THE additions that are being continually made to our knowledge of the composition and physical condition of the most distant heavenly bodies may well prompt one to ask why we are still so poorly informed concerning the constitution of the planet which the Creator has assigned to us for a dwelling-place.
CHANGES OF THE CIRCULATION DURING CEREBRAL ACTIVITY.
CHARLES SEDGWICK MINOT
DR. ANGELO MOSSO, the distinguished Professor of Physiology at the University of Turin, has made some observations on the physiology of the brain which, for novelty and interest, have been equaled by but few recent scientific discoveries ; for his researches lie in the debatable land between physiology and psychology, and have contributed to the advance of both sciences.
ONE hole Goethe did find in Newton’s armor, through which he incessantly worried the Englishman with his lance. Newton had committed himself to the doctrine that refraction without color was impossible. He therefore thought that the object-glasses of telescopes must for ever remain imperfect, achromatism and refraction being incompatible.
WITHIN my grate a cheerful blaze Lights up the room with ruddy rays, That blunt the winter’s sharpest stings With bygone summer’s offerings. I sit and watch the leaping flame, In wonder whence its beauty came ; And trace it back to days of old, When Earth’s hard crust was scarcely cold, And tropic trees in arctic zones Taught the north-wind those subtile tones, Which, now and then, its weary blast Seems to regather from the past, To murmur in a mystic song The secret-keeping pines among.
MR. SPENCER, in his “Data of Ethics,” has not written a popular treatise on morals, nor has he appealed to any lower tribunal than the highest intelligence and the maturest judgment of his generation. The more I think of his book, the more it seems to me a sign that shall be spoken against, but a sign, at the same time, in which, or by which, great victories will be won for the human race.
MANY of you will be familiar with the aspect of this small, green-covered book. It is a copy of the first edition of the “Origin of Species,” and bears the date of its production—the 1st of October, 1859. Only a few months, therefore, are needed to complete the full tale of twenty-one years since its birthday.
EVERY one is aware that the atmosphere holds quantities of dust in suspension. The dust betrays its presence by settling upon our clothes, furniture, and other objects, but, on account of the minuteness of its particles, it can not be seen as it floats in the air, except under the illumination of a strong light, as in the case of a sunbeam shining into a dark room. Besides the grains of dust which may be seen in this manner, there are others that can be perceived only through the microscope, and others smaller still, little nothings like nebulosities in the sky, which seem to become more numerous as they are sought for with more powerful instruments. These bits of dust, lifted up and carried hither and thither by the atmospheric currents, must not be overlooked, for they play a part of considerable importance in terrestrial economy, and give rise to real geological formations.
PREHISTORIC Archæology, the latest-born of the sciences, like her elder sister Geology, has lived through the successive stages of scornful denial, doubt, and unwilling assent, and has finally won for herself substantial recognition.
PROFESSOR ULRICI, the modern Rosicrucian, defends spiritualism on the plea that it meets the demands of what he calls our Wunderbedürfniss, the propensity to indulge in wonderment, which he includes among the normal instincts of the human mind.
THE study of the geographical distribution of plants over the earth is one of the most profound interest, not only to the botanist but to mankind in general. To the former it is of especial interest on account of the intimate relations existing between it and the origin of the different species of plants.
THE mysterious problem of somnambulism is closely connected with the study of the demoniac affection. It is necessary to enter into some details on this subject, for we should not be able to comprehend the nature of certain epidemics of the middle ages if we were not acquainted with the different symptoms of the sleep called magnetic.
MUCH has been said and written in regard to the fact that birds temporarily change their habits and customs, and adapt themselves to surrounding circumstances so as to meet their immediate wants and necessities ; and these changes are by no means rare, but occur whenever anything is interposed which may conflict with their usual methods of practice.
IN a former paper* I endeavored shortly to summarize the more important differences between that system of chemistry which was founded on a so-called equivalent notation and the modern, or atomic phase of the science. The general conclusion to which that summary led was, that the old chemistry was empiric, while the new is scientific ; but, as was there remarked, empiricism precedes science : science is the natural development of empirical statements, and is not to be regarded as entirely a new departure.
ON September 28, 1879, the earthly career of a man closed at Bonn, Germany, whose numerous original researches and contributions to pharmacy, chemistry, chemical analysis, geology, and other branches of the physical and applied sciences, have placed him in the foremost ranks of scientific investigators.
I HAVE the best authority for saying that President Seelye, of Amherst College, is not satisfied with the interpretations which have been put upon his letter to the "Observer," to the effect that "groundless guesses" are not yet taught at this college “as ascertained truths of science,” and that the doctrine of the evolution of man, from the monkey or from any of the irrational animals, being in flat contradiction to all the facts of history, is only fit to be left with the sciolists.
GOETHE, the German poet, was the author of a work, in two volumes with an atlas, on the subject of colors, in which he put forth an elaborate theory of his own upon that subject. It appears that fragments only of this treatise have been translated into English, and, as its views have never attracted much attention or become generally known, Professor Tyndall has done well in recently devoting a lecture to an account of them.
THE views of Dr. Winchell on the subject of preadamites, which he put forth some time ago in a modest pamphlet, to which we drew attention, he has now matured and brought out in a very handsome and richly illustrated volume. We have been more than pleased with a somewhat critical perusal of it.
The Sanitary Problems of New York City. —Professor W. P. Trowbridge, discussing “The Sanitary Problems of New York City,” in the “School of Mines Quarterly,”considers chiefly the ventilation of houses and the condition of the streets.
ACCORDING to Dr. Abercrombie, a gentleman who had been a soldier dreamed that he heard a signal-gun, saw the proceedings for displaying the signals, heard the bustle of the streets, the assembling of troops, etc. Just then he was roused by his wife, who had dreamed precisely the same dream with this addition, that she saw the enemy land and a friend of her husband’s killed ; and she awoke in a fright.