Brain Pickings

A Brief History of Alchemy, Pseudoscience & Transmutations, from Ancient China to Craig Venter


What Richard Nixon has to do with cinnabar and diamonds.

As if you need another reason to love Lapham’s Quarterly — after tracing the origins of famous words and mapping the history of robots in a matrix of creepiness vs. intelligence — here’s a Brain Pickings exclusive from the summer edition of the magazine, titled Magic Shows and exploring “all things magical, around the globe and throughout time” — a visual history of alchemy (and pseudoscience) through famous transmutations, real ones and shams, from cinnabar to gold in 133 B.C. China to artificial meat in the present-day Netherlands.

Find more articles from the Magic Shows issue online, or just treat yourself to the real deal by subscribing today.

Thanks, Michelle

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