Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 8.djvu/782

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mer or winter visitant, or only passes over a locality in spring or fall. 2. With reference to each species in a given locality, whether it is "abundant," "somewhat common," or "rare." 3. What species breed, and whether more than once in a season. 4. Dates of arrival, greatest abundance, nest-building, laying eggs, hatching of young, and beginning of departure of each species, and when it is last seen in the fall. 5. What effects, if any, upon the relative abundance of particular birds, in retarding their arrival or hastening their departure, sudden changes of the weather, storms, and late and early seasons appear to have. 6. Similar notes upon the appearance and movements of the quadrupeds, reptiles, and fishes of the region, and upon the time of flowering of trees and plants. 7. Other occurrences considered noteworthy. It is desirable that records of this kind should be kept. As the writer in Forest and Stream observes, it is through such observations as these, continued year after year, that the natural history of England has become so well known, and so many persons there have become interested in it. We may add that children might easily be induced to take an interest in this kind of natural-history observations, and so by degrees acquire the faculty of accurately noting what is going on around them.

 

Arctic Research.—A commission of thirteen eminent naturalists, appointed by the German Government to discuss the question of Arctic discovery, have made a report, in which they adopt the advice of Lieutenant Payer, of the Austrian Expedition. They do not object to Arctic research, but dissuade from voyages of discovery; they believe that the advantages to be derived from the former can be secured by a safer and surer method. They recommend the establishment of permanent stations in those Arctic regions which can be safely approached and abandoned at any time. As a beginning, they recommend several stations to be formed on the eastern shore of Greenland, the western shore of Spitzbergen, and Jan Mayen Island. Houses should be built, furnished with every regard to the inclemency of the climate. In each house the commission would have stationed a detachment of scholars, sailors, and other enterprising men, to remain for a term of years, a ship being sent out for their relief from time to time.

The men at these stations could do good work for meteorology, by observing the periodic recurrence of Arctic phenomena, as well as any deviation from the ordinary rule, and would thus be enabled to discover the reasons for the alternation of storm and calm at the equator. The connection between terrestrial magnetism and atmospheric electricity, cable-currents, and the aurora borealis, can only be investigated in such high latitudes; while the laws of terrestrial magnetism itself will never be thoroughly appreciated unless the variations of magnetism in the far north are studied. Then as to astronomy, the theory of refraction, the atmospheric lines of the spectrum, and the relation between comets and shooting-stars, to be better known, require continued observation near the pole. Geodesy, too, by measurement of degrees and observation of the pendulum, will arrive at more definite conclusions respecting the form of the globe.

Geography, independently of the topographical details to be ascertained on the spot, will derive the most valuable geognostic information from further systematic study. Geology, paleontology, mineralogy, botany, and zoölogy, may expect to make great strides from persistent exploration of the northern and southern poles, while physiology and biology will be enormously advanced by the discovery of the conditions of life in those cold regions. There was a time when man in Central Europe led the life to which Lapps and Eskimos are condemned nowadays. To become familiar with the manners and customs, the religion and morals, the physical and psychical peculiarities of Arctic races, is to dive into the distant past, and may probably explain much that is still unintelligible in our primeval history.

 

Force and Work.—Work without implies work within. No exercise of force can be made except by the generation and use of force of which no part enters into the external result. The use of muscles in-