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).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Miscellaneous Musings

A few miscellaneous items today.

First, it has long been known that runners can experience a certain euphoria when running. The generally accepted explanation involved the production of endorphins in the brain. In fact, this assumption has been around so long I assumed it had already been proven. Apparently not. Now a study has indeed shown the existence of the “endorphin driven runner’s high”. I used to run 3 miles a day until my right knee kindly informed me that this was not going to continue. Where were those endorphins then? In all my years of running, I cannot recall ever having felt a feeling of euphoria, except at the end of the run, although the feeling would be more probably more accurately described as "relief". Obviously I was missing out on something there.

Another chemistry blog which I’ve added to my blog list is The Culture of Chemistry. The author, Michelle M. Francl, discusses common facets of chemistry in enjoyable ways. Highly recommended.

You may have seen some of these before, but here is Wired's top 10 amazing chemistry videos.

Finally, you may have seen the Wall Street Journal article which reported the results of a survey in which 70% of people polled found nanotechnology to be morally unacceptable. Since the silliness of this has been covered elsewhere on the net, I won't belabor the point. My question is: Why was that question on the survey in the first place? If the survey hadn't asked if it was morally acceptable, would it have occurred to anyone that it might not be?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Thanks! And I'm glad you're finding a way to explore more chemistry (virtually)!