While searching for the graves of long-lost relatives in the Princeton Cemetery earlier this year, I was amused to spot the epitaph of William Hahn, who is perhaps best known for these last, now oft-imitated, words. But I was even more intrigued by the postscripts on the back of two tombstones: In case you can’t make out the weathered words, his […]
Nature has always served as Mankind’s early warning system — the canary in the coal mine, and possibly, the spiderwort in the nuclear plower plant. You may not think of garden plants as particularly active, but many have unique “behaviors” that are somewhat entertaining, and at times even useful. The ephemeral blooms of Tradescantia, also known as spiderwort, among other […]
A footnote to the recent sale of Gandhi’s famous spinning wheel is that the one of the earliest known references to his practical tool of nonviolent civil disobedience appeared in the December 1931 issue of Popular Science. Mahatma Gandhi invented the portable teak spinning wheel, or charkha, which folded into a bundle about the size […]
The six tiny opposing muscles that control the movement of the eye move about 100,000 times a day. The quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction are called “saccades,” from the French term for the motion a rider makes when jerking on the reins. Besides being a great Scrabble word, saccades are […]
A bench? A pedestal? This clunky piece of furniture is a kind of medical lazy Susan — a rotating examination table from the leprosy colony on the island of Culion in the Philippines. Children born and raised within the colony, which opened in 1906, were regularly placed on this table and examined from almost every angle for […]
I just learned a new word –“spermcasting”–in this fascinating story in Science News, “Finally, the truth about barnacle sex”.
How do you move a collection of preserved human fetuses, hairballs, and Lincoln skull fragments? With TLC and a wistful sigh as one of my favorite haunts, the quirky and informative National Museum of Health and Medicine, closes its location at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, on Sunday, April 3.