STROLLING through the woods near Ithaca, New York, one October afternoon, I saw, upon a leafless hemlock-branch, what looked like a piece of the net of some geometrical spider. Still, there was a regularity in this triangular net which did not accord with the idea of its being a fragment.
COMMENCING with the nineteenth century, the Royal Institution, that stronghold of fashionable science in Albemarle Street, can claim for itself many of the most remarkable discoveries which have distinguished an era of unrivaled activity.
IN a fine contrasting of Europe’s wealth of historic memorials with his own country’s yet new civilization, Washington Irving says of the former country, “ Its every stone is a chronicle.” The remark is true, applied, as he meant it to be, to our older cities with their ancient edifices and defenses. But, belonging to a yet remoter past, are the remains of Roman and Celtic arts and architecture ; and in the pile-dwellings of our lakes and peat-beds we have relics of the Stone and Bronze eras, the beginnings of which lie beyond the reach of even tradition.
IN the first part of this article it was demonstrated that the optic transparency and acoustic transparency of our atmosphere were by no means necessarily coincident ; that on days of marvelous optical clearness the atmosphere may be filled with impervious acoustic clouds, while days optically turbid may be acoustically clear. We have now to consider, in detail, the influence of various agents which have hitherto been considered potent in reference to the transmission of sound through the atmosphere.
IF there is any one disease that the diligent brain-worker, a little past middle life, has reason to fear, it is apoplexy. Although statistical evidence is wanting, the experience of the physician confirms the popular belief that more of our distinguished men are carried off by this disease, or by one of its sequels, paralysis, than by any other cause.
IN the previous chapters we have become acquainted with the development and the theory and practice of photography, and have mentioned cursorily various of its applications. It is our present purpose to give special attention to one point which is of great import in judging of the value of a photograph.
A LITTLE before five o’clock on the morning of the 2d of last October, a train of four barges was being towed by a steamer along the Regent’s Canal, in the northwestern district of London. The second of these barges was laden with a miscellaneous number. Let any one examine the majority of the photographs of the white Royal Monument in the Thiergarten at Berlin. The monument is excellently given, but the background of trees is a confused black mass, without details, without shades of tone ; the architecture and other features are there, all except the splendid foliage that delights the eye at that spot.
HERE appears to be a very general belief among sailors that rain tends to calm the sea, or, as I have often heard it expressed, that rain soon knocks down the sea. Without attaching very much weight to this general impression, my object in this paper is to point out an effect of rain on falling into water which I believe has not been hitherto noticed, and which would certainly tend to destroy any wavemotion there might be in the water.
ARE ministers fitted to discuss the bearing of modern science upon religion ? This question forces itself upon one who is both a member of a church and a lover of science, and deserves to be carefully weighed by those who have the interests of Christianity at heart.
FEW things in the history of science are more interesting than the examples it affords of men devoting themselves with passionate assiduity and untiring persistence to researches which the investigator himself can neither turn to account nor are to be of any ultimate use, and which the public regards as in the last degree frivolous and futile, but the value of which is ultimately and abundantly justified.
To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly : SIR : In the work entitled “ Correlation and Conservation of Forces,” edited by you, is an article on “ Celestial Dynamics,” by Dr. J. B. Mayer, in which is considered the subject of the diminution of the velocity of the rotation of the earth, in consequence of the retarding influence of the tidal wave.
THERE is little rest for the astronomers. Although their science is the oldest and exactest, and has long since taken its place as one of the most perfected divisions of knowledge, yet there never was a time of greater solicitude in regard to undetermined celestial questions than the present.
THE CHEMISTRY OP LIGHT AND PHOTOGRAPHY, IN ITS APPLICATIONS TO ART, SCIENCE, AND INDUSTRY. By Dr. HERMANN VOGEL, Professor in Berlin. 100 Illustrations. Pp. 290. D. Appleton & Co. No. XIV. of the “ International Scientific Series.” AT the International Convention of Photographers, held in this country a few years ago, Dr. Hermann Vogel, of Berlin, was the distinguished German delegate, and was much honored as one of the most eminent and successful cultivators of the subject in both its scientific and artistic aspects.
Captare of a Herd of Elephants.—A correspondent of Land and Water tells of the capture, in the Mysore district, India, of a herd of elephants, numbering forty-nine head. An irrigating canal winds through a dense jungle, at some points approaching a small river, at others stretching away from it into the jungle.
MONSIEUR N. RAUÏS, connected with the secrétariat of the Brussels Royal Academy of the Sciences, proposes to publish a “ Universal Dictionary of Academies, Learned Societies, Observatories, Universities, Museums, Libraries, Botanic Gardens,” etc.—a systematic catalogue of all institutions concerned with the progress of science, letters, and the arts.