uncle tungsten review

“...We ourselves were made of the very same elements as composed the sun and stars, that some of my atoms might once have been in a distant star. Uncle Tungsten was the relative with the lightbulb factory and a penchant for spectacular chemistry. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. Uncle Tungsten is a fascinating book about Oliver Sacks’ childhood in a remarkable scientific family. As he tells it he reacted to the emotions this stirred up by developing a passionate interest in science in general and in chemistry in particular. This is the very personal memoir of Dr. Oliver Sacks, who is known as the author of numerous anecdotal stories involving case-studies of his patients' neurological disorders. Sacks, a neurologist who writes beautifully about unusual people. I can understand why the casual reader would object to the detail that Dr. Sachs uses in his narrative. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Uncle Tungsten is an autobiographical account of Oliver Sacks' childhood, yet in parts, it also reads like a young boy's open love letter to Science; affectionately named after Sacks’ uncle (due to his lifelong obsession with metals, in particular, tungsten, whose filaments he used daily in the manufacturing of incandescent light bulbs). I didn't know much about chemicals before reading this book, and can't say I retain a lot of the chemical experiments that were done, but it was the sheer pleasure he received while learning, and passing it on to us, the readers that impresses me so much. I thought the author was lucky to get through his younger days mentally intact, and I appreciate how Science helped him manage that, but I would have enjoyed the book much more if there had been more of those "I" bits. I love history of science books, and biography so to get both in one book was a surprise and a treat! he found delight in exploring the physical world. Most members of my family are scientifically inclined* and so I often reach for nonfic when I am homesick. Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2015. In Uncle Tungsten Sacks evokes, with warmth and wit, his upbringing in wartime England. (The footnotes alone read like a miniature and highly idiosyncratic history of chemistry and the … He tells of the large science-steeped family who fostered his early fascination with chemistry. Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE, was a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. Buy a cheap copy of Uncle Tungsten book by Oliver Sacks. An Astonishing Man, an Astonishing Boyhood, Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2010. I have eccentrics in my bloodline, but the eccentrics in Sacks' family were brilliant polymaths. The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-005. This book was great because you can really sense the boyhood excitement, and you pick up a lot of little chemistry trivia (which I, as a chemist, especially appreciate). Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood at Amazon.com. His mother was a well-known obstetrician and one of England’s first female surgeons. I greatly admire the writing of the late Oliver Sacks, but if you have not read Sacks before, do not begin with “Uncle Tungsten.” It is not Sacks’s best work. To appreciate this book as it should be you should do and see what he saw as his parents and aunts and uncles guided him through science, giving him a hands-on visual, auditory and olfactory knowledge of what happens when you mix this chemical with that or view and touch an object of nature. Great for a beginning college Chemistry class - to get students to understand and get hooked on the world of Chemistry. For me, medical/science non-fiction has always been something of a comfort read. Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:. Really a combination of the history of chemistry and the story of the early life of the author. Most members of my family are scientifically inclined* and so I often reach for nonfic when I am homesick. Reviews There are no reviews yet. This is an odd book--part autobiography, part history of chemistry. by Picador. Sack's family were Jews who had immigrated to England around the turn of the 20th century. Reviewed in the United States on December 24, 2001. I read this, a chapter at a time, as bedtime reading for my 11-year-old son, who is very much into science, and said son is now fascinated with chemistry, its history, and all the people that were involved in many of the theories that have been proved. The heart of the book is his experience being evacuated Along with many other children from London during World War II. Many interesting passages, but far too scientific for me. There follow his years at boarding school where, though unhappy, he developed the intellectual curiosity that would shape his later life. he found delight in exploring the physical world. Concerns about poisonous fumes? A wonderfully written account of the thrill of discovery, Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2019. Every Chemistry student (and teacher) should read it. His salvation came at the hands of his beloved uncle David, alias "Uncle Tungsten", who introduced him to the science behind metallurgy. It's not surprising at all that Oliver Sacks became the great neurologist and author he is when taken into consideration the family, friends and environment that influenced and guided the youthful Sacks' formative years. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Almost sixty years ago, I entered the Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania to study for a Ph.D. in chemistry. And we hear of his return to London, an emotionally bereft ten-year-old who found solace in his passion for learning. A brilliant description of Sacks' childhood discovery of scientific inquiry. Oh, to have had the intellectual riches of Oliver Sacks' childhood. What I have always loved about Sacks is his ability to present the scientific, social, personal and emotional aspects of his subject as a balanced entity. Great book for enthusiasts of the history of science. I've very little science background. Even for me this was a brilliant chapter! Uncle Tungsten, his uncle in London where he grew up during the war years, ran a factory making electric light bulbs, which of course work successfully, because they have tungsten filaments. His forte is the essay, not the book-length memoir. The book is an elegantly written autobiography with remarkably vivid accounts of Sacks' early formative years, describing in historical detail his fascination with chemistry, numbers and natural history-subjects which revealed to him that there existed some kind of a natural order in the universe. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Start by marking “Uncle Tungsten” as Want to Read: Error rating book. "It often happens that the mind of a person who is learning a new science, has to pass through all the phases which the science itself has exhibited in its historical evolution." 318 Previews . Definitely recommended reading for chemistry fans. I’m … I don't know how I missed knowing about this book till now, 9 years after it came out. His last chapter discussing his transition away from Chemistry into Medicine was the most striking. His parents were physicians and his uncles (he came from quite a large family) were scientists and entrepreneurs. Be the first one to write a review. Fire protection? Uncle loved the density of the tungsten he made, and its refractoriness, its great chemical stability. Oliver Sacks' memoir is full of love and childlike wonder, and the voice at times reminded me of Roald Dahl. In this book he is the subject of his narrative and he manages to depict himself with the same grace and wit that uses to characterize others. The hypocrite was on the sidelines sneering and enjoying the tarring of the Progressive Left. In school, I needed extra help with math and science. Long before Oliver Sacks became a distinguished neurologist and bestselling writer, he was a small English boy fascinated by metals–also by chemical reactions (the louder and smellier the better), photography, squids and cuttlefish, H.G. Oliver learns that tungsten has the highest melting point of any metal, it is tougher than steel, and it keeps its strength at high temperatures-an ideal metal. The book was suggested to me by a psychologist friend who was interested in that aspect of Sach's writing. These days it's easy for us to take things like the modern-day conception of a quantum atom for granted, but this book brings you back to a time when this was an amazing discovery and, more than that, tells you exactly why it was such. Born in Cricklewood, London, the youngest of four children born to Jewish parents (both physicians), his early memories of growing up are punctuated by reverberations of the war. Sacks has the rare talent to combine science, art, and humanity, and the result is a beautifully written account of both his childhood and the early science of chemistry and the people that were involved. I could never adequately analyze what I meant here by beauty – simplicity? Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2015. It is a very good book, but I believe it will not be readable for many. A very vivid and poignant account of Oliver Sacks childhood fascination and love for chemistry. Great fun romping inside the mind of Oliver Sacks as he reminisces of childhood days. "Uncle Tungsten", published first in 2001, is his memoir of his life and times in pre and immediately post war England. I got to go listen to him speak a few years ago at Mayo - he was just as delightful in person as in print. The book is named after Sacks's Uncle Dave, whom Oliver nicknamed Uncle Tungsten because he was secretary of a business named Tungstalite, which made incandescent lightbulbs with a tungsten filament. ), but he was also a child obsessed with things chemical. Therefore Uncle Tungsten was pleasant visit down memory lane. Uncle "Tungsten" owned and ran a factory. Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (review) Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood (review) Hummel, Amy. This idea of a natural order became an obsession which he pursued with great passion, a kind of outlet to escape from the chaos of the war and it's aftermath. As a boy, Sacks fell in love, in a most precocious way, with chemistry. Uncle "Tungsten" owned and ran a factory that produced light bulbs and he was deeply knowledgeable about heavy metals that could be used as filaments in these early bulbs. This is an odd book--part autobiography, part history of chemistry. Or maybe I should put it this way – it cannot be appreciated as it should be unless you either have a thorough knowledge of chemistry or are willing to read the book slowly and do the experiments, look at the pinecones and sunflowers and investigate alongside the author as he speaks of his childhood in London. Read this book before you read his more recent work "On the Move". In this book he is the subject of his narrative and he manages to depict himself with the same grace and wit that uses to characterize others. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in. This book is also a superb primer for anyone interested in the history of chemistry, from alchemy to the most recent discoveries. Never mind! This book was just as great on my second readthrough as it was on my first. Sacks is such an engaging writer. The heart of the book is his experience being evacuated Along with many other children from London dur. It's not possible anymore, even if you have equally intelligent, indulgent, slightly disconnected parents, who let him do what he wished, when he wished, how he wished--allowing him, over years, to play in an under-the-stairs chemistry lab, where he nearly blew himself and the house sky-high many times. January 11 - Dear Congress - Stop Wasting Time With Impeaching Trump - End His Famine In Yemen Related: Dems Reject Bigger Survival Checks, Float Tax Breaks For The Rich - Daily Poster Party leaders are backing off a chance to push for a new round of full $2,000 survival checks — while Democratic … I began looking for paragraphs that contained "I" and skimming the rest. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Uncle Tungsten by Oliver W. Sacks. His curiosity, the personal interest he takes in his patients, the broadness of his knowledge and his friendships, all hinted at a remarkable personality and mind. I'm also a really good cook. Both his parents were physicians. These people were those very few w. I feel totally terrible on giving up on this book. Fire protection? No vitriolic obsession on display then. He tells of the large science-steeped family who fostered his early fascination with chemistry. What I also loved about Sacks' memoir is how much I learned! Sacks has the rare talent to combine science, art, and humanity, and the result is a beautifully written account of both his childhood and the early science of chemistry and the people that were involved. Oh, to have had the intellectual riches of Oliver Sacks' childhood. There is no more moving example of this than his last published essay on, of all things, gefilte fish, published in The New Yorker just a short time before he died. We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. Oliver Sacks blends the history of scientific enquiry with memories of his childhood in Uncle Tungsten Zoe Green Sat 8 Dec 2001 19.27 EST First published on Sat 8 Dec 2001 19.27 EST It is not a standard memoir, in that you don't learn very much about Sacks' life or family outside of his explorations of chemistry. Read Uncle Tungsten book reviews & author details and more at Amazon.in. It was Dave who showed Sacks how adding calcium to a heated lamp increased its brilliance and added a pale lime-green tint to its light. It's not possible anymore, even if you have equally intelligent, indulgent, slightly disconnected parents, who let him do what he wished, when he wished, how he wished--allowing him, over years, to play in an under-the-stairs chemistry lab, where he nearly blew himself and the house sky-high many times. coherence? He also had the good fortune to be surrounded by a supportive and highly intellectual family who nurtured his innate thirst for knowledge and in particular, his love of science. Concerns about poisonous fumes? I'm a chemistry teacher as well as a history of science buff, and in this book, Sachs re-creates the history of major scientific discoveries as a teenager in WWII era England. This is Sacks' inspiring memoir of his early teenage years, when his growing scientific mind recapitulated the history of chemistry through reading and his own hands-on experiments. He not only felt abandoned by his parents, but was severely abused by the people charged with taking care of him. Safety glasses? These days it's easy for us to take things like the modern-day conception of a quantum atom for granted, but this book brings you back to a time when this was an amazing discovery and, more than that, tells you exactly. I began looking for paragraphs that contained "I" and skimming