Popular Science Monthly/Volume 46/November 1894/Popular Miscellany

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Geology at the Brooklyn Meetings.—The Geological Society of America held its sixth summer meeting in Brooklyn, N. Y., August 13th to 15th; and the forty-third annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was held in the same city, August 15th to 22d. The number of papers presented before the Geological Society was twenty-six, and exactly the same number also were read before Section E (Geology and Geography) of the association. This year a few distinctly geographical papers were presented in Section E, notably in contrast with several years preceding, which have had almost exclusively geological papers. One especially timely subject was the Geographic Development of China, Corea, and Japan, by Hon. Gardiner G. Hubbard, President of the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. On account of the importance and increase of work for both geology and geography, it is proposed that a special section of the association be devoted to each.

The vice-presidential address of Prof. Samuel Calvin, before Section E, on The Niobrara Chalk, called attention to the extensive beds of chalk in the middle division of the Cretaceous series of the upper Missouri River region. It has been generally taught in our geological text-books that no true chalk deposits exist in America; but explorations along the Missouri show that strata of chalk, ranging from sixty to ninety feet in thickness, extend from the mouth of the Niobrara to that of the Sioux River, on the west boundary of Iowa. The best outcrops are near Saint Helena, Nebraska. Microscopic examination reveals the same forms of foraminifera, coccoliths, and rhabdoliths which make up the chalk of England and portions of continental Europe. The close identity of conditions in these two widely separated regions was commented on as a fact of great scientific interest. At the same time with the deposition of the much thicker European chalk-beds, far away to the West, beyond the ninetieth meridian, and thus distant more than a quarter of the way around the globe, with an intervening abysmal ocean and a continental mass of land between these areas, there was another clear sea in which the same or very similar microscopic types of life were developed in incomprehensible profusion to make the chalk-beds of Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

Papers on the Archæan and Palæozoic rocks were presented by J. F. Kemp, C. H. Smyth, Jr., R. S. Tarr, W. P. Blake, E. 0. Hovey, N. H. Darton, Arthur Winslow, C. W. Hall and F. W. Sardeson, C. H. Gordon, C. S. Prosser, N. H. Winchell, and J. P. Smith. Several papers relating to the Mesozoic and Tertiary formations were by H. W. Fairbanks, J. P. Smith, W. H. Dall, and Arthur Hollick. Dr. Dall confirms the Miocene age of the brightly colored and highly inclined fossiliferous strata of Gay Head, at the west end of Martha's Vineyard. Above the Miocene beds, however, and unconformable both with them and the overlying glacial drift, is a fossiliferous horizon of Pliocene age.

The large share of attention which is now being given to the Quaternary era, comprising the Glacial and Recent periods, is marked by the number of papers—eight before the Geological Society, and an equal number before the association, which pertained to this latest geologic era. Among these, perhaps the most notable was by Arthur Hollick, on the disturbance of the Cretaceous and Tertiary clay and sand strata next beneath the glacial drift along the course of the terminal moraine in northern New Jersey, on Staten and Long Islands, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. The crumpled and distorted condition of these beds he ascribed to the crushing force of the ice advance. The dislocations and tilting are of similar character with the disturbances which have been shown to have resulted from the thrust of the Scandinavian ice sheet on the islands of Möen and Rügen in the Baltic Sea.

The recession of the ice sheet from the region of the Great Lakes tributary to the St. Lawrence was discussed in a paper by Warren Upham, tracing the successive stages of the ice-dammed lakes of that region, as known by their beaches, far above the present lake shores. From the relationship of those glacial lakes, held by the barrier of the waning ice sheet on their north and northeast sides, it was shown that the ice sheet in its retreat was melted away from the northern borders of the United States west of Lake Ontario somewhat earlier than from New York and New England. The measure of the Postglacial or Recent period, from the end of the Ice age until now, was thought from the rate of erosion of the gorge below Niagara Falls to have been about seven thousand years. Prof. J. W. Spencer, however, in another paper argued that the duration of this period has been some thirty thousand years.

Prof. Spencer also read a paper on the late Tertiary and Quaternary changes of level of the West Indies, in which great movements of uplift and depression of Cuba and the adjacent Antilles were held to have united these islands repeatedly to the North and South American continents, while the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea were connected with the Pacific Ocean.

