Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: March 2009
At the recent funeral of actress Wendy Richard, much publicity was given to the fact that her coffin was made from woven bamboo, harvested from sustainable plantations. In Britain there are also specialist suppliers of coffins woven from sustainable willow.
Pharmacists have again been involved in the annual government anti-smoking campaign culminating in No Smoking Day, held this year on 11 March (2009).
[img_assist|nid=768995|title=Sphagnum capillifolium (Callie Jones)|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=137]Sphagnum is a genus of nearly 350 species of mosses covering 2–3 per cent of the earth’s surface. It grows as dense, spongy carpets, forming colourful patchworks on mountains, moorland and bogs throughout the British Isles.
I seem to have missed a trick in my 14 March piece about caterpillars. I mentioned one of the most succesful children's books, Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, but was unaware that the 40th anniversary of its publication was to be celebrated only a few days later, on 20 March. Sorry!
[img_assist|nid=635759|title=Curling (Callie Jones)|desc=|link=none|align=none|width=200|height=283] Curling (Callie Jones)
Merlin has always had an interest in time and time-keeping, and his study is home to five clocks (six if one counts the barograph). He always keeps his watch accurate to the second by using the famous six pips of the Greenwich Time Signal, which was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service (now Radio Four) in 1924.
Today, 21 March (2009), is World Down’s Syndrome Day. The date was chosen because the condition is caused by trisomy 21 — the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21. This year also happens to be the 50th anniversary of the discovery that Down’s syndrome is caused by chromosome 21 trisomy.
A few days ago a correspondent sent me a press release from Diabetes UK outlining research on three Asian plants with potential use in treating type 2 diabetes. The research findings were to be presented this week (March 2009) at the charity’s annual professional conference.
Today, 14 March, is known among sad mathematicians as Pi Day, because 3.14 is the three-digit approximation of pi. (For those whose maths is rusty, that’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.)
I have been musing of late on the names bestowed on caterpillars by the authors of children’s books. As one does.
Britain has always been a nation of seafarers. Sea water is in our blood, you might say. Many of us go down to the sea — or at least to the river, lake or canal — whenever possible for fresh air and exercise and to escape the stress of the workplace.
As an Englishman (with Welsh relatives) I took a risk when writing about the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns (PJ, 24 January, p76).
[img_assist|nid=300277|title=Bunions (Callie Jones)|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=141]Patients often ask how long they need to wait before returning to normal activity after an operation.
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