Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heraclitus & Nixon

Herbert Stein, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisors from 1972-74, once wrote about his attempt to use Greek philosophy to persuade Nixon of a particular course of economic policy.
In a smart-alecky kind of way, I said, quoting Heraclitus, "You can't step in the same river twice." He immediately responded, "Yes, you can, if it's frozen."

Introduction to Heraclitus

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is regarded as one of the distant godfathers of rheology, and it is a requirement that his name and motto "Everything Flows" appears in every rheology book. (I plead guilty, as the motto appeared in my graduate thesis.)

Heraclitus lived in Ephesus around 500 BC, and developed a doctrine that stated that everything is in a state of flux.  His most famous statement, as quoted by Plato, is that "[you] cannot step twice into the same river; for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you."

Interestingly, as I was researching Heraclitus, I found that Bertrand Russell suggested the "everything flows" statement was apocryphal.  In addition, Heraclitus's Wikipedia page attributes the phrase to the 6th century pagan philosopher Simplicius of Cilia.

Source: A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell

Monday, September 21, 2009

Google update

Searching for the phrase "rheol world" now directs you to the blog.  This blog has been live since Sept 6th.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tracking Google

It's been a while since I wanted to be found on Google. But I'm interested these days when the blog will show up on the search engine site. In fact, one of the reasons I started the site is because it seemed there were no niche blogs about rheology out there. These days, when I type the phrase "rheology blog" into Google, I get this response…

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rheology & Pop Culture

I keep hoping that one day, there will be a CSI episode where the solution has something to do with rheology. In the meantime, I'll be temporarily satisfied with a scene from TNT's Leverage, which is a heist-of-the-week program. Follow this link to the show "The Two Live Crew Job" and forward to the 5:18 mark.

One of the characters holds a bomb, which uses a motion trigger in a flower vase. The quirky thief suggests using instant pudding to increase the fluid's viscosity in the vase, slowing the effectiveness of the bomb's trigger.

Rheometers & Advertising (#2)

I was working for the competition when TA launched the No Bad Science website. Over the years since, I have come to respect the ad. It was a perfect campaign. It raised questions about competitive products, had a great logo, cloaked their identity, and made the competition come up with a response. I got one of the T-shirts, and people would often ask me what "bad science" was.

(Update--added title)

Rheometer Advertising (#1)

This is my favorite rheometer ad, but, after all, I wrote it.

It's based on the sign that appeared in the 1993 World Series in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium which said "Will pitch middle relief for food." The ad was released in 2002.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Favorite Rheology Definition

My favorite rheology definition comes from Transport Phenomena Volume 1, by Bird, Armstrong, and Hassager.  They write
...rheology includes Newtonian fluid mechanics at one end of the spectrum of subject material, and Hookean eleasticity at the other.  The region in between concerns the deformation and flow of all sorts of gunky and gooey materials. 
(Page 11)

Update --> fixed a typo

Jobs Report

On September 3rd, there were 24 jobs listed on Monster.Com found using the keyword search rheolog*.


My name is Eric Brown, and this is The Rheol World blog. The main purpose of this blog is to explore the field of rheology. What's going to appear here?

I don't know.

I have a few ideas, and I'm hoping to see what happens when I post here.

For those who are wondering, rheology is the study of the deformation and flow of matter. I entered the field while working on graduate studies in the Chemical Engineering department at Northwestern. For my project, I built an optical rheometer. Once I left school, I did a post-doc at the University of Texas in Austin. I then worked for the rheometer division of Anton Paar USA, first as a salesman, then as rheology lab manager. I currently work as a Senior Research Specialist for ConAgra Foods Inc. in Omaha, NE. This blog represents my opinions only and does not reflect the views of my employers, past or present.

The title of the blog is inspired by the 1985 song Welcome to the Real World by Mr. Mister. The chorus starts...Welcome to the real world / There's so much to learn