Tattoo Advice For Penning A Synthetic Symphony
Mar24

Tattoo Advice For Penning A Synthetic Symphony

This week I wrote about the “Atalanta Fugi­ens,” a gorgeous 17th century alchemy text that includes a musical score. What’s crazy is that this score is not just a background melody for the musically inclined alchemist. The score is actually a recipe for making the philosophers’ stone, with individual musical parts for the chemical components, mercury, sulfur, and salt. I’m desperately hoping some...

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Fear Of Stink: A Century In The Making
Jan22

Fear Of Stink: A Century In The Making

Lurking among us are foolish folks who fork out cash for deodorants even though their armpits don’t smell. This is the take-home message of an article in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology that’s been making the rounds of science news sites and blogs. It’s a fun study, but the results aren’t really that surprising. Researchers have known for years that some people in Europe (2% of the population) and most people in China, Japan,...

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Merkel Launches IYC In Berlin
Feb09

Merkel Launches IYC In Berlin

Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron skipped the opening ceremonies for the International Year of Chemistry in Philly, Paris and London, but props go to Germany’s head of state, Angela Merkel–formerly a theoretical physicist/chemist herself–for showing up at the IYC shindig here in Berlin today. She said some things we’ve heard before, such as how chemists could help solve energy problems (with, say, nanotechnology) and...

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International Year of Chemistry Opening Fiesta

After Thursday’s sequence of enthusiastic speeches that repeatedly declared that chemistry can solve all the worlds ailments (health, food security, energy etc), the second day of the opening ceremonies of the International Year of Chemistry at UNESCO headquarters in Paris got a bit more concrete on how this actually might happen, with talks from academics and industry leaders on how chemistry can improve nutrition, agriculture,...

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Mayan Art Meets Nanotechnology
Sep16

Mayan Art Meets Nanotechnology

Sometime before 600 BC, Mayan artists painted one of the few frescoes–still in existence–that displays the domestic life of normal people in this ancient civilization (other Mayan frescoes display the lives of deities and rulers). The frescoes were found in a pyramid at the Calakmul archaeology site in Mexico. Calakmul is one of the biggest Mayan sites around, but it hasn’t been excavated to the same extent as say, Tikal,...

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