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History

A Curious Landing: A first-hand account of the landing of Mars rover, Curiosity

20 Mar 2017

Dr. Lorne Trottier was in attendance of the recent landing of the Mars Rover, Curiosity. Here, he describes his account of the experience as well as the complexities and nuances of what went into...

Hype, Hope and Ginseng

20 Mar 2017

Probably what first attracted the Chinese to the odd looking root was its shape. It had a decidedly human appearance and was therefore given the name "ginseng," meaning "man- like." The uncanny...

Sherlock Holmes and Curare

20 Mar 2017

In the film “Sherlock Holmes and the Game of Shadows,” Holmes identifies the poison on a dart that had instantly paralyzed a victim by sniffing it. “Curare!” he says. Curare is a very real poison...

How Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Trick Houdini?

20 Mar 2017

One of the strangest friendships ever was the one between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, and Harry Houdini. Conan Doyle, in a bizarre contrast to his scientifically minded...

What is The History of Tattoos?

20 Mar 2017

On a fall day in 1991, two Germans hiking in the Alps near the Italian- Austrian border stumbled across what they initially believed to be a modern corpse frozen in the ice. Once the body was...

Welch's Grape Juice

20 Feb 2017

Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of state, William Jennings Bryan, was ridiculed in 1913 for serving Welch’s grape juice instead of wine at a dinner honoring the British ambassador. This proved to be...

Chemistry lesson for The Food Babe… and everyone else #17: The Carnation Tragedy of the '30s

17 Feb 2017

Back in the 1930s a flower merchant with a greenhouse full of carnations got worried when the weather forecast called for extremely cold temperatures. So he placed a kerosene burner in the...

Carmine Dye and the Cochineal Insect

15 Feb 2017

At least in a manner of speaking. When Hernan Cortez came to America in 1518 he was intrigued by the beautifully coloured Aztec fabrics, particularly the stunning reds. He asked the natives about...

A Spoonful of Sugar

20 Jan 2017

Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews, was a big hit for Disney studios in 1964. The film was a musicalized version of the children’s books about a magical English nanny written between 1934 and...

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