Popular Science Monthly/Volume 44/March 1894/Popular Miscellany

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Geological Society of America.—The sixth annual meeting of the Geological Society of America was held December 27-29, 1893, in Boston and Cambridge, Mass. The sessions of the opening and closing days were in the hall of the Boston Society of Natural History, and those of the second day were in the Harvard University Museum, Cambridge. The Geological Society has a membership of about two hundred and twenty-five, comprising most of the prominent working geologists of North America. It holds two meetings yearly, one in the summer in connection with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a winter meeting in the holidays following Christmas. Each of these meetings is held successively in different cities of the United States and Canada, previous winter meetings having been held in New York, Washington, Columbus, and Ottawa. The officers elected for the year 1894 are Prof. T. C. Chamberlin, of Chicago, president; Prof. N. S. Shaler, of Cambridge, and Prof. George H. Williams, of Baltimore, vice-presidents; and Prof. H. L. Fairchild, of Rochester, N. Y., secretary. About sixty papers were presented at this meeting, a few of which are here briefly noticed:

In his address as the retiring president, Sir J. William Dawson, of Montreal, chose for his subject Some Recent Discussions in Geology, considering especially the building up and development of the continents. He noted the controversies respecting the age of the older crystalline rocks, the true foundation stones of continents, instancing those of the Highlands of Scotland as described by Geikie, and the older rocks of North America as worked out by Logan and his successors. He was inclined to think that the oldest rocks that we shall know are the gneisses of the lower Laurentian, and that these may be regarded as the igneo-aqueous products of the earliest action of the waters on the crust of a cooling globe. He then referred to the rival theories of mountain-building, and, after distinguishing between mountains of eruption (volcanoes), like Vesuvius and Cotopaxi, mountains of slightly inclined strata, like the Lebanon and the Sierra Nevada, and mountains of contorted strata, like the Alps and the Appalachians, noted the diverse views as to the origin of the latter. He favored the time-honored contraction theory as explained recently by Le Conte, but saw no objection to connecting with this the deposition theory of Hall and others, the expansion theory of Mellard Reade, and the isostatic theory of Dutton. When it is necessary to account for the compression of vast masses of rock into a third of their normal dimensions and for their elevation thousands of feet above the level of the sea, we may be thankful to invoke all available powers each in its proper place, and the sculpturing due to atmospheric agencies besides.

Prof. C. H. Hitchcock, of Hanover, N. H., spoke about Ancient Eruptive Rocks in the White Mountains. He said that in his reports of the New Hampshire Geological Survey he had described in detail a great variety of granites occurring in the White Mountains, without having discovered the principle of their association. He then reviewed the order of these varied igneous rocks and showed that the same structure found in volcanoes appeared in the White Mountains. He was therefore convinced that the granites were truly eruptive. If the modern view of the formation of granite is correct, the depth at which it is formed, as shown in the White Mountain region, is from two thousand to five thousand feet, and decidedly not forty thousand feet, as some geologists have maintained.

Prof. George H. Williams, of Johns Hopkins University, treated the subject of Ancient Volcanic Rocks along the Eastern Border of North America. He proposed to designate as volcanic only such igneous rocks as had flowed up through vents to the surface. All existing knowledge of the occurrence of these rocks during the early geologic ages in eastern North America was summarized, beginning with Newfoundland and passing southwestward along the Appalachian mountain belt.

Mr. Alexander Agassiz, Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy at Harvard University, presented An Account of an Expedition to the Bahamas, which were described as formed of wave-worn and windblown coral sands.

Among the papers relating to the glacial drift, Prof. T. C. Chamberlin and Mr. Frank Leverett discussed Certain Features of the Past Drainage Systems of the Upper Ohio Basin, concluding that the lower portions of the rock valleys of the upper Ohio and its tributaries were eroded during an interglacial epoch. Prof. G. Frederick Wright, describing parts of the same region in a paper on the Glacial History of Western Pennsylvania, referred the valley erosion in rock almost wholly to a preglacial time of higher altitude of the country, citing the occurrence of glacial gravel deposits extending from the high terraces down to the bottom lands, and regarding the Ice age as continuous and geologically short.


