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Fraternal greetings to the APLA Blog

APLA launched its own blog on 27 November with a hearty “Bienvenido al blog de APLA!” It’s at   The first posting on 27 November has some photos and presentations from the APLA Workshop on 17 November at APLA’s annual conference in Rio de Janeiro, including our own George Martin, who spoke about “Recent Trends in Polymer Prices […]

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Shoe polish and light sabres – the new BASF website

BASF’s new website design has some very cute mini podcasts on the burning questions of chemistry today, like “What is shoe polish made of?” and “How does a glowstick work?” According to BASF, its site, relaunched on 27 November, has 300,000 visitors a month, making it one of the most highly frequented websites in the […]

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Shakespeare and selling off unwanted businesses

Driving north from Oxford towards Banbury, the sky is filled with parachutists from the nearby aerodrome, the autumn sun glinting off their harnesses as they come in to land to the left of the motorway. You know you’re at Banbury from the smell of coffee which wafts over the motorway from the local Kraft Foods […]

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Webexes and webinars – poor man’s business travel

I’m sitting at my desk looking at my screen and talking for 40 minutes into a void. No-one in the ICIS office is paying any attention to me, but in a distant south European city, 60 people are sitting in a meeting room, following my every word. Another 40 are sitting quietly in cities from Singapore to […]

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Lewis Hamilton triumph – but Braskem trophy goes to Massa

Did you spot the chemicals connection in Lewis Hamilton’s triumph yesterday in the Formula One World Championship?   Banners for Braskem, the Brazilian chemicals producer, adorned the Brazilian Grand Prix circuit, and the race sponsor also supplied the bioplastic trophy, made of polyethylene made from sugar cane ethanol, which was handed to Felipe Massa, who […]

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Worse than divorce

“This is worse than a divorce. I’ve lost half my net worth and I still have a wife,” said one shell-shocked share trader at the end of the worst day on the stock market for twenty years.This line came in to me from the US via yahoo messenger at about 3pm on Friday afternoon, allegedly […]

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The Blog celebrates its first birthday – a year of chemicals gossip

The ICIS Chemicals Confidential blog is today celebrating its first birthday. Born in the maelstrom of the Reed Charity Blogathon on 24 September 2007, it has grown unexpectedly strong and bonny, boasting 257 postings over the course of its first year.
The Google Analytics map shows that it is now read in 77 countries and 917 cities, and although it seems only natural that there should be a healthy global appetite for chemicals gossip and in-jokes, I have to wonder what my loyal readers in Macao and Ghana, amongst others, make of the day-to-day ramblings about business travel (45 entries), trivia (49), gossip (51), fashion (18) and parties (10).

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From chemicals to movies

Len Blavatnik of Access Industries, owner of LyondellBasell, and a major player in Russian TNK-BP amongst other things, is going into the movie business, according to articles in the Sunday Times and on Hollywood blogs. Stadium Entertainment, of which Blavatnik is a leading backer, is close to acquiring the overseas sales and distribution division of Mel Gibson’s production company Icon. Through Icon, he would take control of the Majestic film and TV library, which includes the rights to Driving Miss Daisy and Dances With Wolves, according to the Sunday Times.

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Made in China

My recent week’s holiday gave me the chance to sit on the sofa and watch the Olympic Games in Beijing and enjoy all those sports we watch only once every four years: judo, archery, canoeing, Greco-Roman wrestling to name but a few. What occurred to me during the media coverage was the naivety towards China and how it’s viewed as a developing, much-to-learn nation.

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Red ant fury at chemical plant opening

Red fire ants savaged an innocent chemicals reporter last week as she braved the great outdoors in Mobile, Alabama to cover the ground-breaking of a new plant. Suffering eight bites to her left foot, reporter Doris is now recovering in New York City, and was surprised to read that the USDA now believes that the current US population of red imported fire ants – which infests millions of acres across the southern states – can be traced back to nine to twenty queens from …. Mobile, Alabama.

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