Popular Science Monthly/Volume 39/September 1891/Literary Notices
Geological Survey of New Jersey. Annual Report of the State Geologist for the Year 1890. By John C. Smock. Trenton. Pp. 305, with Map.
Mr. Smock entered upon the office of State Geologist on the 1st of October, 1890. Previous to that time the clerical work of the office and the superintendence of the distribution of publications had been carried on since the death of Dr. Cook by Irving S. Upson, at New Brunswick. The present report includes work done under Mr. Upson and Mr. Smock. The office of the Survey has been removed to Trenton, but distribution is still attended to by Mr. Upson at New Brunswick. The work of the year includes studies by Mr. Frank L. Nason of the crystalline rocks of the Highlands and of the magnetic ores of that district. An interesting feature of his work is the discovery of fossils in those limestones which give a clew to their age and determine their relative horizon. They have been referred by Prof. Beecher, of Yale, to the Cambrian—below the Potsdam sandstone, the oldest fossiliferous horizon hitherto known in the State. Additional detailed surveys of the country of the crystalline rocks are necessary to an accurate knowledge of the relative position and true nature of the formations grouped as Archæan, and for their correct representation on the geological map. In the southern part of the State preparation has been made, with surveys by Mr. C. W. Coman, for a detailed geological map, showing the limits and areas of the various superficial formations of sands, gravels, clays, peats, tidal marshes, and other recent deposits. The area of the "Trenton gravel" has been ascertained and its limits determined, but its relation to the yellow gravels of south Jersey, and that of the brick-clays to the latter gravel, are yet to be made out. Observations for the volume on water-supply and water-power have been carried on under the immediate direction of Mr. C. C. Vermeule. The census of the water-powers—a new line of inquiry in the history of the survey work—is still in progress, and is, therefore, incomplete. Papers appear in the report on the artesian wells, particularly the recently bored ones in the southwestern coast-belts of the State. A report on the drainage-work inaugurated by the Survey and successfully carried on, is furnished by Mr. George W. Howell.
Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands and Parts of South America visited during the Voyage of H. M. S. Beagle. By Charles Darwin, M. A., F. R. S. Third edition. With Maps and Illustrations. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 648. Price, $2.50.
Geological changes take place with such extreme slowness that a faithful account of the geology of any place written in Darwin's early life is nearly as accurate now as on the day it was published, and for the purposes of geological history even more valuable. That Darwin's observations are a faithful description of the localities that he visited, no one who knows the extreme thoroughness and conscientiousness of the man will think of questioning. Another fact that has operated to preserve the usefulness of these observations is that they relate to parts of the world that have not been so much studied as Europe and North America, so that the author was able to say in the preface to his second edition, "I am not aware that much could be corrected or added from observations subsequently made." Some of his opinions, however, have not stood the test of time so well as his facts, and were abandoned by Darwin himself in later life. The first half of the volume contains the descriptions of the volcanic islands visited by the Beagle, with a few observations made in Australia, New Zealand, and at the Cape of Good Hope. These islands include St. Jago in the Cape Verd group, Fernando de Noronha, Ascension, St. Helena, and the Galapagos Archipelago. There are several cuts in the text, and a folded map of the island of Ascension is inserted. An appendix comprises descriptions of fossil shells from several of the above-named islands, by G. B. Sowerby, and descriptions of corals from Tasmania, by W. Lonsdale.
The second division of the volume treats of the geology of South America, and almost exclusively of that part of the continent south of the Tropic of Capricorn.
The chapters, except in a few cases, are arranged according to the age of the deposits that they treat of. Considerable space is given to evidences of elevation of the eastern and western coasts of South America, while the formations of the pampas and the structure of the Cordillera are among the subjects of chapters. An appendix contains descriptions of Tertiary shells, by G. B. Sowerby, and of Secondary shells, by Prof. E. Forbes. Several folded plates illustrate the specimens described, and there is a map of southern South America.
The Relation of Labor to the Law of Today. By Dr. Lujo Brentano. Translated from the German by Porter Sherman. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 305. Price, $1.50.
