SECTION III. The Period of Development. NEWCOMEN AND WATT, A. D. 1700 to A. D. 1800.—22. The evident defects of Savery's engine, its extravagant consumption of fuel, the inconvenient necessity of placing it near the bottom of the mine to be drained, and of putting in several for successive lifts where the depth was considerable, and, especially, the risk which its use with high pressures involved even in its best form, considerably retarded its introduction, and it came into use very slowly, notwithstanding its superiority in economic efficiency over horse-power.
A REMARKABLE discovery has been made by the astronomers of Lord Lindsay's observatory at Dunecht—a discovery the true meaning of which is not as yet fully perceived. It may be remembered that some nine months ago a new star, as it was called, made its appearance in the constellation Cygnus.
THE system of competitive examinations for the public service, of which I have laid before the section a brief history compiled from the reports, is one of those radical innovations that may ultimately lead to great consequences. For the present, however, it leads to many debates.
WE owe an apology to a very respectable class of persons for the apparent, but we trust only apparent, and certainly involuntary, discourtesy of the thesis to which we invite attention. The late Mr. Mill, in a well-known passage, called the Conservatives the stupid party.
FROM the above names, most persons of average culture would at once infer that they are instruments for exploring the larynx and nose, and yet but few would suspect what simple little instruments they are—merely bits of looking-glass set in a frame and attached to a handle.
WHEN, in the beginning of the present year, I received a request to deliver before this Institute a lecture on the subject of Evolution, I was at first disposed to excuse myself. Holding religious views which, perhaps, in many respects are not in accordance with those that have commended themselves to you, I was reluctant to present for your consideration a topic which, though it is in truth purely scientific, is yet connected with some of the most important and imposing theological dogmas.
No more convincing proof could, perhaps, be given of the headlong pace of our modern life, or of the thoughtlessness of our age, than the fact that, though we still hear of the earthquake at Lisbon, hardly a word is said of the fearfully destructive cyclone which, on the 31st of October, 1876, swept over the Delta of the Ganges.
LET US suppose that, having no previous acquaintance with the subject, we were suddenly informed, on good authority, that there existed in some part of the globe a race of beings who lived in domed habitations, aggregated together so as to form vast and populous cities; that they exercised jurisdiction over the adjoining territory, laid out regular roads, executed tunnels underneath the beds of rivers, stationed guards at the entrance of their towns, carefully removed any offensive matter, maintained a rural police, organized, extensive hunting-expeditions, at times even waged war upon neighboring communities, took prisoners and reduced them to a state of slavery; that they not merely stored up provisions with due care, to avoid their decomposition by damp and fermentation, but that they kept cattle, and in some cases even cultivated the soil and gathered in the harvest.
A RECAPITULATION of the various conjectures which have been advanced in explanation of so ever-familiar a sensation as that of warmth or heat, would neither prove particularly feasible nor interesting; for doubtless during the vast period of time which has elapsed since the enunciation of atomic doctrines by the old Greek philosophers—and from their great suggestiveness—the speculations of reflective minds have wandered over wellnigh every imaginable hypothesis, and approximated with greater or less minuteness to the views which are admitted now, and which we think to be supported by experiment.
I SPARE the reader the diffuseness of an introduction, by telling him of a scene in an omnibus, which hinged on the question whether the conductor should open or shut the windows. On the left was in which the substitution of Count Rumford's data, p = 10,000 lbs., a = 0.3 inch, r = 1.75 inches, gives for the approximate moment of friction of the borer, in foot-pounds, 800 ƒ.
A PART of the theory of the tides presented in our text-books has been pronounced absurd in my first article. It is also a matter of amazement that the effect of centrifugal force is entirely ignored in these text-books. That the propelling force arising from this cause should be utterly disregarded in an explanation of the tides is very remarkable.
MOST people accept it as a fact that superstition went out with the advent of steam, the telegraph, and the penny-post. A little honest observation, however, will assure us that there still exist a number of pitiable though petty superstitions.
PROF. W. J. MACQUORN RANKINE was born in Edinburgh, July 5, 1820, and on Christmas-eve, in 1872, he died, before he had completed his fifty-third year; but in that comparatively short life he had won higher distinction and done more good work than it falls to the lot of most men to compass.
THE agitation for a reform in the Civil Service, as it is called, should it result in the establishment of that measure, may be expected to produce effects not now much anticipated or cared for. The essence of the reform is to consist in getting better men for office-holders than American politics has hitherto afforded—certainly a most laudable thing.
THE QUESTION OF REST FOR WOMEN DURING MENSTRUATION. By MARY PUTNAMJACOBI, M. D. The Boylston Prize Essay of Harvard University for 1876. Pp. 232. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1877. Price, $3.50. IT is fortunate for that group of physiological and social conditions involved in what is termed the "Woman Question" that it has been investigated in one of its most important aspects by an author not only specially prepared by education and training to do it justice, but one, so to speak, "to the manner born."
The United States Pharmacopœia, as is well known, has been issued in revised editions every ten years, since its first appearance in 1830. These revisions have been made under the authority and direction of "the National Convention for revising the Pharmacopœia," consisting of delegates from medical and pharmaceutical colleges; the real work, however, has mainly rested in the hands of a few persons, who have at the same time published the very remunerative "Dispensatory of the United States."
WE have received from Conrad Meyer & Sons, of Philadelphia, a correction of the statement made by Mr. S. Austen Pierce, in our October number, that Jonas Chickering in 1837 "conceived the bold idea of constructing a [pianoforte] frame entirely of iron.”