Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/876

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

York: Charles Collins, and the Baker & Taylor Co. Pp. 110. $1.

Shufeldt, K. W. Comparative Osteology of Arctic and Subarctic Water Birds. Pp. 16, with Plates.—Saurognathism of the Pici, etc. Pp. 10.

Spencer, Herbert. Justice. D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 291. $1.25.

Stejneger, Leonhard, and Test, F. E. New Genus and Species of Tailless Batrachian. Smithsonian Institution. Pp 2, with Plate.

Stewart, Seth T. Plane and Solid Geometry. American Book Company. Pp. 406. $1.12.

Weinberg, A. How to make a Trial-balance in less than an Hour. Baltimore. Pp. 23.

Whitman, C. O. and Allis, Edward Phelps, Jr., Editors. Journal of Morphology. June, 1891. Ginn & Co. Pp. 179, with Plates.

Wilson, H. Augustus. Illustrative Cases of Congenital Club-foot. Pp. 21, with Plates.

Winchell, N. H. and H. V. Map of the Iron Regions of Minnesota.

Winslow, I. O. Principles of Agriculture. American Book Company. Pp. 152.

Wisconsin, Report of the State Board of Health. Pp. 150.

Wright, John A., Philadelphia. Practical Working and Results of the Interstate Commerce Act. Pp. 40.

 


POPULAR MISCELLANY.

The American Microscopical Society.—The American Microscopical Society was the first of the scientific organizations to meet this year at Washington. Dr. John S. Billings made an address of welcome, and spoke at some length of the microscopic work that was done at Washington in the scientific offices of the Government, by the local society, in the Army Medical Museum, and particularly of that of the late Dr. J. J. Woodward. The use of the microscope in Government work was further discussed by Dr. J. Melvin Lamb. Most of the papers read were technical, but one by President Frank L. James, on the Microscope in the Investigation of Scorches and Burns on Textile Fabrics, relating how the instrument had been applied to establish the innocence of a man charged with murder, was of general interest. A committee was appointed to consider the feasibility of inducing American manufacturers to make their instruments of the same standard. A proposed new constitution was considered, and the society decided that it would call itself in future the American Microscopical Society instead of the American Society of Microscopists.

 

Value of Economic Entomology.—The study of insects was exalted in the address of Mr. James Fletcher as President of the Association of Economic Entomologists, who asserted that there is no branch of natural science or practical agriculture to which entomology is second in importance. The amounts lost and the value of the produce which might be saved every year in our staple crops alone by following the advice of the competent entomologist are so enormous, and of late years have been so often proved, that before long the value of these studies must certainly be more generally recognized. The chief hindrance is ignorance on the part of growers and consumers of agricultural products, which is being rapidly dissipated by the work of the agricultural experiment stations. Estimating the value of the agricultural crops of the country at about $380,0:0,000, an average of about ten per cent, or $38,000,000, was now lost—given up to insects without a struggle.

 

The Farmers' Crisis.—Nothing will be gained for us, either from an economic or political point of view, said Prof. E. J. James in his address before the Economic Section of the American Association, by belittling or deriding the views of Western farmers on the money question, on the tariff, or on railroad policy, taxation, and other topics. The American farmer has a grievance—a real and true grievance—one that will not become less by pooh-poohing it, but one that must be carefully studied by students of economics and statistics to ascertain, if possible, how far it is justified and whether it can be remedied, and, if so, by what means. As a matter of fact, the wealth of the United States is flowing away from its farms into its factories and railroads; from the country into the city; from the rural into the urban districts. The policy of our railroad companies has borne hard upon the individual farmer and upon the farmers as a class. It has altered all the conditions of agriculture in many sections of the country, and in nearly all of them in such a way as needlessly to burden and embarrass the farmer. Our system of taxation rests most heavily upon him; and there is no doubt that the financial policy of the country, including the whole system of monetary transactions built up by the combination of governmental and private initiatives, discrimi-