Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Poisoners Handbook

From Improbable Research:

Wild about thallium, not about head wax
From the short essay “Periodic Craziness“, about Deborah Blum’s probably-unique attempt to get her son to enjoy chemistry:
I say. “Tl, that’s thallium. Incredibly cool poison. Almost perfect if you wanted to kill someone. Except for one thing. Guess what that is?”

Silence. Minor eye roll. My son knows I’m going to tell him anyway. “It makes your hair fall out,” I explain. “Back in the 1930s, they used to put it into depilatory creams, you know, that women used to get rid of their mustaches and all. But pretty soon those women would be sick and then they’d go completely bald.”...MORE