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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/726

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

brief statement of the industrial applications of all substances that have important uses. The volume is well printed, and contains seventy-eight illustrations and a colored plate of spectra.

 

A very attractive and well-made textbook for beginners is the Elementary Geology, by Charles Bird, which is one of Longmans' Elementary Science Manuals (Longmans, 80 cents). It is written in a simple and easy style, giving a vivid idea of how geological changes have taken place, and with examples, mostly English, of the formations described. The economic use of each rock mentioned is also generally stated, and there are 247 helpful illustrations, and a colored geological map of the British Isles. The sort of teaching that the author gives is well indicated in his preface. He reports the successful use of the lessons in this book before they were printed, saying that they sent many town boys on long walks into the country, and enabled practically the whole class to pass the South Kensington elementary examination. But he deems the abiding interest aroused in natural phenomena and outdoor objects "a more valuable and useful possession than even a South Kensington certificate."

A Text-Book of Practical Plane and Solid Geometry, by I. H. Morris, has been added to the same series (Longmans, 80 cents). It is devoted to the construction of geometrical figures or geometrical drawing, and contains several hundred problems, which range from the simplest to those of considerable complexity. The part of the volume dealing with plane geometry leads up to the drawing of spirals of different kinds and other curves. This is followed by a chapter on the application of geometry to the construction of patterns and simple tracery, including geometrical tracery windows. The drawing of plans, elevations, and sections of solids, such as prisms, pyramids, and cones, in simple positions is then taken up. The second section of the book deals with the projection of points and lines, and the representation of planes by their traces on co-ordinate planes, and also the projections of solid objects of simple form. Lists of exercises consisting of problems taken from the examination papers cf various English colleges are introduced at intervals. The diagrams appear in all cases on the page opposite the problems.

The Geography of Europe, by James Sime, corresponds in character with the preceding volumes of Macmillan's Geographical Series, to which it belongs (Macmillan, 80 cents). The chief feature of the book is the attention it gives to the past evolution of political divisions. The historic associations of towns have also been made prominent. The author states, as to the information he has aimed to include in the volume: "In the case of each country the physical features arc first described; then an attempt is made to mark the stages of its history, so far as they are related to geography. Next I have brought together some of the leading facts relating to government, population, and national character, religion and education, and industry and trade. Finally, an account is given of the principal towns, these being generally grouped under the historic divisions to which they respectively belong." As there is a volume devoted to the British Isles in this series, only a short chapter on the United Kingdom is included in the present work. There are thirty-three cuts representing characteristic buildings and places.

In the same series has just appeared a volume on India, Burmah, and Ceylon, by Henry F. Blanford (price, 70 cents). The subject-matter of this book may be described as wholly geographical, and the author says that, in order to bring so large a subject within lcs3 than two hundred pages, it has been necessary to restrict the description to the most important features. But few historical allusions are to be met with in these pages. The text is illustrated with twenty-seven cuts. Neither this nor the preceding book contains maps, as both are designed to be used with an atlas.

From the Smithsonian Institution we have received a number of monographs, in pamphlet form, which are to constitute parts of volumes soon to be issued. The Report on the National Museum for 1888, by G. Brown Goode, assistant secretary in charge, contains some facts in regard to the history and organization of the museum, a review of the work of the year, a list of the more important accessions, and other information. During the year a Department of Living