The Quaternary history of the Mississippi Valley was considered by Oscar H. Hershey, who regarded the loess of Illinois, Iowa, and the States farther south as the deposit of a somewhat late stage of the Glacial period.

Prof. Calvin's address is published in full in the American Geologist for September; most of the Geological Society's papers will soon be issued in its Bulletin, and abstracts of the association papers will appear, probably about a year hence, in the Proceedings of this meeting.

 

Officers of the American Association. The following officers of the American Association have been elected for next year: President, E. W. Morley, Cleveland, Ohio. Vice Presidents: A, Mathematics and Astronomy, E. S. Holden, Lick Observatory, Cal.; B, Physics, W. Leconte Stevens, Troy, N. Y.; C, Chemistry, William McMurtrie, Troy, N. Y.; D, Mechanical Science and Engineering, William Kent, Passaic, N. .J.; E, Geology and Geography, Jed. Hotchkiss, Staunton, Va.; F, Zoölogy, D, S. Jordan, Palo Alto, Cal.; G, Botany, J. C. Arthur, Lafayette, Ind.; H, Anthropology, F. H. Gushing, Washington, D. C.; I, Economic Science and Statistics, B. E. Fernow, Washington, D. C. Permanent Secretary, F. W. Putnam, Cambridge, Mass. General Secretary, James Lewis Howe, Louisville, Ky. Secretary of Council, Charles R. Barnes, Madison, Wis. Treasurer, R. S. Woodward, New York. Secretaries of Sections: A, E. H. Moore, Chicago, 111.; B, E. Merritt, Ithaca, N. Y.; C, William P. Mason, Troy, N. Y.; D, H. S. Jacoby, Ithaca, N. Y.; E, J. Perrin Smith, Palo Alto, Cal.; F, S. A, Forbes, Champaign, Ill.; G, B. T. Galloway, Washington, D. C.; H, Mrs. Anita Newcombe McGee, Washington, D. C.; I, E. A. Ross, Palo Alto, Cal. The association decided to meet next year in San Francisco, Cal., provided acceptable terms were secured from the railroads.

 

The Falling of the Leaves. According to a paper by Prof. Trelease, quoted in Garden and Forest, three more or less distinct periods are observable in the falling of the leaves. The first, occurring on an average a week earlier than the main fall, is marked by the loss of the leaves of weakly twigs; the second comprises the main defoliation; the third embraces the period during which straggling leaves, mostly on branches that have been shaded during the growing season, successively disappear. This period is often limited only by the beginning of growth the next spring. Most leaves fall in consequence of the formation of a distinct joint, usually at the base of the leaf stalk. In very many of our trees the weakened twigs also are annually cast off by a similar process. This is especially observable in the willows, which are often spoken of as having brittle branches, although their wood is tough except where the joints referred to occur. The cottonwood and white elm show the same peculiarity well, the joints being formed at the beginning of the year's growth, so that the growth of from one to seven or eight years is often pruned off by a gale in autumn; and it is observable on oaks and many other trees. There seem to be two reasons for this provision: The fallen twigs of species that grow in wet places have been observed to strike root, thus serving as natural cuttings for the propagation of the species; on the other hand, it is clearly an advantage to the tree to lose weak branches that would make at best but a poor growth, while shedding and otherwise interfering with the development of the stronger shoots.

 

