Issue: 18751101

Monday, November 1, 1875
NOVEMBER, 1875
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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
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THE RELATIONS OF WOMEN TO CRIME.
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ELY VAN DE WARKER, M. D.
THE first traditional crime, the fratricide of Abel, was a natural outgrowth from the conditions of society, which, compared to the present relations of civilized men, existed germ-like around him. These conditions alone gave motive and direction to the deed.
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HYDROIDS.
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MRS. S. B. HERRICK.
SOME of the most exquisite forms of organic Nature are to be found in that shadowy border-land which unites rather than divides the animal and vegetable worlds. It is hard to believe, even when looking with careful scrutiny at certain forms of animal life, at the corals, for instance, the sponges, and the hydroids, that an existence which so closely resembles vegetation should be essentially animal. Each of these families of the great invertebrate kingdom has been bandied back and forth from the botanist to the zoologist, and each has finally found its place in the animal world. No purely empirical knowledge is sufficient to determine, among the lower forms of life, to which kingdom they should be referred. It is only by studying facts in their relations, by patiently observing the life-history, and by ascertaining the modes of nutrition and reproduction of each form, that its true place in the organic world has been determined. It was, for many years, thought that, beyond the depth of 300 fathoms, organic life ceased to exist in the ocean. Forbes reached this zero of life in the Ægean Sea, and the fact ascertained for the Mediterranean was inferred for all other seas. The transmutation of inorganic into organic matter is only performed by vegetables, and then only under the controlling power of light. The distinction made by naturalists between the lowest forms of animal and vegetable life lies just here : vegetables convert the inorganic elements of earth, air, and water, into organized matter; animals rearrange this organized matter into animal tissue. It is well known, as no light penetrates the profounder oceanic depths, that no vegetation can exist there ; an absence of animal life was therefore inferred. Certain exceptions to this definition of vegetable life, as being exhaustive, are found in the Fungi, which germinate and grow in darkness, and it is believed are nourished in great measure by organic matter, as well as in the curious carnivorous plants, which have of late attracted so much attention. This, however, does not invalidate the truth that all nutriment, in order to be fit for the maintenance of animal life, must pass, at least once, through the transmutation effected only by vegetation. The non-existence of life below 300 fathoms, in all the oceans of our globe, was strongly supported by Forbes’s investigations in the Mediterranean. The abyssal depths of the sea were thus determined by logic to be the universal empire over which reigned darkness, desolation, and death. No investigations were made as to the facts of the case. Logic and a hasty generalization from inadequate knowledge were made, once again in the history of science, to do duty for the more laborious method of patient observation. Commerce at last gave the impulse to deep-sea exploration, which had before been lacking. The commercial world demanded a more speedy mode of communication from continent to continent, and the response came in the form of the submarine telegraph. Thousands of soundings were made to determine the best position in the ocean’s bed for its successful laying, and thousands, again, to secure the broken end after the first failure. These soundings and grapplings brought from the seadepths unmistakable proof that life in many varied and exquisite forms existed there, far away from light and vegetation, under an enormous pressure of superincumbent waters ; and logic retired discomfited. The fact that the Ægean Sea is empty of life in its greatest depths is due to local causes. The humblest life, in the farthest recesses of the ocean’s bed, is, in some of its essential features, but a sluggish copy of the higher types on land. Food and air are alike necessary to both. The circulation of currents throughout the open seas bears nutriment and oxygen to the lowly forms of animal life which lie far below the level penetrated by light, or capable of supporting vegetation. In the Mediterranean such currents are obstructed by the high rocky wall which runs under the straits of Gibraltar, from Spain to Africa. The lowest point in this wall is 10,000 feet above some portions of the bed of the Mediterranean. The currents in this sea are therefore superficial, as well as the life sustained by them. Chemical analysis proves that the water of the open seas contains both organic matter in solution and oxygen ; and that this same water, after having passed through the bodies of these lower forms of animal life, is deprived of both its organic elements and its oxygen. The theoretic difficulty which had determined the problem of life in the depths of the sea was thus removed; for, given this lowest form of animal existence, the higher are always possible. The same awful cycle of life, death, decomposition, and life again, which is again and again repeated among the higher organisms, is