HAVING nearly always to defend themselves against external enemies, while they have to carry on internally the processes of sustentation, societies, as remarked in the last chapter, habitually present us with mixtures of the structures adapted to these diverse ends.
A WRITER in a recent number of “ Lippincott’s Magazine ” has called attention to the failure of the oyster-beds of the New England and Middle States, to the deterioration of those lying in Southern waters, and to the necessity for some effort, either upon the part of the national or State Governments or by individuals, to maintain the supply of oysters in sufficient numbers to satisfy the large and increasing demand of the consumers.
WHAT is a volcano? ” This is a familiar question, often addressed to us in our youth, which “ Catechisms of Universal Knowledge ” and similar school manuals have taught us to reply to in some such terms as the following : “ A volcano is a burning mountain, from the summit of which issue smoke and flames.”
CREATURES in a state of nature can almost dispense with sanitary precautions ; Providence has secured their safety in that respect. Animals are born with the instinct that enables them to distinguish wholesome from injurious plants. In the wilderness, where the neighborhood of man does not tempt them to brave the winter of the higher latitudes, most birds emigrate in time to avoid its rigors ; those that stay can rely on their feather-coats ; natural selection has adapted their utmost power of endurance to the possible extremes of the atmospheric vicissitudes.
IN the name of the British Association, which for the time I very unworthily represent, I beg to tender to you, my Lord Mayor, and through you to the city of York, our cordial thanks for your hospitable invitation and hearty welcome. We feel, indeed, that in coming to York we were coming home : gratefully as we acknowledge and much as we appreciate the kindness we have experienced elsewhere, and the friendly relations which exist between this Association and most—I might even say all—our great cities, yet Sir R. Murchison truly observed, at the close of our first meeting in 1831, that to York, “ as the cradle of the Association, we shall ever look back with gratitude ; and whether we meet hereafter on the banks of the Isis, the Cam, or the Forth, to this spot we shall still fondly revert.”
THE DISCOVERY OF ORGANIC REMAINS IN METEORIC STONES.
THE great problem, whether or not other celestial bodies besides our own planet are or in past ages have been inhabited by animate beings, must be a subject of the deepest interest to every thinking being. This question has for some time past been answered in the affirmative with great probability.
DURING the fifty years’ life of the British Association, the advancement of science, for which it has lived and worked so well, has not been more marked in any department than in one which belongs very decidedly to the Mathematical and Physical Section—the science of energy.
CAN man reach and pass the age of a hundred years ? is a question concerning which physiologists have different opinions. Buffon was the first one in France to raise the question of the extreme limit of human life. In his opinion, man, becoming adult at sixteen, ought to live to six times that age, or to ninety-six years.
WHEN a strong and active mind breaks down suddenly, in the midst of business, it is worn out by worry rather than overwork. Brain-labor may be too severe, or ordinary exercise prolonged until it produces serious exhaustion ; but the mere draining of resources, however inexpedient, is not disease, and seldom inflicts permanent injury.
THE statements given under this head at pages 705 and 706 of “The Popular Science Monthly’” for September, 1880, are not borne out by a careful study of facts on English soil, where alone popular American and foreign ideas in regard to the English climate and character can be duly corrected.
PROFESSOR GEORGE J. BRUSH was born in Brooklyn, New York, on the 15th of December, 1831. His father was a merchant in that city, but in 1835, retiring from business, took up his residence in Danbury, Connecticut. There the family remained till 1841, when they returned to Brooklyn ; and in the schools of these two places Mr. Brush received his early education.
I HAVE read with much pleasure Professor Winchell’s paper on the “ Ancient Copper-Mines of Isle Royale,” in “ The Popular Science Monthly ” for September. As the Professor’s very laudable object is undoubtedly “ to make a little history ” respecting the wonderful copper-mines of Lake Superior, and as no narrative (with the exception of some occasional geological reports) respecting the late working of them has to my knowledge been published, and as he has inadvertently made some quite important omissions, with your leave I will endeavor to supply the deficiency.
IT was some forty years ago that the organic chemists, represented by such masters as Dumas and Liebig, worked Out the beautiful idea of the balance of organic nature. They showed that the vegetable and animal kingdoms carry on antagonist processes— each for ever undoing the work of the other.
THE ANCIENT BRONZE IMPLEMENTS, WEAPONS, AND ORNAMENTS OP GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND. By JOHN EVANS, D. C. L., LL. D., F. R. S., F. S. A., F. G. S., President of the Numismatical Society, etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 1881. Pp. 509. Price, $5.
Gesture-Speech.—Colonel Garrick Mallory, of the United States Army, delivered a lecture on “ The Gesture-Speech of Man,” at the last meeting of the American Association, in which he remarked that North America had showed more favorable conditions for the development of gesture-signs than any other thoroughly explored part of the civilized world.
PROFESSOR T. J. BURRILL, in the “ American Naturalist,” refers certain blights and diseases of plants to the agency of bacteria. Those organisms appear to be an active cause of the blight in pear and apple trees. The cells of blighted pear-trees are destitute of the starch-grains with which the healthy cells are filled, but traces of fermentation have been discovered in them, and bacteria have been uniformly observed in the juices of diseased pear and apple trees.