Further to last week's item on "steroids", Michael Diver, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Chemistry at the University of Liverpool, writes: "The prototype and parent of a myriad of steroids is an ancient compound found in bilestones, and topical today. It was known to ancient Egyptians, and the Greeks, who named it appropriately "Cholesterol" (chole=bile, stereos= solid)."
THE WORLD'S finest amateur boxers gather in Houston tomorrow for the World Amateur Championships. "Boxing" is of unknown origin (perhaps related to the Old Teutonic boki-, or "blow"); "box" appeared about 600 years ago as a noun, as in "a box round the ears". By the 18th century, it was being used in a sporting context, and in 1711 Addison wrote in the Spectator of "the pleasures of Boxing."