Selected publications, conference papers, handouts etc

dick@nickalls.org
www.nickalls.org/dick/


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The single biggest problem we face is that of visualisation.         
Richard Feynman (1918-1988) [Math. Gaz. (1996); vol(80), 267]


Anaesthesia | Computing | Maths | Pulfrich effect | WF Daniell | Spaghetti | Darwin |

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arrowup Computing (interfacing, TeX, LaTeX, Perl)    (external TeX links) (workstation project).


arrowup Mathematics    (external links)


arrowup Vision (Pulfrich effect)    (external links)

I first became interested in the Pulfrich effect in 1973 after going to a lecture by Dr V Reading at the Royal College of Surgeons on ``A new approach to the study of binocular depth perception'' [British Orthoptic Journal (1974); No 31, 130]. This was my first encounter with the remarkable dynamic visual phenomenon first described by Carl Pulfrich (1858-1927).


arrowup William Freeman Daniell (1817-1865)    (external links)

WF Daniell (English army surgeon and botanist) was instrumental in bringing Calabar beans from West Africa to pharmacologists in Edinburgh, who discovered their physostigmine content. Edinburgh physicians then went on to show that physostigmine was the first anticholinergic. Several plants have been named after Daniell.

I became interested in WF Daniell in 1979 while I was a post-fellowship SHO at Alder Hey Childrens Hospital (Liverpool). In the process of preparing a clinical case presentation relating to the use of physostigmine for the reversal of central cholinergic overdose, I became interested in the early botanical and pharmaceutical history of physostigmine, and how WF Daniell was instrumental in bringing it to the notice of pharmacologists in the 1840s.


arrowup Spaghetti

Some findings on breaking spaghetti, originally inspired by an observation by Richard Feynman :-) Note that spaghetti has now found its way into some serious scientific journals.


arrowup Darwin CR (1809-1892)

This "Evolution" art-work represents evolving thoughts of Charles Darwin, as reflected in the now-famous last paragraph of his Origin of Species (1859). Using colours, it shows how Darwin gradually refashioned it over time---magenta representing discarded early material, and blue representing the final material. Thus we have a representation of what might be regarded as evolving text.

I thought of the idea after reading Gavin de Beer's book Evolution by natural selection (1958), in which he mentions that the final paragraph took different forms in different drafts. The text sources are detailed in both the preprint and the published version. It was typeset using the open-source system LaTeX.


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