Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/730

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
706
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

station of life; a country magistrate, he felt bound to inquire into the causes of crime, and to use for the benefit of the community the experience gained on the bench; a poor law guardian, he was drawn into personal sympathy with the poor, the outcast, and the destitute." The papers he left behind him, from which the selection of those in the present volume was made, embody his well digested thought on a variety of subjects, and many of them deal with problems still unsolved. Of those here presented, three deal with the prevention of crime generally; others present as a practical measure for that object the apportionment of sentences to crimes on a scientific principle which should be made clearly understood, of "cumulative punishment." This means gradation according to the antecedents of the offender and the number of repetitions of the offense, with a term of police supervision added, under which the man might be encouraged to try to regain his character in honest employment. Other papers deal with adult reformatories; the imprisonment of children, which is advocated under certain conditions; jail labor; reformatories; measures for just dealing with vagrants; ecclesiastical questions; education; labor and wages; and the prisons bill (Mr. Cross's of 1876).

Exploration of the Chest in Health and Disease. By Stephen Smith Burt, M. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 206. Price, $1.50.

This manual, which embodies the methods pursued by the author with his classes, is intended to aid the student in learning the significance of physical signs and their mode of development. Dr. Burt states that he has made no attempt to establish distinctive signs of disease, because he is convinced that "precision in diagnosis is more surely attained by treating each sign as subordinate to the various combinations of signs which are found in the different maladies." The text is illustrated with cuts showing the position of the heart and lungs with reference to each other and to the chest-walls, the forms of instruments, etc. In describing the different forms of stethoscopes, the author expresses a preference for one which engages both ears. He has discovered, by means of the double stethoscope, what he deems a demonstration of the dual function of the ears, viz., for perceiving the direction of sounds. When listening to the ticking of a watch with a binaural stethoscope having arms of soft rubber tubing, if one arm is closed by pinching it, the watch seems to have been removed to the ear which still hears its ticking. If the tube is released and the other one is closed, the watch appears to be transferred, not to its actual place, but to the other ear.

Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer of the Army to the Secretary of War for the Year 1888. By A. W. Greely. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 418.

On the military side of his functions, the Chief Signal-Officer records the steps he has taken to secure a suitable heliograph apparatus, the selection of field-glasses for army use, and experiments with homing pigeons. The inadequacy of the present methods to insure instruction in military signaling is lamented, with the declaration that "there is not an average of two officers to a regiment who are competent to transmit signals—by sun, flag, and torch—day and night, except those who have passed through a regular course of instruction in connection with this office." A valuable report by Lieutenant Thompson on foreign organizations and appliances for signaling forms one of the appendixes of the volume. In the matter of the weather service, credit is accorded to three of the principal newspapers of the country for the assistance given by their meteorological editors in supplementing the general predictions made by the office by their own local predictions, and to other journals for publishing meteorological data of local interest. Of the storm-signals, 77·4 per cent were verified; the system of cold wave observations was continued successfully and satisfactorily. Observations on atmospheric electricity were continued at four stations. Bulletins showing the effect of the weather on the crops were issued weekly. The railway bulletin service has decreased, having been largely superseded by the State services, which are well spoken of. The question of river observations, in relation to dangerous floods and the stages of navigation, engaged attention. A system of rainfall stations was instituted in July, 1887, at