Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/520

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
516
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Tortugas, under Dr. A. G. Mayer, offers admirable facilities for marine biological work of certain kinds of which some ten investigators took advantage.

The nutrition laboratory, under Dr. F. G. Benedict, was last year in the stage of construction and equipment. It is adjacent to the Harvard Medical School and several hospitals, which will give opportunity to work with pathological cases. In the new building, shown in the accompanying illustration, work is now beginning with the calorimeter and in other directions.

The work of the institution in economics, sociology and history has consisted in the collection of data and the classification of records. The department of economics and sociology has suffered through the recent death ot the director. Dr. Carroll D. Wright. No work, or hardly any, has been done in anthropology, psychology, philology, literature or art.

Some twenty-four publications were issued by the institution during the year at a cost of about $64,000. The administration building at Washington, erected at a cost of about $220,000, at the southeast corner of Sixteenth and P streets, is now nearly ready.

 

LIEUTENANT SHACKLETON'S ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION

Lieutenant Shackleton's expedition has been remarkably successful, whether viewed as adventure or as scientific exploration. The results are the more noteworthy in view of the unofficial character of the expedition and its somewhat modest outfit. The expedition seems throughout to have been accompanied by that kind of good fortune which may properly be attributed to expert knowledge and skilful foresight.

The Nimrod, it may be remembered, left New Zealand on January 1, 1908, and included in its scientific staff Professor Edworth David, F.R.S., of Sidney University, and Lieutenant Adams, R.N.A., geologists; Sir Philip Brocklehurst, surveyor and map-maker, and other scientific men. It had been Lieutenant Shackleton's intention to find a convenient place on King Edward's Land at the eastern end of the ice barrier, but the conditions were unfavorable, and it was necessary to take up quarters in McMurdo Sound, close to the place occupied by the Discovery in 1902.

The first expedition started on March 5 and ascended Mt. Erebus, the great Antarctic volcano, the summit of which, at an altitude of 11,000 feet, was reached on March 10. It was ejecting vast amounts of steam and sulphurous gas to a height of 2,000 feet.

The Antarctic winter was made use of for collections, observations and photographs. In the early spring, three exploring parties set out, one under Mr. Armitage going westward, gathering geological and topographical data; the second under Professor David going southward and reaching the magnetic pole on January 16 in latitude 72° 25" and longitude 154° east. The party journeyed 1,260 statute miles in a hundred and twenty-two days, suffering many hardships and making important discoveries.

The most dramatic expedition, in which Lieutenant Shackleton was accompanied by Messrs. Adams, Marshall and Wild, left Cape Royd on November 29, taking with them four ponies. On December 26 they reached the Discovery expedition's southernmost latitude. Proceeding south and southeast they reached a high range of mountains and discovered a glacier 120 miles long and forty miles wide, which they ascended, contending with deep crevasses. On December 8 they discovered another great mountain range. On December 26 they reached a plateau at an altitude of 9,000 feet. During this time there was a constant southerly blizzard of wind and drifting snow, with temperature ranging from 37 to 70 degrees of frost. On January 9 they reached latitude 88° 23″ and longitude 162° east, the most southerly point ever attained and 1° 17′ nearer the pole than