The Harvard Observatory.—The beginning of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College is usually identified with the appointment of Prof. W. C. Bond as observer in 1840. The appearance of the first comet of 1843 excited fresh interest in the subject, and funds were collected to buy the great telescope, which then had only one match in the world, in 1847. The resources of the observatory have since been increased by various subscriptions, gifts, and bequests. The general expenses are largely provided for from the bequests of Edward B. Phillips and Robert Treat Paine. The Henry Draper Memorial, established by Mrs. Draper, furnishes the means of studying the spectra and other physical properties of the stars. The observing station near Arequipa, Peru, 8,050 feet above the sea, was established under the bequest of Uriah A. Boyden. By maintaining a station south of the equator, work at Cambridge may be extended to the southern stars; and all important researches there are, therefore, now made to include stars in all parts of the sky, from the north to the south pole. Miss C. W. Bruce, of New York, has provided the means for a photographic telescope, which will be mounted first in Cambridge, and later in Peru. In meteorological work the observatory is associated with the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, the New England Meteorological Society, and the New England Weather Bureau, and provides for the publication in its annals of the results obtained by the observers of these associated stations. Meteorological stations connected with the observatory at Arequipa, Peru, are situated on Mount Chachani, 16,650 feet, and on El Misti, 19,200 feet, above the sea. Several large prisms have been procured for photographing the spectra of the stars.


Women in Postal and Railway Service.—According to the Journal des Economistes, France was the first country to admit women to places in the postal administration, and their engagement has proved so satisfactory that the authorities are inclined to prefer them to men wherever it is possible. In the United Kingdom, deducting the letter carriers, 25.2 per cent of the persons employed in the post offices are women. In Switzerland women are eligible equally with men for vacancies in the postal and railway departments. Many women are engaged in the telegraph and telephone departments, and the railways employ them in various capacities. In Holland only eight classes of employment in the administration of posts and telegraphs are open to women. The railways employ seven hundred and twenty women. In Italy a few women are occupied in the postal and telegraph offices. In Spain nearly all the positions in the telephone offices are held by women, and their work in the telegraph offices has been so satisfactory that the Government has decided to have more of it. In Sweden more women than men are found in the telegraph offices, and single women are admitted to all departments of the post-office service, except that of letter carriers. Women have the same salaries and equal positions in the telegraph and post offices of Norway and Denmark as men, and in Denmark may become "station masters" on the railway, while they also figure as shorthand writers in the Parliament. We find them also in public offices, on the most liberal terms that have been made, in Finland and Iceland. They occupy many positions in Germany, Austria, Roumania, Russia, and in the British colonies. The Republic of Brazil admits women to all the Government departments; the United States of Colombia has provided a class in telegraphy for them; and in Chili, besides filling places in the postal and telegraph departments, they monopolize the function of conductors on the tramways.


The Russian Village.—While the dissolution of the community of land in western Europe is of comparatively recent date, in Russia, as Mr. Isaac A. Hourwich shows in his Columbia College study of the Economics of a Russian Village, the process of evolution has been less rapid, and this primeval institution has been preserved till to-day. There is not, however, found there within historical times that tribal communism which Mr. Lewis H. Morgan met with among North American Indians. The Russian village community of historical times consists of a number of large families, often, yet not necessarily, of common ancestry, who possess the soil in common, but cultivate it by households. The ancient communal co-operation reappears sporadically, on various special occasions, in the form of the pómoch (or help). Some householder invites his neighbors to help him in a certain work (just as in the times of our early settlements) to mow his meadow lot, to reap his field, to cut down wood for a new house he has undertaken to build, etc. This is regarded as a reception tendered by the family to its neighbors, and different kinds of refreshments are prepared for the occasion, which constitute the only remuneration for the work done by the guests. Of course, there is nothing compulsory in the custom, and no one is bound to answer the call in case he does not like to do so. On the other hand, the party benefited is under an obligation to appear at the call of those who participated in the pómoch. This custom does not play as conspicuous a part as in former days, when rural settlements were scattered clearings in the forests, and pioneer work was constantly needed. Still, even then it was only a social revival, hinting at a preceding epoch of closer communistic co-operation, and at the same time pointing out the existing severance between the households of which the community was formed. The Russian family is not identical with the Roman family, in which the pater-familias was absolute master, or of any of its derivatives. It is a union of individuals having their individual rights recognized by the law, though sometimes not without certain limitations in favor of the head of the family. It is a perfect communistic commonwealth. All the movables belonging to the household, as well as its whole income, constitute the collective property of the family, but not of its head. The old Russian family resembled a community even in the number of its members. One described by Mr. Krasnoperoff numbered ninety-nine members, and was composed of a grandmother with her children and mai'ried grandchildren, all of whom were living together and working for their own common benefit. Such households, exceptions now, were universal in the past. Thus ownership of land by the community without, and complete communism within the family, were the fundamental elements in the structure of the village at the dawn of Russian history.


