Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/443

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NOTES.

the Sinaitic district, and of another chain in the center of the Wady Arabah, not far from the water-shed. The great line of fracture of the Wady Arabah and the Jordan Valley has been traced to a distance of more than one hundred miles, and the materials for working out a complete theory of this remarkable depression are now available. The terraces of the Jordan have been examined. The relation of these terraces to the surrounding hills and valleys shows that they had already been formed before the water reached their former level; sections have been carried east and west across the Akabah and the Jordan Valley, and two traverses of Palestine have been made from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.

 

Change as a Recreative Agent.—Sir James Paget spoke, in a recent address, at the Workingmen's College, London, on the value of change as a mental restorative, and found it to consist principally in directing the patient to some form of "work" for which he has inherited a special capacity. The effect is produced through the awakening and gratification of some dormant love or propensity which lies deep down in the individual nature and has been inherited. It thus appears that the special pleasures of individual lives are ancestral, or are "survivals in us of instincts that belonged to our distant ancestors, who of necessity had to kill, to fish, to hunt, to clear the forests, and make the roads." The mere recommendation of "change" vaguely is idle; but recreative change, judiciously recommended and specifically applied, is one of the most powerful agents we possess for the treatment of disease, or of derangements and disturbances of the mental temperament and the mind.

 

NOTES.

The thirteenth series of Professor C. G. Rockwood's "Notes on American Earth-quakes," in the "American Journal of Science," includes seventy-eight notices of shocks that occurred on the American Continents during 1883. Of these, eight were in Canada, three in New England, two in the Atlantic States, eleven in the Mississippi Valley, and twenty-three on the Pacific coast, while the rest were in Mexico, the West Indies, and Central and South America. The more important shocks were recorded—January 11th, Cairo, Illinois; March 8th, Panama; May 19th, Ecuador; August, Mexico; and October 6th, Alaska. Most of the shocks were very moderate, and caused little or no damage.

Dr. Ernst Behm, a German geographer, died March 15th. He had been for twenty-eight years editorially connected with the "Geographische Mittheilungen" of Justus Perthes in Gotha. He was joint editor of Behm and Wagner's celebrated statistical publication.

The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania have elected Dr. Joseph Leidy, Director, and Professor of Anatomy and Zoölogy, of the new Biological Department. Dr. J. T. Rothrock has been elected Professor of Botany; Dr. A. J. Parker, Professor of Comparative Anatomy; Dr. Benjamin Sharpe, Professor of Invertebrate Morphology; Dr. Horace Jayne, Professor of Vertebrate Morphology; and Dr. Harrison Allen, Professor of Physiology. Women are to be admitted as students.

The whole history of the once famous book, the "Vestiges of Creation," is told by Mr. Alexander Ireland, in the twelfth edition, just published. In agreement with what the world has long understood, the author is at last declared on the title-page to have been Mr. Robert Chambers, According to Mr. Ireland's account, Mr. Chambers employed his wife as his amanuensis in writing the book, and Mr. Ireland as the medium of communication with his publishers. Only four persons were at first in the secret of the authorship, of whom Mr. Ireland is the sole survivor.

Experiments by Messrs. R. Pictet and E. Yung have resulted in showing that some of the microbes at least can sustain a temperature of -70° to -130° C. (-94° to -200° Fahr.) for periods of several hours, and still live and thrive on the accession of more favorable temperatures.

It is suggested that papers will be acceptable to be read before the Anthropological Section of the British Association on American subjects, as follow: "The Native Races of America, their Physical Characters and Origin"; "Civilization of America before the Time of Columbus, with Particular Reference to Earlier Intercourse with the Old World"; "Archæology of North America, Ancient Mounds and Earth-Works, Cliff-Dwellings and Village-Houses, Stone Architecture of Mexico and Central America," etc.; "Native Languages of America"; and "European Colonization and its Effects on the Native Tribes of America," Papers should be sent in to the office of the Association, 22 Albemarle Street, London, W., on or before July 1st.