THE subject of my paper—flying-machines—in a general way, is of interest to everybody. But, to those who have given it more particular attention, it is not only interesting but fascinating, and a little dangerous. The pathway has been strewed with wrecks ; and I fear there is a feeling prevalent that, after all, it leads nowhere in particular, unless it be to the almshouse or lunatic asylum.
OH yet we trust that somehow good Will be the final goal of ill, To pangs of Nature, sins of will, Defects of doubt, and taints of blood; That nothing walks with aimless feet; That not one life shall be destroyed, Or cast as rubbish to the void, When God hath made the pile complete;
THE negro is no longer a problem. He is part of the body politic and the body social of the republic. He is firmly rooted and can not be moved. He is here to stay ; and any attempt to disturb him, or to excite his fears as to his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is nothing less than a crime.
I• VISIT TO CANADA.-LADIES AND GENTLEMEN : Our last meeting at Montreal was a notable event in the life of the British Association, and even marked a distinct epoch in the history of civilization. It was by no mere accident that the constitution of the Association enabled it to embrace all parts of the British Empire.
THE eye is the most wonderful organ existing in the higher forms of animal life. It is the window of the brain ; through it, the creature obtains knowledge of that which lies beyond the reach of its other senses. But there is really nothing very mysterious about the structure of the eye when considered as an optical instrument.
THE celebrated Belgian colony of the insane at Gheel has nothing in its external appearance suggestive of the ordinary lunatic asylum ; its inhabitants give no superficial indications that a large proportion of them are madmen. If one would conceive what Gheel is, he must imagine a town of five or six thousand souls, in no way different from other towns of like importance, surrounded by a number of hamlets containing altogether, perhaps, about as many more inhabitants.
HOW can I invest my money to make it pay a fair interest, and at the same time insure its safety?” is a question daily asked by thousands. With the multiplication, consequent upon the growth of wealth among us, of that class of persons who want to live by their means, without care or labor, the number of anxious inquirers on that point is constantly increasing.
EvERY group of organisms, every genus and every species of plant or animal, has certain strong points which enable it to hold its own in the struggle for existence against its competitors of every kind. Most groups have also their weak points, which lay them open to attack or extinction at the hands of their various enemies.
FEW subjects have of late engaged the attention of the most thoughtful people of this country in a higher degree than the question prominently brought before the public by the recent attempt of the Harvard faculty to open the doors of that famous institution to applicants who might come prepared in all the branches hitherto required for admission, except Greek, for which study they would have had to offer an equivalent in scientific and mathematical work.
OF all the characteristics of organized bodies, color is one of the most fugitive. Trifling variations in the individual constitution, apparently slight changes in the biological conditions to which it is subject, are often sufficient to induce considerable modifications in the exterior coloration.
MY subject being the mechanism of the will, it might be asked, “What has a surgeon to do with psychology?” To which I would answer,"Everything." For, without sheltering myself behind Mr. Jonathan Hutchinson’s trite saying that “a surgeon should be a physician who knows how to use his hands,” I would remind you that pure science has proved so good a foster-mother to surgery, that diseases of the brain which were formerly considered to be hopeless, are now brought within a measurable distance of the knife, and therefore a step nearer toward cure.
THIBET ! how little does the name of that unexplored and jealously exclusive country convey to the average European ! To the scientific it is known as the most extensive and highest table-land in the world, the water-parting from whence the majority of the largest and longest rivers in the world derive their sources.
IN Sir Lyon Playfair the British Association has for its president this year a gentleman who, to a thorough scientific training and a wide fame as a scientific man, unites a versatile adaptability to public affairs, and who has done many unquestionable services to the state in the lines of administration and of the advancement of great public questions.
WE have frequently maintained in these columns that a new type of culture is arising in modern times, which is not only strongly contrasted with the old ideal, but is, in essential respects, superior to it. This superiority is an inevitable result of the general laws of mental development by which successive ages become familiar with new orders of ideas.
BOTH the plan of this book and the manner of its execution will give it a strong claim upon many readers. The first six chapters, comprising more than half the volume, are devoted to summing up the large results of modem science, in so far as they have given rise to new views of nature and the universe.
The New Star.—Astronomers have been surprised by the fact, which was first announced by Dr. Hartwig on the 29th of August, that a star of about the eighth magnitude had suddenly appeared in the middle of the great nebula of Andromeda. This nebula, the most conspicuous of all the phenomena of the kind, has long been regarded as a stellar nebula, since Mr. Huggins showed that its spectrum possessed the characteristics of stellar spectra, but it has never been resolved.
DR. C. KELLER, of Zürich, claims that spiders perform an important part in the preservation of forests by defending the trees against the depredations of aphides and insects. He has examined a great many spiders, both in their viscera and by feeding them in captivity, and has found them to be voracious destroyers of these pests ; and he believes that the spiders in a particular forest do more effective work of this kind than all the insect-eating birds that inhabit it.