Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/150

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142
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

on the whole, one of the darkest chapters in the colonization of Australia. "Everywhere and always we find the same process: the whites arrive and settle in the hunting grounds of the blacks, who have frequented them since the remotest time. They raise paddocks, which the blacks are forbidden to enter. They breed cattle, which the blacks are not allowed to approach. Then it happens that these stupid savages do not know how to distinguish between a marsupial and a placental animal, and spear a calf or a cow instead of a kangaroo, and the white man takes revenge for this misdeed by systematically killing all the blacks that come before his gun. This, again, the natives take amiss, and throw a spear into his back when he rides through the bush, or invade his house when he is absent, killing his family and servants. Then arrive the ' native police,' a troop of blacks from another district, headed by a white officer. They know the tricks of their race, and take a special pleasure in hunting down their own countrymen, and they avenge the farmer dead by killing all the blacks in the neighborhood, sometimes also their women and children. This is the almost typical progress of colonization, and even though such things are abolished in the southeastern colonies and in southeast and central Queensland, they are by no means unheard of in the north and west."


MINOR PARAGRAPHS.

In a brood of five nestling sparrow-hawks, which he had the opportunity of studying alive and dead, Dr. R. W. Shufeldt remarked that the largest and therefore oldest bird was nearly double the size of the youngest or smallest one, while the three others were graduated down from the largest to the smallest in almost exact proportions. "It was evident, then, that the female had laid the eggs at regular intervals, and very likely three or four days apart, and that incubation commenced immediately after the first egg was deposited. What is more worthy of note, however, is the fact that the sexes of these nestlings alternated, the oldest bird being a male, the next a female, followed by another male, and so on, the last or youngest one of all five being a male. This last had a plumage of pure white down, with the pin feathers of the primaries and secondaries of the wings, as well as the rectrices of the tail, just beginning to open at their extremities. From this stage gradual development of the plumage is exhibited throughout the series, the entire plumage of the males and females being very different and distinctive." If it be true, as is possibly indicated, that the sexes alternate in broods of young sparrow-hawks as a regular thing, the author has no explanation for the fact, and has never heard of any being offered.

Architecture and Building gives the following interesting facts regarding the building trades in Chicago: "Reports from Chicago are that labor in building lines is scarce. The scarcity of men is giving the building trades council trouble to meet the requirements of contractors. It is said that half a dozen jobs that are ready to go ahead are at a standstill because men can not be had, particularly iron workers and laborers—the employees first to be employed in the construction of the modern building. It is also said that wages have never been better in the building line. The following is the schedule of wages, based on an eight-hour day: Carpenters, $3.40; electricians, $3.75; bridge and structural iron workers, $3.00; tin and sheet-iron workers, $3.20; plumbers, $4; steam fitters, $3.75; elevator constructors, $3; hoisting engineers, $4; derrick men, $2; gas-fitters, $3.75; plasterers, $4; marble cutters, $3.50; gravel roofers, $2.80; boilermakers, $2.40; stone sawyers and rubbers, $3; marble enamel glassworkers' helpers, $2.25; slate and tile roofers, $3.80; marble setters' helpers, $2; steam fitters' helpers, $2; stone cutters, $4; stone carvers, $5; bricklayers,.$4; painters, $3; hod carriers and building laborers, $2; plasterers' hod carriers, $2.40; mosaic and encaustic tile layers, $4; helpers, $2.40."

In presenting the fourth part of his memoir on The Tertiary Fauna of Florida (Transactions of the Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia), Mr. William Healey Dall observes that the