Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/181

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tion from a depth of nineteen hundred fathoms, and which was totally blind.

Professor Leydig remarks upon this point that the luminosity is, for the most part, only a subsidiary shining dependent on the secretion of a fatty body, and that the significance of the formations as electrical and pseudo-electrical organs is not altered on that account. We might also remark on this subject that, according to Kölliker's observations, the luminosity of many animals is under the influence of the will, so that the innervation of the phosphorescent organ no longer seems superfluous; and that, according to Jousset de Bellesme, glow-worms cease to shine as soon as their principal ganglion is removed. Moreover, according to Bellesme's observations, the glow may be produced by electrical as well as by nervous excitation. At all events, the hypothesis which I have submitted appears to me to be worthy of a searching examination.—Translated from Kosmos.


THERE are to-day in the United States over four hundred institutions claiming the title of college or university. Some of them are really, a few confessedly, only high-schools or academies; and between these and the highest there is every diversity of grade. In them there are over four hundred "presidents," "principals," "chancellors," or whatever the heads of the institutions may be called, and some thousands of professors or teachers. This great body of men and women is continually changing; yearly there are deaths, removals, and resignations; yearly there are a multitude of new appointments. The purpose of this essay is to inquire how such appointments are made, and how they ought to be made; what considerations do govern, and what should govern, the selection of college officers.

At a casual glance it would seem as if little could be said upon the subject; of course appointments are made by regular boards of trustees, and of course each appointment is determined by the peculiar fitness of the successful candidate for the position he is to occupy. Such is the theory, but the application thereof may be exceedingly elastic. Strange standards of fitness are frequently adopted; and appointments to responsible positions are often made upon principles which would be recognized in no other kind of business except the trade of partisan politics. In political life an efficient officer may be displaced for mere party reasons, and supplanted by some one altogether his inferior. In the college world, slight shades of difference in theological belief are at times similarly potent.