THERE is no race of people in whose origin we are more interested than in that of the Japanese. Their history going so completely back for nearly two thousand years, their civilization, which in so many respects parallels our own—the various epochs in our history being typified again and again by similar ages in Japan—all excite our deepest interest.
THIS world of ours has, on the whole, been an inclement region for the growth of natural truth; but it may be that the plant is all the hardier for the bendings and buffetings it has undergone. The torturing of a shrub, within certain limits, strengthens it.
THE magnitudes and distances considered in physical astronomy are so immense that we cannot hope to reach even a faint conception of them except by illustration and comparison. If even then, with our best effort, we fail to measure up to the magnificent dimensions of the universe, the attempt will at least enlarge,our intellectual conceptions, and lead us out mentally into a broader place.
HERBERT SPENCER BEFORE THE ENGLISH COPY— RIGHT COMMISSION.1
QUESTION (Chairman). I need hardly ask, you are a writer of philosophical and scientific books ? Answer. I am. Q. Would you give the commission your experience of the terms on which you published your first book? 1 Tuesday, March 6, 1877: Lord John Manners, M. P., in the chair. Members of the commission present, Sir Henry T. Holland, Sir Louis Mallet, Sir Julius Benedict, Farrer Herschell, Dr. William Smith, J. A. Froude, Esq., Anthony Trollope, Esq., F. K. Daldy, Esq.
NERE-TISSUE universally consists of two elementary structures, viz., very minute nerve-cells and very minute nerve-fibres. The fibres proceed to and from the cells, so in some cases serving to unite the cells with one another, and in other cases with distant parts of the animal body.
WHILE the political pope in Berlin and the clerical pope in Rome are trying to come to an understanding with each other, the controversy between the medical pope Virchow, of Berlin, and the zoölogical pope Haeckel, of Jena, is just beginning.
THE HIERARCHY OF Science.—There is a well-recognized scale in the hierachy of sciences. In the ascending order the steps are —mathematics, mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. Mathematics deals only with space and time, number and quantity ; and is therefore independent of matter and force.
AS we sit by our firesides and peer into the glowing coals, or watch the bright jets of flame spring into existence to throw their cheery light into the room, making weird, fantastic shadows on the wall, and bringing with them such comforting cheer to our senses of sight and feeling, we are often brought into very reflective moods, especially if we are sitting in the twilight, while the cold wind is whistling, and the sharp snow and hail of winter are clicking against the windows.
PERHAPS no better introduction to this chapter can be given than to recall to the minds of our readers the terribly vivid description of the devil-fish by that grand master of romance, Victor Hugo; for, though incorrect in several scientific details, the general description is the best we have had, though Jules Verne’s is almost as dramatic and nearer to Nature.
HAWTHORNE in his masterpiece, the “Scarlet Letter,” makes his heroine, Hester Prynne, a woman who has sinned, resolutely refuse to tell the name of her partner in guilt when the Puritan inquisitors urge her to do so. The ministers of justice and vengeance then turn to her child, and sharply scrutinize her features, to find if possible some trace of her father’s look, that the wrong done may be punished.
AN elaborate study on the above subject has lately been published by Prof. J. Boussingault, of Paris, in the “Annales de Chimie et de Physique ” (vol. xiii., pp. 289-394), in which the phenomena of absorption and transpiration by leaves are treated at great length.
IT is almost three centuries since Sir Walter Raleigh, after the discovery of Guiana, brought to Europe some arrows poisoned with a substance called by him curari. This poison was then in general use among the tribes inhabiting the Atlantic slope of South America.
DYNAMICS refers to force or power. It deals with the primary conceptions of energy in its relations to subjects that are susceptible of numerical estimation, such as time, space, and velocity. Or, again, dynamics is that branch of science which measures the energies producing motion as well as those produced by motion, and is divided into two parts—kinematics, which pertains to motion without regard to the bodies acted upon; and kinetics, which refers to the cause of energies whereby motion is given to bodies, each of which is the antithesis of static energy or energy at rest.
A GREAT deal of attention has of late years been bestowed upon the subject of alcoholic indulgence. The importance of the subject warrants this, and even calls for still further attention. There are differences of opinion as to the use of alcohol; there are comparatively none as to the abuse of it.
GUSTAV WALLIS, the indefatigable traveler and botanist, whose death at Cuenca, Ecuador, we recently announced, was born May 1, 1830, at Lüneburg, Prussia, where his father was an advocate and proctor of the superior court. He died at the early age of forty-eight years, of which the last eighteen were spent in incessant travel and research.
GENTLEMEN: Mr. L. C. Fisher, of Galveston, Texas, has seen fit, in a recent pamphlet,1 to attack my article on “Yellow Fever,” published in the October number of your valuable magazine, with considerable warmth and even asperity. He considers himself aggrieved by the statement that yellow fever is endemic in the cities of the Gulf and South Atlantic coast.
THOSE who study the influence of legislation in a careful, dispassionate way, and merely as a problem of science, will soon be struck by two things: first, that laws frequently fail to produce their expected effects; and, second, that they give rise to many results which were not at all anticipated.
ON a subject of profound interest throughout Christendom, and upon which there is great discordance of opinion, coupled with intense feeling, Mr. Chadwick has produced an independent and instructive work, which is at the same time both reverent and rational.
What Medicine owes to Galileo.—In a lecture on the history of instruments of precision in medicine, a synopsis of which is published in the Medical Record, Dr. S. Weir Mitchell gives to Galileo Galilei the credit of having contrived the first instrument of this kind, viz., the pulsilogon.
A GOLD medal has been awarded to Mr. Edward R. Andrews, of Boston, for his exhibit of creosoted wood at the Exhibition of the Mechanics’ Charitable Association in Boston. The article on the Teredo navalis, by Prof, von Baumhauer, in the August and September numbers of this journal, was translated by Mr. Andrews.