Friday, March 13, 2009

Yet Another Happy Birthday to...And a Book About....

yet another Pennsylvanian (albeit a transplant) Joseph Priestly (born March 13, 1733) who made his home in Northumberland, PA from 1794 until his death in 1804.

His is one of those vaguely familiar names that you kind of feel you should know but don't.

It turns out that Joseph Priestley is best remembered for his pioneering work in chemistry and in particular for the discovery of oxygen. But he was also a prolific theologian ( he founded Unitarianism), an innovative educator, and a liberal political philosopher. His inner circle included Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

You can go visit the Joseph Priestly House in Northumberland and learn more about him on Wikipedia.

And if that's not enough (and why should it be?) my favorite creative non-fiction writer
Steven Johnson (author of The Ghost Map) has just published a book called The Invention of Air : A Story of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America. Check out the video of him talking about his book below.

(Miss Bun thinks Mr. Johnson is rather cute!)

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