Posts

August 05, 2014

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6:13 PM | Huh
I wasn't aware that the Facebook messenger app existed, but I find the logo design rather evocative of something...
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5:38 PM | BREAKING NEWS: New York resident moves somewhere else for their first job
This New York Times article touting folks moving to middle of the country caught my eye today (emphasis mine):Affordable Housing Draws Middle Class to Inland Cities ...Rising rents and the difficulty of securing a mortgage on the coasts have proved a boon to inland cities that offer the middle class a firmer footing and an easier life. In the eternal competition among urban centers, the shift has produced some new winners. Oklahoma City, for example, has outpaced most other […]

August 04, 2014

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11:44 PM | American chemists and World War One
Stuart Cantrill's retweet of this post reminds me that it is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, which reminded me of some relevant historical documents that a friend had provided me a number of years ago.First, (to left) a September 1918 questionnaire in the pages of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering from U.S. Army Major General William Sibert , who was the Director of the Chemical Warfare Service. I like this line: "The importance of a prompt return of the census […]
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8:17 PM | You used to be a feminist before you got pregnant
Today I’d like to rant about a pattern I’ve noticed. Namely, I have a bunch of female friends and acquaintances that I consider feisty, informed, and argumentative sorts. People who are fun to be around and who know how to stick up for themselves, know how to spot misogyny and paternalism in all contexts, and […]
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3:33 PM | 2014 ACS Salary Survey: employment up, unemployment down, median salaries flat
Finally, from this week's C&EN, news from the 2014 Salary Survey, written up by Sophie Rovner:Employment: "91.9% of ACS member chemists are employed full-time—defined as at least 35 hours of work per week. Over the past decade, that rate peaked at 92.5% in 2008 and then bottomed out at 88.1% in 2010. By last year, it had recovered to 91.1%."Unemployment: "Conversely, 2.9% of chemists are unemployed, down from 3.5% last year and 4.2% in 2012. This improvement is echoed in […]
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3:25 PM | I see the cost of pride in belonging to the ACS is likely going up
Also in this week's C&EN, a little tidbit in the ACS Dallas official reports (emphasis mine):In other actions, the committee elected Joseph Heppert as vice chair and voted to recommend to the ACS Council that dues for 2015 be set at the fully escalated dues rate of $158, an increase of $4.00 versus the 2014 dues rate. That's a 2.5% increase, which is slightly higher than the 2.0% increase in inflation expected for 2014. I wonder if the Budget and Finance Committee is cognizant that […]
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3:10 PM | This week's C&EN
Truly, a unique set of articles for this week:A long feature by Stephen K. Ritter on sugar and sugar substitutes, including Bob Lustig thundering away at sugar. Happily, some of Lustig's more controversial theories about carbohydrate chemistry are not present. I'd love to know if we're going to have taxation of sugared drinks and the like; if they start raising the price of ice cream, I'm gonna be unhappy. This article by Albert Censullo on the mole and the kilogram (including a quiz) […]

August 03, 2014

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2:28 PM | Bubble time: Friends and relatives act as if we've returned to business-as-usual
It is a testament to the psychological power of financial bubbles that people who know and trust me and generally accept the analysis I've put forth in my writings over the last decade are jumping into the stock market again with a pledge that they are in for the long term--no matter what.Few would ever shop for a car, a house or even groceries the way people today are shopping for stocks--buying after the price has almost tripled. But a market experiencing a dramatic melt-up--26 percent for […]

August 02, 2014

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2:06 PM | Aunt Pythia’s advice
Hello and good morning! Aunt Pythia is feeling well-slept (thankfully!) and happy to be here. Another Saturday morning means – yes – another ride on the Aunt Pythia advice bus, which is leisurely rolling out of the parking lot with a full pot of fresh brewed coffee ready. Can you smell it, people?!! Plus, there’s […]

August 01, 2014

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2:18 PM | Job posting: chemistry technician, Brownsville, NE
From the inbox, a A.A./B.S. chemist position at a nuclear power plant: The major responsibility is to monitor and maintain the following as specified in the individual employee training plan: Liquid and gaseous plant effluents, water quality in all plant systems, corrosion controls, biomonitoring, liquid radioactive waste processing, decontamination, environmental controls, personnel safety, and radiation and contamination surveys thus protecting plant systems, the general public and […]
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2:13 PM | Parents warn of crucial "babysitter skills gap"
Couple warns of tight supply of qualified child care providers, supports BS-1 visa program"We just can't find people who have college degrees in early childhood education, but are willing to work for $7.50 an hour to look after our two kids," they complained. "America has a shortage of child care providers and we need the best and the brightest from around the world to compete in our increasingly global child care labor pool."NB satire
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2:07 PM | BLS: 209,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs in July, unemployment up 0.1% to 6.2%
Fresh electrons from the BLS: the unemployment rate went up slightly (by 0.1%) in July. Nonfarm payroll growth was slightly lower than expected at 209,000 in July.The broader U6 measurement of unemployment was up 0.1% in July to 12.2%.Employment in the chemical manufacturing subsector was up 300 positions to 802,600. Seems like just yesterday that number was below 800,000; nothing other than a numerical milestone, really.Unemployment was down 0.2% for college graduates to 3.1%; unemployment for […]
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1:44 PM | A week of links
Links this week: Some gold from Robert Sapolsky – what is going on in teenage brains? Plus a bonus interview. The latest issue of Nautilus (the source of the Sapolsky material) contains a lot of other good material – fruit and vegetables trying to kill you and chaos in the brain among them. I recommend scanning the table of contents. […]

July 31, 2014

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3:05 PM | I love corporate America, part 731
I'm saddened to learn of layoffs at Amgen; I'm rather ironically amused to learn that cuts have a name from a comment by Chrispy at In The Pipeline (emphasis mine):The current trend of gutting internal R&D with the hope in in-licensing Phase II molecules is not a model for long-term success. Without researchers you will not even understand what you are buying. But maybe it doesn't matter if you don't listen to them, anyway (e.g., Sirtris). The nutty thing from the inside is that this […]
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1:55 PM | Advice for anxious sleepers
When I was young I used to suffer from depression from time to time, sometimes pretty badly. But ever since I had kids, I suffer much more from anxiety. It’s never been paralyzing but it means I have trouble falling asleep about once or twice a week because I can’t stop fretting. I’m jealous of […]
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3:28 AM | An MSiX reading list
Yesterday was day one of the Marketing Science Ideas Xchange (MSiX). As I mentioned in a previous post, it has been an interesting opportunity to see behavioural science outside of the academic and economics environments I am used to. There were a lot of interesting presentations, and a lot of good books were mentioned along the way. […]
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