Book Excerpt Tag Meme

I was preparing the photos for this week’s Ten Rupee Book Club post when I remembered that Dan was tagged with this meme, and I hadn’t done it yet. The Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and post a comment here once you post it to your blog so I can come see!

Now, having not just one but seven at hand posed something of a problem. They were all technically ‘nearest’ to me, and all but one of them had enough pages to satisfy criterion no. 2. None of the books had the same problem Maija encountered with Good Omens either, so I was stuck. Having to look through them for the book post anyway, I figured I’d do quotes from all seven books, subsituting a quote from page 12 rather than 123 from the one that was slim. Consider this a teaser for the whole post (which should be done by tomorrow). Here goes:

1. Our Friend the Atom

“Before Biologists had tracer-atoms it was difficult for them to study living organisms. To do this they had to kill their test animals, and test plants had to be cut up. With tracer-atoms they can now study the living body in action.”

(On tracer atoms and their uses in food science)

2. Paracelsus: Magic into Science

“One was the most balanced mind of his time, scrupulously weighing each word, the other a mystic, rash of judgement and fond of speculation. The one lived with books, the other considered life the only book of value. Necessarily their relations were cool.”

(On the differing characters of Erasmus and Paracelsus)

3. Penguin Science Survey 1965

(Unfortunately this is a table regarding a Orbiting Geophysical Observatory, but I’ll see what I can do)

“Stabilization and Attitude control

Weight (lb.): 138

Main body orientated towards earth and space.
Solar paddles point towards sun.
Inertial wheels, gas jets, horizon scanners and sun sensors.

4. Science: The Soviet Union, Today and Tomorrow

“Antitritium and Antihelium are substances of the anti-world, which existed only in science fiction until they were obtained with the help of the Serpukhov accelerator near Moscow. Georgi Flyorov’s laboratory is the birth place of elements 104, 105, 106 and 107 of the Mendeleyev Periodic Table, chemical elements unknown in nature. The list of such major scientific advances in the Soviet Union is a fairly long one.”

(This is from page 12 of the slim, mostly-pictures book)

5. Giants of Science

“Water is a compound of two gases, oxygen and hydrogen. This was too much to accept for the scientists of the day, one of whom said, “This arch magician so imposed on our credulity as to persuade us that water, the most powerful natural antiphlogistic we possess, is a compound of two gases, one of which surpasses all other substances in inflammability!”

(From the chapter on Antoine Laurent Lavoisier)

6. A New School Biology

“The achenes fall apart, and are dispersed by the action of the wind upon the awns. The fruit of many Compositae (a cypsela) bear an apical ring of fine hairs (the pappus) which enables them to be wind-dispersed. In the Dandelion a long pappus stalk develops as the fruit ripens, and this lifts the pappus above the top of the fruit.”

(From the Chapter, ‘Dispersal of Fruit and Seeds’)

7. The Experiment

“He imagined her lovely head dutifully bowed, as though praying, over a microscope, a long yellow lock of hair prettily swinging down beside the brass eyepiece, her impatient fingers combing the hair back, out of the way. He envisioned her as a shining Joan of Arc of science, unselfishly dedicated to a cause, tired to the bone but unflagging — stubbornly brave. He remembered the fair silken down on the slender nape of her neck and felt a sweet pang of lust mingled with pity.”

Come back soon for the next Ten Rupee Book Club post!