This work was prepared by the author in answer to a request from his publishers for a new edition of his "Labor Guilds Past and Present." He thought that something a little different—a popular-scientific treatment of the labor question from the point of view of the labor-guilds—would be of greater interest. It is, according to the translator, "as to quantity of matter an abridgment, as to extent of ground covered, an enlargement" of the original work. The occasion for reproducing the book here is explained by the assumption that the classical political economy of England, prevalent also in this country, has been built up almost exclusively on the side of capital and the capitalist, and is full of theories and assumptions. Writers who have worked upon the structure have been mainly bankers, capitalists, or doctrinaire professors. "It is owing to a theory, an exploded theory, the wages-fund theory, that the relations of labor have not been scientifically discussed by our economists, and the treatment of the labor question has been left mainly to unscientific, more or less socialistic, even revolutionary, writers." As taught thus it discloses an antagonism between theory and practice, and is charged with furnishing ammunition to socialism. "Recognizing this antagonism, the political economists of Germany have set themselves to work to correct and to supplement, in this and other particulars, the classical, hypothetical, abstract political economy." Further than this, by a critical examination of the principles furnished by the English economists, upon which the socialists have built their superstructure, "the German economists have been able to modify, correct, and supplement them, and have thus undermined the theoretical foundations of socialism." Prof. Brentano has had exceptional facilities for the study of English trades-unions, having spent several years in the country, with free access to their records and archives; and he is master of the English language, and on familiar terms socially with English manufacturers and laborers. He also occupies (at Leipsic) one of the highest chairs of Political Economy in Europe. At the beginning of the present treatise he lays down, as the three principles which have in turn sought to govern the economic life of the ages, and struggled with each other for the mastery, those of authority, individualism, and socialism. Although each of these principles claims absolute correctness and exclusive control, no one of them has ever governed exclusively, nor has any one of them been entirely without effect. It is the task of science and of this book to investigate the relations, force, and operation of these principles in life. The conclusion of the whole is that the necessary key-note of our age, as of every epoch of grand progress, is individualism; but there are minors who need the protecting interference of the state, and for them the control of authority is still a necessity; but it must not be stretched beyond what is necessary. It must not be extended to those weak ones who, not isolated, but united, are able to guard their own interests. The fundamental principle of the economic order remains the free self-activity of individuals for themselves, and the free road necessary to the talented and the strong for the full development of their powers lies open to all. But the weak united arrive by it to independence, the minors acquire through it the necessary protection by means of legal barriers against abuses of economic superior power. "Wherefore this regulation of the labor relation contradicts the efforts of the feudal socialists who speak of the return of the old control of authority, in order by preventing the independence of the members of the lower classes the better to guard their own special interests. Wherefore, it contradicts further the demand of the social democrats to set aside all individual and social inequalities. But it corresponds with the ideals which have produced the great transformation of the entire social and political life since the end of the eighteenth century," and with the moral and political ideals of the age and with the fundamental principles of the law of to-day.
Achievements in Engineering. By L. F. Vernon-Harcourt. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 311, with Plates. Price, $1.75.
The author's purpose in this book has been to describe briefly some of the principal engineering works carried on during the last fifty years, in a style as free as possible from technical phraseology and intelligible to the general reader, at the same time introducing details and comparisons that will be interesting to engineers as well. A superabundance rather than a deficiency of material has been met, for the chief engineering triumphs have been accomplished during the last half century, and the variety of adaptation has been almost endless. The author believes however, that an adequate variety of engineering works of great magnitude, difficulty, and importance have been described to justify the view that engineers, in directing the forces of Nature to the use and convenience of man, are among the greatest benefactors of mankind. American works are well represented, with descriptions of the New York elevated railways, railways across the Rocky Mountains and the Andes, the Detroit, Hudson, and Sarnia Tunnels, the St. Louis and Brooklyn Bridges, the operations at Hell Gate, the improvement works on the Mississippi, and the Panama and Nicaragua Canals, and many other American works are mentioned in illustration of principles. The list of works abroad described or referred to would be cumbrous to quote. In it all the classes we have mentioned are represented with the grandest achievements of foreign engineering. All together, however, are only a few remarkable instances chosen out of a great number of important works which engineers have carried on in almost every part of the world. It is impossible, the author adds, within a limited space, "to refer to various other branches of engineering science in which the skill of the engineer has conferred inestimable benefits on the human race. It has been shown how all the works facilitating locomotion on land, and affording access from the sea to ports, and by water-ways to the interior of a country, arc due to the labors of engineers, and how the indispensable water-supplies for large towns are secured by their aid. Engineers, however, also provide for the drainage of large towns and districts, the mitigation of inundations on low-lying lands, the reclamation of lands from the sea, and the irrigation of large tracts of land in warm countries by which crops are preserved and famine averted, and they carry out the works for the illumination of streets and houses with gas and electricity. To their credit also are improvements in marine engines and increased speed of ocean steamers, and improvements in telegraphy and the laying of submarine cables, and if engineers in the future continue as in the last half-century, increasing and extending the benefits resulting from their works, they will justly be regarded as ranking among the greatest benefactors of mankind."
