Restoring the periodic table

I came across this video on the interweb; it’s an interesting overview of paper-restoration process applied to an historical periodic table from Germany. There is at least one error in the dialog; perhaps you can spot it?

The chemistry involved in restoring a print of the periodic table

There are some neat lesson-plan hooks in this video, if that’s your thing. What chemical property is the conservationist trying to adjust? What chemical(s) are used to do this? What two elements play an important role in paper restoration? Additionally, where do these elements appear on the (current) periodic table? Does that surprise you? Can you propose a chemical reaction that is happening during the restoration process?

My 2018 year in review

Happy New year. I’m sitting here in the early first hours of 2019 fretting over the 50+ MPH gusts of wind travelling through my village. I’ve always been bothered by windy days; however, I am a bit more attuned to the potentially damaging effects of nature on my belongings. You see, last year I became a home owner for the first time.

The wind has me thinking about how quickly 2018 flew by. It was one of those years where I didn’t have much time to think about what I was doing or accomplishing. Therefore, I thought it would be prudent to record some of the more memorable achievements of mine from 2019. It beats checking the status of some aging tree limbs in my front yard every five minutes.

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Getting Ready for #IYPT2019

The New Year is upon us, and it’s a year that I’ve been waiting for, since it is the 150th anniversary of Mendeleev’s discovery of the periodic properties of the elements. Discovery is probably not the right word here, since other scientists had not only organized the elements in tables but also recognized their periodic properties. That said, Mendeleev is typically credited with the discovery because of what he did with the table of elements: he predicted the properties of undiscovered elements.

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My first paper on 3D printing is published

Before leaving Chicago State University in 2017, I took a sabbatical to explore a very different avenue of research from which I was originally trained.  I became interested in learning how digital fabrication tools, such as 3D printing, can be used to create inexpensive or customized scientific instrumentation that could be used for education or specialized research applications.  Now at The College at Brockport, I’ve finally put together my first 3D printed scientific instrument, which was recently published in the journal HardwareX.  The article, OMIS: The Open Millifluidic Inquiry System for small scale chemical synthesis and analysis, is open access, which means that anyone can read and download the article by heading here.

I’d like to think that when people do something important (like publish an article) they get interviewed.  Unfortunately, it’s that time of the semester where students are so stressed out, the last thing they want to do is talk to professors about anything other than “what’s on the test.”  So, if I were to give an interview, here’s the questions I’d answer (and ask) about the paper.

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Spooky droids

Knitted BB-8 and BB-9E are ready for some treats.

As you know, Rozenn has done a most excellent job at adding some fiber-art-droid-designs to my office decorations.  She also likes to make sure they are appropriately dressed for the season.  This year, BB-8 and BB-9E are ready for Trick-or-Treat with custom costumes (and matching candy bags).  Remember, if you let your droid go trick or treating, make sure they only get capacitors and ICs for treats; they are allergic to chocolate.