THE American Railroad, as an institution, is not immaculate. Its general offices are no more insured against entrance of designing and wickedly-minded men than is the pulpit, the Sunday-school, or the strawberry-festival. Granted, however, that, like most human concerns, the American railroad needs reformation, the very considerable question arises, Where shall we look for the reformer ?
WE were not fortunate with our plant-hunting on Mount Washington. Perhaps, for want of a local botanist to show us the lurking-places of the rarer species, we did not succeed in finding all of them. But some of the most interesting to a British naturalist could be gathered everywhere without the trouble of seeking.
OF all animals, birds possess the quickest motions, the most ener getic respiration, and the warmest blood, and they consequently undergo the most rapid change of substance, and need the most food. Although few creatures are so pleasing to the aesthetic tastes of a poetically inclined person as birds, the breeder knows that most of them are to be looked upon as hearty or excessive eaters.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PHYSIOLOGY AND HYGIENE AND PHYSICIAN TO VASSAR COLLEGE.
LUCY M. HALL
THE address of Dr. Withers Moore, President of the British Medical Association, delivered before a general meeting of that body, August 10, 1886, has attracted very wide attention. The importance of the subject with which the paper deals can not be overestimated.
THOUGH it must be granted even of the centenarian, as of all others, that he soon “ passeth away and is gone,” yet happily we are not obliged to admit that his “strength is but labor and sorrow.” In many instances, on the contrary, he has, if not a green, yet a mellow and cheerful old age, one of happiness to himself and pleasure to others, brightened by a vivid though calm interest in the present, and unshadowed by apprehension of that which is to come.
Age.—Fifty-two returns; average age, about 1021/5 years. Males.— Sixteen returns ; average age, about 1021/4 years ; respective ages, 108, 105, 104, 3 aged 103, 4 aged 102, 2 aged 101, 1011/4, 3 aged 100. Females.—Thirty-six returns ; average age, about 1021/6 years ; respective ages, 2 aged 108, 106, 3 aged 105, 3 aged 104, 4 aged 103, 1021/2, 3 aged 102, 7 aged 101, l003/4, 1001/2, 10 aged 100. In 11 cases, the age returned was verified by baptismal certificates or other records; of these, 2 were males, aged 101 and 100 ; and 9 were females, aged 108, 106, 104, 103, 102, 101, 101, 1001/2, and 100.
EVERY trade, every profession, has its own peculiar methods of procedure, which, while not kept secret, are still unknown to the general public. This ignorance is due to several causes, among which may be mentioned a lack of interest and a lack of any simple account of the processes involved.
WHEN the Emperor Charles V of Spain retired to the Monastery of St. Yuste, he took with him Torriano, his clock-maker, in order to while away the time by constructing the movements of clocks. So wonderful were some of the pieces of work which they made, that the monks would not believe any one except the devil had a hand in them, until the machinery was shown to them by the ex-emperor.
THE term comparative psychology, in its modern sense, gives us the widest desirable scope as including all that pertains to the mind or soul of the animal kingdom. It may have been at one time considered as highly impertinent to ask whether the lower animals possess mind, and to substitute the term soul would have been dangerously suggestive of heterodoxy of a type rapidly to be extinguished.
THE discovery of the Dinornis by the illustrious zoölogist, Richard Owen, is famous as one of the most notable feats in the history of science. From a single imperfect bone, a femur broken at both ends, he deduced the fact that an enormous bird of the Struthious order, but far exceeding the ostrich in size, formerly inhabited New Zealand.
IT were comparatively an easy task to explain psychological phenomena by asserting, as did the metaphysicians of the past, and as some do even at the present, that the human brain—the physical sanctuary of thought—is merely an instrument through which various spiritual beings operate, producing at one time the prophetic utterances of the seer, at another time the gifted words of genius, and yet again the extravagant and discordant expressions of madness.
IF we examine the bright bow of Iris painted on the heavens by the sunbeams that break through the parting storm-clouds, no matter how closely we may scan it, we shall not be able to determine where the colors begin or end. As in this arch the blue gradually passes over into a green, and the green in turn changes insensibly into a yellow, even thus we find, in the countless forms in which Nature delights, the most delicate gradations, the most gradual transitions.
EDWARD LIVINGSTON YOUMANS was born at Coeymans, Albany County, New York, June 3, 1821. His parents, Vincent Youmans and Catherine Scofield Youmans, were natives of the same county. Livingston, as he was then called, was the first-born of seven children.
EDWARD L. YOUMANS, the projector of this magazine, and its editor from the opening number, died at his home in this city on the morning of Tuesday, January 18th, in the sixtysixth year of his age. For nearly forty years he has been before the public as a teacher of science, either through his published works, on the lecture-platform, or in an editorial capacity; and though it may almost be said that he was cut off in the prime of his intellectual powers, it has been the fortune of few men of his generation to accomplish a larger amount of useful work.
THE aim of the author in the preparation of this work is to follow out, in little children, the gradual awakening of the mental faculties during the first three years of life. He is a painstaking, exact observer, and seems in some way to have had exceptional opportunities for the prolonged acquaintance of a good many different babies from the first days of their mundane experience.
The Origin of Languages.—Mr. Horatio Hale, in his address at the American Association, on “ The Origin of Languages and the Antiquity of Speaking Man,” reviewed the theories that have been offered on the former title of his subject, and declared them all unsatisfactory ; for none of them can be made to account adequately and consistently for the number and diversities of the languages that prevail among men.
THE steel-plate portrait of the late editor of this magazine, published in the present number, is by Mr. Charles Schlect, and is considered by the friends of Professor Youmans a spirited and excellent likeness. MR. W. STAINTON MOSES, lately a vice-president, has withdrawn from the English Society for Psychical Research, on the ground that the evidence for phenomena of the genuine character of which he and others have satisfied themselves beyond a doubt, is not properly entertained or fairly treated by it.