Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/369

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355
HUMAN BRAIN-WEIGHTS.

tic deities. The steamer sticks to one or other of the two main channels, which are wide and deep, and comparatively unencumbered by rocks or islands; it avoids the tiny minor reaches, rich in endless surprises and varying vistas which constitute the real charm and beauty of this fantastic, fairy-like region. No, no! to see the islands properly, you must live on one of them for several days at least, and row up and down among the lost side-channels and tangled back-waters, exploring the bays and inlets, and occasionally losing your way altogether among the endless intricacies of that maze of water. But if you can not afford the time to see them thus, you should at least spend a day or two at Clayton or Gananoque, and take the "round trip" on the little excursion-steamer, Island Wanderer, which threads its way in and out through the loveliest windings of the landlocked river.—Longmans' Magazine.

 

HUMAN BRAIN-WEIGHTS.
By JOSEPH SIMMS, M. D.

ALTHOUGH we may regard it as fully admitted that the external appearance of the skull is no certain indication of the mental caliber of the individual, still there are many who are inclined to measure mind in terms of matter, believing it to be somehow dependent on the material constitution of the brain. Texture, the relative proportions of white and gray matter, and especially weight, are regarded as important factors in the problem, and it is on this latter subject that I have compiled and would offer what, so far as I have been able to ascertain, are trustworthy data concerning the weight of this important organ. The average brain-weight appears to be higher in cold than in warm climates. The "Lancet" has recorded the observation that men with large heads endure cold better than those with small ones. The Lapps have the largest heads in Europe in proportion to their stature; Norwegians next; then come Swedes, Danes, Germans, French and Italians. The Arab head is smaller than any of these. In the Pacific Ocean, far to the north, a people called Chugatshes, with remarkably large heads, occupy the shores and islands of Prince William Sound.

The average size of brain differs also at different stages of life; so that two men, each examining several hundred brains in the same city, may not obtain exactly the same results; because the subjects of the one may be chiefly aged, and those of the other young, though mature. In this case the latter would show a much greater average weight than the former, because of the natural decrease of the brain with advancing years. The following acknowledged authorities have presented the facts as they found them, after weighing a large number of brains:

Dr. John Reid, of the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, states the aver-