The Oyster: A Popular Summary of a Scientific Study. By William K. Brooks. Baltimore: the Johns Hopkins Press. Pp. 230, with Plates. Price, $1.
Prof. Brooks is our most thorough and successful student of the oyster. He has devoted a large part of his time to the study for more than ten years past, and, as President Gilman says in the introduction to this book, "he can hold his own not only among naturalists, but also among practical men. He has dredged in every part of the [Chesapeake] bay. To use his own words, he has tonged oysters in five different States; in the warm waters of the South he has spent months under the broiling sun, wading over the sharp shells which cut his feet like knives, studying the oysters 'at home.' He has planted them, he has reared them by collecting the floating spat, and he has hatched from artificially fertilized eggs more oysters than there are inhabitants of the United States." He has also studied the experience of other States and countries, and has gathered up the knowledge of the world in respect to the life of the oyster, "its enemies and its needs, its dangers and its protections." The results of this practical work and these studies are embodied in the present book in familiar style and language for the information of the public. The whole work—studies and book—has been prompted by the fact, which is printed in capital letters, that "the demand for Chesapeake oysters has outgrown the natural supply." Prof. Brooks's effort has been to find a way to increase and supplement that supply. For this, his essay offers many suggestions of value.
Popular Lectures and Addresses. By Sir William Thomson. Vol. III. Navigational Affairs. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 603. Price, $2.
Volume third of this serie3 of addresses precedes volume second in publication because considerable matter had been prepared on navigational subjects which were assigned to the third volume in the plan of the Beries, before any progress had been made with the geological lectures. The lectures included in this volume are one on Navigation, delivered to the Science Lecture Association; a British Association evening lecture on The Tides, with parts of a lecture before the Glasgow Association on the same subject; a British Association paper on the Influence of the Straits of Dover on the Tides of the British Channel and the North Sea, with appendixes on the tides of the southern hemisphere and the Mediterranean, and a sketch of a proposed plan of procedure in tidal observation and analysis, and on the equilibrium theory of the tides; and papers on Terrestrial Magnetism and the Mariner's Compass; Deep-sea Sounding by Pianoforte Wire; Lighthouse Characteristics; the forces concerned in the laying and lifting of deep-sea cables; and Ship Waves. To these is appended a concluding paper by Captain Creak, R. N., on the disturbance of ships' compasses by the proximity of magnetic rocks at considerable depth under wa. ter.
Natural Selection and Tropical Nature. By Alfred Russel Wallace. New edition, with Corrections and Additions. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 492. Price, $1.75.
Many persons who have been interested by Mr. Wallace's Darwinism, and are not acquainted with his early works, will doubtless welcome this reprint of two volumes of his biological essays. These papers are popular enough to interest the general reader, while containing able discussions of important scientific problems. In preparing this edition two especially technical essays have been omitted, another has been divided and the parts relocated, and many corrections and some important additions have been made in various places. Two new papers have been added to the Tropical Nature and other Essays, namely, The Antiquity of Man in North America, and The Debt of Science to Darwinism. This division of the volume comprises also chapters on the animal life, vegetation, climate, and other features of the equatorial zone, tropical humming-birds, the colors of animals and sexual selection, the colors of plants and the color-sense, and the antiquity of man. Among the subjects of the essays on Natural Selection are the introduction of new species, protective resemblances, instinct, the philosophy of birds' nests, and natural selection applied to man.
The Electro-platers' Handbook. By G. E. Bonnet Illustrated New York: D. Van Nostrand Co. Pp. 208. Price, $1.20.
The amateur who would like to possess table-ware, jewelry, or miscellaneous articles plated with silver or gold by his own hands, and the intelligent boy in a plater's shop who wants to supplement his oral instruction with a record of facts and figures that he can not well carry in his memory, will both find their needs supplied by this manual. Much or little electrical and mechanical knowledge may be used in electro-plating: the amateur may make his own battery or dynamo if he desires, or he may buy apparatus of one of the kinds and makes named in this book. The author tells just what kinds are suitable for doing plating, and why, and also describes the vessels, brushes, lathes, etc., required for the work. He next gives a chapter on preparing the work, which includes thorough cleaning and the grinding out of all scratches, pits, and roughness. The latter operation may be done very laboriously by hand, but the amateur will have it done in some shop on a lathe. The operation of "stripping" the remains of the old coating from articles that have been plated before, and the use of "dipping" and "quicking" solutions are also described here. Separate chapters are then devoted to electro-plating with silver, gold, nickel, copper, alloys, and with zinc, tin, iron, etc. All the little points that need attention are touched upon in each case, and in the chapter on silver full directions are given for burnishing the work. The directions are everywhere simple and concise, and the book is not burdened with historical matter, various alternative processes, or elementary science. The volume is amply illustrated, has a portrait of Faraday for a frontispiece, and has an index.
