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Author: Subject: Book review...of sorts!
CharlieA
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[*] posted on 3-1-2018 at 08:18


My latest read: "A History of Chemistry," by F. J. Moore; 3rd edition (1939).

From the preface to the third edition: "...the work of prominent chemists in the various fields is discussed down to the present day..."

Many "thumbnail sketches" (brief biographies) are given of many chemists, , emphasizing their contributions to chemistry. It generally records for most of these chemists whom they studied under.

It is always good to learn (or re-learn) the evolution of key chemical theories.

My personal problem with books like this is that they remind me of how much chemistry I have forgotten (if I ever even knew it). :(
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NEMO-Chemistry
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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 10:53


Quote: Originally posted by yobbo II  

It must have been fascinating doing chemistry back in those times. Everything and anything was possible! (but not doable unfortunately).
I once read that vessel used for 'doing' things in was a pigs bladder. It was quite resistant to stuff.
Remember that the humble jam jar had not been invented yet.

The spirit lives on

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/nort...



Is it just me, or does prison seem really extreme for £3k damage?
we had a chimney fire a few weeks back, entirely my fault! I had put a load of christmas tree branches on the fire in the lounge, the chimney soot caught light and up it went.

The liner in the chimney was replaced around 4 years ago, its a kind of plaster/ concrete thing, the fire was hot enough to severely crack the liner like mosaic. Firebrigade had to come out for a few hours.

So how come i didnt get any shit off the police? Seeing as Scotland is way harsher than NI or England, i find it hard to see how he got jailed. Something is missing from that story.

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OldNubbins
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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 15:30


Chimney fires are relatively common. Poop on a heater.... ehhhhh... not so much.
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AvBaeyer
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[*] posted on 4-1-2018 at 21:22


CharlieA,

You should try to find the 4 volumes of "The Chemical Society Memorial Lectures." These are extensive biographical lectures covering deceased members of the Chemical Society. They give much insight into the workings and personalities of late 19th and early 20th century chemistry. The volumes are hard to find but are occasionally available at ABE books.

Another fascinating book is J.S. Fruton, "Contrasts in Scientific Style." I think you might find it quite enjoyable.

AvB
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 5-8-2018 at 15:38


Just finished reading: Clifford Dobell, "Antony van Leeuwenhoek: A Collection of Writings by the Father of Protozoology and Bacteriology," (Dover; 1960; unabridged republication of the work first published in 1932).


-from the author's forward: "...I found not only that he knew no language but Dutch, but also that he knew no 'science'; for he was merely an ordinary shopkeeper...In the world of science he was no better than an ignorant and bungling amateur - self-taught but otherwise uneducated. He did everything by himself, alone and unaided so that when he wished to make a microscopical discovery he had first to make himself a microscope; and when he wished to describe this discovery, it often turned out to be something so novel that he had no words wherewith to describe it."

I've never had a biology course, and just recently acquired a microscope, so I do not consider myself competent to critique the results of L.'s work. But I was most impressed that he always seemed to come up with further experiments, kept copious notes, and seemed to have a great desire to communicate his observations. This mostly unlettered amateur scientist experimented and made scientific observations for 50 years and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 48.


For someone with a background in biology or microbiology, I think this would be a fascinating read. It seems that the author, Dobell, went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the accuracy of this work.
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 10-8-2020 at 05:53


Interesting read: Moseley and the Numbering of the Elements by Bernard Jaffe (Doubleday, 1971). Moseley's work on the x-rays emitted by atoms established that the atomic number has a physical basis; it is not just the "address" of an element in the Periodic Table.
Not a long book, but like almost all technical subjects, as the book goes deeper and deeper into its subject matter, it gets more and more complicated...such is life!
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 28-8-2020 at 16:18


I just finished reading "Power Unseen: how microbes rule the world", by Bernard Dixon (1996; ISBN 0-7167-4550-X).

An enlightening introduction to the world of microbes in approximately 70 short sketches of 2-3 pages each. Each sketch covers one genus/species of microbe (bacterium or virus), and how it affects the world, for good or bad. Many examples describe various examples of biotechnology.

Much of the contents may have been superseded since the publication of this book. As someone not formally educated in any of the life sciences, I found this book very informative. It helped me to better understand the strategies/techniques used for handling the threats of a dangerous virus (e.g. COVID, not known when this book was written).
Enjoy!
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 28-8-2020 at 16:47


Its funny how its title became to be "the mushroom who made John F. Kennedy president" in the German edition :o
You probably know the story behind this, as you've read the book, but I am just straight up confused by this.

