Your Interesting Links

Another selection of articles you may have missed. And there’s not so much hard science in this edition.

Many people still have concerns about vaccinations, which is largely unwarranted. Wired has looked at what actually is in a ‘flu shot.

The Ancient Greeks knew far more than we realise, but did Ancient Greek women use tampons? Seems the jury is probably still out on this one, ‘cos it’s all a matter of language.

Nuts. Most blokes like theirs. Girls: how much do you love you guy’s nuts? Because you should: testes contain the most distinct types of human tissue of anywhere in our bodies. But sorry, girls, the study isn’t reported to have looked at your ovaries — poor show!

How did cats become domesticated? It seems it is probably all down to their genes, which are rather different to their nearest wild relations — although scientists don’t yet understand what all the differences mean.

While on cats, have you ever wondered how much exercise your moggie gets? So some guy fitted a FitBit tracker to his cat Java to find out. Which is seriously cool even if I can’t be bothered to try it!
PS. Java is seriously cool too …

Hands up everyone who sleeps in the nude. You don’t? Seems like you should, ‘cos there’s more evidence it is good for you.

Here’s a short introduction to the history of peppers, both the peppercorn and chilli types. Also something on the heat of the chilli.

I don’t need to ask who out there likes gin ‘cos I know the answer is all of you! So you’ll be interested that a French distiller has recreated the earliest known gin from a 1495 recipe. Sadly you don’t appear to be able to buy it but you can bid for a bottle (proceeds to charity).

Do we drink more than our ancestors did? Answer: as far as we can tell no we don’t; we may actually be drinking less! But it is really hard to tell, especially as beer and wine was weaker in days past.

Mushy peas are nothing new! Rebecca Rupp investigates the development of the modern pea.

From peas to elephants. Here are some of history’s most amusing misconceptions about elephants.

Iron Age Maiden. Boudica, our earliest anti-European (well anti-Roman, anyway) hero!

Sectioning books is something I’d never really thought about. Nicholas Dames in The New Yorker brings us an interesting history of the chapter.

What was made out of handkerchiefs and patented in the USA on 3 November 1914? Yes, a weapon of mass constriction: the bra!

Still on things American, our favourite London cabbie brings us news of a small piece of America in Trafalgar Square.

From there it must be downhill all the way home!

Another favourite London blogger, Diamond Geezer, muses on the single life.

Meanwhile Janet Street-Porter writes a lot of common sense about nudity, which is fine on our screens but which most people won’t tolerate in real life.

Now look here you extroverts, you need to understand that us introverts interact differently with the world, and that’s OK.

And finally … When did you last do something you wouldn’t normally do for a period? Yes, then. Maybe.

Now I’m off to do something normal.