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The Minister of Education is to be congratulated on the apparent thoroughness of the system providing for the compulsory physical training of school children which next year should see in operation. In its essential features this appears to possess some unassailable recommendations, and there can be little doubt that it should make for a steady improvement in the health and physical capacity of the young people of the dominion. It is a logical part of the movement which introduces the medical inspection into the primary school, and there need be no apprehension, if we may judge from the expert advice that the department has called to its assistance, that the exercises in which the children are to be trained will be anything but beneficial in their effects.
The idea of "scientific exercises in physical drill conducted by special instructors working in co-operation with the recently-appointed medical inspectors" need not cause alarm to any parents, and to the majority of them it should be heartily welcome.
The scheme promises to put the physical training of school children on an altogether superior footing to anything it has previously attained in New Zealand schools under the haphazard and optional conditions which have hitherto obtained.
• The comparatively large number of New Zealand journalists engaged on the staffs of Australian dailies was noticed by Mr Robert McNab during his recent tour. In the course of an interview on Saturday he informed a Southland Times reporter that he had met New Zealand pressmen in all the large centres he visited.
"It is not only that they are there on the largest circulating papers in Australia," he said, "but the majority of them seem to hold highly responsible positions and are apparently very much respected."
• An example has been brought to our notice of one way in which weeds are introduced into this country (says the Taranaki Herald). In a local warehouse a package of tinned goods imported from England was being unpacked when the man engaged in the work noticed among the straw a suspicious-looking flower.
On examination it proved to be Californian thistle, evidently cut with the straw when in blossom, and the seed had just about ripened and was ready to germinate as soon as it found a congenial home.
• At a conference called at the London Guildhall to discuss the question of the health of the business man the consensus of medical opinion was that the workaday man eats too much animal food, hurries too much, and worries too much.
The habit of rushing for the early morning train was condemned as deleterious, while the practice of eating a heavy midday meal was also deprecated. The doctors agreed that a mentally or bodily tired man ought not to further exert himself after he had finished his day's work.
The harmfulness of drinking between meals was also commented upon. - ODT, 6.11.1912.
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