Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/868

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Spencer and Darwin, and of the investigators who have worked in their spirit. The author proposes to apply an extension of Mr. Spencer's principles to the study, and starts out with the proposition that mental phenomena are modes of chemical energy.

Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer to the Secretary of War for the Year 1883. Washington: Government Printing-office. Pp. 1,164, with forty-eight Plates.

Thirty enlisted men were instructed in signal-service duties at Fort Myer. Efforts were made to add to the number of officers who can be depended upon for weather predictions. The stimulus which the work of the bureau has given to the study of meteorology is noticed with gratification. The preparation of a text-book containing an elementary course of meteorology has been begun, and a new treatise from a philosophical, mechanical, and deductive point of view is in hand. From 84·4 to 88·3 per cent of the "indications" published during the previous ten years to 1883 were verified, and from VS to 83·9 per cent of the cautionary signals displayed since 1874. The scientific work of the bureau was pursued in applications too numerous to be named specifically here. The number of stations had to be decreased on account of insufficiency of appropriations; but 376 were in operation in June, 1883, and work for the service was done by 19 officers and 500 enlisted men. Reports were received from 335 foreign stations, 59 steamship lines, 605 vessels, and 339 voluntary observers. The publications of the service include the "Monthly Weather Review," the "Monthly Summary and Review," the "International Bulletin," the "Meteorological Record," and several special papers.

Osteology of Numenius Longirostris. By R. W. Shufeldt, U. S. A. Pp. 32, with Plates.

Numenius Longirostris is the long-billed curlew, which Captain Shufeldt observed alive at Egmont Cay, Florida, and studied anatomically in Wyoming. Besides minute descriptions of this bird, his monograph includes notes upon the skeletons of other American Limicolæ.

The Asiatic Cholera, as it appeared at Suspension Bridge in July, 1854, and its Lessons. By Frank H. Hamilton, M. D. Pp. 26.

The outbreak described was sudden, violent, and narrowly limited in its spread to ground of a peculiar physical condition. The disease appears to have been introduced by a company of German immigrants, who were "dumped" upon the banks of the river from the cars, and was propagated with wonderful speed among the people, mostly employed on the suspension-bridge, living in the favorable locality. Dr. Hamilton's conclusions appear to agree, generally, with the view of Dr. Pettenkofer, that, while the implanting of a germ may be essential to the inception of cholera, the violence of the attack and the rapidity of propagation are largely dependent on soil-conditions.

Comparative Study of the New High German Language, Theoretical and Practical. By William W. Valentine. Richmond, Va. Seventy specimen pages.

Professor Valentine believes that the modern languages, especially German, are as capable of philosophical study as any of the ancient tongues which have been avowedly treated in that manner, and whose capacity for such treatment has been extolled, and that such study of them is most valuable as a means of intellectual training. The present pamphlet is intended to present an outline or suggestions, indicating the principles on which the study should be based, and the manner in which it can be pursued, and is offered tentatively in anticipation, provided the plan finds favor, of the preparation of a full treatise.

Description of Carcharodon Carcharias. By W. G. Stevenson, M. D. Poughkeepsie, N. Y. Pp. 8, with Plate.

The various descriptions given of this fish, which is otherwise known as the "man-eater shark," are so very imperfect and confusing that the author says, with Professor D. S. Jordan, that "there is no good description of the animal extant." A shark of this species was taken in August, 1883, near Nantucket, and specially examined by Dr. Stevenson. The present monograph is the fruit of this study.