WHAT we see of the sun under ordinary circumstances is but a fraction of his total bulk. While by far the greater portion of the solar mass is included within the photosphere, the blazing cloudlayer which seems to form the sun’s true surface, and is the principal source of his light and heat, yet the larger portion of his volume lies without, and constitutes an atmosphere whose diameter is at least double, and its bulk therefore sevenfold that of the central globe.
OBJECTIONS of another, though allied, class have been made in a review of the “Principles of Psychology,” by Mr. H. Sidgwick—a critic whose remarks on questions of mental philosophy always deserve respectful consideration. Mr. Sidgwick’s chief aim is, to show what he calls “the mazy inconsistency of his [my] metaphysical results."
MODERN science has taught us that the portion of the material universe with which we are acquainted is swept from end to end by vibrations, that we are immersed in a sea whose very substance is constantly pulsating under the influence of systems and countersystems of waves, and that even our very sensations are largely dependent on the action of these undulations upon ourselves.
YOU are well aware that it is not by virtue of any special claims as an investigator in sanitary science, or as a student in it to any great extent, that I now address you. But, when I was invited to speak, it seemed a good opportunity to make one more point in behalf of certain great, manly studies in our system of public instruction, and especially in our institutions for advanced instruction, and therefore an opportunity not to be neglected.
THE dissipation of energy is a continuous process, quite familiar to mankind in its main features and results, since the days of the ancient philosophers. It was recognized by them that all mechanical motions, being dissipated by friction, gradually diminish, and must finally cease unless maintained by external power.
THE planet Jupiter has passed during the last year through a singular process of change. The planet has not, indeed, assumed a new appearance, but has gradually resumed its normal aspect after three or four years, during which the mid zone of Jupiter has been aglow with a peculiar ruddy light.
THE increasing taste for the pursuit of natural science in this country is strikingly exhibited by the rapid increase in the number of gem and mineral collections. The taste is not confined to men of any one profession, but is cultivated by lawyers, physicians, artists, engineers, iron-masters and persons in every rank and walk of life.
THERE were recently exhibited in Berlin and Paris two individuals who attracted much attention among scientific men, owing to a very singular development of hair upon the face and neck. In Paris they received the appellation of hommes-chiens (dog-men), from the resemblance of the adult’s face to that of a Skye terrier.
WITHIN the past two years, the attention of the scientific world, especially, has been directed to the above mineral, from the fact of its discovery, in place, in this country. A number of communications on the subject have been published by prominent men, the most important of which are those from Profs. Genth and Lesley, of the University of Pennsylvania; Prof. Charles U. Shepard, of Amherst College; Dr. A. C. Hamlin, of Bangor; and Dr. J. Lawrence Smith, of Kentucky.
ATMOSPHERIC ELECTRICITY AND OZONE: THEIR RELATION TO HEALTH AND DISEASE.1
GEORGE M. BEARD
AMONG the published list of questions at the civil service examination of the Board of Health of New York last summer I observed this: "What is the composition of pure air ?" As I laid down the paper I asked myself this question, or, rather, I put to myself the same question in another form: “Is there among the sons of men any one who really knows the composition of pure air?”
IN the composition of his ecclesiastical history, an erudite historian chaptered the narrative into centuries. Perhaps for his subject these divisions were sufficiently generous. Still, as measurements of time they were but puny epochs ; and yet they were vast enough for the treatment of that ephemeral worker, man.
THERE could be no doubt that, in the age in which it was their lot to live, the tendency of education ran toward science and abstract science, and every man who was interested in the fortunes of his generation would naturally ask himself the question what the effect of such scientific teaching was likely to be, what it would be still more likely to produce, if it rose to absolute predominance, and whether it would raise or lower, soften or harden, those upon whom it was brought to bear.
IN making use of the sciences for purposes of intellectual cultivation, a distinction has been drawn between those that are fixed, or established, and those that are progressive, and it has been maintained that the former alone are to be admitted for the purposes of mental training.
IN reply to Herbert Spencer’s last paper on the “Study of Sociology” (in POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY for December, 1873, p. 134), Mr. Gladstone sent the following letter to the editor of the Contemporary Review : 10 DOWNING STREET, WHITEHALL, November 3,1873. MY DEAR SIR : I observe in the Contemporary Review for October, p. 670, that the following words are quoted from an address of mine at Liverpool : “ Upon the ground of what is termed evolution, God is relieved of the labor of creation : in the name of unchangeable laws, He is discharged from governing the world."
OUR great naturalist has finished his work and passed away. His loss will be felt throughout the scientific world, and will be deeply lamented beyond the circles of science in all parts of our own country. Although he had accomplished much during a long and active life, he entertained no thought of rest, but was still full of hope, ambition, and large plans of labor, such as belong to the prime of manhood.
IT is well known that chemical science has been recently undergoing a great change in its theory of the constitution of bodies. The Lavoisierean chemistry, or the dual chemistry, by which all compounds were supposed to be simply paired, as metal with metalloid, acid with base, may be fairly said to have passed away.
New Material for Dental Plates.—Among the novelties exhibited at the American Institute Fair is a new base for artificial teeth, the invention of a New York dentist. It consists mainly of fish-scales, which, dissolved and combined with certain fibrous and adhesive substances, form a compound that is said to be well adapted for use as dental plates.
DR.CHARLES P. RUSSELL gives a tabulated statement of the mortality of the various States of the Union, from which we borrow the following regarding the deathrates of various cities : The highest deathrate in 1872 was exhibited by Memphis, where the deaths were 46.6 in each 1,000 inhabitants.