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© Underwood & Underwood
THRONG IN MADISON SQUARE, NEW YORK CITY, LISTENING TO PRESIDENT HARDING's ADDRESS At ARLINGTON
tions. At noon of November 11, in honor of our dead and in pledge of the lasting devotion of the living, the nation stopped everything for two minutes of prayer and meditation. In one picture you can see the little boot-black, perhaps a son of foreign-born parents, on his knees in City Hall Park, New York, and in another the great throng in Madison Square, standing with bared heads, all concentrated on one idea, their allegiance to this splendid homeland. You can see President Harding delivering his fine address at Arlington; and the amplifiers on Madison Square Garden which carried his tones to hearers hundreds of miles beyond the range of his natural voice. In an earnest and beautiful speech the President said: “There must be, there shall be, the commanding voice of a conscious civilization against armed warfare.” He pledged America's help to the world, in the name of the millions who died in defending freedom against the German attack.
C. Underwood & Underwood
THROUGH THE WATCH TOWER'S TELESCOPE
MARSHAL FOCH had the warmest reception America could give. As the guest of the American Legion at its convention in Kansas City he saw the people of the Middle West. Many colleges gave him degrees—and one admirer presented him with a pair of w ill d – c at s The Marshal saw the YalePrinceton football game. He traveled over approximately the same route in the East that LaFayette took so many years ago.
IN November, the Prince of Wales started on a long trip to India, in the hope of allaying discontent among the na- © wide world Too
tive peoples. MARSHAL FOCH IN LINCOLN PARK
THE CONSTELLATIONS FOR JANUARY
ONE of the most easily recognized constellations in the heavens is Taurus, The Bull, one of the zodiacal groups of stars, which lies just south of the zenith in our latitudes in the early evening hours about the first of January. Taurus is distinguished by the V-shaped group of The Hyades (Hy'-a-dez), which contains the bright, red, first-magnitude star Aldebaran, representing the fiery eye of the bull, and by the famous cluster of faint stars known as The Pleiades lying a short distance northwest of The Hyades. No group of stars is more universally known than The Pleiades. All tribes and nations of the world, from the remotest days of recorded history up to the present time, have sung the praises of The Pleiades. They were “The Many Little Ones” of the Babylonians, “The Seven Sisters” of the Greeks, “The Seven Brothers” of the American Indians, “The Hen and Chickens” of many nations of Europe, “The Little Eyes” of the South Sea Islanders. They were honored in the religious ceremonies of the Aztecs, and the savage tribes of Australia danced in their honor. Many early tribes of men began their year with November, the Pleiad month; and on November 17, when The Pleiades crossed the meridian at midnight, it was said that no petition was ever presented in vain to the kings of ancient Persia. Poets of all ages have felt the charm of The Pleiades. In the Book of Job we find, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of the Pleiades?” and Tennyson writes: Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising through the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.
A well-known astronomer, not so many years ago, also felt this mysterious charm of The Pleiades and seriously expressed the belief that Alcyone, the brightest star of The Pleiades, was a central sun about which all other suns were moving. But we know that there is no foundation whatever for such a belief.
A fairly good eye, when the night is clear and dark, will make out six stars in this group arranged in the form of a small dipper.
A seventh star lies close to the star at the end of the handle and is more difficult to find. It is called Pleione, and is referred to in many legends as the lost Pleiad. Persons with exceptionally fine eyesight have made out as many as eleven stars in the group; and with the aid of an ordinary opera-glass, any one can see fully one hundred stars in this cluster. Astronomers have found that The Pleiades cluster contains at least two hundred and fifty stars, all drifting slowly in the same general direction through space, and that the entire group is enveloped in a fiery, nebulous mist which is most dense around the brightset stars. It is not known whether the stars
are being formed from the nebula or whether the nebula is being puffed off from the stars. The brightest star, Alcyone, is at least two hundred times more brilliant than our own sun, and all of the brighter stars in the group surpass the sun many times in brightness. It is believed that this cluster is so large that light takes several years to cross from one end of it to the other, and that it is so far from the earth that its light takes more than three centuries to reach us, traveling at the rate of 186,000 miles a second. The Hyades are a group of stars scarcely less famous than The Pleiades, and the stars in the group also form a moving cluster of enormous extent and at a very great distance from the earth. Among the ancients, The Hyades were called the rain-stars, and the word Hyades is supposed to come from the Greek for rain. Among the many superstitions of the past was the belief that the rising or setting of a group of stars with the sun had some special influence over human affairs. Since The Hyades set just after the sun in the showery springtime and just before sunrise in the stormy days of late fall, they were always associated with rain. In Tennyson's Ulysses we read: Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades Wex'd the dim sea. The Hyades outline the forehead of Taurus, The Bull, while two bright stars a little to the northeast of the V form the tips of the horns. Only the head and fore quarters of the bull are shown in the star-atlases that give the mythological groups, for, according
THE CONSTELLATION Erida NUS
to the legend, he is supposed to be swimming through the sea and the rest of his body is submerged. According to another legend, Taurus is charging down upon Orion, The Hunter, represented by the magnificent constellation just to the southeast of Taurus, of which we shall have more to say next month.
Aldebaran is the Arabic word for “The Hindmost,” and the star is so called because it follows The Pleiades. It is one of the most beautiful of all the many brilliant stars now visible, and we might well profit by following the advice of Mrs. Sigourney in “The Stars”:
Go forth at night
And talk with Aldebaran, where he flames In the cold forehead of the wintry sky.
