Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 36.djvu/139

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LITERARY NOTICES.

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��more perfect than the evolution philosophy as represented by Herbert Spencer." The class of ideas that is most positive and re- liable is found in modern science, which ac- knowledges nothing as beyond candid criti- cism, has nothing sacred but the truth, and investigates every part of the universe and of man with equal impartiality ; and is not an extreme or antagonistic of all former knowledge and opinion, but " is a more com- plete, thorough, and systematic knowledge of the same kind as any imperfect knowl- edge preceding it that has a real basis of fact."

The second volume of the Report for 1838 of the Geological Survey of Arkansas, under the direction of State Geologist John C. Branner, comprises a review of the Neo- zoic Geology of Southwestern Arkansas, by Robert T. Hill. It is the result of the joint work of the United States and the State Surveys, in which the latter was able to avail itself of Prof. Hill's knowledge of the mesozoic geology of other parts of the Union. The region embraced in the present survey may be said roughly to lie between the Oua- chita and Red Rivers, extending a little east of the Ouachita, including Little Missouri and Little Rivers, and to consist most large- ly of the Trinity, Lower and Upper Creta- ceous, and Tertiary formations, with plateau gravel and associated deposits, and the flood plains of the rivers, of the Post-tertiary or Quaternary. In determining the relations of the Upper Cretaceous beds, the author concludes that they are identical with those of Texas, more obscurely so with those of New Jersey, and the equivalent of the Upper Cretaceous of Europe. The relations of the Lower Cretaceous and Trinity with forma- tions east of the Mississippi are at present only conjectural. Prof. Hill's review is sup- plemented by papers on " The Northern Limits of the Mesozoic Rocks in Arkansas," by Prof. 0. P. Hay, and " On the Manufact- ure of Portland Cement," by Prof. Branner. The third volume of the series is a pre- liminary report on the Geology of the Coal Regions, by Arthur Winslow. It contains only a part of the coal regions of the State, representing an area of nearly two thousand square miles and extending about seventy- five miles along the Arkansas River from the Indian Territory to Dardanelle. Chapters

VOL. XXXVI. 9

��are devoted to the "Distribution of the Coal," a review of the coal industry of the State, and the composition and adaptabilities of the coals.

The Commissioner of Agriculture, in his Report for 1888, represents the year as hav- ing been one of much greater activity in the department than it had ever before experi- enced. The investigations made have ex- cited popular interest, and the results ob- tained have been helpful to the farming class. A good record was made of the work of the experiment stations. A clearing-house or exchange is called for through which they can co-operate. The most important duty devolving upon the Bureau was the work for eradicating contagious pleuro-pneumonia in cattle ; and, in connection with this, the need of a laboratory is suggested where persons can qualify themselves by experiment for practice in the diseases of animals. The division of entomology pursued investiga- tions on the cottony-cushion scale of Cali- fornia, the hop-louse, the root-infesting nema- tode worms, the cotton and boll worm, which attacked the tomato ; the Rocky Mountain locust, the buffalo gnat, and various other insects injurious to vegetation. It is giving attention to the introduction of parasites de- structive of such insects. Experiments of silk-culture have not yet given promise of a profitable industry. The chemical division interested itself in the study of food adul- terations and processes for making sugar from sorghum. The statistical department had to meet large demands for supplying information. The botanical division was busy in experiments on the adaptation of various plants, and in studies in vegetable pathology. Attention was given to the habits of different birds, and the depreda- tions on crops of various small mammals. The seed division was active in sending out seeds to experimental cultivators and the constituents of members of Congress. The forestry division reported progress, but not much encouragement as yet for the restora- tion of the forests, or even for the preserva- tion of what of them are left. Microscopical investigations were made in various direc- tions. In pomology experiments are report- ed on tropical and semitropical fruits and on hardy Russian fruits for the Northwest ; and an excellent paper, by Mr. W. n. Ragan,

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