* both the title of an H.G. Wells novel and a description of the subject of today’s post.
As we reach for the salt, we might spare a thought for Paul Sabatier; he died on this date in 1941. An organic chemist, he was instrumental in creating the process of hydrogenation, which allowed the development of margarine, hydrogenated oil, and synthetic methanol– two of the three of which frequently figure into the preparation and consumption of popcorn. Sabatier’s work earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1912.