Popular Science Monthly/Volume 32/April 1888/Popular Miscellany

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

The Earth in Space. By Edward P. Jackson. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 73. Price, 35 cents.

This convenient and copiously illustrated little manual comprises the facts in regard to the earth as a planet which are commonly included in text-books of geography, under the heading mathematical or astronomical geography, together with other matter in this most practical department of astronomy. It is designed for schools in which time can not be spared for a general course in as- tronomy.

Management of Acccmplators, and Pri- vate Electric Light Installations. By Sir David Salomons. Third edition, revised and enlarged. New York : D. Van Nostrand. Pp. 150.

This little book is the result of the au- thor's long experience with electric lighting, which was preceded by the use of a private gas-making plant on his own estate. lie has used secondary batteries since they first became practicable, sparing no expense to obtain satisfactory results, and feels confi- dent that his directions will make the seek- ing of professional advice rarely necessary.


Alden, John B., New York. Bits of Knowledge taken from AMen's Manifold Cyclopsedia. 4 cents.

All Aziz Effendi. The Story of Jewad. Trans- lated by E. J. W. Gibb from the Turkish. New York : W. S. Gottsberger. Pp. 241.

Ames, Julia A. Platform Voices (Temperance Recitations) Chicago: Woman's Temperance Pub- lishing Association. Pp. 144. 25 cents.

Anderson, Professor W. E., Milwaukee. The Physical Side of Education. Pp. 18.

Art, the, of Investing. By a New York Bro- ker. New York : D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 19S.

Battershall, Jesse P. Food Adulteration and its Detection. New York : E. and F. N. Spon. Pp. 328, with Plates.

Blackbird, A. J. History of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michignn, and Grammar of their Language. Harbor Springs, Emmet Coun- ty, Mich. Pp. 128. $1.

Bloxam, Charles L. Chemistry, Inorganic and Orsanic. with P^xrieriments. Sixth edition. Phila- delphia : P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. Ts8. $4.o0.

Claypole. E. W. The Lake Age in Ohio. Edin- burgh. For sale by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincin- nati. Pp. 42. To cents.

Commissioner of Education of the United Stntes. Report for lS85-'86. WashiDgton : Government Printing-office. Pp. 792.

" Congress. A Monthly Journal of the Arts of Civilization." Vol. I. No. 1. Washington : Con- gress Publishing Company. Pp. 20. 10 cents. |1 a year.

Cust, Lady. The Invalid's Own Book. A Col- lection of Receipts. New York : W. 8. Gottsberger. Pp. 144.

��Cornell TJniversity, Ithaca, N. Y. Register for 188T-'8S. Pp. 216.

Davis, George, Minneapolis, Minn. A New Theory of the Origin of Lite and Species and their Distribution. Pp.52. 15 cents.

De Camp, W. M , Editor and Proprietor. " Amer- ican Liberty," a Quarterly Magazine. January, 1888. Pp. 8. 10 cents a year.

Denison, T. S. The Man Behind. A Novel. Chicago. Pp. 311. $1.50.

Gald68, B. Perez Leon Roch. Translated by Clara Bell. New York: W. B. Gottsberger. Two vols. Pp. 287 and 315.

Griswold, W. M., Bangor, Me. Annual Index to Periodicals for 1887.

Guthrie, O. Memoirs of Dr. Samuel Guthrie, and the History of the Discovery of Chloroform, Chicago. Pp. 85.

Heilprin, Angelo. Geological Evidences of Evo- lution. Philadelphia : Published by the Author. Pp. 99.

Hodges, N. C. " The Puzzler. " Vol. L No. 1. February, 18SS. Monthly. Seven Plates. 10 cents, $1.25 a year. Pp.23.

Holcombe, William H. Condensed Thoughts on C ristian Science. Chicago . Pxirdy Publishing Company. Pp. 58.

Hudson, Mrs. Mary W. Esther the Gentile. Topeka, Kan. : George W. Crane &. Co. Pp. 167. $1.

Imperial University of Japan. Calendar for 18S7-"88. Tokio. Pp. 194.

