Popular Science Monthly/Volume 36/February 1890/Literary Notices
Christian Theism: Its Claims and Sanctions. By D. B. Purinton, LL. D. New York and London: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 303. Price, $1.75.
The author of this book, who is Professor of Metaphysics in West Virginia University, in presenting his thesis, has had three objects in view, viz.—to construct a progressive argument logical in its method and correct in its general conclusions, and likewise defensible in each individual part and item of it; to free the subject from ordinary obscurities and difficulties; and to present it, "without dodging any of its profound problems," in such a clear and simple manner as to commend it to the general reader who is willing to think as he reads. Christian theism being presented as a fact, making positive, bold, radical, uncompromising, and universal claims, the author presents as arguments in support of it: Intelligence in nature, the eutaxiological argument; volition in nature, the teleological argument; the personality of God, or the intuitive argument; the goodness of God, or the historical argument; the unity of God, or the monistic argument; and the infinity of God, or the causal argument. As "anti-theistic errors" are combated materialism, pantheism, positivism, and agnosticism. The last system is regarded as "an ingenious combination and modification" of the other three systems, which in its present phase has taken shape and name from Herbert Spencer, "the great agnostic of modern times," a study of whose works "produces a profound conviction of his depth and patience of thought, his breadth and profundity of scholarship, his fertility of imagination, and his frankness and earnestness of purpose." This system is reviewed in an attempt to show it to be logically self-destructive. A comparison of "Evolution and Christian Theism" leads to the conclusion that most of the objections to the former scheme lie not so much against evolution as against the mechanical form of it. "Nature is not a machine, for it is plastic, progressive, improvable, while a machine is neither of these. Matter can reveal higher and still higher forms of organism, but can never create them. Matter, motion, and force, without a directive idea, can do nothing toward explaining a rationally developed universe. But why exclude a creative and directive idea? Let that idea be God. There is not a single fact in nature against the existence of a personal God or the occurrence of an act of creation. There are many facts in favor of both. Why not admit that God made the world and sustains it in being? That admission would not blot out evolution, but would view it as a possible or it may be probable method of God's creative and providential work." The question would then be not "evolution versus creation," but "evolution the method of creation." The question of immortality is also considered.
The Land and the Community. By S. W. Thackeray. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 223. Price, $1.
This work bears the indorsement of Henry George, who supplies it with a preface. In its original form it was presented as a thesis to the University of Cambridge for the degree of Doctor of Laws. The essay has been expanded and arranged for reference. It is commended for the fullness and clearness with which the historical and legal aspects of the question have been dwelt upon, the attention given in it to the matter of compensation, and the religious feeling and conservative disposition manifested in it throughout. It serves the office, according to Mr. George, of a clear and simple exposition of essential principles and important facts, which shall give force and definiteness to the ideas growing out of the doctrine of equality of right to the use of the land, make manifest their conformity with historical experience and religious truth, put them in such a relation that the recognition of common rights in land may strengthen, not weaken, the recognition of individual rights in the products of labor; and supply answers to the arguments urged upon the other side. Mr. Thackeray begins his thesis with a history of land tenure in England, divided into the pre-feudal, feudal, and post-feudal periods, in which the subject is treated with special reference to the rights and interests of the community as distinct from the individual interests involved. The origin of the present system is traced to the acts of 1656 and 1660, "which turned military tenures into free and common socage." Community rights were trampled upon or ignored under these acts, the custom of making settlements grew up and was recognized, and lands before common were inclosed without effective resistance till about half a century ago, when laws were passed restricting the right. The key to the future of land tenure may be found in the exercise of the right of eminent domain, which the author regards as an assertion of the state's ownership and its right to change tenants on condition of the new tenant indemnifying the old one for the damage he may suffer. The right of the community to resume its possession of the land being, as the author believes, shown, a second part of the work is occupied with the questions relating to compensation. The rights of the community may be reasserted and secured by requiring those who occupy or cultivate the land to pay to the community a full equivalent for the special privileges which they thus enjoy—that is, through the appropriation of ground-rents by taxation, and applying the proceeds for the benefit of the whole community. A plan is outlined for effecting the change with the least harshness; and the beneficial effects anticipated from it are enumerated. As to those who may be supposed to be injured by the change—reduced to landlords—the conclusion is reached that most landlords would lose nothing without receiving advantages nearly if not fully compensating them; while the others, if not relatively as great gainers as other classes of the community, would not be absolute losers. The landlords' claims for compensation are examined and found not good, either in law or equity—in fact, the claim of the community against them is assumed to be the better one; and, finally, they are invited manfully to accept the situation, and themselves lead in recognizing the justice of the new dispensation.
