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tical, in the plane of the prime vertical, sion, 1/304.5 1.9.


The equatorial at the same place, third, correction to the radius, therefore, differs but forty-nine equatorial radius of the reference sphe- metres from Clarke's value of 1,866 roid; and, last, the correction to its com- adopted on the Survey, while the Bespression.

selian value is apparently too small by In the combination of conditional equa- eight hundred and nine metres. On the tions arising from observations of a dif- other hand, the compression or the ratio ferent nature, the question or their rela- of the difference of the equatorial and tive weights must be considered. In the polar semi-axes to the former is in favor present case, four assumptions were made of Bessel's spheroid, of which the comand the consequent normal equations pression is 1/299.2; that is, one more solved, viz. : for equal weights, for closely approaching a sphere. weights one-half, one-third, and one- In the present state of our knowledge fourth to the azimuth equations, the lat- there is no reason to suppose that the curter being necessarily inferior to the vature of the northern part of America equations derived from latitudes and differs any more from that of a general longitudes. A comparison of these four spheroid derived from arcs of all kinds results showed that it was of small conse- so far measured than local ones in either quence which of these hypotheses was fi- hemisphere differ among themselves. A nally adopted, since the corrections to the comparison of a number of such locally equatorial radius of the reference spheroid adopted spheroids will bring to evidence were practically the same for any of these the local deformities in the shape of the hypotheses, and nearly the same could be earth's equilibrium surface and furnishes said of the resulting compressions. The the geodesists endless material for the weight one-third to each of the azimuth study of the earth's actual figure. equations was finally decided upon, and The manuscript concludes with a comthe resulting dimensions of an osculating parative table of the dimensions of several spheroid were found to be: Equatorial spheroids which of late have come more radius, 6,378.157 90 metres; compres- into prominence. It is as follows:

Spheroid of

Equatorial radius,

a, in metres.

Polar semi-axis,

b, in metres.







1/299. 15+3.15

6,378,494 +90







1/ 295.0

Bessel, 1841. From ten arcs of the me.

ridian and total amplitude 50° 34'. Clarke, 1858. Special spheroid for sur.

face of Great Britain and Ireland ; range of latitude 12°, the same in longitude ;

seventy five astronomic stations. Clarke, 1866. From five meridional arcs,

of total amplitude 76° 35'. Clarke, 1880. From five meridional arcs

and longitudinal measures, total ampli.

tude 88° 59.8' (equatorial degrees). United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, i

1900. Eastern oblique arc of the United States ; total length, 23° 31', and eighty.

four astronomic stations Harkness. 1891. From The Solar Par

allax and Related Constants," Washington, 1891, p. 138. From a variety of




1 1/293.5




1/ 304.5+1.9


6,377,972 £125, 6,356,727+99



N. B. – The + indicates probable errors.


R. DONALDSON SMITH has broken and very

wooded country, returned to Philadelphia from a abounding in elephants, and here the

journey of 1,500 miles through Somali followers gave much trouble. Central Africa, from Berbera, on the They were never satisfied unless they Somali coast, to the Nile via Lakes Ru- had over ten pounds of camel meat or dolf and Stephanie; the last half of the mutton a day each, and when food was journey was over new country never be- scarce Dr. Smith had to be on the alert fore explored.

constantly to prevent them from poisonAfter considerable difficulties with the ing transport animals or stealing sheep. local officials, which involved the fitting But the Somalis were not such miserable out of three distinct expeditions, Dr. thieves as most of the Indians, and their Smith started from Berbera on August superb physical condition, swift-footedI, 1899. Owing to the desertion of his ness, endurance, and intelligence were Sikh followers, he began to cross the remarkable. Of the nine Gurkhas four Haud with only seventeen Somalis and only were pure blooded, and these were as many Gurkhas and Sikhs, besides his

among the best men in camp. But the assistant, Mr. Frazer, and a Goarnese others, with some of the Sikhs, continucook. The expedition marched by way ally tried to hide if the march were long, of Milmil, Sesahane, and Sheneli to the and had to be hunted up. Two who Shebeli River, the followers being in- evaded the search parties were never creased to forty-eight on the way. The heard of again. Shebeli was reached on September 8th After leaving Goff, the expedition at a spot called Godi, over four hundred reached an altitude of over 5,000 feet in miles from Berbera by road, and on the Boran highlands, when suddenly the September Iith the expedition started caravan was brought to an abrupt halt west again, and between Gohulle and El by a precipice that sheered off almost Dere followed the line of march traversed perpendicularly to a broad plain 1,700 by Dr. Smith in 1895.