Standards for Professional Schools.—President Eliot, of Harvard University, in a recent address before the New England Association of College and Preparatory Schools, pointed out as one of the evils of the present system of management the fact that the requirements for admission to the scientific, technological, and agricultural schools of the country are, as they always have been, much lower than are exacted by the classical colleges. It is another evil that the schools of law and medicine have been, as a rule, "wide open to anybody walking into them from the street, without passing any admission examination whatever, or submitting to any inquiry into previous academic training. . . . This is the condition we have to confront; Three grades of attainment are required for the three different classes of institutions for the higher education—the colleges have the best grade, the scientific schools the next best, and the schools of law and medicine the lowest." The feasibility of finding a remedy for these conditions is held to be largely dependent on the colleges, scientific schools, and secondary schools co-operating. "Imagine the nine principal subjects, represented in these nine conferences" (which are held within the association), "actually put on an equality with each other in seriousness, dignity, and disciplinary value; and imagine a great variety of four-years' courses, all made up from the schedule of the combined conference recommendations, and carried out in hundreds of high schools and academies. Should it make any difference to a college whether a given candidate for admission to the college had studied this set of four or five subjects recommended by the conferences for a four-years' course, or-that set of four or five subjects, both sets being taught in the manner recommended by the conferences? Should it make any difference whether the candidate for admission presented to state the case in an extreme way—Latin, Greek, English, French, and German, or mathematics, physics, natural history, and history? Clearly, if the recommendations of the conferences had been effectively carried out, the education received by the youth who had taken the first group should be just as good as that of the youth who had taken the second group. . . . I need not say that we are not in sight of such a condition of things now. Most of you are perfectly familiar with the kind of substitute which is now offered to a boy in a high school for the classical course, which consists of Latin, Greek, mathematics, with a little history, and possibly the elements of a modern language. The substitute now offered ordinarily consists of English, mathematics, history, geography, botany, zoölogy, astronomy, geology, mineralogy, political economy, ethics, and perhaps the elements of one or two modern languages—an extraordinary number of scraps of miscellaneous subjects, instead of a limited number of substantial subjects, each treated with some thoroughness. Our adverse opinion concerning the possibility of making subjects equal for training value is really founded on our own convictions of the great superiority of the old-fashioned, solid classical programme in the academy and the high school, to the scrappy, ineffective programmes which are substituted for the classical programme in the inferior courses of our high schools and academies. . . . We shall never attain to an equality of subjects until the English or modern course in secondary schools has been made as solid as the classical. No elementary, superficial, and hasty treatment of a long series of subjects can possibly commend itself to the educated community as likely to produce the good effects of the consecutive, thorough, and prolonged treatment of a smaller group. We shall never know, for example, whether Latin and history are equally well adapted to secure the suitable development of the human mind until we have given history the same chance that we have given Latin."

 

The Coals of Missouri.—All the coals of Missouri, Mr. Arthur Winslow, State Geologist, informs us, are bituminous, except the cannel coals, which are found in local and small deposits. The bituminous coals have, as a rule, a high percentage of ash, as compared with the best bituminous coals; they are comparatively soft, suffer much from excessive handling or long exposure, and almost always carry pyrites. Most of the mines are less than two hundred feet deep. The Randolph shaft, in Ray County, is four hundred and twenty feet deep to the coal, and is one of the deepest. The deepest operated—which is, exactly speaking, within the State is near Hamilton, in Caldwell County, and is about five hundred feet deep. At Leavenworth, Kansas, along the State line, however, a coal bed of only twenty-two inches is entensively worked at depths varying from seven hundred to eight hundred feet. For markets, the Western bituminous coal field, of which the Missouri mines are a part, besides the home market, looks chiefly to a great area in Nebraska, Kansas, the Indian Territory, and Texas, which is destitute of coal, and in which the supply of wood is small. Its only competitors are in the deposits of Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico; but they can furnish only limited supplies.

 

Sanitary Inspection of Schools.—The English Education Department has started upon a detailed inquiry into the sanitary condition of the schools, and with this purpose has issued forms to the inspectors embodying questions bearing on that subject, to be filled up by them. The thirteen questions relate, for the most part, to the site, structure, and sanitation of the schoolrooms inspected. The inspectors are required, in noting auy matters calling for alteration, to press for immediate attention to them, and are given power to use their discretion in enforcing changes. They are also instructed to bring under notice of the managers and the department serious defects in the convenience of the schoolrooms for teaching purposes or in their sanitation, with a view to their immediate removal. The objects of this action are to find, for the purpose of applying adequate means to secure efficiency, how far each existing school falls short of modern requirements, and to furnish a' complete statistical record of the condition of school premises throughout the country. Other subjects concerning which inquiry might be made with advantage have been suggested, among which are the lighting of the rooms; the most appropriate closets and their number; the most suitable arrangements for washing—whether basins shall be continued or they shall be done away with and replaced by a stream of running water, affording a means of obviating the danger of communicating parasitic and contagious diseases; and the physical and mental condition of the pupils.

