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As far as I am aware, this simple method is not generally known or thought of; nevertheless I am inclined to the belief that it would become easy to most persons after a little practice, and it is certainly very convenient, and greatly enhances the pleasure of viewing the many fine engravings almost everywhere to be seen. W. H. PRATT.

Davenport, Io., Dec. 14.

Laws against quacks.

I notice in your notes on the laws regulating the practice of medicine and surgery an omission to call attention to the fact that a bill (senate, 485) passed the senate last year, and would have passed the assembly but for the late date of its introduction, whereby it failed to be reached on the calendar. That bill embodied the points of agreement of those practitioners of medicine who have a legal status. It was based upon the bills introduced by the Medical society of the state of New York, so far as they were not concerned with the formation of a board of medical examiners. The State homoeopathic society has directed its legislative committee to favor this bill if again introduced, as it probably will be. I do not think that either of the judges you name would consider the construction of the registration law adopted by the Medical society of the county of New York as absurd; nor would they differ in opinion from the judges before whom that construction has been maintained.


You will admit, I think,- - as frankly as you admitted that the society was justified in the prosecution that elicited your comments, that it is reasonable to require registration of every physician in a county who regularly practises or resides therein. No registered physician has been prosecuted for a consultation or occasional act of practice in a county wherein he was not registered. But the bill in question specifically meets your criticism, and, if introduced again, will be made even clearer on this point There is an opportunity at the next session of the legislature to codify the various acts restricting medical practice into a simple statute, and fair criticism of the bill in question will materially aid the purging of the statutebook of the present clumsy enactments.


New York, Dec. 21.

The Panama canal.

The article with the above title, from the pen of M. de Lesseps, copied by you in Dec. 3 issue from The Scottish geographical magazine for November, contains some errors both of fact and of inference. Commercially the needs for and uses of the canal are misstated and overestimated. Trade must follow certain routes, governed by the earth's form and dimensions, and by the winds that blow or do not blow. For fear of the calm belt in Gulf of Mexico, the captain of a big ship, loaded with guano or nitrate of soda, would rather face the gales off Cape Horn. Because of the 'trades,' sailing ships from India and Australia would still go home via Cape of Good Hope. I have yet to meet a captain who would not elect Cape of Good Hope rather than Panama if loaded at a port even as far cast as Philippines. A sailing-ship bound from San Francisco to Liverpool would think twice before she paid any thing to be put into the calms in land-locked water off

Colon. Many captains have told me they would go on around the Cape Horn. Many cargoes are put on to sailing-ships, because they will be longer at sea than if sent per steam. It is no uncommon thing that a sailing-ship gets the same, and even more, freight than a steamer, because of the exigencies of the shipper or the condition of the market for merchandise. Hence the assumption that any of his '2' (p. 519), or that all of '1' or '3,' would seek Panama, is unfounded. A fair estimate, granting the correctness of his figures, would throw out 2,' and halve '1' and '3,' and leave, say, rising 2,000,000 tons per annum. In the table of distances, same page, London to Sydney, Havre to Sydney, he conveniently forgets that that traffic would use Suez rather than Panama. I fancy it is not generally known that the entire traffic of Suez is steam. There has never been an American merchantman through Suez, nor a sailing-ship of any nationality. The few sailers that have passed through were towed not only through Suez, but the entire distance to and from port of departure (Bombay) and destination (Malta). Practically the entire traffic on Suez is steam

But M. de Lesseps does not refer to the most important factor in the problem. The evolution of the marine engine is still progressing. Steamers of moderate size and speed already approximate the expenses of sailers, not counting the further saving in interest on plant by reason of more frequent 'turns ;' i.e., though a steamer may cost more than sailer, the former makes more voyages in a year, i.e., earns more freights. Before the Panama canal is finished, I doubt not such progress will have been made in compounding engines and in expansion of steam, that few new sailers will thereafter be built. The carrying-trade of the world will be done by steamers, just as the passenger trade has passed into their hands. Soon, as nations reckon life, sail will be limited to cruising for pleasure, fish or whale, or scientific research: even these will have steam power to go and come to place of resort. This change might and probably would throw the traffic of west coast America with east coast America and Europe into Panama canal; but Australia and India with Europe and America, never. FRANK GOODWIN.

Framingham, Mass., Dec. 13.

What was the rose of Sharon ?

