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THE F. W. KELLOGG, President and Publisher JOHN D. SPRECKELS, Vice President and Treasurer People of San Francisco Pay Their Municipal Debts Lowest Delinquent Tax Total in the History of the City Proof of Prosperity of the People and of Equality of Tax Rate San Francisco's debtors can pay up to the dot. We are San Francisco's debtors—we, the tax payers of the city, the large merchants, the small merchants, the great real j estate holders, the owners of the 25 foot residence lot or of 25 feet: of sand dunes, where there will be a residence some time. We owe j the city a stated amount every year in the form of taxes—about $2.25 for every $100 of assessed valuation. It is an absolute, debt, one more insistent than the grocer's bill. But the law provides for procrastination in the payment of this debt; that is, if the tax is not met on the prescribed day there is an added charge of 15 per cent levied against the amount. If people haven't the money to j pay their taxes on time they may let the charge become delinquent. When there is but a small delinquency it is proof that people have j ready money or can secure ready money to discharge their tax bills.; For the fiscal year 1912-1913 Tax Collector Low reports that j the tax delinquency in San Francisco is the smallest in the history 6f the city. Out of a total tax roll of $11,583,329 all but $39,344; was collected. The tax delinquency was only $39,344. In other words, the city collected all but about one-third of 1 j per cent of the debts due it by the citizens. That means that the citizens of San Francisco are, as a com- j munity, particularly solvent. We have heard much talk, particularly at bond election times,; about the dread increase in taxation. Yet, as a matter of fact, San j Francisco has one of the lowest tax rates in America, and this in spite of the fact that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of municipal property, millions of dollars worth of municipal prop erty, schools, the city hall, the hall of justice, fire houses and what not were destroyed by fire seven years ago and have had to ] be replaced; that miles of street paving has had to be relaid, that j new sewers and a fire protection water system have been installed, i a new city and county hospital has been built. Still, not only has the tax rate remained low, but the people of San Francisco have promptly paid their bills for those works; every cent expended j for municipal improvements, let the funds come from bond issues or the general funds of the city, has been supplied through the credit of the city. The people of San Francisco pay their municipal debts. The One Unchanging Thing in the World Is a Child Boys and Girls Look on School Just as Their Fathers and Mothers Did as Far Back as We Can Trace (Copyright, 1913, Star Company) Boys and girls too often shirk their school duties. Some of them hang back a bit and are treated to horrified lectures about the depravity of a boy or girl who does not appre- i ciate the advantages of an education and the sacrifices that are J being made to give him one. ALL THE HARASSED PARENTS SAY ABOUT THE! OPPORTUNITY IS TRUE. The schooling the children get, in many cases, means the dif- j ference between life of happiness and success and a life of mis-! cry and hardship. Nevertheless, reluctance to take up the but- j den of scholarship again is evidence of neither total depravity j nor congenital incompetence. It is simply THE NATURAL TENDENCY TO DO THE THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO RATHER THAN THE THINGS ' YOU OUGHT TO DO. Father returning to his job or his office after his summer's j vacation—if he happerts, to be fortunate enough to be in a busi- 1 ness where vacations are part of the year's regular course—does ; not betray any great alacrity at getting back into harness. He probably tells little Willie that when he was a boy he walked ; 14 miles to school every morning, after milking 14 cows and doing j 14 other chores, AND REJOICED AT THE CHANCE TO STORE HIS MIND WITH KNOWLEDGE. And little Willie, being a properly trained child, believes hinv—maybe. Father forgets that it required just as much persuasion to start him on his way to school then as it takes to start his son now. Men change, and women change, and customs change, and j nations change more than all; religions change, and governments —BUT THE ONE UNCHANGING THING IN THIS WORLD 15 A CHILD. On the walls of ancient Pompeii, newly excavated from the | ashes that have hidden them for 2,000 years, are scrawled in I awkward Latin the very things our modern schoolboys and school- ! girls scrawl about their teachers and each other. No doubt the Roman children whined their way to school— as did the