A MOST vital change is going on in the region west of central Kansas—a change which will in the near future profoundly affect many if not all classes of agriculturists in other American States, and incidentally in Europe also. I refer to the change that has been brought about by the success of private irrigation enterprises, by important alterations in the laws respecting irrigation, by district irrigation under such laws, and by the steady growth of a public sentiment favorable to the irrigator, even when his necessities override ancient precedent.
THIS very pronounced opinion will be met on the part of some by a no less pronounced demurrer, which involves a denial of possibility. It has been of late asserted, and by many believed, that inheritance of acquired characters can not occur.
COMPARING the stone age of the New World with that of the Old, an important point of difference comes at once into view. The American race is distinguished in culture from all other savages by the possession and use of an implement to which nothing analogous is found among the prehistoric relics of the Eastern hemisphere.
THE Yuruks are nomadic tribes whose existence is a phenomenon difficult to understand and to explain. Ethnologists consider them as direct descendants of the Turkomans, whose distinctive features they have preserved; while those properly called Turks, though descendants of the Turkomans, have mingled with Aryan and Semitic races, and lost their original characteristics.
IF, as it has often been stated, the age of miracles in the history of religions is past, it is certain that the age of marvels in the evolution of science is just beginning. The Orient, which from time immemorial has been the chief seat and source of theosophic systems and theurgic traditions, is still peculiarly prolific in all sorts of magical phenomena and other mysterious manifestations.
IN an article printed in the Monthly for June, 1892, I presented some of the phenomena of the soldier’s first actions under a death-hurt. A field for investigation lying just beyond that—as I infer from the incomplete records and deductions offered by men of science—is that of the phenomena of death itself.
IN the byways of science, as on the scenes of a theatre and in the pages of fiction, an alias is often found to serve a very convenient purpose. But it is always a little disappointing, to those in search of a veritable novelty, to find in place of it only a discredited piece of antiquity, though varnished, polished, and faced with a new color; and it is not inspiriting, even to the dilettante of the drama or of fiction, to be put off with old and worn-out characters, masquerading under new names, with fantastic costumes and modern effects, however ingenious and startling.
IF we consider the great variety of seeds and fruits, we naturally inquire its meaning; and if we are sufficiently interested to observe carefully the part which seeds play in Nature, we soon find that in innumerable ways they are adapted to their surroundings.
IT may seem a curious assertion to make, but it is nevertheless an absolutely true one, namely, that a man's life is not measured by the years that he has lived, but by the way in which he has spent them. Many a person may be as young and active at seventy as another at twenty-five, and the length of his life, his health, and his ability to enjoy green old age, depend in a great measure on what the surroundings have been in the earlier years of existence.
MY little daughter is sitting very quietly on the floor beside me, busily engaged in arranging her colored house blocks in streets and lanes. She seems so completely absorbed in her play that I am careful not to speak to her, or even to look at her, lest I should disturb her.
AN institution peculiar to Central Africa is the prophetess,* who combines with her prophetic functions the office of witch detective. As she is the most terrible character met with in village life, a detailed account of her office and method of procedure may be interesting.
CONCERNING the Bay of Fundy the school-books generally note the single fact that "here the tides rise higher than anywhere else in the world.” But so meager a reference to what is in itself an imposing exhibition of gravitational energy, helpful as it may be in a mnemonic way to the learner of geographical catalogues, gives no hint either of the extraordinary series of physiographical conditions which are the cause of this phenomenon or of those which it creates.
THE most prominent features in Sir Archibald Geikie’s geological work are his studies of the effects of volcanic force, beginning in Scotland and extending to many countries; and his explanations of the fundamental part which geological processes have played in shaping the topographical features of the land, and in the origin of natural scenery.
SIR: On page 424 of the January number (1893) of The Popular Science Monthly is given a précis of the log of the ship Savannah, which is correct; but the heading, The First Transatlantic Steamer, is totally wrong. The Savannah was not the first trans-atlantic steamer, but a sailer, with propelling contrivances to be used in smooth water; moreover, she did not carry fuel enough to take her across to England by steam, and she proved a failure as far as transatlantic steam navigation was concerned.
WE have read with considerable interest a book by Mr. Henry M. Boies, elsewhere noticed in this number, having for its title Prisoners and Paupers. We have read it not only with interest but with sympathy, for Mr. Boies is much in earnest, and his aim is the noble one of serving the community by checking the evils of criminality, pauperism, and mental and physical degeneration, which in these latter years have been assuming so threatening proportions.
MR. BOIES had peculiar facilities for the production of such a work as this and he has used them ably. In his preface he says that he has in this work not only endeavored to give a general view of the subject as it appears in this country, "to emphasize the waste of human sympathy and public funds which results from what appears to be inconsiderate and misdirected methods of treatment,” but he proposes a most feasible— he says, "positive remedy.”
The Telautograph.—A new system of electric transmission was recently exhibited in New York and Chicago which promises to rival in commercial importance the telephone. This is the writing telegraph of Prof. Elisha Gray. By means of it any one can with an ordinary lead pencil on ordinary paper write a message or make a sketch and have it reproduced with exactness, in its minutest detail, in the receiving instrument, which may be hundreds of miles away.
IN his article in the April number of The Popular Science Monthly entitled Science and the Colleges, President D. S. Jordan made the statement that “it is not many years since the faculty of one of our State universities spent a whole afternoon discussing the proposition to abolish laboratory work in science.”