About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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April 29, 2010

Chemistry In (Ahem) Everyday Life

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Posted by Derek

I'm not sure how to interpret this, but my wife just sent me this link. She points out that the item is not only on sale, but that I can get free one-day shipping. Time, however, appears to be running out on that last option, so I must (yes!) act without delay.

I'm thinking of counteroffering with a different allotrope. I'll let everyone know how that goes.

Update: her latest offer is an equitable 50:50 deal - I buy her the ring, and she gets the graphite rod for me. That plan is, I think, that this way I get the shaft twice.

Comments (23) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blog Housekeeping


1. J-bone on April 29, 2010 1:45 PM writes...

Sounds like you have a very comfortable couch.

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2. Anonymous on April 29, 2010 1:58 PM writes...

An inanimate carbon rod! In rod we trust!

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3. Henning Makholm on April 29, 2010 2:08 PM writes...

Now waiting for your alternative item to show up in the "Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed" listing ...

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4. Industry Guy on April 29, 2010 2:16 PM writes...

I'm guessing its a slow day at your place today (both home and work). I have a few columns you can run that will cost waaaay less than $308K :)

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5. Stiv on April 29, 2010 2:30 PM writes...

even cheaper - wood-encased graphite rods (with polymer top)!

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6. mikeymedchem on April 29, 2010 2:42 PM writes...

Wow - free shipping AND you save $30,800. I bet if you get an Amazon visa card, they'll knock off another 25 bucks.

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7. Sharon on April 29, 2010 2:45 PM writes...

Just for grins. Sorry I didn't get you this one.

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8. Another CMC Guy on April 29, 2010 2:46 PM writes...

I wasn't quite sure where you were going with your alternate link. Now my mates in cubeville are wondering why I'm laughing so hard. Well played, sir!!!

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9. Frank Adrian on April 29, 2010 2:49 PM writes...

How will this work?

Sofa meet Derek; Derek, sofa.

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10. HappyDog on April 29, 2010 3:25 PM writes...

The customer reviews are even funnier.

Per Henning Makholm, come on, guys! - everyone visit the link, then type "graphite rod" in the search box at the top of the page (remember to change the drop-down to "All Departments"), and view the page for Derek's allotrope.

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11. strayxray on April 29, 2010 3:32 PM writes...

While shopping for an engagement ring for my wife, I happened to stumble upon someone pushing a "synthetic" alternative to a standard diamond. This product, called Moissanite, is supposedly better than diamond in every way possible.

I asked the first question that popped in my mind, "What is it?"

They responded, "It's Moissanite!"

They missed the point. I responded, "No, I mean chemically, what is it?"

Based on their blank stares and shuffled brochures, I assure you that no previous customer had asked that question (it's silicon carbide).

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12. Stephen on April 29, 2010 4:09 PM writes...

Don't be a cheapskate!

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13. Deano on April 29, 2010 4:25 PM writes...

Given the heat and pressure you'll be under for suggesting such an alternative allotrope, your carbon residues should be transformed into an acceptable altenative in no time ;-)

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14. partial agonist on April 29, 2010 4:28 PM writes...

Since neither the graphite rod nor the diamond-platinum necklace linked by Stephen come with the Super Saver Shipping, I might have to go with the ring.

I hate to pay overinflated shipping charges...

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16. milkshake on April 29, 2010 6:03 PM writes...

there is actually a company that offers to manufacture artificial diamonds from the ashes of your loved ones... That way the late mother in law can be with you forever

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17. bcpmoon on April 30, 2010 12:37 AM writes...

The best part is "Customers Who Bought Related Items Also Bought"...

You can dream.

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18. CurryWorks on April 30, 2010 12:37 AM writes...

Would you be able to get the diamond through Sigma. This way no one (i.e. accounts receivable) will think it odd to be paying so much for so little. Plus you can smash the diamonds into billions of tiny nanodiamonds and see how well it kills cancer cells.

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19. RB Woodweird on April 30, 2010 6:46 AM writes...

"this way I get the shaft twice"

You're doing it wrong.

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20. Doug on April 30, 2010 4:51 PM writes...

Is there anything Amazon doesn't sell? Graphite rods? Just browsing the 'Industrial and Scientific' offerings is amazing.

LOVE the reviews on the ring especially the 1 star comment 'too cheap, anything under $500 K and my wife can't brag at the club'...too funny.

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21. Anonymous on April 30, 2010 6:00 PM writes...

Since you're in hot water now, and sleeping on that comfy couch, you might consider this as an acceptable peace offering...and it comes with free shipping too. Its actually rather affordable by comparison! I would definitely forgive my husband with this one!

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22. Bored on April 30, 2010 9:18 PM writes...

Derek, here is a good compromise. The name even says it is BETTER than diamond.

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23. female not interested in diamonds on May 1, 2010 9:23 PM writes...

Time to edumacate the wifey about how dirty the diamond trade is. :)

Also, remind her that diamonds are better as glass cutters and drill bits. :)

(yes, i am a female ...)

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