found working itself out as inexorably in the oceanic depths. The elements which are appropriated from the mighty reservoir of the ocean for the maintenance of the life, are restored to it again by the death, of each organic being. The bed of the ocean, from the tiny lakelets left by the retiring tide to the greatest depths ever reached by trawl and dredge, is found to be teeming with exquisite* forms of life. Delicate plant-like forms are found clinging to rocks and shells, or spreading themselves over the broad fronds of the algae. Every peculiarity of vegetation is mimicked ; graceful stems rising from tangled roots send out branches which bear raceme-like clusters of buds, and delicate bells whose beauty no words can describe. A hundred and fifty years ago nothing was known of these beautiful hydroids. The first investigation deserving the name was made by Abraham Trembley. This man was born in Geneva in the year 1700. While residing at the Hague, as tutor to the sons of Count de Bentinck, he made a series of remarkable observations upon the freshwater hydra. The results of his observations were published first by Reaumur in 1742, and two years later by himself. In 1727 Peysonnel had paved the way for Trembley by proving the animality of the corals. Jussieu visited the coasts of Normandy to investigate the coral question, after Peysonnel’s publication of his views, and there conclusively demonstrated the animality of Tubularia indivisa, one of the loveliest of the hydroid family. Thé hydroids are among the coral-makers. The vast beds of millepores found about the Pacific islands and the West Indies are the work of an animal allied to eoryne, one of the Tubularians. The chitinous investment of the Sertularians also forms membranous coral of considerable size and great beauty. It was some time, however, after the discoveries of Peysonnel, Jussieu, and Trembley, before the great authorities of the day, Reaumur and Linnæus, gave in their adhesion to the animal theory, and stamped it as correct. Since that day some of the world’s greatest naturalists have made the study of the Hydroidœ their lifework, and have not felt it an unworthy occupation to be the annalists of this humble family. The nomenclature of the hydroids is still so unsettled that we will avoid as much as possible the use of scientific terms in describing the different portions of the colonies and their respective functions, for it is here that naturalists differ, not in the names of the varieties. The hydroids measure from a few lines in height to several feet. Dana mentions an East Indian species which grows to the height of three feet; while Semper describes a gigantic Plumularian, which forms submarine forests extending over great areas of sea-bottom, and growing as high as six feet. The stems, he says, sometimes measure an inch in diameter at the base. Tubularia indivisa grows to the height of about ten inches. The Hydroidœ are divided into four families : Tubularinœ (Figs. 3, 4, 6, 6), Campanularinœ (Fig. 10), Sertularinœ (Figs. 1, 7, 8, 9), and Hydrinœ (Fig. 12). Every hydroid, however greatly the species may differ in external form, has a certain structural plan to which it adheres in all its modifications. The general type (Fig. 2.) may be simply described as an animal sac whose walls are composed of an inner and outer membrane. The outer wall corresponds to the skin, the inner to the lining of the stomach, in higher organisms. The simple elongated sac is not only the simplest form of hydroid, but is generally the earliest phase in the development of the more complicated forms. The sac (Fig. 2) sends off branching processes, e e, and cœcal protuberances, c?, throughout the extent of which the inner and outer membrane is continuous. Sometimes large numbers of these stems proceed from a basal net-work, the connection between every part of the animal colony being kept open through this basal reticulation, and the continuity of the two membranes being maintained intact. The basal portion, with the stems, branches, and the flower-and-fruit-like clusters, of this curious organism form the hydrasoma, as it is called by both Huxley and Allman. The simple, sac-like form of the hydroid is the lowest term in a series which consists of an almost infinite number of terms. We find in this family the same orderly sequence which marks organic Nature everywhere. While the ideal type is adhered to, and a morphological unity may be proved, yet there is an orderly and beautiful gradation, in which each form becomes more complicated than the form which precedes it. The clusters of buds (Fig. 4), and closed or open flowers (Fig. 3), are really individual zoöids, bound into an organic unity by a basal reticulation. With a single exception, every hydroid, at some period of its existence, lives this social life, being united with a number of other individuals into a plant-like group, and is really only one of an assemblage of zoöids possessing a common circulatory and nutritive system, the individuals of which are in organic union with each other. The zoöids springing from one common base are of two kinds, and perform for the community two special offices. The grape-like clusters contain the generative elements, both ova and spermatozoa, while the flowers provide for the nutrition of the whole colony. These zoöids, which each investigator names according to his peculiar theory of scientific nomenclature, we will call nutritive and generative buds ; the nutritive buds being destined for the preservation of the colony, the