Jacques, William W. An Empirical Rule for constructing Telephone Circuits. Pp. 12.

James, W. P. and J. F., O.xford. O. On the Monticuliporoid Corals of the Cincinnati Group, etc. Pp. 28.

Lake Forest University. Catalogue, 1887-88. Pp. 128. Addresses delivered at the Inauguration of Kev. William C. Roberts, President. Pp. 50.

Lithographic Publishing Company, New York. Photographers' Director)-, etc. Pp. 2(J7. $3.

Loug. J. H. Slips of Tongue and Pen. New York : D. Appleton & Co. Pp. KH.

McLaughlin. J. W., Austin, Tex. The Nature of Contagion. Pp. 8.

Maynard. O W., and Kunhardt, W. B. On the Dressing of Non-Bessemer Ores. I'p. 17.

Morehead. Mrs. L. M. A Few Incidents in the Life of Professor James P. Espy. Cincinnati : Rob- ert Clarke ,t Co. Pp.22.

Newman, Robert M. D., New York. The Gal- vano-Cautery Sound, and its Application. Pp 53.

New York Acadeinv of Sciences. Transactions, 1SS6-"S7. Heman Leroy Fairchild, Secretary. Pp 187.

New York Agricultnral Experiment Station, Geneva. Report for 1887. Pp. 482.

Osservatorio Nacional Argentine (Argentine Na- tional Observatory), Resultados (Results). Vol. 11. Juan M. Thome, Director. Buenos Ayres. Pp.261.

Peabody, Andrew P. Harvard Reminiscences. Bostoc : Ticknor & Co. Pp. 216. $1.25.

Peck, John. Miracles and Miracle-Workers. Pp. 34 Christian Absurdities. Pp. 8. New York : Truth-Seeker Company.

Proudhon, P. J. System of Economic Contra- diction.s; or, the Philosophy of Misery. Vol. 1. Translated and published by Berjauiin R. Tucker, Boston. Pp. 469. $3..50.

Ricbter, Professor Victor von. Text-Book of Inorganic Chemistrv. Authorized Tr.insl.ation, by Edgar F. Smith. Philadelphia : P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 428. $2.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Register for 1887. Pp.87.

Seidel, Robert. Industrial Instruction : a Peda- gogic and Social Necessity. Translated by Margaret K. Smith. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 170. 80 cents.

Stewart, Balfour, and Gee, W. W. Haldane. Practical Physics. Vol. 1. Electricity and Magnetism. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 221. 60 cents.

Swedenborg. Emanuel. The Soul: or Rational Psychology. Translated and edited by Frank Sewall. New York: New Church Board of Publication. Pp. 388. $3.

Theosophical Publication Society. Theosophy and the Critics. London: George Redney. Pp. 13.

Todd, David P. Preliminary Report (unofficial) of the Total Solar Eclipse of 1887. Amherst (Mass.) Observatory. Pp. 16.

"The Truth-Seeker Annual and Freethinker's Almanac, 1888." New York: Truth-Seeker Office. Pp. 118. 25 cents.

Tuckerman, Frederick. M.D. Amherst, Mass. Note on the Papilla Foliata and other Taste Areas of the Pig. Pp. 5. The Tongue and Gustatory Organs of Fiber Zibethecus. Pp. 7, with Plates.

Tylor, E. B. Anthropology. (International Scientific Series.) New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 448.

Van Dyke, Henry, D.D. The National Sin of Literary Piracy. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 23. 5 cents.

Varona, Enrique José. Conferencias Filosoficas (Philosophical Lectures). Second Series. Psicologia (Psychology). Havana. Pp. 474.

Von Rosenberg, Leo. The Vosburg Tunnel. A Description of its Construction. 35 Broadway, New York. Pp. 56, with Plates.

Woodward, C. M. The Manual Training School: its Aims. Methods, and Results, etc. Boston: D. C. Heath & Co. Pp. 374. $3.


