THE organism of the human body is a self-regulating apparatus. Every interruption of its normal functions excites a reaction against the disturbing cause. If a grain of caustic potash irritates the nerves of the palate, the salivary glands try to remove it by an increased secretion.
WHENEVER we find men’s thoughts concerning any one of the main questions of life inclining steadily in a certain direction, there is some probability that we shall not be far astray if we expect to find a similar tendency in the way in which other questions are regarded by the same persons.
THIS is an “Association for the Advancement of Science.” But the forces which have to do with aiding or retarding this advancement are so various that we are in danger of losing sight of some of them. We are mistaken if we suppose that science is advanced only through contributions which are the result of original research in our laboratories and libraries.
ANCIENT Pantheism animated all nature. Gnomes in caverns, naiads in springs, sylphs in the air, represented life, pervading everything. Twenty centuries having passed, science has resuscitated these elementary genii under the form of organic germs; and we are forced to-day to recognize that the reality surpasses all the bold conceptions of the fable.
NO phenomena in nature are watched with more interest by all classes, young and old, ignorant and educated, than the displays of intelligence in the inferior animals. From the dog, which occupies a position of intelligent companionship with man, down through the less favored species even to the lowest groups of animal life, we see manifested all degrees of that wonderful attribute which in its highest perfection constitutes the human mind.
CHEMISTRY owes a debt of gratitude to Pharmacy which she has for years been striving to repay. And when a disciple of the new science is called upon to address those who stand at the threshold of a career which will bind them to the old art, his thoughts naturally turn to the day when the occupations of the chemist and the pharmacist were united in one person—when all that was worth knowing of chemistry was mastered by the pharmacist, and the art of pharmacy was practiced by the chemist.
PERHAPS there has been no science—at least none of equal importance—that has been less developed theoretically than swimming. The essay of Franklin upon the subject, although an answer to the inquiry of “how to swim,” is merely an article with advice as to when and how long to bathe, and the narration of anecdotes of his experience in swimming.
THE carboniferous formation represents the most wonderful episode in the history of our globe. It gives us an impression comparable in strangeness to that produced by those wonderful civilizations which blossomed out so suddenly and so splendidly in the infancy of mankind.
THAT many of the higher animals are possessed of reason does not, in the light of modern science and recorded facts, need any argument; only the question of degree remains to be determined in the future. It is among domesticated species that we have the best opportunities for studying the mental phenomena of the lower animals, but here they are often greatly modified by contact with man; and, as these abnormal modifications are the ones that we can most readily interpret, they must necessarily form the major portion of our data.
TO look at these queer, irregular blue flowers, growing on a long and handsome spike in the old-fashioned garden border, nobody would ever dream of saying that they were in reality altered and modified buttercups. And yet that is just what they really are, with all the marks of their curious pedigree still clearly impressed upon their very form.
VIEWED in relatively shallow masses, clear water appears wholly colorless. In our daily dealings with the liquid we seldom have occasion to observe it in great depths; hence it has been generally believed that water is quite destitute of color.
DURING the last voyage of the French deep-sea dredging-ship Travailleur, a fish was found, off the coast of Morocco, at the depth of about 7,500 feet, which may certainly be regarded as one of the most singular beings yet brought to light in any of these investigations.
THE very name carries our thoughts back to the ancient Greeks, who provided for their children the most complete physical training that the world has ever known. Men and women alike took pains and pride in the development of perfect bodies, and their success, recorded in inimitable statues, affords models of human beauty and strength.
THE reader has no doubt often wondered why people almost invariably use their right hand in preference to the left. Is it not remarkable that, through all time and in all lands, man has been a right-handed being? The individual exceptions only prove the rule.
THE phenomena of refraction and dispersion teach us that a body in a state of intensest heat emits not alone powerful thermal rays, but also all possible sorts of light (luminous colors). Diffraction convinces us that radiation is a wave-motion of an extremely fine, elastic, fluid medium, ether, and at the same time it enables us to compute the wave-length of the single rays.
IT is proposed in this and the following paper to trace some parts of the boundary-line which divides the truths which have been established in astronomy from those parts of the science which must be regarded as more or less hypothetical. It will be obvious that only a small part of so wide a subject can be discussed, or even alluded to, in the limits proposed.
DR. BEARD’S treatise on the “Longevity of Brain-Workers” was ably reviewed some years ago in the “Journal of Science.” Still it appears to me that the last word on this topic has not yet been said. Certain points, both of distinction and of resemblance, seem to have been overlooked as well by reviewer as by author, and certain of the conclusions drawn are at least open to question.
PROFESSOR OWEN’S especial field of labor, that of comparative anatomy, covers every portion of the realm of zoology; and in that field, as one of his biographers well observes, he has published original papers on every branch of the animal kingdom, living and fossil.
IN “The Popular Science Monthly” for March, Dr. George E. Walton, of Cincinnati, has an article on “The Remedial Value of the Climate of Florida,” some of the statements in which, for the sake of accuracy, it seems desirable to correct. What Dr. Walton says of the humidity is true.
NOTWITHSTANDING all the efforts to reconcile and bring into harmony these great elements of education, it must be admitted that the antagonism stands out to-day more decisive than ever before. All the tendencies concur to sharpen and intensify it.
THE author of this work has come prominently forward within the last few years as an able cultivator of the science of comparative psychology, and the treatise he has now given to the world is probably the most trustworthy and instructive that has yet been contributed to that science.
Fossil Man in America.—The question of the contemporaneity of man with the horse and other pliocene mammals was recently brought up, in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, in the presentation of some fossil remains of horses by Professor Leidy.
THE first attempt to manufacture incandescent electric lamps in vacuo has been ascribed to M. de Chagny, whose effort was made about twenty years ago. Mr. W. Mattieu Williams claims the credit of the invention and its successful practical application for a young American, Mr. Starr, whose patent was taken out in 1845.