Reports that London and other parts of the country have endured a 'horrible visitation' by 'a fog of almost Egyptian darkness [...] inflicting almost incalculable discomfort upon millions of people'. Advises that the best solution to the problem is 'to invent a grate that will really consume its smoke', but wonders 'where, oh where, is this ideal grate to be found?'. Warns that if it is not invented soon, 'we shall in time live from October to April in an atmosphere somewhat worse than that of the Underground Railway'. (10)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 42.
Shall We Talk with the Men on the Moon? Probably. By M. Camille Flammarion
Astronomy, Extra-Terrestrial Life, Telegraphy, Heterodoxy, Psychical Research
Praises Flammarion as 'an astronomer who does not flinch from putting questions from which most scientific men recoil in horror', and quotes his opinion that there may 'exist between the planetary humanities psychic lives that we do not know of yet'.
Medical Treatment, Homeopathy, Quackery, Medical Practitioners, Heterodoxy, Professionalization, Boundary Formation
Complains that after Sebastian Kneipp's Kneipp, Sebastian
WBI CloseView the register entry >> water-cure had 'proved its efficacy in numberless instances [....] the first thing the authorities did to him was to take him up before the police court for doctoring people and thus preventing the rightful medical authorities earning their bread'.
Records that it has been 'a black month of death. The malarial fever which is called the Influenza has become epidemic in Western Europe', and in London alone 'the epidemic may be regarded as having swept off 5,000 lives last month' (113). Also reports how 'Dr. RichardsonRichardson, Benjamin Ward
DSB CloseView the register entry >> calculates' that in every year '33,000,000 of the human race are transferred from the realm of the living to the pale shades of death [...] the silent havoc of nature thus exceeding in one year all the carnage of all the wars of a hundred years' (114).
Notes that many 'animals and birds are stricter monogamists than men and women, and, with beasts as with men, the standard of sexual morality is higher with the females than with the males'. Concludes that 'there are many tribes of mankind to which animals might with advantage send missionaries'.
Rather than being 'only on the cover of the REVIEW OF REVIEWSReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >> that there [is] a belt round the earth', it is now suggested that 'the phenomena attending storms and cyclones can be satisfactorily explained on the assumption that, like Saturn, the earth is surrounded by rings of cosmic matter, which lie nearly on the plane of the ecliptic'.
Suggests that 'the most suggestive and interesting part of Dr. Wallace's article' is the 'scientific re-enforcement of the cause of the emancipation of women' where he argues that 'the increasing liberty of choice given to women in marriage [...] will enable the human race to accelerate its progress'.
Describes the progress of Cecil J RhodesRhodes, Cecil John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> through Mashonaland in the African interior, making occasional observations on the natural history of the region. For example, notes that wherever you have 'an anthill you have fertile soil and sweet grass' because the 'whole of the soil is, as it were, turned over and thrown up to the surface by these wonderful little toilers who in Africa perform the function which DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >> tells us is performed by the earthworms in your country' (198). Also observes that the entire region is 'simply one huge zoological garden' with an 'abundance of wild animals [...] left all these ages undisturbed by man'. Now, however, the hunters have moved in and 'for the sportsman no such region exists in the world', with enormous 'herds of buffaloes [to] be seen within gunshot of the road'. (195)
Heredity, Scientific Naturalism, Religion, Psychical Research
Comments that the late Charles H Spurgeon'sSpurgeon, Charles Haddon
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> staunch Calvinism 'brought him into unconscious sympathy with the whole drift of modern scientific speculation' (242). After all, 'what is the doctrine of heredity but the reaffirmation of the grimmer doctrines of the Calvinistic creed? The reign of law which modern science has revealed, has scared many by seeming to exclude all possibility of the supernatural and the miraculous and which, when developed into a necessarian philosophy, seems to abolish the moral responsibility of man' (243). The power of prayer, however, is 'a constant confirmation of the divine intervention in the affairs of life', which 'must be admitted, on purely scientific grounds, whether the sceptic may explain it on the ground of telepathy and the influence of a strong mind upon other minds which are in a mysterious way, not yet fully known, brought under the influence of a human will operating through other channels than the five senses' (244).
