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Br J Ophthalmol 87:1308 doi:10.1136/bjo.87.10.1308
  • From the library

From the library

“With this paradox in mind, Newton, experimental philosopher, slid a bodkin into his eye socket between eyeball and bone. He pressed with a tip until he saw ‘several white darke and colored circles. Which circles were plainest when I continued to rub my eye with the point of the bodkin.’ Yet when he held both eyes and bodkin still, the circles would begin to fade. Was light a manifestation of pressure, then? Almost as recklessly, he stared with one eye at the sun, reflected in a looking glass, for as long as he could bear. He sensed that color—perhaps more than any of the other qualities of things—depends on imagination and fantasy and invention. He looked away at a dark wall and saw circles of color. There was a motion of spirits in his eye. These slowly decayed and finally vanished. Were they real or phantasm? Could such colors ever be real, like the colors he had learned to make from crushed berries or sheep’s blood? After looking at the sun he seemed to perceive light objects as red and dark objects as blue.” (

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Magic elixirs are the things of alchemist’s dreams. However, researchers from the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine in London have suggested that a polypill to be taken by everyone aged 55 and …

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