THE anthropology of Italy has a very pertinent interest for the historian, especially in so far as it throws light upon the confusing statements of the ancients. Pure natural science, the morphology of the genus Homo, is now prepared to render important service in the interpretation of the body of historical materials which has long been accumulating.
THE recent improvements in kites have suggested perhaps to many the question, “ How would Franklin perform his kite experiment to-day?” It may seem a little presumptuous to speak for that unique philosopher, and attempt to outline the modifications he would introduce were he to walk on earth again and fly kites as of yore; for, with the exception of Jefferson, perhaps his was the most far-seeing and ingenious mind of a remarkable age.
IN considering the psychology of belief we find ourselves face to face at the very outset with the questions: (1) What is the nature of belief ? (2) What are the conditions under which it arises ? and (3) What are the causes for its appearance ? In trying to answer these questions we have to say frankly, before crossing the threshold of the topic:
MR. CHARLES WHEELOCK, Head Inspector of the Regents of New York State, voicing the opinion of fifty-five hundred teachers in this State, says, that for the twenty years during which drawing has been a part of the curriculum of the public schools, “the results are not much of anything.” *
SUBJECTS OF TAXATION.—The subjects of taxation, to use a happy generalization of Justice Field of the United States Supreme Court (Foreign-held Bond Case, 15 Wallace), “are persons, property, and business. Whatever form taxation may assume, whether as duties, imposts, excises, licenses, or direct, it must relate to one of these subjects.
IN Some Unrecognized Laws of Nature, Mr. Singer and Mr. Berens have restated the riddle of the universe, and have made a brave attempt to solve it. It has not been the good fortune of modern science to give us a coherent philosophy of things so much as it has been to give us a very nice measurement of them.
WHILE it is true that buildings do not constitute a university, it is also true that any description of science work at a university must give considerable prominence to buildings. Museums, laboratories, and observatories must be definitely constructed for the work which they are intended to perform; if there are peculiar and individual features in the instruction, some hint of these at least must appear in the structures in which this instruction is to be given.
WHOEVER has studied in its particulars the history of the past knows well that human ferocity is an unfathomable abyss. Who could enumerate all the means invented by men to exterminate each other in turn, from the spear and the yataghan to shrapnel, from hemlock to prussic acid, from Greek fire to dynamite?
IT is ten years since public dissatisfaction with methods of railway administration found legislative expression in the passage of the Interstate Commerce Law, which was practically the first attempt made by Congress to exercise, in relation to railway transportation, its constitutional power to regulate commerce between the several States.
THREE chemical societies were organized in the United States before the close of the first quarter of this century : 1. The Chemical Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1792. 2. The Columbian Chemical Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1811.
THE influence which the lower animals have had upon mankind has never been appreciated ; had it been, they would have received more consideration at our hands. They not only provide us with food, raiment, and a vast array of industries, but they have been factors in the physical and intellectual development of mankind.
WHO in America, reading twenty years ago, does not remember The World before the Deluge ? It was translated from French into English at a time when the great call in our schools was for more science; when the ministers in numbers of pulpits were “reconciling Genesis with geology,” and when boys and girls of fifteen were observing strata and fossil plants and animals as they never had before.
THE American Association for the Advancement of Science had a very pleasant meeting at Detroit. Socially it was all that could be desired, and was perhaps in this respect among the best in the history of the body. The people of Detroit, who call their town “the Convention City,” and are proud of the hospitality they show to the assemblies that visit them, strove to outdo themselves in entertaining their guests, and, what with the lunches they served and the receptions and excursions they gave, made the occasion a brilliant one.
IN this fifth volume of the Memoirs of the American Folklore Society are given what might be called the book of Genesis of the Navaho Indians and the shorter legends of Natinesthani and The Great Shell of Kintyel.* The origin legend starts with twelve insect peoples and tells how First Man and First Woman were produced by the gods and cared for by the insect peoples as the gods directed.
An Experiment in Education* is a suggestive little volume setting forth, in about two hundred and fifty pages, the experiment of a thoughtful teacher in introducing young children at once into the elements of knowledge along novel lines of instruction; and it touches furthermore on the principles underlying the experiment.
American Chemical Society. Journal. August, 1897. Vol. XIX. No. 8. Easton, Pa.: Chemical Publishing Company. Pp. 100. $5 a year. American Forestry Association. Proceedings, Fifteenth Annual Meeting, 1897. Pp. 1-66. Washington, D. C.
A Bunsen Burner for Acetylene.—An interesting item regarding the use of acetylene as a heating agent occurs in the Chemical News. A. E. Munby writes: “The cheap production of calcium carbide has placed a powerful illuminant within the reach of those who possess no gas supply, but so far little has been heard of the use of acetylene as a heating agent.
A CURIOUS plant is the wild tamarind, or jumbai plant (Leucœna glauca), of the river sides and waste places of tropical America; and very strange are its effects upon the non-ruminant animals that feed upon its young shoots, leaves, pods, and seeds, as described in the British Association by Mr. D. Morris, of Kew Gardens.
Acetylene, A Bunsen Burner for. (Frag.).......................... 855 Age and Suicide. (Corr.).......................................... 533 Age of the Earth, The. (Frag.)..................................... 856 Alchemy Redivivus. A. E. Outerbridge, Jr......................... 671