IN 1880 it happened to fall to me to make a forecast of the very great reduction in the price of wheat in Great Britain, which could then be predicated on the lessening cost of transportation from Chicago to the seaboard, thence to British ports, which was then sure to be soon followed by a large reduction in the railway charges for bringing the wheat to Chicago from the other Western centers of distribution.
SOCIAL solidarity, the clearest expression of which to-day is nationality, is the resultant of a multitude of factors. Foremost among these stand unity of language, a common heritage of tradition and belief, and the permanent occupation of a definite territory.
WHILE the officers and friends of education in large cities are exerting themselves to provide open-air playgrounds for the schools, the villages and smaller towns all over the East are reversing the case. Except in the small district schools, the children’s playground has almost ceased to exist.
UP THE SKEENA RIVER TO THE HOME OF THE TSIMSHIANS.
GEORGE A. DORSEY
IN a recent number of the Monthly I described some of the incidents of a visit to the Haida and Tlingit villages about Dixon’s Entrance; now I am to speak of the Tsimshian villages on the Skeena River. The Tsimshian Indians are one of the five great stocks which make up the aboriginal population of the coast of British Columbia and southern Alaska.
LIGHT is the most important of all the external agencies which influence the vegetal organism, and the sun’s rays have been the most potent force in shaping the development of existent plant forms. The sunbeam stands in a manifold relation to the plant.
THE investigation of the origin of man in Egypt is a very complex problem, belonging as much to geology as to archæology. The earliest evidences we have of human industry, in fact, go back to so remote a period that they should be regarded rather as fossils than as archæological documents.
IN January, 1898, an elderly woman came in great anxiety to a priest of the Church of St. Ursula, in Munich, Bavaria, and complained that the devil haunted her house at night and frightened her by making a great noise. In explanation of this unseasonable and undesirable visit from the lower world she stated that a joint-stock company had been formed in Berlin, with a branch in Munich, for the purpose of discovering hidden treasures, and that in order to attain this object a human sacrifice must be made to the devil, and that she had been selected as the victim.
A WESTERN naturalist once said that the geology of Kansas was monotonous. In one sense this remark is certainly justifiable, and the same may be said about the geology of some of the other States on the Western plains. The American continent is built on a comprehensive plan, and many of its formations can be followed for hundreds of miles without presenting much variation in general appearance.
A YEAR is, roughly speaking, the period which it takes the earth to perform one complete revolution round the sun. I say "roughly speaking” with due humility, having the fear of the expert ever before my eyes, because I know that if I do not sing small, that inconvenient person, the astronomical critic, will come down upon me at once like a wolf on the fold, with minute distinctions about the mean, the tropical, and the sidereal year; matters of immense importance at Greenwich Observatory, no doubt, but elsewhere of very little interest indeed, seeing that they differ from one another by so many minutes only.
HAYING been for thirty years a lecturer on man and his character as evinced by his form, features, head, and gestures, and having made observations on the subject in all parts of North America, in continental Europe and Great Britain, and parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia, I should not be deemed presumptuous when I present a few facts regarding the relations of mind and the size and forms of heads and weights of brains.
THE not very graceful word speleology was composed a few years ago by M. Émile Rivière out of Greek elements, as a translation of the German Höhlenkunde, to signify the study of caves. The study claims a place among the sciences, and is, I believe, able to justify its claim.
THE name of Prof. Charles H. Hitchcock is closely associated with the progress of Hew England geology, especially with the discovery of the great terminal glacial moraine, and, in connection with the name of his father, Dr. Edward Hitchcock, with the study of the fossil bird tracks of the Connecticut River Valley.
OUR attention has been drawn to a lively discussion that has lately taken place in the St. Paul papers over the utterances, on the subject of the doctrine of evolution in its relation to education, of a certain Mr. Smith, who was appointed not long since superintendent of the public schools of that city.
IN The Play of Animals* we are offered a book upon an essentially new topic ; for, although much has been written concerning the habits and intelligence of animals, no special consideration has been given to their play or its psychic significance.
Tree Planting In the Arid Regions.—In planting the arid and subarid regions of the country, where no trees are growing naturally, Mr. B. E. Fernow says, in a review of the work of the Department of Forestry, different methods of cultivation from those given in the humid parts are necessary, and the plant material has to be selected with a view to a rigorous climate characterized by extreme ranges of temperature varying from —40° to + l20° F.
THE cigarette has found friends. The Truth about Cigarettes embodies the substance of papers read and discussed at the Medico-legal Society of New York. The gist of the papers is to the effect that the stories of harm done by cigarettes are fictions or gross exaggerations; that they contain no opium, arsenic, or other poisons, but are the best pure tobacco (1.0926 grammes each) wrapped in pure paper (0.038 gramme); that they never caused a case of insanity; and that they are simply injurious in the same way and to a corresponding extent as other forms of tobacco.