"WHAT can we learn from the ancient Greeks ?" was the theme which the Florentine Art-School proposed to the competitors for the He Rossi prize last year: the most suggestive theme, perhaps, that could be recommended to the consideration of the nineteenth century.
THE GIGANTIC EXTINCT ARMADILLOS AND THEIR PECULIARITIES, WITH A RESTORATION.¹
JOHN A. RYDER
THE general principle that, with increased size, there is an increase in the thickness and strength of the skin and its protective appendages, is in no instance better illustrated than in the extinct and living armadillos; in the former the thickness attained by the bony armor sometimes exceeds an inch, in the latter it is usually less than one-eighth of that thickness.
SPEAKING of a party of Shoshones surprised by them, Lewis and Clarke say: “The other two, an elderly woman and a little girl, seeing we were too near for them to escape, sat on the ground, and, holding down their heads, seemed as if reconciled to the death which they supposed awaited them.
LET US find a piece of tranquil water and drop a stone into it. What happens?—a most beautiful thing, full of the most precious teachings. The place where the stone fell in is immediately surrounded by what we all recognize as a wave of water traveling outward, and then another is generated, and then another, until at length an exquisite series of concentric waves is seen, all apparently traveling outward From advance sheets of “Studies in Spectrum Analysis” (“International Scientific Series,” No. XXIII.).
LIMITATIONS OF THE Senses.—The senses, which have hitherto been regarded as infallible, are even more narrowly defined than the memory or the higher qualities of intellect. So narrow is the range of vision—and the sight is certainly the best of the five senses—that the retina can appreciate a few only of the rays that come from the sun.
THERE was lately presented to the London Zoölogical Society, by an engineer attached to the navigation service of the Upper Amazon, a monkey, which may be regarded as one of the smallest representatives of the order Quadrumana. The animal is not so big as a squirrel, its body measuring only fifteen centimetres, with a tail of about the same length.
SOME years ago, a clergyman in one of our Western States became deeply impressed with the conviction that the town in which he lived ought to contain a college. In due time a charter was secured, and a board of trustees appointed. They met, organized, conferred upon the aforesaid clergyman the degree of D. D., and then adjourned forever.
THAT great hoax, the Cardiff giant, was conceived by one George Hull, a tobacconist of Binghamton, New York. It was the outgrowth of a controversy held one evening in 1866 between Hull and a Rev. Mr. Turk, of Ackley, Iowa, regarding the former existence of giants in the earth, in which the latter proved victorious, his ready tongue and loud voice easily bearing down and overwhelming his opponent.
ANY proposition whatever concerning the order of Nature must touch more or less upon religion. In our day, belief, even in these matters, depends more and more upon the observation of facts. If a remarkable and universal orderliness be found in the universe, there must be some cause for this regularity, and science has to consider what hypotheses might account for the phenomenon.
WHEN the editors of Brain sought my aid in the construction of this first number, I felt the honor they did me was not to be lightly refused; but, on the other hand, painfully aware that of late years my life had lain too much in the world to have led me to those results which are won by the patient labor of the student.
CHARLES FREDERIC HARTT, whose death by yellow fever occurred at Rio de Janeiro on the 18th of last March, was born at Fredericton, New Brunswick, August 23, 1840. For three years and a half before his decease, he had successfully withstood the fatigues of exploration and the labors of organizing and carrying on the geological commission of Brazil, an undertaking beset with many trying difficulties, only to succumb at last, the victim of an epidemic which caused him but two days of suffering.
IN the April number—“Illustrations of the Logic of Science,” p. 706—the writer says: “What is the probability of throwing a six with one die? The antecedent here is the event of throwing a die; the consequent, its turning up a six. As the die has six sides, all of which are turned up with equal frequency, the probability of turning up any one is one-sixth.”
THE recent activity of psychological study, and the many valuable results arising from it, induced some of its leading students, two or three years ago, to found a new periodical entitled Mind: a Quarterly Review of Psychology and Philosophy, to be devoted to the investigation of mental phenomena, especially from the hitherto neglected physiological side.
IN this elegant volume Mr. Lockyer gives an excellent popular account of the rise and progress of instrumental astronomy. His work is an admirable illustration of the law of mental evolution by which great results have been attained through prolonged periods by minute increments of improvement.
The Disinfection of Streets and Sewers.— How some of the worthless by-products of chemical works might be turned to good account in disinfecting the streets of our American cities, is shown by Mr. H. G. Debrunner, in the Philadelphia Chemist and Druggist.
THE third session of the Bowdoin College Summer School of Science will open on July 15th, in the Cleaveland LectureRoom, and will continue for six weeks. Three courses will be given, viz., Chemistry, by F. C. Robinson, Instructor in Chemistry in the college; Mineralogy, by H. Carmichael, Professor of Chemistry; and Zoology, by L. A. Lee, Instructor in Natural History.