Chinese "Letter Shops."—According to the United States consul at Fu Chau, the Chinese Government has not yet established any post offices or postal system for the masses of the people; yet communication is easy between the people in all parts of the empire through private enterprise, which has established what are called "letter shops." Official dispatches are earned by couriers, at a rate so rapid, in cases of emergency, as from two hundred to two hundred and fifty miles a day. These official couriers are not allowed to convey private dispatches. At the treaty ports "letter shops" are used by the natives only; but in the interior, or at places not reached by the foreign postal arrangements, they are employed by foreigners as well, chiefly by missionaries. All letters and parcels to be sent may be registered and insured. When given in at a "letter shop," the contents of the envelope are displayed before it is sealed up, and stamped with the "chop" of the shop. Charges for the transmission of valuables are made on a percentage of declared value, and, as with letters, differ according to the distance to which the package is to be carried. A receipt is given, and the shopkeeper then becomes responsible either for its safe delivery, with unbroken "chop" or seal, at its destination, or for its return to the sender. In some parts of the empire about two thirds of the expenses of transmission are paid by the sender, while the remainder is collected from the receiver; thus the shop is secured against entire loss from transient customers, and the sender has some guarantee that his letter will be carried with dispatch. There are said to be nearly two hundred letter shops in Shanghai, but in many remote villages there are none.


Protection of Birds' Eggs.—A short discussion took place in the British Association concerning the best method of protecting birds' eggs. In presenting the report of the committee on the subject. Dr. Vachell said that, while everybody agreed that eggs should be protected, serious differences of opinion prevailed as to the way in which the object should be reached. Some thought the taking of particular eggs in particular places should be prevented at particular times of the year. Against this, it had been found impossible, on account of resemblances, to prove in court the specific identity of many kinds of eggs. It had therefore been suggested, as a better plan, to protect the special areas in which particular species were found to be declining. The question was asked. What was to be done with the little boy ten years old who might be tempted to rob a nest? Was he to be sent to jail? Mr. Walter found bird-nesting an intolerable nuisance, eggs being collected, not for scientific purposes, but simply to ornament rooms. Mr. M. S. Pemberry argued that many boys began a study of natural history by the collection of eggs. Mr. Milne Redhead did not think the act of bird-nesting the greatest evil, but the collection of eggs for sale in large towns. Prof. Newton spoke of the practical impossibility of convicting bird-nesters on account of the difficulty of distinguishing between the eggs of one species and those of another.


Various Speeds.—The horse, said Mr. Jeremiah Head, in a paper recently read, though he could not walk faster than man, nor exceed him in jumping heights or distances, could certainly beat him altogether when galloping or trotting. A mile had been galloped in one hundred and three seconds, equal to thirty-five miles per hour, and had been trotted in one hundred and twenty-four seconds, equal to twenty-nine miles per hour. How man's position as a competitor with other animals in speed was affected by his use of mechanical aids, but without any extraneous motive power, was considered in reference to locomotion on land, in water, and in air. But the most wonderful increase in the locomotive power of man on land was obtained by the use of the modern cycle. One mile had been cycled at the rate of 27·1 miles per hour, fifty at twenty, one hundred at 16·6, three hundred and eighty-eight at 12·5, and nine hundred at 12·43 miles per hour. Unaided by mechanism man had shown himself able to swim for short distances at the rate of three, and long distances (twenty-two miles) at the rate of one mile per hour. He had also given instances of being able to remain under water for four and a half minutes. Credible eyewitnesses stated that porpoises easily overtook and kept pace with a steamer going twelve and a half knots, or, say, over fourteen miles an hour, for an indefinite length of time. This was five and fifteen times the maximum swimming speed of a man for short and long distances respectively.


