III. THE NON-CONDENSING ENGINE, AND ITS APPLICATION IN THE LOCOMOTIVE.
PROFESSOR B. H. THURSTON
45. THE engines of Hero and Branca were, it will be remembered, non-condensing; but the first plan of a non-condensing engine that could have been made of any really practical use is given in the “Theatrum Machinarum,” of Leupold, published in 1720.
THE problem which excites more interest than any other in the larger cities of our country is that in regard to the best disposition of sewage. People have slowly come to realize that in some way a series of disorders arises from the presence of waste matter in cities.
WHOEVER has looked into a modern treatise on logic of the common sort, will doubtless remember the two distinctions between clear and obscure conceptions, and between distinct and confused conceptions. They have lain in the books now for nigh two centuries, unimproved and unmodified, and are generally reckoned by logicians as among the gems of their doctrine.
IN the elegance and variety of their colors, in the splendor and brilliancy of the tints with which they have been adorned by Nature, marine animals have no reason to envy the inhabitants of air ; and if in the tropical regions of Africa and America the forests are embellished by the presence of innumerable birds of gorgeous plumage, the Indian Ocean and the Antilles Sea possess countless legions of fishes that are more beautiful still, whose scales flash with all the colors of the metals and precious stones, while a thousand varied ornamentations are traced in vivid colors on the general tone.
EVERY adult human being carries about with him an atmosphere of individuality. By this means is the gregarious animal called man enabled to preserve in himself such an isolation from the mass of his fellows that he can gain and hold whatever may be his share of prosperity and remembrance.
AT the end of that long course of geological ages, from the Archæan to the Tertiary, which built up the solid portions of the earth in their present configuration, geologists now universally recognize, in the evidence before them, the presence of a remarkable and stupendous period—a period so startling that it might justly be accepted with hesitation, were not the conception unavoidable before a series of facts as extraordinary as itself, and which, partaking of its astonishing character, are explained upon no simpler hypothesis.
WHAT'S the text to-day for reading Nature and its being by? There is effort all the morning Through the windy sea and sky. All, intent in earnest grapple, That the All may let it be : Force, in unity, at variance With its own diversity. Force, prevailing unto action : Force, persistent to restrain : In a twofold, one-souled wrestle, Forging Being’s freedom-chain.
ABOUT one year after the reading of the famous paper of Rumford, in the early part of 1799, Sir Humphry Davy, then but twenty years of age, published his first scientific memoir, entitled “ An Essay on Heat, Light, and the Combinations of Light.”
A RECENT historian of Rome, toward the close of his famous attempt to undeceive the world at large with respect to the genius of Cicero, sums up his argument in the following words : “ Ciceronianism is a problem which, in fact, cannot be properly solved, but can only be resolved into that greater mystery of human nature—language, and the effect of language on the mind.”
EVEN more wonderful than the mere intelligence of the ant is its power of organization—the point, probably, in which it approaches most closely to man. Suppose that ants, instead of forming nations, lived like most creatures, merely in pairs, each endeavoring to rear a young brood, who, when mature, would enter upon a similarly isolated career.
THE subject of the present notice, now Professor of Geology and Natural History in the University of California, bears a family name that has long been distinguished in American science. He was descended from William Le Conte, a Huguenot, who left his native city, Rouen, on account of the political and religious troubles consequent upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685, and settled in the vicinity of New York.
IT is interesting to contemplate that curious phase of credulity, closely allied to superstition, which seems to be innate in the human mind, predisposing many intelligent people to attribute to supernatural agencies certain phenomena which are purely subjective.
THE University of Cambridge, with much éclat, recently conferred the degree of LL. D. upon Mr. Charles Darwin. This circumstance has elicited much diversity of comment on the part of the press. Some maintain that the conferring of this honor is to be construed as a virtual indorsement of the doctrines that are associated with the name of this eminent naturalist ; and they regard the action of the university as a triumph of the advanced biological school over the clerical and conservative party by which the university has been hitherto dominated.
THIS work, which upon its first appearance made a strong impression upon philosophical minds, has passed to a second edition, with numerous alterations and additions ; the main part of which, as the author says, are of an explanatory and supplementary nature. The improvements are here manifest, and we cordially testify that the second edition is much less intricate and obscure in statement than the first.
Proteus ; or, Unity in Nature. By C. B. Radcliffe, M. D. London and New York: Macmillan. Pp. 222. $2.50. Deed and Creed. By Dr. Felix Adler. New York : Putnam’s Sons. Pp. 248. $1.50. Determination of Rocks. By E. Jannetaz. New York: Van Nostrand. Pp. 165. $1.50.
Our Current Weights and Measures.— The absurdities of our present no-system of weights and measures surpass belief : they have their parallel in the absurdities of our present no-system of “ orthography,” but hardly anywhere else. The question of reducing to rule the current English orthography is now receiving attention, but the prospects of anything being done are gloomy enough.
IN the gas-works at Rahway, New Jersey, a simple and ingenious method of upward filtration through coke and “breeze” is in use for removing from the waste residuum the injurious products which otherwise would pollute the streams into which the waste might flow.