THE tall choke-cherry tree in the corner of the meadow, near the hickory clump, is a favorite resort of all the fruit-eating birds in the township for half a mile around in every direction. To the judicious human palate, indeed, the flavor of choke-cherries is not exactly alluring or attractive ; they have a disagreeable astringent tinge about their pulp that rather reminds one of alum or borax, and they are not sweet enough or luscious enough to be worth eating by people who have grapes and plums and peaches and apples and a dozen other cultivated fruits at easy command.
IN the January number of this Review* is to be found an article on Religion which has justly awakened a profound and sustained interest. The creed of Agnosticism was there formulated anew by the acknowledged head of the evolution philosophy, with a definiteness such as perhaps it never wore before.
IN days when dueling was common, and its code of ceremonial well elaborated, a deadly encounter was preceded by a polite salute. Having by his obeisance professed to be his antagonist’s very humble servant, each forthwith did his best to run him through the body.
WHEN I happen out for a stroll, the difficulty that besets me is not what to seek—for to ramble without an object is an abomination—but what to choose of the endless variety of objects worthy of attention. I do not like to determine this after I have started, but prefer saying to myself, “I will watch the birds to-day,” or, “I will hunt up the meadow-mice.”
THE nature and purpose of our modern philanthropy—indeed, the inquiry whether or not utilitarian or altruistic considerations should inspire and control our actions—constitute an important and most instructive study in sociology. In the article on “Scientific Philanthropy,” translated from the “Revue des Deux Mondes,” and published in the “Monthly,” 1883, this view of the question in its ethical aspect was almost entirely overlooked.
THERMAL springs, or those whose mean annual temperature exceeds that of the locality in which they are found, are almost universal in their distribution. This definition, of course, includes more than the springs usually called warm or hot, for, if the temperature exceeds, no matter in how small a degree, the mean temperature of the place in which it rises, it is truly a thermal spring.
LEGISLATIVE problems are, like books, subject to vicissitudes. Solutions of the particular questions involved in single cases may seem adequate to satisfy deeply-felt wants of the public; yet it may happen that the attention of the latter is—to the scorn of the previous scientific work of years—first suddenly called to the problems by some unexpected, exciting event.
SINCE the publication of my last paper, I have been told, by a lady to whom the readers of "Knowledge" are much indebted, that in the fatherland of potatoes, as well as in their adopted country, they are always boiled or steamed in their jackets; that American cooks, like those of Ireland, would consider it an outrage to cut off the protecting skin of the potato before cooking it; that they are more commonly mashed there than here, and that the mashing is done by rapidly removing the skins, throwing the stripped potato into a supplementary saucepan or other vessel, in which they may be kept hot until the preparation is completed.
I HAVE never bought any trained monkeys, but, in my experiments in domesticating wild ones, have always treated my animals with the greatest care, and chosen moral rather than physical means of discipline. The relations between the monkey and his master ought to be friendly, and, when the first causes for fear and motives to anger have been suppressed, there will remain on the animal’s part only feelings of respect.
WYOMING County, in the State of New York, is bounded on the southeast by the wonderful gorge that has made famous the mighty leaps of the Genesee River at Portage. A few miles to the north is the plateau which holds the crystal waters of Silver Lake; while still farther to the north and west rise the head-waters of Oatka Creek, which flows in a northeasterly direction through the county of Genesee, and empties into the river of that name just before it comes to Rochester.
I ENTER now on a portion of my subject where I shall seem less at issue with those who repeat with their lips, and fancy they hold in their hearts (though they never think of following in their lives), certain rules of conduct in which due care of self is treated as objectionable and evil is spoken of as not to be resisted but encouraged.
ONE of the earliest French mathematical books is the arithmetic of Étienne de la Roche, in which, the title-page states, are given tables of different accounts, with their canons, calculated by Gilles Huguetan, native of Lyons : “ in which may easily be found the accounts all made, as well of purchases as of sales, of all kinds of merchandise.
“AH, but you must see Don Felipe—he knows all about fishes!” is the first advice which the naturalist receives when he begins to make collections of fishes in the markets of Havana. The writer once had occasion to make such a collection, and he found soon that, among fishermen and fish-mongers, the phrase “amigo de Don Felipe” was ever a passport to honest dealing and to a real desire to aid him in his work.
THE Legislature of the State of New York has passed a law providing for the instruction of “all pupils in all schools supported by public money, or under State control, in physiology and hygiene, with special reference to the effects of alcoholic drinks, stimulants, and narcotics upon the human system.”
GEOLOGICAL EXCURSIONS, OR THE RUDIMENTS OF GEOLOGY FOR YOUNG LEARNERS. By ALEXANDER WINCHELL, LL. D. Chicago : S. C. Griggs & Co. Pp. 234. Price, $1.50. IN his experience as a teacher of geology, and interested in extending a knowledge of this interesting and important subject in the common schools and among the people, the author of this work found himself confronted with this formidable difficulty, that “in most of our colleges, no knowledge whatever of the subject is required for entrance, and there is no course where geology is a prerequisite ; and since geology is not required for entrance into college, it has ceased to be taught in the schools—as if geology had no uses, if not demanded as a preparation for college.”
The American Association.—The Philadelphia meeting of the American Association will begin September 4th, under the presidency of Professor J. P. Lesley. The sectional Vice-Presidents are : A. Mathematics and Astronomy, H. T. Eddy, of Cincinnati; B. Physics, John Trowbridge, of Cambridge; C. Chemistry, John W. Langley, of Ann Arbor; D. Mechanical Science, R. H. Thurston, of Hoboken ; E. Geology and Geography, N. H. Winchell, of Minneapolis.
AT the June meeting of the Iowa Academy of Science, the president, A. R. Fulton, exhibited specimens of native copper, found in the drift of Iowa, which were in all respects similar to the native copper of the Lake Superior region. In his accompanying paper, Mr. Fulton accounted for their occurrence in this situation by saying that the Lake Superior region was undoubtedly their original home, and that they had been transported by the ice - stream of the Glacial epoch, which apparently at some time had flowed in a southwesterly direction.