Remarks that it 'is rather difficult to write anything interesting about Herbert SpencerSpencer, Herbert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>', and then concludes 'Mr. Spencer is now 72 years of age, and it is quite impossible for him ever to complete the work to which he has put his hand. In the last thirty years he has written 5,000 closely-printed pages, and, what is more surprising, has found a considerable number of readers to appreciate them'.
Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 274.
A Chair of Positivist Philosophy at the Collège de France
Praises the campaign of the Review of ReviewsReview of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >> to collect 'Real Ghost Stories', and reports that 'we are in a fair way of establishing, on an uncontrovertible basis, as a scientific and ascertained fact, the existence of intelligences other than those which are encased in the ordinary material of human bodies. Evidence as to the facts of clairvoyance and of the reality of the Double accumulates'. However, warns that 'what with the County Council Election and the imminent approach of the General Election, I am afraid the ghosts will have to wait a bit. Others who have more leisure will, I hope, furnish me with the information which is necessary. What is wanted is to have evidence that will satisfy, say, Mr. Ray LankesterLankester, Sir Edwin Ray
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Mr. MaskelyneMaskelyne, John Nevil
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, as to the reality of the phenomena in question'.
Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 280.
One Hundred Miles an Hour. The Locomotive of the Future
A 'delightful picture of the ultimate towards which many streams of modern speculation are tending' which makes 'a plain, bold declaration of the doctrine of human irresponsibility' by claiming that 'we are irresponsible automata whose actions and thoughts are predestined to the minutest detail'.
The Exorcism of the Smoke Fiend; Or, How to Get Rid of the Plague of Fog
Pollution, Invention, Engineering
Relates how an 'enterprising Bradford manufacturer' has taken up the Review of Review's Review of Reviews
Directory CloseView the register entry >>challenge to 'invent a grate that will really consume its smoke' and thereby rid London of its 'suffocating [...] fog'. Asserts that 'Not being a practical engineer [...] I cannot explain how it is done', but suggests that the 'anti-fog invention' works by 'having the chimney at the bottom of the fire instead of at the top'; 'the smoke is consumed' because the 'products of combustion must pass through the hottest parts of the fire'. (298)
Invention, Industrial Chemistry, Military Technology, Imagination
Notes that 'Society, for the moment terrorised, reads with dismay the telegrams arriving every day which tell of explosions, arrests, incendiary fires, and stolen dynamite' (436). Despite this 'epidemic of explosive crime' (435), 'London omnibuses kill more people every year than the assassins have killed with dynamite since it was invented'. Dynamite, however, is 'comparatively new' and 'affects the imagination', and 'society has not yet learnt to regard an Anarchist with the composure with which it contemplates the approach of the 'bus'. (436)
Group photograph of 'a notable moment in the history of science and literature. The voice of the poet BrowningBrowning, Robert
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, preserved by the phonograph was being heard after death. It was the first occasion on which science had reproduced the actual voice of a dead man'.
Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 472.
There Were Giants in Those Days. Modern Science and Nursery Tales
Remarks that one of the 'excellent things about modern science is the extent to which it is verifying the delightful old nursery tales. Before very long the most superior person will not be able to pooh-pooh the stories of giants, dragons and ogres which formed so large a part of the pabulum of our childhood'.
Review of Reviews, 5 (1892), 479.
Theosophy and Spiritualism. Have They a Common Ground?
Reports on an 'attempt to let the public understand what' Theosophists and Spiritualists 'really believe in common', and includes Alfred R Wallace'sWallace, Alfred Russel
DSB CloseView the register entry >> letter of response which argues that an attempt should be made instead to 'bring out the crucial differences between Spiritualists and Theosophists'.
Reports that although the 'sensational nature' of Frederick B Deeming'sDeeming, Frederick Bailey
WBI CloseView the register entry >> crimes 'was by no means calculated to conduce to a calm and dispassionate consideration of the case urged by his counsel', even 'in Melbourne, by this time, there is probably an uneasy conviction that the man was more or less a homicidal lunatic. His counsel's plea of instinctive and hereditary criminality seems to have been only too well justified by the facts, and in a more scientific age the hanging of Deeming may become the stock illustration of the judicial crimes of an unscientific age' (546).