Breakfast with rodents

| Apr 4, 2007

Breakfast with rodents

by C.W. Nicol

Iwas home alone the other evening when I heard a scuttling sound coming from the kitchen. Two mice had climbed up a strut in the woodwork of the sink counter and jumped down into the compost bucket below, which just had a few centimeters ...

Pied piping for the parsnip

| Jan 3, 2007

Pied piping for the parsnip

by C.W. Nicol

Thanks to the great Roman naturalist and writer Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79), we know that parsnips were brought to Rome each year from imperial provinces across the Rhine, and that they were destined for the Emperor’s table. The scientific name for the parsnip ...

Tackling the cedar-pollen blight

| Oct 4, 2006

Tackling the cedar-pollen blight

by C.W. Nicol

According to figures given to me by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, about 16 percent of people living in Japan suffer an allergic reaction to pollen from Japanese cedars (Cryptomeria japonica). In the Greater Tokyo area this increases from one-in-six to an astonishing one-in-four people. ...