Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/128

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118
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Correspondence.



THE MOON AND THE WEATHER.

Editor Popular Science Monthly:

Dear Sir: Scientific investigators in meteorology have again and again declared they have not been able to discover by accurate and long-continued observation that the moon has any effect whatever upon terrestrial weather; yet the farmers have, for unreckoned years, undoubtingly ascribed certain kinds of weather—changes, especially—to the moon; and, despite the dictum of the scientists, they have persisted in their confidence in the pale orb as a weather-breeder, and as a disposer, in a large degree, of the wet and dry features of the months.

Now comes Mr. H. H. Clayton, meteorologist at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, and shows by diagram and dates that the electrical condition of the atmosphere varies in close accord with the position of the moon in her orbit.

That electricity performs various offices in the atmosphere, notably among the particles of vapor, is well known; but just how and to what extent atmospheric phenomena result from electrical action has not yet been clearly demonstrated. However, we have now a scientific basis for the assumption that the moon has an influence on the weather.

An interesting summary of present knowledge concerning the atmosphere is contained in Studies of the Upper Atmosphere, by A. Lawrence Rotch, director of the Blue Hill institution. The diagram of comparative altitudes, which forms the last illustration of my article on kite-flying, in the May number of this magazine, is from the frontispiece of Mr. Rotch's pamphlet just mentioned, for which credit was inadvertently omitted.

George J. Varney. 
 57 Cornhill, Boston, August 19, 1898.
 

 

Editor's Table.

 
THE GOAL IN EDUCATION.

MANY of our readers, we are sure, must have been impressed by the articles on The Philosophy of Manual Training lately contributed by Professor Henderson to the pages of this magazine. The thought underlying them is one to which we have ourselves often endeavored to give expression, namely, that the end of education is wholly misconceived unless we consider it as aiming to bring the individual into right relations, at as many points as possible, with the world in which he lives, and to place him in as full possession as possible of the varied powers and capacities of his nature. It is because he regards manual training as the most effective instrument for awakening the intellect in the first place, and then for establishing a proper balance between the mental and bodily activities, that Professor Henderson has advocated it with so much earnestness. All that he has said on the subject seems to us deserving of the closest attention. In the old system of education language was regarded as the supreme and sufficient instrument of mental development; and in the great public schools of England this idea enjoyed the very highest degree of prestige and authority. By language in these establishments, the two classical languages of Greek and Latin were meant, the English language receiving very scant attention, and English literature none. If any one was so far in advance of the times as to express a doubt whether a knowledge of Greek and Latin was the only preparation