Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/186

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power exhibited by the individual during life. As this brain weighed very nearly 60 ounces, it exceeds that of all others usually quoted, with the exception only of Cuvier's, which weighed 64½ ounces, and that of Dr. Abercrombie, which weighed 63 ounces.[1] Sir J. Y. Simpson's brain weighed 54 ounces, and that of Agassiz 53·4 ounces. It is well known that the average weight of the adult male brain is under 50 ounces. The specific gravity of the brain I examined was 1·049, and this is as high as any recorded. From Professor Aitken's work I find that the average specific gravity of the brain is 1·036, and the highest specific gravity of the densest part of a brain ever taken by Professor Aitken, or any one else, I believe, is 1·049.

The weight of the brain in this case was, in the first instance, taken by the orderly corporal in charge of our microscope room, and recorded by him on the blackboard in the mortuary. I immediately verified its accuracy by weighing the organ myself, and I also verified the correctness of the weighing-machine. The specific gravity was taken very carefully. Surgeon-Major Hogg, Army Medical Department, was present at the time.

The average cranial capacity of the adult male head is, I believe, about 90 cubic inches. Cuvier's is reported to have been about 118, In the case which I now record it must have been about 108.—Lancet.

By Professor FERDINAND COHN, of Breslau.

NOTHING is more sure than that all life is subject to age and death, and yet nothing is more contradictory to our feelings. In the vigor of youth our body feels as if it was created to last for ever; why must the highest work of art wear out and break down with time? The more formidable the contradiction between inexhaustible life-joy and inevitable fate, the greater the longing which reveals itself in the kingdom of poetry and in the self-created world of dreams hopes to banish the dark power of reality. The gods enjoy eternal youth, and the search for the means of securing it was one of the occupations of the heroes of mythology and the sages, as it was of real adventurers in the middle ages and more recent times. . . . But the fountain of youth has not been found, and can not be found if it is sought in any particular spot on the earth. Yet it is no fable, no dream-picture; it requires no adept to find it: it streams forth inexhaustible in all living nature.

  1. A case is recorded in the "British Medical Journal," October 26, 1872, by Dr. Morris j in which a brain examined at University College, London, weighed 67 ounces. It was that of a bricklayer, who could neither read nor write.