Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs

By Dr. Joe Schwarcz

Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs
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Why do Cretans live longer than other people? Why are the wrong combinations of certain foods and drugs lethal? Can brazil nuts prevent cancer? Why do peanut bags expand on airplane flights? Just what IS the connection between Silly Putty and Flubber? Is there a difference between ... Read more


Overview

Why do Cretans live longer than other people? Why are the wrong combinations of certain foods and drugs lethal? Can brazil nuts prevent cancer? Why do peanut bags expand on airplane flights? Just what IS the connection between Silly Putty and Flubber? Is there a difference between natural and synthetic vitamin E? How do you get rid of skunk smell? Why are witches linked with broomsticks? Why must bleach never be combined with acids? Why might the whiff of an armpit trigger romance? Why is fish known as "brain food?"

Dr. Joe Schwarcz has been delighting readers for years in his weekly newspaper columns, collected here for the first time. Find out how a case from John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey provides a valuable lesson about foods that shouldn't be combined with MAO inhibitors in "Death by Souffle"; read about a chemistry prof who fooled the scientific community into believing that Lot's wife was actually turned into a pillar of salt in "The Lot of Lot's Wife"; watch as two scientists battle it out for the right to claim bottled body odor as their own in "The Whiff of Romance"; and learn why you really shouldn't be throwing out your albedo (the stringy stuff found on the inner skin of citrus fruit) in "This Pulp Isn't Fiction."

With its blend of fascinating historical stories, anecdotes about everyday life, and debunking of nonsensicalcures and schemes, this book is guaranteed to amuse, inform, and delight.

Dr. Joe Schwarcz

Joe Schwarcz is one of Canada's foremost educators and is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging.  He has received numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. "Dr. Joe" appears regularly on the Canadian Discovery Channel and has a weekly radio phone-in show as well as a newspaper column entitled "The Right Chemistry." He also writes feature stories for the Washington Post on the role of chemistry in everyday life.  Dr. Schwarcz has just been named Director of McGill University's new "Office for Chemistry and Society." He lives in Montreal with his wife and three daughters and a cat that affords ample opportunity for research into the science of stain removal.

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