A 15 Minute Trip Around the World via the Internet

Links From Around the Web:

  • Just in case you haven’t had enough World Cup coverage; I bring you historical World Cup coverage!
  • Did you even want Greek mythology explained through a Jerry Springer style reference? Well #2 on  this list is for you.
  • Interesting article on how Oil Boom Archaeology may be the latest major style of excavation for field archaeologists.
  • A video! 5 famous history stories deconstructed.  The video itself is interesting but the part that really made me laugh was the top grouping of comments.

Weekly Historical Book Review:

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

Let’s just cut through any suspense right off the bat; I absolutely loved this book and have already bought everything else Sam Kean has written.  Reviews for those will most likely show up here in the future.

The book itself tells the story and the history of the period table, element by element, predominantly through the biographies and anecdotes of those scientists who dedicated their lives (both directly and accidentally) to the discovery of the various elements which play such a key role in the constriction of every aspect of human life.

While this could have become a dry recital of ‘a scientist did something scientific and “ooh look, an element! Let’s put it in a table!”‘  it is (thankfully) anything but.  This is due, in part, to the amazing writing abilities of the author as well as his obvious interest in the subject. However, he is certainly helped along by the fact that may of those who were the innovative and groundbreaking scientists of the day were individuals who ranged across a spectrum which ranged from mildly eccentric all the way over to downright insane.  Whether this was simply the temperament needed to become a scientist in those earlier days or more of a by-product of the far laxer attitude to the handling of chemicals that existed back then doesn’t really matter.  It simply results in a group of individuals who are simultaneously academically inspiring and endlessly fascinating.

 

 

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