Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: July 2009
August 6 (2009) marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Alfred, Lord Tennyson.His father lost his inheritance after a disagreement with his own father, and young Alfred was brought up in relatively straitened circumstances. He had a lifelong fear of mental illness, for several men in his family suffered mild epilepsy.
Over the years, rats have had a chequered press, most famously as a mode of transport for plague-carrying fleas. Improved sanitation conditions brought about a measure of control, but it seems that thespians in London’s West End are up in arms over the number of rats scurrying around their theatres, and calls have been made to bring back the theatre cat.
Today, 25 July, is an auspicious day for aviation enthusiasts, builders of Airfix models and those who simply love different modes of travel. This date is both the centenary of Louis Blériot’s famous first crossing of the Channel in an aircraft and the 50th anniversary of Sir Christopher Cockerell making the same journey by hovercraft.
Recently Merlin undertook a bus journey that happened to pass along a main road through one of the less salubrious areas of a large industrial city not far from my home territory. The district is known to be something of a crime hotspot and is certainly not an area to walk through at night.
The summer months see the flowering of one of Merlin’s favourite herbs, the yarrow or milfoil (Achillea millefolium, Asteraceae). Wild yarrow has a delightful aroma when crushed.
Forty years ago this week the Apollo 11 spacecraft set off to boldly go where no man had gone before. Its mission, which it successfully completed, was “to land men on the lunar surface and to return them safely to Earth”.
One of the world’s most famous naval vessels is HMS Victory, which saw action in the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic wars, most famously as Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Now resting in dry dock in Portsmouth, she is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission.
The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew were founded in 1759. Since the precise foundation date is unknown, the 250th anniversary of the gardens is being celebrated throughout the summer.
You will find a list of some sort in almost any newspaper or magazine you care to open nowadays. It might be a list of 100 books you must read, 50 islands to visit before you die, 25 ideas to occupy the children during the holidays, 20 ways to beat the credit crunch, 50 ways to recycle your possessions or five things to be grateful for right now.
Traditionally it has been accepted that one could make a fairly accurate estimate of a child’s potential height from the parents’ stature but for some that is not good enough.
The whole world knows that today, 4 July, is Independence Day in the US. But what most people do not know is that there is little justification for celebrating on this day. Independence was actually declared on 2 July 1776 and most of the signatures on the Declaration of Independence were not inscribed until a month later.
Seventy-five years ago, on 4 July 1934, Marie Curie, pioneer in the field of radiation, died in France of aplastic anaemia. She was 66. Her achievements had included the creation of a theory of radioactivity (a term that she herself coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes and the discovery of two new elements, polonium and radium.
In London’s Southwark Cathedral there is a glitzy monument commemorating a 17th century self-styled “physitian” who made a fortune from the sale of quack medicine.
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