Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/583

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Glass—has been revised and greatly enlarged for the fifth edition by the Rev. T. E. Espin, and is now published by Longmans, Green k Co. in two volumes. Preparatory to beginning his work on the new edition the author invited suggestions from amateurs, obtained advice from the Astronomical and Statistical Society of Toronto, and received assistance from special students of the sun, the moon, the planets, the comets, and meteorites. The original text has been left unaltered as far as possible, and the new matter added is placed in footnotes. The catalogue of Struve has been used as a basis. The objects have been arranged in the order of their right ascensions in the constellations.

The most important event mentioned in the Report of the Harvard Astronomical Observatory for 1893 is the completion of the new fireproof brick building, and the transfer to it of about 13,000 stellar photographs. The entire income of the Paine fund has become available for the use of the observatory. Photographing celestial objects under the Henry Draper memorial continues. The most important object taken is a new star in the constellation Norma, July 10th, which has a spectrum appearing idencal with that of Nova Aurigæ. A higher meteorological station has been established in Peru than even Chachani. It is on the summit of the volcano El Misti, 19,200 feet above the sea. The latest publications of the Annals of the Observatory received by us are Vol. XIX, Part I, Researches on the Zodiacal Light and on a Photographic Determination of the Atmospheric Absorption; Vol. XXV, Comparison of Positions of the Stars between 49º 50' and 55º 10' North Declination, between 1870 and 1884, by W. A. Rogers; Vol. XXIX, Miscellaneous Researches made during the Years 1883-93; Vol. XXX, Part III, Measurements of Cloud Heights and Velocities at Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, by H. H. Clayton and S. P. Ferguson; Vol. XXXI, Part II, Investigations of the New England Meteorological Society for the year 1891; Vol. XL, Part II, Observations made at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory in the year 1892.

It is only by degrees and with difficulty that the study of natural science has been able to draw away from the domination of older subjects of instruction. The early guides in the experimental method unavoidably retained too much of the character of text-books. In Laboratory Studies in Elementary Chemistry, prepared by Prof. LeRoy C. Cooley (American Book Company, 50 cents), an especial effort has been made to secure purely experimental study, which is something more than verifying statements found in books. Directions for a hundred and fifty experiments are given, and the student is told the object of each, but not what he is expected to see. At the close the application to qualitative analysis of the facts and principles learned is pointed out.

The Problem of Manflight is considered by James Means (W. B. Clarke & Co., Boston, publishers, 1 cents) from the point of view that the solution is to be sought in the principle of the soaring of birds. The author calls attention to the fact that the feat of safely sliding down a long and gentle incline upon an aëroplane has been performed by Otto Lilienthal, of Steglitz, Prussia, and adds that "in order to travel long distances in the air it is only necessary to improve the dirigibility of the aëroplane so that the angle of descent can be brought to a minimum." This can be done by making repeated experiments with very simple and inexpensive mechanical contrivances called soaring machines, these to be dropped from a height. Experiments with machines of this kind should be encouraged, with regattas and large prizes. With machines made automatic in their steering action, flights like Lilienthal's will be no more dangerous than football, quite as interesting, and far less barbarous.

A preliminary study of The Derivation of the Pineal Eye is published by William A. Locey, of Lake Foyest, 111., in the Anatomische Anzeiger, of Jena.

The State Library Bulletin, Legislation, comprises a classified summary of new legislation, with a subject index, which is prepared by entries on cards made as fast as proofs or advance copies of the session laws can be secured. This index is printed at the beginning of each year in order to inform legislators and other State officers what of special value in the subject under consideration in the publications of other States is available in the New York State library. The references in Bulletin No. 4, January, 1894,