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AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE. The twenty-second annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science was held at Portland, Maine, August 20–26, 1873. The attendance was large and the papers presented numerous and valuable.
The permanent secretary, F. W. Putnam, read a short necrology of the association for the past year. The losses by death have been as follows: Prof. J. B. Perry, Dr. H. C. Perkins, Prof. J. H. Coffin, Mark Fisher, Dr. John Torrey, Miss S. L. Blatchley, Prof. W. S. Sullivant, Judge T. B. Butler, Col. J. W. Foster, Isaac Ferris, J. 0. Noyes, and Dr. G. A. Maack. To these he added the name of Prof. J. F. Frazer, who was once a member of the association. At about poon the general meeting adjourned, and the association resolved itself into sections; section A, devoted to physics, chemistry, and mathematics; section B, to natural history, botany, geology, &c.
The afternoon-sessions of the sections were devoted to the reading of papers, among the most practically important of which were the following: First day, T. Sterry Hunt's “Notes on the geology and economic mineralogy of the southeastern Appalachians." The author began with a brief sketch of the physical geography of that mountain-region which borders on its southeast side the Appalachian Valley, from Southern to Northern Virginia. After describing the mineral deposits of these Appalachian rocks, Dr. Hunt called attention to their great economic value, referring especially to the phosphates of South Carolina, the copper deposits at Ducktown, Tennessee, and the vast beds of pyrites available for the manufacture of acid, which lie bidden within the mountains of the Blue Ridge. England sends to Spain for pyrites, making therefrom acids to convert South Carolina phosphates into fertilizers. We import sulphur from Sicily to make our acids, while the Blue Ridge deposits of pyrites far exceed those of Spain. The paper was one of great interest and called forth many questions and considerable discussion.
Prof. Young, of Dartmouth, described, “A new form of break.circuit and the electric control of chronographs." The difficulty with the break-circuits in general use is that they act irregularly, altering the rate of the clock and producing an irregular line upon the chronograph. The apparatus described had been in use at Dartmouth for three years with fine results. By its use he had been able to make a chronograph, constructed from the barrel of an old clock, work with highest accuracy.
Mr. E. B. Elliot, of Washington, followed with a paper on the “Relation of the frequency of auroras to changes in the length of the earth's radius-vector,” in which some curious facts were given as to the relation between auroras and magnetic changes which take place upon the earth. A vigorous discussion followed the reading of the
On the second day Prof. Young, of Dartınouth College, communicated an interesting paper on “ The possibility of a liquid solar envelope.” He said that it is generally agreed that the sun is, in the mrin, a gaseous body. It is also maintained that there are on the outside of the sun cluuds of metallic vapor. Tbe professor hold that instead of these there is probably a shell of liquid matter, so that the sun is like a gigantic bubble with a bottomless ocean below. This theory seemed to him to explain the phenomena of spots, &c., better tban the other. Some discussion followed on the subject touched upon, one speaker denying altogether the conclusion at which most men of science seem to have arrived from observations made by the spectroscope.
Prof. Hilgard, of the Coast-Survey, then read a paper describing the weasurement of areas of meridians in the progress of that survey on the eastern coast of the United States, one in New England, and one near Delaware Bay. These, added to previous measurements in other parts of the earth, make together nearly a quadrant of longitude, carefully measured.
Prof. Peirce, Superintendent of the Coast-Survey, then gave some account of the object and proposed work of that Department. He showed that there is still a great deal that ought to be done, and said the maps of China were more accurate a thousand years ago than those of our Western country are to-day. But the accuracy of the Coast-Survey, as far as it has gone, is greater than that attained in any other country in the world.
On the afternoon of the same day Prof. Benjamin Peirce gave an article on the rotation of the planets as a result of the nebular theory.
Gen. J. G. Barnard, of New York, next presented an article on the relation of internal fluidity to the precession of the equinoxes. He thought that the earth is much nearer being a rigid solid than is supposed by modern geologists.
In the evening the whole association met in the city-ball, and heard an article by Dr. Franklin B. Hough on "The duty of governments in the preservation of forests." The author attributed the growing prevalence of floods and droughts to the clearing of the surface of the ground froin the shade of trees. Several countries of Europe have national forests, as in France, where they cover more than 13,000 square miles. Our older States do not own forests, so that regulations of this kind must begin with the people. He desired the establishment of schools of forestry, and he pointed out the action which a State might take to encourage the growth of forests. He ended by offering a resolution providing for the appointment of a committee to memorialize Congress and the several State-legislatures on this subject. The resolution went to the standing committee. Some discussion, however, took place on this subject, one speaker claiming tbat the amount of woodland in the West is constantly increasing, and that there is no need of laws to protect the forests in that quarter of the country.
Mr. L. H. Morgan read an article on the “Arcbitecture of the American aborigines," describing that of the Village Indians of New Mexico and Central America, stating that they lived, on the principles of communism, in immense houses, accomodating sometimes about 2,000 people in one building, and that these large buildings could not have been, as has been thought, palaces of chieftains.
On the third day came a paper from Prof. G. C. Swallow, of Missouri, on “ The origin of species," taking ground against the Darwinian theory. The reading of the paper was followed by a warm discussion.
Next followed the address of J. Lawrence Smith, the retiring president of the association, which was read by Prof. Putnam, the secretary, the president being absent in Vienna.
