RADICALISM, CONSERVATISM, AND THE TRANSITION OF INSTITUTIONS.1
OF readers who have accompanied me thus far, probably some think that the contents of these papers go beyond the limits implied by their title. Under the head Study of Sociology, so many sociological questions have been incidentally discussed, that the science itself has been in a measure dealt with while dealing with the study of it.
THE skins used for fancy furs and robes are mostly obtained from the carnivorous or flesh-eating animals ; as the sable, marten, mink, ermine, seal, otter, bear, etc. : some are obtained from the rodents or gnawers; as the beaver, coypou, or nutria, muskrat, rabbit, etc.: and a few are obtained from the ruminants, or those that chew the cud; as the bison, that supplies our buffalo-robes ; and the paseng or wild-goat of Persia and the Caucasus, and the Assyrian or Siberian sheep, from whose young kids and lambs we obtain the much-used Astrakhan.
CORRELATION OF VITAL WITH CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL FORCES.1
JOSEPH LE CONTE
VITAL force ; whence is it derived ? What is its relation to the other forces of Nature ? The answer of modern science to these questions is : It is derived from the lower forces of Nature ; it is related to other forces much as these are related to each other—it is correlated with chemical and physical forces.
SO far we have been giving the historical refutation. A more direct and scientific refutation will prove still more decisive and instructive. Having shown that heredity does not exert an exclusive and continuous influence, we must now indicate the causes which act simultaneously with it and in a contrary direction.
THE moners are the simplest organisms we know of—we might even say, the simplest that can exist. In them, life is exhibited under the form that is best fitted to give us an idea of its essential characters, stripped of all secondary attributes.
ALL are agreed that it is with the brain that we feel, and think, and will; but whether there are certain parts of the brain devoted to particular manifestations, is a subject on which we have only imperfect speculations or data too insufficient for the formation of a scientific opinion.
IN order successfully to observe Mars, two conditions are requisite : First, the earth's atmosphere must be clear at the point of observation; and, second, the atmosphere of Mars must be also free from clouds—for that planet, like the earth itself, is surrounded by an aërial atmosphere which from time to time is obscured by clouds just like our own.
WORDSWORTH, in the supplementary preface contained in the second volume of his works, asserts in the most emphatic way the deplorable ignorance of "the most obvious and important phenomena" of Nature which characterizes the poetical literature of the period intervening between the publication of the " Paradise Lost " and the " Seasons." It is to be feared that his opinion is, to a large extent, justified by the facts of the case.
FROM the remotest antiquity the red color sometimes observed in water appears to have attracted attention. In all ages there have been stories of rains of blood, and of rivers changed to blood, and these phenomena have given rise to the most ludicrous explanations, and to the most ridiculous apprehensions.
THERE is danger that, in our new-born zeal for scientific education, we may sacrifice the interests of a truly liberal culture, producing, as I have said, a generation of specialists, incapable of appreciating the departments of human thought which lie outside their own, or even of rising within their own departments to broad and comprehensive views.
THE nature of a transit of one of the inferior planets (Mercury or Venus) is well understood, and the phenomena attending such a transit have been thoroughly discussed, and fully described in many places. The importance of the observation of these transits, and the general character of the results expected from the expeditions sent out to observe them, are probably understood by all, but it is thought that a brief account of the means that are to be employed to accomplish the desired end will be of interest.
IT cannot have escaped the notice of the attentive reader of the passage quoted in my last paper from Prof. Tyndall's lecture on "The Use of the Scientific Imagination" that Tyndall urges the theory of the atomic constitution of matter as the only theory consistent with its objective reality.
I PROPOSE to have a talk about an explosion of a powder-mill. It has never been my hap to see one described, and it has seemed to me that an account of an occurrence of this sort, which does not come under common observation, might not be uninteresting.
AMONG the scenes of interest near London which earliest attract the foreign visitor, is the magnificent Botanical Garden at Kew. It occupies 300 acres, which are crowded with the wealth of the vegetable kingdom, and forms the most extensive and perfect horticultural establishment in the world.
A NEW institution, of great promise, has just been added to our increasing list of scientific and technological schools. Pardee Hall, a spacious and well-appointed edifice, costing $250,000, and the gift of Mr. Ario Pardee, was added to Lafayette College, at Easton, Pa., with imposing ceremonies of dedication, on the 21st of October.
THE ATMOSPHERE. Translated from the French of CAMILLE FLAMMARION. Edited by James Glaisher, F. R. S. With 10 Chromo-Lithographs and 86 Woodcuts. 450 pages 8vo. Price, §6.00. Harper & Brothers. A VOLUME like this, summing up our knowledge of the atmosphere, has been long wanted, and it is now well supplied.
The Coal-Fields of China.—The coal-fields of the Chinese Empire cover an area of 400,000 square miles, and yet China imports large quantities of coal from England. In the great province of Hunan, says Iron, a coal-field extends over an area of 21,700 square miles.
MORE than a thousand lives are lost each year in England from accidents in coal-mining. ACCORDING to a writer in Iron, peals of bells were in use in England in the tenth century. AN AGED GRAPE VINE.—At the September meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society, a bunch of grapes was exhibited, taken from the parent plant of the Hampton Court vine.