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Old English “Leech” Against MRSA?

Are ancient remedies any good?  In scholarly circles the middle of the 20th Century, they...

Carbon Nitride and Salmon Sperm

Two things that have caught my attention recently. The first concerns trapping solar energy. ...

Whale Or Dinosaur At The Natural History Museum?

News that will disappoint loads of children:...

Binary Gender — Mud across the Atlantic

I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific...

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Robert H OlleyRSS Feed of this column.

Until recently, I worked in the Polymer Physics Group of the Physics Department at the University of Reading.

I would describe myself as a Polymer Morphologist. I am not an astronaut,

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What with all the current talk of GMOs, I would remind folks here that some 20th century methods also raised fears.  A more “traditional” method has been to double the chromosome content of plants — one well known example is Triticale is the hybrid of wheat (Triticum turgidum) and rye (Secale cereale).  This, of course, should be familiar to those who remember the Star Trek episode “The Trouble With Tribbles”.  When crossing wheat and rye, wheat is used as the female parent and rye as the male parent (pollen

Forever Now

Forever Now

Jun 04 2013 | 2 comment(s)

So it was that in the summer of 1988 I discovered America.


Now doesn’t that sound like a very ‘arty’ sort of statement?  It comes from Forever Today by Deborah Wearing, and though the lady herself has a musical background, there are parts of this book which should be of great interest to Science 2.0 readers.  To give the context, here is the start of the book description.
 


One has to be careful how one reads.  A few years ago I used this short bit from Darwin’s Descent of Man (page 174) to tease a Welsh friend:


Saffron


In one of my school history books, as I remember, there is a story that saffron was introduced into Europe by a pilgrim from concealing some corms in his staff, to avoid the death penalty if found by the agents of the Sultans who controlled its export.  However, the history of saffron, including a 14-week ‘saffron war’, seems much more complicated that this.

Alerted by a link on Real Clear Science, I turned to an article on Slate.com, namely

Felony Science


Sixteen-year-old Kiera Wilmot’s curiosity was apparently piqued when a friend told her that if you mixed hydrochloric acid and aluminum, an exciting reaction happened. . . . . . She was expelled from school and now faces felony charges.