 

The Lichtenthaler Collection.—Illinois Wesleyan University has obtained by bequest the valuable collection of shells, ferns, and algæ gathered by the late George W. Lichtenthaler, of Bloomington, Ill., which has been placed in its museum as the George W. and Rebecca S. Lichtenthaler collection. It includes shells—between six thousand and eight thousand species, with twenty-five thousand specimens; crustaceans, echinoderms, corallines, corals, fossil shells and plants, minerals, four hundred species of ferns, and eight hundred species of marine algae. Several cases are filled with gastropod shells cut longitudinally so as to show their spiral structure, and the highly polished specimens are very numerous. The ferns comprise a nearly complete collection of North American species, a complete collection from the Hawaiian Islands, and many from India, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Europe. Mr. Lichtenthaler, one of the best known of American conchologists, and one of the early members of the American Association of Conchologists, was bom about 1833, and removed to Bloomington, Ill., when twenty-two years old. He retired from business "with a snug fortune" after seventeen years of dealing in drugs. During this time he imbibed a taste for natural history, and after his retirement devoted his entire time and the proceeds of his large estate to the gathering and collecting of specimens. After Mrs. Lichtenthaler's death, without children, about ten years ago, he turned his attention more than ever to his chosen work. He died in San Francisco, Cal., February 20, 1893. He was a true amateur, and never sold a specimen or labored for hire, but was always ready to exchange specimens or give duplicates to persons who would appreciate them. In leaving his collection to the Illinois Wesleyan University he took care that his wife's name should be associated with his in the title given it.

 

The Giraffe.—The giraffe is described by E. Lydekker as the sole living representative of a separate family of the group of ruminant ungulates. It owes its height mainly to an enormous elongation of two of the bones of the legs, combined with a corresponding lengthening of the vertebræ of the neck. Its long neck has no more vertebrae than the neck of the hippopotamus or the extremely short neck of the whale. But while the bones of the whale and hippopotamus are broad and short, those of the giraffe are long—ten inches in full-grown animals—and slender. Accurate information is wanting as to the extreme height attained by the giraffe, but specimens of seventeen and eighteen feet have been described. The most distinctive structural peculiarity of the animal is in the nature of its horns, which take the form of upright bony projections from the top of the head, wholly covered with skin, and are unlike those of any other living ruminant. The giraffe's place in the animal kingdom seems to be between those of the deer and the antelopes; "while, as neither of these three groups can be regarded as the direct descendant of either of the other two, it is clear that we must regard all three as divergent branches of some ancient common stock." Of external features, the giraffe has not those lateral or spinous hoofs which are present in most ruminants. The large size and prominence of the eyes and the extensibility of the tongue are noticeable features The long tail, terminating in a large tuft of black hairs, is a feature unlike any in the deer, though it recalls certain points in the antelopes. "Somewhat stiff and ungainly in its motions—the small number of vertebræ not admitting the graceful arching of the neck characterizing the swan and the ostrich the giraffe is in all parts of its organization admirably adapted to a life on open plains dotted over with tall trees, upon which it can browse without fear of competition by any other living creature. Its wide range of vision affords it timely warning of the approach of foes; from the effect of sand-storms it is protected by the power of automatically closing its nostrils; while its capacity of existing for months at a time without drinking renders it suited to inhabit waterless districts." When seen away from its habitual surroundings the spots of the giraffe make it seem very conspicuous; but among the tall mimosas in which they feed, "giraffes are the most inconspicuous of all animals; their mottled coats harmonizing so exactly with the weather-beaten stems and with the splashes of light and shade thrown on the ground by the sun shining through the leaves, that at a comparatively short distance even the Bushman or Caffre is frequently at a total loss to distinguish trees from giraffes or giraffes from trees." The giraffe is now confined to Africa, although in Pliocene times it roamed over parts of southern Europe and Asia. It was known to the Romans of the time of the empire as the camelopard, but was afterward forgotten in Europe till about two hundred years ago. It is much hunted for its skins, which are used in the manufacture of the South African jambok whips, and is in great danger of being driven out of existence.