Studies in Pedagogy. By Thomas J. Morgan. Boston: Silver, Burdett & Co. Pp. 355. Price, $1.15.
The author, Principal of the Rhode Island State Normal School, and before that of normal schools at Potsdam, N. Y., and Peru, Neb., has embodied in this volume the fruits of many years of observation, reading, thinking, and experience in the exercise of his profession, and makes in offering them "an earnest effort to contribute toward the promotion of higher ideals of education and better methods of teaching." His view of education in the general sense is a broad one, and embraces all that marks the difference between what a child is by nature at birth and that which he becomes by growth, training, and experience. In this sense, nature is embraced as one of the greatest forces of education. In the narrower sense, to the consideration of which this book is chiefly devoted, education is restricted to the effect produced upon the young mind by those who seek purposely to influence it, or the direct influence of teachers and schools. Its most important factor is training, which here signifies such a control exercised by the teacher over the pupil as will lead him so to use his faculties as to secure their completest development; and which has for its immediate end the evolution of power. These faculties may be grouped under the heads of acquiring, understanding, reproducing, using, and expressing knowledge, each of which, again, includes its own several topics and means. More nearly than any other work of the teacher it meets the ideal of education; it is an essential preliminary to a successful work of instruction; and is the process that best prepares the student for the active duties of life. The special applications of training discussed are those to the senses, the imagination, thinking, the sensibilities, language, the will, learning music, the use of books, and "training for freedom." There must be method in the performance of the teacher's work; hence we have a series of chapters on "Methodology." In "Man and his Method" the principle is enforced that, important as the method may be, the man behind it, who should inspire it, is more so. Method in questioning and in teaching arithmetic is treated with some fullness. The value and purpose of examinations are estimated. "The Ideal Schoolmaster" holds up the objective toward which every teacher should strive. "The True Function of a Normal School" is a paper which was awarded the prize of the American Institute of Instruction in 1885. "Advice to Young Teachers" embodies the substance of several addresses to graduating classes of the normal school. In them "Independent Thinking" and "Training for Citizenship" are prominent topics.
Geology of the Quicksilver Deposits of the Pacific Slope, with an Atlas. By George F. Becker. Washington: Government Printing-Office (United States Geological Survey). Pp. 486, with seven Plates. Atlas, 14 sheets. Price, $2.
The field work of the investigations recorded in this volume occupied the most of three seasons, beginning in 1883. There remained to complete the examinations satisfactorily the investigation of some important general problems affecting the whole region. Among these were indications afforded by the paleontology and structure of a previously undetermined non-conformity existing in the Coast Ranges. These were confirmed. Another investigation related to a possible connection between the formation of ore deposits and the metamorphism of the Mesozoic rocks. A third special inquiry was directed to determining whether the deposition of cinnabar is still taking place at Sulphur Bank and Steamboat Springs, and, if so, under what conditions the solution and precipitation of cinnabar and the accompanying mineral occur. The author finds that the quicksilver deposits lie along the great axes of disturbance of the world. One of these is on the line of the principal mountain systems of Europe and Asia, and the other coincides with the western ranges of the Cordilleran system of America. The principal mines are at Almaden in Spain, Idria in Austria, Huancavelica in Peru, and those in California. From 1850 to 1886 California supplied nearly half the product of the world, but is not probably destined to maintain the same rank in the future. Quicksilver was first recognized as occurring at the croppings of the new Almaden mine in 1845. But few other minerals occur in considerable quantities with the ore. Among them are pyrite or marcasite, arsenic and antimony, and sometimes copper ores, while other metalliferous minerals arc comparatively rare. The principal gangue seems to be silica or carbonates. The cinnabar appears to have been deposited solely in pre-existing openings, and never by substitution for rock. The fissure systems, which are always present, are very irregular, and deposits can not conveniently be classified according to existing systems. All of them seem to have probably been deposited in the same way from hot sulphur springs. At Sulphur Bank cinnabar is now being precipitated from heated waters largely by the action of ammonia; at Steamboat Springs it is being deposited without complications from the presence of ammonia. In dealing with the processes by which the ore has been dissolved and precipitated in nature, it has been shown by experiment and analysis that cinnabar unites with sodium sulphide in various proportions, forming soluble double sulphides, and that these compounds can exist in such waters as flow from Sulphur Bank and Steamboat Springs, either at ordinary temperatures or above the boiling-point. The quicksilver is probably derived from granitic rocks by the action of heated sulphur waters, which rise through the granite from the foci of volcanic activity below that rock.
