MY attention was absorbed in the study of an object contained in a vessel of sea-water that stood upon the table. It was clad in a suit of vermilion velvet, which, with its branching form, made it not unlike the precious red coral of the Mediterranean.
WHATEVER empirics and utilitarians may say of them, there are certainties apart from the experimental method, and there is progress disconnected with brilliant or beneficent applications. The mind of man may put forth its power in laboring in harmony with reason, yet discover genuine truths in a sphere as far above that of laboratories and manufactures as their sphere is above the region of the coarsest arts.
DURING the first four months of the year, the constellation Orion is very favorably situated for observation in the evening. This magnificent asterism is more easily recognized than the Great Bear, Cassiopeia’s Chair, or the fine festoon of stars which adorns the constellation Perseus.
FOR many years the stratified formations in general were described in manuals of geology as of marine origin, with the exception perhaps of part of the Coal-measures, and more unequivocally of the Purbeck and Wealden beds, and the fresh-water strata of parts of the Eocene and Miocene series.
THE progress made in electric illumination during its advance toward perfection has been several times recorded in the pages of this journal. In our first number, published nearly ten years ago, Dr. J. H. Gladstone gave a history of the early difficulties attending the introduction of the magneto-electric machine as a light-generator for light-house illumination.
THE parable of the sower has its application to the progress of Science. Time after time new ideas are sown and do not germinate, or, having germinated, die for lack of fit environments, before they are at last sown under such conditions as to take root and flourish. Among other instances of this, one is supplied by the history of the truth here to be dwelt on—the dependence of Sociology on Biology.
THE Popular Science Review for July contains some interesting but too brief remarks by Mr. Leith Adams on the “ Mental Powers of Birds,” which it is interesting to define specifically as distinguished from the mental powers of other animals of the higher order of sagacity. This we will briefly do.
ENTLEMEN : I propose in two lectures to bring to your notice a subject which, in very many respects, is one of great and increasing interest. The physiological facts which I shall demonstrate and discuss, as they occur in various animals, are remarkably surprising.
MANY animals possess the attribute of voice, but man is the only one among them all capable of modulating voice into speech. This he does by changing the shape of the cavities of the throat, mouth, and nose, by the actions of the muscles which move the walls of those parts, and by the movements of the tongue.
WHEN we proposed to present the portrait of Prof. Torrey in our gallery of eminent scientists, we little thought we should be called to speak of him, in our sketch of his labors, as of the past. For several years his health had been so delicate as to cause anxiety to his family and friends, and he each succeeding winter seemed to be more susceptible to atmospheric changes.
IN a leading article on “ The Proper Study of Mankind,” the Nation recently entered a protest against scientific education ; and, as we think it gave its influence to strengthen a current misconception on the subject, it will be in our way to offer a few words of reply.
IN briefly referring last month to the sudden and lamented death of Dr. Foster, we mentioned that he had just completed a new work on the prehistoric American races. A careful examination of the book has satisfied us that it is one of the most interesting and important contributions to American archæology that have yet appeared, and will take rank with the leading treatises upon the general subject by European archaeologists.
Fish-Culture in New Zealand.—Last January a large quantity of salmon-eggs from English waters was shipped to New Zealand. They would reach their destination in 112 days, but it was a question whether they would bear so protracted a journey, though carefully packed and surrounded by ice. To determine this question, four boxes of ova, packed after the same manner as those sent to New Zealand, were deposited at the office of a London ice company.
ONE of the chief attractions of this year’s International Exhibition in London is Mr. Buckmaster’s School of Cookery, where lectures are given twice a day on culinary processes, fully illustrated by practical experiments. It is found impossible, with the present arrangements, to accommodate all who apply for admission to the lectures.