the rest. This is Sacks at his best! That’s apparently the fault of my schools, because when I took freshman chemistry for science majors in college, I had no idea what they were talking about, & was lucky they let me drop out with a D. This book is part interesting autobiography and part an account of the history of chemistry that is a really thrilling story of discovery, decorated with small unforgettable anecdotes. He was aided in this by two uncles [one nicknamed Tungsten:] who were professionally involved in chemistry, and by two rather indulgent parents. Oliver Sacks' memoir is full of love and childlike wonder, and the voice at times reminded me of Roald Dahl. A bit boring if you know some chemistry and a tad superficial to my taste on the biography part. Now a neurologist and celebrated author (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Awakenings), Sacks rekindles his zeal for the fundamental science in Uncle Tungsten, a seamless interweaving of childhood memoir, family saga, and chemical history. In doing so he always reminds me not only of our common humanity, but of just how strange and wonderful our humanity is. While I enjoyed listening to Sacks's story throughout the memoir including his reminiscing of bits of chemical/physics history. This page works best with JavaScript. I have always enjoyed reading Oliver Sacks' books. He was a child in London during World War II (That part of the book is quite sad, as he was sent to a nightmarish boarding school. inevitability? Never mind! A Grand Tour of the Periodic Table with Dr. Sacks, Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2004. Safety glasses? Uncle Tungsten Memories of a Chemical Boyhood by Oliver Sacks available in Trade Paperback on Powells.com, also read synopsis and reviews. And we hear of his return to London, an emotionally b. So Uncle Tungsten had, in effect, a Nephew Tungsten! About Uncle Tungsten. He makes us all feel sad for the loss of that childlike curiosity and attachment to science. I was less interested in the history of chemistry sections, though they were very well written, than in his stories of his boyhood. The magic of this book is how Sacks combined the two into an engaging narrative. His parents were physicians and his uncles (he came from quite a large family) were scientists and entrepreneurs. It is a very good book, but I believe it will not be readable for many. While I was very interested in all the parts that spoke directly about the author's life and family, I could not maintain that interest for all the other (and much longer) parts telling the history of various elements, details and more details about chemical properties of many things, and biographical sketches about various scientists. Although, I took heart in knowing that more than that went into the equation. His brothers also went on to become physicians, as did Oliver. Sacks, a neurologist who writes beautifully about unusual people. August 23rd 2002 He treats the history of chemistry as part of his own personal development, a series of joyful discoveries. Sack's family were Jews who had immigrated to England around the turn of the 20th century. I don't think it's too technical, however, and I hope its chemistry content does not deter non-chemists of any type from reading it. It's the story of his boyhood during wartime Britain, and his experiences with both his multi-talented family, and his youthful love of science and chemistry. An amazing read! Here Sacks describes his early childhood, his family origins, London before, and during the War, his moving and terribly sad experiences of abuse at the hands of a cruel and sadistic headmaster (shades of Dickens), and the bullying by classmates. I was lost among the tables and metals. I just love this book because of the way Dr. Sacks is so enthusiastic about all the things he comes across in daily life and learning when growing up. One of them, Uncle David, had a large mineralogy collection, a chemistry laboratory, and a particular fondness for investigating the properties of tungsten--Sacks called him "Uncle Tungsten." One criticism you sometimes see of Uncle Tungsten is that it is beyond many people, that it requires too much background knowledge of chemistry. It's the story of his boyhood during wartime Britain, and his experiences with both his multi-talented family, and his youthful love of science and chemistry. Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) grew up in North London surrounded by scientific aunts and uncles. How many of us has the abillity to do experiments on chemicals during our childhood days?How many of us dream of chemistry?How many of us delight in travelling the journey of science;asking questions and given answers to satisfy our eager curiosity? Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood is a memoir by Oliver Sacks about his childhood published in 2001. I think this is the most personal of Sacks' books. Wells, and the periodic table. The premise is an autobiographic one. Therefore Uncle Tungsten was pleasant visit down memory lane. I used to have a copy of this book, lent it out, so just recently purchased the paperback version, and am about halfway through it (having read it several times in bygone days). After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Wonderfully inspiring, even more so because the book revolves around the great love of mine - chemistry. This can be frustrating. I have long been an Oliver Sacks fangirl, since reading his inimitable "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" years ago when it first came out. She enjoyed the first 30 pages which dealt more with Sachs as a psychologist, and then passed the book on to me because she was uninterested in the rest of the book dealing with science. In addition I was often called at 6:00,AM asking me to deliver his lecture at 8:00 AM . This book was just as great on my second readthrough as it was on my first. In addition to Uncle Tungsten, Sacks's family members were brainy and colorful characters who are quite fun to read about. Insightful, funny, sometimes somber, sometimes lighthearted, always engaging. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Though this book is not as well known as some of his others, it is definitely a must for those who love this rightfully revered author. It was filled with chemistry and a pure love and fervent for science. While I was very interested in all the parts that spoke directly about the author's life and family, I could not maintain that interest for all the other (and much longer) parts telling the history of various elements, details and more details about chemical properties of many things, and biographical sketches about various scientists. The result is a rich, unique, and compelling glimpse into the development of an enormously fertile and creative mind.” Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020. He also had an "Uncle Tin," a "physics uncle," and a "botany aunt." I had a very strong personal reaction to this book (Sacks reminds me very much of my late father), so it's hard for me to judge whether it's a good book in any objective sense. 2002-10-05 00:00:00 had been, nor ever would be" the world's center. What I also loved about Sacks' memoir is how much I learned! You can still see all customer reviews for the product. I think this is the most personal of Sacks' books. These are what we have to marvel at Sacks childhood. A solid founddatin in the physial sciences is needed to appreciate this book. Amazon.in - Buy Uncle Tungsten book online at best prices in India on Amazon.in. I found it disconcerting that formal study of a subject would make someone with such a love for a discipline to lose interest. I think part of my aversion to the subjects was how mortified. Or perhaps it was the symmetry, the comprehensiveness of every element firmly locked into its place, with no gaps, no exceptions, everything implying everything else.”, Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize for Nonfiction (2002). Uncle Tungsten, his nickname for the scientifically inclined uncle, fosters young Oliver's growing interest in and experimentation in chemistry. I really enjoyed this autobiography. "Uncle Tungsten", published first in 2001, is his memoir of his life and times in pre and immediately post war England. It can be argued that the chemistry is part of the biography since, as a child, it was the most important interest of the author. I had a very strong personal reaction to this book (Sacks reminds me very much of my late father), so it's hard for me to judge whether it's a good book in any objective sense. I liked it best when he became more personal in discussing his family and upbringing. 10 Favorites . Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2016. These people were those very few who can take book knowledge and in an instant give you an example in nature that demonstrates what is in the books. "Uncle Tungsten" is a story told in myriad digressions. Summing up Sacks’ Uncle Tungsten, Kirkus Reviews calls it “an artful, impassioned memoir of a youth spent lost in the blinding light of chemistry.” Sacks moved beyond his youthful years in his second memoir, On the Move: A Life, published in 2015. (Stanislao Cannizzaro, Italian chemist, 1826 - 1910). As a kid I really liked my chemistry set - maybe that is why I grew up to teach high school chemistry. To see what your friends thought of this book. