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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, December 23, 1900, Image 31

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The statement may seem paradoxical, but it
is nevertheless true that the commonest trait of
the weather throughout the greater part of the
United States, and. in fact, all temperate lati
tudes, is that it is unusual. Any one who com- '
pares the actual mean temperature for a month
with the average for that month for the previous
thirty or fifty years will almost invariably detect
a considerable excess or deficiency. The same is
true of the precipitation. The difference may be
*ma.l and scarcely noticeable or it may be
J*r«*. Hut it is practically always discernible.
*ot once in a hundred time* probably will either
the average temperature or rainfall for four con
eecutive weeks be exactly normal. And so. while
there is often a good deal of extravagance in
popular comments on the weather, and especially
regarding the 'remarkable- character. It is
nevertheless the fact that it is always a little
warmer or a little colder and a little dryer or
a little wetter than it ought to be.
These x*>culiarities are offset a few months
later by a swing of the pendulum in the opposite
direction. Inde-d. they are generally accom
panied by a compensating departure from the
normal either in some other part of the country
or in some other country, Once in a while,
though, th.se deviations from the standard are
conspi- uou* not only in amount but also in dura
tion. And occasionally these will extend over a
considerable area at one time. In these respects
the weather of Iftt in the United States, more
particularly in the eastern part, and during the i
last half sf the year, has certainly been highly
The first six months were full of eccentricities,
but these nearly balanced each other. January
was mm. the average temperature in this city
being 3 degrees higher than the normal, while
February and March were colder than usual.
Winter was late in OSSStnc, but it came There !
have be.-n severer cold snaps and heavier snow- \
falls, but the records show that over nearly the '
whole region east of the Missouri Valley the l
temperature was abnormally low for two whole
month.-. Then the scales turned again. April '
ar.d May were warmer than usual from the At
lantic seaboard to the Mississippi, excejt that
the Gulf States kept pretty cool in th former
month. Along the upper lake?, in the Upper
Mississippi Valley and out in the Dakotas the
average excess was from li digrets to S degrees.
Meantime, in England and France they were '
complaining bitterly about thtir late spring. In '¦
June there was excessive heat on the Atlantic j
seabcarJ and beyond the Mississippi, but in the
intermediate region the temperatures were j
cotal ly moderate, not to say abnormally cooL
Now ensued a period of hot weather which j
Is exceptional for continuity, degree and the area
affected. In July the only sj»ot east of the j
Rockies that did not experience excessive heat
was the suuth?rn part of the eastern slope. In
August the same state of things existed. In
places the temperatures exceeded those of tropi
caJ countries. During that month there was a
notable lack of tornadoes and thunderstorms.
Which always betoken a considerable drnp of the '
mercury. The region east of th<* Mississippi suf
fered the worst in September. The heat ex
tended Wei: up into Canada. Toronto reported
that only once <in ls*l> since IMo had such
high temperatures been recorded in that city. I
During October the whole country this side of
the Rockies was similarly afflicted, the average
temperature* for the menth m the upper lake
region and Minnesota being I degrees or 10 de
grees above the normal. November showed some
mitigation of the situation, and yet the only
portion of the United States where the heat
»M not abnormal was a strip along the Ca
nadian frontier west of Minnesota.
The returns are not all in for December, and
the cold waves that visited the East in the
second week of the month went far toward wip- '
ing out the tem;«erature excess of the first. It
is to be noted, however, that in Montana and !
the Dakotas, where the coldest weather is usu- I
ally experienced, December ha.« so far failed to !
match the November record <.'£<» degrees below
aero at Havre). The severest cold in the cur
rent month was recorded at White River, On- |
tario, in the lake region. This was .".S degrees j
below zero, and New-York's echo of this event
was 12 degrees above, not a very trying or star
tling experience.
