Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 50.djvu/733

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FRAGMENTS OF SCIENCE.

come convinced that such a laboratory would derive the greatest advantage if it could be associated with the Royal Institution. He had therefore improved an opportunity that offered to procure a suitable property immediately adjoining the Royal Institution and prepare it, in cooperation with suitable advisers, for its special work. As it stood, he believed that it would compare favorably with any other laboratory in or out of England, in the completeness of its appliances, and was unique of its kind, being the only public laboratory in the world solely devoted to research in pure science. The laboratory contains: On the basement, rooms for thermo-chemical, for pyrochemical research, and for electrical work, a battery of twenty-six accumulators, constant temperature vaults, and boiler rooms and storerooms; on the ground floor, rooms for research in organic and in inorganic chemistry, a fireproof room for experiments in sealed tubes, a balance room, and entrance hall and cloak room; on the first floor, the honorary secretary's room, a large double library connected with the library of the Royal Institution; on the second floor, a museum of apparatus; on the third floor, seven rooms for research in physical chemistry; on the fourth floor, rooms for organic and for inorganic preparations, a photographic room, and four rooms for research in physical chemistry; and on the roof an asphalted flat, with table, gas, and water. All the floors are connected by a hydraulic passenger lift. Dr. Mond has further furnished the laboratory with an endowment of ₤100,000, or $500,000—₤38,000 sunk in the building and its equipment, and ₤62,000 for the endowment proper; and he has intrusted it to the Royal Institution, so as to insure its being open to men and women of all schools and of all views on scientific questions. Lord Rayleigh and Prof. Dewar have been appointed the present directors. The qualification for admittance to the privileges of the laboratory is to have already done original scientific work, or to be judged by the Laboratory Committee qualified to undertake original scientific research in pure or physical chemistry; but no person shall be excluded on account of nationality or sex. Admission to all the privileges is free, with responsibility for damage done.

 

Characteristics of Reformatory Prisoners.—The Twentieth Yearbook of the New York State Reformatory supplements the usual items of the formal report with some observations on the anthropometric characteristics of the inmates of the institution, which, while they are far from exhaustive, may cast considerable light upon the condition of the persons who find their way to such places. Exercise in the gymnasium was prescribed to the men of more marked physical defects, and general muscular increment in volume and power resulted from it. Comparing the five hundred and twenty-nine men of the reformatory with Amherst College students of nearly corresponding age, the reformatory man appears to be below the Amherst student's average ten pounds in weight, three inches and three tenths in height, fifty-six cubic inches in lung capacity, thirty pounds in strength of chest, thirty-two pounds in strength of back, and two dips in strength of arms, but reaches him in strength of legs. He is within one pound in weight and falls short an inch and seven tenths of the Wellesley College girl in height, and is only a little stronger than she in lung capacity and strength of chest, while he is superior in strength of back and legs. A large percentage of the heads are marked and scarred, as the result of street brawls and conflicts with the police, although the men's first explanation generally is a fall. Defects in the eyes are pretended in a large proportion of cases, but many of them are real. If near-sightedness, etc., are so much the result of civilization, school pressure, and close study as many physicians suppose, the class of men found in this institution should be practically exempt from it. "But the opposite are the exact conditions found." The physical make-up of the adolescent criminal appears to be reflected "as well in his visual organs as in other portions of his body, and the predisposition to eye trouble is inaugurated at both. The environment, personal habits, and mode of living only serve to act as exciting causes upon an already predisposed organism." Many of the prisoners in the reformatory are possessed of a defective inhibitory power or control, rendering it difficult and distasteful for them to apply themselves continuously to any one trade or