Part of the reason why radium snake-oil products proliferated in the years after Marie Curie and her husband first isolated the element is that the Curies refused to patent the process and, in fact, shared it with the world, writes Jamie Gallagher at Chemistry World.
On the plus side, this meant that a natural element was (theoretically) available to anyone. On the downside: The aforementioned snake oil boom and an accompanying increase in the value of radium — to the point that the Curies, themselves, were eventually unable to afford to buy any. Then came the crowdfunding campaign.
The radium phenomenon had changed the world, but the style of Marie’s life had changed very little until a chance question during an interview with the leading US journalist Marie Mattingly Meloney: ‘If you had the whole world to choose from, what would you take?’ Her dream sounded simple: ‘I need a gram of radium to continue my researches, but I cannot buy it. Radium is too dear for me.’ In the years since its isolation, the price of a single gram of radium had risen to $100,000. Marie had been left unable to carry on her work, incapable of purchasing the smallest amount of her element.
But the American public warmed to Marie – for her dedication to science; her quest for knowledge and her unstoppable resolve in the face of sexism. Soon a national campaign was underway. Before too long the money was found and Marie was on a boat to America.
Image: Some Rights Reserved by Marshall Astor
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]