IWRITE not as an expert, but rather as an intelligent sympathizer. I have been for twenty-five years an instructor in Yale College, and believe thoroughly in its traditions of work and scholarship. From my youth up having been fond of athletic exercises, and as a student always ready to participate in them, I can write of them understandingly.
THE child's first vigorous effort to understand the things about him may be roughly dated at the end of the third year, and it is noteworthy that this synchronizes with the advent of the questioning age. The first putting of a question occurred in the case of Preyer's boy in the twenty-eighth month, in that of Pollock's girl in the twenty-third month.
TWO hundred years ago a pious monk, Dom Perignon by name, held the post of cellarer to the fraternity of monks of the Order of St. Benedict, in the hamlet of Hautevillers, situated on the river Marne, four or five miles from Epernay and about fifteen miles from Rheims.
AN examination of the Massachusetts registration reports reveals some facts with reference to centennarians which are of interest, both in themselves considered and as illustrating some of the conditions favorable to great longevity.
THERE are few countries in which the effects of intermixture of races and of change of environment upon the physical characteristics of man can be studied as advantageously as in America, where a process of slow amalgamation between three distinct races is taking place.
UNTIL a few years ago it was popularly believed that the negro nations of West Africa were in the unique position of never having produced anything worth recording. They were supposed to have no history, no traditions, and no folklore, and even their religion was said to be something infinitely lower than was found anywhere else, a worship of sticks, stones, or shells, picked up at haphazard, and deified without rhyme or reason.
WHILE the vegetative organs of barberries exhibit, as we have seen, an abundant variety of form and many degrees of differentiation, the reproductive organs are, on the contrary, so very similar throughout the group that what we may find to be true of a single example, such as Berberis vulgaris, will apply very generally to all the other species.
ONE whose attention has been directed to the great activity which has taken hold of the modern educational world can not but have concluded that teaching has come to be regarded as a more or less difficult art, for which considerable preparation must be made in order that one shall be fitted to do it at all well.
A WRITER on the subject of the disposal of the bodies of the dead has said, "As there is almost nothing else so deeply interesting to the living as the disposal of those whom they have loved and lost, so there is perhaps nothing else so distinctive of the condition and character of a people as the method in which they treat their dead."
IN his able and suggestive essay on Cosmic Emotion, the late Prof. Clifford pointed out the significant fact that in the development of thought the feelings never quite keep pace with the intellect. It is not hard to see why this must be so. Every new achievement of science, every fresh acquisition of knowledge, makes its appeal directly to the intelligence; and the judgment so far as it is clear and unbiased, decides all questions at issue purely on the merits of the evidence laid before it.
THE traveler who in these days penetrates to the high plateaus of upper Peru and Bolivia, explores the basin of Lake Titicaca, and returns to Cuzco, is struck with the great number of ruins, hieroglyphic inscriptions, broken pottery work, and huacas which he meets at every step.
IN spite of the few wonderful accidents that have led to great changes and advance in modern ideas, most of the real advances of the world have been the results of simple hard work and hard thinking by men of ability. As an example of the type of scientist who does not make astounding discoveries of doubtful value, but who surely and steadily advances the cause of science by faithful work, stands the astronomer ASAPH HALL.
I WAS much gratified to see that Dr. Le Conte's very able and interesting article upon flying, in one of your recent numbers, fully recognized the fact that mere air in motion, commonly known as "wind," and popularly supposed to be in most cases moving at a uniform velocity, can not in the long run help a bird or a man to fly.
A FEW months ago we referred to the objections which had been made to the teaching of modern scientific views in the University of California; but fortunately we were able to state that much public sympathy had been extended to the incriminated professors, and that they were able to hold their positions without any curtailment of the liberty they claimed of imparting the best scientific instruction in their power without regard to preconceived notions or theories.
THIS book is largely an outgrowth of lectures delivered from time to time on Mr. Spencer's Philosophy. The book itself was undertaken to meet what seemed a healthy popular demand. Mr. Hudson had observed with some surprise the widespread diffusion of interest in the subject of evolution.
Spermophiles.—The destructive animals that form the subject of Vernon Bailey's Bulletin (Department of Agriculture) on the prairie ground squirrels of the Mississippi Valley, belong to the genus Spermophilus, and are commonly known as spermophiles.
IN the present course of thought and life Prof. George E. Howard sees a crisis which is determining the character of the modern university. Thus there is a growing tendency to abandon the traditional assumption that there is an essential difference in the scholastic value of studies.