THE Societe Frangaise de Navigation Aerienne has decided to organize a competition in, weather forecasting, which will extend over a period of two weeks about the time of the vernal equinox of next year. This season was selected because it is supposed to be characterized by generally unsettled weather, and therefore likly to afford a severe test to the competitors. An elimination contest, the particulars of which have not yet been announced. will precede the principal competition, its object being to shut out the cranks and charlatans who might be disposed to participate in such an event. The idea of a public contest in weather forecasting is not new. In the” autumn of 1905 a competition of this sort was held by the Societe Belge d'Astronomie for a prize of 5,000 francs. The competitors were first required to make daily forecasts based on the current weather maps published at the various meteorological centers of Europe; these were submitted by telegraph and registered mail to the jury assembled in Belgium, the members of which were all well-known meteorologists, viz., Messrs. Teisserenc de Bort, Rotch, Polis, Brunhes, and Vincent. From the twenty-four contestants the seven who submitted the most accurate forecasts were summoned to Liege to take part in a further test. Each of them was required to make a series of forecasts for a twenty-four hour period based upon seven weather maps selected at random from those published by the French meteorological service between the years 1880 and 1902. The jury, having at hand the maps for the days succeeding those selected, was able immediately to verify the accuracy of the predictions. This second test resulted in the further elimination of four competitors, and the remaining three were then required to furnish a statement of their methods of forecasting. The jury unanimously awarded the prize to M. Gabriel Guilbert, of 'Caen, France, both for his successful forecasts and for his method, which was then first made known to the scientific world, and attracted wide attention. M. Guilbert has since published a book on weather forecasting.' ANATIONAL mine-safety demonstration will be held at Pittsburg, Pa., on October 30th and 31st, 1911, under the auspices of the Bureau of Mines. The first day will be devoted to demonstrations at the Bureau of Mines Building in the Arsenal grounds, Fortieth and Butler streets, including exhibits of explosives, safety lamps, fuel testing, etc., and actual explosions. On the same day demonstrations and explosions will be given in the experimental mine near Bruceton, ten 1 Nouvelle methode de prevision du temps. Paris, 1909. miles south of Pittsburg. On the second day the demonstrations will be held at Forbes Field, the National League baseball grounds. This programme will include a first aid exhibit, rescue work and mine gas. President Taft will be present and award the prizes, and will afterward be entertained at luncheon at the Hotel Schenley. It is expected that the Bureau of Mines will run a special car from Washington to accommodate the officials of the Federal government. There is at present prevailing a deep interest in the subject of mine safety appliances and many heads of bureaus and departments will grasp this opportunity of having ocular demonstration of the excellent work being accomplished by the Bureau of Mines. Dr. Holmes, the Chief of the Bureau, will, of course, be in charge of the demonstrations. A Stabilizer for Aeroplanes AFLYING machine having stabilizing means arranged longitudinally and both in front and rear of the vertical turning center of the machine is shown in a patent, No. 1,001,120, to Joseph A. Blondin of Los Angeles, Cal. The stabilizing means include a plurality of members which may be moved laterally to varying degrees which are connected to a movable aviator's seat, thus permitting the coaveaiest operation of the stabilizing members.
This article was originally published with the title "A Weather Forecasting Competition, The Mine-safety Demonstration, and more" in Scientific American 105, 16, 335 (October 1911)