THE reply to all this will doubtless be that nothing better than guidance by “collective wisdom” can be had—that the select men of the nation, led by a reselected few, bring their best powers, enlightened by all the knowledge of the time, to bear on the matters before them.
THE sexual generation of a plant is that stage in its life-history which bears the male and female organs, while the asexual generations are those having no sexuality manifest. The two kinds of generations frequently follow each other in alternate order, when there is what is known as an alternation of generations.
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: The doctrine of evolution daily gains new adherents. It is not simply synonymous with Darwinism. Herbert Spencer applies it to all orders of phenomena. His application of it to the nervous system is most important for medical men.
WHEN any system of business is so conducted as to arouse a feeling of opposition on the part of right-minded citizens generally, it is safe to say that some evil exists, which renders the immediate reformation of that system, in whole or in part, a matter of public importance.
ONE fifth of the adult population of Christendom is suffering from chest or thoracic diseases of a degree varying from the insignificant to the most grave; while another fifth is living in constant fear of being or becoming their victims. In fact, diseases of the lungs and heart far exceed those of any other class in prevalence and fatality—consumption, so called, causing one fourth of the mortality between the ages of seventeen and thirty-five years—while diseases of the heart are of well-known formidable character, and raise the proportion of thoracic or pectoral diseases to a surprising ratio.
WITHIN thirty years, the agriculture of some countries has been subjected to an unprecedented competition. Vegetable productions identical with those they were accustomed to furnish have been extracted from stone-coal. Coal was at first employed only as a combustible; then it gave us gas and illuminating oils.
THE changes which occur when starch-granules are subjected to the action of water, at a temperature of 140°, have been described. If the heat is raised to the boiling-point, and the boiling continues, the gelatinous mass becomes thicker and thicker; and if there are more than fifty parts of water to one of starch a separation takes place, the starch settling down with its fifty parts of water, the excess of water standing above it.
THE preservation of green fodder in the form of ensilage is now attracting so large a share of the attention of practical farmers, that a brief sketch of the history of the process, and an outline of the known facts in regard to fermentation, must be of interest to the general reader, as well as the student who wishes to trace the laws of evolution in the development of improved methods in agriculture.
IT should be regarded as a prominent purpose, in any scientific description of the earth, to point out how geographical influences have impressed their mark on organic and inorganic nature and in the field of human civilization. Alexander von Humboldt set an admirable example of the manner in which this should be done when he studied the relations existing between the geographical structure and the vegetation of different regions.
LOUIS PASTEUR passed his childhood in a small tannery which his father had bought in the city of Arbois, in the department of the Jura, to which he removed from the ancient city of Dôle, in the same department, where he was born. When Louis became of suitable age, he was sent to the communal school, and was so proud of the fact that, though he was the smallest of the pupils, he went on the first day with his arms full of dictionaries away beyond his years.
AMONG the subjects that claim the study of the sanitarian, there is none that has a closer relation to public health, and hence none more worthy of careful investigation, than the water we drink. Receiving it, as we do, from varied sources—from spring, well, brook, or river—its character varies greatly; and, while in its purity bringing with it refreshment and health, in a polluted condition it too often carries in its wake disease and death.
FEW physiologists, mixing in general society, can have failed to notice how common it is to hear their psychological brethren (if referred to at all) stigmatized as atheists; and this alike in coteries distinguished for pugnacious religious dogmatism, and in social circles where indifferentism marks the prevailing tone of thought.
PROFESSOR SILVANUS P. THOMPSON has made known, through the columns of “Nature,” an interesting series of experiments by Professor V. Dvorák, of the University of Agram, in the production of an apparatus which should rotate under the influence of sound-waves in the same way as the radiometer introduced by Professor Crookes rotates under the influence of rays of light and heat.
THE political disturbances of 1848, injurious as they were to Switzerland, were directly a great gain to America, for they gave to this country both Agassiz and Guyot, for a long time co-laborers for the advancement of American science and the diffusion of sound learning among the people.
IT is gratifying to remark the steady and assured advance of psychological research on the objective or corporeal side, or what is now better known as mental physiology. Without denying the validity of the old method of studying the mind by introspective observation, or that there are regularities and uniformities in the changes of consciousness thus revealed which are the proper subject-matter of science, it is still true that this method does not reach down to the conditions which give law to mental operations, and can not deal with the most fundamental questions of psychical science.
A TREATISE ON INSANITY IN ITS MEDICAL RELATIONS. By WILLIAM A. HAMMOND, M. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 767. Price, $5. WHETHER insanity is on the increase throughout the civilized world, as is claimed by many and is certainly not improbable, or whether the apparent increase is due to increasing knowledge in regard to its real extent, the growing interest and importance of the subject are not to be questioned.
The British Association.—The British Association will meet in its fifty-fourth annual session at Montreal, August 27th, under the presidency of Lord Rayleigh. The Vice-Presidents will be the Governor-General of Canada (Lord Lansdowne), Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Lyon Playfair, Sir Alexander T. Galt, Sir Charles Tupper, Sir Narcisse Dorion, Hon.
CONCERNING the statement that Mr. Herbert Spencer is going around the world by way of Australia and San Francisco, he thus writes to an American friend: “The rumor you indicate respecting my voyage to Australia and New Zealand is all nonsense, as you suspected.