Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/434

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418
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to Imitation and Allied Activities. The design of the book is fully explained in an introduction contributed by Mr. E. H. Russell, principal of the normal school. "The records," he says, "make no scientific pretensions whatever. They are printed in response to many requests and with the hope of awakening or quickening interest in children simply as children, not as pupils or as ‘material’ for psychological or anthropological study." Mr. Russell calls attention to the evidence in these observations of the interest with which children repeat their imitative acts, this interest being sustained by their vivid fancy. Their spontaneous activity—muscular and mental—is another notable characteristic that he mentions. He also gives a caution against too much seeking for uniformity in children. A second volume, embracing another class of these observations, will be forthcoming if the demand should appear to warrant it.

 

The recent political campaign was remarkably productive of books which have more than an ephemeral interest. Among these is The Monetary and Banking Problem, by Logan G. McPherson (Appletons, $1), consisting of three articles contributed to this magazine early in 1896, with additional chapters on bimetallism and on the standard of value. Mr. McPherson maintains that, while gold and silver were suitable for money in past conditions of the world's trade, they are very crude instruments for our present commerce. The use of both together is made impracticable by natural laws unless one is subsidiary to the other. They are being steadily superseded by paper representatives of value, and the author looks forward to the adoption of a new unit which shall be not a specified weight of metal but a quantity of human effort. The reasons for the position taken by him are clearly stated, and the problem which still confronts the United States in spite of the verdict of the recent election is discussed practically and understandingly.

 

Believers in the gold standard will regard as pertinent to the times the new edition of Fiat Money Inflation in France, by Andrew D. White (Appletons, paper, 25 cents), which was one of the books of the recent campaign. Doubtless many persons will devote some of their leisure this winter to a further study of monetary questions, and to them this bit of history can not fail to be instructive. The present issue contains an extract from Macaulay on effects of cheap coinage, and an introduction showing the resemblance of the scheme tried by France to that proposed for the United States.

 

The volume of Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences just issued contains about three hundred pages and a number of plates. Among the more notable articles are Call's Revision of the Parvus Group of Unionidæ, Everman and Scovell's Fishes of the Missouri River Basin, and Investigations concerning the Redfish. The notable feature of the Biological Survey Reports is the series of reports on Turkey Lake. This, the largest inland lake of Indiana, has been chosen as the seat of the Indiana University Biological Station. The lake is being studied as a unit of environment with the variation of its inhabitants. The scope of the report as indicated by the titles is about as follows: Report on the physical features; hydrographic map, with contours for every ten feet of depth; temperatures; the inhabitants, by Eigenmann, Ridgley, Kellicott, Birge, Hay, Call, Atkinson, Reddick, and Chamberlain; methods of studying variation, by Eigenmann; and the variation of Etheostoma caprodes, by Moenkhaus.

 

The instructor who has had for several years a large class of beginners in organic chemistry knows how much of his time is required to initiate his neophytes into the new kind of laboratory work that they are taking up. He will not need to be told the value of a book that could give the necessary directions clearly, briefly, and without the omission of any essential caution or qualification. Such a book Dr. Ludwig Gattermann aimed to produce in his Practical Methods of Organic Chemistry, and with so much success that a translation into English has seemed warranted (Macmillan, $1.60). Dr. Gattermann describes first such general operations as crystallization, simple distillation, distillation with steam, etc., not omitting the drying and cleaning of vessels. In this general part are included qualitative tests and the quantitative determination of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulphur, and the