INDUCTION has greatly predominated over deduction throughout the foregoing chapters; and readers who have borne in mind that Part II. closes with a proposal to interpret social phenomena deductively, may infer either that this intention has been lost sight of, or that it has proved impracticable to deal with the facts of domestic life otherwise than by empirical generalization.
PROBABLY there is no group of animals—certainly no group of vertebrates—that exhibits more strange and even monstrous forms than fishes. The typical fish, we may well believe, is some such form as the salmon, or the cod, or the bass, or an average of these and their numerous allies.
IN the course of my journey in Italy, I visited successively the observatories of Palermo, Naples, Rome (that of the Roman College as well as that of the Capitol), Florence, Bologna, Modena, Padua, Milan, and Turin, remaining some time at each.
AMONG the many ways in which electricity is called in to give assistance in various physical investigations, one of the most elegant and interesting is the application of the electric spark to render momentarily visible a body that is rapidly moving or changing its form.
IN bringing these two subject-matters of thought into conjunction with one another, I wish, if possible, to set them clear of all controversy at the outset. No attempt at a definition for either can escape dispute; but a merely indicative statement may be made in each case that will give form enough to the conception without touching any point of question in it.
MASKELYNE, the Royal Astronomer of England, in August, 1795, had his attention called to the fact that his assistant, Mr. Kinnebrook, was making errors in recording observations. He noticed that Mr. Kinnebrook had fallen into the habit of making his records half a second later than they should be.
IN the work by the late J. W. Foster, LL. D., on the “Prehistoric Races of the United States of America,” published in 1873, when treating of the pottery of the mound-builders, on page 248, he says: “On the Saline River, Gallatin County, Illinois, according to MS. notes of Prof. Cox, there is, just above low-water mark, a salt-spring, which was resorted to in the earliest settlement of the country, by those of European descent, for the purpose of procuring salt by evaporating the brine. Here occur, however, numerous fragments of pottery, showing that a prehistoric people had resorted to the same spring, and for the same purpose. From the slight curvature of the fragments it is evident that the vessels were of large capacity. The material is coarse, and the general thickness of the vessel is about half an inch, but at the rim it is three-quarters of an inch. The exterior is marked by vertical lines of depression about half an inch apart, with bars less conspicuous and close together, sometimes at right angles, and at others oblique. When I first saw these specimens, I was somewhat surprised that the makers should bestow so much ornamentation on vessels so coarsely made, and applied to such ordinary uses; but a slight examination showed me that these figures had been impressed and not carved; or, in other words, that a basket of rushes or willows had first been constructed, inside of which the clay was moulded and allowed to dry before burning.”
TO many persons the phenomena of instinct and intelligence in animals seem irreconcilable with any theory of the evolution of organisms through the action of natural causes, but the popular opinion upon this subject has undergone a very considerable change within the last half-century, so that the difficulty now presents itself and finds expression in a much more manageable form than would have been the case a few years since.
RECENT wars have had particular interest for the man of science. If we go back some fifteen or twenty years and consider the different wars which have unfortunately occurred since that time, we shall find connected with each one of them certain features which undoubtedly mark progress in the art of killing and wounding.
IN sociology, the “personal equation,” if not eliminated, distorts men’s view of Nature’s workings more than in any other department of thought. Despite this, nowhere else do they cling so tenaciously to this distorting factor. Shallow conclusions, based upon traditional notions of right and wrong, tinctured with the bias of class or education, is the sum total of the majority of attempts at making clear this vexing but important subject.
PROF. NEWCOMB was born in the Province of Nova Scotia, March 12, 1835. Both of his parents were of New England descent, their families having emigrated to the Provinces at various times. His father pursued the avocation of village schoolmaster, and from this circumstance the son during his childhood enjoyed educational advantages which were good for the time and place, but exceedingly scanty when measured by any other standard.
SIR: In the last number of THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY Mr. E. R. Leland replies to my article in the July issue entitled “Over-Consumption, or Over-Production?” misstating some and misconceiving other of my arguments. It would be an infringement on your space for me to follow Mr. Leland through all his assertions, and at best I should be only repeating arguments already made.
CELESTIAL chemistry has taken another stride forward. In a paper recently read before the American Philosophical Society, and printed in the American Journal of Science and Arts, Dr. Henry Draper announces the discovery of oxygen gas in the sun, the fact being arrived at and verified by a long course of spectroscopic observations.
THIS book contains the testimony given by M. Cernuschi, the well-known French bimetallist, before the United States Monetary Commission in February last, together with several of his essays reprinted from other sources. Although the work of an ardent advocate of a couble standard, defending his views with ability, the book is not one which would afford much comfort to the silver party of this country.
Death of Prof. Sanborn Tenney.—We have learned with regret of the death of Prof. Tenney, which took place on July 9th, at Buchanan, Michigan. The sad event was unexpected, as the deceased had, one week previously, seemed to enjoy perfect health.
A DESTRUCTIVE tornado visited the vicinity of Elkhart, Indiana, on the afternoon of July 2d. It completely destroyed several buildings, and unroofed others, uprooted whole orchards, and distributed trees and rubbish over acres of crops.