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).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Day Stuff

Just a few miscellaneous items today. First is a link to a site which is somewhat related to the chemistry of Valentine’s day.
A quick Walmart rant. Several days ago, I stopped by a local Super Walmart to buy a Valentine’s Day card for my wife. Before it became “super” it used to be fairly easy to find the items you wanted. After the expansion, however, the floor layout is so badly designed that you can easily take 10 minutes just trying to find/get a few items. Instead of putting the items that most people want in close proximity like it used to be, now they’re spread as far apart as possible. The grocery section is on one side of the store while common household items like deodorant, cat litter, etc. is on the other. What’s in the middle of the store? Clothes. And very few people. Either the floor designers are idiots or they believe that forcing you to walk past the clothes section multiple times will entice you into an impulse purchase (which still makes them idiots). Put the low traffic items on the side of the stores, you fools.
I originally heard this radio commercial during Christmas, but caught a variation of it just recently for Valentine’s Day. It sounded something like this:

Having trouble picking out a present for your wife or girlfriend? You haven’t done too well in that department lately, have you? That dress you bought her 2 years ago didn’t fit. The faux jewelry didn’t go over too well either, did it? And the vacuum cleaner last year was an absolute disaster. Well worry no more. We have the perfect gift for you. Show her you care by giving her a gift certificate for cosmetic surgery.

I wish I could say that the commercial was intended to be funny, but the tone was way too serious. Seriously, this cosmetic surgery place must be a front for a divorce firm.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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