Omitting December from the calculation, then,
because it is unfinished, it still remains true \
that over a large part of the country excessive ;
heat continued through five full months. The
series of monthly balances on the plus side of the '
account in New-York City began 'n April. It Is !
Seldom that more than two or three months j
consecutively show either an mesas, or a de
ficiency. Such a succession of hot months here :
is without a parallel in the records of the Gov
ernment Weather Bureau, which was established |
toward the close of IS»2J. The mean for the j
year in this city will certainly be the highest in
all that time. The intensity of heat during the (
last five months may be inferred from some of '
the separate monthly records. Only thrice be- j
fore in thirty years has July shown so high i
a mean here; September has done so only once: !
whereas August, October and November have j
made entirely new records in this respect.
The eccentricities of rainfall have not been so
remarkable as those of temperature. These so j
nearly counterbalanced each other in this city
and vicinity up to the clone of July that at
that time there was an exceas of about one-fifth
of an inch on the book*. Still, June and July
showed slight deficiencies in the greater part
>f New-England and ihe Middle Atlantic States.
The drouth was more general and severe in
August, while in September It was again limited
to th- extreme East. New-York fared well In
October and November, receiving slightly more
than the normal supply. However, the current
month shows a deficiency, which, added to that
of the late summer and early autumn, promises
to leave a shortage of about three inches or four
inches at the close of the year. It is only
H.>w at the right.
try to e<> kw4 to 1895 and IS!*, to find
dry. r yetm than 1!*K».
TOUTOTM t:\rouMf Mr a TIOJS.
From The London Times.
The " Cazette de Lausann-" publishes a docu
ment which is regmrded as equivalent to the
CMmmuriicati'-n of Count Le.i Tolstoi by the su
preme authority of the orthodox Greek Church.
The doewssent is in the form of a m • r< t circular
addressed by Joannlklna, the Metropolitan of
Kiefr and president of the Holy Bynod, to all
the Archbishops ¦ f Russia, and is dat-d March
'¦'A. I'.«m». Th- concluding ; - as follows:
¦ By Bttsaerous works, in which he has set forth
hi* re nclples, Tolstoi has shown him
self a declared enemy of the Church. II
•' "jrnize th- existence of the Trinity in
Unity lie denies the >i. ter of the
; f the Trinity, th. Bon of i",..d.
whom he considers as a simple niort:*!. He
blasphemes the holy mystery of the in.::'
\- of the <;• ipela. He
Holy Church, which be regards as a
Btitui i'.n. and also the • ¦
the hoi\ mysteries
d. In a word, he be
Photographed from the stern at the Baikal.
longs to those whom th* Holy Orthodox Church
solemnly from her bosom ana publicly
exommunicates. Unle-* Count Tolstoi recants.
the i elebration of expiatory masses in the event
•>f his death would not fail to wound the relig
ious feeling* >•{ true believers and provoke an
indignation which should l»e avoided. Conse
quently, the Holy Synod deems it necessary to
prohibit the celebration of all divine services
and >f all expiatory masses in the e\,-rit of the
¦ i.a:h of Cunt Le«. Tolstoi, unless he may have
during lif' recanted the views above men
From The London Chronicle.
Combermere Abbey. Cheshire, is to let. It
stands on the Bite of a Benedictine monastery
founded by Hugh .ie Malhaue about ll."-»i. and
the materials of the original fabric were made
use of in the rr-H-m mansion. Th*< walls of the
library are those of the old refectory, and the in
terior is famous for its tine wood carving. It
has belonged to the Cotton family since the Dis
solution. The collection of weapons and trophies
in the armory was chiefly formed by Field Mar
shal Sir Stapleton Cotton, first Viscount Cotton,
in India. The pictures include portraits by
Romney. Another notable house in the market
id Abbey House, Abingdon. It takes its name
from a Benedictine abbey founded in GIT*, which
became one of the wealthiest in England. It is
to come under the hammer next month. The
last owner expanded a considerable sum ov re
storing the ruins, and there is a private water
way to the Thames.
