Monthly Archives: July 2012

Body Mass Index

There are many websites that calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI or “obesity” index) for you, but the BBC site, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18770328, has some unique wrinkles, figuratively speaking. I learned from the site: My BMI is 24, which is is almost … Continue reading

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Bob Burger’s Writing Class—Verb Mutilation

Back in the early 1970s, The company I worked for brought in a local consultant and former newspaperman, Bob Burger, from Wayne, PA, to improve our writing.  His course was the best and most useful I have ever taken.  I … Continue reading

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Nowhereisland

British artist Alex Hartley excavated about 6.6 tons of material from an island exposed by a retreating glacier north of Norway and is towing it around southwestern England.  He calls his island “Nowhereisland.” It was presented to the public on … Continue reading

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Time Perception

We all recognize time seems to run faster as we age.  A recent website by author Claudia Hammond, http://www.claudiahammond.com/page5.htm, allows you to test your own perception, more as an illustration than as a measure of your failure.  The main test … Continue reading

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India in English

We all know Clark Gable’s parting line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,”  but it should be written, “I don’t give a dam,” because the phrase refers to a damri, a tiny Indian copper coin of negligible value.  … Continue reading

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Vodka

A recent article on the BBC website asks why there are so many brands of vodka.  As a non-drinking chemist, I always wondered the same.  Vodka is simply odorless and tasteless dilute grain alcohol.  In fact, regulations require that vodka … Continue reading

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Living Forever

PBS’s NewsHour recently interviewed futurist author Ray Kurzweil, 64,  who takes 150 pills a day (besides injections) with the goal of living forever. I thought the comedy movie, Death Becomes Her, with Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn laid that idea … Continue reading

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