Tendencies of Population.—In a paper read in the British Association, Mr. E. Cannan, of Oxford, sought to show that, contrary to the general belief that the population of the great towns is being increased almost as much by immigration as by excess of births over deaths, the excess of immigrants over emigrants, or net immigration, is rapidly diminishing, and seems likely to disappear before the end of the century. The net immigration into London in the last ten years was only fifty-six per cent of what it was in the previous ten years, and only sixty-three per cent of what it was thirty years before, when the population was two and a half millions less than it is now. In this matter London is by no means in advance of the other great towns. In Liverpool the net immigration was 68,000 in 1851 to 1860, 56,000 in 1861 to 1870, 49,000 in 1871 to 1880, but in 1881 to 1890 the balance was the other way, and there was a net emigration of 15,000. In the case of Manchester the decline of the net immigration was neither so continuous nor so great as in Liverpool, but it was considerable. In each of the first two decades it was about 32,000, then it rose to nearly 50,000, but in the last decade it has declined to 17,700. The three great Yorkshire towns, Leeds, Sheffield, and Bradford, showed considerable fluctuations. Into the three taken together the net immigration was 25,000 in 1851 to 1860; in 1861 to 1870 it made an enormous jump up to 78,000, and then dropped right down to 18,000 in 1881 to 1890. The net immigration into the towns was affected by migration between the towns and other countries as well as by migration between the towns and the rest of England and Wales.


Animal and Artificial Mechanism.—Comparing animal mechanism with artificial, Mr. Jeremiah Head said, in his sectional address at the British Association, that all animals were in their bodily frames, and in the intricate processes and functions which went on continuously therein, mechanisms of so elaborate a kind that we could only look and wonder and strive to imitate them a little here and there. The mechanical nomenclature of all languages was largely derived from the bodies of men and other animals. Many of our principal mechanical devices had preexisted in them. Mr. Head proceeded to consider how far man was in his natural condition, and had become by the aid of mechanical science, able to compete successfully with other and specially endowed animals, each in his own sphere of action. The bodily frame of man was adapted for life and movement only on or near to the surface of the earth. Without mechanical aids he could walk for several hours at a speed which was ordinarily from three to four miles per hour. Under exceptional circumstances he had accomplished over eight miles in one hour, and an average of two and three quarter miles per hour for a hundred and forty-one hours. In running he had covered about eleven and a half miles in an hour. The power of the living human mechanism to withstand widely diverse and excessive strains was altogether unapproachable in artificial constructions. Thus, although fitted for an external atmospheric pressure of about fifteen pounds per square inch, he had been able, as exemplified by Messrs. Glaisher and Cox well in 1862, to ascend to a height of seven miles and breathe air at a pressure of only three and a half pounds per square inch, and still live. And, on the other hand, divers had been down eighty feet deep, entailing an extra pressure of about thirty-six pounds per square inch, and had returned safely. One had even been to a depth of one hundred and fifty feet, but the resulting pressure of sixty-seven pounds per square inch cost him his life. No animal burrowed downward into the earth to a greater depth than eight feet, and then only in dry ground.


The Phillips Prize Essay Fund.—The Herbert M. Phillips prize essay fund of five thousand dollars of the American Philosophical Society was founded by Miss Emily Phillips in memory of her deceased brother, who was an honored member of the society. Its purpose is the provision of prizes, to be awarded from time to time from the income of the fund, for the best essay of real merit on the science and philosophy of Jurisprudence. In pursuance of the conditions of its establishment, a prize is now offered by the society, to be awarded during 1895, of five hundred dollars lawful gold coin for the best essay on either of the following subjects: 1. The sources, formation, and development of what is generally designated the common law of England. 2. The theory of the state, treated historically, and upon principle, with a discussion of the various schools of classical, mediæval, and modern thought upon the subject. 3. The historical and doctrinal relations of the Roman law and the English law, illustrated by parallels and contrasts. The essays of, competitors should be in possession of the society before the first day of January, 1895, and should be sent addressed to Frederick Fraley, president of the society.


