I ASSUME that most of those whom I address are teachers, and that you have been drawn here by a desire to be instructed in the best methods of teaching physical science. It has therefore seemed to me that I might render a real service, in this introductory address, by giving the results of my own experience and reflection on this subject; and my thoughts have been recently especially directed to this topic by the discussion in regard to the requisites for admission, which during the past year have actively engaged the attention of the faculty of this college.
THE Missouri River, as is well known, is the larger of the two great branches which unite to form the Lower Mississippi, discharging at its mouth 120,000 cubic feet of water per second, while the Upper Mississippi discharges only 105,000 cubic feet per second.
ONE of the great difficulties with regard to making anthropology a special subject of study, and devoting a special organization to its promotion, is the multifarious nature of the branches of knowledge comprehended under the title. This very ambition, which endeavors to include such an extensive range of knowledge, ramifying in all directions, illustrating and receiving light from so many other sciences, appears often to overleap itself and give a looseness and indefiniteness to the aims of the individual or the institution proposing to cultivate it.
IF you examine the brain of a dog, or an ape, or a man, you will see that it is made up of two kinds of substance, gray and white. The gray substance, which is formed of round bodies of nervous matter called nerve-cells, is spread out in a thin layer over the entire surface of the brain.
THE geographical ideas of the lower races, as well as those of civilized people, are of both ethnological and psychological interest, and it is my purpose to devote a few lines to the little-worked field which here presents itself to view. The special subject of my essay will be the ideas concerning the earth and the world formed by primitive peoples, especially the ideas of the form of our planet and of the most important sidereal phenomena; and among primitive peoples I shall, for the purpose of this review, include such half-civilized nations as the Toltecs and Aztecs, and the ancient Peruvians.
THE important part which sugar plays in our national and domestic affairs is, probably, not fully appreciated, except by those who have given the subject special study. Accustomed as we have become to hearing of the enormous output of our mines, it is at first somewhat difficult to realize that, in 1881, the people of the United States paid for foreign sugar, and imposts thereon, over fifty-seven million dollars more than the value of all the gold and silver bullion produced in the same year.
RESPECTING the rationale of the change that takes place in reheating stale bread, thereby renewing it and making it appear moist by actually driving away some of its moisture, the results of my investigations are as follow: I find that, as bread becomes stale, its porosity appears to increase, and that, when renewed by reheating, it returns to its original apparently smaller degree of porosity.
THIS article is not intended for school-boys desiring to enjoy their cigarettes out of the sight of their tutor, nor for children who try to play the man by taking up one of his faults. It is addressed to smokers, but does not purpose to increase the number of them.
OVER yonder in the corner of a field there grows a mass of yellow threads, looking at a distance like an immense spider’s web covering a number of plants. Closer inspection reveals it to be the dodder, poetically called by some the golden-thread.
IN a recent journal of this city an article descriptive of a railroad accident appeared, under the heading, “Derailed by a Sun-Kink.” The title doubtless puzzled many readers. The term indicates that the rails were thrown out of line by expansion, due to the heat of the sun.
IT was very difficult to select, from the vast number of subjects relating to health and to education, one of which I could fitly speak today. On general education I could not venture to speak; and, believing that I should have to address a large and various audience, I thought it would be best to choose a subject by which I might urge one of the chief objects of this Exhibition, and one which I know that you, sir, have always had in view, namely, that the public themselves should consider, much more than they do, the utility and the means of maintaining their own health.
BUT we recognize the necessity of a more thorough altruism than that which merely considers the rights of others. That a community should progress as it ought, each member of the body social should feel that it is a part of his personal duty to consider the wellbeing of the rest.
IN passing through the open galleries of that busy ant-hill called a city, with its endless ebb and flow of human beings, intent on their various pursuits of business or pleasure, and succeeding each other in a seemingly endless procession of busy life, there is apt to rise forcibly before our minds the vital questions of human fecundity, and of the ability of the earth to sustain its increasing multitude of human inhabitants.
THE first lightning-conductor was erected by Benjamin Franklin upon his own house in Philadelphia in 1752. The invention is, therefore, now a little more than one hundred and thirty years old. Franklin was led to the investigations which resulted in its construction by the fortuitous circumstance that, about six years previously, he had been present at a lecture on electricity delivered in Boston by Dr. Spence.*
THE method of conducting coroners’ inquests in China seems admirably adapted to facilitate the escape of criminals. The feeling of the country is abhorrent to dissections, and magistrates, consequently, find the prosecution of their inquiries attended with great embarrassments, unless the case is of the plainest character.
THE subject of this sketch, Professor J. P. LESLEY, this year President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was born in Philadelphia, September 17, 1819. He is of Scotch extraction, his grandfather, Peter Lesley, having emigrated from Aberdeenshire in Scotland.
“AN EXPERIMENT IN PROHIBITION” FROM ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW.
WHILE this discussion about the great ascendency given the study of the classics in all of our institutions of learning is going on, we beg to offer the following facts: Here we have the great University of Michigan, the pride of the State, with its fourteen hundred students, and schools of literature, science, and the arts, dentistry, law, pharmacy, music, medicine, political and sanitary science, and one can graduate and take the coveted degree of A. B., receive ; the commendation of his teachers, then study in a post-graduate course and receive the degrees of A. M. and Ph. D., and be an educated fool so far as knowing anything of elocution is concerned, or having acquired any knowledge of the structure and composition of his own body or of the laws of health.
THE thirty-third meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will take place this year at Philadelphia, beginning on Thursday, the 4th of September, under the presidency of Professor J. P. Lesley, Chief of the Geological Survey of Pennsylvania.
OUTLINES OF PSYCHOLOGY, WITH STECIAL REFERENCE TO THE THEORY OF EDUCATION. By JAMES SULLY, author of “Illusions,” etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 711. Price, $3. MR. SULLY has brought to the preparation of this comprehensive work unusual accomplishments for the task. He is well known as an indefatigable student of mental science, and his numerous contributions to the leading English periodicals, on advanced pyschological questions, give him a high rank both as an original inquirer and an attractive and successful writer upon these subjects.
Instruction of the Deaf.—Mr. Alexander Graham Bell addressed the Philosophical Society of Washington at one of its recent meetings on the subject of “Fallacies concerning the Deaf, and the Influence of those Fallacies in preventing the Amelioration of their Condition.”
DR. AUSTIN FLINT is quoted in the seventeenth report of the Peabody Museum as authority for the statement that the metates, or grinding-stones, used in Nicaragua, are obtained from the old burial-mounds. Dr. Flint informs us that this is true, so far as the northwestern departments of Costa Rica are concerned, but that the idea of the same being the case in Nicaragua is an error, arising from an inaccuracy of his own expression incidentally committed in writing hurriedly on another subject.