Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: October 2008
Daylight is one of our most precious resources, and it is free. Merlin, who daubs paint on bits of paper and calls the resulting mess a watercolour, likes to paint in his conservatory. This is on the north side of the house and receives a wonderful, scattered light filtered through the trees.
Merlin well remembers carrying out various “scientific” experiments as a boy, inspired by the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. Chemistry experiments in the kitchen at home were eventually banned after hair and eyebrows were scorched and the kitchen sink stained an indelible brown with potassium permanganate.
[img_assist|nid=37596|title=Patient in bed|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=170|height=120]Now in the latter half of his seventh decade, Merlin has finally (and reluctantly) become a patient.
While cruising the internet you risk being hijacked by weird stories you were not really looking for, and I was recently captivated by a page about a Sardinian cheese known as casu marzu (YouTube).
[img_assist|nid=36963|title=Emperor Hadrian|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=170|height=242]The trouble with filling this page only once every six weeks is that topical events I might have written about are likely to pass into history before my contribution appears.
Last Thursday, 16 October 2008, was the 50th birthday of the BBC television programme Blue Peter, sparking reminiscences about that baby elephant, “here’s one we made earlier”, the antics of the presenters and their pets and the occasional double entendre.
October has been designated as National Cider and Perry Month by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). To those of us who live in cider-making areas the autumn is also Crawl to Work Behind a Slow Tractor Towing an Overloaded Trailer Full of Apples Season. Oh, but it’s worth it!
We humans are a competitive species, forever looking for something bigger, faster or just better than the rest. We seek gold medals, fame and fortune (or a bonus, at least). Our targets invariably involve measurements — of distance, time, money, speed or whatever. In short, we are obsessed with numbers.
Picture Post was a revolutionary magazine, believing that the countenances of ordinary men and women are more striking, and their lives and doings are more interesting, than the faces and activities of celebrities. Carefully chosen words were used sparingly as a counterpoint and context for the pictures.
Alec Issigonis, who died 20 years ago in October 1988, designed no fewer than three of the five best-selling cars in British motoring history. Of Mediterranean origin, although English in manner, Issigonis was an uncompromising individualist.
[img_assist|nid=35005|title=Tyson's chimpanzee (Natural History Museum)|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=170|height=241]This year (2008) sees the 300th anniversary of the death of Edward Tyson, a distinguished Enlightenment physician who has been dubbed the father of comparative anatomy.
Tutankhamun employed someone to do it for him, while the Roman Emperor Constantine threatened to execute citizens caught in the act. Rhinotillexis, or nose picking, has probably always been a common habit but studies have estimated that more than 90 per cent of adults are active nose pickers.
The Americans do many things better than the British. Celebrating October as pharmacists’ own awareness month is one example.
[img_assist|nid=34049|title=St John Leonardi|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=170|height=241]Next Thursday, 9 October (2008), is the feast day of the patron saint of pharmacists, St John Leonardi.
View results 10per page20per page