 

Negative Evidence from the Caves.—In the papers of the department of Archæology and Paleontology of the University of Pennsylvania, H. C. Mercer describes explorations of caves and other spots which might yield signs, near Trenton, N. J., and in the South, for evidences of Palæolithic man. At Trenton he found "turtlebacks," explainable as "inchoate cache blades of the latest Indian period," and other turtlebacks not so explainable, "and seeming to betoken a period of unknown direction before the working of the quarries." In Durham Cave, Stroudsburg, Pa., instead of a pre-Indian cave man, a red man was found, "as the contemporary, it seemed, of the peccary and giant chinchilla." In the chalk gorges of southern Texas, apparently promising indications gave only tokens of modern surface loam, which had fallen and mingled with ancient underplaced chalk. The cave at Lookout Mountain was explored to the bottom. Teeth of the tapir close to the layer of occupancy by man, added, however, a new species to the list of extinct North American mammals thus far observed in like association with human remains. The Nicajack Cave, in Marion County, Tenn., likewise failed to yield any earlier than neolithic remains.

 

Kinds of Ivory.—Four principal kinds of ivory are known in the market: that of Guinea, the Gaboon, or Angola, which is a little greenish, so that it is sometimes called green ivory, and which whitens with age; Cape ivory, which is of a dull, light, somewhat yellowish color; Indian or Siamese ivory, very rare, and white, with a tinge of rose color; and the fossil ivory of Siberia, remains of the mammoths of the olden time. Of these, the West African ivory is most highly prized, being finer and more transparent than the others. It is pretended that experts, when they see a well-preserved tusk, can tell whether the animal that wore it came from East or West Africa, or north or south of the equator. The farther north the animal's habitat, and the more elevated and dry the situation, the more the ivory is coarse and inferior. The principal market for ivory is at Liverpool, and nearly one third of the stock imported there is used in the Sheffield cutleries. Another considerable market is at Antwerp. The annual exports of ivory from Africa represent the product of sixty thousand elephants, and this means a rapid reduction of the elephantine population of the continent. Various artificial ivories, or imitations, are manufactured to supply the increasing demand. There are vegetable ivory—tagua seed from Peru, or wood injected with chloride of lime; sheep bone, macerated with the wastes of white skins; paper pulp with gelatin, celluloid, and caoutchouc; a preparation of potatoes; and a substance obtained by treating milk with certain reagents. The expediency has been suggested of establishing elephant farms, to form a more certain source of supply than hunting wild elephants is destined to become. Ostrich farming has proved practicable; why not elephant farming too?

 

Migration of Birds.—On the solution of the problem of the migration of birds. Canon Tristram said in the British Association, much less aid has been contributed by the observations of field naturalists than might reasonably have been expected. The observable facts may be classified as to their bearing on the whither, when, and how of migration, and after this we may possibly arrive at a true answer to the Why? Observation has sufficiently answered the first question. Whither? There are scarcely any feathered denizens of earth or sea to the summer and winter ranges of which we can not now point. Of almost all the birds of the holo-arctic fauna we have ascertained the breeding places and the winter resorts. Now that the knot and the sanderling have been successfully pursued even to Grinnell Land, there remains but the curlew sandpiper of all the known European birds whose breeding ground is a virgin soil, to be trodden, let us hope, in a successful exploration by Nansen, on one side or other of the north pole. Equally clearly ascertained are the winter quarters of all the migrants. The most casual observer can not fail to notice in any part of Africa, north or south, west coast or interior, the myriads of familiar species which winter there. We have arrived at a fair knowledge of the When? of migration. Of the How? we have ascertained a little, but very little. The lines of migration vary widely in different species and in different longitudes. All courses of rivers of importance form minor routes. Consideration of all lines of migration might serve to explain the fact of North American stragglers, the waifs and strays which have fallen in with great flights of the regular migrants, and been more frequently shot on the east coast of England and Scotland than on the west coast or in Ireland. They have not crossed the Atlantic, but have come from the far north, where a very slight deflection east or west might alter their whole course, and in that case they would naturally strike either Iceland or the west coast of Norway, and in either case would reach the east coast of Britain. But, if by storms and the prevailing winds of the North Atlantic coming from the west, they had been driven out of their usual course, they would strike the coast of Norway, and so find their way to Britain in the company of their congeners. It is maintained that the height of flight is some fifteen hundred feet to fifteen thousand feet.

