METEOROLOGISTS tell us that their science is as old as Aristotle. If we should judge by its progress up to the middle of the present century, its antiquity furnishes little to boast of; for, in the long lapse of centuries, it must have proved an incorrigibly dull scholar.
THE full solution of the question of heat and life could only be reached by simultaneous concurrence of physics, chemistry, and biology. Ancient physiology treated of animal heat empirically, but was unable to explain its origin. That result required the discoveries of Lavoisier and the more modern researches of thermo-chemistry.
AN able article in the Times some weeks ago on “ Brain-work and Longevity,” which has since been discussed and rediscussed in all sections of the press, was remarkable for several characteristics, especially for a curious thesis apparently indorsed by the Lancet of a subsequent week, that overwork of the brain, through late hours and the like, is a physiological impossibility.
AMONG the legitimate solaces of the toils of the modern biologist, there should certainly be reckoned the grim delight which he were less than human if he did not feel in terrifying Mrs. Grundy. Merely to hear a Huxley or a Spencer shout “Boh!” to a flock of the terrified orthodox is amusing, but to the man himself who makes it the fun must be even perilously fascinating.
IN once more gathering up the threads of this subject from other years, and endeavoring to address a lay audience from a laic point of view, one would naturally desire, according to the limited measure of one’s ability, to grasp some medical subject for which we all have an affinity, and which may be of usefulness to some.
WHATEVER may be the ultimate verdict as to the truth of those views which are associated with the name of Darwin, it certainly cannot be denied that Mr. Darwin himself has a profound belief in them. The work which he has just published, under the title “ On the Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,” is a new test to which he subjects his own doctrines.
THAT passion perverts judgment, is an observation sufficiently trite; but the more general observation of which it should form part, that emotion of every kind and degree disturbs the intellectual balance, is not trite, and, even where recognized, is not duly taken into account.
THE usual appliances for warming houses, setting aside comprehensive systems, resolve themselves into open grates, close stoves, and, under special conditions, gas apparatus, and pipes for hot air or water for warming halls and passages.
WE have had many specimens of electricity this summer—more, perhaps, than for fifty years previously. Those, particularly, who lived in the north and west of England, have had a greater demonstration of the powers of this extraordinary agent than in any ten years, rolled into one, of the last quarter of a century.
" A MAN’S house,” says a learned hygienist, “ is but an extension of his clothing: the tent is next-door neighbor to the mantle, and the roof is simply a big head-gear.” A house, just like the clothes we wear, is, first of all, a shelter to protect us against the medium around us, and to shield us against the inclemency of the seasons.
ABOUT few geographical positions are there more mistakes made by intelligent people than the situation of the antipodes and the periæci. It has been commonly taught in the schools, at least in New England, that the antipodes of the Eastern States, or of dwellers near parallel 40, are in China, and that the antipodes of Boston are in Peking.
UTILITY does not require to be defined. Nevertheless, an explanation of it may be profitable. Many years have elapsed since man appeared on the earth. Geologists affirm that, before our appearance, this little globe moved round the sun for thousands and thousands of ages.
MR. CHARLES R. DARWIN, the most eminent philosophic naturalist of the age, is now sixty-four years of age, having been born in Shrewsbury, England, in 1809. He is descended from distinguished ancestors on both sides. His father was Dr. Robert Waring Darwin, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and his paternal grandfather was Dr. Erasmus Darwin, author of the once-famous books, the “ Botanic Garden ” and the “Zoonomia.”
PROF. TYNDALL'S course of lectures in New York has met with a success that is commensurate with the reputation of the lecturer, and the interest of the subject which he selected for popular elucidation. One of the largest halls in the city has been densely crowded throughout the course of six lectures by the most cultivated and intelligent people of New York and the adjacent towns, and he has been listened to with close and absorbing attention throughout.
THE State of Wisconsin is but just of age, having emerged from its Territorial infancy and entered upon its sovereignty only twenty-two years ago. This is but a short period in the lifetime of an independent political community, yet much has been done within that period to give the State an impulse in the direction of civilized development.
Volcanic Energy.—Mr. Mallet, in a paper read before the British Royal Society, claims that volcanic heat results simply from the secular cooling of a terraqueous globe subject to gravitation. He rejects the chemical theory, on the ground that facts show the chemical energies of the globe almost wholly exhausted prior to the consolidation of its surface.
THE friends of Prof. Huxley will be glad to learn that the latest reports of his health are most encouraging. He broke down last year, and went to Egypt to recuperate, but returned but little better than he left. He seemed to have been very hard hit, and his friends feared that it might be long before he would recover himself.