An Introduction to the Study of Mammals, Living and Extinct. By William Henry Flower, F. R. S., etc., and Richard Lydekker, F. Z. S., etc. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 763. Price, $6.
This work is based largely upon the article Mammalia, together with forty shorter articles, written by the senior of the two authors for the ninth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. The article Ape, by Dr. St. G. Mivart, and several articles by Dr. G. E. Dobson and Mr. Oldfield Thomas, have also been used, with the permission of the writers. This material has been arranged, the gaps between the several parts have been filled, and new matter, especially on the extinct forms and the group Artiodactyla, has been added. Anatomy and classification are the subjects most largely treated, comparatively little attention being given to habits and mental traits. The text is illustrated with three hundred and fifty-seven figures, most of which appear in the Encylopædia articles above mentioned, while some have been drawn for the present volume, and some obtained from other sources. The well-known character of the Britannica is a sufficient index of the high quality of this work.
A Dictionary of Applied Chemistry. By T. E. Thorpe, F. R. S., assisted by Eminent Contributors. Vol. II. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Price, $15.
The second volume of this important work goes from Eau de Cologne to Nux Vomica. Its most extended articles are those on Explosives, Fermentation, Gas (Coal, Oil, and Water), Glass, and Glycerin, on the metals Iron, Lead, and Mercury, and on India Rubber, Iodine, Matches, and Milk. The metallurgical articles treat extraction processes with considerable detail, and give many figures of the apparatus employed. Such manufactured products as glass, matches, and gas are treated with similar fullness. An example of the important articles that do not deal with technology is the one on Fermentation. In this article the difference between the organized and the unorganized ferments is first set forth. The organized ferments are then treated in the three groups, molds, saccharomycetes, and schizomycetes, and the ordinary methods of cultivation and study are briefly described. Next the various fermentations caused by each of these three groups are discussed, those induced by bacterial life being arranged in four subgroups, viz., fermentation by hydration, by decomposition, by reduction, and by oxidation. Putrefaction is also considered in this article, and the closing section deals with soluble ferments. The writer is Prof. Percy F. Frankland. Among the contributors of other important articles are Prof. P. P. Bedson (Lead), the late W. Lant Carpenter (Glycerin), W. H. Deering, of Woolwich (Explosives), J. J. LTammel (Fustic, Indigo, Lakes, Litmus, Madder, etc.), P. Warington (Artificial Manure, Nitrification), and Prof. W. P. Wynne (Ketones, Naphthalene). Among the chief articles which are unsigned and hence presumably by the editor are Ethyl Compounds, Fatty Acids, Fluorine, Lactic Acid, Manganese, Mercury, Milk, Milk-sugar, and Nitrogen. The names of its editor and contributors are a sufficient assurance that this dictionary will take high rank as a work of reference.
A History of Chemistry. By Ernst von Meyer, Ph. D. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 55G. Price, $4.50.
A large task has been thoroughly performed in this work. The history begins in the earliest times—before the birth of alchemy—and records the acquaintance of the Egyptians with metallurgy and with other technological chemical processes, and the theorizing of the Greek philosophers in regard to the elements of substances. It then traces the progress of alchemy from its earliest known manifestations in Egypt down to the eighteenth century. A chronicle of the iatro-chemical period follows, in which Paracelsus, Van Helmont, and Dele Böe Sylvius were the leading spirits. The next chapter deals with the period of the phlogiston theory, from Boyle to Lavoisier, and the last division of the subject extends from the time of Lavoisier up to now. The knowledge of technological processes current in each period is set forth in these several chapters, and in the closing chapter the special history of each of the chief divisions of chemistry in the past hundred years is given. The plan of the work involves a statement of the attitude of each prominent chemist toward the science of his time and its problems, and an estimate of the effect and value of his work. This criticism has been continued even down to the investigators of recent years. A controlling purpose of the book is to describe the development of the general doctrines of chemistry from their earliest beginnings up to the present day, and thus to give a comprehensive survey of what is one of the most interesting panoramas in the history of science. The following extract illustrates the nature of the book:
Missouri Botanical Garden. Second Annual Report. By William Trelease. St. Louis: Published by the Board of Trustees. Pp. 117, with Plates and Plans.
