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Hal Harris's picture

Digital Diffraction

Mon, 04/01/1996 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

I've always thought that optical transforms were a great model for the determination of crystal structures using X-ray diffraction, and I've used the ICE (Institute for Chemical Education) kit for this exercise many times.

Hal Harris's picture

James Dewar, His Flask and Other Achievements

Fri, 03/01/1996 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

The Dewar flasks that we use for storage of cryogenic fluids such as liquid nitrogen, oxygen, and helium, and which known outside the laboratory as "thermos bottles" were invented by James Dewar, who was the first person to liquefy hydrogen, and was nearly first in the nineteenth century races to liquefy all of the other gases.

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The National Science Education Standards

Thu, 02/01/1996 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Well, the final version of the National Science Education Standards has finally arrived. If you are involved in curriculum planning for your school or district, or if you want to study the document in detail, you can buy a copy for $19.95 + 4.00 shipping from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Lockbox 285, Washington DC 20055 [1-800-624-6242].

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Silent Sperm

Wed, 01/03/1996 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

In the novel "The Children of Men" by P. D. James, set in the year 2021, mankind is faced with extinction due to the worldwide sterility of human males. Is there a basis for fear that this is actually happening? Or is the reported decline in sperm counts, over the past half-century, even a fact?

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The Gravel Page

Mon, 01/01/1996 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

The forensic sciences have received a great deal of attention lately, partly as a result of the OJ trial, but in this lengthy piece, the fine writer, John McPhee, writes about the far less-familiar field of forensic geology.

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Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology

Fri, 12/01/1995 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

In Culver City, California, David Wilson operates The Museum of Jurassic Technology. There, the visitor learns that the breath of a duck will cure children of fungal infections of the mouth, and that bedwetting is curable by "eating a mouse on toast, fur and all".

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Wed, 11/01/1995 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

Edward O. Wilson is the world's most recognized expert on ants. In "Naturalist", his autobiography, he traces his personal and professional history from childhood in Alabama, where an accident destroyed one of his eyes, to Professorship at Harvard, and international recognition. Wilson also became an extremely controversial figure with the publication of "Sociobiology" in the 1970's.