Terra Sigillata

Archives for March, 2009

Poppy seed tea can kill you

A little over a week ago, we posted on the very sad story of the accidental death of a University of Colorado sophomore from ingesting poppy seed tea. The poppy, Papaver somniferum, is the commercial source for prescription narcotic painkillers such as morphine and codeine. The seeds can be had online and in retail stores.…

Dr John Hope Franklin was a 1935 A.B. graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN, then earned his M.A. (1936) and Ph.D. (1939) from Harvard University. [For reference, W.E.B. DuBois also graduated from Fisk (1888) and was the first Black to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard (1895).] Franklin’s doctoral dissertation, The Free Negro in North…

Just a quick note of congratulations to friends of Terra Sig (FOTS, if you will) on earning 2008 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism from the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Online FIRST: M.B. Pell, Jim Morris and Jillian Olsen, Center for Public Integrity, “Perils of the New Pesticides” SECOND (tie): Tara Parker-Pope,…

Dr Geraldine P Woods (1921-1999) was inarguably the most influential scientist in establishing and promoting NIH’s programs in research and research training for underrepresented groups. Therefore, I have chosen her story for my entry to this month’s Diversity in Science blog carnival recognizing Women’s History Month. My interest in Dr Woods was inspired by a…

My colleague, DrugMonkey, recently wrote an absolutely fantastic post on bigotry in sports and the pioneers other than Jackie Robinson in breaking the so-called color barrier. I had actually forgotten that in the 1970s, Warren Moon spent much of his career in the Canadian Football League because NFL teams wanted him to convert to some…

As I have stated many times before, this blog has brought me some personal experiences and friendships I would have never had in my life as “just” a lab scientist and pharmacology professor. Among the most cordial relationships I have had online with a professional journalist has been with Scott Hensley of the Wall Street…

I had the happy pleasure of visiting on Friday with Sheril Kirshenbaum and Bora Zivkovic for a panel discussion in a course at Duke University’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Directed by Dr Misha Angrist, PubPol 196S “Science in the Media” is described in the course catalog as follows: Those who write about science,…

Kudos to The Washington Post for publishing an op-ed by author, journalist, blogger, Chris Mooney, on the George Will WaPo global warming fiasco. Author of “The Republican War on Science,” “Storm World,” and co-author with Sheril Kirshenbaum of the forthcoming “Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.” This is Mooney at his best –…

After writing this post, I came across Alex’s obituary and guestbook on Legacy.com. By all accounts, Alex was a great kid – loved and admired by many – an accomplished hockey player and musician with a love for the mountains. This could have been you or I, or worse, one of our own children. Breaking…

…it must be Spring in the Northern Hemisphere (7:44 am EDT)