Theo Grey’s Mad Science
Unquestionably, essentially the most enjoyable factor I’ve labored on in my five-plus years at PopSci is the Grey Matter column. Practically each month since mid-2002, contributor Theo Grey has give you new methods to light up the world of elemental chemistry, usually by setting issues on hearth. However far out of your common YouTube-loitering pyromaniac, Grey combines sharp, full of life writing with a gifted professor’s knack for making the complicated easy. And he by no means fails to seek out an unique spin on an illustration: explaining the facility of fast evaporation by making ice cream with a fireplace extinguisher, or displaying how a self-heating soup can works by making a self-heating scorching tub, or illustrating the vitality locked up in bacon by constructing a steel-cutting bacon torch.
So I used to be thrilled when, final summer season, we realized that we have been lastly approaching the 50-column mark that we all the time stated would set off a ebook. And I used to be much more excited when Grey bought his writer (Black Canine and Leventhal) on the thought of increasing and redesigning all of the columns to higher showcase the beautiful pictures that too usually will get crowded with phrases and shrunk to postage-stamp measurement within the problem. We additionally added how-to steps for nearly each experiment, from making glass in a charcoal grill to shattering glass drops right into a billion items along with your finger.
The ebook, Theo Grey’s Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do at Dwelling however Most likely Shouldn’t, is full of issues that may truly maim you, in addition to initiatives you’d let elementary-school children do unsupervised, with crystal-clear warnings for every alongside the best way. I’m thrilled on the method it turned out. And when you don’t care what I feel, listed here are a few of the early blurbs from folks smarter than me:
“It is a fabulous ebook, and an actual training, too — a wonderful introduction to hands-on chemistry. Theo Grey brings us dozens of experiments in minute, clear, and loving element, and every one turns into a door onto the marvels of how chemical substances react. Whether or not he’s displaying us find out how to make desk salt from its violent components, or, in a quieter vein, to make one’s personal nylon thread or ‘lead’ pencils, Grey’s encyclopedic information and contagious enthusiasm transport us to deep mental realms, whereas by no means sacrificing a way of surprise and, above all, enjoyable.”
— Oliver Sacks, creator of Awakenings, Musicophilia, Uncle Tungsten, and lots of others
“I’ve spent 22 years working with Theo Grey on creating software program, seeing him discover easy methods to do the seemingly unattainable. You’re in for a deal with right here when he applies the identical creativity and perception to revealing the science of on a regular basis issues.”
— Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica® and creator of A New Type of Science
“What a powerful ebook. It’s attractive, playful, and attracts you in. Each single picture reveals not solely a deep love of science within the summary, but in addition a tinkerer’s love of the STUFF of science; the instruments and glass, the clay and metallic, and all of the issues that make science accessible to everybody.”
— Adam Savage, star of MythBusters
“What good is that this Nobel Prize round my neck if it doesn’t produce admiration for science writers similar to Theo Grey, whose skillful work helps convert younger college students into severe researchers.”
— Leon Lederman, winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics
“Theo’s Mad Science is destined to encourage and spark the imaginations of the subsequent era of makers, tinkerers, engineers and mad scientists!”
— Phillip Torrone, Senior Editor of Make journal
“Theodore Grey has attained a degree of close to superhuman geekery that the remainder of us can solely mutely admire.”
— Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope