« PreviousContinue »
Arctic regions, finding at Spitzbergen, result of the continents and oceans also in Greenland and that neighborhood, changing places, or from ten to fifteen fossils of animals and plants which live degrees as a consequence of earthquake only in temperate and sub-tropical cli- changes. mates. For instance, they unearthed That electricity conducted to earth swamp cypress now found in Texas; through interplanetary space might besequoias, those giant trees now found come sufficiently strong to make Earth only in California ; limes, oaks and even strive to revolve upon its magnetic rather magnolias. Remains of a lizard were also than its geographic poles, and thus profound. These were creatures demand- duce a pull from its prescribed axles, has ing much more heat and light than the been suggested by Prof. Arthur Shuster, polar regions afford. Then, in connec- before the British Association. tion with these finds, was taken into con- That small shiftings and wobblings sideration the fact that a part of our zone may result from a slipping of the outer was once under glacial ice.
shell of the earth's crust is thought probThat the climate of Greenland and able by Dr. Charles L. Doolittle, profesSpitzbergen must have been, at some past sor of astronomy, University of Penngeologic age, like that of present Egypt. sylvania. That such movements of the and the Canary Islands, was the opinion poles have taken place in connection with announced by Prof. Oswald Heer, the mountain upheavals is undoubtedly true, great Swiss naturalist, director of the and probably are still going on, in his botanical gardens at Zurich. Lord Kel- opinion. He and four other astronomers vin has also been led into the discussion, have estimated changes in the latitude of and has stated that while there probably Washington, Paris and other cities durhave been no sudden and violent convul- ing the present century. sions, causing the earth to shift its torrid In the midst of this theorizing the regions toward the poles—it is highly systematic observations at Washington probable that the earth's axis of rotation were commenced and the chain of obsermay have gradually shifted forty or more vations about the earth was later estabdegrees since ancient times. Prof. G. H. lished. The co-operating observatories Darwin has also figured that the poles were placed as near as possible to the might have shifted three degrees as a parallel of 39 degrees 8 minutes north,
taken as a base line. Just as the pole star hovers always above the north pole — or where that point should be were it to stand still—there are other fixed stars hovering over our heads at night.
Upon certain of these fixed stars the instruments are focused nightly in Japan, Turkestan and the United States. There are certain paths straight through the heavens, which these fixed stars should appear to take were earth steady at the poles. But just as much as they stagger along the path, just that much the poles are wobbling. It seems a curious thing that the poles which have become proverbial in their stability should after all be as mutable as anything else of this feeting world. The poet has eulogized the north star for its constancy; and the poles have received a goodly share of reflected Transit INSTRUMENT AT THE UNITED States Naval Observatory. honor. Yet the axles of the earth may be said to be loose, just as proves that, thus far, the pole after travthe axles of a teamster's wagon are. No eling in one direction, sweeps around and apter term than wobbling could possibly returns by an opposite route. be found for this curious phenomenon. Its movement is very slow. It has
But what has been learned at the sta- 'never been observed to travel more than tions in the northern hemisphere? There four feet in a week. Sometimes it has measurements are tabulated with infinite required more than a month to cover a care and submitted annually to a sort of yard. In six months it has described an clearing house in Berlin, where they are irregular, semi-circle more than sixty averaged up and reduced to a technical feet in diameter. While it is known that chart by the learned astronomer, Profes- a point which is the north pole today sor Albrecht. The figures thus far indicate will not be the north pole tomorrow, no that although the north pole is under one can predict where this nomadic spot going periodic wobblings, no steady, pro- —the great magnet of the explorer—will gressive changes of position are taking be the next day, the next hour, the next place in one general direction. Were a year. The Arctic surveyor might insert pencil attached to the pole so that it his chain pin at the point which today could write its record upon a fixed sheet marks the exact pole. But, like some of white sky above it, an irregular, living thing, this hypothetical doton spiral-like tangle would be traced. This earth's crust will be crawling away from
him the while he is doing this thing. After describing its irregular sixtyfoot circle it lately passed within about a foot of the charted pole. Afterward it wandered about aimlessly, in a somewhat spiral path, sweeping further and further outward. It now seems to be completing its ragged circle, about the pole of the maps every four hundred and thirty days. The same antics are, of course, daily being performed by our every point of latitude. Examination of data collected before the chain of observatories was es
tablished indicated that this wobbling period was three hundred and forty-eight days in 1774 and that it had slowed down to four hundred and forty-three days in 1890. If this be correct its speed of wobbling has become accelerated.