In Science for May 14 (vii. No. 171) is an article headed What was the rose of Sharon?' Though not familiar with either former or recent discussions of the question, I am interested in recalling an observation of my own while riding over the plain of Sharon on the road from Jaffa to Ramleh. It was about the middle of the afternoon, Feb. 18, 1859. The dark soil was for a considerable distance half covered with broad patches of bright red flowers. ' Roses of Sharon!' some one exclaimed. I forget whether it was the United States consul from Beirut or some one else of our party. As my impression now is, several persons who were likely to know concurred in saying that these flowers were commonly so called in that region. The flower which I gathered and pressed was afterwards identified by an American scholar as Anemone coronaria of Sibthorp's 'Flora Graeca.' The color of the dried petals is now a dark maroon. FISK P. BREWER.

Grinnell, Io., Dec. 18.

from Charleston, and fifty-eight hours from New York; that a British fleet could get from Halifax to Portland in thirty-one hours, and to Boston in five hours more, or from Vancouver to San Francisco in ninety-six hours. Similarly a Spanish fleet at Havana is within forty-five hours of New Orleans. Then, as Lieutenant Griffin points out, the modern theory is to make war sudden, sharp, and decisive, and to make the defeated party pay all the expenses. The billion of dollars which Germany exacted from France in 1871 would be but a fraction of what we should have to pay to any hostile power that had our great seaports at its mercy.

We have on the Atlantic and Pacific and lake coasts "a series of great cities containing an aggregate population of more than five million souls, and destructible property which is carried on the assessors' books with a valuation of $4,000,000,000 (and which probably has an actual value of nearly twice as much), yielding annually a product in manufactured goods alone valued at over one thousand million dollars." Captain Greene shows that every man, woman, and child of this great population, and every dollar of this vast accumulation of wealth, is in danger of destruction by a hostile fleet. As he puts it, the problem is one of national insurance on life and property. Now, the usual annual premium on policies of insurance on life or property, with good risks, is from one to one and one-half per cent. In Captain Greene's judgment, less than half that percentage, computed on the sum total of property exposed, say, $20,000,000, expended annually for six years, would give us a complete system of insurance; that is, it would suffice to erect harbor defences stronger than any ships which could be brought against them, or, with an expenditure of $10,000,000 annually for six years, a sum which is only about three per cent of our annual appropriations for the support of the government, fully three-fourths of the lives and property on our coasts could be placed out of danger.

To these considerations Lieutenant Griffin adds the teaching of history, which is that the surest way to avoid war, with all its attendant ravages and losses, is by so thorough a preparation that no weak point is exposed to an enemy's attack, and no temptation is offered to his cupidity.

Besides dealing with the general question in the way indicated, both Captain Greene and Lieutenant Griffin discuss the various problems presented



THE two excellent and valuable articles on seacoast defences which have been placed before the public within a few days of each other - the one by Lieut. Eugene Griffin of the corps of engineers, in the Journal of the military service institution, and the other by Capt. F. V. Greene of the engineers, in Scribner's magazine - should suffice to convince the most devoted advocate of a 'peace policy,' and the most economical of legislators, that something should be done by the authorities, and that speedily, as a mere matter of insurance if nothing more, to protect our defenceless seaports. Lieutenant Griffin's paper is more technical than Captain Greene's, as might be supposed from the fact of its being published in a magazine devoted exclusively to military interests; but while Captain Greene's article is popular, it is not superficial, and by a comparison of the two the intelligent reader can gain an excellent insight into the subject. Lieutenant Griffin summarizes the arguments against coast defences under three heads: 1. The navy should constitute our defence; 2. Torpedoes alone suffice to close any channel; 3. Earthen batteries of sufficient strength can be hastily thrown up in case of war. He then answers these objections by showing that the office of the navy is not defensive, but offensive: it should protect our commerce on the high seas, and injure that of our enemies. Moreover, fixed guns on land have many advantages over guns on floating supports. The second argument proceeds from entire ignorance of the nature and object of torpedoes. They have been introduced to offset the advantages gained by the attacking party in the invention of the screw-propeller. Their function is to harass an enemy's ships, and prevent them from running by batteries. Instead of being a substitute for fortifications, torpedoes presuppose the latter. The plea that earthworks can be thrown up as rapidly as need be, is shown to be equally flimsy. In winter no suitable earthworks could be thrown up at all in our northern states. And supposing the largest available force to work day and night, it would take more than a week to construct the seventyfoot parapet. What this means is evident when we remember that Bermuda is only seventy-one hours' steaming from Savannah, sixty-six hours