Coal and the Coal Mines. By Homer Greene. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Pp. 246. Price, 75 cents.
This is a volume of the attractive "Riverside Library for Young People," and is intended to tell readers, in a style free from minute details and technicalities, all that relates to coal and to procuring it from the earth. The information has been gained for the most part, the author says, from personal experience in the mines; but little of it comes from books, for the literature of the special subject is meager. Beginning at the beginning, we have a brief reference to the geological record previous to coal. Then the composition of coal is elucidated, the time when it was formed is defined, and the situation of the coal-beds is described. The history as it relates to our own period begins with the discovery of coal and its introduction into use. The account of the mines includes the way into them, the plan of a typical mine, "the miner at work," the obstacles and dangers he has to encounter, and the anthracite breakers. A chapter is given to the bituminous coal mines. The account of "The Boy Workers at the Mines" is of particular interest to the young people, and the chapter on "Miners and their Wages" to searchers for facts.
A Handbook of Obstetrical Nursing. By Anna M. Fullerton, M. D. Philadelphia: P. Blakiston, Son & Co. Pp. 214. Price, $1.25.
The great number and variety of the things to be attended to in a case of childbirth, many of which are not so familiar as the matters concerned in the treatment of disease, together with their importance as affecting two lives, make a special manual on this subject highly desirable for the nurse. It would be well, also, for every mother to have read a book of this sort before her confinement, in order that she may understand and co-operate in the efforts of the physician and nurse for her welfare, and be protected from the antiquated wisdom and dismal tales of injudicious friends. It would be difficult to make a more comprehensive and practical book than Dr. Fullerton's. It is an outgrowth of the extensive practice of the hospital and the systematic instruction of the nurses' training-school. The teachings which it embodies are chiefly the substance of a series of lectures delivered yearly by Dr. Anna E. Broomall to the nurse-pupils of the Woman's Hospital of Philadelphia, and they are followed in the Maternity connected with that hospital. The whole ground from the management of pregnancy to the ailments of early infancy is covered. Directions, sufficiently detailed for the use of a trained nurse, are given for the care of the patient immediately before and during labor, for the care of the new-born infant, and the management of the lying-in. The appliances which the nurse will need to use, and the articles of clothing for mother and child, are described, and many of them are figured. The Jenness-Miller reformed garments are indorsed. A short chapter is devoted to the appearance of infants in health and disease. In the chapter on ailments of infancy the couveuse, or brooder, for keeping premature infants warm, is described and figured. Throughout the volume reference is made easy by printing the subject of each paragraph in the margin.
Fossil Fishes and Fossil Plants of the Triassic Rocks of New Jersey and the Connecticut Valley. By John S. Newberry. Washington: Government Printing-Office (United States Geological Survey). Pp. 152, with 26 Plates. Price, $1.
The Triassic rocks, according to Prof. Newberry, probably furnished the first fossils collected on this continent: fishes at Durham and Sunderland, Conn.; plants at Richmond, Va.; and the so-called bird-tracks at Turner's Falls, Mass. While the formation has received considerable attention in detail, no systematic collection or thorough study of its fauna or flora as a whole was attempted till about 1880, when Prof. Fontaine took it up for the fossil plants of the Virginia and North Carolina Mesozoic coal basins. His publication established the parallelism of our new red sandstone with the keuper of Europe. The animal remains were left to be studied, and that work was taken up by Prof. Newberry, with results that are presented in this volume. The special studies are preceded by a geological sketch of the new red sandstone regions of New Jersey and Connecticut, concerning the relations of which to one another there appear to be different opinions. The Triassic rocks are about five thousand feet thick and present some singularities of structure. The materials were probably derived from the adjacent highlands. The rocks are characterized by their red color, derived from the oxide of iron, the presence of which proves that they contained but little organic matter when deposited. Their relations to the Triassic beds of the interior and the western margin of the continent can hardly be established without larger collections of fossils from Western localities. The fishes, though so far as yet known representing only six genera and about twenty-five species, are locally very numerous, and are found in many places. The principal sites represented in the volume are Boonton, N. J.; Durham, Conn.; and Turner's Falls, Mass.; while they have also been obtained at Plainfield, Milford, Newark, and near Hoboken, N. J., and at Middletown, Sudbury, Chicopee, Amherst, and Hadley's Falls, in the Connecticut Valley. The several species are described in detail and illustrated by figures apparently of the size of nature. We are glad to learn that the author's collection, which is the largest yet made, is safely deposited in the fire-proof Geological Museum of Columbia College.