Out-Door Play for School-Girls. — Professor W. E. Anderson, in a paper on "The Physical Side of Education," forming part of the Wisconsin State Board of Health Report for 1887, makes a plea for the indulgence of school-girls in play. He says: "Our school-girls lead a life without play, in the real meaning of the term. Muscular exertion is confined entirely to locomotion, or to movements requiring exercise of the lower part of the body. The restrictions of dress are such that movement above the waist is out of the question. The vital organs are restricted by dress, fashion, and occupations supposed to be suitable to the sex. Notice the difference between the movements of boys and girls of the same age, and attending the same class. While the boys can engage in every species of activity, and practice some sports perhaps too grotesque to be permissible for the opposite sex, the girls of sixteen are satisfied with a stately walk around the block, two under one shawl, conning the next lesson to be heard after school is called. All this is certainly a perversion of what Nature requires. There is no reason why such different dispositions should be manifest between the sexes at this age. The avoidance of play or exercise, and the conventionalities of dress, explain in a large part the want of full and natural development so characteristic of the female sex at the age when they should present in every respect of form, health, and color, the picture of human physical perfection. As it is, the majority of them at twenty years of age are already pale and faded, unnatural in color, wanting in spirit and force, and give evidence of retarded or obstructed development. Where exceptions occur it is usually owing to a violation of the régime of the school. Many of our district schools are supplied with a large, well-lighted, and well-ventilated hall. This hall might be used every day in the week for systematic plays designed or contrived to call into active exercise the senses and the whole muscular system. The running leap of the German gymnasium should form a feature of the sports of this hall. Girls could loosen their waistbands and adopt a style of dress which would enable them to exercise their shoulders and arms. They might find in this practice healthful sport, and a means of developing the tissues of the arms and shoulders, which would result in the development of that beauty of form so highly prized and so frequently simulated by artificial means. The muscles of the hands and arms can be exercised by the play of grace-hoops, cast by the use of two wands, and caught in the same way. The game of shuttlecock, requiring the use of a light bat, alternately in the right and left hand, calls into activity sight and touch. It would not be difficult to contrive games of which young people would not grow weary, and which would without question insure for our feeble school-girls a more durable tenure of good health and a larger stock of force and endurance. While the school ignores the necessity of play to the young, society gives it questionable recognition, and that most potent ruler of society — Fashion — finds in it opportunities for the display of her power. Tennis and archery are resorted to for amusement, and would yield most abundant good exercise were these games not subordinated to such ex- clusively polite practice that the dress of the players is even one of the chief requi- sites to the successful conduct of the game. The amusement is captured by the dress- makers and dudes, so that even this means of exercise without flannel suits and rubber- soled shoes is not regarded as permissible. As in dancing, the accessories become so elaborate and costly, and beset with so many formalities, that physical recreation is not expected from it. The game merely answers as a scheme to bring people together who are hankering for some opportunity to be near each other, and exchange the senti- mental platitudes of unsatisfied and instinct- ive social emotions. If Gustave and Regi- na, at fifteen 3-ears of age, are to be im- proved by scurrying about in the manner and time of the modern waltz, then 'twere well that the latter were dressed so as to give her freedom of limbs and lungs, and the recreation given in the afternoon, so that regular sleep at proper time may allow that recuperation of energy and nourish- ment of wasted tissue consequent upon ex- ertion. As Wesley remarked in apology for the liveliness of Methodist singing, 'It is not right for the devil to have all the best tunes,' so it may be said of dancing, that recreative means should not be monopo- lized by the social usages and occasions where circumstances exclude the greatest benefit from the exercise, and sometimes induce positively injurious consequences."

What is a Glacier?—The Philosophical Society of Washington, some months ago, had a symposium on the question "What is a Glacier?" Mr. I. C. Russell, taking both the Alpine and continental types into con- sideration, would define a glacier as an ice- body, originating from the consolidation of snow in regions where the secular accumu- lation exceeds the loss by melting and evapo- ration, or above the snow-line, and flowing to regions where loss exceeds supply, or be- low the snow-line. Mr. S. F. Emmons de- scribed a glacier as a river of ice, possessed, like the aqueous river, of movement and plas- ticity. The neve field is the reservoir from which it derives not only its supply of ice, but the impulse which gives it its first move- ment. Mr. W. J. McGee held that the phe-

