Tag: Christmas

An old chestnut, re-roasted

Time for the traditional Christmas column, and just as we haul out the same old ornaments year after year, this year I’m hauling out an old column (from 1994) because, well, it’s timeless. Also, it’s almost Christmas, and I’m lazy. (Something to do with the conservation of mass and energy: at Christmas, your mass increases …

Continue reading

Sweet science

’Tis the season for peace and love and carols by the fire and decorated fir trees and all that sort of thing. ’Tis also the season for candy: candy canes, fudge, toffee, peanut brittle, bon-bons of all kinds. A lot of it is store-bought, but a lot of it is made from scratch. As Grandma …

Continue reading

Sweet science

’Tis the season for peace and love and carols by the fire and decorated fir trees and all that sort of thing. ’Tis also the season for candy: candy canes, fudge, toffee, peanut brittle, bon-bons of all kinds. A lot of it is store-bought, but a lot of it is made from scratch. As Grandma …

Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

More photos here.

Photo of the Day: Cellphone Christmas

Quite Impressionistic, isn’t it? More photos here.

Photo of the Day: Santa Colours

More photos here.

Ho, ho, ho and the world ho, ho, hos with you

‘Tis the season to start columns with the phrase ’tis the season…and, if you’re fortunate, to laugh a lot, at parties, at kids, at TV Christmas specials–or just because other people are laughing. Why is laughter contagious? A new study, just published in the Journal of Neuroscience, provides a hint. Researchers at University College London …

Continue reading

Building a better Christmas with technology

The march of science and technology can be breathtaking, can’t it? Just consider these recent developments in the all-important field of Christmas-related…um, stuff. First, there’s the Lightset Repair Gun. If you have a string of mini-lights that isn’t working, it’s probably because of faulty shunts. Designed to prevent a whole string of lights wired in …

Continue reading

Science gifts for Christmas: 2003

It’s time once again for my scientific gift guide. (No, I don’t mean I have the purchasing of gifts down to a science–if I did, I’d set up in business and be a millionaire before the New Year. I mean, it’s time once again for my guide to scientific gifts.) Not being in a position …

Continue reading

The spice(s) of life

There are certain spices that just naturally come to mind as we approach the holiday season. Cinnamon, for instance. Cloves. Ginger. And, of course, hot peppers. (Hot peppers? Well, when I was growing up, Christmas dinner sometimes featured my mother’s famous enchilada casserole, which could be made mild, medium–or hot.) And unlike many of the …

Continue reading

The instructive history of Clement Clarke Moore

History is full of artists in various disciplines who are most famous for things which they themselves considered of very little importance. Take Arthur Conan Doyle, for instance. He came to loathe his creation, Sherlock Holmes, going so far as to killing him…only to be forced by popular demand to bring him back again. Sir …

Continue reading

Christmas chemistry

The Physics of Christmas is a very good book by Roger Highland. But there’s more science to Christmas than just physics; there’s chemistry, too. Consider those popular Christmas spices, ginger and cinnamon. Ginger has been used for thousands of years. Greek bakers were making gingerbread more than four thousand years ago (though probably not in the …

Continue reading