MAKING ROADS IN ALASKA.
A serious detriment to the making of a road in Alaska is the thawing of the gi-ound beneath the moss. It has been the universal experience that whenever the moss is cut into, thawing immediately commences, and the trail which was passable becomes a filthy, slimy mass of mud, roots and broken stones - a difficult route for men on foot, a slow and tiresome road for loaded animals, and an impassable obstacle to any sort of vehicle. In regions further south, under temperate conditions, trails frequently are developed into fair wagon roads by much usage. Such developments can never take place in any part of the Northwest.
A VALUABLE MINERAL SPECIMEN.
One of the most valuable of mineral specimens for the cabinet is the mineral rhodochrosite, or native manganese carbonate. When in fine crystals of rose pink color, a specimen of fair size is as valuable as an equal bulk in silver. A collector to purchase a really fine specimen of rhodochrosite today, would in all probability have to secure the same from some mineral collection, as there is an absolute scarcity of good specimens in the market.
The great inequalities of the earth's surface are the result of unequal radial descent of the surface due to contraction brought about by cooling. Mountains represent portions of the exterior where it has been thickened by abundant sediment and then exposed to lateral crushing with proportionate upswelling.
Deserts occur at all elevations, from depths below sea level to thousands of feet above, and with numerous variations in the surface, from a flat expanse of sand, where the view for days of travel is bounded by a sharp circle as at sea, to rocky mountain slopes rent by rough defiles, bare and chiseled by driving sand.
Palladium was discovered in 1803 by Wollaston while purifying crude platinum. Palladium occurs native in platinum ores and also alloyed with gold and silver ores from Brazil. It is a ductile, malleable white metal with a specific gravity of 11.8 and possessing the lowest melting point of all the platinum metals. It is used in the manufacture of fine scientific instruments, from its properties of hardness, color and resistance to the action of the atmosphere. Alloyed with silver it is used in dentistry to a small extent as a substitute for gold in the filling of teeth. It is quite rare, and were it in more plentiful quantity the metal would be most valuable commercially.
The metre is the linnlength of the metric system of weights and measures and was intended to represent the one ten-millionth of the quadrant of the earth measured on a meridian from either pole to the equator. The gram if the unit of weight, which is the weight of a cubic centimetre of pure water at its greatest density - 4.5 ° C, or 40° F. The latitude is a negligible factor.