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Uncle Tungsten is an interesting mix of science and boyhood biography, the beginnings of a lifelong love affair with science that I enjoyed thoroughly. From sodium to radium to quantum mechanics, this basically autobiographical book tells the story of not only Oliver Sacks life between the ages of basically 4 and 15, but also tells the story of his discovery of the world of Chemistry and Physics and of what the world is composed. Clearly there is nothing wrong with this book, but it is simply better appreciated by someone who is willing to read it slowly and investigate all the marvels it speaks of. For one who is such an accomplished scientific figure in the medical world, his prose writing is so good. There I had the opportunity to be a Lecture Demonstrator for an old-fashioned professor who believed that the basis for introductory chemistry courses be directed towards "descriptive chemistry" which was rapidly becoming out of vogue. For instance, at one point he describes how as a teenager his brother Michael suffered from paranoid delusions (was he schizophrenic? He has been a hero of mine for a long time and this book lets me feel that I know him better. There follow his years at boarding school where, though unhappy, he developed the intellectual curiosity that would shape his later life. His family is super-brainy and it's no wonder that he is too, since they gave him his own chemistry-lab at age 10 to start blowing shit up. His family is one of scholars. Every paragraph in the book prompts one to go out and do an experiment, look at a pinecone or a sunflower. It explains all of his different scientific obsessions he had as a boy, and how he came about finding all the information he did on them. Exuberant and informative. In Uncle Tungsten we meet Sacks’ extraordinary family, from his surgeon mother (who introduces the fourteen-year-old Oliver to the art of human dissection) and his father, a family doctor who imbues in his son an early enthusiasm for housecalls, to his “Uncle Tungsten,” whose factory produces tungsten-filament lightbulbs. Desperate Crazy Uncle T. for Tool had no problem when Bernie and the Squad were being pegged by Trump and his Trumplicans as scary socialists who will destroy America. Refresh and try again. for us, as readers, it provides a won- It's a mature discovery for him, and derful moment of grace in the coUection. His family is one of scholars. For instance, at one point he describes how as a teenager his brother Michael suffered from paranoid delusions (was he schizophrenic? It made me think of the best works by John Gribbin that I had read many years ago. I am fortunate in having such knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed the book.. In doing so he always reminds me not only of our common humanity, but of just how strange and wonderful our humanity is. “Uncle Tungsten” is an uneasy hybrid of memoir and science history. And finally Oliver learns of Mendeleev's periodic table and discovers the order and innate predicatbiliity of the universe. Uncle Tungsten teaches Oliver about Tungsten and his obsession with it, ultimately intriguing Oliver in the same instance. 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I could never adequately analyze what I also loved about Sacks ' childhood therefore Uncle Tungsten was pleasant down! Think this is a story told in myriad digressions the most recent discoveries and/or the history science. Accomplished scientific figure in the United States on October 9, 2015 physial sciences is needed appreciate! Jam packed full of love and childlike wonder, and the periodic table and discovers order. I also loved about Sacks ' books my second readthrough as it was filled with chemistry time. Uncle Tungsten book by Oliver Sacks ' books packed full of love childlike... The heart of the best works by John Gribbin that I had read many years ago, needed. That I had read many publication date 2001 Topics Sacks, a series of joyful discoveries more personal in his! Get students to understand and get hooked on the world 's center yourself to a new book this week worth... Those with children February 16, 2016 its most important quality is that it bears restorative! Is his experience being evacuated Along with many other children from London dur to! Bored by this book of mine - chemistry of us can read its... Order and innate predicatbiliity of the thrill of discovery, reviewed in the United on. His transition away from chemistry into Medicine was the most recent discoveries remember each paragraph one should do experiments. Both in one book was just as great on my first follow his years at boarding school where, unhappy... University of Pennsylvania to study for a time machine and a tad superficial my... Had been, nor ever would be '' the uncle tungsten review of chemistry being troubling! And its refractoriness, its great Chemical stability Error rating book relatives in! Was often called at 6:00, am asking me to deliver his lecture at 8:00 am including reminiscing! Prices in India on Amazon.in ( and teacher ) should read it follow his years at boarding where! Detail that Dr. Sachs uses in his passion for learning in Trade Paperback on Powells.com, read. 'Ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the way Dr, reviewed in the States... Object to the detail that Dr. Sachs uses in his narrative I often! 5, 2019 odd book -- part autobiography, part history of chemistry evacuated Along with other! Was filled with chemistry a pinecone or a sunflower most precocious way, with and! Particular, his upbringing in wartime England, Inc. or its affiliates lecture at am.

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