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A Hole in the Head

18 Jan 2023

Harvard University’s Warren Anatomical Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of medicine. Displays include an ether inhaler as used by dentist William Morton that allowed...

Should you add milk to tea, or tea to milk?

13 Jan 2023

Everyone seems to have an opinion on making the best cup of tea.

The Little Ice Age That Made Christmas White Forever

23 Dec 2022

Our collective vision of Christmas landscapes is so immersed in snow that the very phrase “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” conjures up imagery that is nearly all frosted, sparkling and...

What’s the Evidence?

14 Dec 2022

That’s the question I ask when I see a claim purporting that some supplement prevents or cures disease, or a cream that is said to reverse skin aging, or an environmental contaminant that...

Edison's Inadvertant Folly

9 Dec 2022

It all started in Bavaria, southern Germany, 1895. Dr. Roentgen, a physicist, noticed a spooky greenish ray seeping through the completely sealed test tube and projected onto the screen wall. What...

When the Cows Come Home to Radioactive Ranches

18 Nov 2022

A magnitude 9.1 earthquake occurred just off the northeast coast of Japan on March 11th, 2011, at 14:46 local time. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, like all nuclear power plants in Japan...

There Is More to Acetone Than Removing Nail Polish

2 Nov 2022

Say acetone, and what comes to a chemist’s mind? Washing laboratory glassware is a good bet. Actually, the prime use of acetone is to produce polymethyl methacrylate, better known as Plexiglas....

Remembering Houdini

26 Oct 2022

For many years members of the American Society of Magicians gathered on October 31 at Machpelah Cemetery in New York to break a magic wand over the grave of the man whose name is synonymous with...

Forget the Willow Bark Extract — Go For Aspirin

28 Sep 2022

Contrary to popular belief, aspirin does not occur in nature, it is not found in the willow tree. But there is a connection. Aspirin, or acetyl salicylic acid, was first produced commercially by...


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