Ligeros Apuntes sobre el Clima de la República Argentina. (Notes on the Climate of the Argentine Republic.) By Gualterio G. Davis, Director of the Argentine Meteorological Office, Buenos Ayres. Pp. 254, with 27 Plates and Charts.
The Argentine Meteorological Office was established in 1872, and was organized under the direction of Dr. B. A. Gould, whom Mr. Davis succeeded on his retirement after twelve years of service. It has gradually extended its sphere of operations to the most remote parts of the country, and now receives observations of the more important weather phenomena from sixty-six stations, and of rainfall from ninety more. The six volumes of the publications of the office embody the results of observations taken at twenty-six points, with analytical discussions of the data, and deductions of the general laws of atmospheric changes; and the annual reports contain a large part of the results reached in the corresponding years. But a more compact work was needed to embody a summary of these results adapted to practical use; and the attempt is made to supply this need in the present volume, which is intended to put within reach of the colonist, the farmer, and the doctor such meteorological facts as bear upon their industrial enterprises and hygienic studies. Twenty-one stations are selected as typical of the various climatological conditions that prevail in all parts of the republic. The lines extend from the Atlantic coast to the western points of the country, and from latitude 54° 53' in Tierra del Fuego to Salta in latitude 26° 46' 20"; the altitudes range from 8 metres to 2,845 metres above the level of the sea. To each of these stations is allotted its given space for general description, with tables representing the various meteorological facts in detail and a graphic chart. The publication thus furnishes a summary of the local climates, deduced from several years' observations of the various districts of which the particular stations are the centers.
Monopolies and the People. By Charles W. Baker, C. E. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 263. Price, $1.25.
There is abundant reason for including monopoly among the "Questions of the Day," as is done in this volume. Trusts and monopolies exist, as the author shows at length in a series of chapters, in manufacturing, mining, transportation, trade, and labor. There are monopolies constructed directly by those who profit from them, monopolies created by municipal enactments, and monopolies supported by governmental policy. The author next examines the theory of universal competition, after which he states the laws of modern competition. He denies that "the prevalence of monopolies evidences the decay of the nobler aspirations of humanity." He regards them as an outgrowth of the modern conditions of industry, and, while they involve evils, he affirms that "the remedy for the evils of monopoly is not abolition, but control." He then specifies some of these evils, and names also some ameliorating influences. The remedies that have been proposed are based on one or the other of the opposite principles, individualism and societism, or communism. Mr. Baker maintains that neither should be adopted wholly, and in his concluding chapter advocates the owning of all railroads by the Government, and their operation by corporations which should pay a rental for the privilege; the owning of mines by the States, which should lease them to private parties for operation. Water-works, gas and electric lighting plants, street railways, and similar local enterprises should be owned by the cities in which they are located, and also operated by private companies. Mr. Baker does not favor the same procedure in the case of monopolies in trade and manufacturing. But he would legalize them, and then force them to let daylight in upon their operations and agreements, and apply to them the principle of non-discrimination.
Aryan Sun-Myths the Origin of Religions (Nims & Knight) is the title of a book designed to show that the mythology of this great primitive race is the parent of the chief modern religions, just as the race itself is the parent of the peoples who hold these religions. In the Aryan mythology we have the immaculate conception, from which the son of heaven, the sun, is born, at the time of the December solstice. We have the twelve signs of the zodiac as his disciples; his temptation, persecution, and execution. There is a descent of the sun into hades, when he enters the sign Capricornus and appears to remain three days at his lowest point. The Aryans observed baptism, sacrifice, and the eucharist, and the doctrines of original sin and the fallen condition of man were not unknown to them. When we come down to the Hindus, who have written religious records, we find the same features and more. So also among the Persians, the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks, the Scandinavians, and the ancient Mexicans. Some of the same ideas are found among other ancient nations of the Old World, and among the American Indians. "Ancestral and other systems of worship," says Mr. Charles Morris, in the introduction which he contributes to the volume, "have influenced religious practice and ceremony to a marked extent, but have had much less to do with the growth of dogma than the intricate details of the history of the gods, to which the numerous phenomena of nature gave rise. Over religious belief the sun has exercised a dominant influence, and still faintly yet distinguishably shines through the most opaquely obscure of modern theological dogmas."
