About Barbara Ortner

Author Archive | Barbara Ortner

Coming soon: parties, sport, art, kids, ponies

That’s all for today folks. Coming soon: “I get no kicks from champagne” – The parties of EPCA: who said what, what they wore (photo special with guest commentary from Hairdressers’ Journal), the year’s winners and losers. Sports and chemicals – Are Darts the new Golf ? Petrochemicals and the visual arts – Who’s collecting […]

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Gadgets at EPCA

What will be the new gadgets at EPCA? Is the Blackberry old hat? Who will be the first of the chemicals crowd to sport the new iPhone? And, the question on everyone’s lips, what will be this year’s giveaway in the ICIS suite? If you’ve already collected the ICIS-logoed silver mouse, the pens, the furry […]

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A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (the movie)

It looks like this is a film for us: “A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash.”http://www.oilcrashmovie.com/film.html It’s opening in the UK in November. Has anyone seen it yet? Thanks to www.oilcrashmovie.com for photo of “Depleted Azeri Oilfield.”

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Fashion tips for EPCA

Worried about what to pack for EPCA next weekend? Worry no longer – the ICIS fashion editor brings you this season’s “must haves” for the conference circuit. What’s hot and what’s not. Expect to see a strong showing from the male handbag, a perpetual favourite amongst the Belgian, French and German contingents. Favoured colours will […]

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A Chemical Romance

Wedding bells were ringing in Houston on Saturday, as our senior editor Heather celebrated her marriage in front of an audience including many of her ICIS friends. Her wedding website tells the story of how she met her husband-to-be when she went to interview him for an article. Reading that put me in mind of […]

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Poppies and petrochemicals

I do some of my best thinking in the car. Not on the slow early morning drive through the suburbs of south-west London to the ICIS offices, but on long distance journeys like the one we did this weekend, taking our son to start his university in life in Exeter, a cathedral city about three […]

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Belgium for sale on eBay

This was my favourite news story last week. A disgruntled journalist put Belgium up for sale on eBay.

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Chemicals Book Column: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

I’ve just finished a great book, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” by Paul Torday. What’s the relevance to the chemical industry. Nothing much really, only it has • Middle East interest • The unbridgeable gulf between techie experts and inept management • Corporate and political scheming • Fish Other good books I’ve read recently with […]

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The craving for anonymity in petchems

We had visitors in the ICIS office a few days ago from a big new pan-European multi-product privately owned petrochemical company. We drank coffee together and talked about the structure of their company versus the structure of ours. It was a friendly and constructive meeting in the spirit of Glasnost, but I’m not going to […]

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Sisters are doing it in chemicals

You only have to look around an EPCA conference session or an EPL dinner to see that it’s a male-dominated industry but for all the years I’ve been going to these events, there have always been plenty of women around. At the last EPL (European Petrochemical Luncheon) in Bratislava, Slovakia, there were 24 women out […]

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