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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/629

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HOW FUNGI LIVE IN WINTER.

and irresponsibility. By the multiplication of terms of uncertain meaning they have darkened counsel.

It is liable also, in my opinion, to the further serious objection that it influences, unconsciously but perceptibly, certain alienists to extend unreasonably the limits of the term insanity. I am at least certain that, in this regard, it works mischief in its influence upon the people at large, among whom the word kleptomania and other analogous terms introduced by writers upon mental diseases are in common use, and by whom in most cases they are employed as an apology for crime. I would prefer, therefore, when a man steals and his conduct in other matters shows that he is of unsound mind, that he should be called insane, and not a kleptomaniac; but if he steals, even where the motive may not be apparent, and in all other respects his conduct is consistent, and his mind appears sound, it would be better both for the interests of science and of society that he be called a thief.

 

HOW FUNGI LIVE IN WINTER.
By BYRON D. HALSTED, Sc.D.

"HARD times" come to most living things. Plants as well as animals have periods when they need to conserve all their energies, husband all their vitality. All vegetation obeys the injunction to multiply and replenish the earth, but with the greatest determination when there are present suffering and impending death. A drought hastens the processes of reproduction, and insufficient nourishment encourages an early if not an abundant fruitfulness. In a climate where hot and cold, or wet and dry, seasons regularly succeed each other, many of our most common economic plants have adapted themselves to these stated changes of outward conditions, and run their course during a single growing season. Such plants constitute that large portion of our vegetation known as the annuals. The great sunflower, that grows into a giant in a single season and defies the summer sun and storm, falls an easy victim to the frosts of autumn. It, however, prepared the way for many successors, in the ripened seeds, each one of which when given favorable conditions will germinate, grow, reproduce its kind, and thus finish another cycle in the realm of vegetable life. The bean-plant, in a different way, climbs its appointed pole, enjoys the same sunshine and shower, produces its blossoms, fills long pods with ripened seeds, and gives up its life like all its fellows in the field. A corn-plant completes its growth in not far from a hundred days, and leaves its accumulated vitality stored up in the grains upon the ear. The prospective life and activity of a whole field of waving corn may be considered as stored up in a few