Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 28.djvu/604

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586
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

are very few schools where they are well taught, and information is lacking to show that the number is increasing. Good books exist, but books are only of secondary importance, and certainly good teachers are few indeed. The improvement in the quality of college graduates who could teach biology in schools, if there was any demand for it, gives room for hope. Under the present fashion of cramming for college there is not much to hope for in the ordinary fitting-schools, and it would be much better if they abandoned altogether the very palpable sham which they now call botany. More could probably be accomplished in the grammar and primary schools where there is more time, and where the pupils are of an age when they naturally feel interested in plants and animals. Of course, in such schools one should begin with the larger flowering plants and not attempt to use the compound microscope. Certainly, in schools in the country or in places where the children frequently see plants growing, botany, if well taught, would be admirably adapted for awakening and developing the spirit of observation and investigation. In large cities the case is somewhat different. There the children hardly ever see plants growing, and the expense of providing them with the few flowers shown at school is hardly warranted by the good derived therefrom. As the main object is to acquire the power of observing, I am by no means certain that, in large cities, physics, or at least mechanics, may not prove to be better adapted to the purpose than botany or zoölogy.

 

DISCRIMINATION IN RAILWAY RATES.
By GERRIT L. LANSING.
II.

HAVING already considered those discriminations affecting persons and things, there now remains the consideration of rates affecting places.

All discriminations favoring places result from the competition existing at the favored points. This is of several kinds: First, the competition of parallel railroad lines or water-routes; second, the competition of markets; and, third, the efforts of the railroad company to increase its profits by increasing its traffic at lower rates. These operate sometimes singly, sometimes by more than one, sometimes all together. They also exist in different proportions, and so the direct effect of one or the other can not, in most cases, be measured.

I. The competition of parallel lines or water-courses includes those cases where two or more points on a railroad are accessible also by another railroad or water-route. The struggle for the traffic of such a place results in lower rates than to places less favorably situated.