Beyond pharmacy blog
All posts from: September 2009
There is a full moon this weekend. At such times the moon’s energy is said to be at its strongest and full of magic power. It was believed that a child born during a full moon should live a long and healthy life. Then again, legends tell us that werewolves only emerge at the full moon as well.
I am sure many of you, like me, feel a quiver of excitement when opening a good map or guidebook for the first time. We can trace the contours of a mountain, follow the course of a river or seek out a quiet cove. Depending on our interests, we may make a list of museums to explore, churches to visit or bar opening times.
You may remember that a year ago “Prospector” wrote a piece for this page about several patron saints of pharmacists — St John Leonardi, St Gemma Galgani, St Mary Magdalene and the twin saints Cosmas and Damian (PJ, 4 October, 2008, p403).
Today, 26 September 2009, is the European Day of Languages — a Council of Europe initiative introduced in 2001 to celebrate language and cultural diversity. It aims to alert the public to the importance of language learning, to increase awareness and appreciation of all languages and to encourage lifelong language learning.
Michael Faraday, born 218 years ago on 22 September, was the son of a blacksmith. He received little formal education, yet went on to become the outstanding scientific lecturer of his time and his work laid the foundations for all subsequent electrotechnology.
Next Tuesday, 15 September 2009, is the 150th anniversary of the death of the engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Pineapple weed (Matricaria discoidea) was introduced to Britain from Oregon in the late 19th century and spread rapidly. It is now an abundant annual weed of waysides and waste places, its cone-shaped flower heads a familiar sight from June to September.
Almost all vertebrates require sleep, to a greater or lesser extent. Studies show that animals deprived of sleep can die sooner than those deprived of food, and sleep is thought to be an essential metabolic requirement.
Thursday 3 September was the 70th anniversary of the start of the 1939–45 war, and no doubt millions of words will have been written on the subject by mightier pens than Merlin’s. Merlin has another military anniversary to write about instead.
After the 1914–18 war, Britain’s railways began to gear up for peacetime operations with the end of their wartime role as troop carriers. In 1919, the South Eastern and Chatham Railway introduced a new type of luggage van to carry passengers’ cases and trunks, and small items of freight, on long journeys. The van would run with all types of passenger rolling stock.
One of the most useful works of reference for Merlin when writing this column is Culpeper’s ‘Complete Herbal’. Merlin’s copy, far from being an original, is a paperback edition from the Wordsworth Reference Series of books published by Wordsworth Editions.
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