THE most noteworthy feature of our modern civilization, and the one which distinguishes it from all the civilizations of the past, is its growing dependence upon scientific methods. This is manifested in every department of life, and in every line of thought; it is evident in all arts and industries; and in a multitude of ways it affects government.
"GAVEST thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust, and forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. . . . Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.”
FROM time to time within the last few years, and perhaps for a longer period, comments have been made in the daily secular press, and occasionally in the medical journals, in reference to the testimony of medical experts, which were anything but flattering to medical men.
“HARD times” come to most living things. Plants as well as animals have periods when they need to conserve all their energies, husband all their vitality. All vegetation obeys the injunction to multiply and replenish the earth, but with the greatest determination when there are present suffering and impending death.
THE “children of the public,” as the street Arabs are called by that agreeable writer, Edward Everett Hale, are known for their acuteness rather than for their docility. The mots of the Paris gamin give to the French feuilleton not a little of its spice
DURING the latter part of 1883 and the early part of 1884, I constructed at the Dogs’ Home, Battersea, at the request of the committee of that institution, a lethal chamber for the painless extinction of the life of the animals which have, of necessity, to be destroyed there.
THE Yellow Sea is distinguished above all other things by the abundance of the life it sustains, both on its surface and in its depths. Everywhere that there is enough water to carry them, in the numerous rivers and canals, and on the coast-waters of China, there are coming and going constantly boats of every shape and size, in fleets.
THERE are few people who have much knowledge of the present state of the science of measuring time. This is probably owing to the scarcity of sources of information on the subject, for almost every one has more or less interest in it. One might naturally suppose that his jeweler could discourse intelligently, if not profoundly
THE reader will understand, from what has already been stated concerning the origin of the difference between natural sweet wines and natural dry wines, that the conversion of either one into the other is not a difficult problem. Wine is a fashionable beverage in this country, and fashions fluctuate.
THE British Island of Dominica, although it forms only an insignificant colony, takes a rank among the first of the West Indies, when considered in regard to the richness of its scenery. Built up of lofty volcanic masses, which interpose almost insurmountable rocky barriers to the entrance of civilization into the interior, it still conceals among its hills and ravines a life of animals and plants rejoicing in the wildest freedom, and which is developed under the moist, tropical climate into extreme luxuriance.
THERE is reason for the frequent inquiry which meets the ears of medical men in the present day, Is it not true that cancer is increasing? For, however much we may attempt to throw into the shade our convictions upon this matter, the records of the RegistrarGeneral remain to show, in all the obtrusiveness of an unvarnished statement, the annual increasing mortality from this terrible disease.
NO animal of the sea or land figures more frequently in the fanciful creations of the Greeks and Romans than the dolphin, king of the Mediterranean Sea. It is represented in their myths as an attribute, symbol, companion, and servitor of the mighty gods, who were themselves not ashamed to borrow its form; in the epics as the friend and deliverer of the Grecian heroes, even of historical men, whom it carried on its back over the waters; in the stories as the playmate and fondling of handsome boys, whose death it could not survive.
IN no manner is the mysterious influence of instinct over the insect world more remarkably manifested than by the care taken by parent insects for the future welfare of offspring which they are destined never to behold. As the human parent upon his death-bed makes the best provision he can for the sustenance and prosperity of his infant children, whom death has decreed that he may not in person watch over, so those insects which Nature has decreed shall be always the parents of orphan children, led by an unerring influence within, do their best to provide for the wants of the coming generation.
JEAN LOUIS ARMAND DE QUATREFAGES DE BRÉAU was born at Berthezeme, near Villerauge (Gard), France, February 10, 1810. His family was of the Protestant faith, and allied to the family of the publicist La Baumelle. His father was an educated agriculturist, who had served with distinction in Holland previous to the Revolution, but had returned to France on the breaking out of war between the two countries.
IN a preceding article we used the expression, “healthy materialism," for that view of things which frankly recognizes and makes practical allowance for the dependence of psychical phenomena upon material conditions, without undertaking in the least to decide the question as to the relations ultimately existing between mind and matter.
ALTHOUGH a thoroughly popular work interesting to everybody, this volume is nevertheless a monument of laborious and learned research. Its author is not only one of the most eminent botanists of the age, but he has been for many years especially devoted to this subject.
Electric Lighting in America.—At the meeting of the Society of Arts on December 3d, Mr. W. H. Preece read a paper in which he stated that electric lighting is flourishing in America much more than in England. There are probably ninety thousand arc-lamps alight every night in the United States.
DR. B. A. GOULD, of the observatory at Cordoba, Argentine Republic, writes to Professor J. D. Dana that, after fourteen years of absence from his country, he finds himself so near the end of the special work on which he has been engaged that he hopes to revisit New England in the spring.