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, April 11, 2008

Friday Miscellaneous

Just a few miscellaneous items tonight. First, according to this article, blogging can be hazardous to your health. In the race to post news items before anyone else, some bloggers are literally killing themselves with stress. Quoting from the article:

“I haven’t died yet,” said Michael Arrington, the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a popular technology blog. The site has brought in millions in advertising revenue, but there has been a hefty cost. Mr. Arrington says he has gained 30 pounds in the last three years, developed a severe sleeping disorder and turned his home into an office for him and four employees. “At some point, I’ll have a nervous breakdown and be admitted to the hospital, or something else will happen.”

Hmmm…. I guess writing this blog is more stressful than I realized. Actually, if I can’t think of anything to say, I just don’t post that night and hope something comes up the next day. I guess that’s the difference between doing something for fun and doing it for profit. Considering my generally poor writing skills, I do not think I will ever have to worry about doing this for profit.

Well I certainly hope none of this blog’s readers use the dietary supplements “Total Body Formula” or “Total Body Mega Formula.” Apparently the FDA has found these products to contain more than 200 times as much selenium as listed. Whoa! Seems like a pretty big error to me. After 5-10 days of use, people were experiencing hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, deformed fingernails, and fatigue. At least 43 incidents have been filed with the FDA. What with all these symptoms, I'm sure these people probably did lose weight, but they probably also ended up with dog’s breath.

And for those of you who were too busy in the lab to notice, the earth has tilted an additional 26 degrees toward the ecliptic plane over the last 20 years, with most of the shift occurring in December of 2006. Obviously this explains all my failed reactions for the last year. What other explanation could there be? How did we not notice the stars, sun, and moon being in significantly different positions? The website explains this problem as well as others .... very badly. Seriously, someone spent a lot of time on this website, time that would have been better spent learning some of the basic science that was absolutely massacred in the various “explanations” here. Bu it is funny to read. If you've ever read Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision", you'll enjoy checking out this website.

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