From The London Standard.
The connection between anarchy and bicycles
is not at once apparent, but our Constantinople
- irrespondent tells us to-day that the thought
ful Ministers of his Imperial and at present
somewhat perturbed Majesty the Sultan have
worked it out to their own satisfaction, and
have prohibited racing in the capital. The
changeless East has taken rather kindly to the
wheel. Even in China the "foreign devil" who
gees out on a machine is no longer liable to be
stoned to death by an infuriated mob or hauled
before the local Tiiota] on- a charge of offend
ing the gods with* his blasphemous inventions.
At least one Englishman has ridden right across
the Celestial Kingdom without coming to any
harm, and Chinese gentlemen have been known
to convert their voluminous skirts into "ra
tionals," and themselves bestride the steed of
steel. . •
A demand, it appears from a consular report
it-sued yesterday. ¦ is springing up for French
bicycles among the Hovas of Madagascar, and
in many parts •( the Dark Continent, from
Tangier to the Cap-, the untutored African
is a keen and diligent cyclist. Even in the Ot
toman Empire the vehicle has made some
headway. The advanced young Turk, who
reads French novels, drinks absinthe and plays
billiards, bicycles as becomes a lover of progress,
and skim? along, not unimpressive, in tweed
knickerbockers, black frock c,. a and a red
fez. The ladies have taken to it also. It has
been introduced into the best harems, and no
really Indulgent pacha, who has a sufficiently
secluded garden, would deny his wives and
daughters the amusement. Such belns the case,
the proprietor of the Pera Palace Hotel, having
taken a lease of ihe Municipal Gardens, was
justified in concluding that a series of Sun
day bicycle races would attract the public.
The contests were held. three of them.
and Stamboul poured out its motley multi
tude t< see the show. Mussulman and
Chris; ian. Greek, Jew and Armenian paid
their entrance fe^* and forgot for a space their
secular differences as they beheld the com
petitors fly past. Three times was I'>ra's Sab
hath illumined ov this entertainment. The
cyclists scon ed; the multitude said "Bravo!"
or "Kismillali" ' according to its nationality;
and the proprietor of the Palace Hotel secured
legitimate gate money. Hut he had reckoned
without th.- vigilance of the Porte and the fears
.if th- Bultan. Crowds are not welcome in the
neighborhood of the Padishah's sacred person.
When a number of people are urath.-rvd together
it becomes a riot, and they make it easier for
ill.- Cali-ih's loyaj •objects to conspire together,
and perhaps to arrange sttempts against their
sovereign's lif--. This feeling on the part of the
Turkish authorities has acquired fresh energy
since the murd«-r of Kins Humbert, so that
they are now living in a fe\-r of suspicion lest
some Anarchist or Armenian plot shoul i be at
tempted against the life of Abdul Hamid. So
oven the bicycle races were vetoed, and when
the fourth Sunday came round there was no
•fixture." the meeting having been forbidden
by the police.
If the plans of the Transsiberian Railway's
managers have been carried into effect the most
remarkable ferryboat in the world was put into
service a few days ago on Lake Baikal. This
sheet of water is almost four hundred miles long,
and extends in a nearly north and south direc
tion across the rout • of Asia's great transconti
nental highway. Its width varies from twenty
,to seventy-five miles. It would have been a
comparatively ea?y engineering task to evade
this obstacle were it not for the situation of
That city is near the west shore of Lake
Baikal, seventy-five or one hundred miles from
the southern extremity of the latter. It is the
largest centre of population in all Siberia, and
the necessity for taking the ra(\ay through it
was imperative. Hence it was seen that a detour
must be made to circumvent the lake. But here
fresh difficulties were met. The adjacent region
is mountainous and no end of open cuts, tunnels
and embankments will be necessary before the
proposed two hundred mile loop can be con
structed. ThiJ kind of work costs time as well
as money. As a temporary expedient, therefore,
it was decided to establish a ferry to carry rail
way trains across. The line has been completed
from European Russia to Irkutsk and a cons; 1
erable distance beyond. But through traffic
would be impossible were not some such provi
sion made for crossing Lake Baikal, which at
this point is something like twenty or thirty
miles wide.