The first volume of the reports of this institution, published in December, 1890, having been primarily intended to give an account of the establishment of the Garden and School of Botany, the present volume really begins the series of annual reports. The estate, including Shaw's Garden, is valued at $1,366,334. Much labor and money have been spent in putting the premises in repair. Efforts have been made to improve the garden in all respects, but particularly in those features which will make it attractive and instructive to visitors, and render possible in it the performance of substantial and useful botanical work. The task of mounting the Engelmann herbarium has been nearly completed, and the collection is temporarily deposited in a nearly fire-proof building, awaiting the erection of a permanent fire-proof house. Measures will then be taken to form a museum. The record is given of the school of horticulture, in which provision is made for six pupils at once, and the announcement of the Washington University School of Botany, to which the garden furnishes a laboratory and working ground. Besides these accounts of routine work, the volume gives the proceedings at the first annual banquet to gardeners, florists, and nurserymen, given December 13, 1890, and, under the heading of "Scientific Papers," a revision of the American species of Epilobium occurring north of Mexico, by Mr. Trelease, which is richly illustrated.
The Soul of Man. An Investigation of the Facts of Physiological and Experimental Psychology. By Dr. Paul Carus. Chicago: Open Court Publishing Co., 1890. Pp. 458. Price, $3.
This work, containing one hundred and fifty-two illustrations and diagrams, chiefly of the nervous system in man and the lower animals, aims to present some account of The Philosophical Problem of Mind, The Rise of Organized Life, the basic facts of Brain Activity, some remarks upon The Immortality of the Race and the Data of Propagation, the results of some of The Investigations of Experimental Psychology, and The Ethical and Religious Aspects of Soul-life. According to Dr. Carus, the true conception of the soul is as form. The idea of form, he thinks, is not a mere speculative theory, but of practical importance, especially as related to the problem of life after death. The following passage will indicate the author's position on this point: "Man's soul was formed in the course of the evolution of the human race by the reactions upon the external influences of the surrounding world, and the present man is the outcome of the entire activity of his ancestors. . . . Every one of us began his life with the beginning of all life upon earth. We are the generation in which the huge billow of human life now culminates. We, ourselves, are that billow; our real self, our spiritual existence, will continue to progress in that great wave.
"Our existence after death will not merely be a dissolution into the All where all individual features of our spiritual existence are destroyed. Our existence after death will be a continuance of our individual spirituality, a continuance of our thoughts and ideals. As sure as the law of cause and effect is true, so sure is the continuance of soul-life even after the death of the individual, according to the law of the preservation of form" (p. 423).
The author regards "as not the least important feature of the book" its philosophical foundation as corroborating "the unitary conception of the world, commonly called Monism, or, more exactly expressed, Monistic Positivism."
A Clinical Study of Diseases of the Kidneys has been published by Clifford Mitchell, M. D. (Keener), in which the author insists on the importance of thorough examination of the urine for information in regard to not only diseases of the kidneys but also many other disorders, and in regard to the effects of diet and treatment. One hundred pages are devoted to the treatment of Bright's disease, including the regulation of diet, air, exercise, care of the skin, place of residence, psychical influences, etc. In writing this book the author has kept in view the needs of American patients, and has shunned those recommendations of English writers on diet and hygiene which are not suited to the climate of America. Although the title of the book limits it to renal diseases, the author has deemed it necessary, in connection with these, to pay attention also to those of the entire urinary tract.
Ezamen Quimico y Bacteriológico de las Aguas Potables is a treatise on drinkingwater and its impurities by A. E. Salazar and C. Newman, of the laboratory of the Naval School at Valparaiso, Chili. It is the result of studies of the waters of the city carried on in the laboratory in 1887 and 1888, and is published partly as a guide to those who wish to make similar studies in other parts of the republic. Besides their own experiments, the authors, to qualify themselves for their work, visited the principal laboratories of Europe, including those of Dr. Miquel, of Montsouris; Dr. Ferran, of Barcelona; Prof. Emmerich, of Munich; Dr. Korralsky, of Vienna; Prof. Fodor, of Buda-Pest; and Dr. Fraenkel, of Berlin. The first part of the treatise relates to the examination for mineral constituents, including the determination of the weight of 6olids, of alkalinity, noxious metals, chlorine, nitric and nitrous acids, and gases; the second part, to the examination for organic impurities by the ammonia and permanganate processes; and the third part, to the bacteriological examination. To this is added a chapter on parasitical animals introduced by water into the organism, by Dr. Rafael Blanchard, of Paris. The work is illustrated by one hundred and twenty-seven engravings, sixteen photomicrographs, and five photograms of cultivations, and is published in London in Spanish by Burns & Oates.
