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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/149

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

Most of these names, Britton and Brown continue in the preface to the third volume of their work, suggest their own explanation. "The greater number are either derived from the supposed uses, qualities, or properties of the plants; many refer to their habitat, appearance, or resemblance, real or fancied, to other things; others come from poetical suggestion, affection, or association with saints or persons. Many are very graphic, as the Western name prairie fire (Castillea coccinca); many are quaint or humorous, as cling rascal (Galium sparine) or wait-a-bit (Smilax rotundifolia); and in some the corruptions are amusing, as Aunt Jerichos (New England) for Angelica. The words horse, ox, dog, bull, snake, toad, are often used to denote size, coarseness, worthlessness, or aversion. Devil or devil's is used as a prefix for upward of forty of our plants, mostly expressive of dislike or of some traditional resemblance or association. A number of names have been contributed by the Indians, such as chinquapin, wicopy, pipsissewa, wankapin, etc., while the term Indian, evidently a favorite, is applied as a descriptive prefix to upward of eighty different plants." There should be no antagonism in the use of scientific and popular names, since their purposes are quite different. The scientific names are necessary to students for accuracy, "but the vernacular names are a part of the development of the language of each people. Though these names are sometimes indicative of specific characters and hence scientifically valuable, they are for the most part not at all scientific, but utilitarian, emotional, or picturesque. As such they are invaluable not for science, but for the common intelligence and the appreciation and enjoyment of the plant world,"

 

Educated Colored Labor.—In a paper published in connection with the Proceedings of the Trustees of the John F. Slater "Fund, Mr. Booker T. Washington describes his efforts, made at the suggestion of the trustees, to bring the work done at the Tuskegee school to the knowledge of the white people of the South, and their success. Mr. Carver, instructor in agriculture, went before the Alabama Legislature and gave an exhibition of his methods and results before the Committee on Agriculture. The displays of butter and other farm products proved so interesting that many members of the Legislature and other citizens inspected the exhibit, and all expressed their gratification. A full description of the work in agriculture was published in the Southern papers: "The result is that the white people are constantly applying to us for persons to take charge of farms, dairies, etc., and in many ways showing that their interest in our work is growing in proportion as they see the value of it." A visit made by the President of the United States gave an opportunity of assembling within the institution five members of the Cabinet with their families, the Governor of Alabama, both branches of the Alabama Legislature, and thousands of white and colored people from all parts of the South. "The occasion was most helpful in bringing together the two sections of our country and the two races. No people in any part of the world could have acted more generously and shown a deeper interest in this school than did the white people of Tuskegee and Macon County during the visit of the President."

 

Geology of Columbus, Ohio.—In his paper, read at the meeting of the American Association, on the geology of Ohio, Dr. Orton spoke of the construction of glacial drifts as found in central Ohio and the source of the material of the drift, showing that the bowlder clay is largely derived from the comminution of black slake, the remnants of which appear in North Columbus. He spoke also of the bowlders scattered over the surface of the region about Columbus, the parent rocks of which may be traced to the shores of the northern lakes, and of Jasper's conglomerate, picturesque fragments of which may be found throughout central Ohio. Some of these bowlders are known to have come from Lake Ontario. Bowlders of native copper also occur, one of which was found eight feet below the surface in excavations carried on for the foundations of the asylum west of the Scioto.

 

Civilized and Savage.—Professor Semon, in his book In the Australian Bush, characterizes the treatment of the natives by the settlers as constituting,