Subscribe to the OSS Weekly Newsletter!

Faraday, Dickens and Lighthouses

22 Dec 2023

I have a longstanding fascination with Victorian arts and sciences. It was the era when Darwin published the “Origin of the Species,” Perkin synthesized dyes, Lister introduced antiseptic surgery,...

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...

Do the holidays cause heart attacks?

23 Dec 2021

This article was first published in The Skeptical Inquirer

Celebrating Christmas With Science

17 Dec 2019

The Royal Institution was founded in 1800 by leading British scientists under the guidance of Benjamin Thompson “for diffusing the knowledge and facilitating the general introduction of useful...

The Origins of Santa...Maybe.

20 Dec 2018

Reindeer, it seems, just loved Amanita muscaria, or Fly Agaric, as it is better known. They could be led around by the nose, as it were, just by sprinkling pieces of the mushroom in front of them....

Holiday Heart Attacks: One More Thing to Worry About

20 Dec 2018

A new study in the British Medical Journal might be enough to ruin your Christmas mood because it suggests that the risk of having a heart attack is higher during the holidays and on Christmas Eve...

Mistletoe Can be Highly Toxic to Humans

20 Dec 2018

There's been a mystique around mistletoe since ancient times, probably on account of the curious way it grows. The plant is a “hemiparasite,” meaning that it can either grow in soil, or, more...

A Myrrhy Christmas

18 Dec 2018

Both frankincense and myrrh are natural exudates of certain trees found in the Middle East. When the bark is injured, a sap containing a variety of natural fungicides and bactericides oozes out and...

Are poinsettias poisonous?

5 Dec 2017

If you have avoided having poinsettias in your home because of small children or animals, you’re not alone. But despite the commonly held belief that poinsettias are toxic, they aren’t. This myth...

Pages

Back to top