Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/670

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and with power to enforce its orders—that is, the Labor Board should have the same power over the parties to a labor dispute that a court has over the parties to a legal dispute, and its jurisdiction should not depend upon the consent of both parties. Either side should possess the right to compel the other to submit the matter to the board; and if both sides refuse for a long time to submit to arbitration, and the public interests are endangered, it might be expedient to give a certain number of the public at large the right by request or petition addressed to the board to invoke its jurisdiction. With these powers exercised by a tribunal of disinterested persons it is believed that wages would be raised to the point of fairness, that the honest employer would be protected from the competition of the dishonest employer, that strikes and lockouts would cease, and that the eight-hour day would soon become an accomplished fact.

 

MICA AND THE MICA MINES.
By C. HANFORD HENDERSON.

ONE can get little pleasure out of a science until one is tolerably familiar with its nomenclature and terminology. We should make even less than we do out of human history if we were not fairly familiar with the language in which it is written. If the words "institution," "government," "constitution" did not convey correspondingly definite ideas, we should be at a loss to interpret the pages of even our more obvious historians. In natural history it is much the same thing, and it is for this reason, I think, that so many make very little out of it. They never get to feel quite at home among the scientific terms which must needs be used. It may seem like insisting upon a very obvious truth to point out that, when we define or describe a thing in terms unknown to the hearer, we do not define or describe it at all; but nevertheless I believe that it is what Mill would have called a luminous platitude. It is certainly a commonplace more noticeable in the breach than in the observance.

A party of two or three are out on a tramp. Perhaps one of the number is a botanist. He is pretty sure to be besieged with questions: What is this?—What is that?—and all asked in evident good faith. One of the tramps picks up a little beach fern and rushes off to the Linnæus of the party to know what it is. Linnæus looks at it, and answers with all good intentions that it is a Phegopteris dryopteris. The non-botanical member thanks him, perhaps says, "Oh, is it?" as if it were a perfectly intelli-