A GREAT WINTER SANITARIUM FOR THE AMERICAN CONTINENT.
PROFESSOR EDWARD FRANKLAND
THE great importance of a winter sanitarium for patients suffering from or threatened with consumption and other allied diseases has long been recognized and acted upon in Europe. The favorite resort of this description is the valley of Davos, in the Engadine, in Switzerland, where, at an elevation of five thousand four hundred feet above sea-level, the patients enjoy, during the winter months, in a sheltered position, brilliant sunshine, and an early equable sun-temperature from sunrise to sunset.
BALLOONING has thus far been a French art: introduced a little over a century ago by a Frenchman, Montgolfier; rapidly developed by another Frenchman, Charles; more practiced in France than anywhere else in the world; and recently improved by Frenchmen to such an extent that it is quite possible now on any fair day to go an hour's journey through the air in any desired direction, even against the wind.
IT seems rather hard lines that, even if the archæologist goes personally into the field, and gathers with his own hands specimens of stone implements, he is not quite free from the possibility of being imposed upon. The cause of this unhappy state of affairs is found in several facts, all of which are of such character that it is well-nigh impossible to avoid being misled by them.
THERE has hardly been a more quiet decade in the political history of the nineteenth century than the one between 1830 and 1840. Yet that decade was the cradle of a new epoch, in which inventions first came into view, or were brought to practical completion, which have had a deeper and more permanent influence than any political event could have upon the shaping of human society.
ENOUGH, and more than enough, perhaps, has been uttered concerning the prejudicial effects on the body of habitually using alcoholic beverages. It is rare now to find any one, well acquainted with human physiology, and capable of observing and appreciating the ordinary wants and usages of life around him, who does not believe that, with few exceptions, men and women are healthier and stronger, physically, intellectually, and morally, without such drinks than with them.
THE subject of the “opium-habit” is one that recurs with ominous frequency in public print. Whenever touched upon, the intensity of interest elicited in the minds of certain readers (alas ! how large a number) would be incomprehensible to one not drawn personally to it.
OUR purpose is to inquire briefly, illustrating our research by a few eminent examples, how men become astronomers, or, in general, how those who achieve distinction in that profession are directed to it. No one is destined to astronomy from his childhood.
MR. RUSKIN, in one of his most exquisite passages, has told us that "flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity: children love them; tender, contented, ordinary people love them. They are the cottager's treasure; and in the crowded town mark, as with a little broken fragment of rainbow, the windows of the workers in whose heart rests the covenant of peace."
AT the present time the earth seems to be in a state of great seismological action. Different parts of the world have recently been disturbed by earthquakes which have caused wide-spread destruction. Those in Spain, which began December 24th, and have lasted, with slight interruption, down to the time of writing, have been among the most destructive of recent earthquakes.
FOR a dozen years past, the eminent English zoölogist, who has become so widely known as an investigator of animal intelligence, has spent his summers at the sea-side, studying several common forms of marine life. He compares a season’s work of this kind to a prolonged picnic, the pleasure of which is accompanied by a sense that no time is being profitlessly spent.
THE question of the bearing of the theory of evolution upon morals deserves a serious examination. The doctrine of development breaks at many points with cherished traditional notions, and its opponents have predicted that it would result in a spiritual revolution which would convulse society to its foundations by destroying the sanctions of conscience and paralyzing the religious sense.
TO understand the way in which our North American moths are distributed (and by North American we mean the territory north of Mexico and the West Indies), we must study the physical geography of the continent. There is a perfect host of species and individuals, which depend on special kinds of plants, for the most part, and their diffusion is, of course, limited by the area of the plant upon which their caterpillars subsist.
DIFFERENT epochs in life are marked by the frequency or infrequency of certain morbid phenomena constituting that departure from the normal standard of health which we denominate disease. What is life? is the unanswerable question the human race has ever sought to solve.
WE alluded in the March number of the “Monthly,” to the fossil scorpions recently discovered in the Upper Silurian formations of Sweden and Scotland, recognizing them as the most ancient specimens of land or air-breathing animals yet found.
I HAVE been asked to write a sketch of the life of Professor Langley, to accompany his portrait in this number of “The Popular Science Monthly.” Something of the life of every scholar and of every public man belongs to his audience ; while most of that personality which endears him to his friends is their private possession, not to be set forth, except within narrow limits.
THERE is no more important subject for consideration in the present day than that which is involved in the question whether the powers of government ought to be extended or restricted. The tendency, as every one must be aware, is toward extension, not restriction, and one of our contemporaries, the “ Christian Union,” snubs a correspondent who suggests restriction by telling him that he is “about half a century behind the times.”
PROFESSOR CLIFFORD was applied to in 1871 to prepare a volume for the “International Scientific Series.” He was asked if he would undertake a book to be entitled “Mathematics for the Non-Mathematical,” the object of which should be to find out how far it is possible to go in explaining mathematical ideas to persons of intelligence who have had none of the higher mathematical training.
The American Association.—;The next meeting of the American Association is appointed to be held at Ann Arbor, Michigan, beginning August 20th. The Association at its last or Philadelphia meeting expressed a preference for Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, as the place of its next meeting, if suitable accommodations could be secured there, naming Ann Arbor as an alternative place.
THE works of Darwin, Spencer, Agassiz, Huxley, Adam Smith, and Lewes, are said to be forbidden to be issued from the circulating libraries of Russia. The writings of Moleschott, Büchner, Vogt, and Reclus, are also prohibited. DOIN, of Paris, has begun the publication of a weekly “ Journal des Sociétés Scientifiques,” which will contain brief reports of the principal scientific societies, in whatever field, of the great cities of Europe.