Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/287

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275
LITERARY NOTICES.

in this number. Its contents comprise three papers; "On the Transparency of the Ether," by D. B. Brace; "On the Propriety of Retaining the Eighth Verb-Class in Sanscrit," by A. H. Edgren; and "On the History of the Auxiliary Verbs in the Romance Languages," by J. A. Fontaine. The first paper is an investigation of the phenomena which would occur if there were any absorption of the light-energy of stars by the ether, through frictional forces or imperfect elasticity. The result of the author's calculations is, that the apparent finiteness of the stellar universe can not be due to absorption, as Struve supposed; and that, if the universe is infinite in extent, "the average density of distribution of self-luminous bodies outside our own system must be exceedingly small, as otherwise the sky would appear of a uniform brightness, approximating that of the sun."

In his Annual Report of the Division of Forestry for 1887, the chief, Mr. B. E. Fernow, defines the work of the division as in the main that of a bureau of information. During the past year the division has distributed different circulars of information to wood-consumers in general, to railroad managers, to educational men, and to members of the National Grange. Those, together with a letter to the Commissioner of the Land-Office on what is a timber-tree, are reproduced in full or in substance in the report. The pamphlet also contains statistics in regard to exports and imports of wood and wood products, from 1880 to 1887, and the mill capacity of the country. Seeds and seedlings, mainly of cone-bearing trees and willows, have been distributed to some extent. Mr. Fernow thinks it is time for the division to undertake systematic original investigations. The scientific basis of forest management must be built up from researches in forest biology, timber physics, soil physics, and soil chemistry; its economic basis will consist of forest statistics, technology of woods, and forest policy; and its practical basis will comprise knowledge of methods of planting, managing, and harvesting forests. The report contains notes on certain species of trees, the seed of which has been distributed from the department during the season, telling their value and the mode of their propagation. These notes are followed by statements of the condition of the forestry interests in the several States and Territories.

The Toyo Gakugei Zasshi (" Eastern Science Journal "), in Japanese, is edited by a committee consisting chiefly of professors in the Imperial University at Tokio, Japan, and has the large circulation, for a country like Japan, of three thousand copies. The number which has been sent to us as a specimen has articles on the primeval world of Japan (accompanied by illustrations of Japanese geology), the aborigines of Japan, the submarine world, "A Great Eastern Problem," and "The Standard Time of Japan," with notes and miscellanies on various subjects, and reviews of books.

The Kitchen, a Magazine devoted to Scientific Cookery in all its Branches (J. H. Lewis, publisher, Chicago), is a monthly magazine devoted to what the publisher justly considers the central and predominant interest of all housekeeping. Subjects pertaining to cookery are presented in an untechnical, common-sense style, and occupy about half of each number. The rest of the space is devoted to matters of different character, the object seeming to be, besides cultivating well the special field of the periodical, to furnish a variety of reading, and make it attractive in other directions. Price, 20 cents each number; $2 a year.

The character of Chemical Experiments for Medical Students, by W. S. Christopher, M. D. (R. Clarke, $1), has been conformed to the limited time allowed for the study of chemistry in most medical schools. Hence it includes only such methods and facts as the student will need to use in the practice of his profession. It is a laboratory manual, the experiments covering work with the principal metals and acids, using Beilstein's examples. In addition, the more important alkaloids and some organic compounds of medical interest are considered. In physiological chemistry the work deals with the proteids and carbohydrates, the digestive processes, blood, bile, milk, and urine. The acid tests recently introduced for the clinical examination of stomach contents are also given. It is intended to be used with some systematic treatise on chemistry.

"We have received from Thomas Prosser & Son, the New York agents of Friedrich