THE question, What is a society ? has to be asked and answered at the outset. Until we have decided whether or not to regard a society as an entity, and until we have decided whether, if regarded as an entity, a society is to be classed as absolutely unlike all other entities or as like some others, our conception of the subject-matter before us remains vague.
THE only mechanical tools for external use with which man is provided by Nature are: the hammer, a compound vise, and a scratching or scraping tool ; these are all in the hand. As a vise, the hand is worthy of a very lengthened notice ; as a hammer alone it is now our concern.
DR. CARPENTER is master of the domain which he has appropriated for the last age, that of physiology. He has done more than any living man, not exactly to advance, but to combine and expound, the discovered truths of his science. But he is ever impelled by his intellectual sharpness and his cultivated tastes to take excursions into other regions, and I am not sure whether he has there been so successful.
SECTION 8. Electrics and NonElectrics. — For a long period, bodies were divided into electrics and non-electrics, the former deemed capable of being electrified, the latter not. Thus the amber of the ancients, and the spars, gems, fossils, stones, glasses, and resins, operated on by Dr. Gilbert, were electrics, while all the metals were non-electrics.
THE year 1875 completed the third quarter of the nineteenth century, a period distinguished by the activity which has prevailed in every branch of scientific inquiry, but particularly distinguished as a remarkable period of geographical exploration and discovery.
IN the summer of 1874 it was my privilege to accompany one of the parties of the United States Geological Survey of the Territories, of which Dr. F. V. Hayden is chief. The field of operations was the mountainous region of Southern Colorado, and it afforded a good opportunity to examine the natural history of the region traversed.
JUSTUS LIEBIG was born on the 12th of May, 1803, at Darmstadt, in the grand-duchy of Hesse. His father was what in this country (England) we should term a wholesale druggist and dry-salter, a trade which is in Germany designated by the name of materialist.
WHATEVER may be thought of the intellectual differences between men and women, the broad mental contrast between Caroline Herschal and her brother Sir William Herschel is undeniable. Intellectual activity and a love of knowledge for its own sake influenced his boyhood, characterized his manhood, and dominated his whole life.
AT a regular meeting of the Executive Committee of the United States Centennial Commission, held at Philadelphia, October 13, 1875, Mr. Beckwith, Commissioner from New York (United States Commissioner-General at the International Exhibition at Paris, 1867), presented the following report upon the selection and appointment of judges.
THE improvements in telegraphy, about which the public has lately been learning a good deal through the newspapers, really constitute a remarkable element of progress, and are deserving of separate consideration. With the fire-alarm, domestic, and district telegraphs in our cities, the reduced rates and increased efficiency of the great lines and the further improvements promised us, it does not seem too much to expect that the telegraph will soon rival the postoffice and the press as a bearer and diffuser of intelligence.
AMONG several other topics which are dealt with in an interesting article entitled “Animal Depravity” that appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Science for October last, the writer alludes to the question as to whether or not the rudiments of a moral sense are discernible in animals.
THE question of the origin of ferments is intimately connected with that of spontaneous generation. In fact, from the time of Van Helmont and others, who, even in the seventeenth century, gave directions for the production of mice, frogs, eels, etc., the partisans of this mode of generation have, by the progress of the tendency to examine into the causes of things, been driven from the larger animals or plants visible to the naked eye, to the smallest living productions, which we can observe only by the aid of the microscope.
THIS gentleman has won his scientific eminence in the field of physiology. Though but forty years of age, he has attained the highest rank in his chosen department as an experimental inquirer, teacher, and author—having published the most elaborate treatise upon the subject of physiology in the English language.
WE print the report of Commissioner Beckwith on the plan that has been adopted for the distribution of awards to exhibitors at the Philadelphia Exposition. In this matter the Centennial Commissioners have taken a new and very important step in advance of previous practice.
THE UNSEEN WORLD, AND OTHER ESSAYS. By JOHN FISKE, M. A. LL. B. Pp. 349. Price $2. J. R. Osgood & Co. To say that this volume is by the author of the “ Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy ” will be at once to commend it to a large circle of readers ; but as a series of interesting papers on a wide variety of topics, scientific, philosophic, artistic, historical, and critical, it will be commended to many who have not been attracted to the earlier and more solid publication.
Unhealthiness of New Houses. — The unhealthiness of new houses is due to the presence of moisture in their walls. This moisture may be held either mechanically, as by capillary attraction in the bricks, mortar, and plaster; or chemically, in the hydrate of lime.
THE subject of iterated nesting by birds being under discussion in Forest and Stream, Dr. Charles C. Abbott contributes to that journal the following list of birds which he has himself observed nesting twice in summer : 1. Usually breeding twice—robin, catbird, bluebird, house-wren, yellow warbler, English sparrow, bay-winged bunting, chipping-sparrow, song-sparrow, orchard oriole ; 2. Occasionally breeding twice—whitebreasted nuthatch, scarlet tanager, yellowbird, chewink, Baltimore oriole, purple grakle.