Now a cutesy little self-charging mobile battery has been designed which can be twirled around your finger to convert the kinetic energy into power. "30 twirls of the finger would generate enough power for two minutes of talk time, or 25 minutes on standby," according to this article on inhabitat.com.
January 2010 Archives
I might have believed that two French designers were so enamoured of Lego that they chose it to construct a kitchen island unit in their Parisian apartment, described in gushing detail in a five-page article in the Style section of Saturday's Times Magazine (sorry, links not working).
I might have believed it until I saw the accompanying photo of Philippe and Simon, "designers of stickers, tiles, posters and T-shirts." Do they look like they would spend the alleged seven days carefully piecing together the multicoloured ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) bricks? The Blog reckons that kitchen unit was put together just ahead of the photographer's visit and dismantled just as quickly afterwards.
"We put in a basic white Ikea kitchen, but then used Lego to create a façade around the island unit," (supply own French accent).
And did anyone think of the hygiene implications of liquids dripping down between the bricks?
The Blog can't help but observe that Lego is increasingly being used to fill space in the Design or Lifestyle sections of the mainstream press. Whatever next? How long before the cunning little bricks can be shoehorned into the Sports section?
I've just heard from trader Jay Cho that he is leaving Interchem, after five years of service in
My best memories of Jay were from the golf days he organised at a chateau near
A nice Season's Greetings card from Total's European Aromatics Trade Team has arrived in the Blog email inbox this afternoon. It was quite a thin year for seasonal greetings, so let's share this one around.
As chemicals traders are quick to relate, the area around
According to the property writers, the keenest buyers of homes in the area are not the super-rich but "the working affluent, with £1 million to £2 million to spend on their home." Lucky the chemicals boys and girls got in there early, because despite the property downturn elsewhere, house prices in Switzerland are up by 9% from a year ago.
Get up before dawn, taxi to airport, flight to
Until today, that "lunch meeting" some time in the 1990s was my definition of ingratitude, indeed poor etiquette, to be trotted out on all occasions which demanded an anecdote about disproportionate effort for reward. However, over the years my feelings towards the perpetrator have mellowed. Dutch friends have persuaded me that a cheese roll is a very acceptable lunch, and that no insult was intended. And besides, the guy has retired now, and it is good to practise forgiveness.
Only today, that iconic cheese roll lunch stands out as a beacon of hospitality. The Blog is reeling from a four-hour train/underground/train/taxi journey today, arriving for a meeting from 12.00 to 2.00, where the lunch consisted of one cup of coffee. No meal at all. Not even a biscuit. Mean or what?
All of which leads the Blog to the observation that whereas a convivial meal in a business setting may improve business relations, a meeting specifically at a mealtime in which the food fails to appear is likely to have a distinctly dampening effect on a relationship.
Giant Lego bricks made of ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) are the star of banking group Santander's latest advertising campaign, I saw on the Sky screen in the departures hall of London's King's Cross railway station this week.
The advert shows a bridge made from CGI red Lego stretching across a gorge so that a family can continue on its holiday drive, and is the third in a series of Santander adverts starring Lewis Hamilton.
Reclaimed fire hose made from nitrile rubber has become the must have eco-friendly accessory, according to numerous press articles this week and quoted on the Elvis and Kresse website:
"The Fire-Hose range is made exclusively from genuine de-commissioned British fire brigade hoses which, after a distinguished career fighting fires and saving lives, were otherwise destined for landfill. 50% of profits from the fire-hose line are donated to the Fire Fighters Charity."
The former fire hose material is fashioned into belts, bags, clutches, wash bags, man bags and guitar straps, and sported by fashion icons Cameron Diaz, Moke, The Phoenix Rose (who they?), and Blog regulars Lord Mandelson and Leonard Cohen.
(photo: Elvis and Kresse)
The summer EPL (European Petrochemical Luncheon) is scheduled for 10 June 2010 at the Marriott Hotel in
The other EPLs of the year are planned for:
4 March 2010 - EPL Lunch in
9 December 2010 - Dinner in
Sandra Bullock looked divine in a purple plastic Bottega Veneta gown at Monday night's Golden Globes in
In this red carpet video, Sandra Bullock tells the world that her dress is made of plastic - she's about two minutes in.
Travelling to new places, especially when they are warm and sunny, is interesting, whereas travelling to the same places repeatedly is not. Especially when they are in the less attractive parts of one's own country.
For petchem businesses with a global reach, a certain amount of business travel is inevitable. After the deepest cutback in executive travel in the fourth quarter of 2008, people seem to be back on their planes as if it had never happened.
