CHILDREN'S play has been studied under different aspects. One of the most attractive of these is its imaginativeness. All play is to some extent fanciful—that is, inspired and vitalized by fantasy; and the element of fancifulness is especially rich and varied in the pastimes of the small people of the nursery.
WHILE snow still sparkles in the frost furrows on Chocorua’s peak, the first rubythroats appear in the warm meadows and forest glades at the south of the mountain. They love the flowers as others of their race love them, and when apple blossoms bless the air with perfume and visions of lovely color and form, the humming birds revel in the orchards of the North as their brothers delight in the rich flowers of the tropics.
THE common barberry (Berberis vulgaris), being so abundant over the greater part of Europe, native to the soil, and at the same time both useful and beautiful, has naturally come to hold an important place in popular esteem. As a consequence it has received, in the course of centuries, a considerable variety of names in the different European languages, and some of these names, as might be expected, have undergone rather curious transformations.
AS many of the readers of The Popular Science Monthly are aware, there is a great engineering project on foot at Niagara Falls, looking to the development of a part of the water power at present running to waste over the gigantic cataract. A company, or rather an association of companies, working for a common end, is at present occupied at the falls with the object in view of utilizing the power commercially.
ENGLISH boys and girls at the present day are the victims of excessive lesson learning, and are also falling a prey, in increasing numbers year by year, to the examination-demon, which threatens to become by far the most ruthless monster the world has ever known either in fact or in fable.
ETHNOCENTRIC geography, which caused each petty tribe to regard itself as the center of the earth, and geocentric astronomy, which caused mankind to regard the earth as the center of the universe, are conceptions that have been gradually outgrown and generally discarded—not, however, without leaving distinct and indelible traces of themselves in human speech and conduct.
WHEN a beam of sunlight enters a darkened room through a hole in the window shutter, it can be seen along its whole course. The light is reflected-to every side, and made to reach the eye by the dust in the air of the room. We do not see the sunbeam itself, but the dust which is illuminated by it; and individual bodies can be perceived on a closer inspection floating in the beam.
AT the recent annual meeting of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors, held in the city of Toronto, the statement was made that, if the Canadian Government determined to run a meridian to the north pole, Canadian surveyors would carry the work through.
MINERALOGY, as the observation of minerals, is of very ancient date, but such observation was very crude, for the old scholars grouped under one name a great variety of forms, some rocks and some minerals. The earliest writer was a Greek by the name of Theophrastus, who lived about three hundred years before the Christian era.
THE day has long since passed when men expected to meet with success without faithful effort. We now realize that one of the fundamental principles underlying success in any field is concentration of thought and energy in rightly directed channels.
THE importance to man, and especially to the horticulturist, of the parasitic and predaceous insect enemies of such species as injure vegetation has been recognized by almost all writers on economic entomology. Indeed, it is a question whether the earlier writers did not attach too much importance to them, because while in the abstract they are all essential to keep the plant-feeding species in proper check, and without them these last would unquestionably be far more difficult to manage, yet in the long run our worst insect enemies are not materially affected by them, and the cases where we can artificially encourage the multiplication of the beneficial species are relatively few.
A CURIOUS book is preserved in the National Library of France, the title of which in English would be New Works of Sieur de Conac, Astrologer, Mathematician, Doctor, and Fortune-teller, Advocate of his Majesty. Treating of the Nativity of Men, their Inclination, and what will happen to them through Life.
THE late Prof. J. M. Maisch, in his memorial oration on Muhlenberg as a Botanist,* laid stress upon the frequency with which his name is met in works of descriptive botany as that of the person who first recognized as separate and scientifically designated some particular genus or species.
SIR: On reading Mr. McPherson’s paper in your July number, and in view of the present strike, I am more than ever impressed with the social importance of the central idea which I endeavored to set forth in a paper, Corporations and Trusts, sent for your consideration last winter.
THE events of the last few months in this country have certainly been enough to rouse the most indifferent citizen to serious reflection. In an already depressed condition of industry and commerce we have had thousands of men condemned by arbitrary action to wholly unnecessary idleness, trade in certain sections of the country all but paralyzed by the interruption of communication, and property to the value of millions of dollars destroyed.
FACTORS IN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION. Popular Lectures and Discussions before the Brooklyn Ethical Association. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 417. Price, $2. THIS volume, the third in the series issued by the Brooklyn Ethical Association, certainly does not fall below its predecessors in interest or the range of its topics.
Social Factors of Crime.—Discussing the subject of criminology in one of the circulars of the Bureau of Education, Mr. Arthur MacDonald speaks of crime as seeming to be, to a certain extent, Nature’s experiment on humanity. If a nerve of a normal organism is cut, the organs in which irregularities are produced are those which the nerve controls.
THE plague reported as prevailing in China is described by a correspondent of the British Medical Journal as presenting all the symptoms of the true bubonic pest which devastated Europe in the middle ages. Although extinct in Europe, this pest has never ceased to prevail in China from time to time, and has also spread from there to Persia and Asiatic Russia.