Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/480

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466
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

these recent efforts to secure additional statutes for raising the State revenues by means of special taxation, mark the development of new methods of taxation based principally on the growth of corporate wealth and the prosperity of certain privileged and, in some cases, like the liquor-traffic, objectionable classes of industry and business. The proportion of the States in which they are on trial is as yet small. The number, however, is steadily increasing. As the advantages of the new plan are brought more clearly before the notice of legislators, we may expect a revolution in State taxation. So great has been the progress in the past ten years that it would not be astonishing to see at the end of the next decade fully one half of the States levying merely a nominal direct tax, or none at all. Special privileged classes will probably bear the burden of State taxation in the future. The tariff will furnish the national revenue, and the main tax on real and personal property will be for the necessities of county and municipal government. The only danger lies in a tendency to overdo the matter. The special taxes must not be oppressive. The rights of the special classes, as well as of the other tax-payers, must be protected. If co-operation between the States could be assured, so that uniform and equitable rates might be established, great benefit would be derived by all property-owners.

 

BISHOP’S RING AROUND THE SUN.
By WILLIAM M. DAVIS.

IF there is nothing new under the sun, there is at least something new around it. For the last two years close observers of the sky have noticed that the noonday sun has been surrounded by a corona of dusky, coppery, or reddish light, as it has been variously described, the circle of most distinct color having a radius of about fifteen degrees, and inclosing a brilliant, silvery or bluish glow close around the solar disk. A similar appearance of much less intensity has been occasionally noticed around the full moon on very clear winter nights.

The most experienced observers of sky-colors are agreed that this corona was not visible before the latter months of 1883. Von Bezold, of Munich, who was considered the most competent meteorologist to prepare a schedule for observations on the colors of the sky for the recent German Arctic Expedition, says that, in spite of the close attention he had previously given to the appearance of the usual whitish glow around the sun, he had never till recently seen the dusky ring. Thollon, of Nice, who had made a special study of the sky around the sun for a series of years, declares confidently that a change occurred in November, 1883. Backhouse, of Sunderland, who has a careful