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Olympic stadiums feature polycarbonate roofs

The Olympic stadiums in Shenyang and Tianjin, and the sailing center in Quingdao are now on display to the public with their dazzling polycarbonate roofs. My colleague Peter has received today this press release from Bayer MaterialScience with full details of the construction and siting, along with some pretty good photos.

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Totally recyclable PLA cups for ICIS smoothies

It’s getting everywhere. These recyclable PLA (polylactic acid) smoothie cups were spotted in the ICIS canteen on Wednesday. The big recycling push here at Reed Business Information (RBI – ICIS’s parent company) has extended to food packaging and even paper napkins made from recycled paper. Recycling is encouraged across our offices as it is in so many others now. I wonder what the full impact will be on virgin petro-polymer demand?

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Protecting our heroes with plastics

These chemical advertisers know how to tug on your heartstrings. The Blog’s eye was caught by this heroic fireman rescuing a cute child with the aid of Bayer’s “high-tech plastic with extremely high break resistance and impact strength (making it) ideal for use in helmet visors.”

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Nanotechnology and Art

Think about nanotechnology and chemistry and, perhaps, engineering, come to mind – but art? Yet there is no reason why that should be. A just-started two week course at UCLA is encouraging high school pupils to look at science and art differently and using nanotechnology as a starting point

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Your YouTube viewing habits made public

A word of warning for Blog readers who have delighted in chemical industry spectacular videos like “INEOS Dormagen Fire”, “Global News Meeting Houston”, “EPCA Berlin 2007″, “APLA 2007 Buenos Aires” and many more. A US court has ruled that Google must divulge the viewing habits of every user who has ever watched any video on YouTube, according to a BBC article spotted by fellow blogger Jim Muttram in his Inflection Point blog.

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How to get rich: Rockefeller

A newspaper leader on “The Arithmetic of Crude Oil” made the Blog smile when it cited
Rockefeller’s famous recipe for growing rich – “Get up early, work late, and strike oil”. There were also two other good pieces on “Garbage in, petrol out” and “Diesel from algae”. And a piece about worried oil traders, whose part in the global oil price hike is now under scrutiny.

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Post-holiday chemical reading

While the Blog has been away on holiday (of which, more later), it seems that the mainstream press has been full of items of interest to chemical folk. UK supermarkets are now selling milk in recyclable plastic pouches, with a plastic jug, or “revolutionary eco-friendly milk container” to store in the fridge, according this article in the Times. ExxonMobil started a series of full page ads in the The Daily Telegraph (p7 on 9 June) on “The Global Energy Challenge”. Lucy Kellaway in the FT puts her finger on the button as to why people aren’t happy in their corporate jobs. They don’t get to spend enough time doing what they consider to be their real job. Beauticians, hairdressers and soldiers, by contrast, spend their working lives doing the work they have chosen to do, and have been trained to do, and are top of the happiness charts.

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KLM to add algae to jet fuel

Frequent flyers in Europe’s petrochemical heartland of the Benelux will be interested to read that the Dutch airline KLM has announced an agreement with Algae-Link to procure algae oil to be blended with its conventional jet fuel. Testing will begin in autumn 2008, with a view to fuelling 50 planes with algae-based kerosene by 2010.

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Shanghai’s royal flush

I am prepared to believe that Shanghai Pudong airport’s new Terminal 2 is the most beautiful and tranquil airport in the world. The soaring architecture, the serenity and the sparkling cleanliness of the place all play their part, but for the final astonishing touch, you have to see the washrooms in the Shanghai Airlines first class lounge. Here you have the last word in hi-tech toilets: heated seats, various angles and directions of water cleansing aimed at your lower torso, a choice of spurting or pulsing water jets, and such a variety of flush modes that I just didn’t have time to work my way through them all.

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Architecture Review: Ortner & Ortner in Vienna

It’s a tenuous chemicals connection, but there are some great photos of the Museum of Art (MUMOK) in Vienna, designed by my namesakes Ortner&Ortner (two for the price of one) posted on Tuesday on my now favourite architecture blog, “A Daily Dose of Architecture”.

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