The Disappearing Spoon

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Rigil Kent (January 31, 2013, 09:34:11 AM):
It can't be all to easy taking an ostensibly humdrum yet potentially intimidating theme - say, the Periodic Table of the Elements - and turning it into an unexpectedly good read. But the young Sam Kean pulls it off beautifully. The Disappearing Spoon tells the story behind virtually every element, and the quirky scientists behind it. It colours in the gaps between the somewhat desiccated facts we learned at school with very bright crayons. It has a bit of everything: humour, suspense, envy, scandal and isotopes. If you enjoy chemistry - or the world around you in general - this book is sure to have a special place on your shelf. I rate it fluorine out of neon.

http://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Spoon-Madness-Periodic-Elements/dp/0316051632

Rigil
BoogieMonster (January 31, 2013, 10:56:14 AM):
There's a pretty cool youtube channel called "Periodic Table of Videos" that explores the elements in turn.

For instance: In an episode on Gold they managed to get into a London bank vault containing bullion.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL7A1F4CF36C085DE1
Rigil Kent (February 01, 2013, 10:09:44 AM):

There's a pretty cool youtube channel called "Periodic Table of Videos" that explores the elements in turn.
Nice - just watched the hydrogen installment! When my kid comes back from school, I'm getting out the steel wool, pool acid and a balloon... :)
Mefiante (February 01, 2013, 12:31:07 PM):
… I'm getting out the steel wool, pool acid…
Aluminium foil also works — perhaps better because aluminium is more reactive with hydrochloric than iron.

'Luthon64
brianvds (February 01, 2013, 13:45:38 PM):
Will pool acid be concentrated enough though? How about sulphuric acid, if you use battery acid that can be bought at a hardware store? I have been thinking of showing the kids at the school where I work this, but I don't want to buy expensive chemicals unnecessarily.

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