About puffthemutantdragon

A fire-breathing science blogger with a keen interest in the wonders of everyday life. Harmless for the most part, although has been known to eat homeopaths and anti-vaccine activists and has little love for politicians.

Science on crack, 3: When heroin was a drug you gave your children

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There was a time when I used to like Guns ‘n Roses, and even today I still like some of their music. “Mr. Brownstone” is of course a song about heroin, and the lyrics nicely illustrate why the drug is … Continue reading

Science on crack, 2: Walter White & cooking crystal meth

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How many TV shows can you name that star a chemist as hero and feature references to reductive amination? I can think of only one. Breaking Bad is by far and away my favorite show on TV. It’s got a truly … Continue reading

Confessions of a Creationist: the making of a serial killer

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When I was growing up, my family was deeply religious, and they had some interesting beliefs. We had a book at our house, for example, entitled “Dinosaurs and the Bible”. I came across the book recently at Amazon at this link — … Continue reading

Does beer make you blush? or, why “race” is a myth

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Race is a word with an ugly history. Powerful countries have often used supposed differences between “races” as an excuse to conquer and enslave nations with technology less advanced than their own. In the 18th and 19th centuries, European scholars … Continue reading

From salami to soda pop: what does “toxic” really mean?

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It started out as a crazy stunt — a gag to keep commuters entertained. DJs at KDND-FMSacramento had lined up 20 volunteers for a water-drinking contest. Whoever drank the most water without urinating would take a Nintendo Wii home as … Continue reading