ITEMS OF INTEREST

Dr. Frederick A. Cook, the American explorer, reached the north pole April 21, 1908, according to a telegram received Sept. 1 at the Colonial Office at Copenhagen. Heretofore every explorer has pushed as far north as he could during his first summer, and then has established winter quarters, but Dr. Cook went into the polar regions on this trip with a new theory. He intended so to time his advance that his journey over the ice would fall in the winter. On his previous expeditions he made a full study of ice and ice conditions, and found that not only was the ice firmer in the winter, but comparatively smooth surfaces were presented for sledge parties, making progress easy for mile after mile. He reckoned that a winter dash would not be balked so frequently by the open lanes and that the advance would be regular. As he had often found it as cold as sixty degrees below zero, a few degrees colder in the winter would make little difference, and the long Aretic night would be about as bright as our moonlight nights in the open country. He left Etah, Greenland, for the north on March 3, 1908, Cape Thomas Hubbard, March 17, 1908, and discovered the pole April 21, one month and four days later. The distance is approximately six hundred miles.

On the 13th of this month the first vocational or trade school to be planned, equipped, and conducted by the public school authorities of New York city will open to boys of mechanical tendencies, whose ages are not less than fourteen years. The principal of the school, Charles J. Pickett, Ph.D., says: "I do not plan to turn out boys who are going to take journeymen jobs. My boys will be admitted at fourteen years of age. In the average shop the fourteen-year-old boy is looked upon as a nuisance; he is neither fish, fowl, nor good red herring. The ordinary school training has absolutely unfitted him, particularly if he has had no manual training. I aim to impress the boys with the dignity of labor. I hope to have them realize that there need be no distinction between the grime and soil of the shop and the instincts of the gentleman. After all, the mechanic is the backbone of this country's progress, and in the very nature of things the nation must progress in direct ratio to the intelligence and skill of its workmen."

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