 

The Atlas Mountains.—The great chain of the Atlas forms a mountain system which is described by Charles Rolleston as, for the grandeur and beauty of its romantic scenery, not to be surpassed, perhaps, by any in the African continent. The range extends into the adjacent French possessions in Algeria, but in Morocco its length is about three hundred miles, of which thirty miles, stretching from the sources of the river known as the Ouad Tissout, attain a general elevation of about twelve thousand feet. On approaching this imposing mountain line the aspect is truly sublime. At the time of early dawn of certain seasons the heights are imbedded in masses of white mist, which, under the influence of the rising sun, dissolve with the appearance of a thin, gauzy veil, disclosing a magnificent panorama of mountains rising behind mountains. Toward the Atlantic on the outer side, and in the direction of Algeria on the other, a broad line of snow edges the mountain tops; and at intervals loftier snow-clad peaks tower up, piercing the background of dark blue sky. Just below the region of snow the mountain sides are intersected by broad valleys bounded by wild, craggy heights; but lower still, where vegetation begins, the slopes are furnished with forests, stretching at places into long expanses of parklike woodland of pine, oak, walnut, and larch trees, growing with wonderful luxuriance. The view of the landscape, looking down five thousand or six thousand feet, is variegated and beautiful, for, watered by thousands of rivulets pouring from the base of the Atlas, there stretch away miles of fertile country strewn with Berber hamlets, plantations, and fruit orchards, the deep-green grass land and cultivated fields diversified with gardens and groves of orange, lemon, palm, and myrtle, producing the most charming harmony, combination, and contrast of coloring as far as the horizon, and the whole together presenting a landscape of the most enchanting beauty.

 

Women Astronomers.—Of six famous women mathematicians and astronomers whose work is mentioned by M. A. Rebière in a recent communication, the first, Hypatia, daughter of Theon, of Alexandria, lived in the fourth century, publicly taught mathematics and philosophy to large classes, and wrote treatises on mathematics. From her the author comes down to Madame du Châtelet, in the eighteenth century, a mathematician, astronomer, and physician, who in a memoir on fire, in the French Academy of Sciences, maintained that heat and light were produced by the same cause. Other women mathematicians mentioned by M. Rebière are Marie Agnesi, born at Milan in 1718; Sophie Germain, who, at the end of the last century corresponded with the mathematician Montucha; Mary Somerville, the friend of Laplace and a student of astronomy and physics during her whole life; and Sophie Kowaleski, born at Moscow in 1850, whose work on the rings of Saturn has been complemented by that of Mademoiselle Klumpke, of the Paris Observatory. Besides these. La Nature, in its supplement, names a number of less-known women who have attained a larger or smaller degree of distinction by their labors in this field. The Abbess Herrade, in the twelfth century, was author of a cosmology, the Hortus deliciarum; in the same century, Sainte Hildegarde gave, in her De Physica, a summary of the sciences of her time. In the thirteenth century, Nontis Sabucco described the function of the white matter of the brain. In the fourteenth century, Thiephaine Raguenel, wife of Dugueselin, was "learned in astronomy." Eimart-Meller, wife of Regiomanes, assisted him in his observations. Croris advocated the decimal system; Dumée defended the Copernican theory; Cunitz calculated the astronomical tables called Urania propitia; Ardingheli published works on mathematics and natural science; Bassi taught physics in the University of Bologna for thirty years; Lemère studied the quadrature of the circle; Mésian went to Guiana and published an important book on the insects of Surinam. Maria Mitchell and Yvon Villarceau were well-known astronomers; and among contemporary women of science in different nations the names of Agnes Clarke and Clemence Royer are those of foreign workers best known to our readers.

 

