ALTHOUGH the glaciated area on our continent has been as yet but partially explored, abundant proof has been gained, as it seems to me, of the truth of the following propositions, viz.: 1. That glaciers once covered most of the elevated portions of the mountain-belts in the West as far south as the thirty-sixth parallel, and all the eastern half of the continent to the fortieth parallel of latitude.
THE times demand a reconsideration of our Sunday laws. They are practically inoperative. There must be some essential reason for this, in the character of the people or in the character of the laws; perhaps both. Either the laws have a false basis, and can not rightly claim public regard, or the people are wickedly indifferent to rightful authority.
WHEN we compare the mental faculties and social instincts of animals, even of monkeys, with those of the superior races of civilized men, the distance seems immeasurable, and to till the gap impossible. But, if we take the lower races of mankind, the differences appear less marked, and even analogies arise.
WHILE during the past four years there has been no great or startling discovery in solar astronomy, there has been beyond question important progress at many points. Increased precision of numerical data has been attained, new methods of observation have been devised and put in practice, theories have been brought to trial with varying results of condemnation or approval, and mathematical and physical investigations have been initiated which give some promise of solving the mysterious problems of the sun’s surface-drift, and the periodicity of the spots.
THE occasion of M. Chevreul’s completing the one hundredth year of his age was celebrated in Paris on the 30th and 31st of August, with appropriate observances and honors. The festivities were begun in the National Society of Agriculture, whose custom it has been to elect M. Chevreul its president every other year.
THE geological history of the Atlantic depression of the earth’s crust, and its relation to the continental masses which limit it, may furnish a theme at once generally intelligible and connected with great questions as to the structure and history of the earth, which have excited the attention alike of physicists, geologists, biologists, geographers, and ethnologists.
THE truths of the educational reformers reached comparatively small circles. Everywhere the schools continued to turn out ministers and priests ; indeed, this was the accepted design of the schools. We have many illustrations of the home training during these years.
THE most momentous intellectual conquest of our days is, perhaps, the discovery of the great law of the unity and continuity of life, generally styled the law of evolution. Not only are the remotest branches of knowledge—as, e.g., physics and psychology, or chemistry and politics—connected by it into a systematic and harmonious whole; but by it also has been realized that union between science and philosophy for which the clearest minds of former ages longed in vain.
IT is a favorite pastime of our country population during the long winter evenings to gather round the fire and crack and eat hickorynuts. It is an amusement, too, peculiarly American, and for the simple reason that in this country alone are the nuts to be had in any abundance.
THE progress of hygienic medicine in the last fifty years is the medical fact of the present age, and the fact that will stand out in boldest relief when the history of this period shall be written by some future Æsculapian scholar. But, rapid and effective as this progress has been, the principles of hygiene are yet in their infancy.
THE answer given by Mr. Dawson to the question, “Can pure, unadulterated alcoholic liquors be now obtained?” supposed to be vicariously asked by an inquiring public in his article, “How Alcoholic Liquors are made,” in the May issue of “The Popular Science Monthly,” would have been entirely correct if it had ended with a simple affirmation.
THERE is no weed weedier or more ubiquitous than the common thistle. In paradise, it is true, if we may trust John Milton and the Sunday-school books—wise, as usual, beyond what is written— there were no thorns or thistles; the creation and introduction of the noxious tribe upon this once innocent and thornless earth being a direct consequence of the fall of man, and a stern retribution for Adam’s delinquency.
PSYCHOLOGISTS and students of mental science have long been aware of the presence of a new division of the army of the insane, a division which is steadily increasing, more mysterious and obscure than the ordinary insane, and constituting a new realm of the most fascinating physiological and psychological interest.
Professional and other Papers by E. S. Holden (in general chronological order).
WILLIAM C. WINLOCK
PROFESSOR EDWARD SINGLETON HOLDEN, the President of the University of California, and Director of the Lick Observatory, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 5th of November, 1846. He is a direct descendant of Justinian Holden, who came to this country from Kent, England, in 1636, and settled in Massachusetts on a tract of land which now forms a part of the city of Cambridge, but was then called, I believe, Watertown.
CONSIDERING that we are drawing near to the end of the nineteenth century, and that the thought of our day is supposed to be more or less dominated by the scientific spirit, it is extraordinary to find certain words and phrases in common use that imply a survival of modes of thought proper only to periods of barbarism.
THERE was need of such a volume (especially in this country) as that which General Badeau has here prepared. The truth is, that our national independence and the birth of the Great Republic consisted in little else than a formal repudiation of the British aristocratical system—monarchy and nobility; so that it can hardly be expected that the American people would be very impartial judges of the merits of a system we have got rid of under such circumstances.
Low Water in Wells and Typhoid Fever. —Dr. Henry B. Baker, of Lansing, Michigan, supposes a close relation to exist between typhoid fever and low water in wells. The diagrams which he presents in his paper of the prevalence of sickness from typhoid fever in Michigan, and the depth of the earth above the ground-water in the wells during six successive years, seem to show that, beginning with June in each year, the sickness-curve follows more or less closely the well-water-curve.
THE question of the origin of the red sunsets, which still continue to appear at times, is yet a subject of discussion. The theory of their being due to volcanic dust in the air is still most in favor, but their persistency is by some regarded as a cause of objection to it.