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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/438

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extreme difficulty that the traveler between the East and the West could keep an account of the hour. The new system which has been adopted contemplates the establishment, for the whole United States, of four principal meridians, distant from each other exactly one hour of solar time, to the nearest one of which the local time of every point in the country shall be referred. These meridians are selected so as to bear an exact relation, in even hours, with the meridian of Greenwich, whence most of the world computes its longitude. "Eastern time," to which the hour from Maine to Florida and in the region of the lower lakes is adjusted, conforms to the time of the seventy-fifth meridian, which is five hours slower than Greenwich time. Its region begins at 6712° longitude, or as near there as is convenient, and ends at or about 82½°. West of this is the region of Central time, which is governed by the time at the ninetieth meridian, and extends to longitude 9712°, including the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys, the upper lakes and Texas. The next division will conform to the one hundred and fifth meridian, and will include the Rocky Mountain region; and the next, for the Pacific coast, to the one hundred and twentieth meridian. To the east of the "Eastern time" region of the United States the maritime British provinces are expected to set their clocks by the time of the sixtieth meridian, one hour ahead of any part of the United States. As the clocks in the United States have for many years been practically regulated by the railroads, it will probably not be long before the whole country, and every interest in it, will be computing its hours so as to conform with the new standards. The movement of which this is the first and a very important practical step was begun in 1875 by the American Metrological Society, and is designed to embrace the whole world. It has been approved, in principle at least, by numerous learned societies and international associations. The complete scheme involves the division of the whole earth into time-sections of 15° of longitude, or one hour each, with standards of time determined at every fifteenth meridian; the establishment of a point where for the purposes of the monthly calendar the day shall end and the next day begin, at the one hundred and eightieth meridian from Greenwich; and a numbering, for scientific purposes at least, of the hours of the day from one to twenty-four without interruption.


Greek in the Colleges.—The "Boston Globe" says that "the Phi Beta Kappa address of Charles Francis Adams, Jr., is bearing fruit sooner and more plentifully than even he could have expected. The meeting of college presidents from nearly all the New England colleges, held in Boston the other evening for the purpose of discussing the question, indicated a very general agreement with the less sweeping of his propositions. A number of the gentlemen were ready to make a beginning of reform. Mr. Adams touched a fuse that was all ready to go off." This presents the case about as it is. The colleges were all represented at the meeting by the modern-language men, who naturally argued the claims of their department with earnestness. President Porter, of Yale, was absent, but President Robinson, of Brown, who was present, believes in the ancient languages for a foundation; and Presidents Bartlett, of Dartmouth, Carter, of Williams, and probably Seelye, of Amherst, are rather conservative in this matter. President Eliot, of Harvard, on the other hand, means to give an A. M. ultimately without regard to Greek. He hopes neither to require it in college nor in preparation, but to make modern languages an equivalent. Yale, too, proposes to require either French or German for examination, and will probably lessen its requirements of the ancient languages in order to make the preliminary work no more severe than now. The fact is, that Mr. Adams drew the attention of the country to a subject which had been receiving much consideration in the colleges, and his address will do much to hasten action in regard to the study of the ancient languages. President Eliot plans a revolution in this matter, while the other colleges will all give more attention to modern languages. At Williams, President Carter means in time to make German a required study running through sophomore year, leaving it optional the rest of the course.—Springfield Republican.