How hard can it be to make a gemstone? Plenty hard. People have been trying for almost 2,000 years, but success finally beckoned in 19th-century France.
Do you think of poison ivy as a scurrilous weed to be avoided at all costs? Think again! There was a time when the daring and curious found promise in poison ivy and its rash-inducing relatives.
Neon is a dull and invisible gas until it’s trapped in a tube and zapped with electricity. Literally pulled out of thin air, neon became the bright light of the modern world, a symbol of progress, and an essential component of the electronic age.