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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts from: June 2009

The Great Blondin and his greatest feat

Posted by: Prospector PJFri, 26 Jun 2009

On 30 June 150 years ago, the Great Blondin became the first man to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Charles Blondin, born Jean-François Gravelet, is considered to be one of the greatest funambulists of all time.

Spam, spam, spam, lovely spam

Posted by: Prospector PJFri, 26 Jun 2009

E-mail spam is responsible for 97 per cent of all e-mails and the emission of more than 17 million tons of carbon dioxide. Spam filtering could reduce unwanted spam by 75 per cent, or the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road.

Ask one question: do I feel lucky

Posted by: Prospector PJFri, 26 Jun 2009

Thinking of buying a lottery tick for the big draw on Saturday? You are in with a sporting chance of winning a tenner — one in 56.7 — but your chances of scooping the jackpot are pretty poor, at around one in 14 million.

New research demonstrates the health benefits of music therapy

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 17 Jun 2009

Recent research has suggested that music may help to ease pain and provide therapeutic benefits for babies undergoing common medical procedures. It is thought that music helps calm them and stabilise some of their vital functions, but achieving reliable research results has proved difficult in the past.

Was Charles Darwin a reluctant homoeopath?

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 17 Jun 2009

By the end of 2009, his bicentenary year, much will have been written about Charles Darwin. But I have yet to see mention of his brush with less conventional forms of medicine.

Cattle as compasses?

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 17 Jun 2009

Recent analysis by German scientists of satellite imagery now available on Google Earth, has suggested that ruminants, whether grazing or resting, tend to align themselves along a geomagnetic north-south axis.

Is your goose cooked if you consume foie gras? Addendum

Posted by: Didapper PJThu, 11 Jun 2009

A Victorian custom revived

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 10 Jun 2009

The common cowslip, Primula veris, was at one time widespread in the countryside, particularly on well drained grasslands. A recent note in The Times informed us that the cowslip is returning to the countryside.

Of raspberries and foghorns

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 10 Jun 2009

While on the subject of soft fruit, Merlin, who has always enjoyed loud noises, once made an alpine horn for his young daughter out of the cardboard inner tubes from kitchen rolls. When blown, this produced a loud raspberry noise, much to said daughter’s delight.

Strawberry jelly — a diagnostic hazard

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 10 Jun 2009

Remembering a son of a gun who was the son of a pharmacist

Posted by: Didapper PJThu, 4 Jun 2009

Next Thursday, 11 June 2009, is the 30th anniversary of the death of the American actor John Wayne, famed for his roles in Western movies.Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907, Wayne was the son of a pharmacist. His father Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California.

Is your goose cooked if you consume foie gras?

Posted by: Didapper PJThu, 4 Jun 2009

Traditionally, pâté de foie gras is produced by force-feeding geese with large quantities of corn to produce enlarged livers — a procedure so stressful for the birds that it has been banned in many countries.

A pioneer of neonatology

Posted by: Didapper PJThu, 4 Jun 2009

Have you ever come across the word “backronym”? First cited in a 1983 Washington Post column, it is a portmanteau word derived from “back” and “acronym”.

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