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Skagway. The many channels between the Fox Islands of the Aleutian Archipelago were another object of work.

A Map of the Philippine Islands on the scale of 15 miles to an inch is in course of preparation by theU. S. Signal Corps, and will be ready for distribution about January 1, 1902. During the past year much new information has been obtained by military and civil expeditions throughout the islands, which will be incorporated in the new map. The map will contain the greatest number of names yet published on any map of the archipelago, the spelling in all cases being according to that approved by the U. S. Board on Geographic Names in its recent report. The military telegraph lines and cables, commercial and military telegraph stations, telephone stations, open ports, coastwise ports, and light-houses will also be indicated, as well as the boundaries of the provinces as established by the Commission.

The Antarctic, carrying the Swedish south polar expedition, sailed from Gothenburg October 16. Prof. Otto Nordenskjold, the leader of the party, states that they will proceed to Buenos Ayres and Tierra del Fuego, and then push as far south as is found possible. When winter comes on a party of six under Nordenskjold will land and spend the winter making scientific observations. The Antarctic meanwhile will return to Tierra del Fuego in charge of one of the scientists of the party, who will conduct researches in that little explored country. Thus, while the Germans are exploring the regions south of the Indian Ocean and the British that south of the Pacific Ocean, Dr. Nordenskjold and his party will be at work in the regions south of the Atlantic Ocean. Professor Ohlin and M. K. A. Anderson go as zoölogists, Dr. Bodman as hydrographer, Dr. Skottoberg as botanist, and Dr. Ekolof as medical officer.

Depth of the Atmosphere Surrounding the Earth.-The Belgian Royal Meteorological Observatory has published the estimates made by various mathematicians and physicists regarding the depth of the atmosphere surrounding the earth. The calculations of the various scientists upon this subject recently given in The Scientific American are widely divergent. Biot estimated that the depth was only about 40 miles; Bravais, 70 miles; Mann, 81 miles; Callandrau, 100 miles; Schiaparelli, 125 miles; Marie Davy, 187, while Ritter stated that it reached to a height of 216 miles. In Great Britain, during the early part of the last century, the depth of the atmosphere was generally accepted as being 47 miles, but the fact that meteors became incandescent at a much greater altitude proved that this calculation was at fault. Sir Robert Ball states that meteors have been observed at a celsitude of more than 200 miles; and since they only become incandescent when they come into contact with the air, the calculation of Ritter appears to be the most correct.

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extensive scientific collections, which will be presented on their return to the museums of London and New York.

The party of French engineers sent out at the request of the Bohemian government are also actively engaged in making a triangulation that will enable a complete survey of the country. to be made.


The Division of Mining and Mineral Resources of, the U. S. Geological Survey has published a chart showing the mineral products of the United States during the calendar years 1891-1900. The chart, compiled under the supervision of Dr. David T. Day, is published in advance of the annual report of the Survey for 1900, which will soon be ready for distribution. During 1900 the value of the mineral products of the country for the first time exceeded one billion dollars, reaching $1,070, 108,889. More than half of this amount, $552,418,627, consisted of metallic products, and $516,690,262 of non-metallic products, while about one million dollars is unspecified. Pig-iron formed about one-quarter of the value of the mineral products of the year, amounting to $259,944,000. Then followed bituminous coal, with a value of $221, 133,513; copper, $98,494,039; Pennsylvania anthracite, $85,757,851. The value of the gold products exceeded that of the petroleum by over three million dollars-$79,322,281 as against $75,752,691. Silver followed next, with $77,070,461. Our mineral products have doubled since 1887 and trebled since 1880.

Oscar Neumann, the eminent German explorer, has reached Khartum after a year and a half journeying in Central East Africa, more particularly in Southwestern Abyssinia. With Baron Erlanger and several companions, he left Zeila in January, 1900. The movements of the Mad Mullah prevented them from

going far into Eastern Somaliland, so they turned westward and visited the holy towns of Sheikh Hussein and the holy mountains of Abulnass and Abulcassim. Later they traveled to the capital, Addis Abeba, by a new route. Leaving this town in November, they proceeded to Lake Stefanie, carefully mapping much new country. Their most important work was in the southwestern provinces of Abyssinia and in the British territory to the west around Lobat. The hardships of travel had reduced them to serious straits, when they fortunately came upon a steamer carrying Slatin Pasha and Bluett Bey, who took them to Khartum.

