Quicksilver

A History of the Use, Lore and Effects of Mercury

Author: Richard M. Swiderski

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786451963

Category: Social Science

Page: 310

View: 8285

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Though modern scientists recognize mercury as a harmful environmental pollutant and one of the world’s most dangerous elemental toxins, mercury was once considered a wondrous substance capable of eradicating internal disease, revolutionizing the paint and cosmetics industries and even entertaining the masses as part of amateur magic tricks and witch doctor scams. This work traces the history of mercury in popular culture, beginning in the early eighteenth century when Dr. Thomas Dover, nicknamed “Dr. Quicksilver,” began prescribing doses of raw mercury to clear out intestinal blockages and rid the body of syphilis and other diseases. The author then details the role of mercury in several medical, industrial, and cultural applications. In the fields of dentistry and vaccination, mercury continues to be used as a preservative and amalgamative agent. In the cosmetics industry, mercury was once used as a popular “skin lightener” in soaps and skin creams. In the early development of obstetrics and gynecology, mercury was once used to stimulate conception and fetal abortion. Many more uses of mercury, along with many more, are outlined in the work, while several appendices provide translations of rare works which reference mercury.
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Brotherhood of the Bomb

The Tangled Lives and Loyalties of Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller

Author: Gregg Herken

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1466851554

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 464

View: 3299

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The fascinating story of the men who founded the nuclear age, fully told for the first time The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller-the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. How did science-and its practitioners-enlisted in the service of the state during the Second World War, become a slave to its patron during the Cold War? The story of these three men, builders of the bombs, is fundamentally about loyalty-to country, to science, and to each other-and about the wrenching choices that had to be made when these allegiances came into conflict. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents. Brotherhood of the Bomb is a vital slice of American history told authoritatively-and grippingly-for the first time.
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Dean Acheson

A Life in the Cold War

Author: Robert Beisner

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019538248X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 800

View: 7346

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Dean Acheson was one of the most influential Secretaries of State in U.S. history, presiding over American foreign policy during a pivotal era - the decade after World War II when the American Century slipped into high gear. During his vastly influential career, Acheson spearheaded the greatest foreign policy achievements in modern times, ranging from the Marshall Plan to the establishment of NATO. Now, in this monumental biography, Robert L. Beisner paints an indelible portrait of one of the key figures of the last half-century. In a book filled with insight based on research in government archives, memoirs, letters, and diaries, Beisner illuminates Acheson's policy-making, describing how he led the state department and managed his relationship with Truman, all to illuminate the vital policies he initiated in his years at State. The book examines Acheson's major triumphs, including the highly underrated achievement of converting West Germany and Japan from mortal enemiesto prized allies, and does not shy away from examining his missteps. But underlying all his actions, Beisner shows, was a tough-minded determination to outmatch the strength of the Soviet bloc - indeed, to defeat the Soviet Union at every turn. The emotional center of the book focuses on Acheson's friendship with Truman. No pair seemed so poorly matched - one, a bourbon-drinking mid-Westerner with a homespun disposition, the other, a mustachioed Connecticut dandy who preferred perfect martinis - yet no such team ever worked better together. Acheson's unstinting dedication to an often unpopular president was reciprocated with deep gratitude and loyalty. Together, they redrew the map of the post-war world. Over six foot tall, with steel blue, "merry, searching eyes" and a "wolfish" grin, Dean Acheson was an unforgettable character - intellectually brilliant, always debonair, and tough as tempered steel. This lustrous portrait of an immensely accomplished and colorful life is the epitome of the biographer's art.
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Beyond Human

Living with Robots and Cyborgs

Author: Gregory Benford,Elisabeth Malartre

Publisher: Forge Books

ISBN: 1429936207

Category: Computers

Page: 272

View: 5600

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Concepts once purely fiction -- robots, cyborg parts, artificial intelligences -- are becoming part of everyday reality. Soon robots will be everywhere, performing surgery, exploring hazardous places, making rescues, fighting fires, handling heavy goods. After a decade or two, they will be as unremarkable as the computer screen is now in offices, airports or restaurants. Cyborgs will be less obvious. These additions to the human body are interior now, as rebuilt joints, elbows and hearts. Soon we will cross the line between repair and augmentation, probably first in sports medicine, then spreading to everyone who wants to make a body perform better, last longer, than it ordinarily could. Controversy will arise, but it will not stop the desire to live longer and be stronger than we are. Gregory Benford and Elisabeth Malartre's Beyond Human treats the landscape of human self-change and robotic development as poles of the same general phenomenon. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
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