Sunday, 18 October 2009

Molecules With Silly or Unusual Names

How can't you like a book with details of the chemical structure and properties of Arsole, Moronic Acid, Titanic Chloride or...hell, why not, Bastadin.

It's smallish, cheapish, funny, and actually very informative. Perfect as a present for the chemist (or even better, wannabe chemist) in your life, and even gives an insight into some of the historical and linguistic roots behind the usually obscure molecules involved. Geologists don't get left out either...

Molecules With Silly Or Unusual Names
Paul W May
Imperial College Press

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Diseases of Canaries

Right you lot, rant time. There's particular books that belong on any self-respecting science bookshelf. Given the amount of money that book companies of any description spend on ephemera and ghost-writing I think I'm entirely justified in spending a little bit of somebody else's money on an important book, even if nobody ever buys the thing. This one does gather dust, but I make a particular point of making sure it's dusted and uncreased and that none of the nasty big copies of Solomon's Biology are leaning too hard against it.

It's an odd little number ; just a specialist title on the various disorders afflicting avians of the Canary type whilst held in extended captivity, but the situation of the author is the important point.

This is the book the "Birdman of Alcatraz" wrote. An enormous achievement of a mind focussing on one small part of the Universe for a long time. It's an important book and it's going to stay on the shelf, nice and fresh, even if nobody buys it.

Diseases Of Canaries
Robert Stroud
Oxford University Press (Print On Demand)
ISBN: 9781406795394