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Physics in 1884, but still retains the Sheffield professorship of Astronomy, of which science he has been the instructor from the organization of the school in 1860.
He spent the summer of 1869 in Europe, for the purpose of collecting mechanical and physical apparatus for the school, and of visiting scientific institutions. He has been a contributor to “The American Journal of Science," "The New-Englander,” and other periodicals, and is the originator of various useful inventions, among which are the wave apparatus known by his name, patented and manufactured by Messrs. Ritchie & Sons, of Boston, and a pendulum apparatus for describing Lissajou's acoustic curves, constructed several years in advance of a similar apparatus made in London by Tisley & Spiller.
Professor Lyman is the original inventor of the combined transit instrument and zenith telescope for determining latitude by Talcott's method. This instrument was designed and mainly constructed in 1852–53, and numerous observations together with a description of the instrument were published in “The American Journal of Science and elsewhere, some ten years before the construction and published account of a like instrument by Davidson.* His aptitude in practical mechanics was of much service to him in devising and constructing apparatus for the lecture-room.
Professor Lyman has been actively interested from the first in the establishment of the Yale Observatory, and is one of its board of managers.
His attention has been much given also to practical horology, and some improvements of his in escapements and compensation pendulums bave proved practically valuable. He was the first to observe Venus as a delicate ring of light when very near the sun in inferior conjunction, as in December, 1866, and also before and after the transit of Venus in 1874.
He is a member of various scientific and literary bodies, among them the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and was for twenty years President of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Lyman's life-work has been mainly teaching. He has the quality so necessary in a successful instructor—that of explaining difficulties with great clearness and patience. His uniform practice of treating his students as gentlemen rather than school-boys, and trusting to their sense of honor, has gained for bim their universal respect and affection.
* This instrument has been in use for many years, and known by Lyman's name, in the governmental survey of India.
DISSECTION OF A GLASS-SNAKE. tached by a blow. The animal could not OME weeks ago Messrs. O. R. Glover break into several pieces, and it certainly
and Charles H. Lawrence, of Chicago, could not unite if it could do so. favored us with a living specimen of joint-or
W. A. CONKLIN, glass-snake, which had been captured on a
Director of Central Park Menagerie. farm owned by them in Starke County, Indiana. With a view of obtaining, if pos
FICTIONAL ASTRONOMY. sible, any facts in addition to what was published in the Correspondence department of
Editor Popular Science Monthly : the “Monthly" for February and April, and
Sir: I note the letter of Anne M. John. in the Popular Miscellany department for son, in the September number, on the asthe latter month, the crcature was sent for
tronomical mistake in “King Solomon's examination to Dr. W. A. Conklin, Director Mines.” She is quite right in saying that of the Central Park Menagerie, New York, others, besides Mr. Haggard, may make er. who has kindly furnished the following re
rors in regard to the moon. Here is an inport.—ED.)
