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JCE ChemEd Xchange provides a place for sharing information and opinions. Currently, articles, blogs and reading lists from ChemEd X contributors are listed below. We plan to include other items that the community wishes to share through their contributions to ChemEd X.

Hal Harris's picture

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

Thu, 10/02/1997 - 02:00 -- Hal Harris

Generally speaking, if you skipped every book with the word "weird" in the title, you wouldn't be missing much. This is an exception. Michael Shermer teaches the history of science at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, California and, as Editor of Skeptic Magazine, is a prominent and eloquent proponent of the skeptical viewpoint.

Hal Harris's picture

The Dead Zone

Wed, 10/01/1997 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Did you know that the so-called "Spanish" influenza epidemic of 1918 killed more Americans in three months than the number who died in the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War - combined? Most people don't.

Hal Harris's picture

The Limelight

Mon, 09/01/1997 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

Heat a ball of lime in a hydrogen-oxygen flame, and what do you get? Limelight! This very intense light source was used for lighting plays (hence the modern usage of the word), but it also was the source for the record distance, for a time, over which man-made light was observed.

Hal Harris's picture

Catalyst, a Novel

Fri, 08/01/1997 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

It's not too late to do some recreational reading this summer. "Catalyst" is an enjoyable, light read, especially for chemists. How often do you find a novel that includes catalysis, NMR, mass spectrometry, TLC, some scientific misconduct, and a little sex?

Hal Harris's picture

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

Wed, 04/02/1997 - 01:00 -- Hal Harris

The "river" to which Dawkins refers in the title of this little (172 page) book is the river of digital genetic information that connects us to our human ancestors and to the rest of life on our planet. I find this metaphor to be an extremely provocative one, and I suspect that it would appeal to many of our computer-addicted students.

Hal Harris's picture

When Hazy Skies are Rising

Tue, 04/01/1997 - 00:00 -- Hal Harris

If you have students looking for an interesting science project, the May Scientific American has a nice one. A sun photometer can be used to determine the amount of haze in the atmosphere, and this article describes one that can be built in a couple of hours for less than $20 (although you also need to have a voltmeter).

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