canals


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canals

Linear markings on Mars that are now known to be illusory. They were first reported in 1877 by the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli, who described them as ‘canali’ (channels). The mistranslation ‘canals’ gained popular currency, and the markings were later charted by many observers, most notably by the US astronomer Percival Lowell, who advocated that they were irrigation ditches dug by Martians to distribute their planet's scarce water resources. Mariner and Viking spacecraft observations showed that the canals do not exist.
References in classic literature ?
I need not tell you, sir," said Ned Land, "that the Red Sea is as much closed as the Gulf, as the Isthmus of Suez is not yet cut; and, if it was, a boat as mysterious as ours would not risk itself in a canal cut with sluices.
It is easy, then, in fancy, to people these silent canals with plumed gallants and fair ladies--with Shylocks in gaberdine and sandals, venturing loans upon the rich argosies of Venetian commerce--with Othellos and Desdemonas, with Iagos and Roderigos--with noble fleets and victorious legions returning from the wars.
It opened at one end into the garden, at the other upon the canal, and was lighted now only by the small lamp that was always left for me to take up as I went to bed.
All night long, and every night, on this canal, there was a perfect storm and tempest of spitting; and once my coat, being in the very centre of the hurricane sustained by five gentlemen (which moved vertically, strictly carrying out Reid's Theory of the Law of Storms), I was fain the next morning to lay it on the deck, and rub it down with fair water before it was in a condition to be worn again.
The company, who were sitting in a room next the garden, were instantly alarmed, and came all forth; but just as they reached the canal, Tom (for the water was luckily pretty shallow in that part) arrived safely on shore.
One was the British consul at Suez, who, despite the prophecies of the English Government, and the unfavourable predictions of Stephenson, was in the habit of seeing, from his office window, English ships daily passing to and fro on the great canal, by which the old roundabout route from England to India by the Cape of Good Hope was abridged by at least a half.
I was, as the French say, biting my fists with impatience for that cargo frozen up-country; with rage at that canal set fast, at the wintry and deserted aspect of all those ships that seemed to decay in grim depression for want of the open water.
Often he spent the mornings by the side of the canal in the shade of the poplars, reading a few lines and then dreaming for half an hour.
Well, I have half a mind to upset you in the canal.
I want to talk to you about a great political and financial scheme, about this Argentine Canal Company, in fact.
He struggled through a dry ditch as she spoke, and came out upon a grassy place that bordered the towpath of the canal.
I walked to and fro in that city, so beloved of her citizens; I went from the Rialto Bridge, along the Grand Canal, and from the Riva degli Schiavoni to the Lido, returning to St.