D. S. (David Samuel) Margoliouth.

The Popular science monthly (Volume 19) online

. (page 109 of 110)
Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 109 of 110)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

by Charles E. B.ssey,Ph. U. Pp.400. $1.10. And
English History for Young Folks. By S. R.
Gardiner. Revised for American Students. Pp.
457. $1. New York: Henrj- Holt & Cu. 1881.

The Microscope and its Revelations. By
William B. Carpenter. Sixth edition. Phila-
delphia: Presley Blakiston. 1881. Pp. 882.

Catalogue of 1.098 Standard Clock and Zo-
diacal Stars. Prepared under the Direction of
Professor Simon Newcomb. Pp. 314.

Indigestion and Biliousness. Bv J. 5Iilner
Fothersill. M. D. New York : William Wood &
Co. 1881. $2.

The Ancient Bronze Implements, Weapons,
and Ornaments of Great Britain and Ireland.
By John Evans, D. C. L., F. R. S. New York :
D. Appleton & Co. 1881. Pp. 509. Illustrated.


The American Assoriation at Cinein-
nati. — The thirtieth meeting of the Ameri-
can Association for the Advancement of
Science began at Cincmnati August 17th,
and was one of the largest and every way
most successful that the body has held.
There was an unusually strong influx of new
members, and the regular working force of
the Association was well represented. The
papers were many and varied, and some of
them results of able investigation, and show-
ing a well-sustained activity of original re-
search. As regards provision for the social
entertainment of the members, Cincinnati
demonstrated that it understands this matter
quite as well as Boston, and is not to be out-
done. Every arrangement for the comfort
and the pleasure of the scientists was per-
fect, and those who experienced them will
long remember the enjoyments of the oc-
casion. We can not, of course, report the
work, and can only refer to some of the
more important papers.

The meeting began with a welcoming ad-
dress by Judge J. D. Cox, of Cincinnati,
and a response by President Brush. The an-
thropological and archteological departments
were fully represented, a large proportion of
the most instructive and most novel papers
bearing upon that subject. The proceedings
of this sub-section were opened with an im-
portant and highly interesting address by the
chairman. Colonel Garrick Mallerv on " The



Gesture-Speech of Man." Professor Mason
read a paper on "The Uncivilized Mind in tlie
Presence of Higher Phases of Civilization,",
the more immediate bearing of which was
on the subject of Indian education ; Horatio
Hale, in " A Lawgiver of the Stone Age,"
sought, among other -things, to inquire
whether mental capacity increases with the
progress of civilization, introducing in illus-
tration the condition of the Iroquois when
first visited by Europeans ; Major William
I. Beebe, of Brooklyn, read a paper of sug-
gestive import on " The Decipherment of
Inscriptions from the Mounds," to which
we have referred more fully in another
place ; Mr. W. J. Hoffuiann discussed " The
Interpretation of Pictographs by the Ap-
plication of Gesture-Signs " ; Mr. Watson
C. Holbrook, " Prehistoric Ilieroglyphics " ;
while Mrs. E. A. Smith communicated the
results of her researches on the " Animal
Myths of the Iroquois." Dr. Stephen D.
Peet contributed observations on " The Em-
blematic Mounds of the Four Lakes of Wis-
consin," and on the " Buffalo Drives on the
Kock Kiver, in Wisconsin," a paper which
provoked considerable discussion. Judge
John G. Henderson discussed " Agriculture
and Agricultural Implements of the Ancient
Inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley " ; and
Mr. De Saas, of the Bureau of Ethnology,
Washington, summarized the whole subject
in his paper on the " Progress of Archaeolog-
ical Discovery." After this a resolution was
passed, and referred to the Standing Com-
mittee, asking Congress to continue the ap-
propriations for investigations relating to the
mound-builders and to prehistoric mounds.
The Association resolved to exercise its in-
fluence to preserve the great mound at Ca-
hokia, Illinois, which is about to be sold ;
and excursions were made to Fort Ancient,
one of the best-known earthworks in the
Ohio Valley, and to Madisonville, where
some very interesting discoveries have re-
cently been made. In the microscopical
department. Dr. G. M. Sternberg, of Balti-
more, offered contributions to the study of
bacterial organizations commonly found on
mucous surfaces and in the alimentary ca-
nal of healthy individuals, in which he com-
bated the opinion that each disease is pro-
duced by a microbe peculiar to itself. He
had never found living organisms in blood,

