The Disappearing Spoon – Sam Kean

9413837This book is much more than a rambling, collection of stories,  facts and quirky science knowledge. It is a history of  adventure, betrayal, and obsession. The book follows every element on the periodic table and their parts in human history, and in the lives of the scientists who discovered them.
It had enough science in it to both keep scientifically minded person interested and not scare off the scientifically illiterate. A great read for a source of trivia and improving your knowledge of elements if you have no clue as to what the difference between copper or bronze is.
Its title comes from the lab prank of molding spoons out of Gallium, which is solid at room temperature, but melts at 28 degrees Celsius ( 84Fahrenheit for those crazy imperials). So when you give a gallium spoon to someone with their tea, it will melt as they stir it, man those scientists are a crazy bunch. It’s a book I think everyone should read (might help raise our poor education standard for STEM)

How the States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

How the States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

Boredom and Wikipedia can lead to long nights in front of the PC. Sometimes you can start looking into one subject and proceed to change subjects over the course of a few hours. Ah the Wikipedia wormhole trap. Needless to say one such adventure led me into trying to find why the US State borders are so weird. Much of the research kept referencing this book so I bought it.

This book solely is a reference for how each of the US States got its borders, which to some may sound quite boring but it can be an interesting tale

Naturally starting in alphabetical order we proceed through each of the states. Discussing the reasons for the peculiarities of its borders. For a non us citizen this was quite interesting but most US citizens probably take this info for granted.

Rivers, wars, treaties and charters, these reasons are far more interesting than the reasons behind Australia’s state borders probably because we only have a few of them

A great reference book good for brushing up on some trivia knowledge

If only my own countries state borders were as interesting