generative for the perpetuation of the species. The attached extremity of the animal in the fixed, or its equivalent in the free, species is called the proximal end, and the opposite extremity, which bears the two forms of buds, the distal end of the hydroid. The terms upper and lower cannot be used, because some varieties grow erect, while others grow in an inverted position. The nutritive buds consist of an open digestive sac (Fig. 2) ; around the mouth is a series or several series of tubular offsets, ranged radially about the stem. The shape of these blossom-like zoöids varies in the different species. In some varieties they are unprotected, while in others the tentacles may be withdrawn into a horny, cupshaped sheath. The number of tentacles varies with the different species. The plates of Tubularia indivisa and Hydra vulgaris show the tentacles expanded. The other plates give, in the magnified portions, only the chitinous sheath, into which the polyp has withdrawn itself. In the Plumularians, a branch of the Sertularian group, curious little cups of the horny sheath are developed. Unlike the cups which contain the living flower, these extensions are filled with the sarcode, or soft, gelatinous flesh of the animal. This sarcode, or protoplasmic flesh, acts like the flesh of the rhizopods and amœbæ ; long filamen tar y processes are extended, just as the rhizopods improvise legs or arms when they need them, till sometimes the horny sheath is invested in this living gossamer. The function of these cups is not known. Allman considers them as special zoöids, whose morphological differentiation from the other zoöids is carried to an extreme. Hi neks believes them to be a lower form of life, in organic union with the higher zoöids of the hydroid colony. The horny sheath, which is described by earlier writers as an excretion, is by Allman considered to be rather the result of metamorphosis of tissue. In many varieties the stem and branches of the creature are slender, horny, and pipe-shaped, and the chitinous sheath is jointed at regular intervals, the joint being a mere break in the continuity of the chitine, not a movable hinge ; while the living pulp within forms a continuous body, and is invested by its sheath as the pith of a plant is invested by its stalk. The generative buds are cæcal offshoots from the body, the reproductive elements always developing between the inner and outer membrane (see Fig. 2, d). They sometimes, after development, free themselves from the parent stem, and lead a roving life as medusae. In some cases the nutritive bud has its alimentary function suppressed, and, though not itself sexual, it is henceforth destined to produce sexual buds, either directly or through the medium of a non-sexual bud. There is, it may almost be said, no differentiation of organs among the hydroids. In the adult form they possess no organs of sense, and have no circulatory, respiratory, nor nervous systems. All the functions of life are performed without the intervention of special organs. Voluntary motion takes place without muscles, sensibility is present without nerves, respiration is performed without lungs, and digestion goes on without a true stomach. The sea-water which flows within and about the creature bears to it the oxygen necessary to the maintenance of vital combustion, as well as the small living creatures and comminuted organic matter which form its food. Like the seaanemones, the hydroids reject such portions of their food as they do not assimilate through the mouth. In the fresh-water hydra an orifice has been observed at the lower extremity of the stomach. This, however, does not correspond to the alimentary canal of higher organisms ; it is the analogue, in the simple hydra, of the ramifying cavity which permits a free circulation throughout the compound group. A circulation has been observed in the varieties which possess a horny sheath, which is, however, very different in some respects from the circulation of the blood in higher organisms. The somatic fluid, as it is called, is loaded with granules which, upon microscopic examination, prove to be composed of disintegrated elements of food, of solid colored matter secreted by the walls of the somatic cavity, of cells detached from the living tissue of the animal, and of particles of effete matter. The fluid seems to be more nearly akin to chyme, or chyle, than it is to blood. There is perpetual motion in the somatic fluid ; the flow will sometimes be steady for a while, and then a sudden reversal will take place in the direction of the current, before it has reached an extremity. The gastric cavity is traversed by the stream, as well as all portions of the hydrasoma. In some species the cause of the flow has revealed itself under the microscope. The cavities through which the current moves are seen to be clothed with cilia—tiny lashes whose rhythmic motion forever propels the fluid ; this ciliary action is no doubt greatly aided by the contractility of the walls. In many species the cilia, if there be any, are too minute for detection ; but it is a fair provisional inference that where the somatic flow is observed the like cause may account for the like effect. The exquisite colors of the hydroids, which rival the tints of our loveliest flowers, are due to the colored granules secreted by the animal and discharged into the somatic fluid. A charm is added to these flowers of the sea by the flashing opalescent gleams of color which shine out from their crystalline walls. Even the exquisite representations