Notes that it is 'the fashion among some writers to decry the modern ironclad, as if it were a mere clumsy ugly box of machinery and boilers, a thing from which all sentiment and romance had departed', but insists that as 'a matter of fact, these great marine monsters do succeed in inspiring the same kind of sentiment in the men who sail them and who fight them as did the old wooden battle-ships'. Furthermore, the sinking of HMS VictoriaHMS Victoria CloseView the register entry >> does not necessarily indicate the 'fragility of the modern ironclad', for there is 'nothing exceptional or unusual about the capsizing of an ironclad' and ships of 'the most ancient heart-of-oak pattern' regularly keeled over with 'even less excuse'. (15)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 23.
The Limitation of the American Family. The Decline in the Birth-Rate
Gives a list of 'prices current of wild beasts' from 'HagenbeckHagenbeck, Karl
WBI CloseView the register entry >> of Hamburg, wild beast purveyor to the civilised world [....] in case any of our readers wish to start a private menagerie of their own'.
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 40.
On the Edge of the Future. Problems in Steam and Electricity
Claims that the 'culmination of human ingenuity and skill seems to be presented in the new ocean steamers', and reports the notions of Alexander G BellBell, Alexander Graham
DSB CloseView the register entry >> concerning the transmission of thought by electricity as well as his avowal that 'before long the deaf will be made to hear and the blind to see by the same brain-tickling capacity of this universal agent'.
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 40.
What Edison is After Now. Two New Inventions—Iron and Coal
Spiritualism, Scientific Practitioners, History of Science
Notes how the 'history of mediæval spiritualism' shows that 'Not only the credulous and the ignorant, but some of the most noted scientific and medical authorities of the seventeenth century evidently took the spirits au grand sérieux'.
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 49.
Professor Huxley Among the Prophets. Mrs. Besant on This "Daniel Come to Judgement"
Complains that 'so-called supernatural or miraculous phenomena' are 'hateful to the narrower scientists' who consistently refuse to 'recognize the birth of the Infinite Invisible, of the nature of which we know about as much by our microscopes and spectroscopes and other meteyards of science as the dwellers on the European coastline knew in Jeanne'sJoan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), Saint ('The Maid of
CBD CloseView the register entry >> time of the American continent' (72).
Medical Practitioners, Publishing, Monographs, Controversy
Relates how the biography of the late Morell MackenzieMackenzie, Sir Morell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> was originally suppressed at the request of his family for 'some mysterious reasons, which may be guessed at rather than asserted', but was then brought out when they failed to fulfil an agreement to repay the publisher for his expenditure on the work (97).
Reports the 'outbreak of cholera at Mecca' which was caused because the 'well Zem Zem, the sacred fountain' of Islam, from which every pilgrim to the holy city must drink as much as they can, is 'a seething mass of microbes and water'. Reflects that it is 'very sad that Moslems should thus make religion a great cholera propagator', although it is 'on the whole less contemptible than the conduct of that American congregation which, from its slavish dread of infection, has this year substituted for the communion cup which passed from lip to lip an arrangement by which each communicant is supplied with a separate wine-glass for his exclusive use'. (120) Also relates how the 'Royal Geographical SocietyRoyal Geographical Society
CloseView the register entry >> made itself ridiculous last month by deciding that women should not be admitted to be Fellows on the same footing as men' (125).