stance from so careful a writer as Andrew
Lang: In his “ Letters to Dead Authors," Editor Popular Science Monthly:
he tells Theocritus, “ Thou wouldst see the Sir: I delayed sending you any report on dawn awake in rose and saffron across the the chain-snake (ophibolus) for the follow waters, an Etna, gray and pale against the ing reason: Shortly after reaching the men- sky, and the setting crescent would dip agerie the snake laid a number of eggs, and, strangely in the glow on her way to the as I had some curiosity to see if they would sea.” This is the reverse of the mistake be batched, I decided not to disturb it for made by Mr. Haggard and Anna Bowman a few days. It remained six days coiled Dodd. Edward King, in his recently-pubaround the eggs, leaving them for a short lished poem, "A Venetian Lover," also time each morning to drink water. On the says (line sixteen), “The young moon pales seventh day it was found dead. The theory before approaching dawn.” Many other that a full-fledged vertebrate animal such similar instances might be quoted, some as this should possess power of unjointing from rather unexpected sources. and rejointing itself scems hardly worthy But Mr. Haggard exccls all competitors of discussion. I sent the specimen to Dr. in that his error of making the crescent moon W. S. Gottheil for dissection, and he writes rise soon after sunset is only one of a series. me as follows: “There is a vertebral col. By referring to the book, it will be seen that umn, running the entire length of the ani- the very next night “ the full moon rose in mal, the individual segments of which are splendor about ten," without any explanaaccurately fitted together, bound to each tion of the change from “crescent" to other by a complicated and firm system of “full ” in some twenty-four hours, or of a ligaments, and containing continuous nerve- full moon rising so late in a country which structures; here are muscles running from Beems somewhere near the tropic of Capri. bone to bone, long internal organs, intes- corn. Following the narrative a little fur. tinal canal, liver, etc., and covering the ther, we find that, on the succeeding day, whole is a perfectly continuous and very there is an eclipse of the sun, with total tough dermal envelope. There is no more darkness for nearly half an hour. As it is possibility for it to unjoint than for a per- hardly necessary to mention, an eclipse of son to unjoint his head from his trunk. One the sun can take place only at new moon, peculiarity only is noticeable: the cloaca is and the total obscuration never lasts more very high up at the junction of the anterior than a very few minutes-four, if I rememand middle thirds of the animal's length, and ber rightly. It will be seen that Mr. lag. the tail-piece is thus relatively very long." gard has made the most of his opportunities
I believe that in some of these animals for blundering. EDWARD H. BEEBE. the terminal segments of the body are nei- CHICAGO, August 31, 1887. ther so firmly attached nor so highly vitalized as the rest, and can be detached by a comparatively slight amount of violence, ANOTHER ANOMALY IN PLANT-GROWTH. and without entailing any disability upon
Editor Popular Science Monthly : the animal. The tail being exceptionally Sir: To the illustrated letter of E. W. long here, it may be that a comparatively B. Canning, in your September number, enlarge section of the body may become de- titled "An Anomaly in Plant-Growth,” I would add this description of a case observed | most humbly beg leave to make, is to an at " Harmon's Bottom," in Bedford County, error that the writer of a most able and inPennsylvania, twenty years ago. Two sugar- teresting article in the July issue of “ The maples had been united by the natural Popular Science Monthly," entitled “The grafting of the branch of one of them upon North American Lakes, has doubtless the trunk of the other, about six feet away, unwittingly been guilty of. I do not preand at ten feet above the ground. The tree- sume to say that he was led to the comtrunks were both intact, with their roots, mission of the error by any ignorance of his but the trunk of the second tree was strik subject, but rather by a want of a sufficient ingly smaller below the graft than above it, knowledge of the local nomenclature of and one might consider this due to retarda- Louisiana. tion of the circulation below, as well as in- To quote the author's words—“Lake creased flow of sap above. În your corre- Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain have been spondent's illustration, the trunk below, captured from the Gulf by the delta of the being severed from its roots, became an Mississippi, while numerous small lakes, appendage to the rest of the circulating sys- called bayous,” etc. We will say nothing tem. It has been speculated that there is of the derivation of the word, which, of itcirculation downward in plants, the roots self, can not be construed to mean a lake, discharging to as well as eliminating from for, alas ! local usages frequently defy all at. the soil, and that this action unfits a soil as tempts at classification, and are by no means much for repetition of crops as does ex- fair criteria for the true meaning and aphaustion of nourishing constituents. The plication of a term; but, as a Louisianian, preference for change in kinds of trees that we will say that the term “bayou," in the spring up after forest-clearing—a natural article cited, has been used under some misrotation of crops--has been very generally apprehension. remarked.
