OUR hope in planning a brief journey to Sicily was to ascend Mount Etna, which, as everybody knows, is the highest volcano in Europe, and whose history and appearance have been recorded from the days of Homer. Although we did not ascend to the very summit, we had the unexpected pleasure of tramping up the ash-cone of one of the many minor volcanoes or monticles which stud the flanks of the majestic mother volcano, who looks down from her serene heights upon a numerous progeny scattered about her skirts.
VOYAGERS on the upper lakes in August last were involved in clouds of smoke which settled over the waters. These were often so dense as to render navigation dangerous and to occasion frequent collisions. They obscured the sun, which appeared a dull red ball in the sky.
HOW few of the many people who are fortunate enough to have a dollar bill in their pocket think of it as a work of art! Two hundred years ago this piece of paper would have been of almost incalculable value, and have awakened an interest among the artists of that day which we can scarcely realize.
AT the request of my friend and former pupil, Mr. W. M. Heller, I have undertaken to say a few words by way of introduction to the course which he is about to give here to assist a number of you who are teachers in schools in the Tower Hamlets and Hackney district under the School Board for London—a course of lessons expressly intended to direct your attention to the educational value of instruction given solely with the object of inculcating scientific habits of mind and scientific ways of working; and expressly and primarily intended to assist you in giving such teaching in your schools.
THERE are still thoughtful, liberal-minded men and women who persistingly declare that there should be no woman question; that women have now all the rights and opportunities which should be theirs, and that a just appreciation of what they have already would leave no time nor desire for further demands.
ONE of the latest and most ingenious schemes for solving the problem of aërial navigation is that devised by Prof. G. Wellner, of Brunn, Moravia, who has sought to bring in the application of a new principle. He calls his apparatus the “sailwheel flying machine” (Segelrad-Flugmaschine), and regards the mechanism of it as a kind of cross between those of the screwpropeller and of the kite, combining the advantages and avoiding the inconveniences of both.
I SHALL not attempt to go over all the ground covered by the above topic, but shall simple lay special stress upon a few points. I shall put in a plea for genuine, systematic laboratory work upon plants and animals; shall insist that, in studying both, students become familiar with the general structure, physiology, and classification of members of all the main groups from the lowest to the highest; shall urge the necessity of teachers especially trained for the work; and I shall then attempt to point out the training that should result from such a course of study.
NUMEROUS images have been felicitously employed to illustrate the significance of the human brain. Drummond, in his book on The Ascent of Man, likens it to a great table-land, traversed by many broad highways, studded with mighty cities, broken up into an endless maze of cross-roads and paths, with some mere faint trails.
IN the rich lands along the river banks of South Carolina, particularly in the Peedee section, there could be seen a few years ago an occasional vat or tank, made of the durable cypress timber, and raised high above the ground on wooden posts.
IT is fitting that the present season should not pass without a reference on these evenings to the work of him whose tragic death a few months since was felt as a personal grief and loss by every member of the Royal Institution. With much diffidence.
THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ASCENT AND THE EFFECTS OF RAREFIED AIR.
EDWIN SWIFT BALCH
IN 1855 the brothers Adolph and Robert Schlagintweit reached an altitude that for many years was unapproached. This was in a partial ascent of the Ibi Gamin or Kamet Mountain on the southern frontier of Tibet. They traveled up a long glacier by easy stages and encamped at gradually increasing elevations.
BOOKBINDING is in itself a comparatively simple matter and is easily described: but it is associated with great and interesting conditions of society, and at its highest rises into disinterested admiration by such means of expression as are within its reach of what is most beautiful and wonderful in human achievement, the written and printed speech of man.
THE appropriation of the riches of the vegetable world is accomplished in two ways, according as our principal effort is to make use of the spontaneous products of wild plants or to multiply them by cultivation. The former, which constitutes the system of selection, reduces itself to mere taking possession, and, as it is executed by the most simple means, it can be practiced by all animals.
IT has often happened that a young man who has begun life as a printer has afterward attained to distinction in some more intellectual pursuit. So it was with Benjamin Franklin and so with him whose story is to be told here. Whether this is due to the information which the young printer obtains from the matter constantly passing through his hands, or whether it is because the most intellectual of the young men who learn a mechanical trade take to printing, it would be difficult to say.
IN reading Dr. Wurtz’s article on the Chemistry of Sleep, in the issue of December, I observe that he considers dreams to be an essential element of “normal sleep.” “Sleep so deep as to be dreamless is probably not of the most natural kind....No one would claim that natural dreams are symptomatic of morbid conditions,” etc.
THERE was nothing commonplace about the title that first confronted the readers of the initial number of The Popular Science Monthly in May, 1872. The Study of Sociology: Our Need of It, had the flavor of that happy and legitimate audacity that makes things “go.”
THIS is a book which we can cheerfully recommend to all who are interested in social questions. The author does not wear the badge of any school, and he writes in a style which is by no means academic. He believes in the duty of being as original as it is in one’s power to be, and he therefore undertakes to apply some reforms, or what he considers such, to the accepted spelling of the English language and to some of its terms of expression.
Transportation of Dust in the Air.— In his studies of the atmospheric transportation of matter, Prof. J. A. Uddin finds that the velocities in the atmosphere being so much greater than those obtaining in rivers, lakes, and seas, the distances over which materials may be transported in it will be correspondingly greater, as was shown by the Krakatoa dust, of which the finer particles circled round the earth for months and even years.
THE course of eighteen lectures and conferences on social problems of the day, which was begun February 13th under the auspices of Columbian University, Washington, is to be continued, with three lectures a week, till March 28th. The conferences have special reference to the labor question, which will be considered from the points of view of ethics, economics, politics, education, and religion.