F is for Faraday

The year is 1791.  On a crisp autumn morning in south London, Margaret Hastwell, a blackmith's apprentice, gives birth to her third son.  With her husband, son, and daughter crowded around, she decides to name the newborn Michael.  Michael Faraday. Margaret had a lot on her plate, what with two young children, a husband who was …

C is for Cat Feces

I've never been a cat person, myself.  They just seem a bit too contemptuous as a species. Cats, aside from being aloof, clawed, and kind of mean, also form a necessary part in the life cycle of a single-celled protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii.  This sneaky parasite can only reproduce in feline intestines but also finds its way into …

A is for Axolotl

Imagine a creature that never grows up, can regenerate limbs without scars, and has a sort of slimy, alien-like cuteness.  Sounds like a critter you'd like to meet, right?  Ambystoma mexicanum, the axolotl, lives all over the world in aquaria but their only wild habitat is under severe threat.  Chances are that neither of us …