by the great advances made in the apparatus both for attack and for defence in recent years. absurd inadequacy of most if not all of our present fortifications is pointed out; for those of them that were erected about 1812 had only to withstand a 42-pound projectile fired with a muzzle energy of 800 foot-tons by a 10-pound charge of powder, and those built at the outbreak of the rebellion had only to withstand a 450-pound projectile fired with a muzzle energy of 9,000 foot-tons by a 130-pound charge of powder. The 16-inch rifle of 1886, which is 45 feet 6 inches long, weighs 115 tons, and fires a projectile weighing 2,300 pounds with a muzzle energy of 55,000 foot-tons by the explosion of 800 pounds of powder, would make short work of the best of them. The bombardment of Alexandria in 1882 is cited as an instance of what might quite readily happen to us. The defences of Alexandria were quite similar to ours, and their armament far superior to any that we have; yet eight English ironclads made their evacuation necessary after one day's bombardment.

Our forts, excellent during the masonry and earthen ages, have never been replaced in the iron age. On the other hand, twenty-eight of the Gruson cast-iron cupolas, which have been found efficient against the heaviest projectile, have been constructed in the harbors of Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Holland within a few years. Lieutenant Griffin's treatment of modern seacoast defences is very thorough, and, we should fancy, authoritative. He appends to his article a very valuable table, showing the name, age, displacement, draught, speed, class, thickness of armor and style of armament, of every foreign vessel available for offensive operations against the United States. The list is most imposing, and includes 71 English ships, 50 French, 14 German, 24 Russian, 19 Italian, 15 Turkish, 13 Austrian, 7 Danish, 7 Dutch, 5 Spanish, 6 Brazilian, 3 Japanese, and 3 Chilian. In the face of all this, "since 1875 not one penny has been appropriated for the construction of seacoast defences. The annual appropriation of $100,000 for preservation and repairs, increased to $175,000 since 1881, has not even suf ficed to preserve our unfinished works, and our defences are actually in a worse condition to-day than they were ten years ago."


THE ninth biennial report of the California state board of health (Sacramento, 1886) contains, besides much immediately pertinent to its office, several valuable descriptions and tables concerning meteorological data, which the members of

the board wisely deem of importance in their professional studies. First in value is a long table of monthly rainfall, both for the past year and for the mean of several years, compiled by Lieut. W. A. Glassford, in charge of the Pacific coast division of the signal service. This is similar to the newspaper list prepared by the same officer, to which reference was lately made in Science, but it is here presented in more extended and convenient form. The weak spot in this table is the absence of any indication that the numerous stations possess good gauges, uniformly placed and well observed. On account of the difficulty in identifying the position of many of the stations, it would be of much service to readers at a distance if such a table as this could be reduced to graphic form in a series of monthly maps. They would necessarily be only provisional for the present, as some records are much shorter than others, so that the means are not properly comparable; but even these values would doubtless present a truer picture of west-coast precipitation than any yet prepared. It is to be hoped that similar tables and diagrams of temperature means may also be attempted.

Sergt. J. A. Barwick of the Sacramento signal office contributes a review of the meteorological conditions of his city for the past year, and a table of its temperature and rainfall since 1853 and 1849 from records early established by Drs. Logan and Hatch. The mean seasonal temperatures for 33 years are, spring, 59°.5; summer. 71°.7 ; autumn, 61°.5; winter, 48°.3; for the year, 60°.2. The extremes of the mean annual are 57°.5 (1880) and 629.8 (1864). The absolute maxima rise to 103° or 105° in July and August, and the minima fall to 21° or 22° in January or February. The mean annual rainfall før 38 years is 19′′.64, varying from 8.44 (1877) to 34.92 (1844): the mean for July is 0".03; August, 0.003; December, 4.65; January, 3.84; February, 2.80; March, 2.91; counting the years by seasons, from July to June inclusive, the annual amounts range from 4.71 (1850-51) and 7.79 (1863-64) to 36.00 or a little more (1849-50, 1852-53, 1861-62). These pronounced contrasts of seasonal fall and great variations in the annual total show how completely unlike the western coast climate is the eastern and central. Sergeant Barwick presents also brief monthly notes of significant features, all of interest and value, but easily increased in both respects if the phenomena described were viewed in a broader way, from a more physical and less statistical stand-point. Annual and monthly averages show general planetary or continental relations; monthly extremes usually result from cyclonic disturbances, and should be stated in connection

