Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/720

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

suffered to increase our knowledge. In every physiological laboratory frogs are such ceaseless subjects of experiment that the animal may well be called the 'martyr of science.' What their legs can do without their bodies, what their bodies can do without their heads, what their arms can do without either head or trunk, what is the effect of the removal of their brains, how they can manage without their eyes, what effects result from all kinds of local irritations, from chokings, from poisonings, from mutilations the most varied: these are questions again and again answered practically for the instruction of youth."

The rattlesnake, "he exclusive possession of which will not excite the envy of other geographical regions," is next on the list. The serotine or Carolina bat is the representative of this family selected, because it is the only animal of this kind found in both the Old World and the New. The American bison gives the title to Chapter VII. It is of interest because of probable extinction in the near future. The raccoon, another peculiarly American product, is next selected as an introduction to the carnivores in general.

The sloth, the typical arboreal animal, is given thirty pages. "A marine animal and a quadruped" is studied in the sea lion in Chapter X. Whales and Mermaids is the title of Chapter XI. The last essay, entitled The Other Beasts, describes briefly the lemurs, rodents, and insect-eating animals, and then follows a recapitulation and summary of what has gone before. The book is extremely interesting, not only because of the good selection of individuals for description, but more, perhaps, because of Prof. Mivart's lively style, and his avoidance of anything which might be termed "dry." The book is well printed and nicely illustrated.

Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics. By Genevieve Stebbins. New York: Edgar S. Werner. Pp. 155.

This work is intended to set forth a peculiar system of combined mental and muscular calisthenics, part of which, at least, though perhaps of therapeutic value, seem unusually difficult. The following, entitled Yoga Breathing, occurs on page 86, and is a good example of the teaching of the book:

"1. Lie relaxed in an easy position. 2. Breathe strongly with vigorous vertical surging motion, with the same rhythm as in Exercise 1, which stretches the whole trunk like an accordion, and let the mind concentrate itself as follows:

"(a) Imagine the ingoing and outgoing breath drawn through the feet, as though the legs were hollow; (b) divert the same mental idea to the hands and arms; (c) to the knees; (d) to the elbows; (e) now breathe through the knees and elbows together. . . . (l) Complete this mental imagery, with breathing through the head and the whole organism in one grand surging influx of dynamic life."

And again, on page 2, under the heading Dynamic Breathing:

"To those, however, whose studies in life have enabled them to penetrate beneath or to rise above the bias of theological dogma on the one hand, and the speculative hypotheses of scientific schools upon the other, there will be no difficulty in reading between the lines of the present controversy between religion and science. . . ."

There are many other equally irrelevant passages in the book; and taken all together we do not see that it is likely to be of much service to the general reader. It contains a portrait of the author.

Ideale Welten in Wort und Bild (Ideal Worlds in Description and Picture). Ad. Bastian. 8vo. Three Parts. Pp. 791. Twenty-two Plates. Emil Felber, Berlin, 1892.

Adolphe Bastian, the Director of the Royal Ethnographic Museum at Berlin, is a veteran explorer, a wonderful collector, and an interesting writer. As the result of a journey to Farther India in 1890, we have this great work of nearly eight hundred pages—Ideale Welten. The book should particularly interest us, for the learned author has dedicated it to the Bureau of Ethnology in Washington and other ethnological workers throughout the Union, in memory of our celebration of the quadricentennial. The work consists of three parts, separately titled and paged—Reisen auf der vorderindischen Halbinsel, Ethnologie und Geschichte, and Kosmogonien und Theogonien. They are a model to every one who would