INTRODUCTION AND SUCCESSION OF VERTEBRATE LIFE IN AMERICA.
PROF. O. C. MARSH.
THE origin of life and the order of succession in which its various forms have appeared upon the earth offer to science its most inviting and most difficult field of research. Although the primal origin of life is unknown, and may perhaps never be known, yet no one has a right to say how much of the mystery now surrounding it science cannot remove.
93. The prize gained by Fulton was, however, most closely contested by Colonel John Stevens, of Hoboken, who has been already mentioned in connection with the early history of railroads, and who had been, since 1791, engaged in similar experiments.
EFFICIENCY of every kind is a source of self-satisfaction; and proofs of it are prized as bringing applause. The sportsman, narrating his successes when opportunity serves, keeps such spoils of the chase as he conveniently can. Is he a fisherman?
OPIUM is the juice of the poppy, and, as there are many varieties of the poppy, so too are there many kinds of opium; the mode of collecting the juice is, however, always the same. In Egypt, Syria, and India, the three countries which produce opium, a number of semicircular incisions are made in the capsule of the poppy, and the juice which exudes is carefully gathered.
AMONG the innumerable uses of electricity none is more remarkable than its employment for the transmission of sound. The ultimate mystery of the action we cannot, of course, undertake to explain, but the mechanism by which it is produced is by no means difficult to understand.
ANY candid observer of the phenomena of modern society will readily admit that bores must be classed among the enemies of the human race; and a little consideration will probably lead him to the further admission that no species of that extensive genus of noxious creatures is more objectionable than the educational bore.
IN primitive days the parties to a trade had in every case first to agree as to the quantity and quality of the articles to be exchanged. When gold and silver first made their appearance in the list of commodities they were, along with other metals, in an unfashioned state, and the processes of barter were carried on with them precisely as with more bulky and inconvenient articles, so that at each transfer it became necessary to determine their quality and quantity, that is, their purity and weight, by the crude methods which then obtained.
LET US now return to London and fix our attention on the dust of its air. Suppose a room in which the house-maid has finished her work to be completely closed, with the exception of an aperture in a shutter through which a sunbeam enters and crosses the room.
IT is a common observation that a science first begins to be exact when it is quantitatively treated. What are called the exact sciences are no others than the mathematical ones. Chemists reasoned vaguely until Lavoisier showed them how to apply the balance to the verification of their theories, when chemistry leaped suddenly into the position of the most perfect of the classificatory sciences.
EVERY one knows that the matter which constitutes the various natural bodies occurs in three different forms, namely, the solid, the liquid, and the gaseous states. So, too, every one knows that the state of a body is not at all immutable: a solid may be fused and volatilized; a liquid may become a solid, or be transformed into vapor; a gas may be changed into a liquid or a solid—all these changes occurring according to the conditions of temperature or of pressure to which the solids, liquids, or gases, are subjected.
SIR: As a student of Herbert Spencer’s Philosophy, I have waited impatiently the advent of his “Principles of Sociology,” and particularly so of late, as I am greatly interested in the work of an American writer on a kindred subject. I refer to Mr. Lewis H. Morgan’s “Ancient Society,” lately published by Henry Holt & Co.
WE publish this month the first half of the able and interesting address delivered by Prof. Marsh, before the American Association, at Nashville, last August, on the "Introduction and Succession of Vertebrate Life in America," and which is the first complete edition that has appeared in any periodical.
PESSIMISM: A HISTORY AND A CRITICISM. By JAMES SULLY, M. A. London: C. Keegan Paul & Co., 1877. Pp. 470. MR. SULLY, who is already well known for his investigations of æsthetic feeling from the psychological point of view, here undertakes to give us an account of the modern pessimistic philosophy which has spread so widely of late years in Germany, and also thoroughly to criticise its basis, its procedure, and its results.
The Last of the Gases.—The last of the gases that had never been condensed to liquids—oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen—have at length yielded to pertinacious experiment, and, under the joint influence of greater degrees of cold and pressure than had ever before been employed, have been reduced to the liquid form.
THE Count de Saporta has discovered in the Silurian rocks of Angers the remains of ferns—the first evidence so far found in Europe of the existence of terrestrial vegetation during Silurian times. In the American Silurian formation Prof. Leo Lesquereux had already found fern-remains.