uncle tungsten memories of a chemical boyhood

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Uncle Tungsten

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780804172158
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 48. 82 MB
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Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals–also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Wells, and the periodic table. In this endlessly charming and eloquent memoir, the author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings chronicles his love affair with science and the magnificently odd and sometimes harrowing childhood in which that love affair unfolded. In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. We follow the young Oliver as he is exiled at the age of six to a grim, sadistic boarding school to escape the London Blitz, and later watch as he sets about passionately reliving the exploits of his chemical heroes–in his own home laboratory. Uncle Tungsten is a crystalline view of a brilliant young mind springing to life, a story of growing up which is by turns elegiac, comic, and wistful, full of the electrifying joy of discovery.

Uncle Tungsten

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780307367815
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 38. 43 MB
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From the distinguished neurologist who is also one of the most remarkable storytellers of our time — an account of his youth, as unexpected and fascinating as his celebrated case histories. What first aroused Sacks’ boundless curiosity? In this wonderful memoir, he evokes, with warmth and wit, his childhood in wartime England. There was the large, scientifically minded family in which his very early fascination with meals was nurtured – particularly by “Uncle Tungsten.” There were his four years at the boarding school where he was sent at the outbreak of World War II to escape the bombings, and where, though he suffered extreme deprivation and cruelty, one can see the first gleam of his interest in the intellectual pursuits that would begin to shape him. And there was his return to London, an emotionally bereft 10-year-old who found solace in the secret garden of his passion for learning – about the nature of metals, gases and chemicals; about the hidden order of things outside himself. Uncle Tungsten radiates the magic, the delight and the wonder of the birth, in a young boy, of the unquenchable desire for knowledge. It is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary mind. From the Hardcover edition.

Uncle Tungsten

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780330537216
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 52. 19 MB
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‘If you did not think that gallium and iridium could move you, this superb book will change your mind’ The Times In Uncle Tungsten, Oliver Sacks evokes, with warmth and wit, his upbringing in wartime England. He tells of the large science-steeped family who fostered his early fascination with chemistry. There follow his years at boarding school where, though unhappy, he developed the intellectual curiosity that would shape his later life. And we hear of his return to London, an emotionally bereft ten-year-old who found solace in his passion for learning. Uncle Tungsten radiates all the delight and wonder of a boy’s adventures, and is an unforgettable portrait of an extraordinary young mind.

Gratitude

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780451492968
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 61. 27 MB
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“My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal

Roald Hoffmann On The Philosophy Art And Science Of Chemistry

Author : Roald Hoffmann
ISBN : 9780199755905
Genre : Art
File Size : 25. 26 MB
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"Roald Hoffmann's contributions to chemistry are well known; this Nobel laureate has published more than 500 articles and two books. As an "applied theoretical chemist," he has made significant contributions to our understanding of chemical bonding and reactivity, and taught two generations of chemists how to use molecular orbitals for real chemistry. Less well known, however, are Hoffmann's important and insightful contributions to the areas of scholarship surrounding chemistry. Over a career that spans nearly fifty years, Roald Hoffmann has thought and written copiously about the broader context of chemistry and its relationship to the arts and poetry. This book contains Hoffmann's essays and is organized around several major themes: chemical reasoning and explanation, writing and communicating in science, ethics, art and science, and chemical education. A few are unpublished lectures that are valuable additions to the volume. The editors have the full cooperation of Roald Hoffmann in this project. Most of the published work will be reprinted verbatim, but a few of the essays will be revised to eliminate redundancy. The unpublished lectures will also be edited since they were originally intended to be delivered orally at specific occasions. The editors will provide an introduction to the book, and some introductory material for each section. In introducing the material, they will highlight the intrinsic importance and interest of the ideas, as well as the places where Hoffmann's thought makes novel contributions to cognate areas"--

