Debunking with Chemistry and Humor in ‘Ingredients’

Book review: Ingredients: The Strange Chemistry of What We Put in Us and On Us, by George Zaidan (Amazon / Book Depository) George Zaidan, an MIT-trained chemist, calls himself a "science translator", so someone who helps make scientific concepts and literature more understandable for the layperson. This is a concept in popular science that I... Continue Reading →

Epidemiology in Tijuana: Drugs, Death, and Tracing an Epidemic

Book review: City of Omens, by Dan Werb (Amazon / Book Depository) Perhaps epidemiology could reveal the hidden structures lurking just beyond reach, like asbestos behind wallpaper. Those structures might manifest as cruel calamities - car crashes, murders, HIV infections - that at face value appear unrelated. If that were the case, these women were... Continue Reading →

For Love of the Library

Book review: A Library Miscellany, by Claire Cock-Starkey (Amazon / Book Depository) Without hesitation, I can say one of the things I love most is the library. The cover picture on this site is the Rose Reading Room at the New York Public Library, one of my favorite places to be. I've been attached to... Continue Reading →

Discovering The People Your Parents Were

Book review: My Dead Parents, by Anya Yurchyshyn (Amazon / Book Depository) As the title indicates, this memoir is a bluntly told examination of the lives of the author's dead parents, focused around her trying to understand them through the lens of discovered materials and interviews. Sentimentality and emotion figure in, but author Anya Yurchyshyn... Continue Reading →

Put Down the Perfume

Book review: The Case Against Fragrance, by Kate Grenville (Amazon) Australian novelist Kate Grenville had a problem. On book tours, she began suffering crippling headaches and other intense symptoms that she eventually deduced were connected to scents. She realized she was highly intolerant to artificial scents and fragranced products. Scent is certainly everywhere. Even if... Continue Reading →

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