In a paper on Teaching School Children to Think (D. Appleton & Co.), Prof. George B. Newcomb discusses first the question, "What is the capacity and exercise of the mind which is indicated by the terms 'thought' and 'thinking'?" He shows that in the reaction from the old mechanical drill we should avoid going to the opposite extreme of taxing the child's mind beyond its powers. The faculty of thinking is a growth, and needs to be dealt with according to the stage of development it has reached. Capacity to form abstract ideas and reason consecutively does not come at once; "yet long before reasoning, strictly so called, is developed, there is rationality, the exercise of intelligence in unifying the scattered particulars of sense; in correlating facts and lighting up one fact by another"; and it is all alive in the child's mind, in the curiosity that asks the reason why. While children dislike remote abstractions, they are capable of general thought and rational connecting, and make crude attempts at rational synthesis. The manifestations of these faculties may be watched for and taken advantage of and directed as they appear, and the child thus be led gradually up to the habit of rational thought on every subject. This precept partly furnishes the answer to the author's second question, "In what sense or within what limits, if any, should the development of thought be a prominent aim in the training of school children?" A third question, involving the consideration of ways and means for developing rational intelligence in the pupil, is too large for treatment in a single paper; and upon it the author aims only to enunciate broad principles or make helpful suggestions without going into details.
In A Rambler's Lease, Mr. Bradford Torrey, one of the most pleasant of our rural essayists, assumes the position of a leasehold tenant of other people's fields and woods to the extent of the æsthetic enjoyment and opportunities for the study of life and nature that they afford. He therefore makes himself at home in them, and keeps company with the trees and flowers and insects and birds; with some of which he has enjoyed privileges of rarely close association. The present volume contains some of the fruits which he has gathered in these possessions; seemly and agreeable fruits in every way, and flavored with occasional choice grains of wit. In it he introduces us to the wild birds which he has become so intimate with as to feed them by hand; reports his observations on climatology and seasonal phenomena; draws the lessons to be learned from a ramble in "an old road"; exalts the man "behind the eye" rather than the eye as the important factor in observation, and the mental attitude in "taking a walk"; and presents studies of mountain scenes, "butterfly psychology," and the means by which the partridge executes his "drumming." (Houghton, Mifflin & Co., $1.25.)
The Anatomy of Astrangia Danæ, published in quarto form by the Smithsonian Institution, comprises six lithographs from drawings made by A. Sonrel, under the direction of Prof. Agassiz in 1849, illustrating the structure of that madrepore, the only representative of the family in shallow New England waters, with text explaining the plates by J. Walter Fewkes. Although there has been a great advance in histological methods since the figures were drawn, it has hardly extended to the minute anatomy of these creatures; so that the representations are nearly as fresh as if they had been drawn to-day. Whatever may be lacking to bring them up to the present state of knowledge is supplied in Mr. Fewkes's descriptions, which are based on studies of living specimens.
Studies of the Macrochires, Morphological and otherwise, with the View of indicating their Relationships and defining their Several Positions in the System, by R. W. Shufeldt, M. D., bear upon the comparative anatomy and place of the swifts, whip-poor-wills, and humming-birds. The author had already proposed a separate order for the Trochili, or humming-birds, and is more than ever convinced of the correctness of his scheme. In the present essay he proposes a new group or order—that of Cypseli—for the swifts. This order, were it represented by a circle, would be found just outside the passerine circle, "but tangent to a point in its periphery opposite the swallows.
In a monograph on The World's Supply of Fuel, Prof. W J McGee describes rock gas and its occurrence; accounts for its formation by the decomposition of the organic matter contained in sediments; answers in the affirmative the question whether it is still forming, and adds that it will probably continue to form indefinitely, though at a decreasing rate; and predicts that it is destined to be, after the coal has been exhausted, the world's unfailing supply of fuel and light.
The address of Prof. Charles A. White, as Vice-President of the Geological Section of the American Association, is devoted to the survey and definition of The North American Mesozoic, particularly of the formation called Triassic. There are doubts about the correspondence of this with European formations; and this and certain other facts give occasion for the expression, with some fullness, of the opinion that we must not expect to discover a precise correspondence, either in time or character, in the geological history of our own and other continents, or an exact identity of formations in them. Hence, with all respect to European classification and names, which may still be used tentatively in each of the great divisions of the earth, and with reference to the ultimate establishment of a universal system, it is for North American geologists to elaborate a scheme for the formations of our own continent.