with their transitory causes; diurnal variations, when not controlled or destroyed by importation of external conditions in the winds of strong gradients, are always significant of local geographic surroundings, and cannot be too closely examined for every separate station. Such local characteristics are, without doubt, known to many of our signal-service observers, but they have not often found their way into print. The annual reports of the chief signal officer hardly have room for them; the regrettable cessation of the signalservice notes' withdraws a fitting medium for their publication; scientific journals and local health or engineering reports may well open their pages to such material, when adequately prepared.,


Three general papers should also be mentioned, -The climatology and diseases of southern California,' by H. S. Orme, M.D., of Los Angeles, president state board of health; Report on the climatology ... of Surprise and Goose Lake valleys,' by Dr. G. M. Kober, U. S. A., stationed at Fort Bidwell; and 'The coast climate of California,' by J. W. Robinson, M.D., of Crescent City. Dr. Orme mentions the pronounced control of the sea-breeze over the coast temperatures. During hot days, when thermometers in the interior rise to 115° to 125°, a stiff sea-breeze blows inland all along the southern coast, and prevents the littoral temperature from rising over 90°. He briefly mentions also a hot and dry wind, usually confined to limited localities a few miles inland, and frequently issuing from the Santa Ana pass in the Coast range, whence it takes its name. This is of particular interest, as it suggests the physical identity of the wind with the Foehn of Switzerland; and further details of its occurrence will therefore be impatiently awaited by those who are already tired of having to quote so largely from foreign sources for illustration of phenomena that certainly only need intelligent and discriminating observation for their discovery in our own country. The same expectation is raised by Dr. Kober's brief report on Surprise valley, - a flat depression in the north-eastern corner of the state, sixty miles north and south by eight east and west, with elevation of 4,600 feet, enclosed by an ascending barren plateau on the east, and separated from Goose Lake valley on the west by the Warner range, 6,000 to 8,000 feet high. The valley is well described in its geological relations by Russell in the Fourth annual report of the geological survey,' and shown to be the dried bed of an old lake, whose highest shore-line forms a conspicuous feature on the valley slopes, 550 feet above the present shallow alkaline lakes on the valley floor. Dr. Kober's figures give a characteristic great

diurnal range of temperature, not uncommonly amounting to 50°; a relative humidity of 83 per cent in November, 1885, January and February, 1886, when 9".09 of the total 19".15 of precipitation occurs, according to a twenty-year record, contrasting strongly with the nearly absolute dryness of the summer: in September, 1885, the mean relative humidity was only 24.1 per cent, with a mean temperature of 64°. The winds show two diurnal maxima, indicating local control of their flow, a west wind from the Warner range, with highest velocity shortly after midnight; and a southerly wind from the centre of the valley basin towards the high northern divide, with greatest strength just after noon. These directions clearly indicate the rhythmical flow of the cool, mountain, down-cast wind at night, and the warm, valley, up-cast wind by day. Winds of the Foehn species - commonly known in the north-west as the Chinook - ought to be felt here with much distinctness; and a comparison of records at Fort Bidwell, in Surprise valley, with others at some of the settlements in Goose Lake valley, on the western side of the Warner range, would doubtless lead to their accurate definition.

Dr. Robinson's paper is of especial value in its desire to discriminate between the good and poor records of the various coast stations. We fear that his criticism on observations at military posts may be only too just. These observations are in many cases merely perfunctory, in obedience to orders from headquarters, and are here described as too often made, not by the post-surgeon, but by the hospital steward, "who, from the recesses of his inner consciousness, draws up a report that reads well, but which has not the slightest foundation in fact." But in other cases great differences appear in neighboring records, where both observers are conscientious and painstaking; so that the variation must be laid, as it commonly may well be, to the instruments and their exposures. For example: Crescent City, on the coast, in latitude 42°, has two gauges: one is a five-inch square gauge, placed near the shore, at low level, and in line with a depression that leads an indraught of rainy winds from the sea; the other is a two-inch circular gauge, half a mile away at the lighthouse on a promontory, sixty feet over the ocean. From September, 1885, to May, 1886, inclusive, the first gauge collected 105".28, and the second only 57".69. Along with critical comparisons such as these, we regret to see the author's belief in the forest-control of rainfall. Rain-records have not yet been quoted in sufficient confirmation of this unwarranted conclusion; and even here we read, in regard to Crescent City, that the rainfall has diminished,

but "how much it is difficult to say, as observations conflict." Dr. Robinson also makes interesting reference to the winds of the coast, and describes the west winds of summer as greatly intensified by the (diurnal) heat of the interior valley, so that the sea-breeze is unusually strong over the passes that break down the elevation of the Coast range.

