Joe Schwarcz tells it like it is. Whether he’s plumbing the mysteries of chicken soup or tracing the development of polyethylene, Schwarcz takes a little history, adds a dash of chemistry, and produces a gem of an essay every time. I wish he’d been my chemistry professor when I was in school.
— Christine Gorman, senior writer.
Time Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs really does ”tell it like it is“ in 67 short, entertaining, and informative pieces about chemistry in everyday life. Find out the latest about homeopathy and alternative medicine. Fill up on facts about soybeans, tomatoes, tea, ginseng, chicken soup, hot dogs, and the benefits of eating chalk. Explore the science behind Alice’s strange adventures in Wonderland, Rumpole’s deadly cheese soufflé, and Casanova’s experiments with “Spanish Fly.” Investigate the nefarious chemistry of the KGB, the colors of urine, and the mysteries of baldness. Find out how virgins can reduce anxiety and how Chinese Restaurant Syndrome may increase it. 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 what’s behind the act of passing gas. Take a painless glimpse into the discovery of anesthetics. Read about the ups and downs of underwear, the invention of gunpowder, zombies in Haiti, Van Gogh’s brain, John Dillinger’s chemical exploits, little Mikey’s exploding stomach, and Dinshah Ghadiali’s bizarre attempts to cure disease with colored lights. Even Houdini makes a magical appearance. Finally, discover the amazing links between radar, hula hoops, and playful pigs!
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.
Published: September 1999
Dimensions: 5.25 x 8 in.