Archive for the ‘Science & technology’ Category


How many covid deaths have there been now?

August 31st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Each evening on the BBC’s News At Ten”, it announces the latest daily death toll but, for a long time now, it has failed to mention the total number of deaths. That figure for the UK, as of today, is 132,485. That’s almost twice the number of non-combatants killed in this country in the Second […]

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A review of “The Secret Body” by Daniel M Davis (2021)

August 4th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There is a certain irony that, a year and a half into the global pandemic when I finally fell foul of the coronavirus and had to self-isolate, top of my reading list was this book with the sub-title “How the new science of the human body is changing the way we live”. Although the author […]

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Word of the day: aphelion

July 5th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is the point at which the Earth is furthest from the sun. It occurs because the earth’s orbit is not circular but mildly elliptical. The precise moment of its occurrence this year is 23.27 BST today 5 July. At this point, we will be 5M kilometres further from the sun than in early January […]

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How many men have walked on the Moon and how many of them are still alive?

June 8th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In July 1969, the first men walked on the Moon and I watched it live on television. The previous year, the film “2001: A Space Odyssey” was released which portrayed a community on the Moon at the turn of the century. At that time, we assumed that there would be a growing programme of lunar […]

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How does the death toll from Covid-19 compare with that for the Spanish flu?

May 27th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

I did an earlier posting comparing the current coronavirus pandemic with the so-called Spanish flu. We don’t know the death toll from the Spanish flu. It is usually estimated as between 20 – 50 million, but the lowest estimate is 17 million and the highest is 100 million. The current pandemic is far from over, […]

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How many people die from HIV/AIDS?

May 27th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

As we begin to see a way of eventually eliminating Covid-19 when the global death toll is around 3.5M and still rising, we should remember that HIV/AIDS is still a global killer and so far we do have a vaccine for it. Around 700,00 people die from HIV/AIDS each year; in some countries it is the leading […]

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How long have we been here?

May 12th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

By ‘we’, I mean humankind. By ‘here’, I mean the universe. Consider these amazing facts: The universe is 13.8 billion years old. The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. Humankind has been around for about 200,000 years. So the universe is around 70,000 times older than humans. If the age of the universe was represented […]

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Word of the day: synesthesia

April 23rd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Synesthesia is an anomalous blending of the senses in which the stimulation of one modality simultaneously produces sensation in a different modality. Synesthetes hear colours, feel sounds and taste shapes. What makes synesthesia different from drug-induced hallucinations is that synesthetic sensations are highly consistent: for particular synesthetes, the note F is always a reddish shade of rust, […]

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Has physics found a fifth force?

April 8th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In physics today, there is something called “the core theory” which asserts that everything consists of particles (such as electrons, protons and neutrons) and forces (namely, the strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism and gravity) that arise out of fields (such as the Higgs field).  Now, for decades, scientists have sought to reconcile the general […]

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How does the current global pandemic compare with the influenza pandemic of 1918?

March 30th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

The influenza pandemic is usually called the Spanish flu. However, it was only called that because it came to the attention of the media more in Spain since this country was neutral and had a freer media than the Great War combatant nations of Britain, France and Germany where the flu was initially prevalent. We […]

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