THE attention of all the readers of THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY has doubtless been attracted by the notices of the discovery, by M. Rivière, at several times within the last three years, of more or less complete fossil skeletons of man, deep in the floors of caverns near the town of Mentone.
THERE is a world of hidden beauty of which we can form no conception without the aid of the microscope. This instrument reveals a real fairy-land, of which we may sometimes have dreamed ; but our wildest fancy is more than realized by the glimpses it affords of wonderfully beautiful plants and animals.
AN impulse inherent in primeval man turned his thoughts and questionings betimes toward the sources of natural phenomena. The same impulse, inherited and intensified, is the spur of scientific action to-day. Determined by it, by a process of abstraction from experience we form physical theories which lie beyond the pale of experience, but which satisfy the desire of the mind to see every natural occurrence resting upon a cause.
IT is a subject for regret, as well from a national as a scientific point of view, that, while London, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Naples, Brighton, in fact nearly every European city of note, has its aquarium, or aquaria, New York, the metropolis of the New World, is as yet without one.
WATER is boiling merrily over a brisk fire, when some luckless person upsets the vessel, so that the heated fluid exercises its scathing influence upon an uncovered portion of the body—hand, arm, or face. Those who have seen much of the effects produced upon the human skin by such accidents, will have acquired information not unworthy of influencing their opinion on some more general problems connected with the action of heat upon living matter.
AN important work on the above subject, by a man so eminent and so various in science as Dr. Carpenter, cannot fail to attract the attention and to be worthy of the study of all those whose work in life is to prevent or restore mind from its morbid conditions, and who fully appreciate the necessity of building the edifice of Mental Pathology upon the sure foundations of Physiological Science.
A SUBSTANTIAL contribution has been recently made to our knowledge of the action of light upon silver salts—a contribution which we cannot but consider as of the highest importance to photography, both as a science and as an art. In the autumn of last year Dr. Herman Vogel announced,1 as the result of some experiments that he had been making, that “ we are in a position to render bromide of silver sensitive for any color we choose —that is to say, to heighten for particular colors the sensibility it was originally endowed with.
THE employment of the electric light for general purposes of illumination has not, hitherto, been successful. The difficulty of maintaining it constant, and the expense attending its use, have prevented its employment. In the old method of producing the light by a great number of cells, the chief difficulties arose in keeping the strength of the current constant, and in regulating the distance of the carbon-points between which the light was produced.
I SHALL go no further back than the seventeenth century, and the observations which I shall have to offer you will be confined almost entirely to the biological science of the time between the middle of the seventeenth and middle of the eighteenth centuries.
THE awakening desire for scientific instruction, ever finding new expression among the educated classes of all European countries, we must consider not merely as a striving after new forms of amusement, or a mere empty and barren curiosity ; it is rather a well-justified intellectual necessity, and is in close connection with the most important springs of mental development in these times.
THE American Association for the Advancement of Science held its twenty-third meeting at Hartford, in August, under the presidency of Dr. Le Conte, with a very good attendance. The address of the retiring president, Prof. Lovering, was an elaborate and able document, devoted to the discussion of prominent questions in modern physics; and a large number of miscellaneous papers, of the usual interest, were contributed to the proceedings.
THE SCIENCE OF LAW. By SHELDON AMOS, M. A., Professor of Jurisprudence in University College, London. International Scientific Series, No. X. 417 pp. Price $1.50. PROF. AMOS has written a book which will prove peculiarly acceptable at the present time ; for, although discussions in respect to the application of the scientific method to social affairs are becoming commonplace, there is, nevertheless, a profound interest in the general question, and there is certainly a strong desire to know what can be done by that method in a field which is at once so practical and so unpromising as that of law.
Fritz Müller on Bee-Habits.—A letter to Mr. Darwin from Fritz Müller, dated Itaguahi, Brazil, April 20th, confirms many of the observations of Mr. Belt’s remarkable work, “ The Naturalist in Nicaragua,” on the habits of ants. Further, he gives the following account of a contest between the queen-bee of a hive and the workers : A set of forty-seven cells had been filled, eight on a nearly-completed comb, thirty-five on an adjoining one, and four around the first cell of a new comb.
PROF. CH. FRED HARTT, of Cornell University, sailed on the 5th inst. on his fifth expedition to Brazil, accompanied by one of his students, W. J. C. Brauner. He proposes to make a reconnoissance of the gold and diamond region north of Rio de Janeiro, and explore carefully several rich paleontological and archaeological localities discovered on previous expeditions.