Dr. Joe Schwarcz

  • National Bestseller
    From the #1 bestselling author - a cornucopia of mind-expanding insights into the science of the real world.
    Dr. Joe - as he is affectionately known to millions of readers, listeners, viewers, and students - brings his magic formula to Doubleday Canada with Brain Fuel.
    As with Dr. Joe's previous best-selling books, Brain Fuel informs and entertains on a wild assortment of science-based topics. But this is not "science trivia." If you are looking for serious scientific discussions, you'll find them here. If you are looking for practical consumer information, that's here too. If you are searching for ways to stimulate interest in science, look no further, Mom. And if you are simply wondering why the birth of Prince Leopold was so different from Queen Victoria's previous seven; or why an iron rod that went through a man's head is now on display in a museum in Boston; or why white chocolate has such a short shelf life; or why eggs terrified Alfred Hitchcock - and what all of this means for the rest of us, and why - then bingo.
    From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Outperforming the Market

    Dr. Joe Schwarcz

    The stock of a steel company rises 700% in just over a year. The currency of an emerging country plunges 50% in a week and wipes out billions of dollars from the accounts of North American investors. The margin deposit on a futures contract increases ten-fold in less than three months. These are just a few examples of some opportunities for gains and losses that financial markets can generate. Some investors have turned the gyrations of financial markets into fortunes -- a couple of high-profile names being Warren Buffett and John Maynard Keynes. Many other investors, unfortunately, end up like Isaac Newton, who after losing a bundle on the stock of the South Sea Company, exclaimed: "I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people." Outperform the Market presents a series of case studies that describe situations in financial markets where the opportunity for significant gains or losses has been present. The insights that emerge will help every investor -- whether beginner or experienced pro -- to better assess future financial possibilities. Using U.S., U.K., and Canadian financial markets, Larry MacDonald illustrates various investment approaches. Chapters include: Fundamental Analysis, Technical Analysis, Cyclical Stocks, Growth-by-Acquisition Stocks, Growth-by-Geography Stocks, Growth-by-Product Stocks, Turnaround Situations, Niche Companies, Short Selling, Market Cor- rections, Profitting from Economic Crises, and Opportunites in the Next Decade.

  • Where are we, three years into Ontario's Common Sense Revolution? Hospitals and schools are closing by the hundreds; thousands of nurses and teachers and other workers are jobless; schools are in chaos; pregnant welfare mothers have lost their nutrition allowance because the Premier thinks they'll spend it on beer; Toronto the megacity is collapsing under the weight of its own amalgamated administration; the Premier's last cultural experience was Mr. Silly; the rich are getting larger tax cuts while the province won't spring to bury the homeless; welfare recipients deserve to be fingerprinted, but motorists running red lights shouldn't have their pictures taken because it would violate their privacy.
    What can you do but laugh?
    That's the approach taken by Linwood Barclay, who's been skewering the current occupiers of Queen's Park in his Toronto Star column since they took office. His new book Mike Harris Made Me Eat My Dog comes just in time; it's an informed and viciously satirical look at the Ontario Tories, who've polarized public opinion unlike any other government in the province's history.
    Chapters include a look at the so-called Whiz Kids advising the Premier: ``There's Tiffany, age 6, whose political credo is `Mine! Mine!''' Find out what happens at a meeting of the Tory cabinet's book club. Learn how the homeless can help you get a big-screen tv, and discover 10 fun things to do, in your final moments, while waiting in the emergency room.
    This book will become increasingly relevant, and a much needed stress-reliever, as Ontario approaches its next election.

  • Bizarre sexual parables, hilarious science fiction, fables, text-tangles, dirty stories, lush love letters, re-visionary fairy tales, predictions,strange new games, dream transcripts, and a complete handbook of absurdist instructions, including one on the dangerous arts of pig-swallowing. With all the lyricism and wit which have made his columns in NOW magazine and his Dr. Poetry segments on CBC's Wordbeat so entertaining and provocative, this collection gathers for the first time the very best of Robert Priest's short prose. A fabulist in the tradition of Borges and Cortazar, he brings to these postcard pieces the same poignant, and twisted but brilliant sensibility which has made him one of the most entertaining and challenging poets of his generation.

