Shoe Store X-Ray Machine
I could be the girl looking through the eye pieces of this x-ray machine. It seems like only yesterday that with much excitement I looked through an X-ray machine exactly like the one shown in the photo. The machine was in the shoe department and it really did show an X-ray of my feet. What I saw were the bones in my toes wiggling around with a shadow of the edge of my shoes. My mom could look through the lenses on the opposite side of the machine to make sure the shoes were slightly too long. It was a time when kids generally had at most two pairs of shoes, one for church and one for school. Shoes were not required for play.
I loved that machine and often asked my mom to go to the shoe store just to let me look at my feet. No one was concerned about x-rays, not even my mother who like most moms of the time was terrified that I’d catch polio. My mom was convinced that playing in ditches after a rain could give me polio, but she happily allowed to inspect my feet in the x-ray machine while she shopped. It was Craig Nelson’s book, “The Age of Radiance” that brought the Shoe Store X-Ray Machine to my mind.
I wrote an experiment about scientist for kids. It is thrilling to discover so much more information about the lives and works of scientists I wrote about. Thanks Craig for spending the time to research and write such an enjoyable book.
The Age of Radiance is a must read for every science Geek like me.
The Age of Radiance is a must read for everyone else because they need to know the good as well as the bad about radiation.
I may have to cut the pages out of the book and put them in a three-ringed binder. This will allow me to add pages for all my notes. Maybe the publisher will create a binder with pages that have larger font size. My first impression of any book is negative if the font size and spacing is cramped. I even put off reading this book because I dislike reading small print. But, I was hooked after reading the first paragraph.
Again, Thanks Craig for writing “The Age of Radiance.”
The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Men and the award-winning biographer of Thomas Paine comes the first complete history of the Atomic Age, a brilliant, magisterial account of the men and women who uncovered the secrets of the nucleus, brought its power to America, and ignited the twentieth century.
When Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Edward Teller forged the science of radioactivity, they created a revolution that arced from the end of the nineteenth century, through the course of World War II and the Cold War of superpower brinksmanship, to our own twenty-first-century confrontation with the dangers of nuclear power and proliferation—a history of paradox, miracle, and nightmare. While nuclear science improves our everyday lives—from medicine to microwave technology—radiation’s invisible powers can trigger cancer and cellular mayhem. Writing with a biographer’s passion, Craig Nelson unlocks one of the great mysteries of the universe in a work that is tragic, triumphant, and above all, fascinating.
From the discovery of X-rays in the 1890s, through the birth of nuclear power in an abandoned Chicago football stadium, to the bomb builders of Los Alamos and the apocalyptic Dr. Strangelove era, Nelson illuminates a pageant of fascinating historical figures: Marie and Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Franklin Roosevelt, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Harry Truman, Curtis LeMay, John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. He reveals how brilliant Jewish scientists fleeing Hitler transformed America from a nation that created lightbulbs and telephones into one that split atoms; how the most grotesque weapon ever invented could realize Alfred Nobel’s lifelong dream of global peace; and how, in our time, emergency workers and low-level utility employees fought to contain run-amok nuclear reactors while wondering if they would live or die.
Radiance defies our common-sense views of nature, with its staggering amounts of energy flowing from seemingly inert rock and matter pulsing in half-lives that transforms into other states over the course of decades or in the blink of an eye. Radiation is as scary a word as cancer, but it’s the power that keeps our planet warm, as well as the force behind earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, and so organic to all life that even our own human bodies are radioactive. By tracing mankind’s complicated relationship with the dangerous energy it discovered and unleashed, Nelson reveals how atomic power and radiation are indivisible from our everyday lives.
Brilliantly told and masterfully crafted, The Age of Radiance provides a new understanding of a misunderstood epoch in history and restores to prominence the forgotten heroes and heroines who have changed all of our lives for better and for worse. It confirms Craig Nelson’s position as one of the most lively and skillful popular historians writing today.