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50 & 100 Years Ago

50 Years Ago

A hazard to the animal that has always accompanied war is when persons unaccustomed to animals are drafted to animal units; in the Second World War this was a very common occurrence, because by then, so few persons had experience with horses. Many loved the job and did it well, but others were probably disappointed in a non-mechanical role and not very efficient. Mules reported to be vicious were often underworked and overfed: in any event for a tyro to be placed in charge of an army mule could be described as an experience.

From Nature 10 August 1963

100 Years Ago

A very remarkable red-water phenomenon is at present observable in a small pond in Broad Oak Park, Worsley, near Manchester, just in front of the seventh tee on the golf course. The surface of the pond — at any rate at times — is covered in places with an almost blood-red scum, which seems to float on the surface film like fine dust. The scum sometimes assumes a greenish hue. Microscopical examination shows that it is due to the presence of immense numbers of a large species of Euglena, the green chlorophyll of which ... is more or less replaced by red haematochrome ... Since writing the above I have been able to observe how the Euglenae reach the surface of the water. They evidently secrete some sort of slime in which they become entangled. Bubbles of oxygen gas, given off by the Euglenae in the presence of sunlight, are also caught in this slime, and when these reach a certain size they rise to the surface, trailing strings of slime, with numerous entangled Euglenae, after them.

From Nature 7 August 1913

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50 & 100 Years Ago. Nature 500, 156 (2013).

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