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The Genie In The Bottle: 68 All New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life [Paperback]

Dr. Joe Schwarcz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.95
Price: CDN$ 12.24 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

May 1 2001
The Genie in the Bottle makes science downright fun. Dr. Joe Schwarcz blends quirky anecdotes about everyday chemistry with engaging tales from the history of science. Get a different twist on licorice and travel to the dark side of the sun. Control stinky feet and bend spoons and minds. Learn about the latest on chocolate research, flax, ginkgo biloba, magnesium, and blueberries. Read about the ups of helium and the downs of drain cleaners. Find out why bug juice is used to color ice cream, how spies used secret inks, and how acetone changed the course of history. It's all there! "Dr. Joe" also solves the mystery of the exploding shrimp and, finally, he lets us in on the secret of the genie in the bottle.

Frequently Bought Together

The Genie In The Bottle: 68 All New Commentaries on the Fascinating Chemistry of Everyday Life + An Apple A Day + Dr. Joe's Brain Sparks: 179 Inspiring and Enlightening Inquiries into the Science of Everyday Life
Price For All Three: CDN$ 40.86

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Review

“Schwarcz takes a little history, adds a dash of chemistry and produces a gem.”
--Time

“Joe Schwarcz is to everyday chemistry what Stephen Jay Gould is to evolution.”
--Dr. James P. Snyder, director of Biostructural Research, Chemistry Department, Emory University

“Joe Schwarcz’s magic is in convincing us that there is verve and value in real chemistry.”
--Roald Hoffmann, Nobel laureate

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

Let "Dr. Joe" heal what ails ya The Genie in the Bottle makes science downright fun. Dr. Joe Schwarcz blends quirky anecdotes about everyday chemistry with engaging tales from the history of science. Get a different twist on licorice and travel to the dark side of the sun. Control stinky feet and bend spoons and minds. Learn about the latest on chocolate research, flax, ginkgo biloba, magnesium, and blueberries. Read about the ups of helium and the downs of drain cleaners. Find out why bug juice is used to colour ice cream, how spies used secret inks, and how acetone changed the course of history. It's all there! "Dr. Joe" also solves the mystery of the exploding shrimp and, finally, he lets us in on the secret of the genie in the bottle. The author's first book, Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs, was a 1999 best-seller inada. The author is a charismatic public speaker and notable crowd-pleaser. His fans call him "Dr. Joe" and he always brings humour, show-biz savvy, and magic to his work.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Chemicals do good to! March 24 2002
By CJ
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in knowing a little more about chemicals and their place in the world. Through his stories, Schwarcz explains how chemicals are used in our everyday lives and how very often they are given a "negative impact" as not being natural. He shows how media and others have made chemicals appear to always be bad yet at the same time these agencies neglect the overwhelming good of chemistry! This book is not about bashing media but rather to inform the reader of the global story and the truth about many of the so-called "toxins" in our world. It is a truly interesting book that is light hearted in its style so that it will please both the scientist as well as the non-scientist!
Finally, if you ever get to see "The Magic of Chemistry" or take "The World of Chemistry" course at McGill ... they are also highly recommended!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! Jan. 20 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of the best popular science books I have ever read, and the best chemistry book. Dr Schwarz explains numerous chemistry topics amidst a background of truly interesting stories. I recommend this book to everyone with any interest in science.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genie in a Bottle by Scwarcz June 17 2004
By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book demonstrates how seemingly impractical ideas made it
into implementation in the areas of organic and inorganic
chemistry. At first, silly puddy was deemed an impractical
idea with very little commercial application outside the
laboratory. It turned out to be a multi-million dollar idea.
Baking soda was not seen as a practical idea initially, although
most homes have it today. The concept of drinking urine to
heal arthritis was deemed to be bizarre; however, there is
some scientific validity to the concept according to the author.
Arthritis may be relieved by keeping raisins in gin for 9 days.
GLA, primrose oil and chicken cartilage are all helpful
complementary strategies to controlling arthritis. Vaseline
oil was not seen as a great idea initially. Its inventor,
Robert Chesebrough created an enduring legacy with the product.
Chlorinated drinking water saved millions from bacterial diseases. This work describes many of the most promising inventions and processes in chemistry. It would be a perfect
reference for a student project. The book is a good value for the price charged. Its contents could make great conversation
at any dinner table.
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chemicals do good to! March 24 2002
By CJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for anyone interested in knowing a little more about chemicals and their place in the world. Through his stories, Schwarcz explains how chemicals are used in our everyday lives and how very often they are given a "negative impact" as not being natural. He shows how media and others have made chemicals appear to always be bad yet at the same time these agencies neglect the overwhelming good of chemistry! This book is not about bashing media but rather to inform the reader of the global story and the truth about many of the so-called "toxins" in our world. It is a truly interesting book that is light hearted in its style so that it will please both the scientist as well as the non-scientist!
Finally, if you ever get to see "The Magic of Chemistry" or take "The World of Chemistry" course at McGill ... they are also highly recommended!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brief but enjoyable walk through Chemistry Jan. 29 2006
By CKE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here is a book for everyone who has a natural scientific curiosity - a well-written and entertaining look at the chemistry of everyday life. Dr. Schwarz has taken Chemistry, food and magic tricks and rolled them all together in order to create an entertaining read.

To name just a few of the topics covered.

While cooking peas- how can you make them more GREEN - and why does it work

The chemical benefits of flax seed oil

Why magicians can NOT bend things with thought power alone.

The history of Mercury poisoning

Why things are "hot" to taste and how this can be used against bugs

As you can see the list of topics is both broad and entertaining. Amazingly, Dr. Schwarz does not get us caught up in very in-depth chemical equations/reactions. This is book written for someone with scientific curiosity not necessary a Masters in Science!

I definitely recommend "The Genie in the Bottle" - and I also give it as an endorsement to be used as bed time stories to your children, for it is these types of short essays on chemistry that may spark the love of the sciences in your child!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice to know April 22 2007
By J. de Berchoux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book contains more than five dozen articles each describing some chemical substance, how it was discovered and how it became useful. All interesting and many clearly explained. Each piece of knowledge, however, is encased long texts straining to be funny. Any trick, preferably cute, is acceptable if it seems it will make the reader smile. Thus, chapters with titles such as "Oil You Need to Know" or "Willow Power", little anecdotes, references to famous names, closely or not associated with subject at hand. So much extraneous material weighs heavily on the final text. If the reader is patient and has little else to do, this may the book, if he is also interested in chemistry.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating stories on everyday chemistry March 1 2006
By Peter M. Lum - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is not a typical chemistry book. Dr. Schwarcz has several interesing stories such at the background of Thalidomide and the origin of the term "snake oil". About half the book is on food and health related topics. It's a fast read and should be interesting to anyone interested in science, health or history. The Dr. has his own radio show on science so the topics are designed to entertain a wide audience. The commentaries are short and make sense in any order. I liked is so much I'm planning on reading one of Dr. Schwarcz's other collections of commentaries.
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