THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN INDUSTRIES SINCE COLUMBUS. XVII.
PROF. C. HANFORD HENDERSON
ALONG the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains there is found a hard, dark mineral known as obsidian, or volcanic glass. It is a variety of feldspar. In the chemical sense, it is a true glass, since it is a silicate of at least two metals, aluminium and potassium.
MAN is an animal, by the same title with other animals, without any more rights than those conferred upon him by virtue of the law of the strongest, by his physical organization, his physiological attributes, and his success in the struggle for existence.
AN eastern North American landscape is chiefly characterized, at least in the more settled portions of the country, by its diversified aspect of woods and fields. All other distant features gradually melt away and leave to the involuntarily closing eye a checkered expanse of darkly shaded masses and broadly open sunlit spaces.
IT is now twenty years since the memorable attempt to found a seaside laboratory on Penikese. Prof. Louis Agassiz lived long enough to demonstrate the impracticability of maintaining a summer school in such an inaccessible place, but unfortunately not long enough to repeat the experiment under more favorable conditions.
THE ÆSTHETIC SENSE AND RELIGIOUS SENTIMENT IN ANIMALS.
PROF. E. P. EVANS
DR. WILKS reduces the chief difference between man and brute to the "smallness of knowledge of the fine arts possessed by the latter"; and a passing remark made by Prof. Huxley, in one of his essays, would seem to imply a disposition to draw the line of separation between animal and human intelligence at this point.
GULLIVER relates that in the course of his travels he found a curious country which was governed entirely by academies, according to the most exact rules of science and reason. These bodies had attempted to reform the whole social organization.
AMONG those many creatures which know our fields and forests for their homes, is the little garter snake; or, as naturalists would have us dub him, Eutænia sirtalis. If one will but overcome a deep-rooted antipathy to crawling things, and will exchange the city’s heat and turmoil for a few weeks of outing in the pure air of our sweet-scented fields, and make our little friend’s acquaintance, much that the observer will not willingly forget will be his reward.
FROM the myth of Attis itself, with its strange old-world implications, let us turn our attention next to the more general subject of plant and tree worship, of which the special case of the Phrygian god would appear to be only a particular example.
IN the Atlantic Monthly for February, 1873, Miss H. R. Hudson, writing on idiosyncrasies, says, "The nine digits will ascend in a straight line before my mind’s eye, and the larger numbers will slant off at a queer angle” thus: About twelve years ago Francis Galton, in England, while engaged in an investigation into the visualizing peculiarities of different persons, discovered that the possession of "number forms" was not uncommon.
THE variety of food substances that men have obtained from the animal and vegetable kingdoms is really wonderful. One might say, "There are many men on the earth, and every one will eat what he can get the most of and at the cheapest rate, and so they have tried and tasted them all."
AT the outset of our inquiry into science teaching, we are, of course, met by the old question as to the purpose of education. There are those who regard education as an intellectual arming and equipment for the battle of life. Others look upon it rather as an end than as a means.
THE further we travel from the origin of our species the less concern does male humanity show to enhance what share of beauty it may lay claim to, or to screen the ugliness it is generally heir to, by grace of garments. Among civilized and well-todo men, gala costume has no keynote now but respectability— at weddings as at funerals, at garden parties as in Parliament, costume is attuned to harmonize with the hurtful cylinder of sable which the supineness of our great-grandfathers allowed the hatters to impose on them as a headdress, and a hundred hopeless years have but served to bind more tightly on our aching brows.
ONE of the most remarkable revelations made of late years by prehistoric archæology relative to primitive man has been that of the extent to which trepanning was practiced by the men of the polished stone age—the men who erected the rude stone monuments of which Stonehenge and Carnac are the highest expressions.
A "NEW STAR" is a representative of a class of phenomena so rare that the number recorded during the last few centuries may be counted on the fingers. Hence we readily conceive that, since they are very striking in themselves as breaking the monotony of the starry heavens, and since also their nature was considered till quite recently to be shrouded in mystery, a most lively interest has been stirred up by the recent new arrival, not only among astronomers, but among that large class who are always on the qui vive for celestial wonders.
ATTENTION was called, at one of the late meetings of the Brandenburg Society of Botanists, to the fact that the two hundredth anniversary of the discovery of sexuality in plants had recently occurred. It was in fact two hundred years since the doctor and botanist Rudolf Jakob Camerarius, professor at Tübingen, separated two feminine types of the annual mercury from a group of plants of the same kind growing in a garden, and remarked that they had hollow seeds.
THE services of Robert Boyle to science are described in the National Biography as "unique, notwithstanding occasional failing on the side of credulousness”—a failing which Sir Henry Ackland excuses as due rather to the age than to the person.
THE article contributed by President Eliot to the December Forum, under the title Wherein Popular Education has Failed, is one of the weightiest utterances on that subject that have fallen under our notice in recent years. It is weighty in its moderation, in the clearness and force of the indictment it formulates, and in the precision with which it indicates the remedial measures to be taken.
PHYSIOLOGISTS and philosophers have been much interested during the last fifteen years in researches in pathological psychology, based upon the study of hysteria and suggestion; and a considerable quantity of observations and experiments has been collected in a very short time.
The Indo-European Conception of the Soul.—In a paper in the British Association on The Indo-Europeans' Conception of a Future Life and its Bearing upon their Religions, Prof. G. Hartwell Jones said that three heads naturally suggested themselves: 1. The connection of body and soul.
A CORRESPONDENT of the London Spectator, Violet Davies, tells the following story of "a canine member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals”: “Last week a sick dog took up its abode in the field behind our house, and, after seeing the poor thing lying there for some time, I took it food and milk and water.