THE modest, peaceful valley of the Delaware River, from the head of tide-water southward, is as little suggestive of the Arctic Circle, for at least nine months of the year, as do its low and weedy banks in summer suggest the tropics. On the contrary, every tree, shrub, sedge, beast, bird, or fish that you see above, about, or within it is a feature of a strictly temperate climate.
TO a little sand, a little alkali, and a little limestone, add considerable heat and a still greater amount of skill, might be taken as a brief recipe for the manufacture of a glass bottle. But to know in just what proportions to mix these several ingredients, how to produce and manage the requisite heat, and particularly how to cultivate that most essential part of the whole process, the manual dexterity which gives value to these other factors, are matters less briefly disposed of.
IF any species or race desires a continued existence, then above all things it is necessary that that species or race should go on reproducing itself. This, I am aware, is an obvious platitude; but I think it was John Stuart Mill who once said there were such things in the world as luminous platitudes.
THE whirligig of politics, rather than that of time, undoubtedly brought about the hasty passage by Congress of the so-called “Chinese Exclusion Act.” Being simply “a supplement” to the act of May 6, 1882, which expires by its own limitation on the 6th of May, 1892, it can of course only be regarded as a temporary measure; and unless other legislation of like character, but more well considered and permanent in its operation, is had before May 6, 1892, the country will then be as open to the free and unrestricted immigration of the Chinese as it was prior to the treaty of 1881, and the act to execute its provisions to which this is a supplement.
PLACED in a world in common, with every degree of financial ability, positive and negative, we are all spurred on by common necessity, by common desire to escape hunger, cold, disease, and death. To this end we enter the business arena and struggle for bread, each offering for sale something he has himself produced in return for like offerings from others.
ISRAELITE AND INDIAN: A PARALLEL IN PLANES OF CULTURE.*
PARALLEL MYTHS.—The early religious opinions and practices of all peoples appear in myth and by myths are explained. When a religion has endured among a people for a long time after the use of writing has become general, its myths are collected and collated and formed into a system.
MY paper is entitled the “Mental and Physical Training of Children,” and I shall begin with remarks on physical training, as it is first in natural order, the physical life beginning before the mental. In these days, when there is a great rage for education, a certain top-heaviness has been produced among children, and the good homely helpmate of the mind—the body—is decidedly neglected.
WE stand on a bluff at the sea-shore. The surf is undermining it. That deep cutting into the bank is its work. An over-hanging mass of earth is thrown down and becomes the toy of the waves, which reduce it to gravel. This in its turn becomes ammunition to be hurled against the shore.
THAT “wonderful pacifick year 1660” witnessed the restoration of the house of Stuart and the organization of the Royal Society. After twenty years of civil wars, Cromwell, and Puritanism, the English people, with the surfeit which invariably follows the prolonged discussion of one idea, turned with avidity to the gay court which Charles II brought with him into Whitehall.
HAVING dealt in a previous article (see “ Popular Science Monthly" for November, 1889) with the voice in its every-day garb of speech, it now remains for me to speak of it as it is when transfigured in song. The organ is the same in both cases, but in song it is used strictly as a musical instrument—one, too, of far more complex structure than any fashioned by the hand of man.
FAMILIAR instances of suspended vitality, or rather latent vitality, are afforded by seeds, which may be kept for years without showing action, but are yet capable of being recalled to the exercise of the functions of life. Other instances are afforded by the lower organisms, which will remain dry and sterile for indefinite periods, to be brought into full activity at any time by supplying the due degree of moisture and warmth.
ONE of the most eminent of the colaborers of Pasteur in the investigation of the relations of micro-organisms to disease-infection, and one whose labors have been most fully appreciated by intelligent men, is Dr. ROBERT KOCH, of Berlin. He was born at Clausthal on the 11th of December, 1843, the son of a high officer in the department of mines.
IF, on the one hand, we have frequent cause for astonishment at the rapidity with which modern life is being transformed under the influence of scientific invention and discovery, we are, on the other, sometimes compelled to wonder at the extreme slowness with which certain useful and entirely practicable reforms, plainly indicated by acknowledged scientific principles, are adopted by the public.
THE literary value of the papers contained in these volumes is equal to their scientific value, and that is well understood. Botanical criticism and description are not usually classed among literary subjects, but Prof. Gray made them one; and a large proportion of what he has written in that field is aesthetically enjoyable.
The Name Silurian in Geology.—We have received from Prof. Dana the following note in explanation of a change in geological nomenclature recently proposed by him: “ The names for the grander divisions of the Palæozoic series below the Devonian used in most of the recently published works on geology are Cambrian, Lower Silurian, and Upper Silurian.
THE Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia asserts in its last report that the collection has at no previous time been so well able to fill its part among the educational institutions of the city as at present. It contains a sufficient variety of specimens to give a comprehensive idea of the four classes of vertebrates.