  • Linus Pauling, one of the most celebrated scientists of the twentieth century, once remarked that satisfying curiosity is one of the greatest sources of pleasure in life. Dr. Joe and What You Didn't Know aims to act as both the source and satiation of such curiosity, providing pleasure through a series of 99 chemistry-related questions and answers designed to both inform and entertain. Ranging from the esoteric to the everyday, Dr. Joe Schwarcz tackles topics from Beethoven's connection to plumbing to why rotten eggs smell like rotten eggs.

    How did a sheep, a duck, and a rooster usher in the age of air travel? What jewelry metal is prohibited in some European countries? What does Miss Piggy have to do with the World Cup? And is there really any danger in eating green potatoes? Whimsical though these questions may be, their answers are revealed in an accessible scientific fashion.

    In addition to a few chuckles and some scientific savvy, Dr. Joe and What You Didn't Know provides the reader with sound practical advice. You'll learn how to prevent brown sugar from lumping and why thin French fries may be healthier than fat ones. The secrets behind windshield washer fluid and "carbonless" carbon paper are revealed. And if you didn't know how to remove a cockroach from your ear, Dr. Joe will give you some guidance. That advice alone might prove worth the price of the book.

  • Letterati

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    Letterati spans the history of competitive Scrabble in North America from the colourful hustlers of the 1960s New York game rooms, to the hard driving quantitative tile pushers who dominate the game today with strategic skills and memorized vocabularies. Yet, there is more to the history of Scrabble than just playing the game. There is a parallel plot line that revolves around many of the top players, who over the years have wanted to see the game develop through the outside sponsorship of tournaments, the unfettered publication of strategy books and the encouragement of a professional class of players. Along the way the reader will learn about how and why the Official Scrabble Dictionary was compiled, then expurgated in 1993, and now is sold to the public without such words as "jew" as a verb, blowjob, or fatso, while club and tournament players have their own word list, where some 200 such words are legal.

    The book also covers the obsession that Scrabble becomes for those who play seriously, traits that make a top player successful, how gender affects game play, and how teen players are able to rise above their limited educations and life experience to best their elders.

    There's also a look at the Scrabble trademark and how its so-called required protection by its owners has been used as a justification for prohibiting outside sponsorship of tournaments, the publication of strategy books and the growth of a professional class of players. At the same time, the book provides a glimpse of how the players' enthusiasm for the game has been harnessed so that they have de facto ended up working for free on the owner's PR plantation, publicizing tournaments, putting on promotional events, talking up the game, and sporting Scrabble geegaws, all unwittingly helping to sell ever more Scrabble sets.

  • How Linda Died

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    A husband's unflinching account of his wife's unravelling. How Linda Died is Frank Davey's powerful and painfully precise account of his wife's fight against an inoperable brain tumor. Linda's proud refusal to tell anyone about her deteriorating condition left Frank with few people to confide in. As Linda's mind fell victim to cancer, Frank took to recording his memories with increasingly compulsive and private intensity. He found himself reckoning with the demons of a past that Linda could no longer share and mourning the loss of a present she could no longer enjoy. At the same time, he found himself reflecting on the habits, rituals, and diversions that punctuated his life. How could he reconcile his passion for showing prize-winning Great Danes with Linda's debilitating illness? How could he talk about the great wines he loved or the fabulous coq au vin they had shared right after he talked about the clinical details of her approaching death or her bizarre behaviour?
    What makes this book so special - and in many ways so brilliantly odd - is the life-defining contrasts it records, often in a single breath. At once a shattering portrayal of a devastating disease and an obsessive record of one man's selfinterrogation amidst a welter of conflicting emotions, How Linda Died is a gripping memoir, beautiful in its morbidity and searing in its relentless refusal to sidestep the truth.

  • Hot on the heels of his previous bestsellers, award-winning author Dr. Joe Schwarcz's latest book, The Fly in the Ointment, doesn't disappoint. From pesticides and environmental estrogens to lipsticks and garlic, Dr. Joe is back to demystify the science that surrounds us. Why do some people drill holes in their heads for "enlightenment"? How did a small chemical error nearly convict the unfortunate Patricia Stallings for murdering her son? Where does the expression "take a bromide" come from? Schwarcz investigates aphrodisiacs, ddt, bottled water, vitamins, barbiturates, plastic wrap, and smoked meat. He puts worries about acrylamide, preservatives, and waxed fruit into perspective and unravels the mysteries of bulletproof vests, weight loss diets, and "mad honey." From the fanciful to the factual, Dr. Joe Schwarcz enlightens us all - no drills attached.