Cathedrals Of Science

Author : Patrick Coffey
ISBN : 9780199886548
Genre : Science
File Size : 48. 88 MB
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In Cathedrals of Science, Patrick Coffey describes how chemistry got its modern footing-how thirteen brilliant men and one woman struggled with the laws of the universe and with each other. They wanted to discover how the world worked, but they also wanted credit for making those discoveries, and their personalities often affected how that credit was assigned. Gilbert Lewis, for example, could be reclusive and resentful, and his enmity with Walther Nernst may have cost him the Nobel Prize; Irving Langmuir, gregarious and charming, "rediscovered" Lewis's theory of the chemical bond and received much of the credit for it. Langmuir's personality smoothed his path to the Nobel Prize over Lewis. Coffey deals with moral and societal issues as well. These same scientists were the first to be seen by their countries as military assets. Fritz Haber, dubbed the "father of chemical warfare," pioneered the use of poison gas in World War I-vividly described-and Glenn Seaborg and Harold Urey were leaders in World War II's Manhattan Project; Urey and Linus Pauling worked for nuclear disarmament after the war. Science was not always fair, and many were excluded. The Nazis pushed Jewish scientists like Haber from their posts in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was also a force in American chemistry, and few women were allowed in; Pauling, for example, used his influence to cut off the funding and block the publications of his rival, Dorothy Wrinch. Cathedrals of Science paints a colorful portrait of the building of modern chemistry from the late 19th to the mid-20th century.

On The Move

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780385352550
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 47. 69 MB
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When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report: “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life. With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways that the brain makes us human.

Strange Chemistry

Author : Steven Farmer
ISBN : 9781119265290
Genre : Science
File Size : 67. 75 MB
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This book opens the audience’s eyes to the extraordinary scientific secrets hiding in everyday objects. Helping readers increase chemistry knowledge in a fun and entertaining way, the book is perfect as a supplementary textbook or gift to curious professionals and novices. • Appeals to a modern audience of science lovers by discussing multiple examples of chemistry in everyday life • Addresses compounds that affect everyone in one way or another: poisons, pharmaceuticals, foods, and illicit drugs; thereby evoking a powerful emotional response which increases interest in the topic at hand • Focuses on edgy types of stories that chemists generally tend to avoid so as not to paint chemistry in a bad light; however, these are the stories that people find interesting • Provides detailed and sophisticated stories that increase the reader’s fundamental scientific knowledge • Discusses complex topics in an engaging and accessible manner, providing the “how” and “why” that takes readers deeper into the stories

Oaxaca Journal

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780307402165
Genre : Travel
File Size : 86. 14 MB
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"I have been an inveterate keeper of journals since I was 14 especially at times of adventure and crisis and travel. Here, for the first time, such a journal made its way to publication, not that much changed from the raw, handwritten journal that I kept during my fascinated 9 days in Oaxaca." Dr. Oliver Sacks Oliver Sacks is best known as an explorer of the human mind, a neurologist with a gift for the complex, insightful portrayals of people and their conditions that fuel the phenomenal success of his books. But he is also a card-carrying member of the American Fern Society, and since childhood has been fascinated by these primitive plants and their ability to survive and adapt. Now the bestselling author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat brings his ceaseless curiosity and eye for the wondrous to the province of Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca Journal is Sacks's spellbinding account of his trip with a group of fellow fern enthusiasts to the beautiful, history-steeped province of Oaxaca. Bringing together Sacks's passion for natural history and the richness of human culture with his penetrating curiosity and trammeling eye for detail, Oaxaca Journal is a captivating evocation of a places, its plants, its people and its myriad wonders.

Migraine

Author : Oliver Sacks
ISBN : 9780307834102
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 69. 12 MB
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The many manifestations of migraine can vary dramatically from one patient to another, even within the same patient at different times. Among the most compelling and perplexing of these symptoms are the strange visual hallucinations and distortions of space, time, and body image which migraineurs sometimes experience. Portrayals of these uncanny states have found their way into many works of art, from the heavenly visions of Hildegard von Bingen to Alice in Wonderland. Dr. Oliver Sacks argues that migraine cannot be understood simply as an illness, but must be viewed as a complex condition with a unique role to play in each individual's life.

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