Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/375

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combines freely with many other elements besides oxygen, so that we continually liberate it in all sorts of chemical decompositions. Helium, on the other hand, enters into combination most sparingly, is therefore scarce, and even when present is, as we have said before, not easy to detect.


AMONG the exhibits at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 was a map illustrating the progress of "scientific temperance" in the United States. On this map those States of the Union in which scientific temperance was a compulsory study in the schools were shown in white. Those States which had not yet reached this condition were shaded in black. The Northern States generally were white in color, while dark shades covered much of the region south of the Ohio and Potomac. From this dark area, however, one long black tongue stretched itself to the northward from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan, separating the whiteness of Ohio and the Northeast from that of Illinois and the Northwest. Indiana alone in the North was a stumbling-block in the triumphal march of the cause, the only district in which "science" and "temperance" were not hand in hand.

This map leads one to consider for a moment the educational history of Indiana, and especially the conditions under which instruction in human physiology becomes changed into "scientific temperance."

With a view to lessening the cost of school books, the Legislature of Indiana in 1889 passed an act directing the State Board of Education to contract with competing publishers for a uniform series of text-books for the State. By the terms of this law the standards were made high and the prices low, the low prices to be made possible by the large sales of the books chosen. In putting this law into action, the State Board of Education, of which the present writer was a member, made a good deal of interesting history, most of which need not be discussed here.

In the subject of human physiology the series of text-books chosen as the best was one written for this competition at the instance of a local publishing house. The author of this series is a teacher of biology, familiar with methods and results of scientific research, and who has also a large interest in the teaching of children. In the judgment of the Board of Education, one of the points of superiority in this Indiana series over other works offered in competition was the scientific way in which the difficult