THE kinship of pity to love is shown among other ways in this, that it idealizes its object. Sympathy with one in suffering suppresses, for the time being, remembrance of his transgressions. The feeling which vents itself in “poor fellow!” on seeing one in agony, excludes the thought of “bad fellow,” which might at another time arise.
WITH most men who have not had time to follow the progress made of late in applying electricity to the practical work of the world, this form of energy is chiefly associated with certain experiments at school, by which the tedium of book-studying was enlivened with exhibitions of sparks and shocks and other curious and interesting phenomena, though it may be also connected in their minds with electric hair-brushes, electric corsets, magnetic clothing, etc.
A BOHEMIAN observer, M. Robert Haensel, of Reichenberg, has succeeded in accurately photographing a flash of lightning. His pictures, of which he has taken several, show the light of the flash, under the form of long, continuous sparks, traversing the atmosphere.
IN the present discussions concerning the relative merits of classical and scientific studies as factors in education, one point seems to be often lost sight of: the difference between instruction given for the purpose of disciplining the mind and that given for the purpose of imparting information.
MODERN science has so extended the horizon of our mental perspective, has achieved such brilliant triumphs in so many departments of thought, and, on the basis of verified fact, has erected such an imposing superstructure of useful knowledge in the domain of inorganic nature, that some, rejecting the vitalistic theories of the past, have accepted the belief that the deeper mysteries of vital phenomena will, in a final analysis, be demonstrated to be but resultants of physical forces acting under the complex conditions of organization.
THERE is one more constituent of animal food that demands attention before leaving this part of the subject. This is the fat. We all know that there is a considerable difference between raw fat and cooked fat; but what is the rationale of this difference?
FROM the point of view of the present writer, there are good reasons for believing that a general readjustment of thought is now in progress, and that it is destined to go on until old forms of belief, inconsistent with a rational interpretation of the world, have been completely overthrown.
UNTIL the beginning of this nineteenth century, the mind was considered as a unit. Early in the century, Gall, a distinguished German physician, noted the fact that those students whose superorbital plates were depressed sufficiently to produce protruding eyes and baggy under-lids excelled in memory, oratory, philology, and the ability to acquire languages. This observation may be called the foundation of phrenology, for it led Gall to divide the mind into faculties, and to locate the faculty of speech in the anterior lobes of the cerebral hemisphere. This was the basis of his system. But the enthusiasm with which he constructed this system, and the sweeping deductions which he and his follower, Spurzheim, drew from this one prominent fact, failed to interest the scientific mind. Soon after this, without paying any regard to the conclusions of Gall and Spurzheim, the pathologists discovered how frequently the loss of speech coexisted with diseases or injuries of the anterior lobes of the brain, and that sometimes the only symptom of cerebral lesions was a loss of the power of articulate language. These observations led Bouillaud, in 1825, to divide the faculty of speech into two phenomena, internal speech—the faculty to create and to represent ideas—and external speech, or the co-ordinating power necessary to articulate the words created. In medical literature, the loss of the faculty of speech is termed aphasia, and when it affects the internal speech it is designated as amnesic aphasia, and when external speech is affected the term ataxic aphasia expresses it. * See Romanes, “Animal Intelligence,” pp. 471, 475, as to the sympathy exhibited by the monkey tribe toward their sick.
THE diseases which prevailed among the children of Israel were doubtless as numerous and as varied as those which now exist, and to a great extent they were probably identical with those affecting humanity at the present time. The most notable one spoken of in the Old Testament is called leprosy.
AN ÆSTHETICS. — The inductive study of Nature has often proved the shortest way to discoveries which other methods can reach only by a circuitous route. The ancient Greeks, recognizing the significance of the fact that malarial complaints vanish at the approach of winter, cured their fever-patients by refrigeration, and this century of research will perhaps close before some experimenting Pasteur stumbles upon the fact that the proximate cause of ague and yellow fever can be traced to the agency of microscopic parasites whose development may be arrested by the influence of a low temperature.
THERE is only one way of escape from the conclusion reached in our last—that conduct is good or bad according as its total effects are pleasurable or painful—in which statement be it understood the word total means total, and is not limited in its application to the person whose conduct is spoken of.
THAT the eyes of some animals, particularly the cat, are luminous when they are in the dark, is a fact established from time immemorial. It is surprising, however, to find the exact nature of the phenomenon entirely misunderstood even by scientists whose lines of investigation lie in the particular field to which it belongs.
THE world of science was astonished a quarter of a century ago by the discovery made in the caves of Vézère, France, of works of art executed by the prehistoric troglodytes. The specimens consisted of representations of mammals, birds, fishes, and of man himself, sculptured in relief or engraved upon elephants’ tusks, bears’ teeth, the shoulder-blade of a reindeer, the long bones of deer, or on stones or beach-pebbles, and included the huge cave-bear, the mammoth with its heavy mane and upturned tusks, the seal, the crocodile, and the horse.
WESTERN Michigan is a region noted for its lumber, its peaches, and its sand. It has other claims, however, to the attention of those who are interested in the workings of Nature, that are not nearly so well known as they deserve to be, for it bears the marks of very extensive geological changes in recent times, which are even yet in progress, but have not attracted the attention that their importance merits, and have been overlooked altogether by some geological writers, whose observations might be expected to cover their field.
THE recent visit of this distinguished scholar and chemist to our city is worthy of more than a passing notice, and we would commemorate it in a feeble manner by placing before our readers a sketch and portrait of the man who has contributed so much to the advancement of science and of human progress.
IT is a fact well known to all who have made any study of the “Bottom,” or alluvial plain, formed during the lapse of ages by the great Mississippi River, that the river channel, or bed, is forever shifting, and in its mighty contortions it has moved laterally eastward and westward over vast spaces.
THE EDINBURGH REVIEW ON THE SPENCERIAN PHILOSOPHY.
THERE is obviously a decline in the influence of malign criticism in recent times. Even the savage “quarterly reviewer” has lost many of the terrors with which he used to be invested. An excellent example of this is afforded by the history of Spencer’s “Synthetic Philosophy.”
HAND-BOOK OF SANITARY INFORMATION FOR HOUSEHOLDERS, containing Facts and Suggestions about Ventilation, Drainage, Care of Contagious Diseases, Disinfection, Food, and Water. With Appendices on Disinfectants and Plumbers’ Materials.
Durability of Building - Stones. — Dr. Alexis A. Julien has made examinations of buildings of various ages, and of tombstones in some of the older grave-yards around New York city, to assist in determining the durability of the various stones used in building.
MR. JAMES STEVENSON, of the United States Geological Survey, has discovered some new cave and cliff cities in which a few peculiar features have been observed. One of them is a village of sixty-five underground dwellings situated near the top of one of the volcanic foot-hills of the San Francisco Mountains in Arizona.