IN the fruitful field of astrophysical research there are few opportunities for advance so promising as those afforded by the study of the sun. As the central body of the solar system, maintaining the planets in their orbits by the power of its attraction, and supplying light and heat to the inhabitants of the earth through its radiation, the sun is an object of special interest to every student of nature.
To each century is granted one great discovery, and from this its highest thought and action takes its bent. In each century this discovery is never a new one. It has had its prophets and martyrs ages before—men whose lives have seemed thrown away until at last the world moves on and the caravan reaches their point of vision.
WE little think when we read or write that the words we employ are not precisely the same as those which have been in use in our mother-tongue from time immemorial. We are born into the language, so to say, and the words of our vocabulary we regard as part and parcel of our rich heritage of American liberty.
THE latest publication of vital statistics in Massachusetts has again called attention to a subject often discussed in this magazine and elsewhere—the decreasing number of children in native American families. According to the majority of opinions given, this decrease is due mostly to ‘social ambition.’
THE domain of physics is coextensive with the whole range of phenomena of the material world, but the science of physics, as commonly understood, is restricted to a much smaller field whose boundaries were perhaps first marked by setting off certain groups of phenomena for special study.
IN the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there was a renewal of the scientific spirit, as well as the more obvious revival in art and letters of which we commonly speak as the Renaissance. Among the most striking of the many visible fruits of this revival were numerous herbais, in which all the plants then known were enumerated, described and often beautifully figured.
THE time has not yet come when the geological history of Asia can be written in full. It appears, however, that, with the exception of a marginal zone in the south, which belongs to the Himalayan upheavals, the great plateaus of east Asia are built up of crystalline unstratified rocks, granites, granitites, syenites and diorites, as well as of gneisses, talc and mica-schists, clay-slates and limestones, which all belong to the Archean formation (Huronian, Laurentian, Silurian and partly Devonian).
THE ROYAL PRUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND THE FINE ARTS. BERLIN.
EDWARD F. WILLIAMS
NOTHING was of more importance to the academy during this period than its change from a French to a German institution. This change was brought about in part under Frederick William II. (1786—1797) by his minister Hertzberg who had long been a member of the academy, and who under the new king became its curator and so remained till his death in 1795.
THE introduction of American methods for the promotion of agriculture in the island possessions has followed closely upon American occupation. In Hawaii and Porto Rico experiment stations have been established under government support, and in the Philippine Islands a bureau of agriculture was put in operation about two years ago.