AMID the varieties and complexities of political organization, it has proved not impossible to discern the ways in which simple political heads and compound political heads are evolved; and how, under certain conditions, the two become united as ruler and consultative body.
“PREVENTION is better than cure and far cheaper,” said John Locke, two hundred years ago; and the history of medical science has since made it more and more probable that, in a stricter sense of the word, prevention is the only possible cure.
THESE mines are rude, irregularly disposed, shallow pits in the general surface, which, on being cleared of rubbish, are found rarely to exceed the depth of ten feet, but in some instances reach the depth of twenty. They seem to have been located by the accidental outcropping of native copper, over large areas the rock being entirely bare.
MODERN investigations have shown us that certain parts of the brain, situated in the region of the temples, have a predominant share in the formation of articulate language; or, to express it in a short phrase, that the majority of men speak by means of the third frontal circumvolution of the left cerebral hemisphere.
WITH the year 1839 a new phase is reached in the first effort to tabulate the actual experience of insurance companies. Heretofore the average life of towns had furnished the data for mortality tables; now a table was to be deduced from observations of insured lives.
IN the September number of “The Popular Science Monthly,” 1880, appeared an article, reprinted from the “Fortnightly Review,” entitled “State Education: a Help or a Hindrance?” It was written by the Honorable Auberon Herbert, an English writer of more than ordinary ability.
IN vertebrates alone is there a closed circulation—a complete system of tubes from whence the blood never escapes into the body-cavity. We find an approach to it in the higher mollusks. Indeed, in power and general efficiency, the circulation of the highest mollusks is greatly superior to that of the low vertebrates.
FEW realize the great practical importance of extreme accuracy in standards of weight and extension, and it is not generally known what degree of accuracy has been attained in the measurement of the standards of length now in use in different countries.
IF the tomb is characteristic of humanity, as Vico has said, the cemetery, M. Pierre Lafitte remarks, is absolutely necessary to all human society. It not only furnishes a more or less hygienic method of disposing of the bodies of those who are no more—it is also a fundamental institution, in the sense that it is a symbol in no way arbitrary of human continuity.
THE tendency in any new character or modification to reappear in the offspring at the same age at which it first appeared in the parents, or in one of the parents, is of so much importance, in reference to the diversified characters proper to the larvæ of many animals at successive ages, that almost any fresh instance is worth putting on record.
THE problem of races in the United States is one of growing interest and of great practical moment; that of the colored race, especially at the present time, is full of significance in its social and political aspects. It is proposed in a couple of articles to inquire briefly into the phenomena of increase and movement of the colored population in the light of the most recent observations and statistics which bear upon the subject.
IT is doubtful whether the generality of well-educated men fully appreciate the great, the radical, and the almost revolutionary change which has in the past thirty or forty years come over the scope and spirit of English liberal education.
THE recent work by Mr. Brough Smyth relative to the aborigines of the colony of Victoria contains also many curious details respecting the manners and customs of the natives of other parts of Australia. It is evident that the native race is not everywhere equally pure.
I PROPOSE to point out very briefly certain regions of Europe and Asia which have not yet been explored. Some persons may be surprised to hear Europe spoken of in this sense, but there are considerable parts of that continent of which much of interest is yet to be learned, and concerning which our maps are inexact and our geography is still defective.
MODERN science declares that every substance consists of an aggregation of extremely small particles, which are called molecules. Thus, if we conceive a drop of water magnified to the size of the earth, each molecule being magnified to the same extent, it would exhibit a structure about as coarse-grained as shot; and these particles represent real masses of matter, which, however, are incapable of further subdivision without decomposition.
JAMES CRAIG WATSON, Professor of Astronomy in the University of Wisconsin, and Director of the Washburne Observatory at Madison, Wisconsin, died on the morning of November 23, 1880, after an illness of one week, at the age of forty-two years and ten months.
YOUR editorial on “Self-Government in Education,” in which you give an account of the interesting experiment that has proved so satisfactory at Amherst College, suggests to me that Amherst is by no means a leader in applying the principle of self-government among students.
THE “Atlantic Monthly” did well in publishing in its July issue two articles on the “Ladies’ Deposit,” a fraudulent banking concern in Boston, of which so much was said last year. One of these articles, by Mr. Henry A. Clapp, gives a history of the scheme, and is evidently written with care and with good knowledge of the facts.
THE BACTERIA. By Dr. ANTOINE MAGNIN, Translated by GEORGE M. STERNBERG, M. D., Surgeon United States Army. Boston: Little & Brown. Pp. 227. Price, $2.50. THE readers of “The Popular Science Monthly” have been from time to time informed concerning the progress of inquiry in relation to those lowest, minute, and curious organisms now known under the general name of “Bacteria.”
Science in Politics.—“Science and Civil Liberty” was the subject of an address by Dr. W. R. Condell at a recent meeting of the Scientific Academy of Springfield, Illinois. Its object was to show the important bearing of the physical sciences on political science, and their claim to be regarded in suggesting and instituting reforms.
PROFESSOR O. N. ROOD, of Columbia College, describes, in a late number of the “American Journal of Science,” a modification of the Sprengel pump, by which he has been able to obtain a vacuum of 1/390000000 “without finding that the limit of its action had been reached.”