Messers. Ferrel, Richter, Lang, Bruchen and others conclude, from an examination of all available data, that there is no permanent climatic change in Europe. In connection with this discussion in Europe, long series of vintage records, going back to the year 1400, have been used. Apart from the ocean borders, extensive simultaneous climatic changes occur over extended areas, which changes�as might be expected�are more accentuated in the interior of the continents. These changes involve barometric pressure, rainfall and tempera�ture, which all recur to that indefinite and complex phenomenon�the variation in the amount of heat received by the earth. The idea is advanced that these oscillations have somewhat the semblance of cycles, the period of which is thirty-six years. It may easily be questioned, however, in view of the fragmentary and hetero�geneous character of the data on which this assumption is based, whether the error in the observations is not greater than the range of variation. Blanford, in one of his discussions, has pointed out that the temperature or rainfall data in India can be so arranged as to give a cycle with a period of almost any num�ber of years, but, unfortunately, the possible error of observation is greater in value than the variations. As to the United States, it is pertinent to remark that the Signal Office is in possession of temperature observations in Philadelphia, covering a continuous period of one hundred and thirty-two years. The mean annual temperature for the past ten years is exactly the same as for the entire period. There have been criticisms in years past that the climatological conditions of the United States have not received that care and attention which their Gnet supplements demanded. Much has been done to remedy defects in this respect, although, as is well known here in Washington, the general law which forbids the printing of any works without the direct authority of Congress, has been an obvious bar to great activity on the part of the Signal Office. Within the year the rainfall conditions of twelve Western States and Territories have been published with elaborate tables of data and fifteen large charts, which set forth in considerable detail the rainfall conditions for that section of the country. In addition the climatic characteristics of Oregon and Washington have been graphically represented ; and rainfall maps,�unfortunately on a small scale,�have been prepared, showing for each month, the average precipitation of the entire United States, as determined from observations covering periods varying from fifteen to eigh�teen years. In Missouri, Professor Nipher has prepared normal rainfall charts for that State, unfortunately on rather a small scale. In New York, Professor Fuertes, and in Michigan, Sergeant Conger, of the Signal Service, have commenced maps showing, by months, the normal temperatures of their respective States on maps of fairly open scale. Work of a similar character has been carried on in Pennsylvania under the supervision of Professor Blodget, well known from his climatological work. In other directions and in other ways, work of a similar character is in progress.
BUT OLD WAYS DIED HARD TOO IN SOPHISTICATED ATHENS. In the same city where Socrates held his popular informal inquiries into the rational basis for ethics, friendship, love, and justice, the practice of magic and spell making was widespread. “And then there are the begging priests and soothsayers,” wrote Plato in The Republic, “who, going to the doors of the wealthy, persuade them that … if anyone wants to harm an enemy, they, the soothsayers, at very little expense will do it with incantations and binding spells:’ Numerous examples of binding spells, scratched on lead objects, have been recovered from all over Greece—but the largest number from the classical world have been found in Athens. David Jordan, an expert on ancient folklore and magic at the Canadian School of Archaeology in Athens, met me in the ancient Koromikos cemetery. From the street of tombs outside we entered the small museum, passing grave steal with their touching inscriptions and elegant images of the dead, until we came to a glass cabinet. Following Jordan’s pointing finger, I saw a small doll made of lead lying in a miniature lead coffin. The figure’s arms were pulled back, as if tied, and a man’s name was inscribed on its leg. With eight others, named on the coffin lid, the man was due to appear in a public trial. The figure had been placed in a grave, possibly to attract the attention of Hades, lord of the underworld. Other favorite places for curses.