nomena of glacier ice and neve ice appear to belong to a graduating series; and in conse- quence the two phases can only be arbitra- rily discriminated. Mr. W. H. Dall defined a glacier as a mass of ice with definite lat- eral limits, with motion in a definite direc- tion, and originating from the compacting of snow by pressure. Mr. T. C. Chamber- lin, disclaiming attempts to give a rigorous definition, thought the better distinction be- tween neve and glacier was genetic. There is an area of growth and an area of waste in every glacier. Superficially the area of growth coincides with the neve; the area of waste with the glacier proper. Mr. C. E. Button said there was little difficulty in recognizing a glacier when all those feat- ures that characterize it are present, and where the conditions are of the ordinary na- ture; but exceptional cases arise to make an exact definition impracticable.

The Beauty of Old Wronght-Iron Work.

—Mr. J. Starkie Gardner has observed, in a Society of Arts lecture on "Wrought-Iron," that old iron-work possesses interest and at- tractions which few examples of modern work can equal. This is partly because, esti- mating by the eye and working his scrolls by hand, the workman "produced an irregu- larity and play in even the most monotonous design which is artistically charming to us, but was perhaps even a source of chagrin to him." The modern smith works in a dif- ferent way, and turns out uniform rods and scrolls, while he considers any irregularity a sign of bad smithing. The scarcity of straight bars among the oldest examples was probably due to the fact that it was ex- tremely hard to handle a long bar and beat it out perfectly true with mathematically ex- act and sharp angles. Another element of artistic superiority in the older work lay in the fact that it was intrusted only to per- sons who had a special aptitude; and, if such a person were not forthcoming, the work was either not executed, or was made in the simplest form; while, if he were at hand, the details of the design were left to his fancy, and were, therefore, well within his own powers. It was the existence of the skilled smith that created the demand, rather than the demand that created the smith; and it seems a reasonable inference that none such had to beg for work in the middle ages. When a grill was wanted for, say, Westminster Abbey, it was not the local man who had the commission, but a smith from wherever he might be found, who had a designing capacity and a skill of his own, who was fetched and maintained until the task was completed. The smiths of those days were probably not fettered by estimate or bound by time; but, we have a right to suppose, the art-work was produced for art's sake by a genuine artist.

New Kinds of Optical Glass.—Professor Abbe, of Jena, has been experimenting for many years with a view to produce an op- tical glass which should be free from the defects incidental to all silica glasses. In particular, he sought to produce a higher degree of achromaticity than was hitherto possible, by diminishing the secondary col- oring effects inseparable from the ordinary silicate flint and crown glasses, and to pro- duce a greater multiplicity in the gradations of optical glass in respect of the two great constants of the index of refraction and the mean dispersion. In silicate glasses, those two constants increase and decrease to- gether. Cases often arise in which a differ- ent relation is desirable. Professor Abbe has produced glasses in which both objects arc fulfilled. He has produced achromatic lenses of a more perfect kind than were ever before obtainable, and has introduced a whole series of new glasses of graduated properties. These glasses are offered freely to the trade without any restriction or pat- ent being allowed to stand in the way of further development.

How the Krakatoa Dust was carried.—

Mr. Ralph Abercromby introduces an ac- count of his studies of the relation of the upper wind-currents near the equator, with the diffusion of Krakatoa dust, by showing that, as a rule, there is a continuous succes- sive veering of the equatorial winds as we ascend. Standing with one's back to the surface wind, the upper currents will—north of the equator—come successively more and more from the left with increasing height; south of the equator, the rule is reversed. Nevertheless, some remarkable variances have been observed in the region between

