Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 17.djvu/711

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nerves of feeling in the sensations of heat and cold, in agues, chills, etc.? And may not this same condition of the optic nerves explain the various enigmas of optical illusions? Indeed, may not the nerves of each and all of our senses be subject to abnormal conditions, and thus become unreliable?

These queries, affirmatively answered, would enable us, in the mass of contradictory testimony of different individuals as to facts, to transfer the charge of much moral to physical obliquity.

A. L. Child.
Plattsmouth, Nebraska, August 5, 1880.



THE American Association for the Advancement of Science will hold its twenty-ninth annual meeting in Boston, commencing Wednesday, August 25th, and continuing perhaps a week. It is expected that this will be the largest and probably the most important scientific gathering yet held in this country; and ample arrangements have been made, by a large and efficient local committee, both for the business accommodation of the body in all its departments and for the convenience and pleasant entertainment of the members and guests who may be present.

The purpose for which this Association was established is very well known, but to strangers, who propose attending it, it may be well to say that it is devoted to original researches, which are generally of interest to those only who have paid some attention to special scientific branches. Neither the papers read nor the discussions that follow them are usually of a popular character. They are necessarily dry and unintelligible to those unfamiliar with the subjects; but, to those who have some preparation in science, even though it be of a general sort, there is much in the proceedings of this society that will be found very instructive. It is broken up into a large number of sections, each devoted to a division of science, such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, zoölogy, botany, physiology, geology, anthropology, etc., and programmes are published every morning giving lists of the papers to be read during the day in each section. Though technical, and addressed to specialists, these papers represent the advances in each branch of inquiry, and the proceedings of the successive meetings may be looked upon as comprehensive reports of the annual progress of scientific research.

Any person may become a member of the Association upon recommendation in writing by two members, and subsequent election by a majority of the session. The initiation fee is five dollars, and the subsequent annual dues three dollars; and these payments entitle each member to receive the annual volume of proceedings. New members are usually elected daily during the meeting, but many apply earlier to the permanent Secretary, Mr. F. W. Putnam, Cambridge, Massachusetts. More than two hundred members had been proposed for the Boston meeting a month before it begins.

The sessions of the Association will be held in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The address of the retiring President, Professor George F. Barker, of Philadelphia, will be given on the first day, and the new President-elect, Dr. Lewis H. Morgan, of Rochester, will be the presiding officer of the Boston meeting.


At the College of New Jersey, in Princeton, a considerable number of students were recently attacked by a malignant fever, of which several of them died. It turned out that the cause