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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/150

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Only one misstatement was found in Webster's Dictionary, and only two in Prof. Fiske's Civil Government in the United States. Another offer, on slightly modified terms, has been sent out by the same house, which will doubtless lead to a still more thorough examination of the books. From the present outlook, whatever may be the shortcomings of our school books, they do not lie to any great extent in outright misstatements of fact.

 

Expenses at Harvard.—The cost of living while at school is a very important item to most college students. Since Prof. Palmer, of Harvard University, showed how it was possible for a student to live there on four hundred and fifty dollars a year, or a little less, many changes have taken place in college life and its surroundings, and aids to economizing have been introduced that did not exist then. In the Foxcroft Club, with its bill of prices ranging from two slices of bread or two cookies for a cent, to ten cents for roast meats, many have been able to board for as little as two dollars a week. The Twenty-one Club has been an active force in lowering the average of student expenses; the Furniture Loan Club, which began in 1890, has been another. The list of rooms in private houses, published at the opening of each college year, has aided, by directing students to the cheapest rentals; and an employment bureau, established in 1887-'88, helps students who may wish to earn their way or a part of it. In order to ascertain the present conditions as to expense. Secretary Frank Bolles recently requested a number of Harvard men to prepare, each in his own way, a statement of his necessary expenditures during the time of his residence at the university, selecting men known to be very poor, earnest, and scholarly, eager to secure remunerative work, and likely to be methodical and accurate in money matters. He publishes, in a pamphlet entitled Students' Expenses, the replies received from forty of them. These replies show that "students of the most intelligent kind are able to meet the expenses of an academic year by a sum appreciably smaller than the four hundred and fifty dollars which was the normal minimum in 1887." As a rule, the letters have a cheerful tone, showing that the student who lives economically "is not necessarily dreary," though he may have less of pleasure and ease than many of his associates. While some of the men have been forced to devote too much time to making money to attain the very highest grade of academic scholarship, few of them have records below the average; and the number of those having conspicuously high records is greater than that of those having poor grades. Several of them have taken active part in athletic supports, and have found time to enjoy themselves in other ways.

 

The First Climbing of an Alp.—According to Mr. Edwin Swift Balch's interesting paper on Mountain Exploration, the first real Alpine ascent took place in the same year as the landing of Columbus, when Chamberlain Julien de Beaupré, by order of King Charles VIII of France, and with the help of ropes and ladders, climbed Mont Aiguille, "a long narrow wedge, six thousand and eighty feet high, flat at the top, where there are grass and trees." The contemporary account reads that "on June 26, 1492, François de Bosco, almoner to the Seigneur Julien de Beaupré, in company with other hardy adventurers, ascended the Mont Eguille, or Mount Inaccessible, and the day following, having said mass on the said mountain, ate, drank, and reposed thereon. The Seigneur Julien de Beaupré changed the name of the mountain from Eguille, or Montagne Inaccessible, to Eguille Fort, causing it to be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity by a certain Sébastian de Carect, one of the royal chaplains, and afterward chanting the Te Deum, Salve Regina, and many other anthems." They saw numerous chamois on the summit, where they spent six days, and found the descent still more horrible than the ascent.

 

The Zoölogical Garden of Philadelphia.—The Directors of the Zoölogical Society of Philadelphia say in their report for the last year that they have been confined in the administration of the affairs of the society to its legitimate purposes, by the provisions of its charter and their sense of a proper conduct of the trust confided to them. Their constant object has been to place the garden purely as a zoological garden in the