THE existence of a most curious and, in many respects, unprecedented disturbance and depression of trade, commerce, and industry, which, first manifesting itself in a marked degree in 1873, has prevailed with fluctuations of intensity up to the present date of writing (1887), is an economic and social phenomenon that has been everywhere recognized.
IN discussing the question, What sort of botanical investigation is needed in this country? one might consider two things: First, what are the special problems which from their nature can be studied better in this country than elsewhere; and, secondly, what kind of investigation is best adapted to the present state of our botanical establishments and the capacities of the botanists of this country?
THE study of human stature involves several questions of more important interest than that of mere theory or curiosity. It may aid us in learning whether the human race is really degenerating, as some persons assert, by determining whether our ancestors in heroic and prehistoric times had the superior physical prowess that is often ascribed to them.
NOT a little skepticism, and even some hostility, have existed among us as to the Panama Canal; and, perhaps, any other nation in our situation would have entertained similar sentiments. It is worthy of note, however, that the nation was not lacking in tact when it refrained from showing any such feelings during the recent visit of M.de Lesseps.
IN America, as in the Eastern Continent, the North is the land of lakes. A line from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the western end of Lake Erie, and thence to the mouth of the Mackenzie, lies through and near a succession of lakes unequaled in number and aggregate area by any other like extent on the earth.
WITHIN the past twenty years the business of life-insurance has grown with such wonderful rapidity, and changed so radically in its methods and contracts, that it is to-day as unlike its old self as the railway-car is unlike the stage-coach.
"THE humming-bird has now laid its eggs in the nest by the veranda,” our friend wrote us from Gananoque; “come soon if you want to see them. And Miss Sinclair has tamed a chipmunk, which eats almost from her hand, by the big tree. I’m sure your boy would like to have a peep at him.
ALTHOUGH we may regard it as fully admitted that the external appearance of the skull is no certain indication of the mental caliber of the individual, still there are many who are inclined to measure mind in terms of matter, believing it to be somehow dependent on the material constitution of the brain.
THE earthquake-shocks which have recently occurred in America and Greece, and the great volcanic eruption in New Zealand, have served to keep the subject vividly before us during many months past, and have perhaps created in some alarmist minds an ungrounded expectation that the earth is about to enter on a new period of Plutonic activity.
THE popular beliefs of classic antiquity regarding storms, thunder, and lightning, took shape in myths representing Vulcan as forging thunderbolts, Jupiter as flinging them at his enemies, Æolus intrusting the winds in a bag to Æneas, and the like.
IN his “Descent of Man” Mr. Darwin has shown at length that what Hunter termed secondary sexual characters occur throughout the whole animal series, at least as far down in the zoÖlogical scale as the Articulata. The secondary sexual characters with which he is chiefly concerned are of a bodily kind, such as plumage of birds, horns of mammals, etc.
THE appeal made by Professor Jowett, in the columns of the “Times,” for state aid to provincial colleges established to promote “higher education,” naturally raises the question how high education for the bulk of mankind ought to go. The world has heard something too much of the subject of late years, and the theme has been worn rather threadbare.
FEW naturalists have enjoyed a longer working-life, or been able to make it more fruitful in finished achievement, than Isaac Lea. His first paper, being a simple account of the minerals then known to exist in the vicinity of Philadelphia, was published in 1818.
AS many of our readers are doubtless aware, the “Fortnightly Review” has lately opened its pages to a discussion of the present relations between theology and the general thought of the age. The subject has been approached by several writers from different points of view; and we can not but believe that the conflict of opinions will result in some solid gain to the cause of truth.
PUBLIC DEBTS: AN ESSAY IN THE SCIENCE OF FINANCE. By HENRY C. ADAMS, Ph. D. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 407. Price, $2.50. THE purpose of this treatise is to portray the principles which underlie the use of public credit. While it is neither primarily statistical nor historical, it relies upon statistics, and makes frequent appeals to history; and in these points, the experiences of our national Government, so comprehensive and recent, and of our State and local governments, so various and often so impressive, afford a rich fund whence illustration and the “clinchers” of argument are drawn.
The Glaeial' Lake and Island of Cincinnati.—The city of Cincinnati occupies, as Professor Joseph F.James remarks, one of the most interesting geological positions on the North American Continent. The strata of its hills are almost wholly composed of Lower Silurian fossils, in nearly perfect preservation, packed as closely as they can be stowed together.
A NEW feature in the summer courses in chemistry at the Harvard University Laboratory this year, will be a course comprising the work required in preparing for the admission examination in chemistry for the freshman class at Harvard College.