Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/735

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719
NOTES.

of the earth, which were unknown to us and which would furnish work to explorers for many years to come; while the examination of ocean depths was an important task which had but lately been begun. Moreover, there were regions of vast extent which were only very partially known to us, the more detailed examination of which would enable explorers to collect geographical information of the highest value and of the greatest interest. It was from the methodical study of limited areas that science derived the most satisfactory results. When such investigations were begun it was found how meager and inaccurate previous knowledge, derived from the cursory information picked up during some rapid march, had been. A detailed scientific monograph on a little-known region of comparatively small extent supplied work of absorbing interest to the explorer, while he had the satisfaction of knowing that his labors would be of lasting value and utility. There was sufficient work of this less ambitious but not less serviceable kind to occupy a whole army of field geographers for many decades. Exact delineation by trigonometrical measurement was their work. It was hardly begun. With the exception of countries in Europe, British India, the coast of the United States and a small part of its interior, the whole world was still unmapped.

 


NOTES.

Three lectures for young people were delivered in January in behalf of the Royal Geographical Society, by Douglas Freshfield, President of the Alpine Club, on Mountains. The special subjects were a brief general description of the structure and features of a mountain region; the steps by which the High Alps have gradually been discovered, conquered, and converted to human uses; and the lecturer's special field of exploration, the Caucasus.

As many as a hundred and thirty papers were read in the Meteorological Congress, in Chicago, in August, 1893. The congress was divided into nine sections: A, Prof. C. A. Schult and H. H. Clayton presiding, discussing instruments and methods of observation, especially methods of observing in the upper air; B, Prof. Cleveland Abbe, president, dealing with questions of meteorological dynamics, including thunder-storm phenomena; C, Prof. F. E. Nipher presiding, climatology; D, Major H. C. Dunwoody, president, the relation of climate to plant and animal life; E, Lieutenant W. H. Beehler, marine meteorology, ocean storms and their prediction, methods of observation at sea, and international co-operation; F, Prof. Charles Carpmel and A. Lawrence Rotch, improvement of weather service, and especially the progress of weather forecasting; G, Prof. F. H. Bigelow, problems of atmospheric electricity and terrestrial magnetism; H, Prof. Thomas Russell, rivers and the prediction of floods; I, Oliver L. Fassig, history and bibliography.

The name of the Chinook wind is taken, according to H. M. Ballou, from that of the Chinook Indians, near Paget Sound. During the prevalence of the wind the thermometer rises in a few hours from below zero to 40° or 45°. It is analogous to the Fohn of Switzerland, and similar winds are reported from various parts of the world. All that is needed to produce them are high and low pressure areas, whereby the air is caused to pass over the mountains, depositing its moisture on the ascent, and descending on the leeward side.

Strikes, it appears, are not a modern innovation, but were known centuries ago, with outcomes as disastrous as those of the present. In the year 1329 a strike of brassworkers was begun in Breslau, Silesia, which lasted a year. Fifty-six years later, in 1385, one of blacksmiths took place in Dantzic, which ended when the local authorities obtained permission to issue an edict proclaiming that until further notice any workman refusing to obey the lawful dictates of his employer as to continuing operations was to be summarily deprived of his ears.

The English National Society for the Employment of Epileptics has bought an estate in every way desirable for a proposed colony of epileptics, and is collecting means to fit it up and set the colony in operation. It will enjoy the guidance of the experience of Germany, where an epileptic colony has been in existence at Bielefeld for twenty-six years with very encouraging results, and has now more than eleven hundred epileptic inhabitants on an area of four hundred acres. The plan of the English society is to give the colony as little as possible the character of an institution. The houses will be small, as in Germany, and the inmates of each will form a separate family. The industries will be market gardening, cow-keeping, dairy work, poultry farming, and other similar occupations, besides various trades and handicrafts. The women, who will be accommodated on a separate part of the estate, will be engaged principally in laundry work, sewing, cooking, and domestic service. The children will be suitably educated and trained to various industries.

The powers of certain miraculous curative places apparently do not extend to all