Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 33.djvu/585

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

569

by labor or new material is required-As the car runs over the track "low-point markers" eject paint under the heads of the rails where deflections occur, thus showing to trackmen where their labor is needed. Diagrams of track inspection have demonstrated that with sixty-five or sixty-seven pound rails the deflections were more than was generally supposed, and have led to the introduction of seventy-two and eighty pound rails.

Systematic Reading for Teachers.—Dr. Jerome Allen, of New York, gave, at the meeting of school superintendents held in Washington last year, a summary of the principles on which the teacher's systematic reading should be conducted. In the matter of primary knowledge as a teacher, he ought to read that which will most directly help him in the work of instruction. His pupils are human beings; he must know what they are, morally, mentally, and physically. He is especially set to train the mind; it follows, then, that he must study mind growth and mind-science. How to train the mind into a symmetrical maturity is the most important knowledge a teacher can gain. All text-book knowledge is secondary in comparison with this. If a teacher knows all science, literature, and art, and does not know the mind and its growth, he is not prepared to teach. His work is empirical. The reading for secondary knowledge comprises methods of instruction, organization, school government, school systems, school laws, and the history of education.

The Three Grades of Hand-Work.—In a paper on "Sense and Hand-Training in Public Schools," Prof. Joseph Le Conte affirms that as drawing, if introduced, should be not for making artists, but for training the brain through eye and hand, so hand-work should be not for making carpenters or blacksmiths, but to train the brain by co-operation of hand and eye. If in biology the training is mainly of the brain through the senses, in hand-work the training is mainly of the brain through the hand. If one is mainly observing and thinking, the other is mainly thinking and doing. It is impossible to doubt the importance of hand-training from this point of view. All admit the absolute necessity of the use of the hand in the brain-culture of the child. All now admit also that the best scientific culture in the university requires the use of instruments of research—the microscope, telescope, the balance, the measures of force of many kinds. But in the whole wide space between, viz., in the school and the college, this great agent of culture is wholly left out. Now, I am quite sure that for every grade of culture, whether of the individual or of the race, there is a corresponding grade of hand-work necessary for the best brain-culture. In the child of preschool age and in the savage and in palæolithic man, it is the simple use of the hand, or assisted by rude implements. In the school boy or girl, as also in the next higher grade of races, it is by the use of those finer instruments which we call tools. In the university, as in the most civilized races, it is by the use of scientific instruments and machines. The three grades of hand-work, then, are the use of implements, tools, and instruments. That especially adapted to the schools is the use of tools. But not only is hand-training in the schools an immediate and very urgent want, but by the necessary differentiation of human pursuits and the increasing divergence of school from actual life, is becoming more so every year.

Perforated Stones from California.—These objects are found abundantly in Southern California, varying in weight from an ounce, or even less, to several pounds. In shape they are most frequently circular, or nearly so, but occasionally they are irregularly oblong, and some are more or less globular, while others tend to the pear-shape. Mr. H. W. Henshaw states that by the surviving Indians of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties the stones were formerly put to three uses: first, as weights to digging-sticks; second, as gaming implements; and third, as dies for fashioning tubes, pipes, and similar cylindrical objects. A Santa Barbara Indian, to whom a specimen was shown, a man sixty or more years of age, unhesitatingly affirmed, the moment he saw it, that it was a digging stick weight. This implement, he said, was formerly in use among the women in his tribe. The stick must be strong and very hard; the wood usually employed grew only in the mountains. The especial function of the digging-stick was to dig a kind of onion-