FEW animals are more universally feared and detested than serpents. Their presence startles us, however inoffensive they may be. Nor can the gracefulness of their motion, or beauty of color, conquer the discontent we feel when we see them gliding in our path, or coiled and glistening in the sunshine, in which they delight.
AN atom is a body which cannot be cut in two. A molecule is the smallest possible portion of a particular substance. No one has ever seen or handled a single molecule. Molecular science, therefore, is one of those branches of study which deal with things invisible and imperceptible by our senses, and which cannot be subjected to direct experiment.
THE notions hitherto entertained as to the stars and the heavens are destined to undergo a complete revolution. There are no fixed stars. Each one of those distant suns, flaming in infinitude, is swept along in a stupendous movement which the imagination can hardly conceive.
The remaining reply which Dr. Hodgson makes runs thus :
WHEN made by a competent reader, an objection usually implies one of two things. Either the statement to which he demurs is wholly or partially untrue; or, if true, it is presented in such a way as to permit misapprehensions. A need for some change or addition is in any case shown.
THE Faithful have a tradition that Mohammed, on one occasion, in starting for heaven, upset a pitcher with his foot: he had ninety thousand interviews with the Most High, and, when he returned, the water was not yet spilled from the pitcher.
MR. SPENCER recently called the attention, in a very interesting passage of his “Psychology,” to those secondary signs of a feeling which are to be found in abortive attempts to conceal it. “A state of mauvaise honte” he well says, “otherwise tolerably well concealed, is indicated by an obvious difficulty in finding fit positions for the hands.”
THE theory, or rather doctrine, of the Evolution of Living Things has not yet received that uniform acceptance to which it is undoubtedly entitled. That it will in time become generally received may be reasonably presumed; but at present, with many theologians at least, the creative hypothesis obstinately holds its ground.
FEW subjects of scientific investigation are more interesting than the inquiry into the various circumstances on which mental power depends. By mental power I do not mean simply mental capacity, or the potential quality of the mind, but the actual power which is the resultant, so to speak, of mental capacity and mental training.
THE Norway rat, of which we wish to say a few words, is the Lemming, a species of the mouse-tribe, somewhat smaller than the Guinea-pig, to which in form it bears a considerable resemblance, only the head and body are flatter. Its length is about six inches, of which the short stump of a tail forms half an inch.
IF we look for the speculative background of modem physical theories, we find something like this: Originally there was created, or somehow came to be, an indefinite number of absolutely hard and unchangeable particles of matter. There was also created, or somehow came to be, a number of forces, equally unchangeable—the force of attraction, the force of cohesion, heat, electric and magnetic forces, and so on.
THE period from 1830 to 1870 is very strikingly marked in the history of science. It opens with great discoveries in electricity, and closes with very brilliant ones in light. Its middle portion is illustrated by the application of chemistry to physiology, which led to a revolution in the latter science, and indeed changed the face of medicine.
THE first part of Mr. Mill’s autobiography gives an instructive account of his early education. He had before propounded his general views upon this subject in a celebrated address delivered at the University of St. Andrew’s in 1867. Mr. Mill had won the enviable distinction of possessing “the most elaborated mind in Europe,” and this, together with the confessed ability of his argument, gave it wide influence with the public.
REPORT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF OHIO. Vol. I., GEOLOGY AND PALEONTOLOGY. Part I., GEOLOGY; Part II., PALEONTOLOGY. Published by authority of the Legislature of Ohio. Columbus, 1873. THESE two octavo volumes, which together form the first volume of the final report on the survey of Ohio, mark an important advance in the scientific knowledge of the character, history, and resources of our country.
Physical Conditions of Inland Seas.— In the August number of the Contemporary Review is a paper of great interest by Dr. Carpenter, in which that scientist explains some curious phenomena of inland seas. It is well known that in the open ocean the depths are uniformly colder than near the surface, so that, while the surface-water in some cases approaches 80° Fahr., the temperature is near the freezing-point at depths of one or two miles.
PROF. EATON, of Yale College, kindly calls attention to an inaccuracy in the sketch of Dr. J. D. Hooker published in THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY for December, 1873. It is there stated that Dr. Hooker was an only son. Prof. Eaton writes: “In ‘Filices Exoticæ,’ p. 36, Sir W. J. Hooker refers to the kindness formerly shown by Dr. McFadyen, of Kingston, Jamaica, ‘to a beloved son who fell a sacrifice to yellow fever while under his hospitable roof.’