SCOURGES of the human race and diseases are attributed by savages to the influence of evil spirits. Extremes often meet. What human intelligence suspected in its first dawn has been verified by human intelligence in its highest development.
X. AS stated in my last, the subject of roasting occupied a large amount of Count Rumford’s attention, especially while he was in England residing in Brompton Road, and founding the Royal Institution. His efforts were directed not merely to cooking the meat effectively, but to doing so economically.
WITHIN the past eight years there have been founded in several States institutions which, though they have not yet attracted much attention from the general public, can hardly fail to exert, in the near future, an important influence both on the material and mental welfare of the people.
IT has been said that no doctrine can ever attain a large degree of popularity without containing some admixture of truth. The rare exceptions from that rule do not include that most preposterous of all medical theories, the “ Brunonian System of Physics.”
IF society is indebted to the restless spirit of progress for most of its modern comforts and conveniences, it certainly is not yet a debtor for any methods which guarantee immunity against calamities from fire. While other departments of industry have received the benefits of improvement, the persistent use of combustible material for exposed portions of buildings has limited the intrinsic elements of the art of building construction, and confined improvements only to matters of design.
THE protein constituents of our animal and vegetable foods, such as albumen, etc., render them in a high degree sensitive to external influences and easily susceptible to decay. For this reason attention has for a considerable time been given to the search for methods of preserving them as long as possible unchanged.
PERHAPS, if some of our most celebrated experts, in cases of insanity, had been, for a while at least, insane themselves, it would have been to the advantage of science. Of some diseases, like malarial fever, or small-pox, a physician can doubtless give a better idea than the patient who has suffered from them ; because, these diseases being distinctly physical, the symptoms furnished by the body are generally sufficient data for an accurate diagnosis.
HOWEVER interesting the Bad Lands may be in their scenery and in their conditions purely physical, it is only when we consider them in their relation to life and its progress on the earth that they become most attractive, most engaging. To describe the present flora and especially the fauna of this region would require no very long chapter, and yet the list of species would be longer than some might suspect. Where erosion less interrupted by the fires has been allowed to do its perfect work, there are level areas of considerable extent sparsely covered with short grass, on which the prong-horn, the elk, the deer, and the big-horn sheep, have been wont to graze.
THE sun when examined with a suitable telescope, properly adjusted as to the power used, exhibits, scattered over its disk, great facular waves, which are elevated portions of its surface, and are composed of luminous matter which has extended through its denser atmosphere.
THE animalcular, or insect, origin of disease is not a new idea. It was suggested by Linnæus, by Kircher, and by Nyander, but gained little ground. It received a new impetus after the publications of Ehrenberg on the Infusoria. Later, it received attention in Bradley’s work on “ The Plague of Marseilles,” in Dr. Drake’s books on “ Epidemic Cholera ” and on “ The Topography and Diseases of the Mississippi Valley,” as well as in Sir Henry Holland’s “ Medical Notes,” and other works.
IT is a little difficult in a necessarily restricted lecture to convey any exact idea of the way in which modern hygiene became formulated into so much of a science as it can at present lay claim to ; but I will attempt to make a brief sketch of its more salient points.
AN article in the June number of “ The Popular Science Monthly” for 1883, on the subject of “ Our Marriage and Divorce Laws,” it seems to me, is worthy of further notice. We have no occasion to find fault with the picture which the writer draws of the divorce laws of many of the States. It is highly probable that the cause of the deplorable disregard of the binding force of the marriage tie, in certain of the Eastern States, must be sought for outside of the statute laws themselves.
AN interesting exhibition of a swarm of gnats, just out of their pupal state, playing up and down over a particular stone in the wall like jets of water in a small fountain—dispersing instantly as I strike my hands together in their midst, and reappearing over the same stone, again to commence their sport—has engaged my attention, and furnished a side-entertainment, so to speak, until a bird-note to which I had never before listened reaches my ear.
WHY should the study of prehistoric man excite bitter passions ? Why should it trouble timorous souls ? Its aim, with real scientific inquirers, is simply to attain an objective reality, worthy of the respect of all ; and it has had the happy fortune to unite in a common pursuit minds of the most diverse character, having neither the same motives nor the same tendencies, but animated by the pure desire of increasing the domain of knowledge.
THE idea of representing the surface of the earth, or even a part of it, by a map, implies a considerable advance in knowledge. Every map, even the crudest one, is in a certain sense a concentrated representation, a kind of distillation of physical and politico-geographical knowledge.
THERE may not seem much in a grain of starch, and in point of bulk there is very little ; but we shall endeavor to show that there is a good deal of interesting and valuable information to be derived from a careful study of the little granule. We are all familiar with such commodities as flour, potatoes, Indian corn, sago, peas, and arrowroot, and are consequently to some extent acquainted with what starch is ; for all these substances consist essentially of starch, along with water and some minor admixtures.
JAMES LOGAN, the grandfather of Sir William, came to Montreal from the parish of Stirling, Scotland, about 1784, bringing his wife and two sons. He established himself as a baker in that city, the occupation he had followed at home, and was assisted in the business by his older son William, then a young man.
IN the realm of popular science a clear, piquant style is good, to unfold and adhere strictly to truth is better ; but a union of these is the best of all. No one who has read Dr. Oswald’s series of papers on health and disease in this “ Monthly ” can deny him the first attribute ; but he must be superficial, indeed, who will allow him the second.
THE celebrated defense of classical studies in college education delivered at the University of St. Andrew’s, some fifteen years ago, by John Stuart Mill, produced a very powerful effect upon the public mind, and was thought by many to end all discussion upon the question.