Greek and Egyptian children before them. THE CHILDREN OF THE STONE AGE PROBABLY HUNG BACK when their mothers insisted that the time had come when ! they must learn how to chip flint and lash it to arrow and spear and axhelve, so as to fit them for the battle of life—JUST AS OUR CHILDREN HOLD BACK FROM THE COM PLEX SCHOOLS THAT ARE ALL THE TIME BEING' MADE BETTER TO FIT THEM FOR THEIR STRUGGLE LATER ON. We marvel that children should be inattentive and unindus trious at their school tasks. Go into any office or store or factory in the land. You will see young men and young women loitering over their tasks, whispering to each other, gossiping when they should be work-! ing; PUTTING HALF THEIR MINDS, OR LESS, ON WHAT 1 THEY ARE PAID TO DO. These persons are going to school as sure as any youngster , who is learning what and why is a verb. They know that on the : performance of what they are given to do is dependent their! future life. Those who put all their effort, all their intelligence, into their g work will advance W better and richer things. They will, by their exercise of the brains they are paid to use, find the oppor-1 tunities that their idle brethren will never see. IN THE YEARS TO COME THEY WILL BE THE EM-' PLOVERS, WHILE THE LAZY, THE GIDDY AND THE CARELESS WILL BE KEEPING ON AT THE SAME OLD TASKS—COMPLAINING THAT THEY NEVER HAD A CHANCE; WONDERING AT AND ENVYING THE GOOD FORTUNE THAT ENABLED THE BOY AT THE NEXT BENCH OR THE GIRL AT THE NEXT COUNTER TO MOUNT FARTHER AND FARTHER UP THE HILL OF PROSPERITY. The child must be induced to take the benefits for granted; to work through faith if he can not be induced to work through interest. The grownup must be induced to work as faithfully—if it is ' possible, but—unfortunately—there is no truant law to keep him to his tasks. He can neglect them and he pays the penalty, which is bad , enough, but', what is worse, his wife and children in time share in paying the penalty, and in that there is neither justice nor retribution. f THE SAN FRANCISCO CALL THERE ARE ELECTIONS AND ELECTIONS There are days when we can forgive a woman who leaves the car door open. * * October will be the banner month—hang up your Portola banner. The sister to the president of Harvard university approves cigarette smoking for women. Now if only some one would approve cigarette smoking for college boys the habit might, really take hold in educational circles! * * * , James Whitcomb Riley has suppressed 180 of his poems. If that in stinct would only affect poets whose verses would stand suppression! * * * Yes, even the fog is entitled to a few days' vacation. Now it is said that Colonel Roosevelt never killed a grizzly in the Rocky mountains. Will poor old Ananias have to get up and open that rusty old door again? The dean of a Delaware, 0., college ordered two girl students to sew up the slits in their gowns. But do they teach sewing in that »chool? IN THE MOVIES-IN REAL LIFE Evening Calls Between now and November look out for new gowns on the wives of men who print political posters. je. £. .«. A dispatch from Los Angeles tells of a man who tried to usurp the place of the mayor of Venice. Mayor of Venice—we thought that they had a good old doge down there. * # * Why, this hot spell was just arranged for by proponent* of municipal ownership to help the Geary street railway's beach travel. * * * They indicted the son who spanked his father. Unfair discrimination —was any father ever indicted for spanking his son? * # ■» •'New divorce laws cut Reno passenger traffic in half,'' says a headline. But Reno isn't cutting matrimony in half any more. Police reports—White wash—slightly Kuhl-ed. * -£ -if 4f No wonder the board of works was -dubious about allowing Carya tides on the new city hall. The word sounds like the title of a popular SOng. . ~u i I , *~,,,Mmmm<m*mM,l»mn%m III— SEPTEMBER 17, 1913. MYSTERIES OF SCIENCE AND NATURE Force of Gravitation Controls Cannon Balls, Baseballs, Moons, Planets, Suns and Stars Without Visible Means of Connection. GARRETT P. SERVISS THE mystery of mysteries in science is the attraction of gravitation—that very force of nature that is the most fa miliar to us all! It seems strange that the most familiar thing in the world should be, at the same time, the most inexplicable—but so it is. In order to see clearly wherein the mystery consists, let us first consider what gravitation ap pears to be. It is gravitation that gives the property of weight to all bodies. If there were no gravitation, we could float like thistledowns, and infinitely bet ter than thistledowns; for they, too, are finally brought down by gravitation. It is gravitation that brings a cannon ball eventually to the earth, no matter how swiftly it may be projected. The faster it starts