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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/585

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567
SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

throughout. The relation of oxidation—oxidation within the cells—as the essential act of respiration—to the disappearance of food, the production of waste matters, and the development of force, is dwelt upon. The influence of alcohol is discussed in all its aspects, not in a separate chapter, but whenever it comes in place in connection with the several topics and subjects treated. Other narcotics are dealt with. A chapter on inflammation and taking cold is believed to be an entirely new feature in a school textbook. Summaries and review topics are arranged at the end of each chapter; subjects from original demonstrations and the use of the microscope are listed; and many hygienic topics, such as air, ventilation, drinking water, clothing, bathing, bacteria, etc., are specially treated.

The prominent characteristic of Professors F. P. Venable and J. L. Howe's textbook on Inorganic Chemistry according to the Periodic Law[1] is expressed in the title, and is the adoption of the periodic law as the guiding principle of the treatment, and the keeping of it in the foreground throughout. So far as the authors have noticed, the complete introduction of this system has not been attempted before in any textbook. They have made the experiment of following it closely in their classes, and their success through several years has convinced them of its value. "In no other way have we been able to secure such thorough results, both as to thorough, systematic instruction and economy of time. The task is rendered easier for both student and teacher." After the setting forth of definitions and general principles in the introduction, the elements are taken up and described according to their places and relations in the periodic groups, and then their compounds are described successively, with hydrogen, the halogens, oxy> gen, sulphur, and the nitrides, phosphides, carbides, silicides, and the alloys. The treatment is systematic, condensed, and clear.

The purpose of Mr. John W. Troeger's series of Nature-Study Readers is declared by the editor to be to supply supplementary reading for pupils who have been two years or more at school. They are composed, moreover, with a view to facilitating the recognition in the printed form of words already familiar to the ear, and to making the child at home with them. In carrying out this purpose the author takes advantage of the child's fondness for making observations, especially when attended by his companions or elders. In doing this the aim has been kept in view not to weary the child with details, and yet to give sufficient information to lead to accurate and complete observations. Most of the chapters in the present volume, Harold's Rambles, the second of the series, contain the information gleaned during walks and short excursions. Among the subjects concerned are birds, mammals, insects, earthworms, snails, astronomy, minerals, plants, grasses, vegetables, physics, and features connected with the farm. These Naturestudy readers are published as a branch of Appletons' Home-Reading series. (New York: D. Appleton and Company. Price, 40 cents.)

Another of Appletons' Home-Reading Books is News from the Birds, which the author, Leander S. Keyser, explains has been written with two purposes in mind: first, to furnish actual instruction, to tell some new facts about bird life that have not yet been recited; and, second, to inspire in readers a taste for Nature study. It is by no means a key for the. identification of the birds; but, instead of telling all that is or may be known respecting a particular bird, the author has sought only to recite such incidents as will spur the reader to go out into the fields and woods and study the birds in their native haunts. For the most part the author has given a record of his own observations, and not a reiteration of what others have said. He has gone to the birds themselves for his facts, and has made very little use of books.

It has been Mr. Ernest A. Congdon's aim, in preparing his Brief Course in Qualitative Analysis (New York: Henry Holt; 60 cents), to render it as concise as possible while making the least sacrifice of a study of reactions and solubilities of chemical importance. The manual covers the points of preliminary reactions on bases and acids; schemes of analysis for bases and acids; explanatory notes I on the analyses; treatment of solid substances


  1. Inorganic Chemistry according to the Periodic Law. By F. P. Venable and James Lewis Howe. Easton, Pa: The Chemical Publishing Company. Pp. 266. Price, $1.50.