Popular Science Monthly/Volume 48/December 1895/Notes


The sudden disappearance of streams in limestone countries, sometimes to reappear at the surface farther on, is not uncommon. In Yorkshire, England, there are many such streams. The points where they disappear are called "pots." One of the largest of these pots, "Gaping Ghyll," was recently explored by M. Martel of Paris. The stream being temporarily diverted, M. Martel descended by means of a series of rope ladders. He took with him a telephone and a supply of candles. He reached bottom at three hundred and thirty feet, and found a vast chamber about four hundred and fifty feet in length, one hundred and twenty feet in breadth, and ninety to one hundred feet in height.

A meeting of the friends and admirers of Mr. Huxley, under the chairmanship of Lord Kelvin, was recently held at the rooms of the Royal Society to consider a national memorial. It was decided to call a general public meeting in the fall. Sir John Lubbock (15 Lombard Street) will act as treasurer. At a recent meeting held at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, from which Mr. Huxley received his M. D., the following resolution was passed: That there be a memorial in the form of a Huxley scholarship and medal to be awarded annually at the Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, and that, if funds permit, an annual public lecture dealing with recent advances in science and their bearing upon medicine shall be instituted.

A short time ago, in the theater of King's College Hospital, London, Sir Joseph Lister was presented with a three-quarter length portrait of himself, painted by Mr. Lorimer, A. R. S. A., and also an illuminated and illustrated album containing the names of the subscribers. Dr. W. S. Playfair, who presided, said that the testimonial was simply an offering from his old friends, colleagues, and pupils, as a token of the affection and esteem which they entertained for him.

Dr. E. H. Wilson, bacteriologist of the Brooklyn City Board of Health, recently made some investigations relative to the bacterial content of graveyard soils. He states that the soil of cemeteries contains no more bacteria than the soil of other places; that he found no pathogenic bacteria in the examined soil; and that those which he did find were such as engage in the destructive decomposition of the body, and were hence beneficent instead of harmful.

Mr. Joseph Thomson, the African traveler, who died in London early in August, though not yet forty years old, was one of the most successful and most famous of the explorers of the dark continent. He first went out on the Keith Johnson expedition to the Great Lakes, and on the death of its leader took charge and accomplished its objects. He next had charge of an expedition to Masailand in 1883 and 1884, where he showed admirable tact in dealing with the savage natives and made important discoveries. He afterward negotiated treaties in Sokoto, explored the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and in 1891 explored the region between Lake Nyassa and Lake Bangweolo. All these things he accomplished without bloodshed. He was the author of three books describing his explorations, of a Life of Mungo Park, and of Ulu, a romance illustrative of life in East Africa.

Dr. Joseph Granville Norwood, who died in Columbia, Mo., May 5th, was engaged in the Geological Survey of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota, under D. D. Owen, from 1847 to 1851, exploring chiefly the region about Lake Superior; was afterward State Geologist of Illinois, and Assistant Geologist of Missouri, and was from 1860 to 1880 a professor in the University of Missouri. He retired in 1880 as professor emeritus, on account of ill health. In 1847 he described and figured the Macropetalichthys rapheidolabis of the Devonian of Indiana—the first fossil fish described in the United States. He was author of some geological reports and several monographs.