These periodical changes are now thought by some to be due either to the precipitation of rain or snow, or perhaps the action of ocean currents or aërial currents, flowing unequally, on different hemispheres, or to concussions in the interior of the globe.
Over the rim of the world,
Sunk in the dawn of day, There lie for you and me
The Isles of Far Away.
Haste we back to find them?
It needs but you to say! Make sail and lay our course
For the Isles of Far Away!
Lagoon and shore and bending palm —
Why must it be nay? Youth and Love are calling From the Isles of Far Away! -LLOYD OSBOURNE, in Arnleton's Magazine.
Machines which Almost Think
By William R. Stewart
NYOOOYON the effort to save man should not have a greater share in bash labor, the most wonder- the fruits of his machine-helped labor
ful mechanical devices is—but that is getting into economics,
form the human op- telligence, there are in existence to-day eration of thinking. It probably is a safe hundreds of contrivances of which the statement that nine-tenths of the world's average person scarcely has any idea, work today is done by machinery. which do almost everything that a man
When, recently, one of the great rail can do. That they are the product of the roads which has terminals fronting New human brain and require a human opYork harbor, introduced a new boat erator to set them in motion are the only loading machine by which a carload of respects in which the human superiority coal is turned bottom-upward and asserts itself. dumped into a barge, there was much To give a technical description of all. discussion as to what would become of these machines would be quite impossible the 4,500 workmen who were displaced within the limits of a magazine article. by the new contrivance. What, for that All that can be done will be to describe matter, it might be asked, has become of the operations which they perform and, the hundreds of billion of workmen whom in a general way, to indicate how they all the machinery of the world has “dis- do it. Almost every possible operation placed.” Of course they have never ex- is included in the list. There are maisted, for no number of human laborers could do what machinery does. When a new device is invented which performs the work of a hundred or more human hands the human hands are released for other effort. So the world jogs along, merrily or sadly, and the more “brains” its progressively improving machinery displays the more it waxes in cumulative wealth.
Manual labor is not displaced by the machine which almost thinks; it merely is directed into other channels, and more new things are made.
Records by magnetic action a telephone message, on spools of fine wire or thin As to whether the work
sheets of steel,
chines which chop and pile wood, machines which light fires automatically; machines which decorate and mark crockery, measure the speed of bicycles, automobiles and locomotives; machines which print, punch and sell railroad tickets; machines which sort, count and wrap up coins; which take the place of human brains in counting houses, insurance offices and observatories.
Of all these wonderful contrivances perhaps the typewriter and its variations play the largest part. It is now possible for any person who can operate a typewriter to send a telegraphic message as well as the skilled telegraph operator who works the key. By simply striking
ciently to throw the type-bar against the inking ribbon, and leave its impression on the paper, this action releasing a universal bar, which allows the carriage to move forward one space as each letter is printed. This can now be done by the aid of the electric current. Each rod is connected with a small electro-magnet, and as soon as the current enters the coil its corresponding rod is thrown forward, just far enough to hook the lower end of it beneath the edge of the central disk. Just as this connection is made the passage of the electric current through another electromagnet depresses the disk, pulling the rou down and striking the type space on the paper as though it were done by the depression of the key with a finger. To form the connection between the individual magnets and the operating mechanism, the writer wears a set of metallic thimbles on the fingers, which are wired to the source of the electric current. The instant connection is made
TIME REGISTER. Keeps tab on comings and goings of employees.
each typewriter letter the machine makes thie necessary telegraphic dots and dashes. It is impossible to make a mistake except by striking the wrong letter. The receiving instrument records the message automatically. The typewriter
ness of the telegraph companies, and will almost mean a revolution in telegraphy:
The typewriter also is, by a new invention, capable of being operated by electricity. It has heretofore been necessary to depress the keys of the machine suffi
EMPLOYEES ARE ON TIME WHERE THIS IS USED,