Chemical Reaction

Nerd Humor Meets The Flying Circus

I love the TV show The Big Bang Theory. The nerdy humor will make me laugh out loud at least a dozen times per 30-minute episode. I also love Monty Python's Flying Circus. All that dry British humor brilliantly weaved into gut-busting skits is enough to make me want to...

Experts Hope To Finally Build The Very First Computer

If you've been involved in an IT project you know the pains of going over budget and over deadline. But don't think these problems only exist for us 21st century workers. Nope. In the mid-1800s Charles Babbage designed the very first computer and was tasked with convincing the government in...

Forget Welding, These Robots Can Paint Like Picasso

Did you ever wonder what sleep looked like from an artistic perspective? Sure there are plenty of paintings portraying people sleeping. And the vision of Snow White put into a near-death slumber by the poison apple is forever etched into my mind.

Assume Your Way To All Sorts Of Answers

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man?

100 Things To Ponder About The Periodic Table

It arrived. My advance copy of "The Elements, An Illustrated History of the Periodic Table" (Shelter Harbor Press, October 2012). The UPS driver pulled up to my driveway with book in hand while I was outside with my three dogs.

Recent Security Breach At Saudi Aramco Solidifies The Notion Of Preparing For The Worst

Like any major catastrophe, many companies think it won't happen to them. But "stuff" happens and it's best to be prepared for the worst. Just ask Saudi Aramco. On Aug. 15 the oil producer was attacked by a virus named “Shamoon,” which damaged 30,000 computers.

Hazardous Chemicals: Knowledge Is Power

With great discovery comes great risk. Chemical companies are no exceptions. But employees have a right to know what they are dealing with at work. If they are exposed to hazardous chemicals, they should have resources available to understand the risks and learn how to best manage their environment.  

Helium Shortage Bursts Balloons

"No Balloons Due To A Helium Shortage" – that's what the sign said at my  local grocery store. Really? How could there be a shortage of helium? Isn't that one of the most-abundant elements in the universe?

Headache? New Technology Will Let You Print Two Aspirin

No one can say that Professor Lee Cronin, leader of a team of 45 researchers at Glasgow University, lacks ambition. According to a recent article from UK-based The Guardian, Cronin wants to create downloadable chemistry, with the ultimate aim of allowing people to "print" their own pharmaceuticals at home.

Offer Your Solution To September's Process Puzzler

We overhauled our isobutene/n-butane fractionating column during a recent turnaround. We cleaned its sieve trays, replaced the reboiler (a circulating thermosyphon) and slightly lowered the suction nozzle to avoid splashing the bottom tray. The bottom-most thermocouple failed during start-up total reflux; it went full-scale.