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History

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....

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...

“Westinghousing”: The kind of experiments that would never take place today (thank goodness!)

6 Dec 2018

In the late 1880s the two giants in the burgeoning field of electricity, namely Thomas Edison and Georges Westinghouse, squared off in what has been called The Battle of The Currents. Edison was...

No Sympathy for the “Powder of Sympathy”

6 Dec 2018

Four hundred years ago Belgian physician Johann Baptist Van Helmont was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church for promoting the use of the "Powder of Sympathy", a concoction that was supposed to...

Killer Tampons from Outer Space or Why We Don’t Hear About Toxic Shock Syndrome Anymore

9 Nov 2018

In the early 1980’s and 90’s toxic shock syndrome was on everybody’s mind. Its prevalence dominated headlines, inspiring fear in every tampon-using woman across North America. Young adults going...

Did you know that moon dust is incredibly toxic?

4 Oct 2018

There are no aliens on the moon, but that might not stop it from trying to kill us....

Did you know that malaria spawned the gin and tonic?

27 Sep 2018

Malaria kills around 200 million individuals annually. It’s the result of a bodily infection by single-celled parasitic organisms from the Plasmodium genus and causes fever, vomiting, chills and...

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