of Allman, in his monograph on “ The Tubularian Hydroids,” fail to give an idea of the beauty of form and color to be found in the real object. The Hydra viridis is so called from its brilliant green color. This green is said by Allman to be of the nature of chlorophyll, and to possess the power, like the chlorophyll of plants, of decomposing carbonic acid, assimilating the carbon, and yielding up the oxygen If this be true (and there is no reason to doubt it, Allman being one of the highest authorities), it only furnishes, in this form of animal life, one more curious resemblance to vegetation, and denies one more tradition of its animality. The most singular facts in connection with hydroid life lie in the variety of its modes of reproduction. It would almost seem as though every form of reproduction known in Nature had been mutely prophesied in the primeval world when the fossil hydroid and trilobite lived side by side in the Silurian seas. They are generated, like plants, by buds and by artificial sections ; like plants, they are able, from a small fragment, to produce the whole organism. They, however, go farther than most plants in this power of reproducing lost parts ; for a small fragment taken from any portion will suffice for the production of a new individual ; a single tentacle will produce a flower and stem, and finally a whole colony. A transverse section of the stem will produce a flower at the distal end, and a continuation of the stem, with the process by which it attaches itself, at the proximal end of the section. Just so far it shows orientation—that the stem has a distal and proximal end. There is no sign of bilaterality in most species, and in others the indication is so slight that it is hardly worthy of the name. This development of the flower always at the distal, and of the stem always at the proximal, extremity of the section, shows conclusively that the stem grows both ways, and that in every segment there exists a neutral plane midway between both ends. Besides these plant-like modes of reproduction, hydroids are generated, like the actiniae, by spontaneous fission, a development of one individual into two or more by a natural vertical cleavage. They multiply by ova, by ovules, by independent ciliated embryos, like the lower invertebrates, the reptiles, and birds. Some varieties possess a sort of marsupial pouch, in which the undeveloped young are retained till they attain maturity ; and, like the mammals, in some cases, the individual quits the parent after attaining perfect development. Added to all these modes of reproduction, in which the analogy must not be pressed too closely to those of higher organisms, they possess two very curious modes of their own ; one given by Allman in his monograph, the other by Carpenter in the latest edition of “The Microscope, and its Revelations.” The Tabularían and Campanularian hydroids, Allman tells us, develop upon their stems bellshaped medusæ (Figs. 4, 5, 11), which free themselves and swim the adjacent waters. All free-swimming medusæ have not yet been traced to hydroid stems ; but, as all which have been carefully studied through their life-history are found to originate there, it is supposed to be true of the others. The most remarkable fact in regard to these medusæ is, that the immature form shows a higher type, a greater differentiation of organs, than the parent hydroid. The medusa possesses, in common with the parent, a digestive cavity and cnidæ ; and, in addition to these, an organ at the base of each tentacle, which, if it does not unite within itself the senses of sight and hearing, at least is akin to those organs in the lower invertebrates. They certainly possess distinct bundles of muscles and nerve-ganglia, which are not found in the parent form. When the roving medusa has sown its wild-oats, and comes to settle down into a respectable family hydroid, it loses all these advantages belonging to its wandering life, and becomes in its later form identical with the parent ; it returns to the privileges and traditions of its fathers. The huge Rhizostoma, and the beautiful Chrysaora, common to the English coast, Carpenter tells us, are oceanic medusæ developed from a small hydroid stem. The embryo emerges in the form of a ciliated ovule, resembling some of the infusoria. One end contracts, forms a foot and attaches itself, the other sends out four tubular offshoots, as tentacles, and “ the central cells melt down to form the cavity of the stomach.” This hydra-like form multiplies in the ordinary way by budding, for an indefinite length of time. After a while, however, a change takes place, the stem shows constrictions, beginning near the distal end, till the whole stem looks like a rouleau of coins ; the constrictions deepen, making the stem look like a pile of saucer-shaped bodies; the disks become serrated, and finally the tentacles which belonged to the original medusæ disappear, and new tentacles are formed upon the uppermost disk of the pile. Soon this disk begins to show a sort of convulsive struggle which results in its freeing itself, and swimming away as a medusa; each disk develops in the same way, and in turn separates itself from the parent stem. The original zoöid often returns to its hydra-life and reproduces itself by buddingin the old fashion, and finally becomes “the progenitor of a new colony, every member of which may in its turn bud off a pile of medusa-disks.” The bodies thus detached have all the characteristics of the fullydeveloped medusæ. Each consists of an umbrella-shaped