SINCE a paper printed in the March “Popular Science Monthly” was in type, the Interstate Commerce bill has become law. This law establishes a Commission, to whose decision is now committed the regulation of the railways as to their relations with the individual shipper.
IT is generally considered that a cardinal differentia of the human race is its poor endowment in the way of instincts. Brutes need instincts, it is supposed, because they have no reason. But man, with his reason, can do without instincts. “ Instinctive actions,” says Professor Preyer, in his careful little work, “ Die Seele des Kindes,” “ are in man few in number, and, apart from those connected with the sexual passion, difficult to recognize after early youth is past.
A PROFESSOR of divinity who has been thought at times to be by no means insensible to a reputation for orthodoxy, preaching in the University of Oxford a few days ago, said : “ The field of speculative theology may be regarded as almost exhausted ; wTe must be content henceforward to be Christian agnostics.
A SINGULAR proof of popular ignorance of the starry heavens, as well as of popular curiosity concerning any uncommon celestial phenomenon, is furnished by the curious notions prevailing about the planet Venus. When Venus began to attract general attention in the western sky in the early evening some two months ago, speculation quickly became rife about it, particularly on the great Brooklyn Bridge.
IN the opening sentences of a contribution to the last number of this Review, the Duke of Argyll has favored me with a lecture on the proprieties of controversy, to which I should be disposed to listen with more docility if his Grace’s precepts appeared to me to be based upon rational principles, or if his example were more exemplary.
ON a recent visit to the Canary Islands, one of the first things to attract my notice was the good development and fine personal appearance of the common people. I afterward found that travelers are generally impressed in the same manner on their first visit to the Canaries.
PERHAPS we may now enter on a more detailed examination of the nature and methods of the help that human beings in the social state render one another in making a living. The best way to do this will be to begin wfith the simple and proceed to the complex.
MUCH has been heard, during the discussions of the labor question, about the rights and interests of manufacturers and of workmen, but comparatively very little about the claims of the work. While the contention between manufacturers and their men has always been hot, and sometimes vital, the product of their joint energy, upon the best availability of which for its intended purpose the life of both parties depends, has been left to shift for itself.
THE manufacture of sand is an important industry, which has Pittsburg for its headquarters, although the sand is not made within the limits of the city. There is a considerable traffic in Monongahela sand, which is scooped up from the bed of the river, to be used for common building purposes ; but the manufacture of sand is quite another affair, and the product goes into quite a different commodity, which is glass.
IN the contemplation of the creations of the painter, the mind is stimulated to a degree of activity which the enjoyment of no other form of art-work can induce. A mental operation is provoked of which we are hardly conscious, and which some have attributed to the organization of the visual apparatus, that amounts in effect to the transformation of the flat surfaces of the picture into the appearance of a body or a group standing out or receding in relief.
BY-AND-BY, when a few months have passed over the head of the new-married couple, and the young matron becomes aware that the prophecies pointed at by the doll’s cradle and the broken distaff are likely to come true, she is carefully instructed as to the conduct she must observe in order to insure the well-being of herself and her child.
M. JULES JAMIN was a man of many talents. He held a high position in the scientific circles of his time, and was equally eminent as a teacher and lecturer ; he was also well known in literature ; and he achieved respectable success in some of the fine arts.
SIR: The article in Number 180, “Popular Science Monthly,” from the pen of Professor L. R. F. Griffin, is a somewhat marked instance of the freedom with which some authors are willing to assume the responsibility of becoming instructors of the public upon topics of interest by expression of authoritative opinion based upon observation of a single phenomenon.
THE interest which this subject is exciting at the present moment is, we take it, a very hopeful sign. The probability would appear to be that, in the clash of opinions, the truth will gradually be beaten out. Every writer brings to the question his or her own contribution of real experience ; and, when once we have the facts properly sifted, it will not be such a difficult matter to draw conclusions.
THE many teachers, parents, and others who are forced to decide between conflicting policies in higher education will be greatly helped toward an intelligent decision by a study of the methods which prevailed in the early universities. It is the aim of the third volume of the “International Education Series ” to present a general survey of these methods.
Elective Studies in American Colleges.— Most of the leading colleges of the country, according to President Barnard, are admitting the elective principle more or less freely into their courses of study. In 1876 Yale College extended its very limited optional list from a minute fraction of the studies of the junior year to about one fourth of those of both junior and senior years.
A SERIES of charts, showing the surface temperatures of the Atlantic coast waters, from Maine to Florida, is under preparation by the United States Fish Commission, assisted by the Lighthouse Board and Signal Service. Observations, covering five years in time, have thus far been made at twentyfour lighthouse-stations.