[VIDEO]http://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Spoon-Madness-Periodic-Elements/dp/0316051640]Amazon.com: The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements (9780316051644): Sam Kean: Books[/VIDEO]
I'm 30 pages in and this book is awesome. Basically a nonstop narrative of hilarious/tragic/nerdy/poetic/astonishing science stories related to the elements and the periodic table.
For example, there are little dobs of mercury along the path treaded by Lewis and Clark in their famous expedition because they brought 600 pills of a Magical Health Elixir to be used as a laxative... composed entirely of mercury chloride.
Fun And Intrigue With The Periodic Table : NPR
In one story, a single element from the periodic table changed U.S. Senate candidate Stan Jones forever.
"Stan was a big believer that the Y2K virus was going to wipe out civilization," Kean says. "He was especially concerned that people wouldn't be able to find antibiotics. So he decided he was going to get his immune system ready for the apocalypse in 2000."
The Montana Libertarian began drinking liquid silver. He'd heard silver had antibacterial effects. It was so, Kean says, but there was a serious — or hilarious — side effect.
It turned him blue.
"Stan ended up with blue skin while he was running for the Senate," Kean says. It was permanent.
"He actually told a magazine once that if he had to go back, he'd do it again," Kean says. "He said it's more important to be healthy than to be blue."