WE have lately been reminded, by a writer in the North American Review, that the builders are the metaphysicians, and that science is only a brick-yard. How many, then, would quit the service ? No ! wiser we think were the words of the late Cambridge professor : “We have reached the point where the results of science touch the very problem of existence, and all thoughtful men are listening for the verdict which solves the great mystery.”
IN the British Quarterly Review for January, 1874, the writer of the article to which I formerly replied,1 makes a rejoinder. It is of the kind which might have been anticipated. There are men to whom the discovery that they have done injustice is painful.
THE number of true (grape-vine) species of Vitis, with the cohering petals falling off when the flower opens, and bearing edible fruit, in the territory of the United States, is limited to nine. Of these, four species, viz., Vitis Labrusca,or Northern Fox; Vitis æstivalis, summer grape; Vitis riparia, river-bank grape; and Vitis vulpina, Southern Fox or Muscadine, are of chief practical consequence as having yielded our different cultivated varieties.
SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRIAL EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES.
ANDREW D. WHITE
A LITTLE more than two hundred years ago, in England of the Roundheads and Cavaliers, a voice was raised to propose that young men receive instruction bearing on the various national industries. He who proposed this was a man of great genius—one of the true priests and prophets of his time.
WITH one’s eyes kept open, how very much there is to excite interest in a summer stroll beside the sea! Marine life—the creatures that represent the life-zone that belts or fringes the great murmuring world of waters—is so peculiar, some exquisitely beautiful, as the sea anemones, others droll and grotesque, as the great class known as the Crustacea.
THOSE who view without prejudice, or with some sympathy, the movements for improving the higher education of women, and for throwing open to them fields of activity from which they are now excluded, have a hard matter of it sometimes to prevent a feeling of reaction being aroused in their minds by the arguments of the most eager of those who advocate the reform.
THOSE great changes of place, temporarily, by masses of people, which were brought about by the late war, have drawn the attention of physicians again to a very singular malady, nostalgia, or homesickness, some extremely noteworthy cases of which appeared, particularly among the mobiles collected at Paris during the siege.
THE office of the atmosphere, as an anvil upon which rocks are shattered for the protection of humanity, has sufficient novelty about it to require explanation. It has come to be pretty well understood now that rocky fragments of all sizes are flying through space, like the planets themselves.
A SUBJECT upon which much earnest thought is concentred is, that method of disposing of the dead which shall be in strict accord with Nature’s fixed intentions, and which shall not be delayed, by artificial means, to the obvious detriment of our plainest sanitary necessities.
THE question of the preservation of wood, applied to the sleepers of railroads, telegraph-poles, and wood for mechanical purposes, etc., becomes from day to day more urgent, in presence of the increase of railways. Of all the materials employed until now, there remain hardly two in use—sulphate of copper and creosote.
GERMANY assembled in 1869 her greatest savants to celebrate the centenary anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt, her greatest dead. The highest honor of this occasion was bestowed on Prof. Helmholtz, who delivered the opening oration.
IT is one of the most difficult things to popularize mathematical science, either abstract or applied. On this account, and not for want of good intention, I have failed, in my “Politics and Mysteries of Life Insurance,” to make myself understood on some points, even by my able and candid reviewer in THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY for May.
HOW shall this nation behave itself when it comes to be a hundred years old? Something extraordinary must be done to signalize that event. For we are a great people, spread over a great continent, on which are great lakes and rivers, and prairies, and coal-fields, and copper-mines ; and we have had a great war, and got a great debt and a great common-school system, and how shall we pose in a manner befitting all this greatness when the nation has come to be as old as a very old man ?
THE perversity by which language becomes turned to the conveyance of false ideas seems to be as universal as it is inveterate : near home, the June magazines are published in May, and journals are issued once a quarter, while in Farther India the white elephant is as “ black as a coal,” and of half a dozen other colors.
A Science Minister for England.—There is an agitation now going on in England for the appointment of a responsible government minister, whose duty it shall be to look after the interests of science and scientific research and education, and to take charge of the scientific institutions of the country.
DR. JAMES McNAUGHTON, President of the Albany Medical College, and Professor of the Practice of Medicine, is supposed to be the oldest medical lecturer now in active service. He has delivered fifty-three annual courses of lectures, and, during this half-century of work, has not missed a dozen lectures or been confined to the house a week by sickness.