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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/877

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POPULAR MISCELLANY.

to denounce these laws or "doctrines," as they are oddly called, "they ought to understand what they mean, and might even be expected to show that they are never guilty of the unchristian practice of buying in the cheapest market, and so in their degree keeping down wages. Political economy, if these vehement controversialists could only see it, is nothing but common sense and common observation thrown into a methodical and systematized arrangement. If a man has the materials, he need not trouble himself very much about the system. Let the people who demand a living wage in the name of Christianity just begin with an exact inquisition into their own conduct and its consequences. Are they in the habit of paying two guineas for a hat when they can get one as good for thirty shillings? Do they ever knowingly give forty shillings for a ton of coals when they can get coals as good for thirty-five? Of course they do not. Nobody does, but the execrated law of supply and demand is nothing in the world except the working out in the gross of the general habit of getting the best value for one's money. Every one who imagines that he sees a way to get rid of this unchristian law ought to try his panacea on a small scale with his own income. When he is perfectly certain that he uses nothing without being sure that everybody employed in making it has had a living wage, he will be in a better position for lecturing coal-owners. He will also have begun to see that industrial problems can not be settled by invocation of undefined Christian principles."

 

The Highest Meteorological Station in the World.—The highest meteorological station in the world, before a still higher one was established on El Misti, 19,200 feet, was the Charchani station of the Arequipa Observatory, Peru, a branch of the Harvard College Observatory situated on Charchani Mountain, just below the permanent snow line. As described by Prof. A. Lawrence Rotch, it stands at an elevation of 16,650 feet above the sea, near the brink of a plateau, 3,400 feet below the summit of the mountain. From this brink a precipice drops several hundred feet. Near the louvred shelter in which the instruments are kept a stone hut has been erected, where the person who ascends the mountain to care for the instruments can spend the night, if necessary. The ascent of 8,600 feet from the observatory can be made by mule in about eight hours. Though it is intended to have one of the assistants visit the station each four weeks, regular ascents have not been practicable; consequently, during the year the station has been occupied, only portions of ten months' records have been obtained, and unforeseen stoppages of the self-recording instruments have further reduced the number of complete records to eight. The distance in an air line from the station to the observatory is about eleven miles, and such is the transparency of the air that on a large white disk, which has been placed on the edge of the plateau, a black spot, one inch in diameter, can be seen with the thirteen-inch telescope at the observatory. It has not yet been possible to place instruments on the top of the mountain, though that would be desirable. Two attempts have been made, unsuccessfully, to ascend to that point. The comparatively high temperature and small snowfall on the high mountains of Peru offer opportunities for the establishment of loftier meteorological stations than are afforded by any other country, and the establishment of such a summit station by the Harvard Observatory is the crowning of its remarkable series of stations, extending from Mollendo, on the Pacific coast, along the railroad which crosses the desert of La Joye (4,140 feet), reaching the divide at Vincocaya (14,360 feet), and descending the watershed to Puno, on Luke Titicaca (12,540 feet). Another series, differing little in horizontal distance but relatively greatly separated vertically, for which the observatory at Arequipa and the station on El Misti already furnish steps, would make it possible to obtain data of the greatest value for the study of meteorology.

 

Anthropology at the University of Michigan.—The first work in anthropology at the University of Michigan was begun in the second semester of the college year 1891-'92, with a course in museum laboratory work in American archæology, under the direction of Prof. F. W. Kelsey. The course was attended by two students. Provision was made for the exhibition of the collections in the possession of the institution, and soon