disk divided along its margin into lobes, generally eight in number, and of a stomach terminating in a probosciform mouth. As the creature grows, the spaces between the marginal lobes fill up ; from its border long tentacles are developed, and a fringe of tendril-like filaments sprout forth from the margin. The young medusa eats voraciously, and grows proportionately large; the Chrysaora, which we have been describing, attaining a diameter of fifteen inches, and the Rhizostoma sometimes reaching to three feet. These medusæ are familiarly known as sea-nettles. When they have reached full development the generative organs appear in four chambers arranged round the stomach, and are contained in curious fluted membranous ribbons which hold the sperm-cells in the male, and ova in the female. The fertilized embryos repeat the same wonderful cycle just described, developing into a hydroid from which medusa-disks are budded off. The relation which late investigations have established between the stationary hydroids, and the medusæ, forms one of the most interesting cases, yet known, of the curious phenomenon called alternate generation. In the majority of cases we find a non-sexual, plant-like form interposed between the ovum and the directly or indirectly sexual form of medusa, though this is not always the case, as direct development has been observed from ovum to medusa. The nearest approach, in the adult form, to special organs are the digestive cavity, and the cnidæ. The stomach, however, possesses no true parietal walls, and in one form—the fresh-water hydra—the stomach will do duty for the skin, and the skin for the stomach, if necessary ; they seem to be able to live very comfortably, and digest their food without difficulty when turned wrong-side outward. The cnidæ ai-e barbed filaments inclosed in tiny sacs, which they can shoot out at will, for their own protection, or for the capture of their prey, as the case may be. In the hydra the sac is ejected, and a central dart is projected into the body attacked. There must be a minute poison-sac in communication with the darts, as it is found that any soft-bodied victim, released from the clasp of the tentacles, is in variably dead, no matter how short the time of its imprisonment may have been. The effects of the cnidæ in the medusæ are very well known, and have gained for them their popular name of sea-nettles. Many an unlucky swimmer has found himself wrapped in the long thread-like filaments of these transparent, floating bells, and been almost maddened as he found himself inextricably inclosed in what seemed an invisible sheet of living fire. A tentacle of the hydroid, when carefully pressed between two glass slides* or in a compressorium, may be seen, under the microscope, to dart out thousands of these little barbed arrows. Chronologically, the Hydræ (Fig. 12) come first in the group Hydroidæ, for they were first carefully studied and truly classified by Trembley. His observations, though made in the earlier half of the eighteenth century, were so accurate, and his delineations so correct, that he is still quoted in the latest works, as authority. The hydra is found generally in fresh water, though some few species have been discovered, in this country, in that which is somewhat brackish. It loves still or slowly-running water, and attaches itself generally to the under-side of the leaves or to the stalks of aquatic plants. Its body is extremely contractile, and consists, like the oceanic hydroids, in its earliest stage of development, of a simple elongated sac, with an opening which answers the purpose of a mouth. Around the mouth are a series of hollow filaments which it can entirely withdraw, and it then looks like a minute tubercle. The tentacles are roughened by the clusters of thread-cells, or cnidæ, already described. The threads have been observed in some instances to be, when extended, as much as eight inches long, and are shot out, it is thought, by the propulsive power of a liquid injected into the central cavity. It grows erect, horizontal, or inverted, as the case may be, and lives only upon animal food. The little creatures are. extremely voracious and not over-nice. Trembley observed two hydras attack, at the same time, the opposite extremities of a worm. Each having swallowed its respective half of the worm, he watched to see the result. The worm would not yield to the force of circumstances ; and break, and the problem looked a difficult one of solution. The larger hydra, however, proved itself superior to circumstances, it quietly swallowed worm, antagonist, and all ; and, after having sucked out the worm, disgorged his dinnerless foe ! Trembley tried the experiment, already alluded to, of turning one inside out, and fastening it in that position. The domestic economy did not appear to be at all disturbed ; the little creature eating with as much relish, and digesting with as much ease, to all appearance, as in its normal position. He inserted one hydra within the cavity of another, and fastened them with a bristle which was run through both. Returning after a short absence he found them strung, side by side, upon the bristle. He repeated the experiment and watched the manœuvres of the two. The hydra inside managed to work its way through the small aperture made in the side of its neighbor by the bristle, and soon occupied the position he had before observed, side by side with its companion on the bristle. He then turned one oí them inside out, inserted it in that position, and fastened them securely