healthy or diseased, but the alimentary ca-
nal was never without parasites. Dr. Lester
Curtis, of Chicago, gave the results of the
study of the blood of Griscom, who fasted
foity-five days at Chicago, the genuineness
of whose fast he attested ; the blood ap-
peared healthy in every particular through-
out the fast and at its end. Among the
papers on subjects of physics were one " On
the Cause of the Arid Climate of the Far
West," by Captain C. E. Dutton ; one on
"The Effect of Prolonged Stress on the
Strain in Timber," by Professor R. H.
Thurston ; and one on " Standard Time,"
by Professor E. B. Elliott, of Washington.
A committee which had been appointed to
consider the latter subject presented ma-
jority and minority reports. The former,
by Professor Stone, favored a single stand-
ard for the whole country ; the latter,
by Professor Waldo, favored a number of
standards, beginning with New York for the
East, another at St. Louis, an hour later,
for the Central West, and others at points
farther West, each exactly an hour later
than the preceding one, and suggesting that
the New York standard be fixed at five
hours after Greenwich time. The two re-
ports were ordered published, to be con-
sidered at Montreal next year. H. C. Hovey
presented a paper on " Coal-Dust as an Ele-
ment of Danger in Mining," as shown by
the late explosion in the Albion mines in
Nova Scotia. Mrs. A. B. Blackwcll read a
paper on "The Constitution of the Atom of
Science " ; and Dr. II. B. Parsons, in a paper
on the " Composition and Quality of Ameri-
can Wines," drew the conclusion that wines
of American manufacture are in many cases
as good as or better than more expensive
foreign wines of the same general charac-
ter. W. H. Ballou, of Evanston, Illinois, re-
viewed the " Natural and Industrial History
of the White Pine of Michigan," and pre-
dicted that, at the present rate of usage, the
supply of timber will disappear in seven
years. Mr. Charles Sedgwick Minot, by an
inquiry whether man is anatomically the
highest animal, excited considerable dis-
cussion, in which, the newspaper report tells
us, "some feeling was unfortunately cre-
ated." David D. Thompson, of Cincinnati,
considered the " Influence of Forests on
Water-Courses," and W. J. Beal communi-



catcd his observations of " The Motion of
Roots in germinating Indian Cora." The
chairman of the entomological sub-section,
reviewing the growth of entomology in the
United States, said that while forty years
ago there were but ten working entomolo-
gists south of New York, the " Naturalists'
Directory " for 1880 contains the names of
four hundred and thirty-six entomologists.
Professor Riley announced some novel views
on the sudden appearances of the grasshop-
per pest, which seemed to indicate that he
saw in them illustrations of the doctrine of
evolution. A resolution was adopted dis-
approving the conferring of the degree of
Ph. D. except after examination ; and a
committee was appointed to cooperate with
the committee of the American Philological
Association in addressing a memorial to the
Boards of Trustees of all the colleges, ask-
ing them to discontinue the practice. The
next meeting of the Association was ap-
pointed to be held at Montreal, August 23,
1882. The following officers were elected
for the ensuing year : President, Dr. J. W.
Dawson, of Montreal, Canada; Permanent
Secretary, Professor Putnam, of Cambridge,
to continue ; General Secretary, William
Saunders, of London, Ontario ; Assistant
General Secretary, Professor J. Eastman,
of Washington, D. C. ; Vice-President and
Chairman of Section A, Professor William
Harkness, of Washington; Section B, Pro-
fessor T. C. .Alendenhall, of Columbus, Ohio.
Treasurer, William S. Taux, of Philadelphia.
A new committee on Geological Survey was
appointed, consisting of Professors Swallow,
Proctor, James, Hull, Winchell, Kerr, and
Orton, and Major Powell. Steps were taken
during the meeting toward the organization
of a distinct Association of American Geol-

Physiological Effects of Compressed Air.

