Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/879

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

in high and normal schools. While too great simplicity in treatment has been avoided, care has been taken to preserve the logical sequence of thought and to prevent the discussions from becoming unnecessarily abstruse and difficult. Examples have been selected with special reference to variety in combination and methods of reduction.

In his Graduated Course of Natural Science (Macmillan) Mr. Benjamin Loewy endeavors to place the fundamental facts of physics and chemistry upon a purely experimental basis. The principal subjects usually embraced by a school course in these branches are arranged in a progressive manner, "so that the pupil may be able to proceed gradually from that which is known, simple, and easy, to that which is unknown, complex, and difficult; from that which is near and within a young learner's perception, to what is more recondite." It is also a part of the plan to give no instruction but that which is conveyed through experiments and the immediate consequences of the phenomena observed, as deduced by a chain of simple reasoning. The present volume (Part I) of one hundred and fifty-one pages comprises the first year's course for elementary schools and the junior classes of technical schools and colleges.

The First Report of Mr. John C. Smock (Charles Van Benthuysen & Sons, Albany), On the Iron Mines and Iron-Ore Districts in the State of New York, is based in part on the answers by managers of mines to letters of inquiry addressed to them, and partly on a personal survey of the mining district. Nearly all the mines were visited, and notes of their geographical situation and geological relations were obtained. The answers to letters of inquiry furnished valuable data, especially in the relations of the mines to the iron-mining and iron-manufacturing industries of the country. Short notices of the older mines and of some of the abandoned mine localities have been incorporated in the report. The paper is published as "Bulletin" No. 1 of the New York State Museum of Natural History.

The Report, by Dr. George M. Dawson, on an Exploration in the Yukon District, Northwestern Territory, and adjacent Northern Portion of British Columbia, gives the results of an expedition made in 1887, in the vast and hitherto almost unknown region in the extreme Northwest of British America. The tract in question is bounded on the south by the sixtieth parallel, forming the northern line of British Columbia, on the west by Alaska, on the east by the Rocky Mountains and the one hundred and thirty-sixth meridian, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. It derives its name from its lying within the drainage-basin of the Yukon River. It has an area of about one hundred and ninety-two thousand square miles, or nearly equal to that of France, greater than that of the United Kingdom by seventy-one thousand square miles, ten times that of Nova Scotia, and nearly three times that of the New England States. The report is accompanied by a map of the district and northern British Columbia, in three sheets.

Geonomy and Cosmonomia (J. B. Lippincott Company) presents theories on the origin of ocean currents and the growth of worlds and cause of gravitation, by J. Stanley Grimes, who is also the author of theories in mental physiology that have been favorably mentioned by such authorities as Dr. McCosh, the Rev. Joseph Cook, and the late Dr. G. M. Beard, and of a new view of the nebular system. In Geonomy he sets forth that the continents originated in the sinking of the ocean basins beneath weights of sediment, accompanied by compensatory upheavals, and were shaped by six pairs of elliptical oceanic currents, the sedimentary deposits of which caused the sinkings. In Cosmonomia the condensation of ether is presented as the cause of the growth of worlds and of gravitation.

Mr. H. H. Johnston's History of a Slave presents a dark aspect of affairs in Arabo-savage Africa. The author, who has acquired fame as an explorer, and particularly as the leader of an expedition for ascending Mount Kilimanjaro, has attempted in it to give a realistic sketch of life in the western Soudan. The story is the outcome of some of his own experiences, and is especially based on what he has seen and heard when traveling in North Africa, in the Niger Delta, and on the Cross River, It does not describe any particular series of events as they actually occurred, but combines isolated incidents such as are not unknown in the country into a connected, consecutive