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Periodic Tabloid

Is It Real?

Rummaging around your attic one day, you find a painting that looks like a Picasso. How do you know if it is real, and you are about to become very rich, or fake, and the item will be forever relegated to the attic?

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The Age of Wonder

Richard Holmes’ book, The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, is witty, charming, inspiring, and highly recommended. So is the author, as I learned firsthand at a lecture he delivered at CHF last week.

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Science Report Card

Every two years the National Science Board produces a detailed report on the state of U.S. science, engineering, and technology. The new 2010 version can be found here.

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Seeking Stability

If you hear the phrase “island of stability” you probably conjure up an image of a place where Congress should go. Or perhaps Tiger Woods. Or even yourself, on one of those especially trying days we all have from time to time Chemists have something different in mind.

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A Flurry of Applications

Hooray, the craziness is over—the deadline for fellowship applications has come and gone. Now it’s time to take stock of the situation. Last year we had 35 total applications for all of our fellowships. Three days before the deadline we had only 7 in hand. I was a bit apprehensive, but I knew that a flood of applications usually comes in at the last minute. This year was no exception, and when it was all said and done, we ended up with 34 applications total.

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Reversible Stickiness

Some years ago I accidentally discovered a polymer-based adhesive that allowed the irreversible joining of two metal strips. Amazingly, the adhered juncture was stronger than the metal itself, but of course the bond was permanent and could not be undone. I haven’t thought much about adhesion in the intervening years, but a new publication  from the GM Research & Development Center has rekindled my interest.

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How Are You Doing?

A new study by two economists attempts to make happiness judgments less subjective.

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Chemistry.com

What would you expect to find if you pointed your Web browser to www.chemistry.com? The Chemical Heritage Foundation, perhaps. The American Chemical Society would be another good guess. Or you might anticipate a random site devoted to the wonders and mysteries of chemical science.

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My Kingdom for a Methyl Group

You might even think that a methyl group here and there would hardly be noticed in the vastness of very large molecules like DNA. And if you did think this, you would be wrong.

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Happy New Year!

Things have been a little quiet around here during our traditional winter break. We lost our Fearless Fellowship Leader, as Anke has departed for Glasgow (Scotland, not Kentucky). So now it is up to me to carry the torch for all of our Ship of Fellows fans (you know who you are).

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