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General Science

The Real Story Behind "21 Grams"

19 Jun 2019

The April 1907 issue of American Medicine featured a paper by Dr. Duncan Macdougall describing his experiment whereby the beds of dying patients were placed on a sensitive balance. Believe it or...

They Say It’s Genetic But My Parents Don’t Have It

13 Jun 2019

When we’re told a condition we have is “genetic”, it’s tempting to think it means our parents had it, and their parents before them, all the way up to some mysterious Eve-bites-the-apple event. But...

The power of suggestion can play a role in Aromatherapy

31 May 2019

Aromatherapy is based on the contention that specific fragrances can have different psychological and physiological effects. Lavender oil is said to be relaxing, while neroli, a scent extracted...

The Connection Between Frosted Lightbulbs & Bad Pick-Up Lines

21 May 2019

Way back in 1771, Swedish chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele was investigating the properties of a mineral known as fluorspar (calcium fluoride). He mixed the pulverized rock with sulfuric acid and...

Your Pet Cat May Be a Bit More Dangerous Than You Think

17 May 2019

Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an infection resulting from a scratch or bite of a cat (or, in rarer cases, dogs or other animals). It is not the same thing as Cat Scratch Fever, an album by Ted...

The Bald Truth About Hair-Loss Treatments

15 May 2019

This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette. There’s an old riddle that goes, “What does no one want, but no one wants to lose?” Answer: a bald head.

Censoring Science Communication by Screaming Defamation

10 May 2019

Ryan Armstrong, Executive Director of the non-profit Bad Science Watch, tells me he never published his first article critical of pseudoscience for fear of a lawsuit. “My work also went a bit...

Under the Microscope: Leopard Gecko Skin

20 Mar 2019

Leopard geckos (Eublepharis macularius) are a popular pet in many countries. They’re fairly easy to take care of, small, rarely bite, (and when they do it’s pretty painless) and can live up to 25...