Subscribe to the OSS Weekly Newsletter!

History

Neil Armstrong and Coloured Trumpet Mouthpieces

20 Mar 2017

The helmet that Neil Armstrong wore when landing on the moon in 1969 and coloured trumpet mouthpieces are made of the same plastic, Lexan. In 1953 Daniel Fox at General Electric was looking for...

Chemistry at the Vatican

20 Mar 2017

The new Pope, Francis, we now learn, has a degree in Chemistry. He received a Master’s from the University of Buenos Aires.  It is interesting then to note that his selection was signaled through...

The Origins of Vitrol

20 Mar 2017

Sulphuric acid, which has the traditional name, “oil of vitriol.” It is a nasty, corrosive liquid, making “vitriolic” an apt term for virulent language. At first it may seem odd that the term ...

Would Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion have Passed an Emerald City Entrance Drug Test?

20 Mar 2017

Not if it tested for morphine, as long as we let L. Frank Baum get away with a little poetic license. In the 1939 movie classic The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West conjures up a poppy...

The Case of "Saltair Sally"

20 Mar 2017

In October 2000, while walking along the shores of the "Great Salt Lake" near Salt Lake City, two hunters made a gruesome discovery. In a plastic bag, they found a white sock, a shirt, a few bones...

Whales at a party?

20 Mar 2017

An 1861 Vanity Fair cartoon depicted whales celebrating at a party. Celebrating what, you may ask? The discovery of oil in Pennsylvania!

Why Black Hair Dye Became Popular in 1930s Detroit

20 Mar 2017

Well, because Henry Ford decided that younger men could work more productively on his automobile assembly line and so began to fire older workers and higher younger ones. This prompted some of the...

What is the link between diamond, graphite and buckyballs?

20 Mar 2017

They are all composed only of carbon. What determines the properties of any substance? Simple. The properties of any substance depend on the type and number of atoms they are composed of, and of...

X-Rays and Hair Removal

20 Mar 2017

In 1895 Wilhelm Roentgen made one of the most famous medical discoveries of all time when he noticed that a beam of electrons passing through a partially evacuated tube gave off invisible rays that...

Pages

Back to top