Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/430

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moral end bring anybody to Christ, if, as he elsewhere says, "there is a freshness and a completeness about the ethics of the ancients which we seek in vain in the moderns"? Again, he remarks, "We might be spared much of crudeness and violence and one-sidedness, if people were aware that what they hold to be the last result of modern enlightenment was, perhaps, the commonplace of two thousand years ago." But would it not be better if we could be spared something more of that crude, one-sided education which disqualifies its victims from understanding what are "the last results of modern enlightenment"?

Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer to the Secretary of War, for the Year 1879. Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 782, with Seventy-four Charts.

The report claims that the duties of corps analogous in their service to the Signal Corps become more prominent with each ensuing year, and hardly a month passes without some improvement in apparatus deserving the attention of the office being suggested. Instruction on the subjects bearing on the duties of the service is given regularly at Fort Whipple, Virginia, whence it is intended a supply of well-drilled men shall be kept to draw from for the needs of the work. The men of the Signal Corps being engaged on duty as constant in time of peace as in the presence of actual war, return, it is admitted, more than the cost of the service, and are at the same time kept in readiness for any emergency of armed duty by regular drills. The value of the advantages gained by the existence of a corps so trained and having its experts distributed as they are over the country, can hardly be estimated; and the adoption of the exercises and practice of the corps is recommended to the militia of the several States. The office is in communication with numerous foreign correspondents, has official relations with the scientific men and chiefs of meteorological services of nearly every prominent power in the northern hemisphere, has become the acknowledged center of meteorological information on the continent, and has connected itself with the meteorological work of the world. It had, at the date of the report, two hundred and twenty-nine stations in the United States, and also received reports from twenty stations in Canada and British America. The summaries of the reports from these stations, which are published in the volume, illustrate the variety of ways in which the stations have made themselves useful and beneficial to the people and interests of the localities in which they are situated.

First Annual Report of the Astronomer in Charge of the Horological and Thermometry Bureaus of the Winchester Observatory of Yale College, 1880-81. By Leonard Waldo. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor. Pp. 32.

The tests for watches are more stringent in some points than those made at Neufchatel and Geneva, but a uniform standard is declared desirable. The time, as determined at the observatory, has been made by law the standard for the State of Connecticut, the first instance in the United States in which a State standard of time has been officially adopted. The testing of thermometers has been so satisfactorily done that the makers, particularly the makers of physicians' thermometers, have accepted the authority of the observatory as final, and have greatly improved under its encouragement. Thus, while in June, 1880, all the thermometers received were in error over one third of a degree, and two per cent, of them had errors exceeding a whole degree, in April and May, 1881, four fifths of all sent had errors of less than three tenths of a degree. The experiments indicate that the majority of physicians' thermometers in use are from one half a degree to two degrees too high.

Report of Field Experiments with Fertilizers. By Professor W. O. Atwater, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. 1881. Pp. 56, including five tables.

The investigations have now been conducted for four years, both in the form of general experiments involving the use of seven or eight or more different kinds and mixtures of fertilizing materials, containing nitrogen, phosphoric acid, and potash, for the purpose of ascertaining what fertilizing