- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Holt Paperbacks (August 30, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805074074
- ISBN-13: 978-0805074079
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs: 67 Digestible Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Learn more
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“Joe Schwarcz has mastered the art of science education as an attention-holding and rewarding experience. In this book he provides a great read, a book you will not want to put down. You will learn a great deal about the world around us while being compelled to read on--it's an educator's dream!” ―Kelvin G. Ogilvie, President, Acadia University
“It is hard to believe that anybody could be drawn to such a dull and smelly subject as chemistry--until, that is, one picks up Joe Schwarcz's book and is reminded that with every breath and feeling one is experiencing chemistry. Falling in love, we all know, is a matter of the right chemistry. Schwarcz gets his chemistry right, and hooks his readers.” ―John C. Polanyi, Nobel Laureate
“Joe Schwarcz's magic is in convincing us that there is verve and value in real chemistry.” ―Roald Hoffman, Nobel Laureate
“Dr. Schwarcz has written a book that is enormously enjoyable--it commands and holds your attention. It explains science and scientific phenomena in a simple and accurate way while stimulating logical thinking. It will lead to a scientifically literate reader who will not be so easily misled by those who wish to paint science and technology as being a danger to humankind.” ―Michael Smith, Nobel Laureate
About the Author
Dr. Joe Schwarcz is a professor of chemistry and the Director of the Office for Chemistry and Society at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He hosts a weekly phone-in radio show, is a regular on Canadian television, gives numerous public lectures, regularly contributes feature stories to the Washington Post, and writes a weekly column for the Montreal Gazette. He has received many honors, including the prestigious American Chemical Society's Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. "Dr. Joe" lives in Montreal.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is a great collection of true stories and anecdotes about science throughout history. From the invention of gunpowder to the investigation of medical frauds, Dr. Schwarcz describes the science and the personalities involved in a variety of odd, unusual, historic, and sometimes just-plain-gross circumstances.
Dr. Schwarcz's primary area of interest is in biochemistry and nutrition, and he talks quite a bit about dietary nutrients and supplements. It's certainly not a comprehensive guide to this topic, but it does provide some very important bits of wisdom that may help readers separate legitimate benefits from bunk.
There is also some practical household advice here, including discussions of the chemistry of shampoo and laundry detergent (you're probably using a lot more of both of these than you need!) and Dr. Schwarcz's recipe to remove skunk-spray odor.
And while we're on the subject of smelly substances, you'll learn more than you probably ever wanted to know about the chemical composition human intestinal gas.
This is a fun book that also takes care to emphasize good experimental science, and makes an effort to clear away some of the more ridiculous ideas about chemistry and about science in general, all while telling sometimes-ridiculous and always-entertaining stories to make the point.
Schwarcz has two underlying, scientific themes. Science in general, and chemistry in particular, is neither good nor evil - it's the context/use of chemistry that gives a moral distinction. Likewise, chemical effects are generally driven by amount - arsenic is not poisonous in low enough concentrations, while water is deadly under certain conditions (if inhaled, for example). The second point is to make the reader a skeptical consumer. He gives numerous examples of good science vs. bad science - a product trotting out "testimonials" is not evidence that it will work in all cases (or even in the majority of cases!). That's not to say the book gets bogged down in details. His writing style is sharp, witty, and concise. The book can be picked up and read from any point, and you'll still learn something interesting.
I am a chemist, and can assure the chemists considering this book that the science is accurate. It's not the standard sugar-coated fare that appears on television. Likewise, a non-scientist will be able to easily understand the material because Schwarcz never resorts to lingo without first explaining it (for "proof" I point to my mother, who was an English major in university and who enjoyed the parts of the book she's read). Therefore, this book can be recommended to the widest audience, and all will find it informative and enjoyable.