IN dealing with many of the questions which come within the domain of the student of political economy or of social science it becomes expedient to refer to the decisions of the courts, especially among the English-speaking people. The paramount question at issue to-day is the maintenance of personal liberty.
IT happened a long time ago, it may be fifty thousand years in round numbers, or it may have been twice as many, that a strange thing took place in the heart of the Great Mountains. It was in the middle of the Pliocene epoch, a long, dull time that seemed as if it would never come to an end.
THE admirable work of Mr. William C. Hunt, special agent in charge of the Population Division of the Census Office, and of Dr. John S. Billings, U. S. A., expert special agent in charge of the Division of Vital Statistics of the Census, enables one to study the relations of urban to country population, and the social statistics of cities.
SYLVAIN DORNON, a stilt-walker of the Landes, left Paris on the 12th of March, 1891, for Moscow, and reached the end of his journey after fifty-eight days of walking. This long walk on stilts was a subject of wonder, not to the Russians only, to whom this method of locomotion was unknown, but to Dornon’s own countrymen as well.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS. XII.
THE place this country holds among modern nations in the production and use of musical instruments is so significant that the fact alone ought to be sufficient to disprove the charge that Americans are too material to appreciate music or the arts.
THE third annual dinner of the Institution of Electrical Engineers was held at the Criterion on Friday, November 13th. Prof. William Crookes, the president, was in the chair. In proposing the toast of the evening, “Electricity in relation to Science,” Prof. Crookes delivered the following speech:
I HAVE read with attention the editorial comment on university extension, published in the November number of this magazine, and I am glad to see the subject given so much prominence. The movement has still much of the plasticity of youth, and any discussion regarding its proper ends and aims, or of the means by which these are to be gained, can never be more helpful than now.
THE "whirligig of time" may be said to be bringing to the much-neglected brutes an ample revenge. The first naïve view of the animal mind entertained by the savage and the child is a respectful one, and may perhaps be roughly summed up in the formula in which a little boy once set forth his estimate of equine intelligence: “All horses know some things that people don’t know, and some horses know more things than a great many people.”
ENGLEWOOD, Ill., is now a portion of the city of Chicago; but formerly it was a suburban town with an independent school system. In October, 1886, Miss Frances MacChesney, a primary teacher in the Lewis School, obtained permission from her principal, Miss Katherine Starr Kellogg, and her superintendent, Mr. Orville T. Bright, to try some work on the lines wrought out in the experiment made at Boston.
WHILE voyaging over many seas of experiment in search of education, some of us are beginning to apprehend that the golden fleece of mental culture will not create for us the symmetrical man or woman. As a consequence, various systems of bodily training are receiving close attention from teachers and reformers, while athletic sports are now honored and encouraged in schools and colleges where not many years ago they were merely tolerated as safety-valves for unsubdued vitality.
I HAD occasion, in a note published several years ago in the Revue Scientifique, to mention a parroquet which I have since continued to observe, the manifestations of whose intelligence are both interesting and instructive. Many acts of birds are difficult of interpretation.
THE object of this paper is the survey of the most remarkable changes that have taken place in the configuration of the land and the seas. My purpose is to show by an aggregation of proofs that the European and American continents were, to a certain extent, united at an epoch of only moderate geological antiquity.
IT is only, curiously enough, within the last decade or two that the science of astronomy has answered to its name. Until the methods of spectrum analysis and of photography were applied to the stars, astronomers were scarcely justified in their title, for they knew little about the stars, and, hardly hoping to know more, almost confined their attention to the solar system.
WITH the death of Weber, June 23, 1891, passed away, as M. Mascart, of the Central Meteorological Bureau of France, has well said, the last representative of that generation of men of science that cast so much luster on the first half of this century.
THE writer of the able article on university extension which appeared in the November Monthly, does well to come forward in the present number and further develop his views as to the best means of securing the success of the university-extension movement.
THE CAUSE OP AN ICE AGE. By Sir ROBERT BALL, LL. D., F. R. S., Royal Astronomer of Ireland, author of Starland. Modern Science Series, Vol. I. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1891. 16mo. Pp. xii+180. Price, $1. As a mathematician, Dr. Ball has a high reputation, and he has at the same time rare ability in popularizing his themes.
Ancient River Channels.—A remarkable contrast in the physical geography of the eastern and western coasts of the American continent is pointed out by Prof. Joseph Le Conte. The continent is bordered on both sides by a submarine plateau sloping gently seaward till it attains a depth of about one hundred fathoms, from which point the bottom drops off rapidly into deep water.
A PRACTICAL paper on Some Means of Health in School-houses is contributed to the 1890 Report of the Wisconsin Board of Health by Hon. W. D. Parker. One of the arrangements that Mr. Parker strongly commends is the “dry-air closet," so called because a current of dry air, coming from the ventilating flues of the building, is passed through the vault and carries off all the moisture from it, leaving only a small quantity of dry, inoffensive solid matter, which can be shoveled out.
MR. CHARLES SMITH WILSON, Government Geologist of New South Wales, died August 26th, in his forty-eighth year. He was an original member of the Linnæan Society of New South Wales, and its president in 1883 and 1884. MR. WILLIAM B. WATSON, who died at Bolton, England, October 6th, in his eightieth year, was one of Dalton’s last surviving pupils, and assisted him in his researches on the composition of the atmosphere, and was one of his nurses in his illness.