Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/405

This page has been validated.
391
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

ist among geologists whether it represents any organic structure. He was the first President of the Royal Society of Canada, which was organized in 1882; was one of the sectional presidents of the British Association at its Montreal meeting (1884), and was president of that body at its Birmingham meeting, 1886. Among his published works are the Description of the Devonian and Carboniferous Flora of Eastern North America, constituting two volumes of the Reports of the Geological Survey of Canada; Air-Breathers of the Coal Formation; Acadian Geology; The Story of the Earth and Man; Origin of Animal Life; Fossil Men; the Canadian Ice Age; the Meeting Place of Geology and History; the Geological History of Plants (in the International Scientific Series); Relics of Primeval Life (Lowell Lectures); The Chain of Life in Geological Times; Modern Science in Bible Lands; the Dawn of Life; Modern Ideas of Evolution; a book of travels in Egypt and Syria; and many contributions to scientific periodicals. He received numerous degrees and honors from learned bodies and institutions, among them the Lyell medal of the Geological Society of London, in 1882. A sketch of Principal Dawson, as he was then called, was published, with a portrait, in the Popular Science Monthly for December, 1875 (vol. viii, p. 132).

 

Glacial Lakes in New York.—A glacial lake is defined by H. P. Fairchild, in his paper on Glacial Waters in the Finger Lake Region of New York (Geological Society of America, Rochester, N. Y.), as a body of static water existing by virtue of a barrier of ice. Such impounded waters may exist where a glacier blocks a stream, or where the general land surface inclines toward the glacier foot. The lakes described in Mr. Fairehild's paper belongs to the second class, and were formed in the southern part of the Ontario basin, where the land slopes northward from a plateau of two thousand feet elevation down to Lake Ontario, two hundred and forty-six feet. The high plateau was deeply gashed by the preglacial stream erosion, and in these trenches along the northern border of the plateau lie the present "Finger Lakes." The topography was peculiarly favorable to the production against the bold ice front of a series of distinct valley lakes, in many respects unequaled elsewhere. Between twenty and thirty of these lakes are described in Professor Fairehild's paper, which occupied sites now partly represented by nineteen streams and lakes, beginning with Tonawanda Creek on the west and extending to Butternut Creek (Jamesburg and Apulia) on the east. The local lakes were not of long duration, and their surface level was unstable, changing with the down-cutting of the outlets and with the greatly increased volume of the summer melting of the ice sheet. Consequently, true beaches are usually wanting. The conspicuous evidences are the deltas of land streams, with their terraces, embankments, bars and spits, and the outlet channels. The records of these extinct waters are the very latest phenomena connected with the ice invasion, and are the connecting link between the glacial condition and the present hydrography. They are of lively interest, perhaps, to only a few persons, but the details are necessary to the more general study of the Pleistocene. No economic or practical result from the knowledge is foreseen, "but as pure science the study of these waterless lakes, waveless shores, and streamless channels has a fascination and romance."

 

The Environment in Education.—"Two considerations of equal and fundamental importance," says Mr. Wilbur S. Jackman, "are included in teaching—the choice of the subject-matter and its presentation, and the reaction of the pupil as the result of the presentation. No presentation ever reaches consciousness without a reaction, however feeble, from which results an immediate and inevitable corresponding mental construction. Certain instincts called primitive, it may be generally agreed, exist in children, and, by taking intelligent advantage of these, definite educative presentation may be begun at a much earlier age than was once supposed. Under the theory that the child repeats the racial history in its growth, a practice has arisen of meeting the early instincts of childhood with presentations from the adult lives of primitive peoples. Presentations are made to stimulate the idea