  • Interesting anecdotes and engaging tales make science fun, meaningful, and accessible. Separating sense from nonsense and fact from myth, these essays cover everything from the ups of helium to the downs of drain cleaners and provide answers to numerous mysteries, such as why bug juice is used to colour ice cream and how spies used secret inks. Mercury in teeth, arsenic in water, lead in the environment, and aspartame in food are discussed. Mythbusters include the fact that Edison did not invent the light bulb and that walking on hot coals does not require paranormal powers. The secret life of bagels is revealed, and airbags, beer, and soap yield their mysteries. These and many more surprising, educational, and entertaining commentaries show the relevance of science to everyday life.

  • Do you know if your waiter sings in the bathroom? Or if the lady who whipped up the icing on your cake wore false fingernails? When was the last time you microwaved your dishcloth? Is your orange juice pasteurized? In Let Them Eat Flax!, award-winning author Dr. Joe Schwarcz explains why these are more important questions than whether you eat fresh or farmed salmon, whether genetically modified foods should be labeled, or whether fruits and vegetables harbor traces of pesticides.

    In Let Them Eat Flax!, Dr. Joe Schwarcz continues his crusade against purveyors of poppycock as he investigates the surprising and sometimes sinister science of everyday food and life. What difference does an atom make? It could mean life or death! Get the lowdown on oxygenated water, the healing powers of prayer, and the health benefits of chocolate. Could there be a link between McGill University and Jack the Ripper? Find out how cinnamon helps to counter high cholesterol, and learn just how sweet sugar alternatives can be.

    In the tradition of Dr. Joe's five previous best-sellers, Let Them Eat Flax! fries scientific baloney with humour, wit, and information. From food poisoning to the secret of the Stradivarius violin, fertilizers to spontaneous human combustion, Dr. Joe investigates explosive subjects and delivers the unbiased, scientific facts readers need to make informed decisions in their everyday lives.

  • Everything you wanted to know about the direction of Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and Barton Fink. A terrified woman plunges a knife through the hand of her pursuer. A leftwing playwright turns to the woman in his bed, only to find a river of blood. A baby, abandoned in the middle of the highway, smiles happily. A professional killer stuffs his partner into a woodchipper while a pregnant cop pulls her gun. Welcome to the world of the Coen Brothers. With the smash success of Fargo (winner of two major Academy Awards), the filmmaking team of Joel and Ethan Coen finally received their deserved recognition. But well before that the two brothers were writing and directing terrific films - from the film-noir thriller Blood Simple, to the comedy Raising Arizona, to the gangster epic Miller's Crossing, to the bizarre Barton Fink. With each film they have surprised fans and critics alike, always refusing to repeat themselves or compromise their independence. Their upcoming George Clooney film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, due out in October 2000, is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. While still in their early twenties, Joel and Ethan Coen raised the money for their first film - by knocking on the doors of the wealthy in their native Minnesota. Starring an unknown actress named Frances McDormand (who would later become Joel's wife), it was an art-house hit and allowed the brothers to make Raising Arizona with Nicolas Cage and another Coen brothers discovery, Holly Hunter. But despite their high reputation, the brothers would not make another financially successful picture for years. Were their films just too offbeat and intellectual? And then came Fargo. Here is the story of how two middle-class Minnesota boys have come to write, shoot, and direct some of the most gruesome, exhilarating, and funny films of our time.

  • The joke? Toronto thinks it's the centre of some multicultural universe, always bragging about how people come from every part of the world to live there.

    The punch line? Some of them are coming to commit crimes.

    So yeah, Sharon MacDonald's got a problem.

    And no, it's not being trapped in her apartment, tethered to a court-ordered tracking device. It's not the guy who just fell 25 stories and through the roof of a car. Not the cops preventing her from getting to the grow rooms. It's not even the mystery man who shows up with a life-saving plan that just might work.

    Sharon's problem is Ray: he's too good-looking.

    Detective Gord Bergeron has problems too. Maybe it's his new partner, Ojibwa native Detective Armstrong. Or maybe it's the missing ten-year-old girl, or the unidentified torso dumped in an alley behind a motel, or what looks like corruption deep within the police force.

    Bergeron and Armstrong are two of the cops poking around Sharon MacDonald's place. They want to know whether the Arab-looking dead guy jumped, or if he was pushed. When it turns out he's got no ID, no one knows him, and a couple of the 9/11 terrorists once lived in the building, they dig deeper, trying to make connections all over the new Toronto, in the Asian massage parlours, the street-dealer-led housing projects, and the mafia-run private clubs.

