Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 6.djvu/130

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

120

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

more than the same ideas which, in respect to grammar, we indicate by the terms 'singular, plural, and common.'" He then proceeds to trace out other analogies or correspondences, and shows that grammar throughout has its true basis in logic.

The number before us of the Journal of Speculative Philosophy contains other articles, as an analysis of the music of "Robert Schumann," Herbart's "Rational Psychology," and various minor discussions, but the essays noticed will give an idea of the scope and variety of the subjects treated in its pages. If it be thought that this magazine is too sublimated in its speculations for practical service in this age, we must remember that the age needs improving; that the tendency of all science is toward the establishment of generalizations or abstract principles; and we must not forget that this journal is edited by one of the most able and thorough of the practical educators of the country.

One Year of Science. Tribune Publication. Price, 25 cts. Contents: Scientific Views of Comets; Philological Convention of Hartford; Chemistry's Centennial; American Science Association of Hartford.

This pamphlet of 92 large pages, double columns and in small type, contains an immense amount of miscellaneous scientific information boiled down to a state of concentration that is only equaled by the cheapness for which the whole is sold. There are nearly 150 articles, many of them quite full, some of them illustrated, and all of them on the latest aspects, results, and tendencies of contemporary science. In its series of cheap scientific publications, freighted with useful information for the people, the Tribune is doing an important work of popular education, and deserves to be widely and liberally sustained.

Exposures in Fire-insurance. By William Frazier Ross. New York: D. Appleton & Co.

In the language of fire-insurance, all insurable property is subject to certain exposures or liabilities to take fire. For instance, a building so situated in relation to a storehouse of oils or spirits, that, were the liquids to take fire, they would flow toward it, is therein subject to an exposure. Exposures are numerous and varied in kind, and upon the number and quality of those to which a building is subjected does its rate of premium depend. This makes apparent the necessity for a reliable method of estimating the exposures. The difficulty hitherto in the way has been want of statistics, and this deficiency it is the object of this little volume to supply. In the main, it fulfills its purpose, but the habitual use of technical terms, without explanation of their meaning, and the occasional occurrence in close proximity of a word, first in its technical and then in its common acceptation, is calculated to confuse the general reader. By its use, property-holders will be enabled to estimate for themselves the cost of insuring their property, and thus to establish a check on over-charges.

An Introduction to the Study of General Biology. By Thomas C. MacGinley. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 198 pages. Price, 75 cents.

This is an ambitious attempt to supply what is still needed—a good text-book on biology for schools. The author deals extensively with the torula, or yeast-plant, bacterium, protococcus, and other low forms of life, and gives but a single example of the three highest branches. In this respect the subject-matter of the book is not properly balanced. While there is much to commend, there is much to object to in the obscure and shocking character of many of the figures, as being more likely to mislead than to aid. Many of them look faithful copies of hasty and crude pencil-notes of hasty and crude drawings made on the black-board.

Statistical Atlas of the United States. Part II. Population, Social and Industrial Statistics.

This is part of a series of large folio maps intended to represent, graphically, first the progress of the United States, both as regards acquisition of territory and increase of population, and then the relative proportions of the various race-elements. To the illustration of these subjects are devoted sixteen sheets of the atlas. The remaining eleven sheets represent the ratio