IT is well occasionally to cast our eyes back over a series of labors, in order that we may rightly judge of our progress. Rough comparisons alone will not tell us : it is easy to contrast Galileo’s piece of lead-tubing, having a lens in each end of it, with the gigantic telescopes of to-day; but we hardly learn much from such a comparison.
IN the construction of a piece of delicate mechanism there are two crises. Through some fault in its construction it may not permit movement in any part; and, each part being perfect, yet, through some defect in the arrangement, it may be capable of motion, but unable to fulfill the purpose for which it was designed.
THE discovery of America opened up to the civilized world many new objects of interest in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. Not the least in interest was the discovery of an extensive group of birds, consisting of several hundred species, whose diminutive size, quickness of motion, boldness of demeanor, elegance of form, and exquisite beauty of plumage, attracted the attention and secured the admiration of every lover of Nature.
THE progress of Psychology has been determined by agencies which may, with much precision, be discriminated as two sets of conflicting yet cooperating forces—those maintaining equilibrium, and those producing motion. This language would be justly condemned as mechanical if it in any degree presupposed the vulgar notion of force, as acting on visible masses of matter and causing sensible motion.
IN the year 1802, when Napoleon was first consul, there arrived in Paris two artisans of Poitiers. One of these men, Jean Alexandre, had invented a rudimentary form of the electric telegraph, and, with his friend Beauvais, he had left the little country town full of high hopes to submit his discovery to the great soldier who was then guiding the destinies of France.
THE following diagrams will help to explain the principle on which this instrument acts. The stereoscope-glasses are halves of the same lens, placed with their outer edges toward each other (LL),Fig. 1. Rays of light (R R) from the objects (0 0), striking the oblique sur faces of the lens, are refracted outward, toward the focus, and thus reach the eyes (E E) in an oblique direction, appearing to come from (O'), a point half-way between the objects.
THE subject selected for this evening’s entertainment—the evolution and metamorphoses of organic forms, from the genesis of life up to man—with all its difficulties, might, in skillful hands, be made amusing; but, let us rather hope for the earnestness, however dull, which will instruct, instead of the light talent which can while away an idle hour.
LIFE in general is possible only between certain limits of temperature; and life of the higher kinds is possible only within a comparatively narrow range of temperature, maintained artificially if not naturally. Hence it results that social life, presupposing as it does not only human life, but that life vegetal and animal on which human life depends, is restricted by certain extremes of cold and heat.
AN important advance in our knowledge of hydraulics has been recently effected through the observations of M. Révy, a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers of Vienna, on the great rivers of Paraná and Uruguay in South America. The results of his observations have just been published in England, in a book entitled “The Paraná, the Uruguay, and the La Plata Estuaries,” an excellent account of which appears in the April number of the Edinburgh Review, from which the following statement is derived.
ALL beings are exposed to more or less frequent dangers, and are constantly struggling to defend their lives. They have to dread the inclemency of the seasons, and must perish if they fail to find a sufficiency of food; the herbivorous are destined to become a prey to the carnivorous, and, when there seems no need of a victim, deadly battles occur for the possession of a place or the conquest of a prize.
AMONG the aboriginal tribes of the Southwest is that of the MOQUIS, an isolated remnant of a former wide-spread nation. These Indians are of particular interest, especially as a study for the ethnologist, on account of their peculiar manner of living, strange customs, etc., as well as in being little known and seldom visited by the white man.
I AM not about to continue a controversy which I regret having been provoked into by the misrepresentations of one who ignored the contents of works he professed to review. Reply and rejoinder may go on endlessly. I could not, to much purpose, argue with Mr. Hayward, who, instead of taking such unconsciously-formed preconceptions as those resulting from the infinite experiences of muscular tensions and their effects, proposes to exemplify unconsciously-formed preconceptions by a consciously-formed hypothesis concerning the relation between weight and motion.
The subject of this eulogy was one of the most remarkable men in the annals of British science and literature—according to Prof. Tyndall, the greatest man of science that had appeared since Newton; and, as his biography has never been republished in this country, a brief sketch of his life will be fresh and instructive to many.
THE hope is indulged by many that, with the progress of intelligence and the increase of liberal feeling, the old conflict between religion and science will either die away, or lose so much of its rancorous spirit that it may be coolly and rationally considered, like any other question.
ALTHOUGH this publication takes the form of a pamphlet, and has been made cheap to facilitate its wide circulation, yet we warn our readers not to infer its importance from its form. Carbon is carbon, but an ounce of diamond will outweigh cargoes of coal in value; and so, while knowledge is knowledge, it is possible that a pamphlet may outweigh cart-loads of books in the intrinsic value of what it contains.
Volcanic Eruption in the Sandwich Islands.—A correspondent of the American Journal of Science writes that, until the past year, the great summit crater of Mauna Loa (Sandwich Islands) has for a number of years shown but few and feeble symptoms of activity.
A CONSIDERABLE trade is now carried on between Australia and San Francisco in kangaroo-skins. At the latter place they are much in vogue, and when tanned are said to produce a thin, supple leather, softer than calf-skin and more impervious to water.