National Geographic : 1896 May
MISCELLANEA In presenting his estimates for the next year the Superintendent urges a moderate increase in the appropriation for field work as necessary to the rapid and economical prosecution of the surveys urgently demanded in the interests of comnmierce along our coasts, and for the advancement of other important field operations of the survey, which, he states, are found to be impracticable with the amount appropriated for the current year. The estimates contemplate resurveys of several important harbors on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts; also the commencement of a survey of the Aleutian islands and an examination of the mouths of the Yukon river in Alaska in addition to the work in progress. Besides the publications referring to nautical matters, the survey issues bulletins at irregular intervals intended to impart advance information on new discoveries or other matter relating to the survey; and appendices to the report of the Superintendent giving scientific results and other de velopments incidental to the progress of the work. Four bulletins were issued during the year and the report has appendices on the following subjects: The Secular Variation in Direction and Intensity of the Earth's Magnetic Force in the United States and Some Adjacent Countries ; Ob servations of the Transit of Mercury at Washington in 1894; Results of Latitude and Longitude Determinations in Alaska; Physical Hydrog raphy, Nantucket, Mass.; Notes on the Specific Gravity of the Waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf Stream; A Graphic Method of Reducing Stars from Mean to Apparent Places; A Description of Improved Leveling Rods and a Report on the New Kilo Balance of Precision. HERBERT G. OGDEN. MISCELLANEA In Santo Domingo important governmental concessions have been granted to an American corporation. From Puerto Plata, a seaport of 18,000 inhabitants, at which from 12 to 15 steamers enter monthly, a rail road is being constructed to Santiago and Mora. American capitalists have purchased the entire street-railway system of the city of Mexico, comprising 100 miles of broad gauge and 60 miles of narrow gauge, over which seventeen and one-half millions of passen gers were carried in 1895. Electric traction and other improvements are contemplated. Two summer courses in physiography will be given by Professor W. M. Davis at Harvard University, beginning July 3 and lasting six weeks. The chief object of the elementary course is to promote the change in the method of teaching geography so generally advocated in recent years, and the lectures will be supplemented by laboratory work and excursions. The advanced course will be specially adapted to the needs of those already well grounded in the elements of physiography. The admirable library and laboratory resources of the university will be available for the use of students, and as the fee for either course is only $20, there should be a large attendance.