Synopses & Reviews
Have you ever wondered about the science behind Alices strange adventures in Wonderland, Casanovas experiments with "Spanish Fly," and zombies in Haiti? In Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs
, chemist and columnist Dr. Joe Schwarcz offers 67 entertaining essays exploring these and other delightful nooks and crannies of chemistry.
Investigate the nefarious chemistry of the KGB, the colors of urine, and the mysteries of baldness. Learn how shampoos really work, and discover which cleaning agents must never be combined. Get rid of that skunk smell in a jiffy, and get a whiff of whats behind the act of passing gas. Read about the ups and downs of underwear, the invention of gunpowder, Van Goghs brain, John Dillingers chemical exploits, and Dinshah Ghadialis bizarre attempts to cure disease with colored lights. Finally, discover the amazing links between radar, hula hoops, and playful pigs!
Written by popular media personality Dr. Joe Schwarcz, this 1999 Canadian best-seller is proof positive that a little intellectual dip into the vast ocean of chemistry can not only be useful but pleasurable as well.
"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—its an educators 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 Schwarczs 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 Schwarczs 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 Societys Grady-Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. "Dr. Joe" lives in Montreal.