F. Z. SCHELLENBERG. If the author will procure for himself Lewin, PENNSYLVANIA, September 8, 1887. an authentic map of Louisiana, he will find
the lower part of the State to be covered
with almost a network of small water-courses, WHAT IS A BAYOU ?
although they scarcely deserve the name, Editor Popular Science Monthly :
varying in size froin the smallest "creek” Sir: A friendly, well-meaning, and time- to channels just navigable by small vesly correction is never amiss. When the er- sels, all exceedingly sinuous and very riverror to be rectified is such as is likely to like. These are what, in Louisiana, are arouse feelings of regretful remonstrance in called “ bayous.” Whatever may be the a community, the correction is the more par- geological origin and nature of these bodies, donable; when it is likely to color the opin- the fact still remains that the term “ bayou," ion of a nation, the correction becomes im- in Louisiana, is applied to nothing at all reperative.
sembling a "lake.” Respectfully yours, The correction which the writer, one of
C. M. WILLIAMS. community” supposed above, would CARROLLTON, LOUISIANA, September 5, 1887.
SCIENCE IN HARNESS.
provided for by the school laws of N.
O journal has upheld more stead- many States. It is only right, there
ily than “The Popular Science fore, that we should assign our reasons Monthly " the principle that, as fast as for holding that this is not a case of they are established, the truths of sci- the legitimate application of scientific ence shall be applied to useful purposes, truths to practical life. and, through popular education, be In the first place, it is an abuse made as widely available as possible for of power on the part of the majority. the general guidance of life. And yet In the "temperance” controversy as a we can not look with favor upon what distinct social issue we have no wish many persons doubtless regard as a very to interfere; but we can not ignore signal and happy example of the utiliza- the fact that there is such a controtion of scientific conclusions—we mean versy, nor can we consent to believe, the authoritative and dogmatic teach with the advocates of prohibitory legising as to the effects of alcohol, now | lation, that their opponents are necessarily persons devoid of all high mo- | which the latter do not believe to be tives, and hardly to be distinguished true is ur fair. from the criminal population. But if But there is another view of the mata minority in the State is to be respect- ter. Are the advocates of such instruced so long as it is law-abiding, its opin- tion prepared to have it communications are also to be respected; and to ed in a thoroughly non-partisan spirit? seize hold of the school-machinery of Are they prepared to have the whole the State to inculcate opinions that are truth taught, or do they want only that not accepted by the minority, and that part of the truth which is favorable to tend to set the minority in a very un- the specific end they have in view? Are favorable light, is not right or just. If they prepared, for example, to give any every triumphant party were to seize fair representation to the views of those the public schools for the inculcation who consider that alcohol has its imporof doctrines favorable to its own party tant uses, dietetic and social ? A few interests, there would soon be an end years ago the “Contemporary Review" of our public-school system. It would opened its columns to a discussion of always be easy to invoke the name of the alcohol question; and we are safe science. If it were desired to rear a race in saying that there was a preponderof protectionists, it would only be neces- ance of opinion among the many emisary to claim that you were teaching nent men who joined in the discussion, the truths of political economy. The in favor of a moderate use of alcoholic proper text-books would be prepared, beverages. In the August number of and teachers, on pain of dismissal, the “North American Review” a wellwould have to enunciate the doctrines known physician of this city enters a of Henry O. Carey and Horace Greeley. plea against the indiscriminate condemAnd so in the days of slavery the science nation of narcotics and stimulants. Is of ethnology might have been invoked all this opinion to go unrepresented either on the side of abolition or in de- when the alcohol question is introduced fense of the slave system, according to into the schools? Of course it must, or the leaning of the majority. At this the specific object of the teaching would moment we have the president of a be ruined. We say, therefore, that this New England college recommending is not teaching science; it is harnessing the majority in the several States to science to the “temperance” cart, and use their power to enforce the teaching driving her under instructions from of certain specific views of New Testa- "temperance" Leadquarters. ment history wbich he is pleased to We need not, however, confine ourdeclare all competent critics have ac- selves to general speculations as to what cepted.