' the equator and the doldrums. From the I consideration of these exceptional cases the author concludes that when the trades or monsoons meet they do not interlace, as has been suggested by many, but the upper winds combine in a generally easterly cur- rent, and probably diverge only slightly pole-ward on either side. The velocity of this current is unknown. Applying this theory to the dust-flow from Krakatoa, as its advance was indicated by the view of green suns and red after-glows, the system of its movement will appear to have been very simple. "The great dust-stream was carried for the first twenty-four hours by the nor- mal easterly upper currents over the south- east trade, at the extraordinary rate of more than one hundred and twenty miles an hour, but hardly extended north of the line. . . . In fact, we may say that the great stream of Krakatoa dust was carried nearly round the world by the usual upper winds of the south- east trade, in which the dust was first ejected at a rate of about one hundred and twenty miles an hour, and that the dust spread very slowly either north or south of the main current." The high velocity of one hundred and twenty miles an hour is certainly more than would have been expected; but, while we have very few observations of the rate of motion of the highest clouds, a number of those that we have give figures approach- ing this speed. So that the author is able to add: "There would be nothing, then, outrageous in the assumption of a velocity of one hundred and twenty miles an hour for the easterly current over the equator to account for the high speed of the diffusion of Krakatoa dust; and it is also satisfactory to know that the general direction of the flow is in accordance with the most recent researches on the vertical succession of the upper currents near the equator."

Tlie Crater-Lake Chala.—Mr. J. A. Wray last year reached the edge of the water of the crnter-lake Chala, on Mount Kiliman- jaro, which Mr. Thomson saw and has de- scribed in his account of the mountain. The lake is about three miles long by one mile wide, with banks so steep that a descent to the water is impossible, except at one place on the western side. Mr. Wray found the water clear, cool, and perfectly sweet, though the lake has no apparent inlet or outlet. It contains fish, and numerous water-fowl were swimming on its surface, the flapping of whose wings, when they took to flight, pro- duced a sound, through confused reverbera- tion in the deep, well-like basin, like the rushing of a distant railway - train. The steep banks, about one thousand feet in height, are well wooded, and vegetation clothes their surface down to the water's edge. There is no mark cf higher water, and it probably keeps the same level all the year round. The cries of birds had a pecul- iar sound, and Mr. Wray believed that it is these noises that have given rise to the native myth that a Masai village formerly stood here, which was swallowed up by the lake. The people of Taveta believe that they hear voices, the lowing of cattle, etc.

Black Bears.—Mr. William Pittman Lent gives an interesting account of the "Black Bear" in the "Transactions" of the Ottawa (Canada) Field Naturalists' Club. The young of bears are produced in March, and no fe- male has been killed by Canadian hunters, before or after the hibernating season, that showed any evidence of being in the gravid state. The cubs are very small—not larger, when two days old, than kittens of the same age. The animals feed principally on vege- table food—grapes, roots, berries, beech- nuts, oats, and Indian corn. They some- times visit the oat or corn fields before sunset, and may be taken there by a skill- ful hunter. They are inordinately fond of honey, and they feast luxuriously in the fall on the berries of the mountain-ash. When their natural food is scarce they visit the farm-yard and carry off pigs and sheep, and will even kill young cattle when pressed for hunger. They are also fond of fish; they have been known to wade and swim in the rivers for the purpose of catching them, and are frequently to be seen along the coast of the island of Anticosti, devouring herring - spawn. They are active, though clumsy, and will run for a mile or two with astonishing speed. When closely pursued by dogs, a bear will take to a tree, up which he can climb rapidly, but from which he descends more slowly, head upward, as soon as it appears safe to do so. They are very shy and timorous in the presence of

man, and will make off rapidly when they perceive a human being by sight or scent, but they are most affected by the scent. The black bear fights with teeth and claws, and by hugging. When in an erect posi- tion he is a perfect master of the art of self-defense, and it would puzzle a pugilist to get in a blow at him. His most vulner- able part is the nose, which is provided with many sensitive nerves intimately and directly connected with the brain. When a bear is standing on all-fours, there would be no difficulty in striking him with a club; but, when he is sitting erect, it would be an entirely different matter. In Canada black bears retreat to their dens—generally under the roots of large trees, or occasionally in rocky caves—at about the setting in of the season of confirmed frost and snow. They remain there in a quiescent state, although not—as has been well established by hunt- ers who have killed them in their dens in the depth of winter—in a trance-like condi- tion of torpidity, till the opening of sijring. When they first emerge from their four months' slumber they are heavy and fat, and their fur is in prime condition, but shortly afterward they fall off in flesh, and soon become ragged in coat and lanky in ap- pearance. Toward October, if they have had a favorable summer, they are found in good condition, and at any time after the middle of November their skins have the finest color, and the thickest and heaviest coat of fur. Bears are still found within eight or ten miles of the city of Ottawa. Even the black bear, Mr. Lent thinks, is of sufficient importance in the economy of Nature and of man to entitle him to legal protection.

