Cover of: The fly in the ointment | Joseph A. Schwarcz

The fly in the ointment

70 fascinating commentaries on the science of everyday life

Published by ECW Press in Toronto .
Written in English.

About the Book

This entertaining examination of everyday science from the fanciful to the factual covers topics ranging from pesticides and environmental estrogens to lipsticks and garlic. Readers are alerted to the shenanigans of quacks and are offered glimpses into the fascinating history of science. The science of aphrodisiacs, DDT, bottled waters, vitamins, barbiturates, plastic wraps, and smoked meat is investigated. Worries about acrylamide, preservatives, and waxed fruits are put into perspective, and the mysteries of bulletproof vests, weight loss diets, green-haired Swedes, laughing gas, and “mad honey” are unraveled. Even those with very little knowledge of science will come away informed and delighted at those humorous and accessible explanations.

Table of Contents

Lies, damned lies, and statistics
Framed, wild, or canned?
DDT: A double-edged sword
Feeding the hungry
Say "cheese"
The teflon scare
Weeding out the pesticide myths
Paralysis through analysis
Bottle or tap?
Waxing lyrical about fruit wax
The challenge of menopause
Carpets and chemical sensitivities
Adventures in the health food store
The mystery of Alzheimer's disease
Going through a phase
Russian spies and sick turkeys
The strange case of the stinky man
High on protein
Mad honey
When sugar isn't so sweet
Sugar-free kisses
For the love of broccoli
I'm a bread and propionates man
Put garlic where?
Dietary supplements: to take or not to take?
What's in a vitamin name?
Toxic e-mail
Natural or synthetic?
Count your way to good health.
Wondrous tricks and bad smells
Sex and scents
From "yuck" to "yum"
Nibbling on glass
Bad science, bad justice
Santa's mushrooms
There's no viagra in niagara
The wonders of polyester
Pay dirt!
A galling tale of vitriol and murder
The right alchemy: Harry Potter and Nicolas Flamel
The Swedish blonds who turned green
Saving lives with Kevlar
Kiss and makeup
Hard-water woes
Look at those cow chips fly!
Frenzied males and virgin females
Munching on a chemist.
It started with a bang
Taking the fuzzy out of fizz
Take a bromide!
Clam down
A poison eater who just said, "no"
You're feeling sle-e-e-epy
Molecules and mirrors
The lunatics
Heady times at the bakery
Newton and Mercury
Frog legs and a giant leap
Animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Horror film
Absinthe makes the tart grow fonder
Pain isn't a laughing matter.
Plain baloney
A hole in the head: screwy science
The quirks of quartz
The sad story of a little angel
coral calcium on the brain
Dead water and living quackery
Great movie, junk science
Bursting the oxygen bubble.

Edition Notes

Includes index.

Popular works., Miscellanea.


Library of Congress
Q173 .S38 2004

The Physical Object

297 p. :
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive

Download ebook for print-disabled Download Protected DAISY

Prefer the physical book? Check nearby libraries with:

Buy this book

Better World Books $4.48 (used)


Download catalog record: RDF / JSON / OPDS
July 15, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
June 18, 2019 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
November 12, 2018 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
April 24, 2010 Edited by Open Library Bot Fixed duplicate goodreads IDs.
September 21, 2008 Created by ImportBot Initial record created, from Western Washington University MARC record.