IN teaching undergraduates in the subject of ethics, I have been impressed with the need of getting the discussion as near as possible to what is going on in the minds of students themselves. Although ethics is the most practical of the philosophic studies, none lends itself more readily to merely technical statement and formal discussion.
THERE is, perhaps, no way in which one can obtain a more vivid idea of the intensity of the struggle for existence among organic beings than by the study of the inhabitants of a freshwater pond of long standing. Every inch of space in such a situation is teeming with life, both animal and vegetable, and the chief delight of most of the animals present is to wage a ceaseless warfare upon their weaker fellows.
UNTIL our own days, through that crisis of individualism which has prevailed since the last century, crime has been regarded as the most essentially individual thing in the world ; and the notion of what might be called undivided crime was lost among criminologists, as was that also of collective sin among theologians.
A STUPENDOUS scheme has recently been seriously suggested for the utilization in British waters of the energy of ocean currents for the purpose of distribution of power and light by means of electricity to centers of population at distances up to hundreds of miles from the source.
IF there is any one portion of government machinery that would seem to demand a readjustment it is that portion which has to do with the distribution of public documents. I am not aware that there is any central bureau for the judicious distribution of the various publications of Government as there is, for example, for the issuing of patents or the payment of pensions.
ON the 10th of September, 1801, Sir Henry Tyler, President of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, presided at the inauguration of one of the greatest engineering achievements of the present day, bold in conception, new in design, and novel in many of the methods adopted in its construction.
I SHALL ask your attention this evening to the scientific principles which are involved in the condensation of atmospheric vapor, and to some of the attempts which have been made to produce this condensation by artificial means. Since the change from atmospheric vapor to water involves a change of the physical state of the same substance from a gas to a liquid, it is important that we understand clearly the difference between these two physical states.
IN the natural advance made in the study of the subject of infant foods—methods of preparation, administration, etc.— the process of sterilization of milk, as ordinarily and formerly understood, is now replaced by “Pasteurization,” which is, practically speaking, the low-temperature process of the earlier method, and specialists who comprehended the serious changes produced in milk by high and prolonged temperature advised from the first the lower method.
PROF. EDWARD B. POULTON, of Oxford, in closing his course of lectures at Columbia College, last February, described the cordial reception extended him on his arrival in New York. Taking a stroll through Central Park, he had walked but a few paces when a gray squirrel ran from a tree to his feet in the friendliest way possible.
NO branch of ornithology offers more attractions to the student of birds than the fascinating subject of migration. Birds come and go; absent to-day, to-morrow they greet us from every tree and hedgerow. Their departure and arrival are governed by as yet unknown laws; their journeys through the pathless sky are directed by an instinct or reason which enables them to travel thousands of miles to a winter home, and in the spring to return to the nest of the preceding year.
A GOOD idea of the generally accepted views upon a science in all its branches may be obtained by inspecting standard text-books on the subject, for such works are not likely to meet with the approval of scholars, and especially of professors, if they present views that are antiquated in form or palpably erroneous in statement.
IN the first glance over Nature, everything living, every plant or animal, and every part of what lives, seems to have a definite shape ; and we are naturally led to regard form in organized beings as an essential attribute of life. On the other hand, gases, which spread out into infinity; liquids, molding themselves on the walls of the vessels that stop their flow ; rocks, cut into a thousand shapes without ceasing to be the same rock—show us an inorganic world almost wholly freed from the fatality of form.
THERE are many theories afloat to solve the great question of medical education—what subjects should be taught in the early part of the curriculum, and what left out. I do not think it is quite such a great matter what is taught : how it is taught is of far more importance.
IT is difficult to give a simple explanation of color. Physicists declare that it is the result of a vibratory movement ; and metaphysicians who listen to them pretend to comprehend this. Although it is not clear, this definition is nevertheless the only one it is possible to give.
WHILE the characterization by Mr. Thomas Laurie of W. Mattieu Williams as having been “the first who swept aside the veil that had been hung up between scientific workers and the toiling millions” can hardly be verified, it is an indisputable fact that he was eminently successful in presenting scientific truths in a form acceptable to the common people and adapted to awaken their interest ; and his presentations rarely failed to suggest further thought on the subject to which they related.
Editor Popular Science Monthly : DEAR SIR: In your issue of this month is an article by Prof. Lester F. Ward entitled Weismann’s Concessions. In this Prof. Ward endeavors to show that Prof. Weismann has virtually acknowledged his own hypothesis on the inheritance of acquired characters to be untenable.
WHEN men and women come to saying ungracious things of one another in a kind of hostile rivalry, the situation is not pleasant, and bodes no good to the coming generation. The evil may he a limited one, yet it is, as far as it exists, a real one, and is already embittering and unsettling a good many lives.
SOCIAL EVOLUTION, By BENJAMIN KIDD. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 348. Price, $2.50. THIS is a work marked to a more than usual extent by independence and originality of thought, and one which will set a great many persons thinking on new lines.
Prof. William Dwight Whitney.—Prof. William Dwight Whitney, of Yale College, the foremost and greatest American philologist, died June 7th, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was born at Northampton, Mass., in 1827 ; was graduated from Williams College in 1845 ; after spending three years in the Northampton Bank, he went to Lake Superior in 1849 as an assistant in botany and ornithology in the United States Geological Survey.
THE summer meeting of the Northwestern Electrical Association was to be held in St. Paul, Minn., July 18th, 19th, and 20th. A larger number of attendants was expected than were present at the last meeting, including representatives from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota.