Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 9.djvu/530

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Distribution of the Geneva Award. By Hon. Elijah Ward Pp. 10. Washington, 1876.

Terre Haute Public Schools. Pp. 92. Terre Haute, Ind.: Globe Printing-Office.

Report on Dermatology. By L. P. Yandell, Jr., M.D. Pp. 1. Indianapolis Journal print.

The Missouri Dental Journal. Monthly. Pp. 16.

The Glacial Epoch and the Distribution of Insects in North America. Pp. 5. Are Potato-Bugs poisonous? Pp. 3. By A. R. Grote. From Proceedings of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Nothing. By W. H. Boughton. Pp. 8. Brooklyn: E. S. Dodge print.

Chemistry of Three Dimensions. By F. W. Clarke. Pp. 9. From Proceedings of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Experimental Proof of the Law of Inverse Squares for Sound. By W. W. Jacques. Pp. 8.

 

MISCELLANY.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.—The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia having, at the beginning of the present year, taken possession of its commodious new building, Prof. E. D. Cope avails himself of the occasion to suggest in the Penn Monthly some needed changes and improvements in its organization. The objects of the Academy, as stated by its founder, are, the promotion of original investigation, the imparting of instruction, and the diffusion of knowledge. The Academy possesses a moderate fund for promoting the last-named object, and publishes its "Transactions" regularly. But the other two objects do not receive the same attention. Original research is not materially encouraged by the Academy, and in one instance funds, supposed to be devoted to research, were hoarded and after-ward turned over to the building-fund. Less than five hundred dollars per annum is devoted to "instruction." The chief fault found by Prof. Cope in the organization of the Academy is that, while it secures good financial management, it minimizes the scientific features of the body. "Its officers are the usual president, vice-president, secretary, etc., constituting a management as appropriate to an historical society, library company, or, I might add, church vestry, as to an academy of natural sciences. It has no position designed for its distinctive and essential feature, its scientific experts."

Prof. Cope's remedy is simply to adopt the organization which is possessed by all similar institutions the world over. "Let it create as many positions as there is reasonable probability of receiving endowments in future years, and attach to them privileges which will render them desirable to incumbents, and duties such as are necessary to the Academy."

 

Wyville Thomson on Oceanic Circulation.—Prof. Wyville Thomson, in a report to the hydrographer to the British Admiralty, discusses the problem of oceanic circulation, and gives reasons for believing that the bottom water of the two great oceans is an extremely slow indraught from the Southern Sea. This indraught he refers to the simplest and most obvious of all causes, viz., the excess of evaporation over precipitation in the northern portion of the hind hemisphere, and the excess of precipitation over evaporation in the middle and southern part of the water hemisphere. In concluding the report, Prof. Thomson further says, "I need scarcely add that I have never seen, whether in the Atlantic, the Southern Sea, or the Pacific, the slightest ground for supposing that such a thing exists as a general vertical circulation of the water of the ocean depending upon differences of specific gravity."

 

The Discovery of Anæsthesia.—Dr. H. P. Steams, of Hartford, at the close of an able "Critique on the History of Modern Anæsthesia," which appears in the Medical Record, sums up in the following terms the results obtained by sundry prominent claimants of the honors of discovery: 1. In December, 1844, Wells made the suggestion and applied the test in his own person, by inhaling a large dose of nitrous oxide, and having a tooth extracted without pain. 2.