UCC Gets in the “Academic” Holiday Spirit!

Cork CityAs the holiday season continues to enchant us with flickering candles, twinkling lights, trimmed trees, and melodic carols we often neglect to truly wonder about the history and science behind the traditions we hold so dear.

Enter the Irish Independent’s Science of Christmas Supplement: a publication “extra” that features articles and stories that delve into mysterious, fascinating, unexplored areas of the festive season. Among the written contributions featured in the Independent’s supplement are the stories below by University College Cork researchers, lecturers, and academics.

Why do we decorate evergreens at Christmas? Why do we use mistletoe? What are the benefits of decorating with LED lights? How do we smell our favorite Christmas scents? Do all Christmas movies need that stereotypical happy ending? These questions and more are answered in the articles below. Read on, enjoy, and have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Why do we have Christmas trees?”

By: Dr. Anna Pilz

A Mayflower at Christmas?”

By: Dr. Eoin Lettice

Powering Christmas through Lasers/LEDs

By: Dr. Padraic Morrissey

What makes all those gorgeous seasonal smells?”

By:  Dr. Simon Lawrence

A happy ending to the nightmare before Xmas

By: PhD Scholar, Caitríona Walsh

BONUS: Professor Barry O’Sullivan created a collection of “Boolean” pixel art puzzles that were featured in the Irish Independent on November 12th, 2014. Although the puzzles can’t be found online, the accompanying article can be viewed here!


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