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Latest Systema Naturae Stories

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2007-05-23 03:00:00

By Michael McCarthy Happy anniversary: the man who gave us the key to the natural world was born 300 years ago today. Carl Linnaeus, who created the system of scientific names that we still use for all living things, began life in a turf-roofed farmstead in southern Sweden on 23 May, 1707. If Hamlet is the world's most famous Dane, Linnaeus is the world's most famous Swede, surpassing in renown even the warrior- king Gustavus Adolphus, Strindberg, Ingmar Bergman and Abba. His face has...

2007-04-03 09:00:10

By Duffin, Christopher John Abstract The folklore associated with fish otoliths is traced from classical times to the present day for the first time. Otolithomancy involved divination of maritime weather conditions by consulting the properties and morphology of the "stones." In folk medicine, they were employed in the treatment of renal problems, malarial fever, nose bleeds, jaundice, pain, and swellings in the groin. They were also believed to act as aphrodisiacs. Modern applications...


Word of the Day
mallemaroking
  • Nautical, the visiting and carousing of sailors in the Greenland ships.
This word is apparently from a confusion of two similar Dutch words: 'mallemerok,' a foolish woman, and 'mallemok,' a name for some persons among the crew of a whaling vessel.