— Professor C. M. Woodward, of Wash-
ington University, St. Louis, Missouri, has
written a book on the St. Louis Bridge,
and in it has devoted a chapter to the re-
view of the affections which the men em-
ployed in sinking the piers of the bridge
suffered from compressed air, and the the-
ories that were proposed to account for
the trouble. From advance sheets of this
chapter kindly furnished by the author,

we leam that no serious drawback was
perceived to working four or even six
hours consecutively in the air-chamber till
the cutting-edge of the caisson of the east
pier was nearly sixty feet below the surface
of the river. From that time on the work-
ing-time was gradually shortened and the
rests were made longer, till the otli of J'cb-
ruary, at sixty-live feet, when the work-time
was made three watches of two hours each,
with two-hour rests. The first effect noticed
upon the men was a muscular paralysis of
the lower limbs, without pain, which would
pass off in a day or two, but which became
more ditficult to subdue, more extended and
painful, as the caisson was sunk deeper.
It was joked about among the men at first,
but became more serious by the middle of
February, after which, the depth being sev-
enty-six feet, severe cases became more fre-
quent. The superintendent noticed the fact
that the sick men were often thinly clad
and poorly fed. At the end of March, sev-
eral persons having died within a few days
shortly after coming out of the excava-
tions. Dr. A. Jaminet was appointed to take
medical charge of the men and establish
such regulations as in his judgment their
well-being demanded. lie had been a fre-
quent visitor to the air-chamber, had noticed
the men as they came out, and had observed
that their appearance was pallid and cold ;
that in some the pulse was quick but some-
what weak, while with others it was as low
as sixty, and that without exception the
workmen complained of fatigue ; also that
the pulse always quickened on entering the
air-chamber, though it soon fell to the nor-
mal rate, and even lower ; that the number
1 of respirations increased and a feeling of ex-
hilaration came on in the air-chamber, and
that the workmen sweated profusely during
their stay in it, although the temperature
was often below 60° Fahr. The air-lock
was, as a rule, excessively warm when the
pressure was increasing, and excessively
cold when the pressure was diminishing.
On the day the caisson touched the rock,
when the pressure was forty-five poimds
above the normal. Dr. Jaminet was con-
scious of a great loss of heat and a vio-
lent pain in his head while in the air-lock
on his way out ; he had much difficulty in
giiti: l: to IN carriage, and became partly


paralyzed after he reached home, so that he |
considered his life in danger. All the pre- I
cautions suggested by experience and care- ;
ful observation were adopted for the protcc- ;
tion of the men, and the cases of affection
were watched as they occurred. In all,
with six hundred men emjjloyed, one hun-
dred and nineteen cases important enough
to need medical treatment were reported at
both pie.s, fourteen of which cases died
and two were crippled. Post-mortem ex-
aminations were held in the cases of eight.
Various theories have been proposed to ac-
count for the affection. Dr. Clark, of the
City Hospital at St. Louis, believed that the
congestion observed was caused by the forc-
ing of the blood in upon the interior organs
of the body in conscfiuence of the increased
atmospheric pressure. Another physician
thought the men were poisoned by carbonic
acid which had been abnormally retained
within the system while in the air-chamber,
but which was set free as soon as the press-
ure was removed. Dr. Jaminet thought the
cases were due to physical exhaustion caused
by breathing an atmosphere of quadruple
strength, and supported his view by refer-
ence to the facts, all of which seemed to
agree with it. Professor Woodward does
not contradict his theory, but suggests in
addition that the vital energies of the men
taken sick were to a great extent paralyzed
by loss of heat, which was due — 1. To the
expansion of the air in the lock while
coming out ; 2. To the expansion of the
free gases and vapors within the body when
relieved of the abnormal pressure ; 3. To
the liberation of the gases held in solution
by the liquids of the body ; 4. To the severe
physical effort of climbing the stairs. The
loss of heat taking place under diminution of
pressure from four atmospheres to one would,
if no heat were received from surrounding
objects, be enough to reduce the temper-
ature from T0° above to 106° below zero.
Taking into consideration the condition of
men who have been working hard, especially
if they have not been well clothed and fed,
it is not strange that they did, but rather
that more of them did not, succumb under
the combined effects of these four agencies.
Dr. Jaminet gives an implied confirmation
of these views by remarking in his pam-
phlet that " the paresis is but the result of

reflex action caused by the spontaneous re-
frigeration of the whole system, but prin-
cipally of all the abdominal organs." It is
also worthy of remark that none of the
men were ever attacked on entering the
caisson, and none were ever sick while in
the air-chamber, no matter how long the
watch, but the attack always came on with-
in half an hour after leaving the air-lock,
or at the time. On the basis of this theory
Professor Woodward establishes a system
of rules for the management of men at work
in compressed air, embodying the principles
that only sound men should be employed,
that they should be guarded against exhaus-
tion, that they should not be exposed with
unnecessary suddenness to the change from
a compressed to the normal atmosphere ;
and that such a supply of heat should be
given every man that he could lose a large
amount and still have plenty left.