The publication of the results of Herr Neumann's journey will be awaited with much interest, as almost nothing is known of large sections of the country he traversed. It is reported by telegram that he has brought back the largest zoological collection ever made in Central Africa.

Geological Explorations Near Athens.The British Museum during the past summer has obtained some important fossils of Tertiary animals at Pikermi, near the Marathon Road, about 12 miles from Athens. The specimens were found at a considerable depth below the bed of a mountain torrent, and were so jammed together that evidently the animals were buried alive, probably by torrential action. About 50 years ago Dr. Albert Gaudry, in this locality, obtained a great number of fossils for the Paris Museum. Since then the Vienna Academy has made a smaller collection; but until the present year the British Museum had sent no expedition to this field. Among the principal finds were numerous bones of Hipparion, the threetoed predecessor of the horse; Helladotherium, a short-necked giraffe allied to the Okapi, the new mammal recently discovered by Sir Harry Johnston in the forests of the Kongo State; several

skulls of Mastodon, and skulls, teeth, and bones of the great saber-toothed tiger Machærodus, specimens of which have also been found in England. One of the prizes was the remains of perhaps the largest tortoise ever found in Europe. Very few bones of rodents or of birds were found, but a considerable collection of land shells was obtained. Dr. A. S. Woodward, who was in charge of the excavations, has forwarded to the British Museum 47 large cases of fossils.

Bathymetrical Survey of the Freshwater Lakes of England -In his presidential address to the Geographical Section of the British Association, at Glasgow, Dr. Hugh R. Mill announced that Sir John Murray and Mr. Laurence Pullar had resolved to complete the bathymetrical survey of the fresh-water lakes of the British Islands. Mr. Pullar has conveyed to trustees a sum of money sufficient to enable the investigation to be commenced at once and to be carried through in a thorough and comprehensive manner. The work is intended as a memorial to Mr. Pullar's son, Mr. Fred Pullar, who had begun the survey of the lochs of Scotland and was drowned in Airthrey Loch in February, 1901, while endeavoring to save others. Sir John Murray has agreed to direct the scheme and to be responsible for carrying it out. All the lakes of the British Islands will be sounded and mapped as a preliminary to the complete limnological investigation. The nature of the deposits, the composition of the water, the rainfall of the drainage areas, the fluctuations in the level of the surface and in temperature, and the plants and animals in the lakes will be carefully noted. Their geological history will also be an object of study. Probably five years will be required to complete

the work. Memoirs will be published as the task progresses, giving the complete natural history of the lakes of one river basin.

Damascus and Mecca Railway.-The first section of the railway that is to connect Damascus and Mecca was opened in September. Reports from Constantinople give an interesting account of the opening ceremonies. Thousands of spectators had gathered at Mezireh in the early morning. Sheep were sacrificed and earnest prayers offered for the prompt and successful completion of the railway and for the long life of the Sultan. Then the governor general of Syria, accompanied by sheiks, ulemas, and prominent men of Damascus, boarded the railway carriages, which were decked with Turkish flags, and the train moved off amid the shouts of the enthusiastic Mussulmen. The arrival of the train at the other end of the section, Dera, was likewise greeted by an immense crowd. The Sultan in his palace on the Bosphorus, 1,000 miles away, meanwhile was receiving bulletins telling of the successful opening of the railroad.

Much importance is given by the Turkish papers of the capital to the construction of this route. They credit the Sultan with originating the plan, and state that as soon as the connections between Damascus and Mecca and Medina are completed he will push the construction of the road northward to connect with the Anatolian railway to Constantinople. The political importance of this road cannot be overestimated. It will bind together the provinces from Constantinople to the Gulf of Aden, and enable the Sultan to concentrate his troops at any point between the capital and the gulf, either to quell domestic disorder or resist foreign encroachment.


A Gazetteer of Alaska, by Marcus Baker, is in the printer's hands and will soon be ready for distribution by the U. S. Geological Survey. Gazetteers of Cuba and Texas are being compiled by Henry Gannett, also to be published by the Survey.

Reports on Military Operations in South Africa and China, just published by the Military Information Division of the War Department, forms a concise and excellent summary of military events in these respective parts of the world until April 1, 1901. The volume is accompanied by many maps, one of South Africa being especially valuable.

"Boundaries of the United States, States and Territories, with Outline of History of Important Changes," by Henry Gannett, is the title of Bulletin No. 171, recently issued by the U. S. Geological Survey. As the title indicates, the report gives a sketch of the successive boundaries of the United States, of its states and territories, as defined by treaty, charter, or statute. The text is well illustrated by maps and diagrams.