Celebrates the 'multifarious and diversified career' of William Thomson (1st Baron Kelvin)Thomson, Sir William (Baron Kelvin of
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, detailing his contributions to many fields of science, engineering, and education, and proclaims him 'the NapoleonNapoleon I, Emperor of France
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of Science—or if the older fashion be more to his taste—the Napoleon of natural philosophy' (144). Notes, however, that he is 'something of a "dark horse" to the English public', and remains largely 'unknown to the masses'. In fact, if we look in 'the windows of London photographers' we 'may hope to see a muscular athlete like SandowSandow, Eugene
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, but we shall look in vain for an intellectual giant such as Lord Kelvin'. Part of the reason for this is that 'his residence in Glasgow has withdrawn him from the vortex of metropolitan publicity'. (135) In discussing the 'pretty stiff reading' which students encounter in books like Elements of Natural PhilosophyThomson,
Tait, Peter Guthrie 1873. Elements
of Natural Philosophy, Part 1, Oxford: Clarendon Press
CloseView the register entry >>, observes that 'Lord Kelvin, like Thomas CarlyleCarlyle, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and some other great writers, seems to have devised a peculiar style of his own to express the workings of his own mind', and, after giving some examples of 'elaborate [...] Kelvinese', points out that he also has 'a propensity—I had almost said a "craze"—for coining' the new words which 'become necessary in the progress of a science', although many of these neologisms fail to be 'apt, brief and euphonious without ambiguity of meaning' (139). Upon his elevation to the peerage in 1892 'electricians were at first inclined to regret the loss of the familiar "Thomson"' in favour of the Kelvin which he took from the name of 'a beautiful and romantic stream' which passes alongside the University of GlasgowUniversity of Glasgow
CloseView the register entry >>. However, as a member of the House of LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >>, Kelvin can now indulge his political concerns, suggesting, for instance, that the swift communication of political messages by telegraph has made the notion of having a separate parliament in Ireland an 'utter scientific absurdity' (140). Indeed, Thomson is 'a scion of the Scoto-Irish race of Ulster which has been so prolific in genius' (136), and will 'doubtless vote against Mr. Gladstone'sGladstone, William Ewart
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> Home Rule Bill on some principle of Conservative dynamics or rather statics' (140). Suggests that a 'wise Providence has imbued the soul' of Thomson with many attributes (138), and concludes that 'this man was created for science ...he is a prophet or a seer with a divine mission to reveal the physical laws' (142).
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 145.
The Mattei Treatment of Cancer Cases. Report on the Second Year's Test
Medical Treatment, Heterodoxy, Homeopathy, Quackery, Controversy, Boundary Formation
Natural Imperialism, Extinction, Environmentalism, Medical Practitioners, Psychology
Reports that the 'diplomatists' arbitrating the contested ownership of the Behring Sea have made the 'unanimous recommendation [...] that rigorous measures should be taken at once to protect the fur seal from the destruction which threatens to deprive ladies of sealskin jackets before the close of the century'. Observes that it 'will be odd if a Pacific Concert should come into existence for the preservation of the seal as the European Concert was created to secure the preservation of the Ottoman Empire. Of the two the seal is much the worthier'. (239) Also records the death of 'Dr. CharchotCharcot, Jean-Martin
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the famous physician of the SalpêtrièreSalpêtrière, Paris, hospital CloseView the register entry >>', which 'makes one more gap in the rapidly thinning ranks of notable Frenchmen' (241).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 264.
How to be Young Though Old. The Experience of Septuagenarians
Positivism, Politics, Experiment, Disease, Sanitation, War, Science Communication, Psychical Research
Reports that Brazil was recently made 'the scene of a crucial experiment' in which a 'little knot of Positivist professors' founded 'a republic, in which the whole political system of Auguste ComteComte, Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier
DSB CloseView the register entry >> was applied en bloc, and in detail'. This experiment, which is rather like seeing 'Mr. Frederic HarrisonHarrison, Frederic
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> by a sudden fluke installed as a virtual dictator at Westminster', has plunged the country into civil war. (351) Notes that, after the outbreak of cholera in the East, some 'sanitarians in Western Europe are discussing whether or not it would be justifiable for civilisation to compel the Sultan, even at canon's mouth, to carry out radical sanitary reforms in Mecca' (359), and observes that a 'main drainage scheme for Mecca is an object which, to say the least, is as much worth while going to war about as most of the objects for which sovereigns and nations fight. But the hygienists have not yet the ironclads of the world at their disposal' (359–60). Complains that the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> at Nottingham featured 'a diet of papers containing very little of sensational interest', as well as 'a rather long and dreary discourse by Dr. Burdon-SandersonBurdon-Sanderson, Sir John Scott, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>'. The Psychical CongressPsychical Congress (21–25 August 1893), Chicago CloseView the register entry >> at Chicago was also 'somewhat disappointing', although 'the respect with which its deliberations were received by the Press indicates a growing sense of the value and importance of studies which a short time ago were regarded as the favourite jest of the man in the street'. (360)
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 369–81.
Character Sketch. Lobengula, The King of the Matabele
Suggests that with the details of 'savage' peoples given in 'South African Blue Books' it is 'as if we had the seventh century suddenly resuscitated in order that it might be photographed by the camera of the nineteenth century' (369). Explains, however, that the photograph of King Lobengula KhumaloLobengula Khumalo, King of the Ndebele
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> reproduced on the frontispiece of the article is a 'coveted negative [....] brought from Matabeleland by a recent traveller, who [...] preserves a prudent silence as to how he got it' because Lobengula usually refuses to be photographed claiming to believe 'that part of his soul [would] be taken away with the picture' (370). Also reports how some inhabitants of Matabeleland were 'completely bowled [...] over' by the telephone shown to them by English missionaries, believing that 'a machine which could talk [...] even when those who talked were a mile from each other' must be made by 'witchcraft' (377).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 388.
