JOHNSON defines a quack as “a boastful pretender to an art he does not understand,” and perhaps the term is more often applied to boastful pretenders of the art of medicine than of any other. Probably, ever since man acquired the faculty of articulate language, quacks and quackeries have flourished.
“NO one who beheld the great auroral displays of last year can ever forget the impression that they made. They were among the most glorious celestial spectacles that have been witnessed in our latitudes. The first one occurred on the night of Sunday, April 16th.
THE objects of this article are—1. To enlarge the slender store of published facts respecting vivisection in the United States. 2. To discuss briefly certain general aspects of the question. 3. To examine the existing and proposed laws concerning it.
QUARTZ is in its many forms probably the most abundant, as well as one of the most beautiful, of all the various minerals which enter into the formation of the earth’s rocky surface. To describe it and its principal varieties, and to give a short sketch of the modes of its occurrence and of its formation, will be the object of this paper.
CARBONIC acid, the lung-poisoning residuum of respiration and combustion, is heavier than the atmospheric air, and accumulates in low places—in wells, in cellars, in deep, narrow valleys, etc.—and often mingles with the malarious exhalations of low, swampy plains.
NOTHING so forcibly strikes the attentive observer of natural phenomena as the prodigal expenditure of force and matter— the immense over-supply of seed; the enormous waste of sun-force in irrigation;the incalculable power, never to be utilized, represented in tidal action, and in atmospheric, oceanic, and river currents.
THE repeated appointment, by this body, in successive years, of committees to look into the scientific education of the public schools, must be taken as showing that such an inquiry is regarded as both legitimate and important. Yet the duties of such a committee have not been defined by the Association, nor have any of our predecessors opened the way to a consideration of the subject.
THE philosopher who first perceived and announced the fact that all the physical doings of man consist simply in changing the places of things made a very profound generalization, and one that is worthy of more serious consideration than it has received.
THE worst of our social evils, personal wrongs, and political sins arise from the ununiform operation of our marriage and divorce laws. The loose manner in which a contract of marriage may be entered into and the reckless facility with which a marriage contract may be dissolved are a disgrace to our high civilization and professed Christianity.
BROAD were the bases of all being laid On pillars sunk in the unfathomed deep Of universal void and primal sleep. Some mighty will there was, in sooth, that swayed The misty atoms which inhabited The barren, unillumined fields of space; A breath, perchance, that whirled the mists apace, And shook the heavy indolence that weighed Upon the moveless vapors.
THE whole range of astronomy presents no speculations which have attracted more attention than the celebrated nebular hypotheses of Herschel and of Laplace. We shall first enunciate these speculations, and then we shall attempt to indicate how far they seem to be warranted by the actual state of scientific knowledge.
THE losses by death which natural science has sustained during the past year are unusually heavy. The fertile and ingenious mathematician who for more than a generation held a leading position among French men of science as the publisher of one of the best-known mathematical journals ; the chemist who, by the first organic synthesis, helped to dispel the illusion of vital energy ; the physiologist who solved one of the oldest problems of humanity—are men whose death leaves a void not easily filled up.
IN whatever way regarded, either as a graceful accomplishment or as the spontaneous expression of light-heartedness, whistling has in our own and foreign countries generally attracted considerable attention. Why it should have been invested with so much superstitious awe it is difficult to say, but it is a curious fact that the same antipathy which it arouses among certain classes of our own countrymen is found existing in the most distant parts of the earth, where, as yet, civilization has made little or imperceptible progress.
THE name of Professor Benjamin Silliman is intimately connected with the progress of science in the United States during the former half of this century, and is identified with the beginning of the study of American geology. BENJAMIN SILLIMAN was born in North Stratford (now Trumbull), Connecticut, on the 8th of August, 1779.
A PERUSAL of your article in the March number of “The Popular Science Monthly,” entitled “Law against Right,” left an unpleasant impression on my mind, occasioned by the depreciatory criticisms upon lawyers with which it abounds. I am the more surprised at this, as, during many years’ attentive reading of the “Science Monthly” I have had occasion to note the fairness and general freedom from invective which pervade your method of dealing with all questions discussed.
THE discussion of the relations of these great elements of thought proceeds vigorously. “Line upon line and precept upon precept” accumulate; while the last instructive line respecting science and literature comes from the London “Times,” and the last weighty precept concerning science and theology from the President of Harvard University.
IN the rush of publications from a teeming press there now and then comes a work of such grave and exceptional import as to demand a special and careful consideration, and among these are to be included the two comprehensive volumes now before us.
How to act in a Tornado.—Sergeant John P. Finley, Signal - Service officer at Kansas City, Missouri, has published, in a pamphlet on tornadoes, some useful directions concerning the course to be taken to escape the dangers of those terrible forces.
THE Annisquam Laboratory of the Boston Society of Natural History, which has been in operation for two summers, will be open for the reception of students during the coming summer from July 1st to September 1st. It is situated on an inlet of Ipswich Bay, on the north side of Cape Ann, about three miles and a half by coach from the Eastern Railroad station at Gloucester.