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Beyond pharmacy blog

All posts from: October 2009

The great escaper

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 28 Oct 2009

Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, died on this day, 31 October, in 1926. He was born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, one of seven children of a rabbi. The family emigrated to the US when Erik was four years old.

Hallowe’en: a time to honour departed souls

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 28 Oct 2009

Today, 31 October (2009), is Hallowe’en, or All Hallows Eve, which precedes All Hallows Day or All Saints Day. The Feast of All Saints dates back to AD837, when it replaced the Feast of All Holy Martyrs, previously held on 13 May. The Christian church chose to hold a festival at this time of year in order to absorb existing pagan practices into Christianity.

Victoria’s royal disease

Posted by: Prospector PJWed, 28 Oct 2009

Analysis of the bones of some of her descendants has revealed that Queen Victoria was a carrier of Christmas disease, a severe form of haemophilia.

Giving your will power a work-out

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 21 Oct 2009

Most of us have at some time experienced a lack of enthusiasm for exercise after a mentally tiring day at work. But now researchers at McMaster University in Ontario have suggested that will power, or “self-regulatory capacity”, used for one task can reduce that required for subsequent tasks.

The 13-year revolutionary calendar

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 21 Oct 2009

The French revolutionary (or republican) calendar was officially adopted in France on 24 October 1793. Its purpose was to replace the Gregorian calendar with a scientific and rational system that avoided Christian associations.

Harnessing the healing power of beetroot

Posted by: Glow-worm PJWed, 21 Oct 2009

The beet, Beta vulgaris, is a flowering plant in the family Amaranthaceae, native to the coasts of western and southern Europe. It is a herbaceous biennial or perennial with leafy stems growing to two metres tall.

Must a balloon made of lead always go down like a lead balloon?

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 14 Oct 2009

The phrase “going down like a lead balloon” seems to have become more popular in recent years, and seems to be a particular favourite with those NHS administrative staff who enjoy using jargon. The phrase usually refers to an idea or proposal that has not been well received by the intended audience. It appears to have originated in the US.

Boogie for your bones

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 14 Oct 2009

Cross my palm with silver

Posted by: Merlin PJWed, 14 Oct 2009

Merlin, ever the scientist, has always been rather sceptical, if not downright scornful, of the many different methods of supposedly divining the future.

How should you spell tablet(t)ing?

Posted by: Didapper PJFri, 9 Oct 2009

For years the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s science division has arranged an annual residential course to which it gives the title “Tabletting technology for the pharmaceutical industry”. But when The Journal gives publicity to the course it always changes the spelling of the first word to “tableting”.

Greenwich, meridians and maps

Posted by: Didapper PJFri, 9 Oct 2009

A popular day trip for visitors to London is a riverboat excursion down the Thames to Greenwich. Here you can climb the hill to the old Royal Observatory and have your photograph taken with one foot either side of the brass strip marking the Greenwich meridian.

Poet who pinned down puerperal fever

Posted by: Didapper PJFri, 9 Oct 2009

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