Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/146

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Schubin, Ossip. "Gloria Victis!" New York: W. S. Gottsberger. Pp. 819.

Sedgwick. W. T., and Wilson, E. B. General Biology. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 193.

Janes, Lewis G. A Study of Primitive Christianity. Boston: Index Association. Pp. 320.

Knox, Thomas W. The Life of Robert Fulton and a History of Steam Navigation. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 507.

Bastian, H. Charlton. Paralyses: Cerebral, Bulbar, and Spinal. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 671. $4.50.

Crehore, John Davenport. Mechanics of the Girder. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Pp. 575. $5.

Bartholow, Roberts. A Treatise on the Practice of Medicine. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 990. $5.




POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Low Water in Wells and Typhoid Fever.—Dr. Henry B. Baker, of Lansing, Michigan, supposes a close relation to exist between typhoid fever and low water in wells. The diagrams which he presents in his paper of the prevalence of sickness from typhoid fever in Michigan, and the depth of the earth above the ground-water in the wells during six successive years, seem to show that, beginning with June in each year, the sickness-curve follows more or less closely the well-water-curve. The author believes that one of the causes, probably the principal cause of sickness, is the contamination of the water by the drainage from stable-yards, privy-vaults, and cess-pools, which reaches the wells more directly when the water in them is low, and forms in them stronger solutions than when it is high. On the other hand, the curves in several years, from January to June, show no such correspondence. The difference in results is explained by the frozen condition of the ground in the winters when typhoid did not prevail; a condition which, while it tended to reduce the quantity of water in the wells, at the same time prevented percolation from the surface sources of contamination. The fever was more prevalent in the open winters when percolation was not thus impeded. Corroboration is given to these views by a remark made by Dr. Foster Pratt, of Kalamazoo, at the meeting of the American Medical Association in June, 1874, that typhoid fever was unusually prevalent in Kalamazoo in a certain year in the autumn, at about the time the water in the wells was very low, and some wells became dry.


Professorships of Physical Geography.—Professor H. N. Mozeley, in an address at the Royal Geographical Society's recent exhibition of geographical appliances, made a plea for the establishment in the English universities of chairs for teaching physical geography apart from geology. He quoted from letters which he had received from German professors who are teaching under a plan similar to the one which he proposes. Among them is Professor Kirchhoff, of Halle, who said: "It is, no doubt, correct that geology, in just the same way as geography, is concerned with the earth and all its various parts. But the point of view on either side is different. For example, while I am delivering in Halle during four successive semesters the course on geography, Professor von Fritsch and two colleagues are lecturing to almost entirely different audiences on mineralogy, crystallography, geology, and paleontology. In summer, Professor von Fritsch arranges excursions for geological purposes, and many of the students take part in these, because a problem of great geographical importance is able to be solved during these excursions, namely, the explanation of the form of the land-surface as resulting from its composition, and by means of the history of its development. The two sciences do, indeed, touch one another in what is termed superficial geology, but from this zone of contact they stretch wide apart from one another. Geology discusses not only the developmental history of the earth in the Quaternary period, a matter which concerns the geographer quite as much as the geologist, but it discusses also that of the most remote periods of the earth's antiquity, investigates the petrographic structure and the organic life of every formation, subjects which hardly concern the geographer at all. On the other hand, geography has to deal not only with the land-surface and the waters, but also with climate, the flora and fauna, and human inhabitants, both of the earth as a whole and of each separate country, confining its view to the present only—that is to say, to the Quaternary period. It might as well be said that the existence of history as a subject at universities rendered geography unnecessary, because it also has to do with the entire earth's surface."