On the fourth day C. H. Hitchcock communicated a paper from George Washburn, of the American College at Constantinople, on “ Calvert's supposed relics of man in the Miocenes of the Dardanelles.” The supposed finding of human traces and relics of barbarous men in the above-named locality was controverted.
On the sixth day the following papers, with others, were read: “The need of a uniform position for anatomical figures, with a recommendation that the bead be always turned toward the left," by B. G. Wilder; “Means of determining the stratigraphical order of seams of coal in Ohio, Kentucky,” &c., by E. B. Andrews; “On the origin of mountain-chains,” by Charles Whittlesey ; “ The Devonian limestone in Ohio," by O. H. Winchell.
In the general session the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Dr. Lecomte, of Philadelphia, president; Prof. C. S. Lyman, of New Haven, vice-president; Dr. A. C. Hamlin, of Bangor, general secretary; W. S. Vaux, of Philadelphia, treasurer.
NEW ENGLAND ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL-SUPERINTENDENTS. At a meeting of this association, held in Boston, October 17, 1873, papers were read on “The relative number of male and female teachers desirable in our high, and grammar-schools," " Selection of teachers,” and “The limits of public education." These papers were afterward discussed by the superintendents present. That on the relative number of male and female teachers called forth special interest and was terminated by the unanimous adoption of the resolution that “an increase in the relative number of male teachers would increase the efficiency of our schools."
Mr. Philbrick, superintendent of the Boston schools, by request of the association, occupied an hour in some very interesting remarks on the Vienna Exposition, especially, the educational department, and the European system of education in general.
Programme of studies adopted by the New England Association of School-Superintendents at their meeting at Boston, February 14, 1873.-The programme includes nine classes, the work of each class covering a period of one year.
The classes are numbered from one to nine, the lowest primary being the first and the highest grammar the ninth class.
Tbe number of hours per week allotted to each study or exercise is indicated by the figure anvexed, the whole number of school-hours per week being 25.
First class : Reading, 10; printing, (first half of the year,); -writing, (last half of the year,) 27; oral instruction, (including number, morals, and manners,) 3; drawing, 1; spelling, 21; music, 1; physical exercises, 3; and opening exercises and recesses, 31. * Second class: Reading, 8; writing, 2; oral instruction, (including morals and manners,) 3; number, 21 ; drawing, 1; spelling, 21; music, 1; physical exercises, 17; and opening exercises and recesses, 31.
Third class : Reading, 8; writing, 2; oral instruction, (including morals and manners,) 21; arithmetic, 3; drawing, 1; spelling, 21; music, 1; physical exercises, 13; and opening exercises and recesses, 34.
Fourth class : Reading, 6; writing, 2; oral instruction, (including morals, and manners, and geography,) 3; arithmetic, 4; language, 2; drawing, 1; spelling, 24 ; music, 1; physical exercises, 1; and opening exercises and recesses, 24.
Fifth class : Reading, 6; writing, 2; oral instruction, including morals, and manners, and geography,) 3; arithmetic, 4; language, 2; drawing, 1; spelling, 21; music, 1; physical exercises, 1; and opening exercises and recesses, 21. .
Sixth class : Reading, 4; writing, 2; oral instruction, (including morals and manpers,) 21; geography, 3; arithmetic, 4; language, 2; drawing, 14; spelling, 13; music, 1; physical exercises, 1; and opening exercises and recesses, 21.
Seventh class: Reading, 4; writing, 2; oral instruction, (including morals and manners,) 2; geography, 3; arithmetic, 4; language, (including grammar,)3; drawing, 11; spelling, 1; music, 1; physical exercises, 1 ; and opening exercises and recesses, 21.
Eighth class: Reading, 4; writing, 14; history and review of geography, 3; oral instruction, (including morals and manners,) 14; arithmetic, 4; language, (including grammar,) 4; drawing, 1}; spelling, 1; music, 1; physical exercises, 1; and opening exercises and recesses, 24.
Ninth class: Reading, 4; writing and book-keeping, 14; history and review of geography, 4; oral instruction, (including morals and manners,) 11; arithmetic, 3; language, (including grammar,) 4; drawing, 1}; spelling, 1; music, 1; physical exercises, 1; and opening exercises and recesses, 2.
INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES. The opening exercises of this association were held in the city of New York, November 3, 1873. The inaugural address was by Dr. Howard Crosby, chancellor of the University of the City of New York. He stated that the aiins of the institntion were to have a double organization, one in Boston, one in New York; to give its students a thorough scientific training under the best instructors, both American and European ; to organize, after a preparatory course of lecture-room- and school-instruction, a system of travel, under competent professorial charge, and thus to establish a system of objective teaching.
A communication on the claims of science in systems of education for females was presented by Dr. West of the Brooklyn Female Seminary. Other matters connected with the idea of the academy were brought forward, as follows: by Prof. George N. Bigelow, A. M., “Travel as' a means of teaching ;” by Rev. John T. Bigelow, D. D., “Methods of teaching ;” by Prof. R. M. Labberton, LL.D., “The history of nations as a branch of natural science;" by William Henry Goodyear, “Art and esthetic culture;”. and by Dr. A. Lene, of Rostock University, Germany, “The peculiarities of German schools."