College Athletics and Health.—Speaking, in an address on the Influence of College Life on Health, of College Athletes, Dr. Edwin Farnham says that "they are, as compared with the whole number of students, but few, and must always be so; for the true athlete, like every real artist, is born, not made. Much has been written about training, as if by some mysterious process an athlete could be developed out of any sort of material. As I understand training, it is a process by which a man is put into a condition which enables him to make the greatest skilled muscular effort of which he is capable, in a certain way, for a certain time. It may be beneficial to health, but that is not its object. You must have the proper material to work upon, or all the training in the world will be of no avail. At many colleges large sums of money have been spent on the various preparations necessary for athletic contests, and a great deal of time and labor devoted to them. At some colleges special privileges have been granted to the men composing the athletic teams. Has an equal amount of attention been given to the care of the health of the students, considered in the light of a subject in no way connected with muscular development? What I know about this matter relates mainly to Harvard University, but I am disposed to think that other colleges would not be found superior to Harvard in this respect. I am, and for more than thirty years have been, intevested in athletic sports, but I hold it true that the first duty of a great educational institution is to the scholar—not to his intellectual needs alone, but to everything that makes for the preservation and improvement of health as well. None can know better than the body of physicians here assembled that the use which a man may be able to make in his life work of the knowledge acquired during his school and college days will depend largely on the condition of his health. Physical exercise has been a mania for some time, and much nonsense has been written about it. Even so great an authority as Dr. Parkes says, in his Practical Hygiene, 'Exercise is a paramount condition of health, and the healthiest persons are those who have most of it.' Exercise in the proper amount is indeed one of the means conducive to the preservation and improvement of health, but there are others as important, and some more so. The scholar should always bear in mind that in his case exercise is intended as a means to health which shall enable him to do his proper work in the best manner. He should never try to combine great mental with great bodily labor. I feel sure, from personal experience and from what prominent athletes have told me, that this can not be done with safety."

 

Archæology at the University of Pennsylvania.—The purposes of the department of Archæology and Paleontology of the University of Pennsylvania are to provide instruction in those subjects and in ethnology, and to extend scientific inquiry by means of original investigation in them. It will accomplish this by means of a library, courses of lectures, and the sending out of exploring expeditions. In the section of Babylonian antiquities excavations have been continuously carried on at Niffur, Mesopotamia; the Temple of Bel there has been nearly uncovered, many inscribed stones, cuneiform tablets, etc., of 4000 years b. c. have been obtained, and a collection of inscriptions published; and Dr. H. V. Hilprecht has spent five weeks in examining the cuneiform inscriptions collected at Constantinople. In the Egyptian section lectures have been delivered by Mr. Cornelius Stevenson; an exhibition of the Graf collection of rare Græco-Egyptian portraits and other objects has been secured. In the section of Glyptology special provision has been made for the Summerville collection of gems and talismans and it has been considerably increased; while no opportunity has been neglected that might afford new acquisitions. A section of casts has been established, and arrangements have been made for filling it. A collection of photographs illustrating archæological objects at Copan, Honduras, has been obtained. The section of Asia and General Ethnology was formed in January, 1894, and has been enriched with a collection of Oriental games, an important series from the Sultan of Johore, Chinese porcelain images; masks, weapons, etc., from Ceylon; games of all countries, military banners from Corea, and Indo-Greek sculpture, from Afghanistan. The archæological library has grown in one year from a collection of four hundred to one of eighteen hundred volumes.

 

Oriental Silver Work.—Silver, according to our consul at Amoy, is to the Eastern Asiatics as gold to us, and is worked up by them into innumerable articles of curio and bric-a-brac. One class of designs consists of miniature reproductions of features of daily life, including articles of household and personal use, the goddess of mercy, the Celestial Porole, the King of the Fishes, the sitting Buddha, the dragon, the flying serpent, the begging priest, and animals of all sorts. The largest of these articles do not exceed two inches in length, and they diminish to dainty little objects no larger than a grain of corn. The work and finish are admirable, and the features and hair of the human beings and the scales of the fishes and crocodiles are reproduced with the highest care and skill. Another class of these objects consists of miniature cordage. The metal is solid, but the surface is so cleverly wrought out that at first sight each piece seems a rope, cord, or braid. Some of them are as tine as sewing silk, while others are as thick as clotheslines. These silver cords are used for bracelets, anklets, necklaces, belts, sword hangings, and horses' harness. Though stiff, they are not rigid, and can be bent in any direction. A third class of articles includes household ornaments, such as match boxes, ash cups, joss sticks, bowls, sandalwood urns, plates for opium pipes, button boxes, and so on without end. A fourth class includes filigree work and tissues made from fine silver ware, all marked by the highest skill and beauty. Articles of this class, brought by Marco Polo to Venice, are supposed to have suggested the Italian filigree industry. A design from Fuchan is a bouquet, over which is loosely wrapped a silken veil. It was so perfectly made that the veil looked as though it might blow away at any moment. Through its flimsy folds the flowers and leaves were all visible. Another artistic gem is a little bouquet in which ferns, lilies of the valley, and other plants are completely represented in metals.