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Everything flows, but only the macromolecules are worth the time.

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Back in February I wrote about the Death Ray that I had in my back yard. This Death Ray is formed from sunlight reflecting off of the curved panes of glass on the south facing windows of the house. Back in February, the curvature concentrated the sunlight enough...
I start a new aspect of my polymer chemistry career today - my first attempt at synthesizing an inorganic polymer. Up till now, acrylates, urethanes, ureas, polyesters (with and without styrene) and countless organic biobased substrates have been my playground....
Given all the incredible technology we have available in our labs, there is often the temptation to make our work more complicated and involved than it needs to be. Why measure molecular weight with an Ubbelholde tube (and the Mark-Houwink equation) when you...

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A novel family of polymers is featured in Science today. The polymers have an interesting range of properties, but as you might expect, they have been hyped far beyond recognition. The research paper is a mess. There is way too much material jammed into a small...
My wife and I were able to use our chemical knowledge this past week to solve a perplexing problem. I'll post first what we observed and then let you try and figure it out. We have a gas cooktop in our house here in Minnesota. A couple of weeks ago, the flames...
While plastic bag bans have been proliferating of late, I only read yesterday of action being taken against a shop: "The team seized around 45 kgs of polythene bags below 40 micron thickness...". The story did get my mind wandering. For instance,Do the police...

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The New York Times has a great opening for its story on IBM's new polymer discovery that has been published in Science: As a research chemist at an IBM laboratory, Jeannette M. Garcia spends her days mixing and heating chemicals in pursuit of stronger...
Hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas break. We're mostly back to work here:I thought this gift of 3-D printed molecules was nice. A fascinating chemical mystery from John Spevacek. (That's a very educated household, btw.)C&EN's year-end issue, lots...
A list of small, useful things (links):Quintus comments on the filibuvir papers.Over at Chemistry Blog, chemistry Advent poems.John has goofy thoughts about plastic bags.Vittorio is very clever with his TLCs.This post about trailing spouses by @belehaa...