Recent Important Publications by the Bureau of Statistics of the Treasury Department are "National Debts of the World," "Porto Rico, Hawaii, Philippine Islands, Guam, Samoan Islands, and Cuba, their area, population, agricultural and mineral products, imports and exports by countries, and the commerce of the United States therewith," and “Commerce of Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies, with share of the United States and other leading nations therein, 18211900."

A List of Maps of America in the Library of Congress, by P. Lee Phillips, Chief of the Division of Maps and Charts, has been recently published by the Library of Congress. This very valuable volume is preceded by a list of books relating to cartography. The maps are listed chronologically and include such as were in the Library at the time of the opening of the new building, in November, 1897. Since that date there have been many important editions, which will be included in a supplementary volume.

A bibliography of geographic publications of 1900 is issued as the September number of Annales de Geographie. The 908 entries are very comprehensive, including memoirs published in government reports and in the proceedings of societies and in leading periodicals. The volume is edited by Louis Raveneau, with whom are associated some forty eminent geographers, Drs. Wm. M. Davis and R. De Courtney Ward, of Harvard University, representing the United States. Sixty entries are of subjects relating to the United States, a larger number than that of any other country.

The High Plains and Their Utilization is the subject of a report by Willard D. Johnson in the Twenty-first Annual Report of the U. S. Geological Survey and now published in separate form. Mr. Johnson believes that the great plains. and arid regions west of the Rockies that form Colorado and New Mexico and the western portions of Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas were formed by deposits from the mountain chain. Gradually, however, the region

was broken up by streams flowing off the eastern slope. The effect of this erosion. is very perceptible in New Mexico and Colorado, and is gradually eating away the portions that remain.

In The Relation of Sparrows to Agriculture, by S. D. Judd, Ph. D., are given the results of a careful study of the value of these birds to the farmer and agriculturist. The report is published by the Biological Survey as Bulletin no. 15, prepared under the direction of Dr. C. Hart Merriam. Sparrows are notorious seed-eaters; but as we have not positively known whether they preferred the seeds of weeds or of useful plants, it has been impossible to state definitely whether they injured or helped the farmer. An examination of the stomachs of 4,273 sparrows has shown, however, that sparrows feed chiefly on the seeds of noxious weeds, and are therefore of economic value.

Dr. Charles H. Townsend, of the U. S. Fish Commission, is the compiler and editor of a volume, published by the Commission, giving the dredging and other records of the U. S. Fish Commission steamer Albatross, with a bibliography relative to the work of the vessel. The author accompanied most of the cruises of the vessel as naturalist during the last fifteen years. The volume gives the data of 1,786 hauls of the dredge. The dredging covers areas extending from the banks of Newfoundland, along both coasts of North and South America, to Bering Sea, with a few limited areas in the tropical Pacific and between Japan and Kamchatka. The deepest haul was 4,173 fathoms.

The Report of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution for 1900 forms a handsome volume of over 700 pages, with 100 full-page plates and maps. It consists of two parts-the report of the

Secretary to the Board of Regents, which is a summary of the work of the Institution in all its departments during the past year, and a general appendix, dealing mainly with the advance of knowledge in the different fields of science during the nineteenth century. In the latter part of the report Mr. Langley has included some forty papers summarizing the century's progress in astronomy, aëronautics, chemistry, physics, electricity, geology, geography, biology, and in special lines of study, as malaria and yellow fever. Some of the papers are reprints from memoirs previously published, while others are contributions specially prepared for the report. The volume forms the most important compendium that has yet been published of what man has done during the nineteenth century to advance knowledge.

The most notable memoir in the volume is entitled "The New Spectrum." In this paper Mr. Langley presents a brief summary of his discoveries during twenty years made possible by the invention of the bolometer. Twenty years ago to register the change of temperature of one ten-thousandth of a degree Centigrade was considered remarkable. Today, by means of the bolometer, which has been continuously perfected, it is possible to register one one-hundred-millionth part of a degree.

The immense field of knowledge that is opened by such a study of the sun's heat is appalling. Mr. Langley hints that it may be possible to foretell the seasons, which write their coming upon the records of the spectrum. He concludes the memoir with these words; "We are yet, it is true, far from able to prophesy as to coming years of plenty and famine; but it is hardly too much to say that recent studies of others, as well as of the writer, strongly point in the direction of some such future power of prediction."

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