Next to Aldebaran in the V is the interesting double star Theta, which we can see as two distinct stars without a telescope.
Directly south of Taurus is Eridanus, often called Fluvius Eridanus, The River Eridanus. Starting a little to the southeast of Taurus, close to the brilliant blue-white star Rigel in Orion, it runs to the westward in a long curving line of rather faint stars as far as Cetus, then bends sharply southward for a short distance, curves backward toward the east once more, and, after running for some distance, makes another sharp curve to the southwest and disappears below the southern horizon. Its course is continued far into the southern hemisphere. Its brightest star, Achernar, is a star of the first magnitude, but it lies below the horizon in our latitudes.
Eridanus contains no star of particular interest to us. Most of the numerous stars that mark its course are of the fourth and fifth magnitude. It contains but two stars of the third magnitude, one at the beginning of its course and one close to the southwestern horizon. The beautiful constellation of Perseus lies just to the north of Taurus and should rightfully be considered among the constellations lying nearest to the meridian in January, but we gave this constellation among the star-groups for December because of its close association with Andromeda and Pegasus in legend and story.
No planets are visible at this time in the evening sky.
ISABEL M. LEWIS.
RADIO HAS PERFECT CONTROL OF
A PIONEER event in the history of radio development was the demonstration given early in August on the streets of Dayton, Ohio, when a small, electrically propelled car was skilfully guided among other vehicles and around street corners, being under complete wireless control all the time. This car is of cigar-shaped construction, about eight feet long, and runs on three pneumatic-tired wheels. It travels at a speed ranging from four to ten miles per hour, and the controls are so finely adjusted that it may be easily steered along a narrow roadway.
An examination of the interior of the car shows an amazing and confusing collection of batteries, switches, wires, vacuum-tubes, potentiometers, relays, magnetos, etc., all of which are, of course, necessary to the complete control of the apparatus. The most interesting part of the apparatus is the “selector,” which is in reality the heart of the entire control system. Various combinations of dots and dashes are sent out by means of a specially constructed transmitter, each combination calling for the accomplishment of a certain op
complished. This car has been controlled equally well from an airplane and from a ground transmitting-station.
eration of the control apparatus. It is the function of this selector to “decode” the different combinations of dots and dashes which are sent out, and to close the circuits to the desired controls. So delicately is this selector constructed, and so rapidly will it operate, that it is possible to put into operation any one of twelve distinct controls in a period of less than one second. That is to say, less than one second elapses from the time that any push-button on the automatic transmitter
at the distant radiostation is pressed until the control on the car is in operation. Such speed of control has never before been ac
official photograph U. S. Navy THE EX-U.S.S. “IOWA” UNDER RADIO CONTROL
In the experiments on McCook field, the car has been made to approach a group of persons, blowing its horn wildly, and then, when apparently about to strike them, it has stopped short with screeching brakes, backed up, turned sharply to right or left, and started off in a different direction. Later, visitors learn that the movements of the car are controlled entirely by wireless signals, sent out from the radio-station at the opposite end of the flying-field. The fact that there is no ačrial or antenna system visible adds to the mystification.
The inventor, Captain R. E. Vaughn, declares that the possibilities of radio control and its application to war-time problems are almost without number. Radio control, he says, can be applied to any mechanical apparatus that moves, whether it be in the air, on the ground, under the water, or on the surface, as was done in the case of the exU.S.S. Iowa when it was sent out last July for the airplane bombing test. Huge land tanks may be constructed, filled with a high explosive, and driven to any desired point along the enemy's lines, where the explosive can be fired by means of radio; or it can be applied in like manner to a boat, submarine, torpedo, or even an airplane, and the explosive can be fired when and where desired. There is also an application in the commercial field, particularly to plants where long hauls between various parts of the factory are necessary.
GEORGE F. PAUL.
THE MESQUIT YOU can hardly read any story of the Western plains without coming upon mention of the mesquit. The cow-boy stakes his bronco to F-1– -
THE SCREW-BEAN MESQUIT WITH CLUSTERS OF FRUIT
it, and the prospector, his burro; the wanderer famished for water creeps into its shade (if only he can find one), and the Indian stalks his quarry from its cover. It is, in truth, nature's great boon to the arid belt, that “Great American Desert” which used to show as a blank on the maps, but much of
FRUIT OF THE SCREw-BEAN MESQUIT
which now is sprinkled with towns, farming
settlements, and mining-camps. In a year or two of wanderings on the Colo
rado Desert I often had occasion to bless the
mesquit. It has been to me house, shade, and fuel, as well as stable and fodder for my horse, and, had it been necessary, food for myself. Indeed, I often thought my mesquit might well have been adorned with a sign board such as the old inns used to carry — “Good Entertainment for Man and Beast.” The one want that it is powerless to supply is the greatest one of all, water. With its bright soft foliage, it seems to promise that also, but it draws its moisture from sources far too deep for the traveler to reach. Thirty, forty, fifty feet down, the great cable-like roots go searching for the damp soil, and
THE "STRING-BEAN” MESQUIT
AN INDIAN PONY GATHERING MESQUIT BEANS
miraculously find enough of it in the driest of desert for keeping up the struggle for life.
There are two species of the mesquit, the difference being most marked in the fruit, as shown in the illustrations. Both are beans, but one is long and narrow, like the stringbean, the other is tightly coiled into exact resemblance to a screw. (The former is