Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Popular science is more popular than ever. Its subjects also seem more rarefied than ever: string theory, theoretical physics, theoretical astrophysics. Whatever happened to the more tangible natural sciences? The ones we all think we know — chemistry, for example. We all remember studying the periodic table of the elements in high school, maybe even in college, but do we remember what it all meant? Do we understand what the elements do — and what they can do?
Monday, January 09, 2012
How do you square the idea of a bad person who does great good? Or a good person who does terrible harm? Sam Kean introduces us to the confusing life story of Fritz Haber. Around 1900, Haber was a young chemist in Germany, intent on solving the biggest problem facing ...
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Author Barry Estabrook decided to write about tomatoes because they almost killed him. He was driving in Naples, Fla. when a few tomatoes bounced off the cargo truck in front of him, narrowly missing his windshield. At the next stoplight, he was amazed to see that the tomatoes littering the street were unscathed after falling off a truck that was traveling at 60 miles per hour. How did the tomato— once summer’s tastiest treat — become the bland specimens available in most grocery stores now? And how can we fix it?
Monday, April 18, 2011
The mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson posed a big question about mirrors in one of his best-known books: Through the Looking-Glass (yup, Dodgson's pen name was Lewis Carroll). Natasha Gostwick of Storynory reads an excerpt that gets at the heart of the trouble: is mirror milk any good to drink? ...
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Remember the periodic table? With its 92 elements and perplexing abbreviations? No doubt, you had to memorize portions of the table back in high school. But beyond high school classes and chemistry jobs, why should we care about the elements?
Friday, January 07, 2011
Scientists have long wondered why humans are the only species that cries for emotional reasons. It turns out that our tears may convey much more than just sadness, grief or anger. In a new study, scientists have proved that more complicated chemical reactions may be at play, like subduing male arousal.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009