feet below. Five marches were occupied In the first journey he saw the worst in crossing this plain, where Dr. Smith side of the Abyssinian method of annex- obtained a specimen of a tiny gazelle ation, but his more recent observations which had been proved to be new to scishowed him that the Abyssinians' treatment of tribes once brought thoroughly On November 26th the valley of Lake to submission was commendable. In the Stephanie was entered, and here the first attacks the Abyssinians were cer- expedition endured much hardship by tainly very cruel, but later they restored the burning of the camp and the shortto the natives a large proportion of their ness of water, for the water of the lake belongings and very nearly their original was found to be so briny that it was unself-government, only a moderate tax drinkable. Lake Rudolf was reached being imposed. From the Somalis to the on December 10th. The formerly rich Boran he was surprised to find the na- tribe of Rusia was found no longer to tives quite as rich apparently as they exist, and no human beings were seen were before they came under Abyssinian until the river Nianam was reached. rule.

A remarkable change in the fauna was Leaving El Dere, which is about equi- now observed. Between the Nianam and distant (750 miles) from Berbera and the Nile there was not only a completely the Nile, the expedition marched through different set of birds, but scarcely any of


the mammalia were the same as had been their bosoms to the waist, and the large found in the eastern section of the jour- bracelets and anklets of ivory, brass, and ney. On January 3d the Omo River was iron. Their hair is shaved above the left behind. It was now found that as ears and cut fairly close on the top of the expedition approached, the natives the head. fled to the hills and seemed inclined to Contrary to the advice of these natives fight. They appeared to be a branch of the expedition set out into the plain westthe Turkana. One day a number of ward, and here they suffered much from them attacked two of Dr. Smith's camel- the difficult ground and the scarcity of men, and were only driven off by firing; water, and many transport animals and but this was the only case of attempted much valuable baggage were lost. After hostilities on the whole journey.

searching for a better route for many After leaving the highlands and cross- days, a branch of the Magois calling ing at right angles the line of march of themselves Katua were encountered, and the late Captain Wellby, the Magois were Dr. Smith was surprised to find them encountered. They have the heavy build cow-worshippers, indulging in certain and large features, with high cheek- rites supposed to be peculiar to the bones, of the Soudanese, and, above all, Hindu religion. On reaching the most the lines of raised tattooing on their northern extension of the Uganda highcheeks that is so typical of the people lands on February 15th, the Akara were about the Nile. Dr. Smith thinks it not met with. Many of these natives were unlikely that they are a branch of the agriculturists as well as stock - raisers, Dinkas, who, perhaps being driven from and had substantial wooden dwellings. the Sobat by the Neurs, put the desert Villages were passed which might easily between themselves and their persecu- have contained 1,500 inhabitants. Dr. tors. They seem to care principally for Smith secured at this stage of the joursmall red beads, and work them in gor- ney the only specimens ever obtained of geous patterns on leather plaques, with the spotted bushbuck. On March 2d which the warriors adorn their massive Lockall was reached, and there Dr. Smith dead-dresses.

received a visit in state from King The most outré of our fashionable Amara, who commanded perhaps 25,000 young men can never aspire to the height warriors. Fort Berkeley was reached on of collar worn by some of the Magois. March 14th last. As no steamers had Their collar of beads throws the chin come up, however, the followers of the high up in the air, and their locks are expedition had to be sent down to Momdone up in a great chiffon, composed basa after waiting a month. principally of clay covered with ostrich May 5th a gunboat arrived and Dr. feathers. Parallel lines of raised tattoo- Smith and his collections were carried ing on the chest and abdomen, leopards' down to Cairo. That site was reached skins hung over the back, and a bell hung just ten months after the departure of on a slender cord around the waist help to the expedition from the Somali coast. enrich the men's apparel. They are the Dr. Donaldson Smith has not only only people Dr. Smith has ever seen thoroughly explored a large tract of wearing a zebra's tail suspended from Africa, but he has made a most valuable the elbows. Many of the younger girls series of surveys and some very interhave rather attractive features and pretty esting collections. Dr. Smith has earned figures. The worst burden they have to a very high position as an explorer of carry in life seems to be the countless unknown countries, and deserves the necklaces of beads which spread over warmest praise of geographers.

