Have you ever wondered about the science behind Alice's strange adventures in Wonderland, Casava's 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 oks 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 what's behind the act of passing gas. Read about the ups and downs of underwear, the invention of gunpowder, Van Gogh's brain, John Dillinger's chemical exploits, and Dinshah Ghadiali's 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 t only be useful but pleasurable as well.
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.