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It Happened Today: January 1st

Quite a few events - especially institutional events - happened on January 1st, as it is the start of the calendar year. Some of them are listed below - without the aim of being exhaustive. There are also other ones that didn't need to happen on the first day of the year, though.... Following the [...]


1918: annus horribilis

At the end of a year, you'll probably be appraising your achievements and your areas of progress. If you end up disappointed, you should think of what happened in the world in 1918. It is always a good thing when a war ends, especially one like World War I - one of the most cruel [...]


Mice Don’t Like Cheese!

Cartoonists have always drawn little mice nibbling small tetrahedral portions of cheese (always with holes in them, like Emmental cheese). Now very few realise that this has no connection with what happens in nature. As specialists know, not only mice don’t really like cheese at all but they’ll even stay as away as they can [...]


A cure for cancer in 1931

The pharmaceutical industry is not particularly interested in spreading this news - and you’ll understand why.... In 1931, German physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his discovery of the nature and mode of action of the respiratory enzyme. The official mention for the Prize doesn’t explain much. In reality, already in 1924, Warburg formulated [...]


Bats Are Not Blind!

There are about 1,100 species of bats and they all can see! There are definitely other nocturnal animals with much better visual capabilities, but the bats vision is pretty good. Malayan Flying Foxes(from Pixabay)As a matter of fact, the medium-sized and large bats (megachiroptera) are nocturnal; they have big eyes and use them quite extensively [...]


The Water In The Sink And The Coriolis Effect

French physicist Gaspard-Gustave de Coriolis was the first to explain it in his 1835 book Sur les équations du mouvement relatif des systèmes de corps (On the equations of relative motion of a system of bodies). If you have an education on sciences, you’ll remember it from your early physics or mechanics lessons (and you [...]



This is a common theme hiding behind some of the posts. It deserve a better place under the spotlight. So I decided to open a new category: sustainability. Twenty years ago, it was difficult to explain what it is and why it is important: only very few individuals were able to forecast its necessity and [...]


When Carrots Were Purple….

According to Jack E. Staub's Alluring Lettuces: And Other Seductive Vegetables for Your Garden, there is evidence of carrots being both red and yellow, as described by XI century Jewish Byzantine doctor Simeon Seth and XII century Arab agriculturist Ibn al-‘Awwam. But it looks like purple carrots were originally the most common ones - yellow [...]