IN 1848, from the town of Hydeville, New York, came the somewhat startling discovery that certain knockings, the source of which had mystified the household of one of its residents, seemed to be intelligently guided and ready to appear at call.
THE CHEMICAL ELEMENTS: HISTORY OF THE CONCEPTION WHICH THIS TERM INVOLVES.
TABLE OF THE BINARY COMBINATIONS OF OXYGEN WITH OXIDABLE AND ACIDIFIABLE METALLIC AND NONMETALLIC SUBSTANCES.
JOSIAH PARSONS COOKE
THE intellectual force of Aristotle ruled in chemistry even longer than in other departments of physical science. In mechanics and astronomy the dogmas of Aristotle were effectually laid by Galileo early in the seventeenth century ; but his doctrine of the four elements*—in one form or other—was accepted in chemistry to the close of the eighteenth century.
WITHIN the last few months the public has received much and varied information on the subject of agnostics, their tenets, and even their future. Agnosticism exercised the orators of the Church Congress at Manchester.* It has been furnished with a set of “ articles ” fewer, but not less rigid, and certainly not less consistent than the thirty-nine ; its nature has been analyzed, and its future severely predicted by the most eloquent of that prophetical school whose Samuel is Auguste Comte.
ONE of the most striking results due to the building of transcontinental railroads is the approach to extinction of the buffalo. Its vast range once extended from Great Slave Lake to the northeastern provinces of Mexico, and in British territory from the Rockies to wooded highlands six hundred miles west of Hudson’s Bay.
RARELY has it been in the history of the world that a city which has become famous as a scientific and literary center has not, sooner or later, inaugurated, developed, and maintained its collection of living wild animals, its zoological gardens.
IF it is true that “the proper study of mankind is man,” assuredly the study of nature has never before reached a territory of thought so important in all its aspects as that which in our own generation it is for the first time approaching. After centuries of intellectual conquest in all regions of the phenomenal universe, man has at last begun to find that he may apply in a new and most unexpected manner the adage of antiquity—Know thyself.
THE doctrine known as Christian Science has gained so large a number of followers, it promises the freedom from disease which so many afflicted persons are longing for, it appeals to the religious sentiments, which are so powerful to sway the mass of mankind, and also claims a basis in science from which the world is constantly expecting fresh surprises, that it has aroused the interest of thousands who are trying to decide whether it is a revelation of truth or a contagious delusion.
HAVING thus summarily indicated those factors of evolution associated with genesis and which are essentially physiological, however much psychical phenomena may co-operate, we may touch upon the more purely psychical factors or those pertaining to the growth and use of mind, employing the term to expresé those neural phenomena traceable to the medium of the brain.
IT is but little more than four years since there appeared, among the economical products of Ohio and Indiana, a new force, which has worked a sort of revolution among manufactures. The geographies used to say Ohio was noted for wheat, corn, and pork ; now they must add petroleum and natural gas.
THE vast proportions which the great witchcraft movement assumed in by-gone years explains the magic properties which we find ascribed to so many plants in most countries. In the nefarious trade carried on by the representatives of this cruel system of sorcery certain plants were largely employed for working marvels, hence the mystic character which they have ever since retained.
METEOROLOGY is one of the youngest of the sciences. Most of what is settled and systematized has been developed within the memory of men who are still living. The contributions of Americans to research in this branch have been among the most important.
THOSE who have watched with interest the struggle to introduce the culture of silkinto the United States, and noted the many failures of those engaged in the work, must feel that, if anything is to be done in silkculture in this country, new methods must be tried.
IT is a somewhat melancholy thing to reflect that, while we have a ministry of truth in the men who, with dispassionate minds, are applying themselves to discover the laws of nature and the true succession and affiliation of historical phenomena, we have also a ministry of error devoted to opposing, one by one, the conclusions of science, and fostering in the minds of those to whom it is addressed habits of false and inconclusive reasoning.
PROF. C. A. YOUNG’S “ Text-Book of General Astronomy for Colleges and Scientific Schools ” is a work worthy of the reputation of its author, and creditable to the progress of American science. Not only his long experience as a teacher is manifested in the book, but also the character of his teaching, which is clearly that of a man in close sympathy with his students, who perceives accurately the attitude of their minds toward the subject, and knows just when and where to lend assistance.
Natural Purification of Polluted Streams. —The growing population of the many cities which discharge their sewage into rivers gives increasing importance to the question how great a degree of pollution is allowable in a stream of given flow, the water of which is to be used lower down for domestic or for manufacturing purposes.
DR. H. A. HARE, of the University of Pennsylvania, has issued, through P. Blakiston, Son & Co., Philadelphia, his essay on “Mediastinal Disease,” to which the Medical Society of London awarded the Fothergillian medal for 1888. A CURIOUS story of foster relationship between a wood-duck and a hen is told by a Mr. Palmer.