Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/588

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572
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

each side at intervals of two feet six inches and two feet three inches, kept in position by split cane worked in a kind of basket-fashion. The whole would present, in transverse-section, nearly the shape of a somewhat rounded V about five feet high and three and a half feet wide at the top. The top strands are kept apart by a cross-stick, the ends of which are tied to the top of each strand. Suitable platform approaches have been built at the ends, and the whole structure is strong and graceful.

 

Fine Art in the Workshop.—In a discussion of the relation of the fine arts to the applied arts, Mr. Edward C. Robins insists that the workshop is the place for applying those principles of beauty in art which are not taught there, but may be taught in the technical school, and which are necessary to give the worker the intelligence required to enable him to profit by the opportunities which the workshop alone adequately supplies to the handicraftsman. To secure the inculcation of these principles the natural and instinctive love of children for imagery, for stones, for penciling and coloring, for deft fingering should never cease to be cultivated; and every school should teach drawing as it teaches reading, singing, or ciphering. The free use of the pencil is of incalculable value in every sphere of life. Elementary knowledge is not enough, and the process should be carried on till proficiency results; and this can not be in the arts connected with architecture unless it culminates in complete mastery of decorative design and drawing from natural forms and the living model, as well as the practice of geometry and perspective. The pre-eminence of France in art generally, and its application to industry, seems to have resulted from the recognition of this important preliminary training.

 

Local Magnetism and Geological Structure.—The Relation between the Geological Constitution and the Magnetic State of the United Kingdom was discussed in a paper at the British Association, by Prof. A. W. Rückes and T. E. Thorpe. Having noticed certain abnormal variations in declination depending on the geological character of the district as engendering local or regional disturbing forces, the authors outlined two principal theories which had been proposed to account for the phenomena. Many igneous rocks and wholly basaltic rocks contain magnetic oxide of iron, and the deviations of the needle may be explained by the presence of such rocks, either visible on the surface or concealed beneath it. The other explanation associates the deflections of the needle with disturbances of the earth's currents of electricity produced by irregularities in the geological constitution of the country, especially with geological faults. The authors were of the opinion that on the whole the theory of the action of magnetic rocks agrees best with the observed facts; and they showed that the United Kingdom can be divided into a number of magnetic districts, in which the directions of the disturbing forces are evidently closely connected with the geological constitution.

 

The Eyes and Headaches.—Headaches are usually associated with disorders of the system or of important organs. It is pointed out, however, by Dr. J. J. Chisholm, in a paper on Persistent Headaches and how to cure them, that a large number of head discomforts occur in which no acute inflammatory condition exists, and no fault can be found with the general health. In many of these cases, especially in such as are relieved by stopping work, the cause of the disorder may be traced to the eye. This may be the case even when no pain is felt in the eye itself, and where no weakness of vision has been detected. The true headache eye is known as an astigmatic one, or one in which the light, through defective change of the lenses, fails to be concentrated to a point on the retina. It is a frequent product of the schools as they are now managed. Aside from abandoning the use of the eyes, which is impossible, the only remedy for the astigmatic headaches is found in wearing suitably chosen glasses.

 

Musical Visions.—The story is told in Nature of a young woman who has distinct visions of various objects at the sound of different musical instruments. The playing of the oboe calls to her eye a white pyramid or obelisk running into a sharp point, the proportions of which vary with the qualities of