IN what will be said in this connection respecting comets in general and Halley’s comet in particular, it will not be necessary to occupy much space in repetition of the well-known series of ancient views respecting the physical nature of these bodies or the superstitious dread with which they were regarded.
THE Darwin Celebration, held by the University of Cambridge in June, was in every way a great success. So much has been printed concerning it that it hardly seems necessary in this place to go into many details; yet a brief account may be sufficiently interesting.
THIS centenary of Darwin’s birth and semi-centenary of the publication of “The Origin of Species” will stimulate greater interest than ever in the illustrious naturalist’s life and work. It may be hoped that the retrospective mood and generous spirit wont to pervade commemorative periods may contribute to better understanding and juster estimate of his achievements.
THERE are two very different ways in which the progress of man may take place, and great error and confusion have arisen from the failure to discriminate them. The one consists of a change in the intrinsic qualities of men as they are born from generation to generation.
THE phase assumed by discussions respecting athletics must bring great comfort to coaches and others who derive profit or glory from intercollegiate contests. They are to be congratulated upon the success attending their efforts to divert attention from the serious matters at issue and in concentrating it upon wholly irrelevant inquiries as to the alleged brutality of football.
ALTHOUGH signs of reaction are by no means wanting, the dominant form of criticism at the dawn of the twentieth century seems to be what is usually called literary impressionism. To keep his mind sensitized to all the influences his reading can bring to bear upon it, to disengage his impressions, and to set them forth in the choicest phraseology at command, are now recognized as constituting the supreme virtue of the critic.
THE demonstration of a few of the avenues by which infection is transmitted is among the triumphs of modern experimental medicine. By its revelations cholera is now known to be mainly a water-borne disease ; likewise it is recognized that typhoid is transmitted by those means by which the waste products of an infected individual are transferred either directly or in round-about ways to the food of another; malaria is no longer thought to be wafted by the night air, but is known to be directly carried to and introduced into the system by the mosquitoes; and, even a later triumph, yellow fever is seen to approach its human victim through the same hosts; while, finally, it has been determined that bubonic plague, the scourge of the tropical east, is carried by the rat flea.
THE claim to have reached the north pole, a point sought for several hundred years by many intrepid explorers, must, of course, be substantiated by adequate proof; and it may interest readers of this magazine to know what kind of proof is possible and necessary, and what observations the explorer must make to determine his geographical position when he is in the neighborhood of the pole.
IN the death of Anton Dohrn zoology mourns a veteran leader, and many zoologists feel—though some of these may not have known him personally— that they have lost a genial and helpful friend. Every one knew him directly or indirectly, and one may even say that there are but few zoologists who are not in some way or another in his debt.