The Study of Aiitliropolop;y. — M. P.

Topinard classifies the anthropological sci-
ences in three divisions. The first division,
anthropology proper, is general, considering
the questions of man's place in nature, and
his origin, whether by special creation, or
by derivation from preexisting forms ; and
special, considering types, the classification
and origin, the laws of the formation, de-
velopment, death, and renewal of races.
To the second division he gives the name
of ethnography. It concerns the agglom-
erations of peoples, hordes, and tribes as
we meet them. Its interest is derived from
questions that arc peculiar to it, and from
the fact that races do not exist in nature,
but are only abstractions, characterized by
types which we imagine to have existed
among ancestors. Nowhere can the real
existence of a race be discovered, but we
find two or three types, even among the
most savage and most isolated tribes.
Special ethnography relates to the descrip-
tion of each people ; general ethnography
to common questions of manners, customs,
aptitudes, industries, beliefs, institutions ;
to the past of the race, the environment,
circumstances in the evolution of human-
ity ; to sociology. The third division in-
cludes the complementary sciences, among
which archseology, especially prehistoric
archaeology, holds the first rank. It fur-



iiishes us what we can Icam of the primi- 1
tive man, and is gradually bringing us
nearer to the epoch when the races started
pure. History adds legends and definite 1
movements, records the acts and voyages ,
of antiquity, and discloses the relations of
ancient to modem races. The descriptions
of the Scythians by Ilerodotu:*, of the Ger-
mans by Tacitus, of the Goths by Jornandes, ;
of the Anglo-Saxons by Amedee Thierry, |
are examples of its direct relation. In re- j
turn, history receives a certain degree of
light from anthropology, and the hereditary
influence of the physiological characters of [
races plays an important part in the pres-
ent order. Linguistics, which should not ,
be confounded with philology, helps to fill I
the gaps left by history and archaeology,
by indicating the passage of a people
through a particular region. Deductions
should be made from it with careful con-
sideration, for they are worth no more
than those which may be drawn from a
custom, a mythological form, or a funeral
rite. A language may advance or retire
without involving the question of anthro-
pology. We pass for Aryans, because our
ancestors spoke an xVryan language; but
that language may have been brought to
them from the East by a small, more highly-
civilized group. The group disappeared,
the language remained with the aborigines.
Demography is an anthropological science,
related to ethnography. A fourth division
might be added, consisting of sciences to
be consulted. Among them might be in-
cluded geography, as showing the distribu-
tion of peoples, and the topographical con-
ditions of their surroundings ; comparative
law, as illustrating their social and legisla-
tive organizations ; architecture and music,
which show that all people and races have
not had the same sentiments ; sculpture,
etc. The studies of anthropology, whose
final object is to solve the problems of the
evolution of the human race and man's '
place in nature, begin with analysis, or the
examination of particular characteristics.
Human characteristics may be arranged,
according to their bearing on anthropology
and ethnography, in five orders : External :
physical traits ; internal physical traits ;
physiological traits ; pathological traits ;
and ethnic traits. The last include all that

can distinguish one people from another,
whether relating to race, surroundings, tradi-
tion, or other points. Among them may be
indicated polygamy, polyandry, monogamy,
burial customs, the Indian custom of scalp-
ing, Polynesian taboo, the use of bows and
arrows and of the boomerang, artificial
deformations of the skull, etc. Thus the
principal anthropological studies may be
said to turn round four centers : the char-
acteristic, the type, the race, and the human

The Great Primitiye Eoropeaa Sea.—
The theory of the former existence of a
great sea embracing the basins of the Black,
Caspian, and Aral Seas, has been confirmed
by the recent ichthyological investigations
of the Russian academician Kessler. This
sea in the Jliocene period, resting on a bot-
tom of Eocene chalk and Jurassic rock, ex-
tended over a bed which, beginning in the
East with the Sea of Aral, included the low-
lands of the Caucasus and the plains of the
Pontus, reached Volhynia, Podolia, and Ga-
licia, the flats of the lower Danube, Hun-
gary, and Servia, and ended in the West be-
yond the Vienna basin. This great sea was,
at least in the latter part of its existence,
brackish, and was connected (though some
dispute this), as northern species among
the fosils indicate, either through a strait
or by overflow, with the Arctic Ocean. The
area of the sea was still more extensive in
the Eocene period, and in the Jurassic time
it seems to have included all of central Rus-
sia and reached to Courland. The separa-
tion of the Aral and Caspian Seas from the
Black Sea took place very early, probably
during the Pliocene age, certainly before
the beginning of the last geological period.
The connection of the Black Sea with the
Mediterranean through the present straits
was made considerably later. The separa-
tion was accompanied with a decrease in
the saltness of the Eastern seas — the Black
Sea now containing 1-6 per cent., the south-
em part of the Caspian Sea 1-3 per cent.,
the Sea of Aral M per cent, of salt — and a
slight modification of their fauna. The fau-
na of the Black Sea can not be regarded as
an impoverished fraction of that of the
Mediterranean, but is of independent origin,
consisting of what remains from the primi-



