There is much in this report to which we should like to call attention, but we can find space only for a few passages from the section entitled "Physical Science." "We are pleased," write the Inspectors of High Schools, "to be able to report that the teaching of physical science is making real progress in the high schools. After some experience of the practically inoperative and too expensive programme which was universally in force some years ago, it was decided by the Council of Public Instruction to limit the amount of work prescribed in this department, with the view of having a little done well. It was accordingly determined that only one of the physical sciences should have a place in the programme of lower school-work. On account of its intimate connection with the other physical sciences, and its great practical value, chemistry was selected, and the results have justified the policy adopted. . . . In a considerable number of schools enthusiasm for chemistry is manifested by both the teacher and his pupils. . . . The number of teachers capable of teaching chemistry has largely increased, and the number of pupils who are afforded the opportunity of beginning the study of that branch of knowledge in a proper manner is greater than ever before."
The writer of this essay would be a mediator between Science and the Bible, but fails to exhibit his credentials as referee from either side. The world of science surely is not prepared to accept his exposition of the facts of geology; and his exegesis of Scripture passages is altogether too light and airy to meet the approval of Biblical scholars. As for the class of devout believers in the letter of the sacred word, they must be shocked at the author's temerity in explaining away the manifest meaning of the inspired record.
The meteoric phenomenon described in this pamphlet was the simultaneous occurrence of three separate tornadoes in a comparatively narrow belt of country in southern Wisconsin. That there were three separate tornadoes appears evident from the observations made on the spot by Professor Daniells. The perpendicular velocity of the wind in such tornadoes can be appreciated from certain calculations made by the author of this pamphlet. At a point in the track of one of these three tornadoes a horse, weighing about 1,100 pounds, was carried over twenty rods; in another place a horse, of about the same weight, was carried eighty rods. Now, a horse of this size would not expose a lifting surface to the wind of over fourteen square feet. To lift such an animal, then, would require an upward pressure of the air of 14 = 78·5 pounds per square foot. This pressure is produced by wind moving with a velocity of 124·6 miles per hour.
A knowledge of the etymology of words is of essential importance in fixing their meaning; hence a work like that named above can not fail to be useful, if only the author brings to his task the requisite scholarship and tact. We have read but a few of the titles in this dictionary; but so excellent did they appear, both in substance and in form, that we have no hesitation in warmly commending the work to our readers.
The author points out the advantages to be derived from the study of natural history in public and private schools, and makes some sensible observations on the mode of interesting young pupils in such studies.