Travels With Beaker
Aug29

Travels With Beaker

Quite a few years ago, I don’t really know how, the Muppets character Beaker became C&EN’s unofficial mascot. If you are not familiar with the Muppets (what planet have you been living on?), Beaker is the shy lab assistant of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. He’s got a shock of red hair, typical Muppet protruding eyes, a big orange nose, a pale green lab coat, and a tie. He’s also accident-prone. C&EN Managing Editor Robin Giroux has...

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Introducing C&EN Mobile
Aug17

Introducing C&EN Mobile

My office BlackBerry, which I had only become reasonably comfortable using over the past few months, recently decided to stop downloading e-mail. I could still send e-mail and use the device as a phone. I could even access the Internet with it. But it wouldn’t accept e-mail. So I needed a new phone, and I had to decide what kind of a phone to get. Now, I hate to admit this, but I have reached the age where I find new technology...

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Sezen, Sames, And Columbia
Aug08

Sezen, Sames, And Columbia

This week’s lead Science & Technology Department story by C&EN News Editor William G. Schulz is a devastating account of systematic scientific fraud committed by former Columbia University chemistry graduate student Bengü Sezen. Schulz has been following the Sezen case since her work was called into question and Columbia began an investigation of it in 2006. Sezen worked under the direction of Dalibor Sames from 2000 to 2005....

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Recycler At Heart

Growing up in the Philippines, my brothers and I used to earn spare change by heeding the calls of scrap buyers going around neighborhoods calling out, “bote, bakal, diario” or bottles, metals, newspapers. They weighed the metals with crude handheld scales; they sorted the bottles according to color and size; and they measured stacks of old newspapers by the span of an outstretched hand, from the tip of the little finger to the tip of...

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What Kind Of Nation?

What kind of nation do we want to live in? That’s really the fundamental question that underlies the epic debate over raising the U.S. debt ceiling and future budgets. It’s not about freedom. The citizens of Germany, France, and the U.K.—all nations with social welfare systems that are more developed than that of the U.S.—are as free as U.S. citizens are. They are less free in some ways, more free in others. It balances out. They have...

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Water, Water
Jul05

Water, Water

It’s become something of a truism that water scarcity will be as important an issue worldwide in the 21st century as finding alternatives to fossil fuels. A new book, “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water” by Charles Fishman, convincingly drives that point home with a plethora of data on water use and interviews with people on the front lines of providing water for uses ranging from agriculture to advanced...

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