Oxygen as a Remedy for Choke Damp.—A committee appointed at the Edinburgh meeting of the British Association, 1892, to determine whether oxygen gas was useful as a restorative in cases of carbonic-acid poisoning, and particularly in those of choke-damp asphyxia in mines, reported to the recent meeting its conclusions, from experiments on rabbits, that oxygen was of no greater service than air. It suggested, however, that the experiment of keeping a few cylinders of air with nose and mouth pieces ready for use in those parts of the workings where men could be most easily imprisoned might be attended with valuable results. It seemed quite reasonable that where a person had to be dragged long distances through a contaminated atmosphere the chances of ultimate recovery would be greater if the effects of this poisonous atmosphere were neutralized at the commencement and during the progress of the work of rescue than if no such attempt were made until fresh air was reached in the ordinary way.


Isolation of Fluorine.—A demonstration of the isolation of fluorine was made before the British Association by Dr. Meslans, the representative of the French chemist, M. H. Moissan. The apparatus employed consists entirely of platinum and fluorspar. A powerful current of electricity is passed between platinum electrodes through anhydrous liquid hydrogen fluoride mixed with one of its salts, and cooled to a very low temperature by means of methyl chloride. Under these conditions fluorine is given off from one of the electrodes, and hydrogen gas from the other. The fluorine is an almost colorless gas, and its presence is made evident by its action on various compounds. Crystallized silicon, amorphous boron, phosphorus, sulphur, alcohol, and various metals take fire at the ordinary temperature and burn brilliantly in a current of the gas. These phenomena were exhibited to the section, and the demonstration was in every way successful. Sir Henry Roscoe moved a vote of thanks to M. Moissan and M. Meslans. The vote, he said, must be regarded as coming from the whole Association and not simply from the Chemical Section. Prof. T. E. Thorpe seconded the motion, which was carried with loud cheers, and the president of the section. Dr. Emerson Reynolds, sent a telegram to M. Moissan congratulating him, on behalf of the section, on the great success of the demonstration.


Bacteriology in Chemistry.—Bacteriology, said Prof. Frankland, opening the discussion of that subject in the British Association, although originally an offshoot of botany, received its great impulse from the association with chemistry which began with the researches of Pasteur, while the greater part of our more recent knowledge was due to the labors of those medical men who had followed in the steps of Koch and his pupils. The progress that has been made of late years in this line of research was mainly due to the methods of producing pure and selective cultivations. These methods did not at present seem capable of any great modification, and a knowledge of them might be regarded as essential in a really liberal education. Pure cultivations of yeasts were now articles of commerce, and pure cultivations of microbes for purposes of research could be obtained in the same manner as pure chemicals. Bacteria, whose properties had been modified by successive cultivations, are also supplied in quantities for the preventive inoculation of cattle. Later work had shown that the differentiation of even the most carefully studied bacteria, such as those of cholera and typhoid, was very difficult, and the morphological characteristics which were originally employed almost exclusively had given way to chemical and pathogenic tests. Individuals of the same bacterium under different conditions will show greater variations than are shown by different species. The fermentations produced by bacteria, as distinct from those produced by yeasts, were of constantly increasing importance, and had afforded means of splitting up certain compounds and isolating new products that could not be obtained in any other way. The compounds fermentable in this way belonged to a very few chemical groups, and the products of the change were few in number and comparatively simple in character. It would seem that while the same compound might yield different products when acted upon by different organisms, one and the same organism would yield the same products even when it acted on substances of very different composition. By reason of their selective action and their tendency to attack certain compounds in preference to others in the same liquid, bacteria enabled us to separate substances of identical chemical composition but different physical properties which could not as yet be separated in any other way.


Arctic Rivers.—The rivers which flow into the Arctic Ocean, said Mr. Henry Seebohm in the British Association, are some of them among the greatest in the world. Some idea of the relative sizes of the drainage areas of a few of the best-known rivers may be learned from the following, in which the Thames, with a drainage area of 6,000 square miles, is the unit: Nine Thames equal one Elbe (54,000); two Elbes equal one Pechora (108,000); two and a half Pechoras equal one Danube (270,000); two Danubes equal one Mackenzie (540,000); two Mackenzies equal one Yenisei (1,080,000); two Yeniseis equal one Amazon (2,100,000). There is nothing that makes a greater impression upon the arctic traveler than the enormous width of the rivers. The Pechora is only a river of the fifth magnitude, but it is more than a mile wide for several hundred miles of its course. The Yenisei is more than three miles wide for at least a thousand miles and a mile wide for nearly another thousand. Whymper describes the Yukon as varying from one to four miles in width for three or four hundred miles of its length. The Mackenzie is described as averaging a mile in width for more than a thousand miles, with occasional expansions for long distances to twice that size.


