Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Slim Pickings for a While...

Due to work commitments, I'm going to have to cut back on posting for the next two weeks.  I'll be able to put up the August jobs report, but unless I remember a good one-liner or find a nice link, I won't be putting much here.
Thanks again to you all, and I hope to catch up in a few weeks.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Quotation of the Moment

"The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."
Thomas Henry Huxley

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hey Google! There's Rheology Here!

When I was first wondering whether I should start the blog, I would put the phrase "rheology blog" into Google, and I wouldn't see too many other active blogs.  In fact, I still don't find the Rheo Thing unless I use the phrase "rheology blogs".  I finally realized that, even though this is a rheology blog, I don't use the word "rheology" in every post.  John has the same issue over at his blog.  Even though it's a blog about polymer rheology, he doesn't use the word "rheology" in every post.
This is not an issue that's confined to niche blogs like ours.  This Washington Post column by Gene Weingarten laments the loss of headline writers for online writing.  Online headlines are tailored for search engines and written to attract readers.  Online articles have bland headlines that just use people's names.  Gene's best example compares the online headline "Conan O'Brien won't give up 'Tonight Show' time slot to make room for Jay Leno" to the newspaper headline "Better Never Than Late."

Friday, July 23, 2010

A supposedly fun post I'll never blog again

According to the site I Write Like, my writing style is like David Foster Wallace.  (I entered a long post on industrial rheology that I wrote back in February.)

Hat Tip: Joe Posnanski's Curiously Long Posts

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bonus Chemistry Joke

The periodic table gets its name from the fact that you have to keep looking at it periodically during a test.

Originally seen in Funky Winkerbean.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bonus Museum Recommendation

If you're ever in the Montreal area, I heartily recommend Exporail, which is the Canadian train museum.  Located in Saint-Constant, the museum has indoor and outdoor exhibits.  If you visit during the summer, you can ride the last Montreal streetcar around the lot.

Museum Exhibition of the Moment

On a recent vacation, we went to the Montreal Science Centre for the afternoon.  The exhibit on silicon-based glass in all its forms was interesting.  The only time that rheology reared its head in the exhibit was when glass was described as a solid liquid.
The videos attached to the website (in French with English subtitles) are excellent and cover mechanical resistance, electrical resistance, and thermal resistance.  I particularly enjoyed the mechanical resistance video, which compared an impact-resistant windshield to a peanut butter sandwich.
I did some work on inorganic glasses when I was a post-doc at the University of Texas at Austin.  One of the first things I learned was how unusual silicon-based glasses are, compared to other inorganic glasses.  In particular, they have a high melting point and do not dissolve in water.

Note: the Centre is also hosting an exhibit on human sexuality, which may trip Internet filters and is NSFW.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

There's Antimony, Arsenic, Aluminum, Selenium...

The link of the moment comes from Slate. During the work week, Sam Kean is excerpting his book on the history of the elements.  I enjoyed the entry on nitrogen and phosphorus and how it pertains to future toilet design.  Kean mused that men may have to sit down to use the future toilets in order to collect phosphorus.  I think he missed an obvious solution: use public uranials as a collecion point.  Anyone who stands at a urinal will contribute to the solution.

(The title of the post is the opening line of Tom Lehrer's The Elements.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Physics Today (July 2010)

In Physics Today this month, there is an article discussing heterogeneous flow in yield stress fluids.  Registration is required to view the article, but all SOR members can register for free.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quotation of the Moment

"There's only two things I hate in this world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."
Michael Caine as Nigel Powers in Austin Powers in Goldmember

Update 2/16/10: the word culture was misspelled in the original post.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good Guy of the Moment

Living in Nebraska, the football program at the University of Nebraska is omnipresent.  I continue to be impressed by the former defenseman Ndamukong Suh.  Recently drafted by the Detroit Lions, Suh donated part of his signing bonus back to the University.  What I recently learned is that he majored in construction management.  Part of his donation to the university was to endow an engineering scholarship.  It's nice to see someone like that having an engineering major and then giving back to his school.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


According to the ego-boosting counter, there were over 100 visitors to the blog last month.  This is the first time that this blog has cracked the century mark.  Thanks to all who stopped by.
I'd also like to thank the folks at the Novachem blog who added this site to their blogroll.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dear Doc Rheo

Dear Doc Rheo:
How do you type the symbol of shear rate "gamma-dot" ?
Andrew Sun

Dear Andrew:
I use the equation plug in for Microsoft Word.  I've been using this package for the last 15 years.  With this software, you can add accent dots over characters like so...

Respectively submitted,
Doc Rheo

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jobs Report (July)

A keyword "rheolog*" search on conducted on July 1 found 38 job positions listed.  There were 41 positions advertised in June and 44 in May, respectively.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Quotation of the Moment

A colleague at work said
The toes you step on today may belong to the ass you have to kiss tomorrow.
Her point was that the food industry is small, and you may run into former colleagues down the road.  The same thing applies to the rheology industry.