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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/799

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719
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

nearly nineteen hundred acres in the Genesee Valley. Its post office and railway station is called Sonyea, an Indian word signifying sunny place. The land is extremely fertile and the district a very beautiful one. There have already been erected some thirty or forty buildings. The colony will be a country village, only differing from others in being composed entirely of epileptics. The butcher, the baker, the grocer, the shoemaker, the mason, all will be sufferers from this curious disease. About thirty years ago a somewhat similar attempt was made in northern Germany; it has now developed into one of the most important labor colonies in Europe. The origin and history of this colony, which is called "Bethel," are given in detail in a previous issue of the Monthly. There are one hundred and twenty thousand epileptics in the United States; these unfortunates—perfectly well able to work, and many of them very competent—are debarred from almost every occupation, because of their liability to "fits." They are not admitted to the public schools, and are hence much handicapped in getting an education. In fact, about the only places where they are received are insane asylums and poorhouses. There are over a thousand epileptics in almshouses in New York State. The first work of the Craig Institution will be to remove these from the care of the State; after they are provided for, then outsiders will be admitted. There are no restrictions as to the age of patients, but necessarily no insane epileptics will be received. As the patients are received they will be set to work or at study in various ways. They will take care of the farms, gardens, and orchards; they will plan and build new houses; in fact, every sort of employment, every sort of recreation, everything, in short, that goes to make up the life of a country village will be found in this colony. The resources of the land are such, it is thought, that by judicious management the community can be made self-sustaining.


MINOR PARAGRAPHS.

Among the singular native customs prevailing in the western division of British New Guinea, the official report mentions that of the woman making the proposal of marriage and sending for the man to visit her; while the sister-in-law of the bride is often given in marriage in exchange, without regard to her wishes. The skeletons of dead relatives are sometimes kept in the villages; the skulls of enemies are preserved as trophies; and occasionally the body of an enemy is cooked and partly eaten.

Besides the considerable collections of the minerals and fossils of the region in the University Museum and the Deseret Museum, the University of Utah enjoys the advantage, in the Deseret Museum, which has been placed in its building, of an extensive series of specimens illustrating the persons and habits of the cliff dwellers and other aboriginal tribes of the region. Besides numerous perfect and fragmentary specimens of desiccated remains, this collection comprises many examples of weapons, tools, and domestic workmanship of these early people, which as a whole afford a valuable record of this phase of American archæology. The specimens are arranged with special reference to the requirements of study and teaching.

The conclusion results from an archæological exploration of the James River and Potomac River Valleys by Mr. Gerard Fowke that the aboriginal remains between tidewater and the Alleghanies, from Pennsylvania to southwestern Virginia, pertain to the tribes who lived or hunted within the territory at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Nothing indicating a more ancient or another race was found; while the occurrence of objects which could have been obtained only from white traders fixes approximately the date of some burial places, and resemblances in various points necessitate the classification of others as not far removed in time or origin from these.

From a review of the results of a transcontinental series of gravity measurements by George R. Putnam, Mr. G. K. Gilbert concludes that they appear more harmonious when the method of reduction postulates isostasy (or hydrostatic equilibrium) than when it postulates high rigidity. Nearly all the local peculiarities of gravity admit of simple