Picks

ChemEd X contributors and staff members are continually coming across items of interest that they feel others may wish to know about. Picks include, but need not be limited to, books, magazines, journals, articles, apps—most anything that has a link to it can qualify.

Many Picks can be purchased from Amazon. Using the Amazon links on those pages help to support ChemEd X.

by Hal Harris
Wed, 06/01/2011 - 01:00

Do tsunamis affect global warming? Well, the 2004 Indian Ocean catastrophe probably indirectly decreased the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere by destroying the lives of 200,000 victims and the livelihoods of probably 250,000 more. Of course, it also negatively affected coral reefs, mangroves and other wetlands, forests, and plant diversity.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Mon, 05/02/2011 - 02:00

My son gave me this book as a Christmas present in 2009, with the expectation that I would make it one of my Picks. The sentiment was amply appreciated, but I did not make it a Pick then because I didn't want to feel responsible for the maimings and deaths that could result from trying many of the "experiments" described.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Fri, 04/01/2011 - 01:00

Just about all of us who teach introductory courses in chemistry have a significant fraction of our students who intend to apply to medical schools and attempt to become doctors. However, very few of my students have a good idea of what that career path looks like, beyond graduation with an undergraduate degree.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 03/01/2011 - 00:00

If information about information is metadata, that's what we have here. As most of us are trying to drink from a firehose of information that clogs our eyes, ears, and every mailbox, James Glieck (author of "Chaos") helps us to step back to view the larger picture, with a longer perspective.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 02/01/2011 - 00:00

Brian Greene has emerged as the most significant spokesperson for modern physics. It isn't just that his two previous best-selling books ("The Elegant Universe" and The "Fabric of the Cosmos") were written to be accessible to the interested non-specialist, but also to excite the imagination of laymen.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Sun, 01/02/2011 - 01:00

One cold morning last week, as I was out to pick up our newspapers, a group of perhaps 250 starlings took off from a neighbor's trees, rose as a mass, wheeled a couple of circles in the air over the trees and settled in other trees nearby. There were no predators in evidence, so iIt was not clear what made them fly or how they decided when and where to land.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Sat, 01/01/2011 - 00:00

Magic shows don t work on children if they are not old enough to have developed the expectation that causes have predictable effects. They accept what their senses tell them, without constructing models that that make the surprising result unexpected.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Thu, 12/02/2010 - 01:00

This is the article that was hyped by NASA as possible justification for an expanded notion of the limits of "life as we know it", an attempt to boost their own stock in astrobiology.

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Wed, 12/01/2010 - 00:00

I have always thought that the answer to the question in the subtitle of this David Owen article was clear: make the things we do with energy using less of it. Now I am rethinkng that proposition. Owen writes about the application of "Jevons paradox" to energy consumption: the economical use of a resource results not in less consumption, but of more!

Recent activity: 6 months 9 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 11/02/2010 - 02:00

"Trick or Treatment" is a critical (very critical) examination of several varieties of alternative medicine. I was surprised to see Simon Singh as lead coauthor of a book about health because I know him as author of a book about math, "Fermat's Enigma", that I recommended in December of 1999. I thought it was the best science/math book of that year.

Recent activity: 5 months 3 weeks ago