But on


THE DUKE OF ABRUZZI. ing. It had been agreed when Cagni and


the Duke separated that only those most THE Duke of the Abruzzi will enduring and competent should condespatch from Christiania in the tinue with Cagni on the march. The

spring a relief party to search for three were started back in good spirits, the three members of his North Polar ex

good health, and abundantly provided pedition who were lost in March, 1900.

with provisions, but they were never These were Lieutenant Querini, á Nor- heard from again. Captain Cagni be


lieves that they must have fallen into a chasm and perished. Letters were left at Teplitz Bay with instructions for the men to proceed to Cape Flora. Provisions sufficient for twenty men for three years were also left with the letters and enough more for three men for four years at Cape Flora.

The preliminary report of the expedition recently published by the Duke of Abruzzi in the Italian Militare e Marina has added but little to the account already given in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE (vol. xi., pp.

PP 411-413). The advance of Cagni is especially remarkable for the speed which his party was able to maintain. For days they averaged 9.5 miles in twenty-four hours, a phenomenal rate of advance over polar ice and snow.

Latitude 86° 33' was reached April 26th. No land was here in sight, nothing but ice in a state of thaw. Petermann's Land, which Payer believed he saw, did not exist where he stated or Cagni would surely have seen it early in his journey. The same must be true of King Oscar Land.


Lieut. Franco Querini.

wegian engineer, and an Italian machinist.

TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILCaptain Cagni's party set out from Tep

WAY. litz Bay, 82° 4', where the Stella Polare was blocked, March 11th, and during the

'ORK will be resumed on the first nine days advanced 43.5 miles. As

branch of the Trans-Siberian the party was too numerous for rapid ad

railway from Stretensk to vance, he determined at this point to send Khabarovsk. This route was abandoned back the three men whom he judged were for a more direct line to the Pacific least able to stand the strain of march- through Manchuria when Russia acquired


practical control over Manchuria after and sound, and is as enthusiastic and vivid the Chino-Japan war. The disturbances in his descriptions as ever. He reports in this province during the past summer that he has passed the summer, unmohave shown the Russian Government that lested, in the vast Desert of Gobi. for a number of years the route through It will be remembered that Sven Hedin Vsanchuria is liable to be cut by bands of went to Central Asia in August, 1899, Chinese at any moment. Hence if there purposing to stay three years there verifyis to be regular railway service from St. ing and continuing the explorations he Petersburg to the Pacific a safer route made in that region during 1893-1895. must be maintained. The northern route, His narrative of those years, through which is a part of the original plan, fol- Asia, has been published in half a dozen lows the left bank of the Shilka and Amur languages, and has made him worldRivers and thus keeps entirely in Russian famous as one of the great explorers of territory. It protects and is in turn pro- history, comparable to Marco Polo, von tected by the line of Russian steamers Richtofen, and Livingston. and barges which regularly ply up and Dr. Hedin writes that he has definitely down the Shilka and Amur between located the original bed of the mysterious Stretensk and Khabarovsk.

and shifting Lake Lobnor, about the location of which geographers have so long

wrangled. Along the south end of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC lake once ran the ancient caravan route SOCIETY LECTURES.

from Central China westward, formerly

thronged with camels carrying silk to the THE National Geographic Society

markets of the west. On the banks of

Lake Lobnor were found the ruins of announces the following lectures :

“The Explorations and Missions houses, temples, and watch-towers, eviof the Franciscan Fathers in Mexico," by

dently the remains of a city rich and pros

The rivers in J. Stanley-Brown, Friday, January 4th; perous 2,000 years ago. The Routes for an Isthmian Canal," by

that region are very perceptibly drying Arthur P. Davis, Friday, January 18th;

up at their southern ends, Dr. Hedin “ The Characteristics, Recent Progress,

states, and growing bigger and bigger at and Present Condition of Mexico," by

the north. He concludes that the hydroSeñor Dr. Don Juan X. Navarro, Mexi- graphical system is moving toward the can Consul-General at New York, Fri

northeast. day, February Ist. These lectures are held in the Congregational Church, at

THE COAST OF PORTO eight P.m. Technical meetings for the reading of papers and general discussion

RICO. will also be held on the evenings of January with and 25th. The place of meet- THERE was no relaxation in the ing and subjects will be announced later.

activity displayed by the United

States Coast and Geodetic Survey

in its surveying operations in Porto Rico SVEN HEDIN.

during the summer of 1900. During the

season thirty-six triangulation stations T was feared that Sven Hedin had were occupied and one hundred and lost his life in the chaos throughout one geographical positions located. A

the Chinese Empire during the past base line was measured and an azimuth summer. But he has reached his head- determined. Large scale surveys were quarters, Yangi-Koll, Central Asia, safe made of the approaches and surroundings



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