Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/399

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383
THE ROTATION OF THE FARM.

with the following results: England (London), 1; Canada (Montreal), 2; Washington, D. C., 1; Texas, 1; Illinois, 2; Michigan, 3; Montana, 1; Ohio, 2; Florida, 3; North Carolina, 1; Virginia, 4; Washington Territory, 1; Pennsylvania, 5; California, 1; Iowa, 1; Connecticut, 10; New Hampshire, 4; Vermont, 1; Rhode Island, 9; New York city, 79; Massachusetts coastwise counties, 140.

It certainly seems to me that there could be no clearer proof than this that the desire to move inland comes from the thickly populated coast lines and the vicinities of the larger cities. That, after all, the greatest demand for Massachusetts farms comes from Massachusetts itself must be a glory and a pride to that noble old Commonwealth, and an acquittal from the charge that her thousands of common schools and hundreds of town libraries have cultivated in her sons and daughters a distaste for the life of an independent farmer. It is not abandonment, but rotation, and seems to illustrate one of Emerson's postulates, viz., that "demand and supply run into every invisible and unnamed province of whim and passion." But, apart from whim and passion, there is a great justice in this rotation. The catalogue might have been entitled A List of Farms in Massachusetts whose Owners are willing to sell them rather cheaply, and better express what actually appears to be the situation. The Rotation of the Farm, or the Rotation of the Owner of the Farm, would seem to be the better title.

 


 
Mr. Francis Galton avows himself a qualified believer in the possibility of signaling to Mars. Accepting as a fact that the Lick telescope can bring the planet optically to within 50,000 miles, he has found that a reflected beam of sunlight, sent through a hole one tenth of an inch square, is visible as a glint at a distance often miles. Hence, with fairly clear atmospheres, the flash from many mirrors simultaneously, whose aggregate width is fifteen yards and their aggregate length, say, to allow for slope, twenty-five yards, would be visible in Mars, if seen through a telescope such as that at the Lick Observatory. "With funds and goodwill there seems no insuperable difficulty in flashing from a very much larger surface than the above, and sending signals that the inhabitants of Mars, if they have eyes, wits, and fairly good telescopes, would speculate on and wish to answer. One, two, three, might be slowly flashed over and over again from us to them, and possibly in some years, to allow time for speculation in Mars to bear fruit, one, two, three might come back in response."
 
The remarkable pit of the Creux de Souci, France, is situated in a sheet of recent basalt on the south side of the Puy de Montchal. The opening is eighty-two feet in diameter and thirty-eight feet deep; but at that depth a hole about ten feet wide communicates with a hollow seventy feet deep, at the bottom of which is a stagnant pool overladen with carbonic acid which forbids access to the water surface. The interior is a vast vaulted hollow, apparently formed in the basalt when semi-fluid, by an explosion of volcanic gas. The temperature falls from 51° Fahr. in the open air to 34° near the water.