Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/299

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287
FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

Experiment Station, our trees and shrubs in their winter garb furnish excellent lessons for the profitable employment of pupils during many weeks at that season in true botanical study. "Let each member of a class be provided with a branch, a foot or two long, from a sugar maple, and then spend some ten to twenty minutes or more quietly looking at the buds and the bark, with its sears and specks, and then tell what he has discovered, venturing to explain the object or meaning of some of the things he has seen. In a similar manner let each look over a branch of beech and then point out the difference between the two kinds." Opening buds of trees may be obtained at any time during the winter by placing the lower end of the stem in water for a week or two while in the schoolroom.

Eivind Astrup, in his book With Peary near the Pole, gives admiring pictures of the natural innocence of the uncontaminated Eskimos of northern Greenland, where are communities in which "money is unknown, and love of one's neighbor is a fundamental rule of action; where theft is not practiced." All things are held in common, and falsehoods are told only to spare the feelings of the listener. Among the instances of the native kindliness of these people is one where a dog had eaten up a reindeer coat, yet was only remonstrated with by its owner. When the author suggested that a hungry dog should be punished for stealing a piece of blubber, the owner said that it was himself who deserved the thrashing for not having obtained sufficient food for the dog.

The operations of the Illinois State Laboratory of Natural History during 1897 and 1898 were almost wholly connected with the work of the State Entomologist or with that of the Biological Station. The former work related to various insects injurious to crops. The operations of the Biological Station were carried on with more reference to completing a formal report upon the fishes of Illinois. The work is conducted with a view to the acquisition of correct ideas of the relative abundance and local distribution of species, their haunts, habits, regular migrations, and irregular movements, their building times and places, rate of growth, food, diseases, and enemies — and, in short, the whole economy of each kind represented at the station and of the whole assemblage taken together as a community group. Extensive studies of aquatic entomology were made, and a paper on ephemerids and dragon flies is nearly ready for the press. No part of the work of the station, however, attracts more attention among scientific men, or is likely to lead to more interesting and important results, than the plankton work, or the systematic study of the minute forms of plant and animal life suspended in the water. Water analyses have been extensively made in connection with these studies, which, combined with the continuous biological work, will, when generalized, furnish a substantial and authoritative body of knowledge of the conditions of the waters of the middle Illinois previous to the opening of the Chicago drainage canal, useful for comparison with the results of similar studies made after that event. A summer school was conducted, with fifteen pupils, in 1898, and publications were issued.


NOTES.

The Pasteur monument was dedicated at Lille, France, the city in which the subject of the memorial performed his earlier more important researches, April 9th. The ceremony was witnessed by a large assembly, which included many eminent scientific men of France and foreign countries, among whom men engaged in similar researches to Pasteur's were especially represented. The monument, the fruit of a public subscription, represents Pasteur standing on the summit of a column of Soignies stone, holding in his right hand an experimental flask. At the foot of the column a woman presents her child, which has been bitten by a mad dog, for treatment. To the left is a group representing inoculation — a woman, personifying science, injecting serum into a child she holds on her knees. Three bas-reliefs represent respectively Dr. Roux inoculating a sheep for anthrax, Pasteur studying fermentation, and the first antirabic inoculation of the young Joseph Meister, who is held by his mother, wearing the broad-flapped Alsatian bonnet. The statue is in light bronze, and with the gilded bas-reliefs harmonizes well with the gray of the