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Topsy-Turvy By Jules Verne Characters: 5145

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:04

Since that memorable meeting in honor of Michel Ardan, the Hon. J.T. Maston had talked and thought of nothing else but the "changing of the axis of the earth." He had studied the subject as much as possible and found out all the facts and figures about it. As the problem had been solved by this eminent calculator a new axis was going to take the place of the old one upon which the earth was now turning, and the world would otherwise remain the same. In the scheme it would be possible for the climate around the North Pole to become exactly the same as that of Trondhjem, in Norway, in the Spring. Naturally, then the large amount of ice would melt under the ardent sun. At the same time the climates would be distributed over our sphere like those now on the surface of Jupiter. In other words, the new-formed society of Barbicane was going to change everything at present on the surface of the earth. And the creation of this new axis was possible, just as soon as the platform of which Archimedes had dreamed and the lever imagined by J.T. Maston were at the disposal of these courageous engineers. And as they had decided to make a secret of their invention until a future time, people could not do anything else but make their own figures. This was what all the papers did, calling on the most scientific persons and learning as well something from the most ignorant persons. If there really were people living on the surface of Jupiter, they had a good many advantages over those on the earth, advantages which had all been narrated and explained in the meeting which was held before the trip to the moon. All these advantages would come to the people living on the earth if Barbicane & Co. could accomplish what they intended to do. Twenty-four hours would then always separate two noons from each other. Twilight and dawn would always be as they are now. But the most curious thing of all would be the absence of the different seasons of the year. Now there were Summer, Winter, Fall, and Spring. The people living on Jupiter did not know these seasons at all. After this experiment people living on this globe would not know them either. As soon as the new axis would be in smooth working order there would be no more ice regions, nor torrid zones, but the whole world would have an even temperature climate.

What, after all, is the torrid zone? It is a part of the surface in which the people can see the sun twice yearly at its zenith, and the temperate zone but a part where the sun never goes to the zenith, and the icy region but a part of the world w

hich the sun forgets entirely for a long time, and around the North Pole this extends for six months. It is simply the position of the sun which makes a country exceedingly hot or cold. Well, these things would not appear any longer on the surface of the world. The sun would be always over the equator: it would go down every twelve hours just as regularly as before. "And among the advantages of the new method," said the friends of President Barbicane, "were these, that each person could choose a climate which was best for himself and his health; no more rheumatism, no more colds, no more grippe; the variations of extreme heat would not be known any more. In short, Barbicane & Co. were going to change fixtures which had existed ever since the world was in existence. Certainly the observer would lose a few stars and things which he perhaps liked to look at now, and the poet would not have any longer his dreamy nights, etc., but what a great advantage it would be for the world at large. "And," said certain journals, "the products of the ground can be regulated so that agriculturists can give to each sort of plant life the temperature which suits it most." Other newspapers asked: "Will we no more have rain, or storms, or hail-things upon which a great deal depends in the harvest time?" "Undoubtedly," said the friends of Barbicane & Co., but these accidents will be more rare than they have been, as the temperature will be more even. Yes, taken in all, it will be a great advantage to humanity. It will be the real millennium of the earthly globe. And Barbicane & Co. will have done a service to mankind which but for them would have remained an impossibility." "Yes," said Michel Ardan, "our hemisphere, the surface of which is always either too cold or too warm, will no longer be the place for colds and rheumatism, etc." A New York paper of Dec. 27 printed the following article: "Honor to President Barbicane! His associates and himself will not only annex a new province to our American continent, and thereby enlarge the already vast possessions of the United States, but they will make the whole world more productive and inhabitable. It will be possible then to put seed in the ground as soon as the crop had grown up and been taken out; there would be no more time lost during the Winter. And the coal mines also would make the country richer than the value of its entire present realty. Barbicane & Co. will change the whole world and put it in better condition. Thanks, then, to the people who have done this greatest of benefits to humanity."

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