I would be happy if you'd like to share that story, because searching for whatever that could mean brings nothing up for me.
But I would also understand if you don't want to spoil the book.
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 29-8-2020 at 16:52


karlos:
That story is new to me! The explanation would be very interesting. I'll give a look tomorrow. I don't recall seeing it in my book.
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karlos³
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[*] posted on 29-8-2020 at 18:14


I found the answer in the meantime, very far fetched to call it the cause for his presidency:
So they said that due to the potato blight in 1845, the family Kennedy emigrated from ireland to america.
And they connect that with his presidency when he won in 1960, because of all the other irish people in the states, with many of them whose ancestors immigrated in the year 1845 of the potato blight too, and most were voting for him then, since they saw him as one of them.
Interesting, but really far fetched in my opinion, to draw such a connection.
Although it is certainly not a wrong statement either.
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 30-8-2020 at 16:44


It certainly is a loose connection, but JFK had to be born here to be eligible to become president (no birther theoried from or about anyone please). It reminds me of the idea that anyone person in the world is connected to anyone else by six connections or less. I became somewhat of a believer when I realized that this inconsequential Catholic is connected to Pope John Paul by connections: my in-laws met the Pope when he was here in town. And I guess that considering all of the different people in the world that have met that Pope, I guess I am then connected to them!!! ...small world...
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[*] posted on 30-8-2020 at 17:18


Charlie,

You should read the Max Gergal books in the scimads library if you haven't yet. They describe how organic chemistry preparation in large scale was done back in the 1950-1970 era. I saw some similar work back in 1980's with my friend Ed, his fume hoods were plywood boxes in front of a window with a box fan in it. At least most of the flurocarbons he made were not flammable. Most of the real chemistry was done in metal manifolds and reactors, not much real chemistry was done in glass, mostly just the distillations and simple preps.

I'll have to send you a box of books sometime, I have a lot of chemistry related books like your list. I would just ask you to pass them on when you are done to another science geek.

I can relate to your graduate experiences, mine were a nightmare as well, lots of bait and switch in graduate schools with advisors (one advisor telling 5 people he will take them when he only had space for 2, listing faculty that were retiring or had already retired in graduate student info, finances being a disaster, etc. I have recently seen two books on how to survive graduate school, I will try to find them and mention them here.
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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 31-8-2020 at 16:40


Dr. Bob,
I have read the Gergel books. They were interesting reads. My first job after my undergraduate degree was quite an adjustment going from "school-sized" glassware to doing syntheses in 2- and 5- gallon wide-mouth jars (complete with bails). We were making biologically active compounds in a former foundry which still looked like a former foundry. And I remember getting high on the fumes from alcohol and ether washes using a 60cm Buechner funnel in a small "room" made of plywood as a clean room in the foundry...those were the days.

I would certainly pass your books along after I read them.
In fact, if anyone is interested in the Power Unseen book, I will send (USA only please) it to the first one who contacts me by U2U.
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[*] posted on 31-8-2020 at 17:37


OP's book.Enjoy.

book

*edit* Max Gergel's books are sure worth reading.


[Edited on 9-1-2020 by arkoma]




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[*] posted on 1-9-2020 at 13:26


A book I read that I always enjoyed for the interesting topics, although it doesn't really get very technical, is "The Genie in the Bottle: 67 All-New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life" by Dr. Joe Schwartz.

The book is definitely geared more towards non-experts, but it is a fun and interesting read nonetheless. I gave it to my professor in university and he quite enjoyed it as well. I recommend!

https://www.amazon.com/Genie-Bottle-Commentaries-Fascinating...

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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 1-9-2020 at 15:27


ShotBored: Thanks for the reference. I added it to my list to get from the public library; my list is about 75 books long. So many books, so little time!
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[*] posted on 1-9-2020 at 23:17


So, when did they start making retorts, flasks etc from glass?
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[*] posted on 2-9-2020 at 01:44


This is well worth a read:

http://lateralscience.blogspot.com/2012/07/ernest-glitch.htm...

There are some free chapters available online there, you have to scroll down a little, but it's very funny and highly scientific (in places). And almost believable too. The mental images some of those stories conjure up...




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CharlieA
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[*] posted on 2-9-2020 at 16:44


"A book I read that I always enjoyed for the interesting topics, although it doesn't really get very technical, is "The Genie in the Bottle: 67 All-New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life" by Dr. Joe Schwartz."

Well, our library doesn't have this title, but it does have two others, which I added to my "For Later" shelf. :)
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