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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/878

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

claimed for the clerical force of the Institution, and its excellence is attributed to the absence of politics.

The sixth and seventh parts of Mr. Richard A. Proctor's Old and New Astronomy (Longmans, Green & Co., London and New York) relate to the physical functions and constitution of the sun and to the planet Mercury. The author's method of treatment is clear and interesting; he is well at home in the subject, and has endeavored to serve it in this book as one should serve the chosen and ultimate work of his life. The publishers have done their part in making the work attractive, presenting a page of pleasant aspect, abundantly illustrated with figures intended to make the text more easily intelligible, and engraved in a style that leaves nothing to be desired.

Several monographs have been sent us by Dr. Alexis A. Julien—reprints of papers read during several years past before scientific societies. The one among them of the most direct value is that on the Decay of the Building-Stones of New York City, in which the various stones employed in architecture and their several qualities—particularly those affecting their durability—are described. In the Genesis of the Crystalline Iron Ores, the various theories on the subject and the author 's conclusions are given.—The Sealed Flasks of Crystal calls attention to the liquid inclosures in crystals, which are more frequent than they are known to be, explains their occurrence, and tells how to find them.—A double paper On the Variation of Decomposition in the Iron Pyrites; its Cause, and its Relation to Density, besides the features of treatment suggested, tells many things concerning a common mineral, in a style acceptable to the general reader.—Other papers in the list are On the Geology of Great Barrington, Mass.; Notes on the Glaciation of the Shawangunk Mountain, N. Y.; The Dunite Beds of North Carolina; and the Volcanic Tuffs of Challis, Idaho, and other Western Localities.

According to the Report of the State Mineralogist, W. J. Irelan, Jr., the State Mining Bureau of California is satisfying a want which the State has been in much need of since the beginning of quartz or ledge mining. It is gathering the records of the earliest mining ventures, collecting statistics of present developments, studying the methods of recovery of the precious metals, examining the unexplored mineral sections, determining the lithological structure of the inclosing rocks, and making known to the world the mineral resources of the State. It has collected an extensive museum of specimens, and is accumulating a valuable library of books treating on the subjects for which it was created. The report for 1888 treats all of the counties of the State separately, with all matters bearing upon their mining interests and development; and its nine hundred and forty-nine pages are full of information respecting the geology, mineralogy, mines, method of working, machinery, and results of each district.

The Reports and Bulletins of the Agricultural Experiment Stations, whether examined collectively or separately, furnish information of value, to a large extent fresh. One from Hatch Experiment Station of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (No. 3, January, 1889) is devoted chiefly to Tuberculosis.—The Annual Report of the Connecticut Station for 1888 includes a paper on Fertilizers, their analysis and value; Bulletin No. 96 of the same station (January, 1889) is on the Valuation of Feeding-Stuffs.—Bulletin No. 2 (October, 1888) of the Storrs School Station, Mansfield, Conn., records Experiments on the Effects of Tillage-upon Soil Moisture.—Bulletin No. 4, of the New York Station, Geneva, is on the Chemical Composition of some Feeding-Stuffs (grasses, clovers, forage-crops, grains, and by-products).—Bulletins Nos. 3 and 4 of Cornell University Station (November and December, 1888) relate to certain insects and to the growing of corn for fodder and ensilage.—Bulletin No. 3 of the University of Illinois Station (November, 1888) relates to Field Experiments in Oats.Bulletins Nos. 2 and 3 of Iowa Agricultural College Station contain thirteen articles on "Corn-Tassels, Silks, and Blades"; "Characteristics of Hardy and Tender Fruit-Trees"; "Promising New Fruits, Grasses, Insects, and Insect Remedies," and other subjects.

The Report of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Hon. Joseph S. Miller, for the last fiscal year, deals chiefly with tobacco, spirits, substitutes for butter, and adultera-