This is the 141st anniversary of the patenting of margarine by French chemist Hippolyte Mège-Mouriés, which has to be one of the coolest names in the annals of science, if not the entire history of human civilization. (It just kind of rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?) Mège-Mouriés already had a long list of patents to his credit, including effervescent tablets, the use of egg yolks for the tanning of leather, and nitric acid as a treatment for syphilis. We’re not sure how well that last one worked. In any case, in the late 1860s he turned his attention toward research on manipulation of fats. As chance would have it, about that time, Napoleon III of France became concerned about the nation’s chronic butter shortage, and offered a prize to anyone who could come up with a substitute. Mège-Mouriés obliged, developing a method of purifying beef tallow and mixing it with skim milk, bicarbonate of soda and other ingredients and artificial yellow coloring. Except for the substitution of vegetable oils for tallow, it’s pretty much the same process that produces what you spread on your toast today. And now that we’ve ruined your appetite, here are the MySci stories of the day.