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The Two Types of Erasable Ink and Why One Is Much Cooler Than the Other

4 Nov 2022

Introduced in 1979, the Papermate Erasermate offered something that, up until then, had been science fiction: an erasable pen. While correction fluids and tape were a well-established solution to...

There Is More to Acetone Than Removing Nail Polish

2 Nov 2022

Say acetone, and what comes to a chemist’s mind? Washing laboratory glassware is a good bet. Actually, the prime use of acetone is to produce polymethyl methacrylate, better known as Plexiglas....

Let’s Celebrate National Chemistry Week!

19 Oct 2022

It is an annual tradition. The third week in October is designated as “National Chemistry Week” by the American Chemical Society with a goal of raising the public’s awareness of the value of...

Teaching is also Learning

16 Aug 2022

I have spent many years teaching chemistry to high school students and always enjoyed carrying out demonstrations. For students, watching chemicals perform their magic live is far more memorable...

Benzene Jitters

19 Jan 2022

At one time it was used as an aftershave because of its sweet smell.  It was even used to decaffeinate coffee.  Oh my, how times change!  Today we worry about a few parts per billion of benzene in...

Is it true that rubbing olive oil on a knife will lead to “tearless chopping?”

10 Dec 2021

Not having carried out a proper scientific investigation in the kitchen, I can’s safe for sure, but I would doubt it makes a difference. Let’s delve into a little onion chemistry which will of...

A Real “Breaking Bad” Story

3 Dec 2021

As a chemistry professor, I find it particularly appalling when a member of the profession goes astray. That is just what Professor Bradley Allen Rowland did at Henderson State University in...

The Word “Cisgender” Has Scientific Roots

13 Nov 2021

In 2015, the Oxford English Dictionary added the word “cisgender” to its ever-evolving listing. It defines the adjective as “designating a person whose sense of personal identity and gender...

How Dynamite Spawned the Nobel Prizes

8 Oct 2021

Alfred Nobel wasn't in the best of health but he knew he wasn't dead. Yet, there was his obituary, prominently featured in the morning newspaper. To make matters worse, not only had the newspaper...


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