June 2009 Archives
PS When one reader commented that he didn't get the relevance of the photos, our photographer commented: "Ham and dictators - you don't get more Spanish than that."
(Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the characters quoted, and do not reflect those of the Blog.)
ICIS news has been out in force at the major National Plastics Exhibition (NPE) in Chicago, for this whole week 22-26 June. Attendance at the conference was a bit down, but the number of exhibitors was up.
Al Greenwood, deputy news editor of ICIS in Houston has helpfully sent the Blog this picture from the conference.
"This is a bucket band that was playing outside of NPE . Sadly, I thought the buckets would give the name of the company. Instead, they just say "Green Pickle Bucket Band."
ICIS Houston managing editor Stephen Burns survived the ACC conference, and sends this tale and video ...
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has revealed that an attendee at its annual meeting in Colorado Springs earlier this month had contracted the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.
"Our information indicates that this individual arrived to the Annual Meeting feeling under the weather and was formally diagnosed once onsite," the ACC said in an email distributed to participants last Friday (19 June.)
"We are happy to report that this individual is doing well and has returned to work," it said, without identifying the individual or the company concerned.
More than 300 participants from 110 companies were at the meeting on 10-11 June, including many top executives.
Attendees were generally positive over the new venue, despite some grumbling over how hard is was to putt on the super-slick greens of The Broadmoor (not to be confused with the UK's notorious high-security psychiatric hospital) resort's three golf courses.
There was one advantage for the golfers, though - in the thin air at The Broadmoor's altitude of 6,500 feet (2,000 metres), everyone found their drives were going further than usual.
Wood Mackenzie, the energy consultancy and long-term supporter of the ICIS Aromatics Conference, was sold yesterday for £533 million, in a deal whereby 100 of the company's staff share a total payout of about £100 million.
The Blog was delighted to hear only this week that Wood Mac's Matthew Chadwick, managing consultant of its Downstream Oil, will be speaking at the next Aromatics Conference (a jv between ICIS and Paul Hodges' International e-Chem) in
Never let it be said that chemicals folk don't have a sense of humour. An industry friend has sent the Blog a few samples from this website devoted to hilarious side-splitting chemistry jokes.
After some years in the aromatics business, the Blog's favourite must be this benzene joke.
Q: What is the chemical name of the following benzene-like molecule?
PhD PhD \ / C - C / \ C C \ / C - C
For the answer, go to Chemistry Joke 9
A museum dedicated to broken hearts has been founded in
"The Museum of Broken Relationships is an art concept which proceeds from the assumption that objects possess integrated fields - 'holograms' of memories and emotions - and intends with its layout to create a space of 'secure memory' or 'protected remembrance' in order to preserve the material and nonmaterial heritage of broken relationships."
Amongst the exhibits is a molecular animal chemical puzzle from a lovesick chemist in
Catch the museum on tour this summer in
The next time I pass through
A German company has launched a new type of automat which dispenses a 1g wafer of gold for €31 ($42.25), 10g bars, or Krugerrand gold coins. All the products come in presentation packs with a certificate of authenticity, according to an article in Business Day.
One of our expat friends working for a couple of months in Saudi Arabia phones on his Skype phone from his flat in Riyadh to say that he is homesick and finding that there is absolutely nothing to do there.
He says that where he is living there are a few restaurants, which all serve the same kind of food and nothing else: no bars, theatres, cinemas. As a beer-loving Irishman, he is finding it particularly hard but not really unexpected, and he says there is nothing to see either. There are apparently several Debenhams in Riyadh and the main recreation for most of the population is shopping.
He tries to cook for himself and has tried dishes such as camel casserole, with camel purchased from one of the local French-owned supermarkets.
(photo Faisalia Tower, Riyadh: Rex)
Vinmar has appointed Ms Sofia Honore as its agent for chemicals marketing, based in Lisbon, Portugal, from 1 June 2009, the company announced on Friday.
"Sofia's seven years of petrochemicals experience complements Vinmar's product and market portfolio very well. She will play a key role in the company's aromatics and related chemicals buying and selling activity throughout Europe," the company said in a statement.
Sofia was formerly with Peninsula Trading in Lisbon.
Vinmar's European operation is based in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands.
Michelle Obama and her daughters were photographed arriving at London's Audley pub on Monday, choosing the pub already made famous as the traditional meeting place for Europe's chemical elite after the annual Floggers Luncheon.
A new element will soon be added to the periodic table, according to this article today on BBC news and forwarded to the Blog by ICB reporter, Mark Watts.
Even with scenery like this sometimes you have to think petrochemicals. The CERI (Canadian Energy Research Institute) annual petrochemicals conference has been held at the Delta Lodge in
Nigel doesn't play golf so he missed putting through the snow but those that did on Sunday will remember the experience. He hiked up a mountain for a while before being beaten back by the blizzard - in June!
The Rockies are awe inspiring and a fine backdrop for talk about just how
The feedstock potential in this part of the world (well, a few hundred kilometres north of here) is huge but the province has to decide how it can best use the resources nature has bestowed upon it.
Philippe Geominne has joined trading house Integra to trade liquids at its offices in Brussels, Belgium, the company's executive director Gine Fyffe said on Monday.
Geominne was previously a trader at Helm Benelux.
Meanwhile, John Clement, formerly of INEOS Olefins & Polyolefins, would be trading propylene for Integra from August.
By: Nel Weddle
On a huge billboard by the M3 the grizzled face of Leonard Cohen looks into the middle distance ignoring the passing traffic as he promotes his one and only show in the South of England at Mercedes-Benz World on Saturday 11 July 2009.
At 75 he's still touring with his own special brand of "music-to-cut-your-wrists-by", since losing most of his previous fortune in dealings with his management. He is probably working a lot longer than he had intended, like some of the elder statesmen in our own chemical industry, still doing deals at well past their retirement dates. But apparently he enjoys it and he's still getting rave reviews, so why not?
The Blog hadn't even been aware that there was Mercedes-Benz World at the famous Brooklands motor racing circuit and airfield near Weybridge, Surrey, although we have long been heralding this year's EPCA opening party at Mercedes-Benz World in
Ladies, sit down to watch this one. It's a stirring advert for the British and Irish Lions June 2009 rugby tour of South Africa, showing the Sasol-sponsored team shirts of the home team off to full advantage.
Bowing to popular pressure, the Blog today launched a new category: "Celebrities in Chemicals," which has gathered together recent postings on:
Park Ji Sung (May)
Kim Jong Il (May)
Vivienne Westwood (May)
Adam Lambert (May)
Mikhail Gorbachev (April)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (March)
George Clooney (March)