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).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Miscellaneous Thursday

This will be one of those miscellaneous, rambling posts I write when I’m too lazy to actually put any critical thought into a subject.

First Item: Looks like I’ll have about 5 minutes less a day to accomplish anything at work since the spam filter on our firewall has apparently died a horrible death. I used to get about one email a day suggesting that I buy certain stocks, but that was about it. Since Monday morning, I’ve suddenly been averaging about 10 spams a day. I’m not sure if my name suddenly appeared on a list somewhere, but I’ve been deluged with offers from:

eHarmony and various other dating services. Hmmm... why?
Help in obtaining credit cards.
Debt relief services – for when I max out those credit cards.
Unbelievably cheap insurance.

I’ve generally been immune to spam both at work and at home, which is a surprise considering all the web sites I visit. I have a coworker, however, who used to regularly receive several Viagra-type emails a day at work. Not sure what sites he was visiting.

Second Item: New Scientists has a video of robots whose forms were inspired by animals. It’s not chemistry related at all, but my daughter, who is into both animals and building robots, thought it was great.

Third Item: Over at Practical Transmutations, there is a picture of a T-shirt with the “original” periodic table printed on it. Very cool! Perhaps we also need an alchemical periodic table with only the original seven elements.

Finally, we have the top ten list of scientists killed or maimed by their experiments. Really makes you want to run into the lab and try that crazy experiment you dreamed up last weekend over that pitcher of beer. Reminds me of how naïve I was about the dangers in the lab back when I was an undergrad. Good thing my mom never knew about these things or she never would have let me get into science in the first place. She certainly wouldn’t have left me alone with my first chemistry set.

P.S. I don’t remember how I found this link, so apologies to whomever I might have slighted by not mentioning them.

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