Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/146

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plates amounting to over fifty pages have been inserted here and there throughout the volume, and the whole book has been brought down to date. By these changes the author believes that its usefulness has been very materially increased.

The third volume, completing the college text-book of Nichols and Franklin on the Elements of Physics, has now been issued (Macmillan, $1.50 net a volume). About three fourths of the two hundred pages are devoted to light and the rest to sound. The calculation of the lengths and velocities of waves of light, of the positions of the foci of lenses and curved mirrors, and similar mathematical exercises in connection with diffraction, photometry, polarization, and radiation constitute the treatment of the former subject. There is more of description and less of mathematics in the chapters on sound, yet here the numerical values of wave motions and of intervals are made prominent. It may be well to repeat that the work, as a whole, is designed as an advanced text-book for colleges where an elementary course in calculus is taught, and whatever of demonstration, illustration, or discussion may seem needful to supplement the text should be supplied from the knowledge of each instructor using the book.

The varying prominence of the female element in religious conceptions is set forth in The God Idea of the Ancients, by Eliza Burt Gamble (Putnams). This is one of the lines of inquiry taken up by the author in preparing an earlier work on The Evolution of Woman, and her intention was to include its results in that work. In the separate volume in which the material has now been embodied she presents evidence to show that mankind construct their own gods and remodel them from the materials supplied by their own developing culture. She finds sex to have been the fundamental fact not only in the operations of Nature but in the construction of a god; that in an early age woman's influence was in the ascendency over that of man, and the religion of the time reflected the altruistic female character, but with the rise of male dominion the god idea took on egoistic qualities. Creative power is the keynote of many ancient religions, whether they take the form of tree, sun, fire, or lingam and yoni worship, and the chief god is represented as male or female, according as man or woman has been regarded as having the more important office in reproduction. The author examines a large number of the ancient religions, and points out the sexual significance of many of their emblems and ceremonies. In two chapters on Christianity a Continuation of Paganism she shows that some of these emblems and ceremonies have been inherited by the Christian religion. The book gives evidence of extended study; it is concisely written, and its statements are well fortified by quotations from authorities.

In Lectures on Appendicitis (Putnams) Dr. Robert T. Morris has given a general description of this disease, including symptoms, both general and local, and the method of treatment which his own experience has led him to believe the most satisfactory. The preparation of surgeon and patient is the subject of Chapter I. In Chapter II the appendix is described and pictured. Appendicitis, its symptoms and complications, is the subject of Chapter III, and finally in Chapter IV its surgical treatment is taken up. This comprises about half of the book. The remainder consists of a number of unrelated essays on such topics as the action of various solvents on gallstones, the drainage wick, and a last-resort hernia operation. Illustrations are freely used.

Water and Public Health, by James H. Fuertes (John Wiley & Sons, $1.50), is an attempt to make a comparative study of the mortality statistics of the principal cities of the world with reference to their water supplies. The undertaking is obviously a large one, and the annual mortality in a city is determined by so many different factors that a comparison based on water supply alone can not fail to be misleading. Notwithstanding this unavoidable incompleteness, however, the book contains some valuable suggestions.

The Development of the Frog's Egg, by Thomas Hunt Morgan (Macmillan, $1.60), is intended as an introduction to experimental embryology. Owing to the wide distribution and rather regular habits, despite its name, of Rana temporaria, its eggs are always easy to obtain; and as it has both tenacity of life and suitability for experimental purposes, it has