9 by 5 and 4, square 53, Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais.
When writing this novel about the measurement of a meridian, Jules Verne was inspired by the scientific expedition of Arago, who measured the meridian of Paris.
Find an account of this expedition of the French astronomer.
“Our” man is Dominique Francois Jean Arago, Born: 26 Feb 1786 in Estagel, Roussillon, France, Died: 2 Oct 1853 in Paris, France.
Here is my choice of a number of biographical pages on Arago:
- Dominique François Jean Arago
- References for Dominique François Jean Arago
En Français: François Arago
“Arago enfant fut sans doute conquis à l’astronomie par la visite à Estagel de Méchain. Ce dernier avait été chargé en 1792, avec Delambre, de mesurer la méridienne de France (à Méchain le sud, à Delambre le nord...!). En 1806, encore élève de l’École Polytechnique, Arago obtient de se voir confier avec Biot l’achèvement des travaux de ses deux illustres devanciers. Il est chargé d’achever la prolongation de la “méridienne” de France jusqu’aux îles Baléares. L’opération géodésique est suivie d’aventures périlleuses, qui le font passer pour mort: fait prisonnier par des pirates, il était détenu dans les prisons du Bey d’Alger... Mais l’opération était terminée.”
- A page on Arago’s astronomic researches, measuring meridians and developing of equipments: La méridienne
- Besides, Arago’s name appears in e-text pages of “From the Earth to the Moon” and 20K!
6 by 5 and 1, square 59. Redouble the number of points. Square 63 past, square 61, Les Enfants du capitaine Grant.
Lord Glenarvan and his friends are safe on the mountain with the grave of Kai-Kumu, since Kara-Tete has declared this place tabu.
What exactly is tabu?
A very good, basic explanation of tabu and similar terms, is at Philosophy of Religion: Mana, Taboo and Witchcraft.
New for me is finding that tabu is very close connected with term “mana”, where “mana” is a kind or a flow of positive energy (or good magic), and tabu is a thing or act which can damage or destroy the mana. That’s why tabu is “untouchable”.
I found also one interesting page, Tótem y tabú en los tiempos del desencanto, but because it is in Spanish, I couldn’t understand it so well. It likes to be some serious study about subject of tabu in antropological and philosophical point of view, not just like a subject of etnology or history of religion.
And, I have to notice that in 95 percent (or more) cases of appearing at search-engine’s reports, the term “tabu” is connected with “xxx” contents. So, Internet gives a new meaning to term “tabu” ;-)
12 by 6 and 6. Square 63 past, square 53, Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais.
The three English are camping in the karrou, when a strange cloud appears. This cloud consists of millions of grasshoppers. In one night they turn the landscape into a desert.
Find information on these swarms of grasshoppers.
The “best match” for subject “swarms of grasshoppers” is a page named “Grasshopper plague”, with interesting documentary pictures.
Two scientific pages (my choice of more of them) with basic informations on grasshoppers, including swarms:
“Also called the “Farmer’s Enemy”, grasshoppers ate over $200 million worth of crops in the Mississippi Valley and Texas between 1874 and 1877. Grasshoppers have also been known to rip to shreds items of clothing hanging out to dry. The most destructive of the grasshoppers are the migratory grasshoppers, the red grasshoppers, and the two-striped grasshoppers. Grasshoppers migrate every year. Swarms of grasshoppers have been known to make the sky black as far as the eye can see. These insects have been sighted by radar traveling in amazing numbers during the night with winds at altitudes of one thousand meters. They may travel hundreds of kilometers in a few days.”
And finally, to corelate with actual situations, a page where can be found how swarms of grasshoppers are related with “El Niño”: El Niño and Climate Prediction.
3 by 2 and 1, square 56, Robur-le-Conquérant.
This novel is yet another tour of the world, this time in the “sixth continent”, the air. This tour has indeed been made (although the tour of the world by balloon is still a challenge).
When was the first tour of the world through the air accomplished?
Information not found in time. Pay a double fine and stay at square 56, Robur-le-Conquérant.
Stay at square 56, Robur-le-Conquérant.