Persifor Frazer's useful Tables for the Determination of Minerals by Physical Properties ascertainable with the Aid of a Few Field Instruments is published by the J. B. Lippincott Company in a third edition, entirely rewritten. The author's first intention was to introduce the method of determination pursued in the Royal Saxon Mining Academy at Freiberg, in a translation of Prof. Weisbach's tables; but he soon found that it would have to be modified in many particulars in order to meet the wants of American readers; and the changes and additions were so numerous as to make virtually a new book. The principle is insisted upon that every true mineral is a definite chemical compound or element, homogeneous throughout its parts, and capable of expression in a chemical molecular formula. This principle, which was at first opposed by Prof. Dana, has now been tacitly conceded by all modern writers, including Prof. Dana himself. The minerals are classified for purposes of identification into those of metallic luster, and then, subordinately, according to their colors; those of submetallic and non-metalic luster, and the color of their streak; and minerals of non-metallic luster with white or light gray streak, and according to their sectility or hardness. $2.
In A Preliminary Report on the Geology of the Central Mineral Region of Texas, which forms a part of the first Annual Report of the Geological Survey of the State, Mr. Theodore B. Comstock assumes that the region has never been adequately studied, and criticises the references to it by the geological writers who have spoken of it as betraying want of information. In his own report he gives only definite results which the facts known are fully believed to warrant. Of statements of previous authors which he summarizes a certain number have been verified by his observations, while as many more have been found incorrect; and, as a result of the field work of 1 889, a considerable amount of new and wholly unexpected structure has been worked out.
Mr. Ernest E. Thompson, in his monograph on The Birds of Manitoba (United States National Museum), has made the political boundaries of the province the boundaries also of the district included, although it does not constitute a distinct zoological province. He spent altogether about three years in the province and in his studies of birds. He offers his observations as they were made on the spot, without condensation or generalization, believing that the only right course under the circumstances. His original plan was to prepare something "after a very old-fashioned model," but widening experience caused a change of view. His own observations are supplemented by those of numerous observers in different parts of the province, and citations of other scattered published matter. From his sketch of the physical features of the province, we learn that it is plentifully, almost too plentifully, supplied with water. Besides the numerous extensive lakes indicated on the map there are thousands more of smaller extent, while the region of the Red River Valley in particular is diversified by vast stretches of marsh and lagoon. The lakes consist of sweet or live-water lakes of various sizes, fed and drained by living streams and teeming with fish; and the alkaline lakes, which are mere drainage basins, and depend on evaporation for the removal of their accumulated waters. They owe their alkaline constituents to the continual influx and evaporation of surface water slightly impregnated with alkali, through running over the prairies strewn with the ashes of the annual fires. These "dead lakes" do not contain fish, but swarm with a species of Amblystoma, and leeches and aquatic insects, and are frequented by certain kinds of birds that seem to avoid the fresher waters.
In a paper on Revised Astronomy a contribution is made to theoretical astronomy from a new base by the Rev. James W. Hanna. After twenty years of study he has come to the conclusion that all the attractive forces of organic nature are one; that connected with it is another force, equally general and important, of repulsion; and that the resisting medium of space plays a larger part in the economy of the universe than it has been accredited with. Keeping these principles in view, he finds much in received astronomical theories to be corrected, and formulates his views in thirty-eight propositions. (Fleming H. Revell Co., Chicago and New York. Price, 35 cents.)
In an address on The New School of Criminal Anthropology delivered before the Anthropological Society of Washington by Dr. Robert Fletcher, the principal results of the labors of Prof. C. Lombroso, of Turin, are briefly presented, together with references to the works of other writers who are disposed to regard criminals as constituting to a greater or less extent a distinct class of the human race.
In the Annual Report of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army for 1890 a decided improvement is noted in military signaling. During the year the heliograph was largely used in Arizona, nearly two thousand miles of military and sea-coast telegraph lines were operated, and considerable use was made of telephones. The meteorological work included the issuing of weather and temperature forecasts, the display of storm-signals, the gauging and reporting of rivers for navigation and flood-warnings, and the publication of weather maps, hurricane reports, the Weather Crop Bulletin, and the Monthly Weather Review. The percentages of successful forecasts were 84·4 for weather and 78·7 for temperature, giving a general average of 82·6. This is excellent in view of the statement made that "the average time at the disposal of the forecast official for the discussion and formal issue of weather forecasts is forty-nine minutes in the morning and fifteen minutes more at night," and that consequently "rarely can a minute be given to the predictions for any particular State or district." The accuracy of weather and temperature predictions had increased 1·7 per cent over the previous year; that of storm-signals had remained practically the same, 67·1 per cent. The details and statistics of the above and other work of the Signal Corps are given, with many maps, in special reports that occupy the greater part of the volume.