together. Soon the pair, finding that there was no help for it, philosophically yielded, and united their fortunes ; the inner one of the couple providing nourishment for them both. They seemed to live quite comfortably, on these very close* terms of intimacy, for some time. Hydras generate in summer by buds, which grow to maturity and are then sloughed off. These young buds often produce others before they separate from the parent stem, and they others again ; so that there are sometimes twenty generations produced in a month’s time. In autumn oviform gemmules are extruded, lie quiescent till spring, and are then developed. Any number of artificial sections may be made, and from each a perfect animal will be developed. Wherever a wound or cut has been made, buds sprout more quickly than from the sound tissue, and the hydras generated by artificial sec tions are more prolific than those generated in the ordinary way. The sprouting, as may be seen in the plate (Fig. 12), takes place from any portion of the body. The leaves, flowers, and stems, of this specimen of Hydra vulgaris, together form the hydrasoma. This specimen was selected more to illustrate the plant-like character of the organism than for its intrinsic beauty. The geographical distribution of the Hydroidœ has not yet been determined ; but, like other low forms of life, we find them spreading over vast areas of space, and extending back through uncounted ages of time. We have already spoken of their distribution in depth. A well-defined specimen was taken up in the deepest cast recorded by Wyville Thomson, in his “Depths of the Sea”—that made in the Bay of Biscay, and to a depth of nearly three miles. But, though their existence is proved at these enormous depths, they love best the rockbound pools left by the retiring tide and the shallow water which fringes our islands and continents ; and there they probably attain their greatest beauty and most perfect development. Their distribution in time reaches back to the earliest dawnings of life upon our globe. The Graptolites of the Lower and Upper Silurian, the Hy droid Medusae of the Jurassic, the Hydractinea of the Cretaceous, Miocene, and Pliocene, the Serturella of the Pleistocene, and the numberless forms of the present day, are the representatives of this family in geologic and historic time. Like other humble forms of life, it shows a marvelous persistency. It has lived, almost unchanged, while great dynasties of higher organisms have one after the other risen, developed, and perished, or left only a few meagre representatives among the fauna of the present day. The fragility of their chitinous envelope and the perishable nature of their protoplasmic flesh would, of course, render it impossible that any full record of their existence should ever be found in the rocks of the primeval would, but the fragments which have, here and there, left their impress on the various geologic strata, show them to have been the contemporaries of the oldest forms of life which inhabited the Silurian seas, and to have quietly existed in the depths of those ancient waters over which the great fish and saurian dynasties lorded it through so many centuries.
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ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF ENGINEERING.1
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SIR JOHN HAWKSHAW,
TO those on whom the British Association confers the honor of presiding over its meetings the choice of a subject presents some difficulty. The presidents of sections give accounts of what is new in their departments ; and essays on science in general, though desirable in the earlier years of the Association, would be less appropriate today.
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45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60
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INSECTIVOROUS PLANTS.
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E. R. LELAND.
MOST amateur botanists have in the course of their walks come upon the peculiar leaves of the common sundew (Drosera rotundifolia), with the clear drops which the leaves bear glistening in the morning sun, and, on referring to their manuals, have noted the relationship which it bears to Venus’s fly-trap (Dionæa muscipula:), whose famous irritability is always a matter for mention.
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60,61,62,63,64,65,66
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INDUCED DISEASE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE PASSIONS.1
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B. W. RICHARDSON,
MANY of the forms of disease previously detailed may be induced by other causes than worry or mental strain. They may be the effects of the unrestrained influence of certain of the passions. I say certain of the passions, because all do not seem to act with the same intensity.
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THE PROPERTIES OF PROTOPLASM.1
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ERNST HAECKEL,
THE term protoplasm, from Gr. πрτος, first and πλɑσμα, form, is applied to the supposed original substance from which all living beings are developed, and which is the universal concomitant of every phenomenon of life. All that is comprehended for brevity under the term life, whether the growth of plants, the flight of birds, or a train of human thought, is thus supposed to be caused by corporeal organs which either themselves consist of protoplasm, or have been developed out of it.
