From the November 26, 1932, issue


To aid the harassed parents of temperish youngsters, Dr. Florence L. Goodenough of the Institute of Child Welfare, University of Minnesota, has made a scientific study of anger in young children–what are the immediate causes of outbursts, what are the underlying causes, what methods are commonly used to suppress it, and what is the relative success of each method? These she has reported in a new book, Anger in Young Children, published by the University.

Boys are worse offenders than girls in this matter of temper, Dr. Goodenough found. She points out, however, that while this may be, as is popularly supposed, because the girls are naturally milder, it is quite possible that the reason is really that parents have different standards of behavior for the two sexes. Boys are expected to be more unruly–and they are.

Age, too, makes a difference in the frequency of such outbursts. But mothers may take heart–the peak is reached at two years. The average duration of outbursts changes very little throughout the whole first eight years–by far the greater majority of them being all over in less than five minutes, although that five minutes may seem like hours to the unwilling audience. But as the child grows older, the violent part of the “scene” is usually reduced, kicks and screams gradually being replaced by sulking, whining, or brooding over the incident.


The age of the sun cannot be much more than 7.55 million million years. So declares Dr. Ludwik Silberstein, research physicist of the Eastman Laboratories at Rochester, N.Y., in Scientia.

Dr. Silberstein bases his conclusions on a mathematical study of astronomical researches made in part by other scientists. The luminosity of a star is proportionate to the cube of its mass. That is to say, a star twice as big as our sun gives off not merely twice as much radiation, but eight times as much. The older a star grows, the smaller it gets, because it is all the time converting its matter into energy and radiating the energy away. But the smaller it gets, the more slowly it shines itself away, by that same rule of the cube. When the sun shall at last have dwindled to one-half its present mass, it will be radiating only one-eighth as much energy.


Charles Darwin would have greeted with satisfaction the report of the planned and synthetic “origin of species” that Dr. Albert F. Blakeslee presented to the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Ann Arbor.

Three new species of a common weed were manufactured to order as the result of the research of Dr. Blakeslee and Dr. Dorothy A. Bergner at the Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., genetics laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

These new kinds of jimson weed, more scientifically known as Datura, have no economic use, but they are far more important to the future of plant and animal breeding than the new plants that are being protected under the liberalized patent laws at Washington.

Not chance alone but careful knowledge of the chromosomes within the cells of the plants enabled Dr. Blakeslee to draw up specifications for the new species of jimson weed and then guide their production. Radium and X rays directed at the seeds and germ cells of plants and animals have greatly increased the number of new types produced. But with a hit-or-miss production of mutations, as the scientists call the new type, it is largely a matter of luck when a new kind of plant or animal is produced.

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