LIMITED collection of statistics and the observation of physicians concur in showing that about two thirds of our people inherit a tendency to some disease, or to a defective vitality in some organ of the body. In very many instances the overshadowing heritage is toward an untimely death, while in others it is simply toward some chronic insufficiency which embitters many a year of life.
WHEN observers band together to watch every quarter of the sky, and to keep on the lookout through the whole night, the number of meteors that present themselves is very great. In this way it has been ascertained that upward of thirty on the average, which are conspicuous enough to be seen without instruments, come within the view of the observers stationed at one locality.
MRS. H-, the subject of the following case, is about twentyfour years of age, of a pale complexion and slender make. She was married in July, 1823, and, with the exception of occasional headaches to which she, in common with some of the rest of her family, was subject, and slight bowel complaints, she previously to that time enjoyed good health, both of body and mind.
THE idea that matter is an aggregate of minute particles, each of which possesses all the essential properties of the mass, is as old as Democritus, but it was left for the present century to crystallize the conception of the atom in clear and accurate expression.
HOW the workers of many insects became sterile is an interesting question, though one difficult to answer. Those who believe in special creation solve this problem, as they solve so many other difficulties, by stating that insects are sterile because they were created sterile.
PROFESSOR HUXLEY is a man of strong intellectual tastes and tendencies. He is evidently an enthusiast in his biological studies. It is not so generally known that he is also a metaphysician. This he has shown in his published address on Descartes and in other papers.
THE various writers and thinkers on the subject of pre-historic man generally concede that the races of to-day have radiated over the globe from some point in Asia. Indeed, the traditions of different nations lead to the conclusion that this point of dispersion was located in the high central regions of that country.
IT fell to my lot to be the first in this country to investigate the action of hydrate of chloral after the remarkable discovery of its properties as a narcotic by the distinguished and original Liebreich. At the meeting of the British Association, held at Exeter in the year 1868, the late Mr. Daniel Hanbury, F. R. S., brought with him to the meeting, from Germany, a specimen of the hydrate and a brief verbal account of the phenomena which it had been found to produce on living bodies.
THE BRIGHTNESS AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE FIXED STARS.
THOSE who view and admire the starry canopy above us—so fittingly associated, in the oft-quoted language of a great philosopher, with the moral nature of man—can hardly fail to remark how largely their pleasure in the grand prospect is due to the endless variety in its brilliancy.
THE remainder of the second portion of my subject—viz., the preparation of food, which ought to have been concluded in the first paper—must appear, although in very brief terms, at the commencement of this. After which I shall proceed to consider the chief object of the present article, viz., the combination and service of dishes to form a meal, especially in relation to dinners and their adjuncts.
NEARLY everybody has heard of dry-rot, and knows that it is something which causes the destruction of wood in a manner different from ordinary decay. Some suppose the effect to be due to peculiar insects that gnaw timber to powder, and others have no very definite notions as to what produces it.
IN the prescientific stage of every branch of knowledge, the prevalent notions of phenomena are mainly founded on general impressions. But when that stage is passed, and the phenomena are submitted to measurement and numbering, very many of the notions that were derived from general impressions are discovered to be wrong, even absurdly so.
VERY nearly a century and a half ago David Hume observed, with an air of surprise, that no form of government had proved so susceptible of improvement as monarchical government. “ It may now,” he writes, “ be affirmed of civilized monarchies what was formerly said of republics alone, that they are a government of laws, not of men.”
IN the quaint preface to his “Navigations and Voyages of the English Nation,” Hakluyt calls geography and chronology “ the sunne and moone, the right eye and the left of all history.” The position thus claimed for geography three hundred years ago by the great English chronicler was not accorded by his successors, and has hardly been admitted even now.
WE have already printed in our May number a brief sketch of the life of Professor Vaughan, with the particulars of the painful circumstances attending his death, and a list of his more important scientific papers. That sketch comprises the history of Vaughan’s life, so far as it is known, and there remains nothing more to add to it.
THE unknown spaces of the earth’s surface are being rapidly narrowed by the enterprise of indefatigable explorers. Some considerable patches remain that have not been penetrated, but their collective area is relatively small. There is a large region in the interior of Australia that has not been traversed, owing to the absence of water and vegetation.
THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC SERIES, No. XXVII. THE HUMAN SPECIES. By A. DE QUATREFAGES, Professor of Anthropology in the Museum of Natural History, Paris. New York : D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 498. Price, $1.75. THE accomplished French anthropologist has here produced a remarkably attractive book. It is written with all that clearness and vivacity of manner for which skillful literary Frenchmen are remarkable, and the translator has well reproduced the art of the author.
LARGE numbers of Trichina spiralis have been detected in cured meats imported into Alsace from America. In Switzerland, too, the discovery has been made that American hams are full of the trichina, and a government commission has been appointed to decide upon the precautionary measures to be taken.