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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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Are ancient remedies any good?  In scholarly circles the middle of the 20th Century, they didn’t seem to think so.  For example:

‘Survey the mass of folly and credulity that makes up Anglo-Saxon leechdoms, it may be asked: “Is there any rational element here? Is the material based on anything that we may reasonably describe as experience?” The answer to both questions must be “Very little”.’ [1]

But in the last few days we have been reading

Two things that have caught my attention recently.

The first concerns trapping solar energy.  One way to do this is to convert it directly into electricity with a solar panel, but one with much wider application would be to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be stored and transported.

News that will disappoint loads of children:

I have recently been enjoying a bit of cross-Atlantic mud-slinging with some of our most prolific writers, most recently on the subject of which is the true and authentic version of Football.

However, there are occasions where the urge to do this must be resisted.  Recently, through the agency of Real Clear Science or one of its sister sites, I came across an article

Yesterday (8th) I took this photograph of Venus and Mercury from the grounds of Reading University.
 
In the photograph, Mercury is about two moon-breadths down and to the right of Venus.  Over the next two days Mercury will follow the arrow relative to the much brighter Venus, moving up and closer to Venus, and then move off to the right.
 
For folks in the USA, you should get a slightly better view as the angles will be tilted a few degrees clockwise, and near the Equator the two planets will appear to sit directly over the brightest part of the sky where the sun is directly below the horizon.



Good viewing!



A news release from Heidelberg, In Search of the Origin of Our Brain, treats us to these two pictures: