From Prohibition to Ferguson?

G.K.Chesterton (1874 – 1936) visited the United States twice, in 1921 and 1930.  I...

2015 — a Space Oddment

During the morning of last Monday (28th September) in Europe and Africa, or the evening of the...

Plumes and Volcanoes

This morning, in that !terrible! right-wing rag, the Daily Mail, I was intrigued to read this:How...

Superconduction With Stinks — A New Temperature Record

Back around 1960, at school I enjoyed a laboratory lecture on liquid nitrogen, watching a deep...

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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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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, 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.

Recently, there was found in Spain a shelled Pre-Cambrian Critter which showed distinct evidence of a gut.  This got me thinking about the distinction between the deuterostomes and protostomes, interest in which was sparked again by the even more recent article from National Geographic:

In 2001 there was a massive outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom.  This caused, in terms of prices at that time £8bn / $13–16bn of loss to the UK economy, and much distress in agricultural communities.

 One of the most memorable things of that time was images of cattle and other carcasses being burned.