Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/572

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a large degree by the fact that the exhibition rooms and storage halls being filled to their utmost capacity, it has become necessary to cease to a large degree the customary efforts to add to the collections. Besides other features, accounts are given of work in the scientific departments, the library and publications, the work of the Museum preparators, accessions, co-operation of bureaus and officers of the Government, and explorations; considerable space is given to describing the participation of the Smithsonian Institution and the Museum in Centennial Exhibitions at Cincinnati and Marietta, Ohio; and eight papers are published describing and illustrating collections.

Games, Ancient and Oriental, and how to play them. By Edward Falkener. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co. Pp. 366. Price, $6.

The author believes in the usefulness of games because they afford needful relaxation to the mind, pleasant diversions to the invalid and the afflicted, and means of bringing friends together and promoting acquaintance and fellowship. He directed his attention many years ago to the games of chess, draughts, and backgammon, and to the formation of magic squares. Elaborate works have been written on the history of these games, and instead of exploiting this branch of the subject over again, he has preferred to discuss the practical rules and principles of each game. He expresses the opinion that students may find that the games which were established in years gone by contain merits that are not always found in the new and fanciful conceits of the day. The first place is given to the games of the ancient Egyptians, with the results of Dr. Birch's researches on the "subject. The games are Tau, or Robbers, which was afterward played and called by the same name, Ludus Latrunculorum, by the Romans; Senat, which is still played by the modern Egyptians as Seega; Han, or the game of the Bowl; the Sacred Way, the Hiero Gramme of the Greeks; and Atep, which is played by Italians as Mora, Under the head of chess are given Indian, Chinese, Burmese, Siamese, Turkish, Tamerlane's, and double chess, and the game of the Maharajah and Sepoy; of draughts, Polish and Turkish draughts, Wei K'i and Go, or the Chinese and Japanese game of inclosing; German, Turkish, and Indian backgammons. A considerable variety of magic squares are described, and all the games are illustrated with photographic reproductions and with diagrams.

The Oak: a Popular Introduction to Forest Botany. By H. Marshall Ward, F. R. S., F. L. S. Modern Science Series, No. III. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 175. Price, $1.

For many persons trees have an interest which is not possessed by the lowlier members of the vegetable kingdom. Trees also are what the modern art of forestry is concerned with, and those who become interested in this subject on account of its economic or sanitary bearings are very apt to want to know something about the way in which trees grow. To all such persons Prof. Ward's book will be very welcome. In a brief introduction the author describes the general habit of the oak, and then, starting with the acorn, he describes the unfolding of the embryo, the development of the young plant, and the form and functions of the mature tree. There is a chapter on the structure and technological peculiarities of oak timber, followed by another dealing with the cultivation of the oak, and the parasites and fungi which infest it. A number of illustrations are given, showing the appearance of oak wood injured by various fungi. Lastly, the relationships of the oaks receive brief consideration.

The World-energy and its Self-conservation. By William M. Bryant. Chicago: S. C. Griggs & Co. 1890. Pp. 304.

This is a metaphysical inquiry into the fundamental conceptions of the universe. The author holds that the laws of thought are necessarily the laws of things, and takes perfect consistency in consciousness to be the ultimate and absolute ground of all certitude. From this basis he attempts to formulate the universe, and reaches the conclusion that the one permanent reality of which the world we know is a manifestation is spirit. Stated in his own words, the conclusion to which his argument leads is:

"The world-energy is God. Its self-conservation is the eternal process of creation. 'Evolution' is the temporal aspect of