In a pair of papers on Meteorites and what they teach us, Dr. H. Hensoldt summarizes what has been learned about meteorites, and declares his own theory as to their origin. This theory is based on the presence of liquid carbonic acid in the cavities of these bodies. The fluid is ascertained to be carbonic acid by the instantaneous change of form which it undergoes between 30° and 31° C, which is characteristic of that substance. Now, carbonic acid can not be liquefied except under a pressure which exists in nature only deep in the earth. Hence the meteorites must have been at some time subjected to such a pressure. It is therefore concluded that they have come from the interior of some planetary body which has been rent by an explosion.
Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History, Vol. XXIV, contains the reports of the society and its proceedings, with the papers read, from May, 1888, to May, 1889. Prof. Hyatt's report as curator of the museum shows that that institution is growing at a healthy rate, and the arrangement of its collections is going forward. The papers relate to various topics of biology, geology, and archæology. Among them are those of Prof. Hyatt on the "Evolution of the Fauna of the Lower Lias"; of Mr. S. H. Scudder on a Palœozoic "Cockroach Fauna" at Richmond, Ohio; of Prof. Marcou on "Canadian Geological Classification for the Province of Quebec"; of Mr. Alfred C. Lane on the "Geology of Nahant"; of Mr. Warren Upham on "Marine Shells and Fragments of Shells in the Till near Boston"; of Mr. Samuel Garman on the "Evolution of the Rattlesnake"; and of Prof. Goodall on the "Life and Work of Dr. Asa Gray."
Several archæological papers, which appear in this volume of the "Proceedings," are also published separately by the Peabody Museum of American Archæology and Ethnology, under the title of Palæolithic Man in Eastern and Central America. They are "Early Man in the Delaware Valley," including an account of the lately discovered "Rock Shelter" at Naaman's Creek, and descriptions of Palæolithic implements; and an account of an implement from the Indiana gravel, by Hilborne T. Cresson; Prof. G. F. Wright's paper on the "Age of the Philadelphia Red Gravel"; "Water-worn Implements from the Delaware River," by Dr. C. C. Abbott; and remarks on the whole subject by President F. W. Putnam. Prof. Wright's paper bears upon the age of the rock shelter and of the implements in the Delaware Valley described by Mr. Cresson, which the author decides are older (perhaps by a thousand years) than the deposits at Trenton, N. J., Loveland and Madisonville, Ohio, Little Falls, Minn., and Medora, Ind. (Cresson).
An Obsidian Implement from Pleistocene Deposits in Nevada, by W J McGee, discusses the age of a handsome neolithic work found on Walker River, to which the author has already made reference in the "Monthly" (November, 1888, p. 25). The solution of the question is partly dependent upon the character of the occurrence of the implement—whether it be adventitious or normally in situ. The deposit being unconsolidated, this can not be determined certainly without the help of other human relics found in the same place to keep it company; and such have not been found. But, since the implement was observed, the discovery of other extremely ancient relics in various parts of the country has given color to the hypothesis that this was an original deposit; and the author now inclines to that view.
The Aborigines of the District of Columbia and the Lower Potomac—a symposium in the Anthropological Society of Washington besides an address by Otis T. Mason, introducing the subject, contains papers on "The Geological Antecedents of Man in the Potomac Valley," by W J McGee; "The Palæolithic Period in the District, of Columbia," by Thomas Wilson; "Ancient Village Sites and Aboriginal Workshops," by S. V. Proudfitt; "The Pottery and Textiles of the Tide-Water Region," by W. H. Holmes; "The Shell Mounds of the Potomac and Micomico," by Elmer R. Reynolds; "Indian Tribes of the District," by James Mooney; and a discussion by Prof. F. W. Putnam.