Pessimism as a Religion. A Fin De Siècle Ecclesiastes
Describes the 'paradox that one of the causes of the increase of cancer is the general increase of health in the community!' which results in a larger elderly population. Also suggests that it 'seems growingly likely' that cancer 'proceeds from a microbe', and 'by the analogy of tuberculosis' it might therefore be found to be 'infectious and contagious'.
Notes that Arsène D'ArsonvalArsonval, Arsène D'
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'has described as his own invention an electrical medical apparatus which bears, to say the least, a very suspicious resemblance to a machine invented by Professor D'OdiardiOdiardi, E Savary D'
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>. Professor D'Odiardi communicated a description of the apparatus in 1892 to a French engineer with a view to having the instrument communicated to the AcademyAcadémie des Sciences, Paris CloseView the register entry >>. Nothing more was heard of it until this year when M. D'Arsonval described a machine closely resembling that of Professor D'Odiardi, as if it had been an invention of his own'.
Insists that the 'study of natural science should come before all others. The works of God are better worth studying than the thoughts of men', and suggests that subjects like botany 'should be taught every year during the summer months; all children love flowers and pictures and what they call pretty things'. Warns, however, that 'in most public schools natural sciences are boycotted or neglected'. (542)
Complains that the 'jabbering of monkeys in a bamboo tope could hardly be more inane than most of the comment which has been printed in Fleet Street upon South African affairs', and notes that it is fortunate that 'the chatter of the simian race is not one of the determining factors in the evolution of our Imperial destinies' (581). Reports that the appointment of the successors to the late Benjamin JowettJowett, Benjamin
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> is 'a matter of national importance', and that the election of the philosopher Edward CairdCaird, Edward
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as Master of Balliol College, OxfordBalliol College, Oxford
CloseView the register entry >> 'may be hailed as another indication of the effort the stronger men in Oxford are making to lift the university out of an almost parochial exclusiveness into something like national and catholic life' (591).
Asserts that America is 'a nation of mechanics and inventors', and that Thomas A EdisonEdison, Thomas Alva
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'sums up in his personality and achievements this genius of the American race'. Details how Edison educated himself after his Dutch émigré family fell into poverty, including his attempt to 'read through the entire Free Library of DetroitDetroit Free Library
CloseView the register entry >>' and, at the age of eleven, his 'reading Newton'sNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >>"Principia"Newton, Isaac
1687. Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, Londini: Jussu
Societatis Regiae ac Typis Josephi Streater
CloseView the register entry >>, with the entirely logical result of becoming deeply and permanently disgusted with pure mathematics'. (599) After showing an early interest in chemistry and telegraphy, Edison became a railway telegraph operator and then made his fortune in New York, as well as 'a national reputation', after patenting 'an improved stock printer'. In an interview with Lanier, Edison discusses his working methods and experimental procedures, as well as the fact that, although he enjoys the process of inventing, when an invention 'is all done and is a success, I can't bear the sight of it. I haven't used a telephone in ten years, and I would go out of my way any day to miss an incandescent light'. (601) Relates Edison's struggles against the 'race of professional sharks' (602) who make it impossible for an inventor to make sufficient money from patents alone and have forced him into 'the stern régime of the business world', even though 'the inventor has an intolerance of forms in business, as in society' (603) and this 'natural disregard for the forms and minutiae of business affairs has led to anything but a path of roses for Mr. Edison in his financial operations'. Nevertheless, Edison's 'achievements cannot be separated from commerce [....] He is not so much a seeker after truth as he is a mighty engine for the application of scientific truths, through unexpected and marvellous channels [....] One might call him the Democrat of Science'. His workshop at West Orange, New Jersey contains 'one of the most costly and well-equipped scientific libraries in the world', which allows this 'self-taught and self-made scientist' to avoid being 'only a gigantic specialist', while his 'topsy-turvy laboratory' is staffed by 'assistants and skilful workmen who follow his behest with something nearly akin to reverence'. (604) Among the challenges of the future is the 'direct production of electricity from oxygen and coal (carbon)' which Edison has 'worked on [...] and confidently predicts that the discovery will come' (606). This will revolutionise not only several different modes of transport (including air travel), but will also allow 'seeing and hearing by electricity' as well as the possibility of 'thought-transference by the same means' (607).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 8 (1893), 612.
Can White Men People Africa? Dr. Carl Peters' View