Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/873

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LITERARY NOTICES.

gether in Siberia and in the Swiss valleys. Some species have their familiar parasites, others find food purveyors in certain fungi. The ruthless destruction of forests has occasionally involved that of nations, while the planting of pines has brought prosperity to barren lands. The subsidence and shriveling of the earth's crust result in mountain ridges; the lofty cones of volcanoes, however, are formed from accumulations of lava, and the causes of eruption are local. Rivers are older than mountains; to trace their origin involves a study of geological changes and the folding of the strata. When the slope is acute, they widen their valleys through the rocks; with a slight fall they may run upon an elevated bed of their own sediment. While the land undergoes constant change, the sea remains the same for us, and contains all manner of strange creatures—enormous cuttlefish, and medusæ which color leagues of ocean. The fauna of the depths differ entirely from those of the surface, and species which are found in both situations undergo modifications in the great abyss. Some possess luminous organs, in others the eyes are absent.

Science has given to us a fuller idea of the immensity and beauty of the starry heavens. Not only have our own planetary relations been unfolded to us, but innumerable systems have been made visible. The distant stars shine upon us through the telescope with multicolored light, and by their spectra we detect their movements and chemical constitution.

So, through this pleasant and instructive discourse on "the wonders of the world we live in," does Sir John Lubbock fully persuade us that science is a fairy godmother with untold treasures at her command.

 

Mr. David T. Day's Report on the Mineral Resources of the United States for 1889 and 1891, its contributors having been nearly all engaged in preparing the volume on the mineral industries for the eleventh census, contains substantially the statistics of the Census Office. A few minor exceptions consist of the cases in which the mineral report for the Census Office did not consider certain industries which are usually included in the reports of this series. The statistical tables of former years have been carried forward. The scope of the present volume has been lessened slightly in the effort to include more complete and accurate statistics from all producers in the subjects of coal, iron ores, and other important products. The total product indicated for 1890 was $654,604,698, an increase far beyond the total of any previous year.

Chemists and sanitarians will find in The Coal-tar Colors, with Especial Reference to their Injurious Qualities, by Theodore Weyl (Blakiston, $1.50), definite information as to how far these substances are poisonous. The book tells what colors have been found to injure the health of workmen employed in making them, what regulations concerning the use of poisonous colors have been made in Europe, what results have been obtained from experiments with various colors on animals, and other related facts. The essay was translated by Dr. Henry Leffmann.

Dr. Franklin H. Martin has prepared for medical students and practitioners a treatise on Electricity in Diseases of Women and Obstetrics (Keener). It embraces a statement of the general principles of electricity, fully illustrated descriptions of electrical apparatus designed for the physician's use, and accounts of the author's mode of using electricity in his specialty, with notes of cases. The volume contains seventy-nine illustrations and has an alphabetical index.

The treatise on Rectal and Anal Surgery, by Edmund and Edward W. Andrews (Keener), which has now reached its third edition, has the two objects of instructing physicians in its special subject, and of exposing the methods of a class of itinerant pile-curers that has flourished in the West. In the new edition nearly every part of the work has been rewritten and enlarged, a compact formulary has been added, and other additions have been made. The volume contains fifty-three illustrations.

In a well-written little volume entitled Fermentation, Infection, and Immunity, Dr. J. W. McLaughlin, of Austin, Texas, reviews the chief known facts concerning these subjects, and advances a new theory to account for them. His book is based upon partial statements of his theory in medical journals, which have received encouraging attention, and will doubtless prove of interest to biologists.