Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/817

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

West Indian sierras, and could be made to serve a sanitary purpose in the valles ventosos, or wind gaps of the Cuban coast range, where the eastern trade wind pours as through a funnel, all the day long, for at least eight months out of twelve. The half-wild cattle of the uplands wander miles to seek the air currents of these glens in midsummer, and can be seen standing motionless, facing due east, like orthodox Mussulmans, to enjoy the blessing of refrigeration, while the air of the grassy table-lands round about trembles under the rays of a vertical sun.

On the crest of the Sierra Maestra, at an elevation of nearly eight thousand feet above tide-water, winter winds become chilly enough to discourage permanent settlements, though herders camp there at a safe distance from the showers of the rainy season; but more grievous than any kind of air in motion are the ahogassos, or spells of stifling calms, which in early summer often continue for days together. The afternoon heat becomes insupportable on such days, at least to foreigners, who crowd the verandas of the seaport hotels, plying their fans with desperate energy, while the indolent Creoles hang in their hammocks, trying to counteract the feeling of discomfort with nicotine fumes.


IN the studies that have been made in physical training in this country, the standpoint taken has been almost exclusively physiological. It is my conviction that, while physiological considerations must have a prominent place, psychical considerations will prove more definite, tangible, and important guides as to the nature of the physical training that should be given to children.

The subject under discussion is rather a new one. I have chosen, therefore, to treat one division of it at greater length than the others. A complete statement of any one of the six heads of my paper would involve extended investigations that have not yet been made. All that I hope to do now, even upon the one subject to which I shall give most space, is to indicate the importance of the problems, the directions in which solutions may be sought, their relations to physical education of children, and the kinds of material that will give us the larger notion of physical education. I shall leave till the last the discussion of the play instinct to which your chief attention is called.

1. What is the nature of muscular force? What relation does