August 2011 Entries

Polyglycerol polyricinoleate

Don’t get scared just because you can’t pronounce it. If you like chocolate you’ve probably eaten it. Let me fill you in on the story. I think the first medicine I ever heard of was “Ricinus,” a liquidy concoction that came in a brown bottle. My mother would ply me with it when she suspected I was constipated. Although I can’t imagine why as a child I would have had such a problem since our diet in Hungary back then included generous doses of goose fat[To read more click on Title.]

Acrylic Fingernails

There’s lots of interesting chemistry in acrylic fingernails. Actually you have two types of acrylic fingernails. You have the type that is made of acrylic and is attached to the fingernail with cyanoacrylate glue, which is also a type of acrylic. And you also have the gel type that is painted on to the fingernail and is hardened by exposure to ultraviolet light. That involves some fascinating chemistry with the polymerization actually taking place on the finger[To read more click on Title.]

Prince Charles and Quackery

Prince Charles, I think is a good man. His heart is in the right place. But when it comes to scientific matters, well, let’s just say he’s more adept at polo. In 1990 the Prince launched Dutchy Originals, a company that promotes organic farming and sells various organic foods. Nothing wrong with that at all. But when the products sold include a “Detox Tincture,” then the Prince and his supporters are wading into muddy waters. [To read more click on Title.]