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Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs: 67 Digestible Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Have you ever wondered about the science behind Alice’s strange adventures in Wonderland, Casanova’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 nooks and crannies of chemistry.

Investigate the nefarious chemistry of the
...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published August 30th 2001 by W. H. Freeman (first published 1999)
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Sarahb
Jun 06, 2016 Sarahb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this book, I would give it a rating of 4.5 out of a possible 5 stars. I gave it this rating due to the fact that my overall feeling while and after reading this book was pretty positive. The book looked at the chemistry of everyday items and went into explanation about how they worked. Also, the book picked topics that were interesting and would keep the reader interested during every short story, along with having a story for everyone. (Such as; Science behind Alice in Wonderland, ...more
Blablabla Aleatório
Desde que eu era pequena, a química me fascina. Eu acreditava que misturar xampus e condicionadores no banheiro era algo mágico e passei muitas tardes com meu irmão aprontando dessas travessuras. Um dos meus maiores traumas é não ter tido um kit alquimia quando era criança. Todo esse amor me fez escolher Química como curso na faculdade e os livros que descrevem a química no dia-a-dia são os meus favoritos, ganhando de todos os romances históricos que podem aparecer por aí. Assim, não é de surpre ...more
Joe
Apr 15, 2013 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my to-read list since I started keeping the current poorly-maintained version in 1999; it's designed to popularize chemistry and science for the masses, and the author, Dr. Joe Schwarcz, has apparently gone on to do about new book a year since then.

I found it strange, though, that the book's introduction includes a page or two slagging the portrayal of scientists in kids' shows Bill Nye "Science Guy" and "Beakman's World." Dr. Schwarcz felt that science was interesting enou
...more
Andrew
Aug 09, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: my-library
This book is a good and easy read. Schwartz clearly knows his science. The overall point he makes about science being a process of uncovering new incremental discoveries is a great idea which cannot be emphasized enough. What left me wanting more, though, was that he rarely described the evidence science has to back up its claims. In an effort to reach the general public, he leaves out the details that makes science what it is: a continual quest for knowledge of how the universe works. I wanted ...more
Randy
May 09, 2011 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but I liked "Genie in the Bottle" better. The latter had more stories about things you could relate to better. Radar was very good though, don't get me wrong. It's a great going to bed book because each section is so short. And they are very interesting so you stay awake - for a science/history book it won't put you to sleep. All the facts about food are very insightful and Dr.Schwarcz's prose is very lively. Bottom line: Read it.
Christine
The first half of the book was really fascinating, but I found the second half dragged on for me. It may be because I was tired of the genre and chemistry though, not because the 2nd half was any different than the 1st half. Lots of everyday life chemistry that's good to know. "Chemical" is not a bad word. Everything in the universe is made of chemicals, even humans.
Alice
Feb 08, 2008 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review

"Joe Schwarcz has mastered the art of science education as an attention-holding and rewarding experience. In this book he provides a great read, a book you will not want to put down. You will learn a great deal about the world around us while being compelled to read on—it’s an educator’s dream!"
Luis Brudna
Jul 30, 2012 Luis Brudna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imp, quimica
O Joe insiste um pouco em desmascarar mitos e lendas, deixando a química em segundo plano em alguns ensaios. Mas nada que prejudique a leitura.
OBS: Li a versão em português.
colleen
May 14, 2007 colleen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
interesting commentary on relationships between chemistry and every day living! So far I like it!
Jen
Dec 05, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great book by Professor Joe Schwarcz. I really loved it.
Laura
Feb 05, 2009 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just kind of fun...pick it up anytime sort-of-thing.
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Dr. Joe Schwarcz holds a PhD in chemistry and is host of the radio program The Dr. Joe Show, directo of McGill University's Office for Science & Society and the author of fourteen bestselling books. Well known for his informative and entertaining lectures, Dr. Schwarcz has received numerous awards for teaching and deciphering science for the public.
More about Joe Schwarcz...

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