Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/143

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



forms of spinning-work treated in the fore, going pages. The volume contains three hundred and fifty-four illustrations, the author being convinced that a drawing is better to communicate some facts than pages of words. The pictures, moreover, are of artistic quality, and the mechanical work of the volume is of a high grade, making the book a remarkably handsome one. In the second volume of this work the author will treat the habits and industry associated with mating and maternal instincts, life of the young, etc. The third volume will be a systematic presentation of the orb-weavers of the United States, the descriptions being accompanied by a number of lithographic plates colored by hand. The work, aside from its scientific value and its popular interest, will be a treasure to the library of any one who secures a copy. The "author's edition" is limited to two hundred and fifty numbered copies, which are issued in cloth with uncut edges. A large part of the edition had been subscribed for before publication.

The Report of S. P. Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, for 1889, states that the income of the Smithsonian fund is becoming less and less adequate for the work of the Institution with each year of the country's growth. This fund is now $703,000, of which only $1,500 have been received in bequests since the original Smithson legacy. The secretary calls attention to the Institution as a suitable trustee for moneys intended for the advancement of knowledge. Additional space is needed for exhibition purposes for the National Museum. The appropriation allowed for making the foreign exchanges required by Government does not cover what this service costs the Institution, even though free transportation is given by many steamship companies. The library received 17,354 accessions in the course of the year, and the collection is so large that much of it is inaccessible from lack of room. The collection of living animals, which numbers over three hundred, has outgrown its accommodations, and a scheme for creating a zoölogical park on Rock Creek, in the District of Columbia, is being agitated. The report includes statistics of publications of the Institution during the year, of accessions to the museum and to the library, and of international exchanges.

A great many facts which chemists constantly need to refer to are put into handy shape in the little pamphlet which Prof. John H. Appleton has published now for eight years, called the Laboratory Year-Book (G. Roscoe and Co., Providence, 12 cents). This publication contains a calendar, notes on the chemical work done in the preceding year, a list of new elements announced since 1877, a table based on the latest revision of atomic and molecular weights, tables of weights, measures, and thermometer scales and equivalents, the C. G. S. system of units, pronunciations of words used in chemistry, logarithms, postal regulations, etc.

The Meteorological Observations made on the Summit of Pike's Peak, January, 1874, to June, 1888, are published in the Annals of Harvard College Observatory, Vol. XXII. The observations were made and were prepared for the press by the United States Signal Service, and the expense of publication has been borne by the Boyden fund. The observations occupy four hundred and fifty-eight quarto pages, and are introduced and supplemented by a few pages of text.

The Observations of the New England Meteorological Society for 1888, published in the Annals of the Harvard College Observatory, contains tables in which the work of the society for the year is summarized. In a general account of the weather of the year it is stated that nine months were colder and three warmer than the average in New England. The total precipitation exceeded the usual annual fall by twenty-five per cent.

Among the papers that have appeared in recent numbers of The Modern Science Essayist (James H. West, Boston; 10 cents a number) is one on The Scope and Principles of the Evolution Philosophy, by Lewis G. Janes, the first lecture of the Brooklyn Ethical Association's second season. Dr. Janes represents evolution as a universal method, explaining the processes of all activity. He states the agnostic position in regard to the Unknowable Cause, and denies that the evolutionist is a materialist. In his closing paragraphs he points out the kind of aid that evolutionary philosophy can give to the solution of the problems of society. The