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
After years of speculation and wrangling over his remains, Kennewick Man turns out to be closely related to contemporary, local Native Americans after all. Discovered near Kennewick, Wash., in 1996, the skeleton ended up in a tug of war between tribes in the pacific northwest who wanted to bury the remains, and scientists who wanted […]
Our solar system is awesome.
The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, has been releasing portions of its research to the public for years. This week’s massive 300 terabyte dump of Large Hadron Collider (LHC) data is the biggest yet by a long shot — and it’s all out there, open source, free for the exploration.
You may not love Microsoft Word, but you’ve definitely used it. Other than being one of the most ubiquitous programs on the planet, it’s been the go-to word processing system for more than a quarter-century because it’s as basic as it gets. But occasionally, you’ve got assignments that beg for a lot more options than simple […]
Almost everyone has their smartphone in a case of one kind or another. Beyond simple protection, finding a case that can charge your phone on its own, but doesn’t feel like it’s also adding a couple pounds to the phone’s weight is the tricky part. Billed as the world’s thinnest battery case, the ThinCharge iPhone […]
You never know when new projects, ideas or opportunities can drop into your lap at a moment’s notice. That may require you to learn a new programming language like Python. Or maybe you need a primer on 3D game development. Or you might realize you could use a serious brush-up on iOS mobile creation.Point is, […]