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A CURIOUS INDIAN RELIC.
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CHARLES C. ABBOTT,
AMONG the several thousands of Indian relics gathered by the writer, in the immediate vicinity of Trenton, New Jersey, there has occurred one wholly different from all the others, and which bears some resemblance to the well-known Indian bark-letters, as figured by Schoolcraft and Catlin ; but this inscribed stone is far more primitive than these.
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METEOROLOGY OF THE SUN AND EARTH.1
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PROF. BALFOUR STEWART,
SINCE the last meeting of the British Association, Science has had to mourn the loss of one of its pioneers, in the death of the veteran astronomer, Schwabe, of Dessau, at a good old age, not before he had faithfully and honorably finished his work.
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88,89,90,91,92,93,94,95
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SUICIDE IN LARGE CITIES.
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ALLAN MoLANE HAMILTON,
THE increased importance attached to the study of the relations of mind and body (the impetus to such study we have to thank Mr. Maudsley for) enables us to pursue our examination of certain psychical states to greater advantage than in former years.
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95
95,96,97,98,99,100,101,102
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A HOME-MADE MICROSCOPE.
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JOHN MICHELS.
THE progress of science in recent times is in a great degree due to the employment of instrumental aids to observation ; and whoever wishes to keep up with this advance, or indeed to gain an adequate notion of its extent and interest, can only do so by the use of similar means.
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103
103,104,105,106,107,108
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IS ALCOHOL A FOOD?
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CORN and wine were deemed indispensable to man from the remotest antiquity, just as beef and beer are so considered by the Briton ; and scarcely a people has existed who did not possess a fermented liquor of some kind—all ascribing to it exalted virtue, such as befits the gift of the gods, as all believed it to be—not only from the bodily comfort and invigoration which it imparted, but also from its mysterious effects in the transient madness which it is capable of producing.
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108
108,109,110
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SKETCH OF DR. H. C. BASTIAN.
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PROMINENT among the contemporaneous explorers of biological and physiological science, the investigation of which is so active in the present age, is the subject of this notice, who, though still a young man, has achieved an undoubted eminence in the departments of study to which he has devoted himself. Dr. Bastian has done a good deal of excellent scientific work in the medical field, and has gained the wide respect of the profession ; but he is more generally known by his researches into the origin of life ; and is the author of perhaps the ablest work that has yet appeared on the question of the generation of the lowest animate forms.
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111
111,112
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CORRESPONDENCE.
A COEEECTION.
FORESTS AND RAINFALL.
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To the Editor of The Popular Science Monthly. SIR: Please allow me to correct some errors in the notice (on page 760 of this journal for October) of the paper on “American Ganoids,” read at the Detroit meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
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112
112,113,114,115
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EDITOR’S TABLE.
WHICH UNIVERSE SHALL WE STUDY?
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ACERTAIN class of astronomers have aimed to persuade us that there are “more worlds than one;” and those ingenious speculators Stewart and Tait have recently argued for two universes: the present universe, open to the sense, and an “ unseen universe ” beyond the range of direct scientific investigation but open to intrepid scientific faith.
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115
115,116,117,118,119,120,121
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LITERARY NOTICES.
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.
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FIRST BOOK OF ZOOLOGY. By EDWARD S. MORSE, Ph. D., late Professor of Comparative Anatomy and Zoology in Bowdoin College. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 188. Price, $1.25. THE genius for good school-book making is incontestably American. Our best schoolbooks exemplify art in two directions : in that which goes to the getting up of the book, materially, and that which concerns its intellectual self ; that is, its way of putting things—such a handling of teaching processes as recognizes that good teaching is an a,rt, and the true teacher an artist.
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121
121,122,123,124,125,126
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MISCELLANY.
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WE present below brief abstracts of some of the more interesting papers read at the last meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Others will follow in succeeding numbers. Ice-Action.—The subject of ice-action was considered in a paper read by D. Mackintosh, F. G. S. He first discussed the question whether the so-called continental ice of Greenland was a true ice-sheet formed independently of mountains, or merely the result of a confluent system of glaciers.
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article
126
126,127,128,129,130,131
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NOTES.
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A CORRESPONDENT of the Scientific American states that in Minneapolis a supply of water for extinguishing fires is obtained in localities beyond the reach of the city water-works by sinking four drive-wells at distances thirty feet apart, or fifteen feet from a centre.
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