The Possibility of Giants

Various large bones, discovered across Europe from around 1500 onward, raised the possibility among Renaissance naturalists and intellectuals that very large humans – some five or even ten meters tall – once existed in the past.  The idea of giant ancestors already was prominent among scholars: the hugely popular works of Annius of Viterbo, particularly …

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The Nun with Blue Teeth

I’m always looking for skeleton stories.  But it’s not often that I come across an article in the scientific literature that includes references to the ancient Greek physician and herbalist Dioscorides (ca. 40-90 CE) or the medieval abbess and scholar St. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).  So this open-access article in Science Advances, “Medieval women’s early …

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Anita’s famous tomato chutney

By popular demand, here is the recipe for my famous tomato chutney.  It is somewhat modified from Madhur Jaffrey, An Invitation to Indian Cooking: Sweet and spicy tomato chutney 1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped (yes, a whole head) a piece of fresh ginger, 2 in long, 1 in thick, 1 in wide, …

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The Cats of Praia Vermelha

For the past week, I've been at the International Congress for the History of Science and Technology, held at the Praia Vermelha ("red beach") campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  There are a lot of cats on the campus.  I don't know their background; they seem to be strays, but are well …

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Wellcome Trust Research Bursaries

An excellent opportunity to do research in a rich Edinburgh archive.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) Library and Archive

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The Wellcome Trust have recently introduced a Research Bursaries scheme to support researchers wishing to work on library or archive collections which have been catalogued and preserved through a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Grant. The Library and Archive at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) is therefore inviting academic researchers, conservators, artists, performers, broadcasters, writers and public engagement practitioners to explore and use our collections, many of which remain unexplored. Our historical collections covering anatomy, surgery, medicine and pathology represent a unique resource dating from the early 16th century. The Research Bursaries are for small and medium-scale research projects (they need not be historically grounded) with support available in the range of £5,000-£25,000. You can see details of the funding stream, including applicant eligibility, here

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is one of the oldest surgical corporations in the world.  Its story begins in the late 1400s when the roles of surgeons and barbers…

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