Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: September 2008
[img_assist|nid=33051|title=Hips|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=141]The dog-rose (Rosa canina) is the most widespread of all our wild roses, commonly seen climbing and scrambling through hedgerows.
Monday 29 September marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Horatio Nelson, naval commander and national hero. During his career, he suffered innumerable illnesses, wounds and depression but overcame them to emerge as a leader and inspiration to others.
Researchers from Queensland University of Technology have discovered that gold-painted medieval stained glass windows purify the air when exposed to sunlight.
I have always been fascinated by the idea of ley lines. For those not familiar with the concept, ley lines are supposed lines across the landscape, usually linking ancient sites, such as prehistoric burial mounds and early churches.
[img_assist|nid=32114|title=Goldfinch feeding on niger seeds|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=219|height=307]Callie Jon
Every day, week and month of the year seems to be designated as a special occasion on which to appreciate something or other. Many of these celebrations have, of course, been created by greedy commercial interests such as the food industry or greetings card manufacturers.
I recently wrote about the piquancy of chilli peppers (PJ, 2 August 2008, p144) and here I am back on the same topic. Sorry to be so boring.
In my previous contribution (PJ, 2 August 2008, p144), I commented that pharmacist inventors in Britain have tended to concoct practical culinary and household products such as custard powder and soap powder.
Ping! That was the sound of an e-mail arriving. It is from a friend who suggests that I write about the Mediterranean shrub oleander. He says that it is increasingly to be seen on sale in garden centres, perhaps because global warming now allows it to thrive in southern Britain, but the plant labels fail to warn that it is highly poisonous to humans and animals.
A dog’s ability to detect smells is, we are told, up to 10,000 times better than ours. Thus dogs are trained to sniff out drugs and explosives and to find people buried under rubble or snow. But training them takes time and resources. They may have off-days, become ill or make mistakes. And they have to be fed, rested and exercised.
There have been occasional reports of wild animals using naturally occurring drugs. For example, some species such as chimpanzees chew certain types of rough hairy leaves, apparently to remove intestinal parasites, and one species of lemur has been observed rubbing aromatic leaves into its fur to repel parasites.
[img_assist|nid=29895|title=Michael DeBakey|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=180|height=255]Michael Dabaghi (later anglicised to DeBakey) was born to Lebanese parents in Lake Charles, Louisiana, 100 years ago, on 7 September 1908.His father was a pharmacist but Michael chose to become a surgeon. He left medical school in 1932.
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