A Report on the Cahaba Coal-field, by Joseph Squire, has been issued by the Geological Survey of Alabama. This report describes the geology of the region, the chemical composition of the coals from different parts of the field, and the methods of mining employed there. Appended to the report is an account of the Geology of the Valley Regions adjacent to the Cahaba Field, by Eugene A. Smith, the State Geologist. The volume is illustrated, and is accompanied by a folded map.
Mr. Arthur Winslow, State Geologist of Missouri, reviewing, in his Biennial Report of the Bureau of Geology and Mines, the history of the geological survey of the State in past years, finds that "its life has been very fitful. It has existed for a few years, only to be discontinued before any plan of work was completed and at the sacrifice of much of the result reached. It has been weakened by successive changes of management with accompanying changes of policy. Its trained corps of employés and its equipment for work have been lost during the interim between two periods of activity; its collections, designed to illustrate the resources of the State, have been scattered, and with it all a considerable sum of money has been expended." The present, management has spent a year in preparation, and is entering upon a systematic work. It is to be hoped that it will be left alone long enough to accomplish something of permanent value.
Parents who have never taken much thought as to what kind of schools their children go to should read The Coming School, by Ellen E. Kenyon (Cassell, 50 cents and $1). It is a companion to The Young Idea, by Miss Lc Row, which reveals the sad absurdities that characterize the prevalent machine education, and supplements that book by pointing out the features that should be secured in the school of the future. The author's suggestions are illustrated by accounts of lessons actually given in some exceptionally fortunate schools of the present day. Among the chief changes urged by Miss Kenyon are that political boards of education shall give way to professional boards; that minute regulation shall be banished from the schools; and that the best teachers shall be assigned to the work of primary teaching, which is the foundation underlying all higher education.
The twenty-first "Summer Number" of The School Journal (New York) gives evidence of vigorous life in that publication. Its contents includes articles on a wide range of educational subjects, and the number is illustrated with portraits of prominent educators, plans of school buildings, and diagrams for drawing, writing, and other lessons.
The series of Picturesque Geographical Readers (Lee & Shepard, Boston) has been projected by Mr. Charles F. King, to make the learning of geography a source of pleasure as well as of real instruction. It aims to present the important facts of the science in a simple, interesting narrative style, so as to make the relation attractive. The books are intended to be used with the regular geography or atlas, and not in place of them; with the large and fuller maps of the text-books opened upon the pupils' desks, and the wall maps hung up, to be freely consulted as the lessons are read. It is advised also that the pupils be encouraged to write stories in connection with the pictures found in the book, to give oral abstracts of the lessons read, to name the pictures seen, to write the best single word to suggest the story in the chapter, and to draw and make as many of the illustrations as they can. The present volume is the second book of the series, and relates to this continent of ours. In it are given, in dialogue form, descriptions of the principal physical features of North America, including the frozen region, whaling, the land and water masses, the mountains, the Yellowstone Park and its geysers, central plain and eastern highlands, the rivers, climate and lakes, with special chapters on a few minor features; then an account on a similar plan of the Dominion of Canada; whence the reader is jumped, passing a special description of the United States, to like descriptions of Mexico and the West Indies.
A paper on the Evolution of the Ordinance of 1787, with an Account of the Earlier Plans for the Government of the Northwest Territory (G. P. Putnam's Sons), by Jay A. Barrett, is the first of a new academic series of papers, to be called the Seminary Series, which is started in connection with the Departments of History and Economics of the University of Nebraska. The institution of these series, in which historical, political, and economical questions are discussed in carefully studied monographs, is regarded in an editorial note as a sign that American universities are at last becoming centers of organized literary work. It affords a means also by which students may do useful work, make considerable additions to knowledge, and do the State a service. In the belief that a division of the labor is expedient, the Seminary Series, while not excluding other topics, will deal mainly with questions relating to Western history and economics. The Evolution of the Ordinance of 1787 is a good beginning.
In a book on the Origin, Purpose, and Destiny of Man, of which Mr. William Thornton, of Boston, is the author and publisher, the doctrine is unfolded that all things are made up of three states, which are called the three ethers. Life is the first ether, which is a continuous aggregate. The second ether is a composition of the potentialities heat, light, electricity, and magnetism, mechanical power being manifested during the activity of these potentialities. The third ether is a material nucleus which permits of the action of the other two ethers. All bodies manifesting the second and third ethers independently of the first make up inorganic bodies. Organized bodies require all these ethers. These two conditions constitute all things natural and supernatural. The Creator is not to be found in the universe in any morphological form, but has only a subjective existence; and it is only when the subjective part of man exists as a distinct entity that he can ever know God.
