PROFESSOR OF CRYPTOGAMIC BOTANY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY.
WILLIAM G. FALLOW
THE general use of the word biology in this country dates from a period scarcely more remote than ten or twelve years ago, and, even at the present day, in spite of the fact that a good many of our schools and colleges announce courses on the subject, and even the newspapers occasionally discuss its popular aspects, the question is not unfrequently asked by persons generally well informed, What is biology ?
HAVING already considered those discriminations affecting persons and things, there now remains the consideration of rates affecting places. All discriminations favoring places result from the competition existing at the favored points.
"THINGS marvelous there are many," says the Attic dramatist, “but among them all naught moves more truly marvelous than man.” And, indeed, when one begins seriously to think it over, there is no machine in all the world one-half, nay one-millionth part, so extraordinary in its mode of action as the human brain.
IT may not generally be known that the alumnæ of the more important centers of female higher education in this country have an organized intercollegiate association for the promotion of woman’s education and the study of questions regarding her training.
VOUS avez une manière si aimable d' annoncer les plus mauvaises nouvelles, qu’elles perdent par là de leurs désagrémens. So wrote, de haut en bas (from above down), the Duchess of York to Beau Brummell, sixty or seventy years back ; and so write I, de bas en haut (from below up), to the two very eminent champions who have in the “Nineteenth Century” of December entered appearances on behalf of Dr. Réville’s Prolégomènes, with a decisiveness of tone, at all events, which admits of no mistake : Professor Huxley and Professor Max Müller.
HAPPILY there still remain a few of those great, cavernous, open fireplaces, flanked by high-backed settles, whereon the young people love to lounge, while their elders, resting from the day’s labors, talk drowsily of old times, recount the adventures of their youth, and repeat the tales of their grandfathers.
THE first sight of a Japanese house—that is, a house of the people— is certainly disappointing. From the infinite variety and charming character of their various works of art, as we had seen them at home, we were anticipating new delights and surprises in the character of the house ; nor were we on more intimate acquaintance to be disappointed.
THE relation between astronomical and mathematical investigations and navigation has been long recognized, but this relation is dependent upon the observation of the apparent position of heavenly bodies at given times, and these observations are in turn dependent upon telescopes and upon clocks and chronometers, both modern inventions.
WITHIN the past year the civilized world has been shocked and saddened by the knowledge of the great devastation wrought by the cholera in Spain; and every precaution, in the way of sanitary measures and quarantine regulations, that modern science could suggest, was taken to prevent its spreading into other countries.
THERE can be no doubt that the resin in the wood derived from the different varieties of conifers, or pine-trees, is one of the most important factors which determine its quality, especially its durability and resistance against the influence of weather and the different forms of rot, all of which are now proved to be due to specific fungi.
ACCORDING to Quetelet, “there die during the first month after birth four times as many children as during the second month, and almost as many as during the two years that follow the first year, although even then the mortality is high. The tables of mortality prove, in fact, that one tenth of children born die before the first month has been completed.”
AMOYG the agencies by which we may hope to remedy the evils threatening us on account of the rapid wasting of our forests, Arbor-day promises to be one of the most important. A little thing to begin with, it is capable of such expansion as to become a widespread power for good.
IN JOHN BENNET LAWES, said “Nature,” more than ten years ago (December 9, 1875), “we have a private individual who, unaided by the state, or by any scientific body, has made a greater number of useful experiments than all the experimental farms of European governments put together.”
IT is encouraging to observe, by the recent discussions in Congress, that there is a deepening conviction of the need of an international copyright law to put a stop to the scandalous robbery of those foreign authors who are doing so much to sustain and elevate our intellectual life.
GRAY’S BOTANICAL TEXT-BOOK. Sixth edition. Vol. II. PHYSIOLOGICAL BOTANY. 1. Outlines of the Histology of Phanerogamous Plants; 2. Vegetable Physiology. By GEORGE LINCOLN GOODALE, A. M., M. D., Professor of Botany in Harvard University.
The Real Nature of "Prodigies."—Mr. C. F. Cox has published, in the “Journal” of the New York Microscopical Society, a most interesting paper on “The So-called Prodigies of Earlier Ages.” He believes that the stories of wonderful phenomena and portents with which the old books abound have a certain interest and value to the student and philosopher of to-day, “because they furnish landmarks in the progress of observation, and give us clews to that credulous state of the human mind which seems to have necessarily preceded the foundation of inductive reasoning.”
SIR W. TEMPLE, in his “Essays of Health and Long Life,” recommends, as the strongest preservative against contagions, a piece of myrrh held in the mouth. It has been asserted that Eastern physicians invariably adopt this protection when attending the sick.