How Could I’ve Forgotten Uncertainty?

In the late afternoon, after closing the lid on some chicken that I had just started to BBQ, I decided to empty the compost bin. Since the next day was compost and recycling collection day, I figured that I might as well roll out both bins to the curb. Then my neighbor walked by with... Continue Reading →

From Da Vinci to a Constraint Problem

I was going through a copy of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, and the following short passage caught my attention. To heat the water for the stove of the Duchess, take four parts of cold water and 3 parts of hot water. "Cold water" and "hot water" are both vague terms. But given that this was... Continue Reading →

Themes Common to Chemistry, Biology and Society

It does not often occur to us that there are four common themes shared by chemistry, biology and human societies: unity, continuity, diversity and interaction. Unity There is unity in chemistry because all matter consists of atoms subject to nature’s four forces. With the intake of the appropriate energy, the electrons of any substance, and... Continue Reading →

From Star Trek to Diamonds: Carbon Chemistry

The first time I encountered the word “meme” was in a Richard Dawkins book prior to the age of the internet. “Meme” meant an original idea that outlived an individual--- like a gene. Now it’s come to signify a graphic, often propagandistic in nature, spread on cell phones and often without reflection. Having said that,... Continue Reading →

Icicle Adventures

Despite below freezing temperatures, ice can melt in sunlight. This indicates that ice molecules can easily get agitated to above freezing temperatures even if surrounding air molecules have less energy of motion. If the melt-water runs down an edge, heat can be taken away again from the dripping water. An icicle begins to form. If... Continue Reading →

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