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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/445

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429
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

tion, situated in different parts of the city. The question of the proper place for cookery in the school course has been solved, for Philadelphia, by putting it in the sixth school year, when the pupils are firmly established in the work of the grammar grades, and their attention has not yet been directed to preparation for admission to the High School. The course provides between twenty-five and thirty lessons, and is completed in a single year. It includes instruction in the care of the kitchen, and of the stove or range, general lessons in the classification and nutritive values of foods, the cooking of vegetables, breakfast cereals, bread, eggs, soups, meats, simple cakes and desserts, lessons in invalid cookery, and in table setting and serving. Special attention is given to the preparation of nutritious and savory dishes from inexpensive materials. About two thousand pupils, or less than one half of the number of girls of the sixth year now in the schools, are accommodated in the eight cookery schools. The pupils manifest an intelligent interest in the instruction, and spend the half day per week in the school kitchen without any appreciable loss in the other branches of study. "It comes as a period of relaxation."

 

A Trait Common to us All.—The doctrine of the tendency of mankind to develop the like fancies and ideas at the like stage of intellectual infancy was mentioned by Mr. E. W. Brabrook in his presidential address before the Anthropological Section of the British Association, as a generalization for which we are fast accumulating material in folklore. It is akin to the generalization that individual savage races present in their intellectual development a marked analogy to the condition of the earlier races of mankind. The fancies and ideas of the child resemble closely the fancies and ideas of the savage and the fancies and ideas of primitive man. Mrs. Gomme has found that a great number of children's games consist of dramatic representations of marriage by capture and marriage by purchase, and that the idea of exogamy is distinctly embodied in them. There can be little doubt that they go back to a high antiquity, and there is much probability that they are founded upon customs actually existing, or just passing away, at the time they were first played. Upon the same principle, if we view children's stories in their wealth of details, we shall deem it impossible that they could have been disseminated over the world otherwise than by actual contact of the several peoples with each other. But if we view them in their simplicity of idea, we shall be more apt to think that the mind of man naturally produces the same result under like circumstances, and that it is not necessary to postulate any communication between the peoples to account for their identity. It does not surprise us that the same complicated physical operations should be performed by far-distant peoples without any communication with each other; why should it be surprising that mental operations, not nearly so complex, should be produced in the same order by different peoples without any such communication?

 

The Toes ill Walking.—An instructive discussion of the walking value of the lesser toes by Dr. Heather Bigg is given in a recent copy of the London Lancet. Dr. Bigg believes that the lesser toes of the human foot are of little importance in walking—the great toe constituting the important tread of the foot—and in proof of this he gives an account of a patient, all of whose lesser toes it was found necessary to amputate because of persistent contraction of the tendons. On November 10, 1894, the toes were removed, especial care being taken to keep the resulting scars well up on the dorsal aspect of the foot, so as to be well away from the subsequent tread. In three weeks the patient could stand on her feet, and, after her return home, sent the following record of her progress toward complete recovery: December 30, 1894: "I am able to walk perfectly on my feet with little or no pain, but can not yet wear either slippers or boots, as they are still tender."—January 15, 1895: "I managed to get on my slippers yesterday and wore them with ease for more than six hours."—January 28th: "I put on my boots to-day for the first time. It still pains me slightly to walk; otherwise my feet are going on all right."—February 18th: "I ought to say that the steel plates only half way answer splendidly."—March 24th: "You will be glad to hear that I can walk splendidly now, just like a proper human being; it is just eighteen weeks next Tuesday since the