tive sea, to which a few Mediterranean
forms have since been added. The fauna
of the Caspian is analogous to that of the
Black Sea, but without the Mediterranean
species. Since this sea is composed of brack-
ish water, and is fresh in the northern part,
it can contain only those species which live
in brackish water or are indifferent or migra-
tory, with no real sea-fishes. The ichthy-
ology of the Sea of Aral has only recently
been determined. It is entirely of a fresh-
water character.


Mr. M. L. "U'adsworth has published at
Cambridge, Massachusetts, the results of
a microscopical study of the iron-ore, or
peridotite, of Iron-Mine Hill, Cumberland,
Rhode Island, a valuable ore similar to the
ore of Tagberg, Sweden, of which an im-
mense quantity occurs in mass. He also,
in the same pamphlet, describes a gold-mine,
which is worked for its gold, in the quartz
veins of the diabase of Sullivan, Hancock
County, Maine.

Mr. Alfred Neighdour, apiarian, of
London, has made a successful shipment of
queen humble-bees to New Zealand. Of
eighteen bees which were sent on the 7th of
December last, two were alive and strong
when the lot reached the consignee on the
3d of February, and flew at once against the
wind into the clover-fields. These are the
first humble-bees that have ever lived in
New Zealand, all fonner attempts to ship
and acclimatize the insects having failed.

A MOVEMENT 13 on foot in England, and
is receiving the countenance and support of
members of Parliament, to reduce the time
of labor of railway employees to nine hours
a day. In behalf of the change it is urged
that the duties of the men, and especially
those performed by the engineers and sig-
nal-men, are of a nature to require the keen-
est and most unflagging attention, and that
this can not be given for many hours contin-
uously without great fatigue, and a conse-
quent diminution of the alertness and care
necessary to the safety of life and property.

While other nations of Europe, and the
United States, have established stations
around the north pole for the study of ter-
restrial magnetism, France is about to es-
tablish one among the islands of Cape Horn.
Credits for this purpose are to be asked of
the Chambers, and it is anticipated that the
expedition will go out in the same vessel
that carries the astronomers deputed to ob-
serve the transit of Venus.

Professor Trowbridge, who was ap-
pointed a committee of the N'ew York Acad-
emy of Sciences on the subject of procur-
ing the adoption of a uniform system of
mathematical notation, or symbolization,
has reported that uniformity would be very
desirable, but hard to gain. It prevails
essentially in pure mathematics, where the
algebraic signs and the symbols of calculus
are everywhere the same, but not in applied
mathematics, where even the most common
symbols are employed without discrimina-
tion, and according to each writer's whim
and convenience. The realization of uni-
formity would be almost equivalent to the
reconstruction of a language, and would re-
quire continued efforts and discussions. The
most that the Academy can accomplish
toward it at present is to take a position in
favor of it.

The fifty-fourth meeting of the German
Association of Naturalists and Physicians
will be held in Salzburg, September 18th to
24th. Addresses will be delivered at the
general meetings by Dr. von Pettenkofer,
on the soil and its connection with the
health of man; by Dr. von Oppolzer, of
Vienna, on the sufficiency of Newton's
law of gravitation to explain the motion
of the heavenly bodies ; and by Hcrr Mach,
of Prague, on natural-history teaching.

The death of the eminent German bot-
anist, Professor M. J. Schleiden, is an-
nounced. Professor Schleiden was born at
Hamburg in 1804, and turned his attention
to botany after having studied law. Ho
was Professor of Botany at Jena from 1839
to 1862, and of Vegetable Chemistry and

Online LibraryD. S. (David Samuel) MargoliouthThe Popular science monthly (Volume 19) → online text (page 109 of 110)