Of six additional "Bulletins" of the United States Geological Survey, No. 48 is On the Form and Position of the Sea-Level, with special reference to its dependence on superficial masses symmetrically disposed about a normal to the earth's surface, by Robert Simpson Woodward. The treatise is mathematical, and relates to a problem of peculiar difficulty, the solution of which has been as yet only approached. The same author's Latitudes and Longitudes of Certain Points in Missouri, Kansas, and New Mexico, constituting "Bulletin No. 49," relates to the processes of determination at Oswego, Elk Falls, and Fort Scott, Kan.; Springfield and Bolivar, Mo.; and Albuquerque, N. M. The author has endeavored to collect, arrange, and discuss the observations in such a manner as to render their results most useful for the purposes of geography and geodesy. Bulletin No. 50, also by Mr. Woodward, consists of Formulas and Tables to facilitate the Construction of Maps. The tables were prepared for the Division of Geography in 1885-86. Constant use since then has demonstrated their utility. They have been revised and extended, and are accompanied by an explanatory text. Dr. Charles A. White gives, in Bulletin No. 51, descriptions of some Invertebrate Fossils from the Pacific Coast. They fall under five headings: "New Mollusca from the Chico-Tejon Series of California," representing nineteen new species and one new genus; "The Occurrence of Equivalents of the Chico-Tejon Series in Oregon and Washington Territory"; "Cretaceous Fossils from Vancouver Island Region," in which an intimate relation is shown with the fauna of the Chico group; "The Molluscan Fauna of the Puget Group," unique and indicating deposition in a large estuary; and "Mesozoic Mollusca from the Southern Coast of the Alaskan Peninsula," which are regarded as new. No. 52, Subaërial Decay of Rocks and Origin of the Red Color of Certain Formations, relates studies of the subject by Israel Clark Russell, chiefly among the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. The author believes that changes by decay have a wider geological bearing than has generally been assigned to them; and that the red color of certain sandstones is due to a coating of their particles with ferric oxide received during the process of subaërial decay of the rocks of the débris of which they are composed. The last of the present series of Bulletins—No. 53—is a study of The Geology of Nantucket, by Prof. N. S. Shaler. The island is regarded, together with the accompanying southern Massachusetts coast, Martha's Vineyard, Long Island, etc., as "the dissevered remains of a great shelf formed of the débris brought to its present position by the glacial ice and by the streams of water which flowed beneath it."
The United States Department of Agriculture, Division of Entomology, publishes an investigation of The Root-knot Disease of the Peach, Orange, and other Plants in Florida, due to the Work of Anguillula, made under its direction, in 1888, by Dr. J. C. Neal. A large number of species of plants are attacked by the worms, whose depredations are marked by the appearance of swellings or "knots" on the roots, and threaten to be damaging. The author has made studies of the nature of the insect and its ravages, and has experimented with reference to the remedies. His report is illustrated with plates representing attacked roots and the life-history of the enemy.
The June number of the Journal of Morphology, Vol. III, No. 1 (Prof. C. O. Whitman and Edward Phelps Allis, Jr., editors; Ginn & Co.), contains articles on "The Actiniaria of the Bahama Islands," by Dr. J. Playfair McMurrich; "Contributions to the Comparative Osteology of the Families of North American Passeres," and "Notes on the Anatomy of Speotyto cunicularia hypogea, by Dr. R. W. Shufeldt; and "Variation of the Spinal Nerves in the Caudal Region of the Domestic Pigeon," by James I. Peck. The September number, Vol. III, No. 2, has "The Mechanical Causes of the Development of the Hard Parts of the Mammalia," by E. D. Cope; and "The Embryology of Blatta germanica and Doryphora decemlincata"—the cockroach and the Colorado potato beetle—by William M. Wheeler.
A Bibliography of Geodesy was compiled by Prof. J. Howard Gore to supply a need which he felt while preparing a work on the "History of Geodesy." Before proceeding far in that work he found it very difficult at any time to make sure that the literature regarding the operations of a given period had been exhausted, and he sought to collect titles as well as the works themselves. His purpose extended to making the enterprise useful to others. He went abroad and searched through European libraries, examined minor libraries by proxy, and corresponded with authors to find if they had any other works than those of which he had the titles. The outcome of this persevering labor is a list filling four hundred columns of references, with short remarks where the title alone is not explanatory enough. Several institutions, among them the International Geodetic Congress of Berlin, offered to publish the book; but the author thought our Coast and Geodetic Survey was entitled to the preference, and the work is therefore issued under its auspices.
Part I of the nineteenth volume of the "Annals of the Observatory of Harvard College" contains Meteorological Observations made during the Years 1840 to 1888 inclusive, under the direction of the several directors of the observatory, Profs. W. C. and G. P. Bond, Joseph Winlock, and E. C. Pickering. Partial publications of these observations could already be found in the "Memoirs" of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the "American Almanac," and the Patent-Office Reports, but it has seemed desirable to make a collection of the monthly means. The volume begins with a history of the meteorological work of the observatory; the "monthly and annual results" come next; after which follow "Observations of Aurora Borealis," "Thunder and Lightning," and "Miscellaneous Phenomena," embracing "temperatures of wells," of "river, rain, and cellar," "Extremes of Atmospheric Pressure or Temperature," "Solar Halos and Parhelia," lunar halos, and "General Remarks."—Vol. XX, Part II, of the same series records the Observations made at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, Massachusetts, in 1888, with a statement of the local weather predictions, under the direction of A. Lawrence Rotch.
