Weird science facts, March 2 — March 8

In less than a week, I’ll have done a #weirdscifacts a day for a full year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the past week’s facts:

354. Mar 02: Physics Nobelist Shockley was troubled, and once attempted suicide with solo game of Russian roulette.

355. Mar 03: The gin-and-tonic laser! We’ve noted in previous facts that physicists like to do interesting things with booze — Glaser’s experiments with bubble chambers using beer, for instance.  Post by @oliviakoski!

356. Mar 04: Curse of the cubic! Lots of mathematicians who worked on polynomial equations met bad ends.

357. Mar 05: In 1919, radium was world’s most expensive substance at $3 million/ounce. The Curies, who discovered radium, took years and processed tons of raw ore to get a tenth of a gram of the substance.  It discuss the history briefly in this old post; with this in mind, it is not surprising that the substance ended up being so expensive! (via yesterday’s “Final Jeopardy”; I got it right!)

358. Mar 06: Have I mentioned yet that Brian May of “Queen” has a Ph.D in astrophysics? May was studying astrophysics before the band took off; in recent years, he went back to school and finished his degree!

359. Mar 07: Chemist Carl Scheele (1742-1786) likely died from his extensive exposure and taste testing of chemicals, including cyanide! Nobody is certain what exactly caused his death, but it was almost certainly due to experimentation.  He apparently was also aware of the risks, referring to his poor health as “the trouble of all apothecaries”.

360. Mar 08: When George Washington died in 1799, a doctor offered to resurrect him via blood transfusion! (via @history_geek’s newly-released book “Blood Work“!)

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8 Responses to Weird science facts, March 2 — March 8

  1. May is currently Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University. That’s even weirder than the astrophysics thing. 🙂

  2. Lowell says:

    Brian May is another piece of shining inspriation for all “us” non-hackers that didn’t go to (or finish) grad school! President of a university after only having his Ph.D. for less than 4 years? Think that might be connected with being a rock star…I do.

  3. Thony C. says:

    If I have calculated right (and I’m pretty good at counting on my fingers!) today is the day. Congratulations on a full year of weirdness 😉

  4. Sona says:

    #358 is fascinating – how did I miss hearing about that?

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