Electricity to Elf-arrows
Electricity (from the Greek elektron, amber). Thales (B.C. 600) observed that amber when rubbed
attracted light substances, and this observation followed out has led to the present science of electricity.
"Bright amber shines on his electric throne."Negative and positive electricity. Two opposite conditions of the electric state of bodies. At one time electricity was considered a fluid, as heat was thought to be caloric. Everybody was thought to have a certain quantity. If a body contained more than its normal quantity it was said to be positive, if less, it was said to be negative in this respect. Another theory was that there were two different electric fluids, which neutralised each other when they came in contact. Electricity is now supposed to be a mere condition, like heat and motion; but its energy is set in action by some molecular disturbance, such as friction, rupture, and chemical action. The old terms are still retained.
Electro-Biology The science of electricity as it is connected with the phenomena of living beings. Also the effect of "animal magnetism" on living creatures, said to produce sleep, stupor, anesthesia, etc.
Electro-Chemistry That branch of chemistry which treats of electricity as an energy affecting chemical changes.
Electuary Something to be licked up, a medicine made "thick and slab," which cannot be imbibed like a liquid nor bolted like a pill, but which must be licked up like honey. (Greek, ek-leicho.)
Elegant Extracts The 85th Foot, remodelled in 1813, after the numerous court-martials which then
occurred. The officers of the regiment were removed, and officers drafted from other regiments were
substituted in their places. The 85th is now called the "Second Battalion of the Shropshire Light Infantry." The
first battalion is the old 23rd.
Elements according to Aristotle. Aristotle maintained that there are four elements - fire, air, water, and
earth, and this assertion has been the subject of very unwise ridicule. Modern chemists maintain the
same fact, but have selected four new words for the four old ones, and instead of the term "element," use
"material forms." We say that matter exists under four forms: the imponderable (caloric), the gaseous
(air), the liquid (water), and the solid (earth), and this is all the ancient philosophers meant by their four
elements or elemental forms. It was Empedocles of Sicily who first maintained that fire, air, earth, and
water are the four elements; but he called them Zeus, Hera, Goea, and Poseidon. (Latin, eleo for oleo.
Vossius says: ab ant. eleo pro oleo, i.e. cresco, quod omnia crescant ac nascantur." Latin, elementum.
to grow out of.)
"Let us the great philosopher [Aristotle] attend. . . .The first of these forms - viz. "Caloric," or the imponderable matter of heat, is now attributed to a mere condition of matter, like motion.
Elephant The elephant which supports the world is called "Muha-pudma," and the the tortoise which supports the elephant is called "Chukwa." In some of the Eastern mythologies we are told that the world stands on the backs of eight elephants, called "Achtequedjams."
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