Everyone knows someone who seems to be forever out of the office, hell bent on gathering frequent flyer points and hotel loyalty points to support his family holidays. Now a new film, "Up in the Air" starring George Clooney, has taken this premise to its logical extreme: a man who is travelling 300 days a year and has abandoned his fixed abode, put his belongings into storage and lives in a series of hotel suites, with no bills to pay, no cleaning to consider and all his relationships en route.
Trammochem has announced the appointment of Vitex Trading as its exclusive agent for Latin American markets effective 15 January 2010, the company announced in a press release. Vitex will be represented by Santiago Dolden who will be located in Buenos Aires and can be contacted as below:
Chemical Processing is inviting people in the chemical industry to submit captions for its Comical Processing cartoon contest. The contest features drawings by award-winning cartoonist Jerry King. Looking at the winning captions from 2009, the Blog wonders whether this really reflects chemists' sense of humour or more an American/Canadian humour. It's interesting to compare them to these gags from UK chemical engineers.
LONDON (ICIS news)--Dirk van der Burg has joined trader Intermarc as commercial manager effective from 1 January 2010 and will be trading parts of the aromatics markets, he confirmed on Thursday.
Van der Burg, formerly with Chemium, will work from Intermarc's offices at
The Duracell Bunny is back on TV screens, and the Blog is delighted to celebrate the return of this iconic energy-related advert (put the sound on.)
According to Duracell, the "NEW Power Bunny ... has the same engaging personality, but is represented in a "herd of bunnies" coming together to form metaphors of power and strength."
The ICIS Ethanol (
This previous boom sector had dwindled away because concerns over swineflu had become a thing of the past.
Those of us with limited attention spans have failed to keep up the level of panic which encouraged companies across
I can't help but notice that the blue dispensers are never anything but full, a phenomenon borne out by this research in the current edition of New Scientist, which shows that even health professionals hardly touch the stuff.
Having sat in traffic for two-and-a-half hours due to heavy snow in London this morning, I am happy to see photos of my fellow chemical bloggers frolicking in the snow, no doubt over the weekend.
My colleague Steve Mitchell attended the IFA Crossroads Asia-Pacific Conference 2009 in Kota Kinabalu,
William S Cohen, former
"A much sought-after expert on defense (sic), economic, and international issues, Secretary Cohen offers a prospective and revealing examination of the world and its opportunities and challenges as it will exist tomorrow. He helps navigate the complex arena where government, politics, media and business intersect to locate opportunities for investment while minimizing risk."
Hot from our creative team, the latest ICIS news promotional video is ready to go ..
The winner of the "Best of Vinyl" competition was announced today on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, I heard as I drove through the frosty
The Art Vinyl competition is to celebrate the art of album covers (strangely enough not the achievements of the PVC industry) - an art which still survives despite the demise of vinyl and CDs in the age of downloading music.
The winning cover is Muse's "The Resistance," and the full artwork can be seen on the Today website.
Click here for "Death of CDs spells doom for polycarbonate"
Some of the airlines most frequented by European petchem business travellers have decided to axe First Class on their services in and around
Not that this is any great loss to most corporate middle-management travellers, who have never paid to see the inside of the First Class cabin. Just a few have wistful tales to tell of being selected for upgrades, or using their own frequent flyer points to secure the extra comfort on a long haul flight.
Nevertheless there is still a buoyant demand for First Class travel on the London-Singapore and London-Dubai routes, and the Blog's eyes lit up to see that on Singapore Airlines you can have your own private cabin with a double bed and flatscreen TV. Dream on ...
"HEATTECH fibers contain natural amino acids derived from milk protein which make the material smooth and soft to the touch."
And what can these new eco-friendly natural fibers be? Only our old friends: "39% Acrylic, 33% Polyester, 20% Viscose, 8% Elastane (Made in
(photo Heattech advert)
Swiss-based oil and chemical brokers New Stone has added a new broker. Alan Hayes, formerly of Platts in
The White Stripes' Lego pop video for their "Fell in Love with a Girl" single (2002) was shortlisted by the Guardian in its Best Music Videos of the Noughties on 24 December 2009. Director Michel Gondry and his team spent weeks building the White Stripes out of Lego, the well-known petrochemical toy.
The Guardian's list has 27 pop videos, including the Chemical Brothers with "Believe" (2005), so it's not a very short shortlist, but then it is for a whole decade. And it's probably not a good idea to get stuck in to watching them on your first day back in the office.
Wishing a Happy New Year to all faithful Blog readers - as we eagerly switch on our screens for this first working day of the first working week of 2010.
In anticipation of a year of abundant petrochemical gossip and trivia, how better to start the day than by downloading some inspirational wallpaper or ordering a T-shirt with an all-chemical Lego-themed invocation to "Fear Nothing and Be Fantastic"