Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/871

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851
LITERARY NOTICES.

Geonomy: Creation of the Continents by the ocean-currents. by J. Stanley Grimes, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. Pp, 116.

The author of this book is introduced by the Rev. W. R. Coovert as a writer who published a book to advocate theistic evolution—"a volume which was more Darwinian than Darwin himself, excepting that it was decidedly and avowedly theistic"— eight years before the "Origin of Species" was issued. He has also published a work bearing on spiritism and mesmerism. The purpose of the present volume is to expound a theory that all the elevations of the earth's crust have resulted from the sinking of the ocean-basins, or of smaller local basins, beneath the weight of the sediment; that this sediment was collected by elliptical currents working in the waters, of which three pairs are supposed, causing three pairs of sinking basins, corresponding with the North and South Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Ocean basins; that the fluid or plastic lava forced from beneath the sinking basins was driven under the crust in the interoceanic spaces, and, raising them up, created three pairs of continents. The configuration and relative situations of the continents and ocean-basins, etc., are accounted for in other propositions.

Sunlight. By the author of "The Beginnings," "The Biography of Dust," etc. Pp. 70.

A series of letters, by Mr. N. P. Malet, first published in "The Northern Whig," of Belfast, Ireland, in elucidation of a theory that light, not heat, is the primary and potent force, separate from heat. From his premises the author deduces that the heat attributed to the sun is in reality generated by the action of the sun's light on the gases of the earth. Extending his theory to a general cosmogony, he holds that the natural beginnings of this earth and the other planets and asteroids were separate, nebulous gaseous masses gravitating in space, till they were in turn sensible to the light of the sun, and became the worlds of this Solar system. Vegetation is accounted for by supposing that the seeds of the first plants were brought to the earth by vapors or gases from other worlds.

An Account of the Progress of Chemistry in the Year 1883. By Professor H. Carrington Bolton. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 32.

The "Account" has been prepared for the Smithsonian Report for 1883, and is here given in separate form. It records the more important discoveries in chemistry, and the new processes and applications brought to light during 1883, arranged under the heads of "General and Physical," "Inorganic," and "Organic," a chemical bibliography of the year, and notices of chemists who died during the year.

Rural Schools; Progress in the Past; Means of Improvement in the Future. Washington: U. S. Bureau of Education. Pp. 90.

This is Number 6 of the "Circulars of Information" of the Bureau of Education for 1884. It was prepared by Miss Annie T. Smith, under the direction of the Commissioner of Education, to collate the information accessible on the subject. It embraces a review of the present condition of ungraded schools; comparisons of the courses of study and the daily programme for the distribution of time and subjects in schools of Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin, with those employed in France, Switzerland, Prussia, and Austria; papers on "Pedagogic Principles," and suggestions on special points in teaching.

The Composition and Methods of Analysis of Human Milk. By Professor Albert R. Leeds, Ph. D. Pp. 24, with Plates.

Professor Leeds here compiles the analysis of eighty specimens of human milk. Considerable variety is exhibited in the results. Many of the samples appear to contain a body hitherto unknown, and not yet isolated or determined, which gives in the ethereal extract of the copper albuminate an emerald-green solution. While the superficial physical characteristics of the mother are not shown to be related to differences in the composition of the milk, an intimate connection appears with actual physical conditions. The samples obtained from women of over-robust habit were not so rich in albuminoids as those from pronounced anaemic women. Generally speaking, the best milk was obtained from lean women in good physical condition.