Investigation of Earthquake Phenomena.—The committee of the British Association, appointed to investigate the volcanic and earthquake phenomena of Japan, has reported that the records of horizontal pendulum motions during the past ten years show that the earth tremors of Japan have no direct relation to its earthquakes. Records of both have been kept. A well-marked periodic tilt of the land has been detected, corresponding to a rise of the land on the northeast side, and a more rapid subsidence of it again. Similar effects had been recorded in Germany, but of much smaller amplitude. In Germany, barometric changes caused the tilting, but the relation between the two was not so marked in Japan; there may possibly, however, be some connection of them with magnetic influences. The directions of earthquake motions and of earth tremors across Japan were each at right angles to the mountain axis of the country, a fact which suggests that both are caused by crumpling of the mountains round their axis. The observations of earth tremors had gone so far as to demand attention from practical astronomers and others. When a tremor occurred it rendered delicate weighing impossible, inasmuch as the balance swung irregularly and altered its zero. Similarly astronomical observations would be upset. A practical outcome of the committee's reports was the alteration in the design of bridges in Japan. After earthquakes it was found that bridges and other masonry gave way at the base; the form of a wall or pier had been calculated which, on being subjected to a horizontal reciprocating medium, would be equally likely to break at any part.


Mount Tacoma.—An effort is making by the citizens of Tacoma, Washington, to restore to their lofty and graceful mountain—to which the name Rainier has been attached—its aboriginal designation of Tacoma. This term, according to the analysis of it by the Hon. James Wickersham, quoted in F. G. Plummer's Illustrated Guide Book, means "snow-covered mountain." The mountain is in full view from the city of Tacoma, bearing south, 56º east, a distance of forty-four miles. It stands about twelve miles west of the Cascade Range, and its entire drainage flows westward into Puget Sound and the Columbia River. It "has the form of a dome surmounted by three small peaks, with a maximum elevation of fifteen thousand feet. It rises almost from the sea-level; and as its average diameter at the base is about twenty miles, its mass is roughly estimated at two hundred cubic miles. Upon its slopes on every side are enormous glaciers and ice-fields, arranged on radial lines and forming a system that for extent and grandeur is unexcelled on the earth. The limit of perpetual snow is at four thousand feet, but the timber line extends much higher. Natural groves, meadows, and prairies surround the mountain, except where the river cañons and glaciers cut the slopes. Upon the northeast the Urania, Blaine, Inter, and Winthrop glaciers drain into White River and thence to Duwamish Bay. To the northeast the Carbon, Willis, North Mowich, South Mowich, and Pugallup glaciers form the Pugallup River, which flows to Tacoma harbor. To the southwest the Tahoma, Kautz, Van Trump, Nisqually, and Paradise glaciers drain into the Nisqually River, which flows through Succotash Valley to Puget Sound. The Cowlitz River is the drainage from the Cowlitz, Willinakas, and Little Willinakas glaciers, and flows into the Columbia River." The mountain is reached from Tacoma by electric railway, eleven miles to Lake Park, stages to Paradise Park, sixty-seven miles from the city, and thence by a day's hard work climbing nine thousand feet up in seven miles. Mr. Plummer's Guide Book (Tacoma, Wash.) is full of information about the mountain, clearly and precisely given.


