National Geographic : 1900 May
GEOGRAPHIC MISCELLANEA THE Weather Bureau service is to be extended by the establishment of ob servatories in all Mexican Gulf ports between Tampico and Progreso. They will be under the charge of the weather officials at Galveston, Texas. THE Indian famine has increased to such an extent that it now affects an area of territory in which there is a population of over 60,000,000. The government gives relief work to about four millions, and food to five millions more. DR NANSEN will lead a scientific party to the northern seas this summer for the study of the ocean currents in the vicinity of Iceland. The expedition, which is organized under the auspices of the Norwegian government, will re turn in the autumn. THE work of testing arctic currents by setting wooden casks adrift on the ice north of this continent will be continued this year by the Geographical Society of Philadelphia.. Each cask contains a bottle having in it a blank form to be filled out by the finder. The work was begun by the Society last year at the suggestion of Admiral Melville. IN view of the imprisonment of General Cronje and other Boer officers at St Helena, it may be interesting to know that a submarine cable has been laid from Cape Town to the island, where it was landed in November, 1899. The present tariff is $1.70 per word, but on the completion of the line the rate will be reduced to 97 cents to England. MR GROVE KARL GILBERT, of the United States Geological Survey, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a frequent contributor to the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, has been awarded the Wollaston Medal for 1899. This medal is given annually by the Geological Society of London for the most important geological discovery of the year. THE number of vessels that passed through the Baltic Canal during the twelve months ending March 31, 1899, was 25,816, with an aggregate tonnage of 3,117,840. This was an increase of 2,708 ships and 648,045 tons over the pre ceding year. The total receipts amounted to $388,000, and while this was an increase of 25 per cent over the previous year, it still fell short of the cost of maintenance by $103,800. THE death is announced of Mr Brandt, the chief engineer in charge of the work of digging the Simplon Tunnel through the Alps, which will open a new route between north and south Europe. Mr Brandt was the inventor of the hydraulic rotary drilling machine with which the work is being done, and also of an ingenious machine for removing the debris after the blasts. This ma chine throws a powerful stream of water by jerking impulses into the stones loosened by the blast and thereby loosens the dirt. Another invention of Mr Brandt's, a system of ventilation, has been tried in the mines in Spain and has proved effective. The excavation of the Arlberg Tunnel in 1867, through which railroad communication is made between Switzerland and Austria, was directed by Mr Brandt.