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

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

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1550226215

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This entertaining examination of everyday science from the fanciful to the factual covers topics ranging from pesticides and environmental estrogens to lipsticks and garlic.

Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy

The Tao of Physics

Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything

Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It

Mountains of Madness: A Scientist's Odyssey in Antarctica




















endocrine disruption is certainly a concern, Dr. Safe points out that synthetic-hormone mimics contribute less than 1/1,000 of 1 percent of the amount of estrogenic compounds that people consume in their diets. Natural-hormone mimics in foods, which are found in a variety of grains, fruits, and vegetables, are far more prevalent. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the body somehow handles these natural-hormone mimics differently from synthetics. To add further confusion,

titanium dioxide is deposited on the glass. This process does two things: First, titanium dioxide acts as a catalyst, allowing ultraviolet light to convert oxygen to an extremely reactive form known as “singlet oxygen.” This singlet oxygen reacts with grime and grease to form water and carbon dioxide. In addition, titanium dioxide prevents water from beading. Consequently, rain that hits the window forms sheets of water and washes the dirt away. If all goes well, we won’t have to worry about

these leaves. The insects reared up, began to shake, and turned away from the cocaine, apparently showing greater intelligence than some humans. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are a class of natural toxins that plants use to wage chemical warfare against insects. With a few exceptions, they are not found in plants normally consumed by ­humans. That’s a good thing, because in a sufficiently high dose these compounds are toxic to the liver. Comfrey is one of the plants that contains pyrrolizidines

which he considered to be the most peaceful place he had ever visited. Why was Veronal active while barbituric acid had no effect? Because the two “ethyl” groupings (2-carbon fragments) that had been added to the molecule increased its fat solubility and facilitated its passage into the bloodstream through the tissues of the intestine. Actually, as far as inducing sleep went, Veronal worked a little too well. The effect was slow to wear off and people felt sleepy the day after taking it. This

doesn’t last forever either. The metal oxide particles that form the image, as well as the polyurethane binder that holds them in place on the polyester base, degrade with time. This decomposition may not matter that much because movies are now being transferred to DVDs. The molded polycarbonate that is encoded with the pits that reflect the laser reader’s light beam is very stable and will probably last a few hundred years. Today, with the flammability problem licked, children are allowed to

Download sample