Railroad ferries are no novelty, at least in
America. Boats to carry railway trains across
a river or lake have long been in service in this
country. Lake Baikal, however, is very much
further north than any part of the United States
except Alaska. The place where the Trans-
Siberian route crosses it is fully o degrees of
latitude, or 350 miles, nearer the Pole than the
Strait of Mackinaw, and seven hundred miles
nearer than New-York City. T.ake Baikal is
frozen over for five months in the year. It
closes about the middle of December, and gener
ally opens in May. If the line is kept open dur
ing the winter, therefore, the ferryboat must
be an ie- breaker, and it must be capable of per
forming that function in a fashion unknown in
the United States. The ferryboat which main
tains connection between Upper and Low 9
Michigan, across the Strait of kinaw. octa*
sionally achieve! great triumph? in the winter
time; but it would not be equal to the emer«
gencies which Lake Baikal is likely to present
after three months of freezing weather. The ice
breaker of the Sault Ste. Marie is regarded as a
winder. Its best work is forcing its way through
two and a half or three feet of ice, but it "can't
hold a candle" to the latest Russian ice breakers.
In order to keep the Gulf of Finland and other
parts of the Baltic Sea open to commerce in
winter, the Russian Government had a boat
built at an English yard about two years ago.
This was designed by Vice-Admiral Makaroff
and was largely the outcome of many years .if
experience with smaller ice breakers. The ;¦::
mack made the trip from the Tyne to Cronstadt
late in the winter of I!SI>S-'t)l». On entering the
Baltic she passed through drift ice five feet
thick, but afterward penetrated pack ice rang
ing from twenty to twenty-five feet in thickness:
Well, the Baikal, the Trans-Siberian ferryboat,
is said to be larger and more powerful. She
promises to cut a good deal of ice.
These Makaroff boats do not rely solely wrt
engine powe; to force their way through ob
structions. The bow is of peculiar construction.
Its stem has a lung overhang, and the lower
part is inclined only liO degrees from a hori
zontal. This gentle slope enables the forward
part of the boat to mount the ice, if the latter
is particularly firm, and bring the weight of the
vessel into play. Th-» downward pressure thus
exerted is tremendous. About twenty-five feet
back of the extremity of the prow the boat has
one propeller. There are two others astern on
the Baikal. The Ermack has three. It is not be
lieved that the stem would often mount the ice
for a sufficient distance to bring the forward
screw in contact with it. Still, the propeller is
strongly protected. The object of this mechan
ism is not to propel the boat, but to suck out
the water from under the ice immediately in
front. Deprived of its support, the crust yields
more readily to the weight simultaneously im
posed on it.
Inasmuch as there is not a through water
route from the yards of Sir William Armstrong;
Whitworth & Co.. of Newcastle, to Lake Baikal,
the ferryboat was taken to pieces for shipment,
and put together on arrival at her destination.
There are three lines of rails along her deck,
th.- central one for passenger train? and the
other two for freight Owing to the diagonal
direction of her route, she ia expected to cover
thirty-nine miles on each trip. The Ermack'*
engines were ' capable of developing 10,000
horsepower. Th >s-- of he Baikal probably ex
ceed this figure materially. The displacement of
the latter, without her load, was to be 4,000
tons. The Ermack's stern was so shaped as to
accommodate the bow of a second boat, which
might volunteer as a pusher. Obviously, the
way being once opened by the ice breaker, an
other steam vessel could easily serve in this
manner. But no account of the Baikal intimates
that such a plan Is contemplated ia connection
with the Siberian ferry service.

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