National Geographic : 1899 Dec
GEOGRAPHIC MISCELLANEA THE area under wheat in Argentina for 1898-'99, from which the crop was recently gathered, has been officially estimated at 6,150,319 acres. No official estimate of production has been received, but its aggregate amount has been put at 70,000,000 bushels. PLANS are being made for the construction of a tunnel under the Hooghly river at Calcutta. The river at this point is about 36 feet deep, and ac cording to one of the plans the tunnel will pass 12 feet beneath the bed of the river. The length of the tunnel proper will be 6,875 feet. THE construction of the Nicaragua canal would reduce by about two thirds the distance by water from New York to ,an Francisco. By the Cape Horn route the distance is 14,870 miles, by the Nicaragua route 4,946 miles; hence there would be a saving of 9,924 miles-about 26 days time. THEr construction of the trans-Alaskan military road, with which Capt. W. R. Abercrombie, commanding the Copper River exploring expedition, has been so prominently connected, is now completed through the Coast range of mountains into the Copper River valley. It is entirely free from glaciers, and is believed to be as cheap a piece of work as was ever under taken by the War Department in opening up a new country. A RUSSIAN author, according to Thelndependent, appears to have proved in a book recently published that Bering strait was not first discovered by Bering, who found the passage in 1728, but by Semen Deschnef, a Cossack, who was in Siberia from 1638 to 1659, and on his return to Mos cow reported the existence of the strait, which he had discovered while exploring the country adjoining it on the west. THE Tide Tables for 1900, issued by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Sur vey, contain, for the first time, as a part of the annual tables, the pre dicted tides for St Michaels, Alaska, during the season of navigation. The times of slack current for each day of the year at Sergius narrows, Peril strait, Alaska, are also given. This is the first time full predictions of slack currents have been made and published for the localities. AN interesting article on the subject of Liverpool and its docks appears in a recent number of the Windsor Magazine. The docks, the most ex tensive in the world, occupy the north shore of the Mersey for nearly eight miles. Their total water area is 385 acres, affording over 25 miles of wharfage. The largest dock, the Alexandra, covers upward of 33 acres. The principal graving dock is 950 feet long and is the largest in the world. THE reports circulated in several western 'newspapers' during the past month of the breaking up of a tornado at Hennessey, Okl., by the dis charge of a cannon, has recalled to attention a " tornado breaker " pat ented by W. S. Blunt, C. E ., several years ago. The principle of this ma chine rested upon the theory that an explosive discharged into the midst of an approaching tornado would immediately dissipate the cloud. The Chief of the Weather Bureau emphatically states, however, that the dis charge of the most powerful cannon would be utterly inappreciable in its effect upon a tornado cloud, and that it is impossible for such clouds to be dissipated by any explosive that man may invent.