How A Nano-suit Can Be A Life-Saver

When is a suit a lifesaver? My dad, who was a tailor, would threaten to kill me if I didn't wear...

Harry Wilson: Too Good To Play For The Textbook Giants

Harry Wilson was far more than a textpert-college chemistry teacher. Despite his different...

The Coarse Language of Wine and Racial Colors

Depending on how much light is scattered and transmitted, clouds assume different colors. And be...

Persuading Vacationers To Calculate Latitude

When making holiday plans, golf is number 938 on my to-do list. Sure I can appreciate the energy...

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Enrico UvaRSS Feed of this column.

I majored in chemistry, worked briefly in the food industry and at Fisheries and Oceans. I then obtained a degree in education. Since then I have taught chemistry in the U.S. but mostly in Canada... Read More »

Alcohol is categorized as a class 1 cancer-causing substance. Does that make it as dangerous as other proven human carcinogens such as benzene and heavy cigarette smoking? Generally, no. However, it doesn't mean that the findings should be overlooked, especially with regard to certain types of cancers. Not surprisingly, the risk tends to increase with the overall amount of ethanol consumed and, with certain cancer types, females are more at risk. How small amounts affect anything, however, has not been quantified.


When it comes to homework, French President François Hollande said "it should be done during school hours rather than at home, in order to establish equal opportunities." The wealthy are more likely to have a good working environment at home with devoted parent helpers, he argues. His solution? A proposition to ban homework. By the same reasoning then, the French should also prohibit its wealthier citizens from owning personal libraries.  
We often associate awards with recent accomplishments, which is far from the case with Nobel Prizes. They're more akin to Hall of Fame inductions than batting titles. For some time they have been awarded for discoveries that are between one to five decades old. The committee tries to reward an achievement that has withstood the test of time, one that has created a key concept in the field and has opened up new avenues in research and science-related technologies.
At both the macroscopic and micro levels, not all organisms get equal attention. Because of their sheer numbers, there are still undiscovered species of plants and roundworms at the feet of botanists and zoologists, respectively. Other specimens have been named but little is known about them. At the astronomical level we come across two factors: an overwhelming number of stars and bodies, compounded by a detection limit.
Here are more revelations from a crystal ball of science. Again, it may be just a peek through a window of science-spiced fantasies.  I'm, of course, also aware that one person's utopia can be another's nightmare, but writing can never be much fun if we are consistently overcautious.
By 1972 the hamlets and villages of southern Italy had not been transformed by the economic miracle of the 1950s and 60s. At the age of 11, I visited a town near Naples named San Mango, my dad's birthplace, and my cousin who had gone there six months earlier had warned me. When the cab had dropped his family off, he had taken one look at the medieval homes, and he had run back in the direction of the airport. But I had promised my parents that I would suck it up.