news and reviews
An important new series of regional industrial geographies, based on extensive research, and delving deeply but clearly into contemporary problems and potentialities. Each book describes the industrial character of the region concerned, and analyses changes in recent years. David M . Smith, series editor, contributes the first volume, just published:
Adescription of the industrial character of the region and a reviewof the roles of government policies and planning. Contents: an introduction to the north west;the regional pattern of industrial activity; recent changesin the regional pattern of economic health, a viewof the sub-regions;industrial development and regional planning. Notes and references, bibliography, appendixes include notes on sources of data and methods of statistical analysis; keyto employment exchange areas; key to local authority areas; index. 272pages including 16pagesof plates.
The second volume in the series, Industrial Britain: The North East by Professor John House, will be published in November, and five more studies are in preparation.
David £ Charles
NEWTON ABBOT DEVON
Points from the news
Price of fresh water; Opportunities overseas
Notes by Ptolemy
The World in Books: reviews by Barry Floyd, Ewart Johns, R. M . Lockley, R. J. Harrison Church, Charles A. Fisher, David Harris, A. J. Abbott, Juliet Williams, John Lavis, T . H . Rawkins
Letters to the Editor: Ptolemy’s notes on population; New directions for transport; Metric ‘nonsense’
Earthquake early warning station on the moon by D . Davies, D epartment o f Geodesy and Geophysics, Cambridge
Two pieces of scientific equipment have been left behind on the moon by the Apollo n astronauts. A comer cube reflector was embedded in the m oon’s surface and its selection lays some emphasis on the rebirth of the interest in precise surveying in recent years. T he second device has a more active role. I t consists of six highly sensitive seismometers which will record moonquakes for the trans-
M r Neil Armstrong
M oon m edal award
T he Royal Geographical Society’s first award for space exploration has been m ade to M r Neil A rm strong, leader o f the Apollo i i Expedition. H e is to receive a special gold ‘M oon’ medal.
T h e Society’s gold medallists include Amundsen and Peary, the first to reach the Poles, S ir Edmund H illary and S ir John H unt, of the B ritish Everest Expedition.
m ission o f seismographs d irect to Houston.
I t m ay be m any m onths before tangible scientific results are published from m an’s first spectacular venture onto the moon. They will necessarily be incomplete, raise more problems than they solve and be w ide open to criticism , but a s tart has to be m ade somewhere.
Perhaps the m ost significant function of the lunar astronauts was to determine a m eans of locomotion on the moon and to describe the feeling of living under gravity one-sixth of that experienced on earth. A solar w ind experiment was conducted in which particles em itted from the sun were trapped by an aluminium foil umbrella. Normally the earth’s atmosphere and m agnetic field prevent such particles from reaching its surface. T he astronauts also collected as w ide a range of rock and soil samples as they could carry, to be examined and pored over by more than a hundred geological teams on earth.
Surveying has been a m ost exacting art for more than a hundred years and the embedding o f the comer cube reflector on the m oon’s surface should be o f immense interest. Quite apart from the requirem ents o f h igh precision land surveys which are a continuing need, there has been, since the early 19th century, a continued interest amongst surveyors in the absolute fixing of position as opposed to the construction of networks relative to some base point. Perhaps two phenomena in particular have kept the question o f absolute position to the fore - Chandler wobble and continental d rift.
T he Chandler wobble, discovered in 1890, is a tiny perturbation between the N o rth Pole and the earth’s axis of spin. I t is, of course, inconceivable that the earth should spin about an axis too far from the Pole, but if it is slightly d isturbed by a large earthquake it m ay wobble by up to five m etres and this wobble w ill have a period o f about 430 days. T h e pole and