Monthly Archives: November 2011

Spiders in Your Eyes, Worms in Your Mouth

Of the hundred trillion cells in the human body, only ten percent are human. The rest are our microflora – bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that reside in or on our bodies. Sometimes, we pick up other hitchhikers, not all … Continue reading

Posted in History | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Formosa, the Dragon’s Triangle and the Meccan Antipodes

If you were to stand on any point of dry land and drill straight through the centre of the Earth and out the other side, your chances of finding yourself on the bottom of the ocean would be very good. … Continue reading

Posted in Geography | Tagged , , , , ,

Sonic Hedgehog, Harry Potter and Scott of the Antarctic

The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the workhorses of biological research. The 1mm long nematode, often found in compost heaps and rotting fruit, has been the model organism for a large body work in developmental and molecular biology since … Continue reading

Posted in Science | Tagged , , ,

Life Without Fear or Pain

SM doesn’t feel fear. She has no phobias, no anxieties and is untroubled by life-threatening situations. This is not merely a case of a strong will able to suppress fear; for SM, the emotion simply doesn’t exist. SM suffers from … Continue reading

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Heretics in Novgorod and the Lost Works of Archimedes

The Archimedes Palimpsest In the 1840s, Biblical scholar Constantine Tischendorf was examining an ancient codex at a Greek Orthodox monastery in Constantinople. The book contained a liturgical text written in 1229, but beneath the writing, Tischendorf noticed a second text, … Continue reading

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Reis’s Millions, Bernhard’s Billions and Chaing Kai-Shek’s Trillions

As these examples show, either crime doesn’t pay or it’s best left to the professionals. Chiang Kai-Shek’s Trillions In 1948, a plane en route to China crashed on Mindanao Island in the Philippines. It was carrying a huge sum of … Continue reading

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