QA and QC (Your FDA in Peace and War)

Earlier in my illlustrious career with Uncle Sam, I was a chemist with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This was in the ’60s, back when everything seemed possible. I worked for the New York office, which encompassed the New Jersey pharmaceutical industry. Some bright people far above my pay grade started a new program, …

Legalized Pot: Are We Ready for this?

About a year ago, I posted some thoughts on aspects ol marihuana legalization. At this point, it would seem that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak – about 36 states have taken some steps to decriminalize the stuff. As I’ve said in other posts, I am wholeheartedly in favor of legalization …

An Endangered Species

We don’t often think of male humans as being in peril. My generation was brought up to think of guys as the “stronger” sex, probably because men were the ones fighting WWII. (Nowadays, there are more sexes which tends to further confuse the issue). What “they” never adequately explained was that the “weaker” sex outlived …

It’s Even Worse Than We Thought

Several months ago, I postulated on history’s ranking of POTUS 45. I ranked him as, unequivocably, The Worst Ever. Little did I know how bad he really was. Like it or not, we need an update. Presidential historians used to rank the several weak sisters surrounding Abraham Lincoln (Buchanan, Fillmore, Pierce and Andrew Johnson), along …

O,Chem

During a recent medical appointment, along with the usual chit-chat, the Physicians Assistant mentioned how she had had trouble with “O Chem” as an undergraduate. Turns out she meant Organic Chemistry. The word “organic” has, in modern times, acquired several meanings it didn’t have, back in the day. We speak of a subclass of food …

Fun with Chemistry – Blowing Stuff Up

Profound question from my high school classes: “Mr. Canaff, are we going to blow stuff up? Blowing stuff up involves chemical reactions. For the most part, these reactions need to be rapid, exothermic and have one or more products which are gaseous. What do all these terms and conditions mean? Chemical reactions are not always …

Stoichiometry (What you really hated about CHEM 101)

It ain’t that bad. Just the darn numbers. If you read the last part of my previous post: 1 mole = 6.022 exp 23 = X grams What is a mole, anyhow? No, it’s not a burrowing furry animal, the bane of gardeners. It is a count of 6.022 exp 23 of……whatever. The number is …

Bean Counting 101 (Balancing Chemical Equations)

No, this is not an accounting paper. I can’t even balance my check book. The fundamental principle in chemistry is the Law of Conservation of Matter. Simply stated, stuff in an ordinary chemical reaction is neither created nor destroyed. (I can’t account for physicists who monkey around with matter and energy…….). Matter, of course, can …