THE present paper aims at furnishing an introduction to the study of Mr. Spencer’s philosophic system; but, to avoid all possibility of misconception, it may be well to state at the outset in what sense the word introduction is here employed.
ON still another side the development of photography has secured instructive data for art. In the year 1836 the brothers William and Edward Weber, in their famous work on the Mechanism of the Human Organs of Locomotion, represented a man walking in the positions which it was theoretically supposed he must go through during the time of making a step.
STORIES of men who lived or worked in caves abound in history, mythology, and folk-lore tales. The youthful imagination is charmed with accounts of robbers' caves, from that of the forty thieves down to those described in Gil Bias and those which are associated with the robber period of the history of the Mississippi Valley.
TO the historian folk lore is both a blessing and a curse. It presents an almost insurmountable barrier to scientific investigation; for, to separate the kernel of truth from the mass of superstitious chaff by which it is surrounded, is a task in comparison with which the proverbial finding of the needle in the hay-stack sinks into insignificance.
WITHOUT visiting either Stockholm, Vienna, or Rome, the author has recently seen many of the museums of ethnography in western Europe. It has seemed to him that a sketch of the workers and a description of the work in anthropology there might be of interest to readers of the Monthly.
APROPOS of a recent article in The Popular Science Monthly, entitled "Do we teach Geology?" it may be said that, while the science may be taught in some high schools and smaller colleges in the one-sided and perfunctory manner stated, the statements under this head seem somewhat sweeping, as is also the writer’s condemnation of all of our text-books; those of Dana, of Le Conte, or Geikie, being comprehensive and excellent.
THE fact is very evident that the practical art of healing has made great advances during the past century, especially during the last half of it. The progress of dermatology, the brilliant career of ophthalmology, the new creation of laryngology, the wonderful development of operative surgery and gynaecology, and, in the line of internal curatives, the introduction of a series of effective remedial substances and physical methods of healing, and, further, the greater importance attached to physiological, dietetical, and hygienic factors of the most diversified sorts—have all taken place during this period, and in part in the very presence of our contemporaries.
THERE is a universal tendency to seek and sometimes to see in the forms of objects around us representations of the human figure or of animals and plants. Many interesting examples have been recorded and pictured in La Nature of rocks and mountains presenting resemblances to animated forms.
THE rapid development of science and its numerous applications in the industrial arts are leading to a general recognition of its importance as a factor in the material and intellectual progress of the age. The aid of science is now invoked in every department of human activity, and, judging from what has already been accomplished, we can not perceive any indications of a limit to its useful applications in the industries.
EXERCISE, as well as pure air, helps us in our constant struggle against the poisons that we manufacture within ourselves. It does this by driving the blood charged with oxygen, by means of the pressure of the muscles called into play, more thoroughly through the tissue (Foster, page 219); and thus it would quicken the breaking down of dead tissue into its safe and final waste products (water, carbonic acid, and urea), and shorten the period during which the dead tissue was passing through various dangerous forms which it temporarily assumes.
WHO knows the Mediterranean, knows the prickly pear. Not that that quaint and uncanny-looking cactus, with its yellow blossoms and bristling fruits that seem to grow paradoxically out of the edge of thick, fleshy leaves is really a native of Italy, Spain, and North Africa, where it now abounds on every sunsmitten hillside.
VOLTA’S title to be remembered rests chiefly upon his application of the discovery of the production of electricity by contact, which has been fruitful and continues to be fruitful of results of the greatest importance in the progress of research in the domains of physical forces and of the constitution of matter, and is one of the most potent instruments in the hands of students for enlarging the boundaries of their knowledge of the material world.
SIR: Being greatly interested in the subject treated by Dr. Louis Robinson in the March Popular Science Monthly, and having had some opportunity to study infant life, I would like to call attention to some observations which I have made in that line and which may interest others.
THE question of the just distribution of material wealth is one which to-day is engaging many minds, and which in some quarters is being discussed with no small amount of passion. "We are not aware, however, that there is any theory now before the world in the light of which any material change could hopefully be made in the existing structure of society.
THE contents of this volume consist of essays and addresses prepared for various occasions and embracing a considerable range of topics. Among those dealing with natural science are a review of Goethe’s Farbenlehre, a magazine article on Atoms, Molecules, and Ether Waves, another with the title About Common Water, and a paper on the Origin, Propagation, and Prevention of Phthisis.
Origin of Greenland Vegetation.—Some interesting conclusions are drawn by Mr. Clement Reid from a comparison of the views of Prof. Warming and Prof. Nathorst concerning the origin of the flora of Greenland. Prof. Warming fixes the boundary between the European and American provinces of the arctic flora as in Denmark Strait, and not in Davis Strait, as botanists have generally placed it.
INVOLUNTARY Movements.—The article on Involuntary Movements, by Prof. Jastrow, published in the April number, will appear in a more extended form in the forthcoming issue of the American Journal of Psychology. A PROMISING account is given of the copper mines of French Congo.