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).

Monday, February 25, 2008

Chemistry Free Zone

I spent part of today looking for interesting science and/or chemical related webpages to discuss on this blog. Instead, all I found were bizarre stories.

First on the list is an article about a 150 pound hamburger developed by the owners of a sports grill named Mallie's. They are attempting to set a new record for the largest hamburger ever served. 150 pounds! That is basically a whole cow (admittedly a small one). How many people do you need to eat this thing? Since this restaurant only has a 240 person capacity, they are going to have to bring people in off the street to finish this burger. After reading this article, I started thinking to myself, "In what part of the country do these guys live?" and "What kind of joke can I make about the local residents?" I check out the article for details. Crap! This place is less than 30 miles from my house. End of story!

You will find me periodically discussing videogames on this site. It will not be very often since I don't play them as much as I did several years ago, and as a result, very little of what I could say would be either useful or timely. Anyway, here is some retro gaming action for you. A group of people got together to make a video of the Space Invaders game (plus some others) using stopped motion photography and with people representing the screen pixels. Utterly bizarre and utterly enjoyable! Go here to see it.

Enjoy The Lord of the Rings trilogy? The Hubble telescope has discovered "The Eye of Sauron." See the image here.

Finally, on a sports related note, the Detroit Pistons pretty much demolished the Phoenix Suns yesterday. You really cannot tell much from any single basketball game, but this game just reinforces what Pistons fans have known for years. The Pistons have one of the best starting fives in the NBA, but their ability to win depends almost completely upon their motivation. The instant they get bored and/or arrogant, and that has happened distressingly often ever since they won the championship in 2004, they can lose badly to any team in the league. But if they are motivated to play, they can crush any team out there. Sunday's game was the perfect storm, playing on national TV, going against one of the top teams in the West, facing a team that's been getting a lot of attention lately because of their acquisition of Shaq, and getting to play against Steve Nash. (Ever since getting edged out of the MVP voting by Nash a couple of years ago, Chauncey Billips has taken a certain delight in punishing Nash every time they play). What does this mean to the Pistons' playoff chances? Who knows? I've given up understanding how this team works.

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