From the April 4, 1936, issue


The flowers that bloom in the spring, to most of us, are the same flowers that as children we eagerly gathered in woods or Grandmother’s garden—violets and buttercups, daffodils and tulips. Big, bright, brave blossoms that are pleasant to look at and easy to see.

Yet the woods in spring are full of other blossoms that most of us never take the trouble to look at, but that nevertheless are of surpassing beauty if we were not still as much in a hurry, and as little in patience, as the children we once were. The tiny flowers of the trees are almost ignored.

But even the best of pocket magnifiers would fail to give whole views of many things; their field is too limited. Also, many of the things we see, whether with the naked eye or with an enlarging lens, need interpretation unless we are veteran naturalists ourselves.

A satisfying and beautiful compromise, bringing the beautiful, tiny, enlargement-needing flowers of trees to us and offering with them brief but adequate interpretations, has just become available in a book that is at once an artistic feast and a botanical education. It was written and published by Prof. Walter E. Rogers of Lawrence College. He has called it “Tree Flowers of Forest, Park, and Street.”

The outstanding feature of the book, its real reason for being, is the collection of many scores of tree flower photographs, most of them enlarged many times to bring out their inconspicuous but delicate beauty, exquisite beyond all telling. With each, Prof. Rogers puts a couple of paragraphs of compact descriptive text, and on the back of the page is a black-and-white silhouette of the whole tree, done by Olga A. Smith, another member of the Lawrence College botanical faculty. These, with sensitively executed marginal drawings, achieve an apt blending of science with art, to the benefit of both.


Old age can be postponed from 10 to 15 years by eating a diet containing larger amounts of calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin G, Dr. Henry C. Sherman, professor of chemistry, Columbia University, stated in a report made at the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

The studies were conducted on rats because the chemistry of rat nutrition is so much like that of human nutrition that the data obtained with rats do not need to be discounted when applied to humans.

The rats were divided into two groups. One group was fed a diet containing enough vitamins and other necessary food substances for the animals to grow, remain healthy, and bear young. The second group of animals was given what Dr. Sherman calls an optimum diet, differing from the first by having more milk in it. The extra milk supplied more calcium or lime, more protein, and more of vitamins A and G. The animals on this optimum diet lived much longer than the first group of animals, and in addition had more vitality.

Interpreted in terms of human life, Dr. Sherman said that the gain the rats made was equivalent to extending the span of human life from 70 years to 77 years. The period known as “the prime of life” was extended even more in proportion. Signs of senility that would appear in normal individuals on an adequate diet at 65 years of age would be postponed by the optimum diet to 75 or 80 years.


With gradual depletion of oil reserve, man will have to depend more and more upon solar energy stored in coal and organic products of the soil plus water power, Dr. Robert A. Millikan, of California Institute of Technology, told 250 western states scientists, research workers, and agricultural and industrial leaders at the Farm Chemurgic Council’s Western Conference at Fresno, Calif.

Dr. Millikan predicted increased efficiency in the utilization of energy derived from coal and from farm products as experience and scientific research point the way. Deriving vast power from breaking up the atom was placed by Dr. Millikan in the laboratory category and not in the field of industrial practice.

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