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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.

 

Keeping it Fresh: Preservatives and The Poison Squad

Cynthia Graber, Nicola Twilley and Deborah Blum Gastropod
Harvey Washington Wiley, a do-gooder farm boy who trained as chemist, worried that preservatives might be harming the public. The trials' shocking results led to the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and eventually to the creation of the FDA.

Chemists Orchestrate the Molecular Union of Two Single Atoms

Sophia Chen Wired
Imagine an atom as a tiny nucleus immersed in a giant diffuse cloud that is its electrons. When two atoms get close together, each one’s electron cloud pushes the other’s around, and sometimes the two atoms start to behave as a molecule. But experts still can’t describe this process in detail.

Friday Nite Videos | September 8, 2017

Portside
The Racist Eugenics Roots of Anti-Immigrant Policy. Steely Dan | Do It Again. Antifa: Antagonists of the Alt-Right. The Mastermind Behind Trump's Travel Ban. How Coffee Affects Your Brain.

Even Avogadro Didn’t Know Avogadro’s Number

Rhett Allain Wired
Avogadro's number is sort of like a bridge. It bridges chemistry and atomic physics. In chemistry we measure bulk properties like mass, pressure, volume, temperature. However, when we consider these things from an atomic perspective we look at individual atoms and the momentum, velocity of these particles. Avogadro's number connects these two ideas and allows us to explore atomic-level things by measuring macroscopic level quantities. It’s a big deal.
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