Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Wayne Rooney and J.S.Haldane


OK I'm obsessed, but truth to tell J.S.Haldane has much to do with England's hopes in this year's World Cup Finals in Germany. And that stems from Haldane's work in another continental clash in which Germany was involved.

When poison gas was first released into the trenches of World War 1, Kitchener called for Haldane. He steamed off to the trenches, and subsequently by experimenting on himself and his son, gassing them both in their home gas chamber, he worked out what the gas was, and built a prototype gas mask. He went on to work with victims of the war, becoming known as 'the father of oxygen treatment' for his discoveries of the ways oxygen can affect and speed cures for significant injuries.

So when Wayne Rooney sleeps in an oxygen tent at night, and his metatarsal shows astonishing powers of recovery, the story stems back 90 years to Haldane and a bunch of wounded soldiers.

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