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alcohol

The Sweet and Sticky Science of Sugar

3 Dec 2021

Sugar is sweet and sticky.  That’s a fact.  In fact, during the reign of Edward the Confessor in the early eleventh century, "ale tasters" were employed to check on the work of brewers.  They would...

What is Guarana?

30 Sep 2021

The Amazon is a dangerous place, with jaguars, anacondas and piranhas in constant search for their next meal, but you would not have anything to fear from guarana. It isn’t a predator, it’s a woody...

A Tryst with Amethyst

23 Feb 2021

An attractive amethyst geode sits on my desk. Geodes are rocks with an internal cavity that is filled with crystals of a mineral. In the case of amethyst that mineral is quartz, tainted with iron...

The Risks of Mixing Driving and Cannabis

10 Dec 2020

This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette.

Gin Mania

15 Jan 2020

Between 1715 and 1750 there were more deaths than births in London, with the greatest mortality among children. Many of these deaths were due to fetal alcohol syndrome as unhappy mothers-to-be...

Can You Be Drunk Without Drinking?

17 Dec 2019

It all started with a stomach exploding in Uganda. It’s the case that’s often cited as launching the saga of a fringe diagnosis: a five-year-old boy in 1946 was being treated for a chronic...

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