is likely to happen when science is made “But,"
say the advocates of the subservient to the propagation of special teaching to which we refer, " we only views, for we have an example—and a wish to inculcate the real results of striking one-of what does happen in scientific research in regard to alcohol.” such a case. In a recent number of To which we rejoin that, in a communi- the “ Boston Medical and Surgical ty like this, it is too soon to inculcate Journal,” Dr. Joseph W. Warren, asthe truth, şupposing you have it, if the sistant in physiology in the Medical issue is still practically open, and if School of Harvard University, gives an large numbers of your fellow-citizens account of a pamphlet on the subject are not persuaded that what you call of “ Alcoholic Liquids as Therapeutic the truth is the truth. Minorities have Agents,” issued by the Women's Temtheir rights even when they are in the perance Publication Association of Chiwrong, and to use a school system which cago. This pamphlet, it is true, conthe minority support to teach opinions sists of a chapter from a larger work on the “Principles and Practice of Med- entangled amid many social problems icine"; but the chapter in question of heredity, poor food, overwork, bad was selected for use as a tract because cooking, and bad homes, all quite as imit states the case against alcobol with portant, if not more important, than the all the exaggeration and suppression question of alcohol." The main object needed for party purposes. Dr. War- of the present article, however, is to ren describes it as “full of error and protest, in the name of science, against misstatement concerning the physio- the tethering of it to any party policy logical action of alcohol,” while "the whatever; and in the name of social therapeutic inferences drawn therefrom and political justice against laying hold are, to say the least, most doubtful.” of the public schools for the propagaOne example will suffice to show to tion of opinions based as yet upon very what extent—if we may trust Dr. War- incomplete inductions. Our temperance ren, who writes with a very full com- reformers have ample scope for a wise mand of his subject—the truth has been and beneficial activity without seeking economized in the pamphlet in questo control the schools and without pertion. The author, after stating that verting opinion by the dissemination of “the experimental researches of Lalle. unfounded statements under the guise mand, Perrin, and Duroy proved con- of science. clusively that alcohol was eliminated as alcohol, unchanged chemically, from the lungs, skin, and kidneys," adds that
A FURTIER ADVANCE. these experiments have been confirmed, We noticed, at the time of its apexcept that it is claimed that “the pearance, an article by the celebrated amount eliminated is not equal to the Roman Catholic biologist, Mr. St. whole quantity taken.” “Surely,” says George Mivart, claiming for members of Dr. Warren, no beginner would infer the Catholic Church the fullest liberty from the last quotation that every com- of opinion in all matters pertaining to petent investigator had found the amount science. In Mr. Mivart's opinion, it was eliminated, not only not equal to the a fortunate thing for the world that the whole quantity taken, but really to form Church had blundered so egregiously only a small fraction of it; yet such is in condemning and punishing Galileo actually the case." We have not space for putting forward the true theory of to follow Dr. Warren in his very thor- the heavens. It was a lesson that the ough examination of this anti-alcohol Church would not be likely to forget manifesto; but we very heartily con- as to the expediency of minding its cur with himn in some of his concluding own business; and it was an instance remarks. ** There are times,” he says, to which the laity could always appeal " when it may be well not to tell the in case ecclesiastical authority should whole truth; but I have yet to learn ever seek to set itself up as a judge how the human race can be benefited, of scientific questions. To-day, after a in the long run, by systematic decep- lapse of two years, Mr. Mivart comes tion, and by the wholesale circulation forward with another plea for liberof what is, to say the least, not true." ty—this time in connection with quesAgain : “The temperance movement of tions of history and criticism. He the future will have to recognize that states that, in writing his former article, the field for its activity lies not in the he purposely expressed himself very dissemination of falsehood about what strongly, in order that, if there was anyalcohol is and does, but in the control thing in the position he took of a naof its rational use and in the prevention ture to call for ecclesiastical censure, of all abuse. Intemperance is a terrible he might hear of it; but that, far from weed, but its roots will be found to be l having been visited with censure, he