Two novels of considerable merit, and displaying much skill in construction and development, claim our attention. What's bred in the Bone (Benjamin R. Tucker, publisher, Boston) is a story of certain aspects of English social life by an author well known to our readers, Grant Allen. The story is told in a terse, vigorous style, without padding by expansion or episodes; the intricacies and complexities of the plot are tangled and untangled as by the hand of a master at the business; and an intense interest is wrought out. The name of the story seems to relate to a singular power of fascination which the heroine inherits from a gypsy ancestor, and to the persistency with which the gentle birth of the hero and his brother, made by circumstances friendless waifs on the surface of society, is declared in their acts and manners.
In Juggernaut (Fords, Howard & Hulbert) a chapter of American life and experience is handled with great power and truth to the reality by George Cary Eggleston and Dolores Marbourg. The Juggernaut is the idol ambition, or the car worldly success, under which an American starting as a young man with pure and noble intentions, and the purpose to maintain his character, is cast, with his wife, who has had simple and as pure beginnings, to be crushed. The story is one of the ruin of character that is so common in our financial and political life. The young editor, who has been honest and free, and is determined to continue so, is unwittingly drawn into the power of a schemer on whom he is for the time dependent, and is compelled to prostitute his paper for the furtherance of a single design of the other. He is determined to get the better of his master, and does it; becoming in his turn a speculator, financial operator, senator, and political schemer; making his wife, who was designed for the best things, his lobbyist, till she revolts at her fate, and ruin overtakes the pair. The story furnishes an instructive illustration of the fatal tendency of what are two conspicuous features of our national life.
A third story, by J. Van Lennep, translated from the French by Mrs. Clara Bell, The Story of an Abduction in the Seventeenth Century, is based on history. The foundation narrative is related in the fifth volume of Aitzema's Affairs of State and War, and concerns the carrying away from her friends by Johan Diederick de Mortaigne of a Dutch young lady, Catharine d'Orleans, and the pursuit of them, with divers political and diplomatic complications which the event evolved.
Our Language is the name of a modest journal of eight pages, devoted to preserving and improving the English speech, which is edited and published monthly by Mr. Frederik A. Fernald in this city (1778 Topping Street, fifty cents a year). The editor is an experienced journalist of literary taste and acquirements, and is an earnest advocate of a rational reform in spelling. That subject, the derivation and right use of words, and proper constructions are the chief topics discussed in its pages, and the spirit of the discussions is candid and catholic. Eccentric notions are not tolerated; and, while Our Language favors further reforms in spelling, it practically uses those changes only which have been agreed upon by all the reformers. The editor is in personal communication with the leaders in the reform movement, and enjoys their co-operation in his enterprise.
Science of Every-day Life and Science applied to Work (Cassell) are two convenient and useful treatises prepared by John A. Bower, the former for the Young People's and the other for the Artisan section of the National Home Reading Union. The chapters in Science of Every-day Life treat of some of the most common things, and the reasons for their existence: matter, weight, motion, air, combustion, and water; and furnish a few simple, rudimentary experiments. Science applied to Work is intended to be a useful introduction to the Science of Practical Mechanics, free from mathematical formulas, and to furnish hints for making mechanical experiments with simple contrivances. Both works aim to be clear and accurate in all their statements.
Having been, as an analytical and consulting chemist, frequently called upon to give information on the subject of water in its relations to disease, and having had much to do with the subject in connection with the Iowa State Board of Health, Dr. Floyd Davis has been happily prompted to prepare An Elementary Handbook on Potable Water, which is published by Silver, Burdett & Co. In it are discussed the impurities in drinking-water that are oftenest the cause of disease and death, and the natural and artificial processes of removing them. The author's conclusions are the fruit of an experience gained in the analysis and study of nearly a thousand water-supplies, and are aided and re-enforced by the studies and writings of others. A definition of pure water, in a potable rather than a chemical sense, is sought in the first chapter. The inorganic, the vegetable, and the animal constituents of water, micro-organisms, water-supplies, natural and artificial purification, and central filtration, are considered in the several succeeding chapters. Of analysis, only a few elementary qualitative tests are mentioned, the general subject being reserved for another book, which is announced. The language is such as can be easily understood by every intelligent person.