formation of life-histories and family histories of disease, the materials for which are obtained through the family physicians. If such histories could be widely and accurately recorded, the natural associations of different forms of disease in individuals and families would be made evident, and might afford suggestions as to pathological relations not now suspected. In such family histories we might also hope to have elucidated the difficulties of correlated pathologies—"why, for instance, in a numerous family whose members are living under the same conditions, one or two should become the subjects of pulmonary phthisis, one or two the