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The Rock Candy Recipe

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My father-in-law is a chemical engineer working at a large pharmaceutical company. Last month, I wandered around the facilities as part of Family Day. Because cameras were prohibited, my only keepsake is the recipe for rock candy, which we were given in a lab devoted to growing crystals. I will now pass along that recipe to you.

You will need:

1) 21 ounces of sucrose (table sugar)
2) 8 ounces of tap water
3) a pot, beaker or saucepan
4) a candy thermometer
5) a spoon
6) a stove
7) glass jar or drinking glass
8) an adult to help*

Recipe:

Add the sugar and water to the pot and stir with a spoon until wet but not dissolved. Heat the solution and stir constantly until the solution measures 170 degrees Fahrenheit with the candy thermometer. Do not stir with the thermometer -- it is fragile. Remove the solution from the heat and continue to stir until the temperature reaches 125 degrees. Pour the hot (!) solution into the glass jar or drinking glass and cool to room temperature. If you want to, add a few drops of your favorite color of food coloring to the solution. Seal or close the container.

You should see some crystals after 2-3 days and if you wait one week, you should see really big crystals! You can grow more and even larger crystals if you punch holes in the top of the container and let the water slowly evaporate -- this can take several weeks.

If you want to grow crystals on a wooden stick or piece of string, soak the string or stick (a toothpick works well) in water and roll in sugar. Allow to dry. Follow the instructions above to the point where the solution is at room temperature. Now place the stick or string into the solution. Once the crystals have grown, remove the stick and allow to dry. This is called a seeding experiment, and this is how rock candy on a stick is made.

Another option:

If you don't have a candy thermometer or faith in your ability to not burn yourself, buy rock candy here, in bulk.

* There is no shame in making this yourself if you are an adult. It's tasty and rewarding.

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science
6 Radiant Facts About Irène Joliot-Curie
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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Though her accomplishments are often overshadowed by those of her parents, the elder daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie was a brilliant researcher in her own right.

1. SHE WAS BORN TO, AND FOR, GREATNESS.

A black and white photo of Irene and Marie Curie in the laboratory in 1925.
Irène and Marie in the laboratory, 1925.
Wellcome Images, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 4.0

Irène’s birth in Paris in 1897 launched what would become a world-changing scientific dynasty. A restless Marie rejoined her loving husband in the laboratory shortly after the baby’s arrival. Over the next 10 years, the Curies discovered radium and polonium, founded the science of radioactivity, welcomed a second daughter, Eve, and won a Nobel Prize in Physics. The Curies expected their daughters to excel in their education and their work. And excel they did; by 1925, Irène had a doctorate in chemistry and was working in her mother’s laboratory.

2. HER PARENTS' MARRIAGE WAS A MODEL FOR HER OWN.

Like her mother, Irène fell in love in the lab—both with her work and with another scientist. Frédéric Joliot joined the Curie team as an assistant. He and Irène quickly bonded over shared interests in sports, the arts, and human rights. The two began collaborating on research and soon married, equitably combining their names and signing their work Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie.

3. SHE AND HER HUSBAND WERE AN UNSTOPPABLE PAIR.

Black and white photo of Irène and Fréderic Joliot-Curie working side by side in their laboratory.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Their passion for exploration drove them ever onward into exciting new territory. A decade of experimentation yielded advances in several disciplines. They learned how the thyroid gland absorbs radioiodine and how the body metabolizes radioactive phosphates. They found ways to coax radioactive isotopes from ordinarily non-radioactive materials—a discovery that would eventually enable both nuclear power and atomic weaponry, and one that earned them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.

4. THEY FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE.

The humanist principles that initially drew Irène and Frédéric together only deepened as they grew older. Both were proud members of the Socialist Party and the Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes (Vigilance Committee of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals). They took great pains to keep atomic research out of Nazi hands, sealing and hiding their research as Germany occupied their country, Irène also served as undersecretary of state for scientific research of the Popular Front government.

5. SHE WAS NOT CONTENT WITH THE STATUS QUO.

Irène eventually scaled back her time in the lab to raise her children Hélène and Pierre. But she never slowed down, nor did she stop fighting for equality and freedom for all. Especially active in women’s rights groups, she became a member of the Comité National de l'Union des Femmes Françaises and the World Peace Council.

6. SHE WORKED HERSELF TO DEATH.

Irène’s extraordinary life was a mirror of her mother’s. Tragically, her death was, too. Years of watching radiation poisoning and cancer taking their toll on Marie never dissuaded Irène from her work. In 1956, dying of leukemia, she entered the Curie Hospital, where she followed her mother’s luminous footsteps into the great beyond.

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Live Smarter
You Can Now Order Food Through Facebook
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iStock

After a bit of controversy over its way of aggregating news feeds and some questionable content censoring policies, it’s nice to have Facebook roll out a feature everyone can agree on: allowing you to order food without leaving the social media site.

According to a press release, Facebook says that the company decided to begin offering food delivery options after realizing that many of its users come to the social media hub to rate and discuss local eateries. Rather than hop from Facebook to the restaurant or a delivery service, you’ll be able to stay within the app and select from a menu of food choices. Just click “Order Food” from the Explore menu on a desktop interface or under the “More” option on Android or iOS devices. There, you’ll be presented with options that will accept takeout or delivery orders, as well as businesses participating with services like Delivery.com or EatStreet.

If you need to sign up and create an account with Delivery.com or Jimmy John’s, for example, you can do that without leaving Facebook. The feature is expected to be available nationally, effective immediately.

[h/t Forbes]

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