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).

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Miscellaneous

My son had a party today for his upcoming 6th birthday, so this will be a short post, mostly a few miscellaneous items that I've been collecting for awhile.

First up is a story about a fire alarm for the deaf. By using an extremely pungent material, this alarm is able to wake someone by smell alone.
Next up is a quick blurb about another example of brain surgery in the ancient world. Unfortunately the patient died during or just after surgery. The reason I even mention this is due to the following quote:

"We interpret the find as a case of complicated surgery which only a trained and specialized doctor could have attempted."

If the patient died, how do they know that a trained doctor performed this procedure? Seems to me even an untrained doctor could have killed the patient. :)
Third, the first sentence of this next story is probably sufficient to let you know immediately whether you wish to pursue it any further.

"Two German air force sergeants are facing a court martial after trying to mass produce sausages made with the blood of their comrades."

Apparently, senior officers got wind of this activity when one of the "comrades" asked if giving blood for sausage-making was against regulations.
Fourth, a link to a list of the top ten signs of the week.
Finally, from Dubious Quality comes news of a computer toy/program called Phun. It reminds me of Crayon Physics. Check out the video and see if you can resist downloading it. My kids will just love playing around with this.

1 comment:

Chemgeek said...

"By using an extremely pungent material, this alarm is able to wake someone by smell alone."

If my wife was deaf, I could imagine the following:

Wife: Wake up!!! There's a FIRE!!!!!!!!
Me: Um...sorry...I went to Taco Bell three times today. Sorry.
Wife: There's no fire then?
Me: no
Wife: You'll be sleeping in the bathroom tonight.