Useful Reptiles.—When we have secured protection to the birds, it will be time to teach the people to have more mercy on the reptiles. The popular, almost unconquer- able prejudices against this class of animals are regarded by science as mistaken except as to a very few kinds, but the public still need enlightenment on the subject. Pro- fessor 0. P. Hay has embodied a popular lesson on the innocence and even value of most reptiles in his paper on "The Am- phibians and Reptiles of Indiana," which, being comprised in the State Agricultural Report, will reach all the inhabitants of at least one commonwealth. "Many amphib- ians and reptiles," he says, "are of direct value to man. Many, as various kinds of turtles and frogs, are used as food, and such might even be profitably bred for that purpose. Many others are useful because of their propensity for devouring insects, mice, and rats, that are the pest of the farmers. A few, indeed, are dangerous; but it is worth any person's while to study our reptiles, if for no other reason than to be freed from constant fear of them. Of nearly a hundred species of amphibians and reptiles to be found within Indiana, not more than three or four are poisonous, and these are of rare occurrence. . . . Some others may strike, or bite a little, or con- strict, as they have a right to do, but they are not venomous, and can do little hurt. Snakes that roll along like hoops, snakes that blow poison, snakes that sting with their tongues or the tips of their tails, and snakes that live for weeks in people's stomachs, are creatures of the imagination. Therefore, considering their usefulness as destroyers of vermin, no amphibian or rep- tile ought to be killed, unless it is to be employed for practical uses or preserved as a specimen for scientific purposes. ... If the boys of the country are to be allowed to shoot all the birds and stone to death all the reptiles, we may yet be compelled to surrender to the vermin."

How the Glaeial Drift was deposited.—

The manner in which the glacial drift was deposited by the great ice- sheet has been studied by Professor 0. P. Hay as a prob- lem whose solution has not yet been effect-! ed. One of the difficulties in the way of comprehending it originates in the fact that all our analogies are derived from the obser- vation of modem glaciers in motion down steep inclines, while we do not fully recol- lect that the great glacier in question most probably came to a standstill in level terri- tory. Bearing this point in view, the au- thor concludes that a glacial ice-sheet mov- ing over a nearly level surface would pos- sess far less power of abrading its bed than the same glacier would have while descend- ing a slope of high angle; through sub- sidence of the glacial mass, caused by the

earth's heat, and through other influences, a constantly increasing proportion of inert materials would collect in the lower layers of the moving ice; the accumulation of such materials would tend to retard the motion of the lower portions of the gla- cier, and, finally, when they formed a suffi- ciently great proportion of the mass, all motion of the lower portion would cease, and a permanent deposit would begin and continue to be made; other masses of de- tritus might be deposited at the foot of the glacial ice-sheet as a terminal moraine, and still other masses on the top of the already formed deposit when the glacier finally melted.

