Storm in a teacup

The British, as a people, are renowned for our non-confrontational and polite demeanour. That is until the topic of conversation moves on from the weather and, inevitably, becomes about tea. How should it be made? What material should the cup be made from? What temperature should the water be? Everyone has their own opinions regarding … Read more

U v. The Sun

Summer is upon us. Or, if you are British, it may already have passed. During the past few weeks of glorious, if unexpected, sunshine in the UK and Europe, sales of sun cream (or sun screen for the Americans) have soared. But how does sun cream protect your skin from the Sun’s unrelenting rays? How … Read more

What happened last night?

Accompanying the inevitable hangover, this is an all too common question following an evening, or morning, I’m not here to judge, of alcohol-infused merriment. At face value this question could be in response to any number of mysteries: where is my wallet? Why does my face hurt? Who is that and why are they wearing my dressing gown? However, from a scientific point of view, I think this is an extremely interesting question.

So why does drinking alcohol boost confidence and give you that warm fuzzy feeling? Why are your inhibitions lowered?  Why does your bladder suddenly seem to shrink to the size of a walnut? and why, the next day, does it feel like someone ran a bulldozer through your brain?

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It’ll all come out in the wash…

We’ve all been there – the ever more precarious looking pile of filth by the sink continually grows, and eating dinner with a spatula out of the pan suddenly seems like a great idea. Newly dirtied utensils are carefully added to the pile, in the hope that the washing up can be put off for a few hours longer. Eventually, however, we must yield.

There is no doubt that washing up is a tedious task; however, have you ever stopped to wonder what is happening beneath the bubbles? Dirty dishes go in, wipe wipe wipe, and clean dishes emerge, as if by magic. If you tried to do this with just water it would be an almost futile effort, yet with the addition of a small drop of soapy gel, it becomes so much simpler. What, therefore, does the washing up liquid do to help de-grease and de-grime your utensils? The revelation will hopefully make your washing up time a little more interesting.

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