This blog is my attempt to reconnect with the world of chemistry. I have a PhD in Inorganic Chemistry and make a living doing research for a large company in Michigan. As times have changed, that company has changed its focus and I no longer have as much chance to do the basic, fundamental research which I most enjoy. Through this blog, I am hoping to recapture the magic which I felt during my graduate (and undergraduate) days in college. Expect topics on chemistry and alchemy along with some non-chemistry related items which I think might be interesting.

"The chymists are a strange class of mortals, impelled by an almost insane impulse to seek their pleasure among smoke and vapour, soot and flame, poisons and poverty; yet among all these evils I seem to live so sweetly that may I die if I would change places with the Persian King."

Johann Joachim Becher (phlogistonist)
Acta Laboratorii Chymica Monacensis, seu Physica Subterranea, (1669).

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Miscellaneous Sunday

Just two miscellaneous items tonight. First up is a report posted on Reuter’s science web site. According to the study, Drinking Dulls the Brain's Response to Threats. Well, duh! I would have thought that was already well known. Why else would I drink during long distance flights? Apparently the study is intended to demonstrate that people under the influence have difficulty picking up on the fact that other people are pissed at them. Perhaps, but I suspect that people who are drunk tend not to care when other people are getting pissed at them.

From the LA Times comes a story about low carbon foods. This seemed like a pretty restrictive diet until I released they were talking about low carbon footprint foods. For example, eating chicken results in less greenhouse emissions than eating beef. They try to take everything into account, including the methane emissions by the animal while it is living. One possible flaw here. I believe they stop calculating the greenhouse effects once you eat the food. What about afterwards? Do they consider the greenhouse gas emissions occurring after eating White Castle burgers? Seems like that could be a major factor in their calculations.

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