Dr. Alfred L. Carroll.—Dr. Alfred Ludlow Carroll, of New York, who died October 30, 1893, was a physician of high standing, a vigorous writer on subjects of medicine, sanitation, and hygiene, and an active laborer for the elevation of the standards of medical science and practice and the diffusion of sound principles of hygiene. A full sketch of his life has been prepared by Dr. J. W. S. Gouley for the New York State Medical Association, from the advance sheets of which, kindly furnished us by him, we gather that he was born in New York city, August 3, 1833, the son of parents of good scholarship and refined tastes. He began the study of his profession when eighteen years of age, with Dr. Valentine Mott, expecting to become a surgeon, but afterward turned his attention to general medicine. He began to contribute to the medical press in 1857, and wrote many papers and editorial articles for several journals; and from 1867 to 1871 edited the Medical Gazette. As editor he "labored industriously to raise the standard of medical morals and of scientific essays. His reviews of literary and scientific works are so many pleas for thoroughness in research, accuracy in statement, simplicity in diction, and good taste in composition. . . . His dislike of shams and of irrational methods is exhibited throughout his essays, both medical and literary, in verse and in prose." With his other qualities he had a keen wit, which was used to good effect in his writings, and in drawings and models satirizing follies, abuses, exaggeration in fashions, and hygienic improprieties. Retiring from the editorship of the Medical Gazette in 1871, he settled for practice in New Brighton, Staten Island, till 1889, when he removed to New York city. He was a member of the Council of the New York State Medical Association, and for three years edited its transactions. His most important work was performed in sanitary science. Dr. Gouley names thirty-seven editorial articles on public health, which he published while editor of the Medical Gazette. He wrote for the World a series of articles—the Ollapod Papers—on hygiene, conveying useful information respecting the prevention of disease and the general care of the person, which were widely read. During. his residence in New Brighton he gave a series of free popular lectures on hygiene. His address on the Philosophy of Health before the Alumni Association of the University Medical College of New York, and those on Public Health before the New York State Medical Association in 1885, and the American Medical Association in 1890 were of high character. In 1884 he became Secretary of the New York State Board of Health, succeeding Dr. Elisha Harris, deceased. In this position he was much consulted with reference to health laws and general sanitation. While in this office he delivered an acceptable course of lectures on hygiene at the Albany Medical College; and he gave courses on the same subject at the Mott Memorial Hall in 1890, and at the New York College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1891. Dr. Thudicum, of London, speaks of his later writings, with which only he is acquainted, as "full of original observations, keen application of the most progressive science, and conclusions of the greatest practical value."


Cheating Ancestors and Gods.—A curious industry in some of the provinces of China is the manufacture of mock money for offering to the dead. Formerly sham paper money was burned, but now mock dollars are used. They are only half the size of real dollars, but the dead are supposed not to know the difference; and, moreover, there is no more harm in cheating the dead than there is in cheating the living. To make them, tin, hammered out till it is not thicker than the thickest paper, is punched to the size of half dollars and pasted on disks of cardboard. A boy then takes the pieces, and with two dies, one representing the one side and the other the reverse, hammers impressions of dollars upon them, and the money is ready for use. Some districts of the Anhui province having been ravaged by an epidemic, so that in many places the people were not able to attend to the harvesting of the crops, an attempt was made to deceive the gods by playing at NewYear's day. Every preparation—burning fire-crackers and pasting happy sentences in red paper on the doors, and the rest—was made for celebrating the bogus New Year. The object was to make the god of sickness think he had made a mistake in the seasons, and had erred in bringing an epidemic on the people at a time when, in the course of Nature, no epidemic should appear. As any action contrary to Nature done by the gods is liable to punishment by the King of Heaven, the actors in this farce thought that the god of sickness would gather his evil spirits back to him for fear of the displeasure of his superior divinity. This child's play received the permission and co-operation of the local authorities.


The Future of Geographical Exploration.—In his recent annual address as President of the Royal Geographical Society, Mr. Clements R. Markham said that the work of geographical discovery during living memory had proceeded with such rapidity that many had been half inclined to think that there was little left to be done. There were still wide tracts, however, in all the great divisions of the earth, which were unknown to us and which would furnish work to explorers for many years to come; while the examination of ocean depths was an important task which had but lately been begun. Moreover, there were regions of vast extent which were only very partially known to us, the more detailed examination of which would enable explorers to collect geographical information of the highest value and of the greatest interest. It was from the methodical study of limited areas that science derived the most satisfactory results. When such investigations were begun it was found how meager and inaccurate previous knowledge, derived from the cursory information picked up during some rapid march, had been. A detailed scientific monograph on a little-known region of comparatively small extent supplied work of absorbing interest to the explorer, while he had the satisfaction of knowing that his labors would be of lasting value and utility. There was sufficient work of this less ambitious but not less serviceable kind to occupy a whole army of field geographers for many decades. Exact delineation by trigonometrical measurement was their work. It was hardly begun. With the exception of countries in Europe, British India, the coast of the United States and a small part of its interior, the whole world was still unmapped.