THOSE who do pioneer work in science encounter not only the inherent difficulties of research and interpretation, but also the misapprehension of certain educated men whose distinctive gift is a fatal genius for applying false standards of measurement to the progress of thought.
SOME OF THE EVIDENCES THAT NORTHMEN WERE IN MASSACHUSETTS IN PRE-COLUMBIAN DAYS.*
Extracts from the Reports of Dr. Gudmundsson and Mr. Erlingsson.
From Dr. Gudmundsson’s Report.
From Mr. Erlingsson’s Report.
THE evidences that Northmen were in Massachusetts in preColumbian days are drawn from two sources, geography and archaeology. The archaeological evidence is found by comparing certain ruins in Massachusetts with ruins of the Saga-time in Iceland, and also with the native and early European ruins on the coast of North America.
THE meeting of the Astral Club of Alcalde, on September 10, 1899, was rendered memorable by the return, from a month’s absence in the East, of the secretary of the club, Miss Corintha Jones, D. N. N. N. Her presence had been sorely missed at the August meeting (though I say it who should not), for it is not often that one of our devoted band is absent from his post.
AT the beginning of the present century the newspapers published in the United States numbered 200—one for each 26,450 of population—while at the present time the total of regular publications slightly exceeds 20,000—one for each 350 inhabitants of the country; and in that growth and development of the business is represented more of science and art, more of physical ingenuity and mental activity, than in any other line of human endeavor.
Georges Perrot is one of the leading art writers and teachers of France. Born in 1832, not far from Paris, he was graduated from the École Normale about 1855, and was then for three years at the French School at Athens. From his return to the present day he has occupied, with honor and distinction, many positions in the world of letters.
ALMOST everybody knows that observatories are the places from which standard time is sent out and corrected daily or hourly. But comparatively few have more than the vaguest idea of the means used at the observatories for obtaining it.
THE recent death, at the closing of the year 1898, of the lamented Senator Justin S. Morrill, who, as being the author of the Land-Grant College Act, is justly styled the father of agricultural education in the United States, seems to suggest the desirability of taking a survey of agricultural education as it at present exists in other countries than our own.
DURING the past two years the United States Fish Commission, with characteristic enterprise, has been carrying on experiments in the propagation of Eastern oysters in the bays of the Oregon coast. Work of a similar nature is now being undertaken in the State of Washington.
THE Malay is an Oriental, and, of course, possesses a goodly number of superstitions and old wives’ fables, but he does not hug them to his soul like some of the other peoples of the East—the Chinaman, for instance, who lives only by favor of gods, ghosts, goblins, and devils.
IT is so common a notion nowadays that electricity had its birth and rise in the nineteenth century that it gives one a strange mental sensation to contemplate the fact that all the myriads of commercial applications that have of late years been developed in this field might have been made by the Chinese or the ancient Egyptians, so far as the potentiality of Nature for developing electrical phenomena is concerned.
IT is often said that there are no rules without exceptions. We purpose to test the truth of this maxim once more. Fishes are made to live in water, but some of them pass the greater part of their existence in mud. Some even perch upon trees, thus competing with birds, whose kingdom is the air, and which are able, with the aid of their wings, to plunge into space and travel rapidly over considerable distances.
THE description of Selous, in Men and Women of the Time, as “explorer, naturalist, and sportsman,” is suggestive of the manner in which his career has been developed and his fame has grown. Beginning his active life as a mere hunter of big game in the wilds of South Africa, and known at first only as a sportsman, he has become recognized as one of the leading, most intelligent, and most efficient explorers of his time, and is accepted as the most eminent authority respecting what relates to the large and important region of Mashonaland.
THE address delivered by Prof. Michael Foster, as president this year of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, was not as long or elaborate as such addresses are wont to be, but it contained many thoughts of great value. After sketching the vast advances in scientific knowledge made within the present century, he observed, with great truth, that “ the very story of the past which tells of the triumphs of science puts away all thoughts of vainglory.” Why?
THE busy pen of Mr. John Fiske has produced another book marked by the qualities which the public has learned to associate with all his work —lucidity of expression, felicity of illustration, a large command of the conventional elements of literary composition, and a philosophy which, while very free and lightsome in its steps and paces, always has the luck to fetch up within easy hailing distance of a moderate orthodoxy.
THE author of Extemporaneous Oratory for Professional and Amateur Speakers * is himself one of the most effective orators, especially in debate, of the time. He has embodied in this book the results of ripened thought and successful experience gained in a field in which he is a master, for the instruction and help of those who would follow what he regards as the greatest of all arts, including the elements of all— music in the intonations of the voice, and painting and sculpture in the life, attitudes, and expression of the speaker.
Abbot, A. C., M. D. The Hygiene of Transmissible Diseases, their Causation, Modes of Dissexxiination, and Methods of Prevention. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders. Pp. 311. 82 net. Allin, Arthur. Extra-Oi-ganic Evolution and Education. Pp. 8.
The Dread of the Jew.*—The Dreyfus affair and the furious passions that it has awakened have their ultimate foundation in dread and hatred of the Jews. There is a Jewish question, more or less acute, in every continental country, and we are told by pessimists that before long we shall have an antiJewish movement in the East End of London.
OF the archaeology of Block Island, Arthur Hollick found in his explorations that around the áhores of Great Salt Pond and on the sand dunes that border the western shores of the island evidences of former occupation by the Indians are numerous.
AN old contributor, Dr. A. F. A. King, of Washington, D. C., writes us calling attentioin to the interesting fact that we printed an article of his as far back as September, 1883, suggesting the mosquito theory of malaria, and giving a number of observations which seemed strongly to support this view.