It is greatly to be wished that further detail should be presented of facts so interesting in themselves and so valuable in the physical description of our country. The suggestion made above concerning the cyclonic and local control of the weather elements is, it is believed, in a most profitable line for further work. Examples of similar weather-types, as indicated by recurrence of similar distribution of isobaric lines on the signal-office daily maps, should be brought together and discussed in search of their specific characteristics, instead of lost in the indiscriminate average of the monthly mean, itself of true value, but too often the end instead of the first step of the discussion. Local controls are found to prevail during anticyclonic weather, with high pressure and weak baric gradients: imported conditions appear with the approach and passage of cyclonic areas of low pressure and stronger gradients. Here is a wide field for observation and research. W. M. D.


THE New York medical journal of Dec. 4 contains in full the exceedingly valuable contribution to the climatological study of consumption in Pennsylvania, by William Pepper, M.D., which was read at the third annual meeting of the American climatological association. In the inquiry which formed the basis of this paper, Dr. Pepper followed the plan adopted by Dr. Bowditch in investigating the same disease in Massachusetts in the years 1854-62. Dr. Bowditch, it will be remembered, found a law in the development of consumption in that state, which has for its central idea that the dampness of the soil of any township or locality is intimately connected with, and probably a cause of, the prevalence of consumption in that township or locality. Similar investigations, especially those of Dr. Buchanan in England, which were carried on in 1865, 1866, and 1867, confirm the views of Bowditch. In that country, where the subsoil was drained by sewers, and where the water-supply was improved, deaths from consumption diminished, falling 49 per cent in Salisbury, 47 in Ely, 43 in Rugby, and 41 in Banbury. With answers from physicians to twenty-eight questions propounded in a circular

by Dr. Pepper, and the statistics of the tenth census of the United States, together with the topographical map of Professor Lesley as a basis, maps have been prepared showing the prevalence of consumption in Pennsylvania counties, and the relation between such prevalence and elevation, and mean annual temperature and rainfall. One of these maps is given in the journal referred to: the others will be published in the Transactions of the association. It is noticeable that those portions of the state where phthisis is rarest are the most elevated, having a general altitude of 1,500 to 2,000 feet, from 2,000 to 3,000 feet, and that its mortality increases as the altitude becomes less. In Philadelphia the wards having the least elevation, greatest density of population, and most inferior water-supply, furnish the greatest mortality from phthisis. The answers to the inquiries received from the state at large do not seem to indicate excessive soil moisture as the main causal condition of consumption in the state. A number of individual cases are given, in most of which damp and otherwise unsanitary conditions existed in and around the houses in which repeated cases occurred. This inquiry is a most timely one, as the tendency of the times seems to be to ignore conditions such as are here described, and to account for the disease only by the introduction of the bacilli of Koch. That these are the direct cause but few doubt, though unsanitary surroundings and heredity are important predisposing



THE only special dictionary in the English language hitherto available for students of the Greek New Testament has been a translation of Cremer's 'Biblisch-theologisches wörterbuch der Neutestamentlichen Gräcität.' This is not only very inconvenient in its arrangement, but is justly chargeable with a certain vagueness in its definitions. We think, therefore, that Professor Thayer has rendered an incalculable service to a numerous class of students by opening to them the treasures of German erudition to be found in Grimm's 'Clavis.' But he has done vastly more than this. Almost every page of the noble volume before us shows such signal traces of his critical scholarship, his profound learning, and his conscientious labor, as to make it only a matter of simple justice that the book should bear his name. In regard to the technical and theological aspects of the work, we bave neither the desire nor the competence to pronounce an opinion; but, as a

A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament, being Grimm's Wilke's Clavis Novi Testamenti. Tr. by JOSEPH HENRY THAYER, D.D. New York, Harper, 1887. 4°.

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