THE MEASUREMENT OF ENVIRONIC FACTORS AND THEIR BIOLOGIC EFFECTS1
DR. D. T. MACDOUGAL
THE simpler forms of plants in earlier geologic times lived in swamps and along seashores and under the equable conditions furnished did not attain anything beyond a primitive and elementary development. The chief bar to escape from the restricted moist habitats consisted in the fact that the life cycle of the plant included alternating generations in one of which, the sexual generation or gametophyte, reproduction was possible only in the presence of water.
HE who elects to write on a mathematical topic is confronted with a choice between two evils. He may decide to handle his subject mathematically, using the conventional mathematical symbols, and whatever facts, formulas and equations the subject may demand—save himself who can!
THE institution which must here be described merely as “our college” is one of a large class, of which it may be taken as a typical specimen. It is located in a thriving middle-western town of a little over thirty thousand population. It has a faculty of twenty, a student body numbering a little less than five hundred, a campus of ten acres in the heart of the town, seven good buildings, three of which have been built within the past ten years, endowed funds of over half a million dollars, and library and laboratory equipment fairly adequate to present needs.
THE manual worker is not left in ignorance respecting his rights, his wrongs and his importance. In season and out of season he is taught that the world owes every man a living and that he should receive wages enough to support his family according to the American standard; that his labor makes value and that his share of the profits is withheld; that capital, all-powerful, is consumed with passion to enslave helpless labor; that he can secure his rights only by compulsion, since the interests of capital are antagonistic to those of labor.
The framers of the constitution were fearful of democracy and entertained serious misgivings concerning the essential goodness of man. In theology, many of them accepted the doctrine of original sin, total depravity, infant damnation and the final perseverance of the saints.
IT is well known that charlatans and fools sometimes exploit the press for their own purposes. Our journalists are often men of chiefly literary training. They may be able to diagnose a case of megalomania among writers of verse and they may know how to identify a literary pirate.
NAPOLEON’S cynical question, “What is history but a fiction agreed upon,” suggests a criticism that nervous historians have always felt the need of answering; and much investigation and many speculations have been directed at the adverse critics in the hope of placing the popular science in that favored class where are found such unassailable sciences as chemistry and physics.
EFFICIENCY was defined by one of our great American engineers as “the relation between what is and what ought to be.” Judging by this standard and agreeing on the premise that one hundred per cent, efficiency in medical school inspection means a complete discovery of all of the ailments and defects of the children followed by a prompt, rigorous and effective alleviation and cure of them, so far as they can be alleviated or cured, we must admit, in the light of established facts, that we have not only failed to reach the uppermost notch of efficiency, but that we are quite a good distance away from it.
THE LABORATORY OF COMPARATIVE PATHOLOGY OF THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF PHILADELPHIA
R. W. SHUFELDT
IN various publications recently I have pointed out the fact as to how little is being done in the way of describing the anatomy of the existing Vertebrata of our fauna. One animal after another is now being exterminated with a rapidity never before equalled in the history of man, neither has there ever been a time in that history when so little was done to preserve detailed accounts, properly illustrated, of the comparative morphology of the species so doomed.
THE extraordinary development of universities in the United States is paralleled by the growth of its museums. In Washington, New York, Chicago and Pittsburgh, four museums of natural history have in a comparatively brief period taken their places among the leading institutions of the world, and in many other cities there are important and growing museums.
EDITOR’S NOTE.—Mr. Curwood is the first writer to tell in fiction the dramatic story of that day, thousands of years ago, when in the space of what was probably no more than a few minutes the earth tilted twenty-three and a half degrees on its axis, transforming what teas then a tropical world into the blackness of a night which lasted for unnumbered centuries, and out of which came what are known as the North Polar regions of today.