The Fly in the Ointment: 70 Fascinating Commentaries on the Science of Everyday Life

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ECW Press, 2004 - Science - 297 pages

Dr. Joe Schwarcz breaks down the fascinating chemistry all around us in this intriguing look at everyday science

From pesticides and environmental estrogens to lipsticks and garlic, the science that surrounds us can be mystifying. Why do some people drill holes in their heads for "enlightenment"? How did a small chemical error nearly convict the unfortunate Patricia Stallings for murdering her son? Where does the expression "take a bromide" come from? Dr. Joe Schwarcz investigates aphrodisiacs, DDT, bottled water, vitamins, barbiturates, plastic wrap, and smoked meat. He puts worries about acrylamide, preservatives, and waxed fruit into perspective and unravels the mysteries of bulletproof vests, weight loss diets, and "mad honey." From the fanciful to the factual, Dr. Joe enlightens us all -- no drills attached.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ScoutJ - LibraryThing

Schwarcz goes through a litany of scientific and pseudo-scientific claims in this work which reads like a collection of blog posts (but that is not necessarily a bad thing.) Reminded me somewhat of Proofiness. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

Fun and quirky, this book debunked some beliefs of mine (DDT= unmitigated evil, for one), and told some riveting tales I'd never dreamt could be true. Direct and immediate writing style, big ol' sense of humor. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
11
HEALTH ISSUES
15
SOME NEAT CHEMISTRY
137
ONCE UPON A TIME
203
BALONEY
257
Index
287
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Dr. Joe Schwarcz is director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society, dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is a popular lecturer, both to students and to the larger public. He hosts The Dr. Joe Show on Montreal radio and is the author of over a dozen bestselling titles. Dr. Joe lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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