Author: Ailsa Harvey

What was the Boston Tea Party?

(Image source: Sarony and Major) Question from Amos Bramley By 1773, colonists living in America were growing impatient with the rule of King George III and the British Parliament. The British were steeped in...

What are mites?

One of the oldest forms of micro monster inhabiting your house, the mite is among the most diverse and successful invertebrates on Earth (Image source: Pixabay) 48,200 species have already been identified and scientists...

What is the diving reflex?

Your body’s reaction to water that prevents you from drowning (Image source: Pixabay) The diving reflex is a physiological response triggered by immersion in water that evolved to protect mammals from drowning. It is...

How to win a duel

When honour was at stake, a gentleman’s only option was to cross swords For centuries, settling a dispute through armed combat was not only customary, it was a highly respected ritual reserved for the...

Why do kids hate broccoli?

The world’s most contentious culinary debates solved by science (Image credit: Leilani Angel) 1. Why do kids hate broccoli? Broccoli contains a glucosinolate compound that makes it taste bitter. The human gene TAS2R38 is...

How dogs reduce stress

Discover the impact of these canine companions can have on our mental health (Image source: Pixabay)  Whether you have a hamster or a Great Dane, pets have provided us with comfort, friendship, exercise, protection...

When were pubs invented?

Discover how foreign conquerors helped shape a British institution (Image source: Pixabay) When the Romans invaded Britain in 43 CE, they brought with them all the trappings of civilised living: walled cities, literacy, sanitation...

Why can I remember song lyrics for so long?

(Image credit: Michael Maasen) Question from Sarah Ross The average human brain contains about 86 billion neurons – a vast network that processes information. Memories are formed when specific connections between neurons are strengthened,...

How does soap clean?

Find out how interactions between molecules help get our hands clean (Image credit: Jackmac34) Soap is an ancient concept that can be traced back to 2,800 BCE in Babylon, and the basic principle of...

Why aren’t there many naturally blue foods?

Question from Edgar Malone There are good reasons why most natural foods aren’t blue. Partly it’s chemistry – many leafy vegetables, for instance, like lettuce and spinach, are green because they contain green-coloured chlorophyll,...