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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts from: April 2009

Could the sport of flounder tramping become a new Olympic event?

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 29 Apr 2009

Always on the lookout for the odd, the quirky and the plain wacky, Merlin recently came across the sport of flounder tramping.

Batteries not required

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 29 Apr 2009

The throw-away society does not appeal to Merlin, who tends to hang on to things long after they become obsolete. Thus it is that, in addition to a modern scientific calculator, Merlin has in his desk drawer a Hewlett Packard HP41 calculator, purchased over 30 years ago. It still works, but the batteries, an odd size, are not easy to come by.

How modern renal dialysis started with old car parts

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 29 Apr 2009

[img_assist|nid=962284|title=Willem Kolff (Callie Jones)|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=170|height=241]These days, renal dialysis is regarded as a routine, albeit lifesaving, procedure. The honour of performing the first renal dialysis goes to George Haas (1886–1971) who worked in Giessen, Germany, and who used goldbeaters’ skin as a membrane in experiments with animal blood.

Pruritus: a question of spelling

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 22 Apr 2009

Occasionally over the years, including twice so far this year, I have noticed the word “pruritis” in The Journal. The spelling should, of course, be “pruritus”, which is Latin for “itch”.

A great day for fans of ship canals

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 22 Apr 2009

Today, 25 April (2009), is a great day for anyone mad about ship canals. It was on this day 50 years ago that the first ships passed through the St Lawrence Seaway and on this day 150 years ago that work began on the Suez Canal.

Medicinal wines in early ancient Egypt

Posted by: Didapper PJWed, 22 Apr 2009

[img_assist|nid=885430|title=Early Egyptian wine jar with lid (Callie Jones)|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=138]Thanks to the discovery of medical papyri dating back as far as about 1850BC, we have long known that the pharmacopoeia of the ancient Egyptians depended largely on alcoholic beverages, tree resins and herbs.

Henry VIII and the art of herbal healing

Posted by: Footler PJFri, 17 Apr 2009

[img_assistnid=884474title=Henry VIIIdesc=link=nonealign=rightwidth=200height=283]Henry VIII ascended the throne of England 500 years ago on 22 April 1509. He was just 17 years and 10 months old at the time. His coronation took place on 24 June 1509, a few days after his marriage to Catherine of Aragon.

Parkinson’s Awareness Week

Posted by: Footler PJFri, 17 Apr 2009

It was in 1817 that a London doctor, James Parkinson, published “An essay on the shaking palsy” and established Parkinson’s disease as a recognised medical condition. The French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot named the disease after him 60 years later.

Inside the Red Book of Hergest

Posted by: Footler PJFri, 17 Apr 2009

Although Henry VIII had his own large and comprehensive library, he may also have known about the Red Book of Hergest. The book’s name is derived from its red leather cover and its association with Hergest Court (Plas Hergest), where it was kept from about 1465 until the beginning of the 17th century.

Bars and stripes at the checkout

Posted by: Accola Wed, 8 Apr 2009

Barcodes were developed by Norman Woodland and Bernard Silver, graduates at the Philadelphia Drexel Institute of Technology, in response to a request by a chain store owner for an automated checkout method for reading product information.The inspiration came from Morse code; the dots and dashes were simply extended downwards to make machine-readable representation of data.

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