A paper on Domestic Economy in Public Education, by Mrs. Ellen H. Richards, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is published in the series of "Educational Monographs" of the New York College for the Training of Teachers. The success of the manual training system that has been developed out of the carpentry classes for boys has prompted the author to look for a kindred course adapted to the life of girls. She finds it in domestic economy, in which the purposes of sanitary science and hygiene should play an important part. A schedule for a four years' course is introduced. In it cooking—"kitchen science"—is prominent, and this, the author insists, can be placed on a level with the use of workshop tools as a means of mental and physical training. Having mentioned the scientific principles involved in the processes of preparing a meal, the author maintains that "the school-girl who has had the elements of chemistry and physics, which are often taught as abstract sciences, summed up and applied to the making of a simple dish, has had her mind awakened to the relations and interdependence of things as no other training now given can awaken it." In an appendix are given summaries of the provisions made for teaching domestic economy in several public schools and colleges in the United States and in the girls' schools of the city of Paris.—Another number of the same series is an essay on Graphic Methods in Teaching, by Charles Barnard, with an introduction by Prof. John F. Woodhull, setting forth "Training in Natural Science as an Essential Factor in the Education of the Citizen." Mr. Barnard's essay embodies the relation of experiences in training children to the observation of natural facts and phenomena, and to keeping regular records of them by means of the graphic system, with specimens of the actual work of certain children in that line. Of the value to the child of thus recording weather observations the author says: "The making of the diagram (printed forms should never be used) is something in the way of mechanical drawing that is a good training for the hand and eye. Secondly, the diagram, being fastened upon the wall in some convenient place, becomes a reminder of stated work to be done at a fixed hour—a capital training in punctuality, promptness, and precision." Then the thermometer is a tool which the child learns to use. He is induced to go out of doors. Pride is taken in the work as it goes on, developing a regular course. It is instructive and a useful exercise in neatness and accuracy, and when it is done "the child has two graphic statements of real phenomena in nature observed by himself and so recorded that at the end the entire work of the month is plainly seen."
The Globe, a New Quarterly Review of World-Literature, Society, Religion, Art, and Politics, of which we have the first number, October to December, 1889, is projected by William Henry Thorne, in Chicago, to be a "first-class literary review," which he believes we have not; and he aspires "to edit and publish something better, broader, stronger, and more cosmopolitan" than any existing American periodical. After a careful inspection of his work we are forced to say with regret that he has not reached the object of his aspiration, and that the want he describes, if it existed before, is still un-supplied. The initial number of The Globe contains articles on "The Fuss about Bruno," "The English, French, and American Stage," "The Heroic and Commonplace in Art," "Emerson and his Biographers," "Socialism and Poetic Retribution," "Dr. McCosh and Modern Philosophy," etc.
Edenic Diet, the Philosophy of Eating for the Physical and Mental Man (Isaac B. Rumford, Santa Cruz, Cal., 25 cents), is intended primarily to exalt an exclusive vegetable diet and furnish recipes involving its principles. To this are added a mass of rhapsodical matter and a scheme for "an Edenic home" which those may enjoy to whose mode of thought they are adapted.
Mr. J. Madison Cutts, of Washington, has published, as especially pertinent to the times, an address by the late Stephen A. Douglas on An American Continental Commercial Union or Alliance. It is, he says, the last paper written by the distinguished statesman, and has not been published before. It was prepared after seven of the Southern States had gone through the form of seceding, and was intended to serve as one of Mr. Douglas's immediate plans to promote the future welfare of the country in case a reconciliation and restoration were effected. Besides its interest as the last thought of one of the most distinguished statesmen of the period before the war, the address is pertinent on account of its direct bearing on a scheme of national policy which is now under discussion.
In an essay on God and the Universe, Mr. James W. Stillman proposes to consider "the alleged existence of a Supreme Being and the theistic hypothesis of creation." He is brought to the conclusion that "the whole problem of the existence of God and the origin of the universe is entirely beyond and above the scope of the human intellect"; and there he is content to leave the matter.
In a pamphlet on The Disposal of the Dead, Dr. John M. Peacocke, of Brooklyn, after considering other methods, suggests desiccation, which was practiced by the ancient Peruvians, as in many respects the preferable one.
Questions for Debate in politics and economics is the latest publication (No. XXVIII) of the Society for Political Education, 330 Pearl Street, New York. A perusal of its pages shows its compilers to have seized upon every living issue affecting American citizenship. In addition to the questions, subjects for essays are given, as well as terms for definition. Brief and pithy hints to debaters and essay-writers are included, as also a form of constitution and by-laws for debating-clubs. Pages 40. Price, 25 cents.