IN the preface to that admirable collection of essays of his called Heretics, Mr. Chesterton writes these words: There are some people—and. I am one of them—who think that the most practical and important thing about a man is still his view of the universe.
THE CENTURY PLANT, AND SOME OTHER PLANTS OF THE DRY COUNTRY1
PROFESSOR WILLIAM TRELEASE
IT would be interesting if we might know whether Columbus and his fellow voyagers noticed what is oddly called ‘bamboo’ by the present islanders, when they first saw the Bahamas in the autumn of 1492. The plant, a striking one even to us, must have seemed still stranger to Europeans at that time, for although Meyer and others have attempted to show that the century plant was known in the Mediterranean country as early as the eleventh century, and claim has even been made to its recognition among the mural paintings of Pompeii, a thousand years earlier still, A gave represents an essentially American and very distinct type of vegetation which must have been novel to those travelers into a new world.
NOTES ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF TELEPHONE SERVICE. IV.
VII. SOME EARLY TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARDS
THE switchboards in the New Haven and other pioneer telephone exchanges were far more crude mechanically than the marvelous and sensitive hand telephone. The first switchboard that Mr. Coy installed in New Haven had a capacity of only eight lines, but as every line was a party-line, and as an average of twelve subscribers were on each line, the board served a hundred or more subscribers.
WIDESPREAD interest was aroused by the passage, last June, of an act of congress permitting the manufacture and sale of alcohol tax-free after January 1, 1907, provided it be rendered unfit to drink by the addition of substances imparting to it a repulsive odor and taste.
THE basis of modern physical science is the conservation of energy. This doctrine, that the sum of the energy in our universe is constant while its modes of manifestation and transformation are indefinitely variable, has been established only within the last century, though vaguely foreshadowed many hundreds of years ago.
FROM the medical and biological world a genius has been taken, and it is not saying too much to conclude that the only man of the past half century who may be considered in any way the equal of Louis Pasteur is Fritz Schaudinn. Yet when Schaudinn died, on the twenty-second of last June, he was in only his thirty-fifth year.
GOVERNMENTS and parliaments must find that astronomy is one of the sciences which cost most dear: the least instrument costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, the least observatory costs millions; each eclipse carries with it supplementary appropriations.
THE REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE CARNEGIE INSTITUTION
MR. ROCKEFELLER’S GIFT TO THE GENERAL EDUCATION BOARD
THE regents of the Smithsonian Institution at their annual meeting on January 23 elected Dr. Charles D. Walcott to succeed the late Samuel Pierpont Langley as secretary of the institution. Born in New York State in 1850, Dr. Walcott became assistant in the Geological Survey of the state in 1876, passing to the U. S. Geological Survey in 1879.