Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/731

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

Survey of New Zealand; Biology—C. W, De Vis, of Brisbane; Geography—A. C. MacDonald, of Victoria; Ethnology and Anthropology—Rev. S. Ella, of New South Wales; Economic Science and Agriculture—H. C. L. Anderson, of New South Wales; Engineering and Architecture—J. R. Scott, of Canterbury, New Zealand; Sanitary Science and Hygiene—A. Mault, of Tasmania; Mental Science and Education—Henry Laurie, of the University of Melbourne. The association has been in existence since 1888. The four previous meetings have been held at Sydney, Melbourne, Christchurch, and Hobart. The association has grown steadily since its beginning and now numbers about nine hundred members. The season of the meeting—when spring is passing into summer—is recommended as being one of the most favorable to visit South Australia, and particularly attractive to naturalists.

 

Derelicts on the Ocean.—We gave several months ago an account of the wanderings of the derelict schooner W. L. White, which, after having been abandoned not far from New York in the great blizzard of March, 1888, went ashore ten months afterward near the Hebrides, after having drifted five thousand miles back and forth on the Atlantic Ocean. The history of several other vessels pursuing a similar career may be found in the bulletins of our Hydrographic Office. The schooner Twenty-one Friends, abandoned in March, 1885, one hundred and sixty miles from Chesapeake Bay, drifted two thousand miles in four months, and was seen near Cape Finisterre at the end of eight months. The Ethel M. Davis drifted four thousand four hundred miles in three hundred and seventy days, and the David W. Hunt four thousand eight hundred miles in three hundred and forty-seven days, during which she was seen by forty-one passing ships. According to the United States Wreck Chart of the North Atlantic, there were forty-five derelict vessels in that ocean, and more than half of them were in the route of the transatlantic line steamers. These waifs are very dangerous, for their positions and courses are unknown, they are under no control, and may appear at any unexpected moment, at night or in a fog, or in storms, to crash into and sink whatever vessels they may meet. Possibly some of the steamers that have been lost and left no record have gone down after meeting with them.

 

Indo-China.—The whole region of Indo-China, as the Hon. G. N. Curzon, M.P., pointed out in a lecture before the Royal Geographical Society, is dominated by its great rivers, and may be divided into the mountain districts of the north, cleft by vast gorges; and the low plains of the south, mainly composed of alluvial deposits, where the coast lands are steadily encroaching on the sea. In the seventh century, Tongking, now sixty miles inland, was on the coast. A very remarkable feature, which gives parts of the coast a beauty comparable with that of the Inland Sea of Japan, is a broken belt of limestone cut into curious, flat-topped sections of all sizes, and perforated by the sea or rivers with many fantastic caves and tunnels. The masses of caverned rock rise to a height of from fifty to five hundred feet, and are best seen in the Bay of Along in Tongking. In Annam Mr. Curzon traveled to Hué by the "Mandarin's Road," a track which is carried over several cols by some skillful engineering in the form of rock staircases. Hué is a city of great interest, is beautifully situated, and is near a number of magnificent ancient tombs.

 

Mongol Waterworks.—The city of Aurungabad, India, is supplied with water by a system constructed three hundred years ago by Malik Umber, the Viceroy of Shah Jehan. Though the water came regularly, no one in recent times had determined the source of the supply. All that was known was that the water came from the stone image of a bull situated seventy feet above the level of the town, while further search was defeated by the superstition of the natives. The matter has been recently investigated by Mr. Beveridge, an engineer in the service of the Nizam, who found that the Gya Mookh, as it was called, was supplied by a pipe and a covered channel. This channel was traced up for a considerable distance, but the work was suspended on account of unhealthy emanations and the difficulties interposed by superstition. It was resumed by another engineer, Mr. Massett, who found that the channel crossed the Ursool River by a si-