MAY, 1882. THE recent calamitous fire in Michigan calls attention afresh to the rapid consumption of our forests, and occasions renewed inquiry as to what may be done either to check that consumption or to make good the loss thereby sustained. More than fifty townships of land, covering an area of about two thousand square miles, or a territory nearly half as large as the State of Connecticut, were swept over by the flames.
IN the preface to the “Data of Ethics” there occurs the following sentence: With a view to clearness, I have treated separately some correlative aspects of conduct, drawing conclusions either of which becomes untrue if divorced from the other, and have thus given abundant opportunity for misrepresentation.
IF the skeletons of an orang-outang and a chimpanzee be compared with that of a man, there will be found to be the most wonderful resemblance, together with a very marked diversity. Bone for bone, throughout the whole structure, will be found to agree in general form, position, and function, the only absolute differences being that the orang has nine wrist-bones, whereas man and the chimpanzee have but eight; and the chimpanzee has thirteen pairs of ribs, whereas the orang, like man, has but twelve.
IN the fifth century before Christ, Democritus declared that the senses of sight, hearing, smell, and taste were merely modifications of the sense of touch. Aristotle ridiculed his theory, and so, stamped with his disapproval, it lay untouched for two thousand years, until Telesius, an Italian of the sixteenth century, revived it.
THAT a near object of small dimensions presents an aspect slightly different to each one of a pair of eyes directed upon it, has been known for more than two thousand years; but no application of this knowledge was ever made until some time after the beginning of the present century.
WHEN shall we have anthropometric laboratories, where a man may from time to time get himself and his children weighed, measured, and rightly photographed, and have each of their bodily faculties tested, by the best methods known to modern science?
MY subject is the progress of freedom of inquiry; of liberty to investigate and discuss, to compare and contrast, to adopt and reject opinions—liberty to think for one’s self in every direction. The subject is not the great life and war of thought, that which accompanies struggles of all kinds in the world—struggles religious, political, social, and industrial—but is simply the progress of thought out of an enslavement that has existed through the world in all time.
TO classify phenomena as manifestations of a universal law is the intellectual pastime of the nineteenth century. The finding of a Rosetta stone which shall be the key to a bewildering maze of details is a mental rest to the thinker. Hence, a theory which settles a muchvexed question by a scientific ipse dixit is met with a murmur of admiration and a sigh of relief.
THE idea of employing weapons for assault or defense was a logical result of the first contests that took place between man and man. In these contests the strongest man with his native weapons— his fists—was unconsciously the father of all arms and all armed strength, for his weaker antagonist would early seek to restore the balance of power between them by the use of some sort of weapon.
THE following paragraph is similar to others I have occasionally seen going the rounds of the papers for the last twenty-five or thirty years: It is said that a grain of musk is capable of perfuming for several years a chamber twelve feet square without sustaining any sensible diminution of its volume or its weight. But such a chamber contains 2,985,984 cubic inches, and each cubic inch contains 1,000 cubic tenths of inches, making in all nearly three billions of tenths of an inch.
TO physiologists that part of the function of vision which is concerned in the perception of colors has always been one of great interest, but it was not until the genius of Thomas Young offered them his theory of vision that they had anything like a plausible working hypothesis.
“IT is generally agreed,” says Mr. Stallo, “that thought in its most comprehensive sense is the establishment or recognition of relations between phenomena.” All perception is of difference; and two * From a criticism of “The Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics,” in the “Canadian Monthly.” objects, therefore, are the smallest number requisite to constitute consciousness.
THE introduction of cinchona-culture into India was commenced in 1862. The rapid destruction of the cinchona-tree in South America, owing to the reckless method of gathering the bark, and the consequent high price of quinine in a country where that drug holds so important a rank, led the Government of India to try the experiment of introducing the tree into the waste mountainous regions of that country.
SIR JOHN LUBBOCK is one of that class of men of whom each age can present only a few brilliant specimens, who are at home, and masters, in pursuits of the most diversified character. He is almost equally distinguished as a banker and man of business, as a zoölogist, ethnologist, and archæologist, and as a publicist and parliamentarian.
THE MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON;* OR, TRAVELS AND ADVENTURES OF HAKIM BEN SHETAN.
F. L. O
So says the poet; and thou, too, O father of my faith,† wilt find me an altered man, if it be the will of Allah that we shall meet again. Yet not the frost has chilled my heart; not the harmáttanwind has seared my brow: the gloom that clouds my soul is the gloom of sorrow for the boundless misery of my fellow-creatures—even of my fellow-men.
Messrs. Editors. CERTAIN facts connected with the life and history of Dr. Priestley came to my knowledge and recollection about the time of the centennial gathering at Northumberland, Pennsylvania. Had it occurred to me sooner, I should have deemed it of sufficient interest to those present, and to the general public, to have communicated these facts; and, even now, it seems desirable to make this record.
THE reception accorded to Professor Huxley’s new volume, under the above title, by the leading organs of public opinion, is especially significant at the present time. The book is a collection of addresses, lectures, and essays, which have appeared at intervals during the last seven years, on a considerable variety of subjects, educational, biological, and philosophical.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION; OR, THE HEALTH LAWS OF NATURE. By FELIX L. OSWALD, M. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 259. Price, $1. THE health papers contributed by Dr. Oswald to the “Monthly” during the past year, having been revised by the author, are now issued in a separate form, and, as we are glad to see, at a price which will favor their wide circulation.
Purification of the Boston Water-Supply.—The water with which the city of Boston is supplied became affected last October by a peculiar and disagreeable taste and odor which made it unpalatable, and justified much complaint on the part of citizens.
THE tertiary lake-basin at Florissant, between South and Hayden Parks, Colorado, furnishes one of the richest deposits of fossil insects that have been found anywnerc. According to Mr. S. H. Scudder, who examined it in connection with the Hayden Survey, it has yielded in a single summer more than double the number of specimens which the famous localities at (Eningen, in Bavaria, furnished Heer in thirty years.