TO generate motion has been found a characteristic common, with one exception, to all the phases of physical force. We hold the bulb of a thermometer in our hands, and the mercury expands in bulk, and, rising along the scale, indicates the increase of heat it has received.
A FEW years ago the scientific world was startled by the assertion—made by Charpentier and Agassiz, who had been studying the glacial phenomena of Switzerland—that at no very remote period, geologically speaking, the climate of the northern hemisphere had been very much colder than at present; and that the arctic conditions which now prevail in Greenland—with perpetual snow-sheets, and glaciers reaching the sea—extended as far south as the middle of the present temperate zone.
AT the six hundred and eighty-ninth meeting of this body, held March 8, 1876, the chairman of the Rumford Committee introduced the special business of the evening, and handed to the President, Hon. Charles Francis Adams, the Rumford medals (in gold and silver), on each of which had been engraved the following inscription: "Awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to John W. Draper, for his researches in radiant energy, May 25, 1875."
I PROPOSE to give some account of a new theory of storms put forth by Prof. Blasius, of Philadelphia, formerly Professor of Natural Sciences in the Lyceum of Hanover, Germany. His attention was first drawn to the subject of storms in the year 1851.
IN primitive stages of society, the clannish life of rude tribes may well have been more favorable to frank and truthful relations between man and man than our wider and looser social intercourse can be. Yet one can see, from the habits of modern savages, that already in early savage times society was setting itself to take measures against men who broke faith to save themselves from harm or to gain some coveted good.
UP to the present we know but a small number of fishes which hatch their eggs and bring up their young in the cavity of the mouth or among the gills. Agassiz, during his voyage on the Amazonas, discovered one species. Afterward there was brought from China the macropod, the singular habits of which are now known to all the world.
MANY edifying commonplaces might doubtless be written on the intellectual fermentation, if it may not rather be called confusion of the age. Nor can it be denied that tendencies supposed to have been long ago slain and sepulchred have risen again, and are asserting themselves with a hardihood which our fathers would have deemed impossible.
SECTION 17. History of the Leyden-Jar.—The next discovery which we have to master throws all former ones into the shade. It was first announced in a letter addressed on the 4th of November, 1745, to Dr. Lieberkühn, of Berlin, by Kleist, a clergyman of Cammin, in Pomerania.
NOTWITHSTANDING so general an interest has been taken in studying the habits of our birds, by both scientific and amateur naturalists, there are several phases of bird-life to which little or no attention has been paid; at least scant reference, if any, has been made to them, in ornithological literature.
ABOUT three hundred and fifty years ago, Henry Cornelius Agrippa wrote a very curious book, "De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum" (Of the Uncertainty and Vanity of the Sciences). Few people read it now. Yet it has its interest, as an exponent of the state of science at that day, aside from the attractions which are given it by the quaint.
THERE can hardly be any greater diversity observed in the animal series than that exemplified in the various means whereby animals are enabled to assume an offensive or defensive aspect. From the lowest to the highest grades of animal life—excepting, perhaps, man himself—we find ample provision made for the exigencies of animal existence, in so far as these exigencies demand the use of appara tus which gives its possessors some advantage or other in the "struggle for existence."
PROFESSOR BAIN, of the University of Aberdeen, is a representative man of the modern school of English thought, who has done his best work in the field of psychology. His elaborate treatises upon the human mind now take a leading place in our literature, and are used as text-books in many colleges and universities.
SIR: The following phenomenon can, perhaps, be explained by yourself or one of your readers: I have a water-hammer, made of a straight tube of glass, about eighteen inches long and three-quarters of an inch in diameter. At the top of the tube there are two bulbs, the upper one about half the size of the lower, with only a narrow passage of about a sixteenth of an inch in width to connect the lower bulb with the tube, and the upper bulb with the lower.
WE some months ago printed a paper describing briefly the leading features of Mr. Crookes's discovery of the mechanical action of light. We this month publish a more elaborate article under the same title, with new illustrations, in which the distinguished discoverer goes more fully into the subject, states how he was led into the investigation, explains the construction of the instrument, traces out the action of different kinds of rays, shows the value of the contrivance as a photometer or light-measurer, explains its magnetic and electrical relations and how its motions may be recorded, suggests its meteorological uses, and finally considers its results as determining the amount of the force of sunlight upon the earth.
THE ANCIENT RÉGIME. By HIPPOLYTE ADOLPHE TAINE, author of "A History of English Literature," "Italy," etc. Translated by JOHN DURAND. New York: Henry Holt & Co. Pp. 421. Price, $2.50. ALTHOUGH M. Taine has made his reputation as a literary man, he must be credited with a genuine feeling for philosophical inquiry, and if not a scientist in the thorough sense, he nevertheless aspires to carry on his inquiries by scientific method.
Destruction of the Buffalo.—The average annual destruction of buffaloes during the last thirty or forty years is estimated by a writer in the Penn Monthly at between three and four millions. During the season of 1872-'73 no less than two thousand hunters, it is said, were engaged in hunting the buffalo along the line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fé Railroad alone.
THE Royal Society of London has received from Mr. Phillips Jodrell £6,000 to be applied, principal as well as interest, to the encouragement of original research in the physical sciences. Mr. Jodrell’s object in making this gift is to ascertain, by practical experiment, to what extent the progress of original research is retarded in England by the want of public support, and in what form an increased measure of support would be most likely to promote its development.