    Or maybe they'll just stay close to Sharon. She knows what everybody knows. The whole world might be coming here, but this is nowhere.

  • Joe Schwarcz tells it like it is. Whether he's plumbing the mysteries of chicken soup or tracing the development of polyethylene, Schwarcz takes a little history, adds a dash of chemistry, and produces a gem of an essay every time. I wish he'd been my chemistry professor when I was in school. - Christine Gorman, senior writer, Time Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs really does "tell it like it is" in 67 short, entertaining, and informative pieces about chemistry in everyday life. Find out the latest about homeopathy and alternative medicine. Fill up on facts about soybeans, tomatoes, tea, ginseng, chicken soup, hot dogs, and the benefits of eating chalk. Explore the science behind Alice's strange adventures in Wonderland, Rumpole's deadly cheese soufflé, and Casanova's experiments with "Spanish Fly." Investigate the nefarious chemistry of the KGB, the colors of urine, and the mysteries of baldness. Find out how virgins can reduce anxiety and how Chinese Restaurant Syndrome may increase it. Learn how shampoos really work, and discover which cleaning agents must never be combined. Get rid of that skunk smell in a jiffy, and get a whiff of what's behind the act of passing gas. Take a painless glimpse into the discovery of anesthetics. Read about the ups and downs of underwear, the invention of gunpowder, zombies in Haiti, Van Gogh's brain, John Dillinger's chemical exploits, little Mikey's exploding stomach, and Dinshah Ghadiali's bizarre attempts to cure disease with colored lights. Even Houdini makes a magical appearance. Finally, discover the amazing links between radar, hula hoops, and playful pigs!
    "It is hard to believe that anybody could be drawn to such a 'dull and smelly' subject as chemistry until, that is, one picks up Joe Schwarcz's book and is reminded that with every breath and feeling one is experiencing chemistry. Schwarcz gets his chemistry right, and hooks his readers."
    - John C. Polanyi, Nobel Laureate
    "Dr. Schwarcz has written a book that has done three things which are difficult to do. First, the book is enormously enjoyable-it commands and holds your attention. Second, it explains science and scientific phenomena in a simple and yet accurate way. And third, it stimulates you to think logically and in so doing, it will lead to a scientifically literate reader who will not be so easily misled by those who wish to paint science and technology as being a danger to humankind and the world around us.
    - Michael Smith, Nobel Laureate

  • All-new stories told by the people who make Bond come to life. For Your Eyes Only: Behind the Scenes of the Bond Films is a rare tour of the world's most successful film series of all time. Explore the exciting world of James Bond through unprecedented access on the 007 sets and exclusive interviews with Bond's leading players, from Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, and Sean Connery, to the key directors, stunt and special effects wizards, to the legendary producers and writers, to old series favourites like "Q" and Miss Moneypenny. And, oh yes, the bevy of Bond girl beauties. Retracing the cultural and political impact of the Bond series, the book also features interviews with such luminaries as Hugh Hefner and CIA agent E. Howard Hunt discussing the Bond phenomenon. From literary beginnings, to international film sensation, to mid-'80s faltering, to the spectacular resurgence when Pierce Brosnan took over the infamous role, James Bond is now more popular - and a bigger box-office behemoth - than ever before. Tomorrow Never Dies - and neither does Bond ? James Bond.

  • The Genie in the Bottle makes science downright fun. Dr. Joe Schwarcz blends quirky anecdotes about everyday chemistry with engaging tales from the history of science. Get a different twist on licorice and travel to the dark side of the sun. Control stinky feet and bend spoons and minds. Learn about the latest on chocolate research, flax, ginkgo biloba, magnesium, and blueberries. Read about the ups of helium and the downs of drain cleaners. Find out why bug juice is used to colour ice cream, how spies used secret inks, and how acetone changed the course of history. It's all there! "Dr. Joe" also solves the mystery of the exploding shrimp and, finally, he lets us in on the secret of the genie in the bottle. The author's first book, Radar, Hula Hoops and Playful Pigs, was a 1999 best-seller in Canada. The author is a charismatic public speaker and notable crowd-pleaser. His fans call him "Dr. Joe" and he always brings humour, show-biz savvy, and magic to his work.

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