the farther it will go, but during every second of its flight it drops- the same distance verti cally toward the earth, whether the speed imparted to it by the powder is 500 or 3,000 feet per second. Gravitation acts on a moving body exactly as well as on one at rest. It is gravitation that curbs the motion of the moon and keeps it in an orbit of which the earth is the active focus. Gravitation Governs the Earth's Motion Around Sun So, too, it is gravitation that governs the earth in its motion around the sun, preventing it from flying away into boundless space. Astronomy shows that gravitation acts between all the planets and all the stars and controls their motions with re spect to one another. Now, this mysterious force ap pears to be an attraction, as if there were elastic cords connect ing all the bodies tn space and tending to draw them together. But space, as far as our senses can detect, is empty. There are no elastic cords and no physical connections whatever between astronomical bodies, or between a flying stone, or cannon ball, and the earth. How, then, can there be an attraction? In order that a body may be attracted or drawn, there must be something to draw it. Gravitation does the trick, but completely hides from us the mechanism through which it acts. We can discover no mechanism at all. When an unfortunate aeroplan ist drops from his machine at a height of 1,000 feet, he begins at once to fall toward the earth, as if it were pulling him; but how can it pull if it has nothing to pull with?. You may think at first sight that it is the air which acts as an intermediary; but that is not so, because the earth and the moon "pull" upon one an- THE THIEF WILLIAM F. KIRK I SAW them taking him away; The old judge sentenced him today— Ten years behind the walls of gray. He did not shudder and implore, As he had shuddered years before; He snarled and spat upon the floor. The prison with its shadows grim Had been a sort of home for him Since he was young and starved and slim. He cursed the great, the roaring town, Where all he looked for was a frown. He cursed the hounds who ran him down. Ten years to mutter in a cell; Ten years of stripes; ten years of hell— And yet he whispered "It is well!" Perchance he had an inkling dim That in some world less gray and grim Two thieves would intercede for him» other with a force equal to the strength of a steel cable 500 miles in diameter; but there is no air, and no other tangible thing in the open space, 240,000 miles across, that gaps between thejnoon and the earth. Then gravitation exerts the same force at every instant. No matter how fast the falling aero naut may be descending at any moment, gravitation will keep on adding speed as if he had just started. Disregarding the slight retardation produced by the re sistance of the air, he will fall 16 feet in the first second, 48 feet in the second second, 80 feet in the third second, gaining 32 feet in his velocity during every second after the first. Aviator Falls 10,000 Feet in About Twenty five Seconds From a height of 1,000 feet he will come down in about eight seconds, and will strike the ground with a velocity of about 256 feet per second. From a height of 10,000 feet he would fall in about 25 seconds, and would strike with a velocity of 400 feet per second. The same kind of calculation can be applied to the gravitation between the earth and the moon. If the moon were not in motion across the direction of the earth's "pull" it would fall to the earth in about 116 hours. Now, to return to the mystery, how is this force exerted? Is it really a pull, as it seems to be? The answer to which science is tending is that, instead of being a pull, gravitation is a push; in other words, that the falling aeronaut is pushed toward the ground and the moon is pushed toward the earth. On the face of it, one might think that nothing was gained by this theory, because it seems as impossible that a push should be exerted without a tangible con nection as a pull. But the clew is found in the supposed proper ties of that invisible, intangible, all pervading medium called the ether. This, to be sure, is explaining one mystery by another, for we know nothing about the ether except that it conveys the waves of light and electricity, but, at any rate, it affords a conceivable explanation of gravitation. I have no space to go into this explana tion, which has recently been de veloped by Dr. Charles F. Brush, but an idea of its nature may be formed from the statement that it regards the ether as being filled with a peculiar form of waves, and that material bodies may intercept these waves in such a way as to be pushed to ward one another on account of the diminished effect of the ether waves in the space between the bodies.