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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/444

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

their life history. The same law as to specialization holds good among the fossil vertebrates.

 

Pedigree Photographs.—Sir Francis Galton unfolded before the British Association a plan for the systematic collection of photographs of pedigree stock, particularly of cattle breeds, and of more information about them than is now obtainable. He believes that a system of this sort would greatly facilitate the study of heredity. The author had previously shown how the general knowledge that offspring can inherit peculiarities from their ancestry as well as from their parents was superseded by a general law the nature of which was first suggested to him by theoretical considerations, and this ancestral law proves the importance of a much more comprehensive system of records than now exists. The breeder should be able to compare the records of all the near ancestry of the animals he proposes to mate in respect to the qualities in which he is interested. No present source for such information is comparable with what the system proposed would furnish. A habitual study of the form of each pure-bred animal in connection with the portraits of all its nearest ancestry would test current opinions and decide between conflicting ones, and could not fail to suggest new ideas. Likenesses would be traced to prepotent ancestors, and the amount of their several prepotencies would be defined; forms and features that supplement one another or "nick in," and others that clash or combine awkwardly, would be observed and recorded; and conclusions based on incomplete and inaccurate memories of ancestry would give way to others founded on more exact data. The value of the ancestral law would be adequately tested, and it would be possible to amend it when required.

 

English Names for Plants.—In the Proceedings of the Torrey Botanical Club, published in its journal for July, Dr. V. Havard suggested some principles which it would be well to follow in applying English names to plants, predicating that an authorized vernacular binomial should be assigned to each plant, so that ambiguity and confusion may be avoided. In the absence of suitable English names already recognized, it seems best to adopt the Latin genus name, if short and easy, like Cicuta, Parnassia, Hibiscus, or a close translation thereof, when possible, like astragal, chenopody, cardamin, while the specific English name should be an equivalent of the Latin one or a descriptive adjective. In case of all English binomials clearly applying to well-known individual species and no others, all substantives are capitalized without a hyphen, as in Witch Hazel, May Apple, and Dutchman's Pipe. In all genera in which two or more species must be designated, the genus name is compounded into one word without a hyphen, as Peppergrass, Sweetbrier, Goldenrod, Hedgenettle, etc.; except in long names, where the eye requires the hyphen, as Prairie-clover, Forget-me-not. Genus names in the possessive case (St. John's-wort) are written with the hyphen, followed by a lower-case initial. Plants commemorating individual men (Douglas Spruce, Coulter Pine) are written without the mark of the possessive. In specific names participial endings are suppressed, the participle becoming a substantive, which is added as a suffix without the hyphen; thus Heartleaved Willow is changed to Heartleaf Willow. In the discussion that followed this paper, President Addison Brown and Dr. T. F. Allen deprecated the manufacture of book names. The secretary defended the use of vernacular names, saying that they deserved more attention, and adding that in their absence the generic name should be used unchanged. Many Latin names, as Portulacca, win their way without change as soon as they are fairly made familiar. "Coined names seldom live. A name to be successful must be a growth, as language is."

 

Cooking Schools in Philadelphia.—The establishment of schools in Philadelphia for the teaching of cookery is mentioned, in the Annual Report of the Superintendent of Public Schools in that city, among the results of the general movement for manual training, as a means of mental development and practical knowledge. The teaching was introduced experimentally into the Girls' Normal School in 1887, and was in the following year made a regular branch of the course. It was later extended to other schools. There are now eight school kitchens under the department of Public Instruc-