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).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mediterranean Cyclones

According to this article, scientists have developed a new method of forecasting cyclones in the Mediterranean Sea. This has nothing to do with chemistry, and I don't really care about the subject, but it does give me a chance to post a (rather poor) picture I took in Malta years ago.

This waterspout appeared near the town of Mellieha (where we were staying) during the last day of our trip. As far as I know, it's the closest I've ever been to a tornado. We felt pretty safe from our vantage point, but I'm not sure the crew of the freighter (not shown) felt the same way. We flew out of Malta early the next morning -- fortunately -- since the resulting torrential rains shut down much of the island along with the airport.

Two new elemental podcast are now available at Chemistry World. This week's elements are zinc and radon.


Joihn Fetzer said...

Consider yourself lucky to have seen one at a safe distance and cure your craving to see one. Having grown up in Arkansas, I never understood why anyone would want to be within viewing distance. I have seen too many to count and the closest was a couple of hundred yards away, close enough to see the debris swirling. That was too scary to ever want to repeat.

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