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EDITOR'S TABLE.

of another way of keeping water cool, which I have never seen exemplified. A grain-sack, such as is used by the Eastern farmers, is painted and filled with water, and hung up in a cool place where the breeze strikes it.

The olla, too, must be kept in a breezy place. Wind will dry clothes or a field, and so it will evaporate the water oozing through an olla, or barrel, or, I suppose, the painted grain-bag. The evaporation is what does the cooling, according to a well-known principle of physics.

Henry J. Philpott.
Pasadena, Cal., January 13, 1890.
 

 

THE LUCAYAN INDIANS.

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

Sir: With reference to Prof. Brooks's paper, "The Lucayan Indians," in the November number of the "Monthly," I have examined one or two caves during the past summer, and have been intending to make a more thorough search during the winter; so, if any of your readers should feel inclined to adopt the professor's suggestion, I shall be glad to co-operate.

Although no doubt the aborigines of the Bahamas had intercourse with Hayti and Cuba, the possession by them of stone implements does not, as Prof. Brooks supposes, prove it; for, although the islands consist solely of coral rock, yet stone, identical in appearance with that of which the stone implements are usually made, is constantly being washed up on the northern shore of New Providence, and probably elsewhere; so that the Lucayan implement-makers would have had plenty of material in the archipelago.

Also, it must not be too hastily concluded that all remains found in caves in the Bahamas are Lucayan. Negro skulls have been found more than once, and in one cave I found, consolidated into breccia, a number of bones which a local anatomist pronounced to be those of "some large vertebrate animal." They presented an appearance of great antiquity, and, had we not known that there were no large animals in these islands at the time of their discovery, they would certainly have been referred to pre-European days; whereas, they were probably the remains of an ox which had been killed and eaten by runaway slaves, for the surface of the rock showed traces of fire. Yours faithfully,

A. B. Ellis.
Nassau, N. P., November 28, 1889.
 


EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

HOW TO MAKE KNOWLEDGE REAL.

THERE was an interesting discussion a month or two ago at a meeting of the Chicago Institute of Education. A paper had been read by one of the members of the Institute, Mr. Fernando Sanford, on "The Disciplinary Value of Scientific Study," which is stated to have been a strong and well-constructed plea for the study of science by original observation rather than by the ordinary text-book methods. Many of our readers would expect that unqualified assent would have been given to the argument of the paper; but it happened that an eminent educationist was present in the person of Superintendent Howland, of the Chicago public schools, who dissented entirely from Mr. Sanford's thesis. He thought all this talk about observation of facts and handling of objects was great nonsense; why not let children learn out of books that things were so and so, and commit the facts to memory? What was the use of all the accumulated knowledge and intelligence of the ages, if children were to begin at the beginning and make over again for themselves discoveries that were made centuries ago? Life was too short, he held, for this kind of thing. Let the pupil start with the knowledge of his own day as gathered and garnered in books, and not bother to find out things for himself. Moreover, man and his institutions are more worth studying than all the world besides. It would be a misfortune, he thought, if the advice given in the paper were followed in the schools.

We take the report of this speech as we find it in the columns of our contemporary "Intelligence" of Chicago, and we judge by the remarks that followed that the meaning we attach to it is precisely that which it conveyed to those who were present. These views, expressed by a man holding a most im-