Mineral Constitnents of Food,—In con- sidering the different foodstuffs, says Dr. N. A. Randolph, we must regard water as of prime importance. In the average adult it constitutes from fifty-nine to sixty-five per cent—or even larger proportions, ac- cording to other estimates—of the entire weight. We must regard it as an essential condition for the manifestation of all total phenomena. Certain solid inorganic ele- ments of food are also essential to the well- being of the organism, for in their absence the tissues can not be properly built up, nor can the processes in either the solids or the fluids of the body go on. The presence of mineral constituents appears absolutely es- sential to the integrity of proteid matter, and their withdrawal entails a loss of most of its distinguishing characteristics. A striking illustration of the necessity of this class of food-stuffs, and of the disturbances resulting from a very slight diminution in the amount of inorganic constituents pres- ent in the economy, may be found in the recent experiments of Ringer. Minnows, which thrived in brook-water, and remained alive in it without food for many days, died in a few hours when placed in distilled wa- ter properly aerated. Examined more close- ly in detail, the inorganic elements of food consist of the salts of the alkalies, salts of the alkaline earths, iron, silica, and fluorine in various combinations. The importance to the economy of the carbonates of the alkalies, and therefore the importance of fresh vegetable food from which they are most readily elaborated, must not be under- estimated. Of the uses of potassium chloride but little is known. Sodium chloride, however, or common salt, has been more closely studied. In such proportions as the healthy taste demands, it is undoubtedly a valuable stimulant to the nutritive processes. The extent of the need for lime-salts in young animals is surprising. Iron is undoubtedly a food; for the quantity in the system is restored as fast as it is eliminated. Contrary to popular belief, the major portion of the iron of the human body is found, not in the blood but in the muscles, even after their contained blood has been removed. Silicic acid is found in very small quantities in bones, hair, and blood. It is supplied by many vegetable foods. Calcium fluoride is found in teeth, and to a slight extent in bone. Fortunately for us, these inorganic foods, whose withdrawal exercises deleterious influences on the economy, are, as a rule, present in great quantity in the actual foods in a mixed diet. In certain methods of preparing foods, however, their proportion is much diminished; thus, in the boiling of meats and vegetables, a large quantity of these important foodstuffs is extracted. Indeed, one of the chief dietetic advantages of salads and uncooked vegetables in general is, that these elements have not been removed.

Why do our Teeth decay so fast?—To this question Dr. Julius Pohlman answers, because we do not use them enough—showing that as a rule "those people who are least acquainted with the so-called hygiene of the teeth are the happy possessors of the soundest dentition"—like the negroes who chew sugar-cane, the German peasants, who are famous for their brilliant "Schwartz-brot-Zähne," or "rye-meal-bread teeth," polished but not worn out by daily mastication of dry, hard, black loaves, and the few old people left among us who persist in eating bread-crusts. Our weak and effeminate teeth are not used to hard work, and, like other organs that are not exercised, tend to atrophy. "The foundation for bad teeth," says this author, "is generally laid in early childhood; for numberless mothers and nurses very carefully soften the food or remove the crust from the bread before giving it to the little folks, because it may otherwise 'hurt their teeth,' and so the child grows up with a set of unused organs in its mouth; and when we have finally succeeded by the creation of artificial conditions in producing weak organs, then we wonder why the poor child has such bad teeth, and why it is so often suffering with toothache, and why the dentist's bill is so high. Teeth are organs specialized to perform the work of mastication; they are subject to the same laws that govern other organs, and their strength is determined by their use. Understanding this, we are obliged to admit that, if we ever become a toothless race, it will be our own fault."

Antiseptic Properties of Coffee.—The stimulating effects of the infusion of coffee have been referred to its excitant and tonic properties. Recent researches indicate that it has still more valuable qualities—those of an antiseptic. In 1885 M. Oppler announced the property which it possesses of preventing, to a certain extent, the development of micro-organisms in substances liable to putrefy. Then M. Sucksdorff showed that infusions of coffee and of tea might remain exposed openly to the air for a considerable time without molding or developing bacteria. Finally, Mr. Heim has recently published the results of more exact researches, which tend to demonstrate the reality of the antiseptic properties of roasted coffee. The cholera bacillus appears to be one of the organisms most readily affected by coffee. It is desirable to have the investigation extended to the infusion of tea, which will probably be found to have similar properties.

A Crystal Skull.—Among the interesting features at the meeting of the American Association was the exhibition, by Mr. George F. Kunz, of a crystal skull which had been brought from Mexico by a Spanish officer before the French invasion, and, having been in possession of Mr. Evans, the English collector, and Mr. M. E. Boban, now belonged to Mr. George H. Sisson, of New York. The inclusions in the rock-crystal material were identical with those in the quartz or rock-crystal from Calaveras County, California. Nothing more than this is known of the origin of the skull. It is