Joseph Rucker

More from Joseph Rucker

Making Gemstones

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.

No Ill Nature: The Surprising History and Science of Poison Ivy and Its Relatives

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.

A Blaze of Crimson Light: The Story of Neon

Neon is a dull and invisible gas until it’s trapped in a tube and zapped with electricity. Literally pulled out of thin air, it became a symbol of progress and an essential component of the electronic age.