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An All-Day Sucker

An All-Day Sucker“Folks who think money is all that matters are fools,” my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird once told me. As a boy I didn’t always pay attention to the old black man’s wisdom, but should have, especially about money.

One day while lolling with my pals on Uptown Avenue in our Mississippi Delta hometown, I learned the hard way to abide by Jaybird’s words about money. I didn’t have a cent, and needed a quarter to buy an All-Day Sucker at Peach-Eye’s Grocery. As we meandered up and down Uptown, Billy Clyde Rakestraw, known as Mr. B.C., blared his horn, scattering us from a spot near the bank where he wanted to park.

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, March 11, 2019

The chemistry behind kibble (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON—Have you ever thought about how strange it is that dogs eat these dry, weird-smelling bits of food for their entire lives and never get sick of them? There are many different dog food formulas on the market, designed for such things as weight loss, long shelf life or a balanced diet. This week on Reactions, you’ll learn what’s behind the chemistry used to make the perfect dog food kibble:



By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 9, 2019

LG Android One phone worth getting hung up on if you like great sound for tunes

LG Android One phone worth getting hung up on if you like great sound for tunesSouth Korean techmaker LG’s G7 One cell phone is an interesting beast, offering a big and very readable screen, the usual smart phone features that are popular today, and audio technology that makes it one of the best “sounding” cell phones I’ve tried in recent years.

I don’t know about you, but I probably use my cell phone to stream music and other audio – apps such as Tune-in and Accuradio to name but two – as I use it as an actual phone, so stuff like audio quality are very important to me. And I really liked how the tunes streamed from the LG – even via Bluetooth – sounded on my various vehicles and audio systems.

By Jim Bray - Thursday, March 7, 2019

How hair dye works (video)

WASHINGTON— Whether you need a disguise to run from the law or are just trying to emulate *NSYNC-era frosted tips, you may need some chemical assistance to put the hue in your do. To understand how these “shade-y” changes happen, you have to dive back into the history of chemistry. In this week’s Reactions episode, get ready to learn everything you’re “dyeing” to know about artificial hair color:



By American Chemical Society - Saturday, March 2, 2019

Junior’s Dead!

For some kids, surviving until adulthood is nothing short of a miracle. When I was ten years old, my yearning to fly like Superman almost nipped me in the bud.

At that age, I idolized comic book characters — Batman, Robin, Spider Man, Plastic Man, and Wonder Woman, but my number-one hero was Superman. I marveled at his strength, his X-ray vision, and the way women fell all over him. But his flying skills fascinated me most.

Often I daydreamed … what must it be like to zoom through the air at supersonic speeds, to alight wherever I wanted? I had to find out. With a child’s fearless, innocent faith, I decided to parachute off a barn on my father’s Mississippi Delta farm, and for a brief few moments, experience the exhilaration of breaking earth’s surly bonds.

By Jimmy Reed - Friday, March 1, 2019

Keeping heavy metals out of beer and wine

Keeping heavy metals out of beer and wine A frosty mug of beer or ruby-red glass of wine just wouldn’t be the same if the liquid was murky or gritty. That’s why producers of alcoholic beverages usually filter them. But in a study appearing in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers report that a material often used as a filter could be transferring heavy metals such as arsenic to beer and wine. They also found ways to possibly limit this contamination.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, February 25, 2019

A scientific method for perfect fondue

A scientific method for perfect fondueCheese fondue is an icon of Swiss cuisine and a dinner party staple. While it may seem like a simple dish, getting the texture right can be a challenge for optimal mouthfeel, dipping and flavor release. This requires the perfect balance of cheese, wine and starch. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Omega reveal how to use these key ingredients to produce deliciously melted fondue.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, February 25, 2019

J.J. Abrams channels the Twilight Zone while Hollywood goes Gaga over yet another Star being Born

J.J. Abrams channels the Twilight ZoneA couple of interesting new titles have premiered on 4K disc this week, one of which is a rehash of an old theme while the other one is also a rehash of an old theme – but with a decidedly weird twist.

Let’s start with Overlord, which Paramount sent in 4K. It’s a movie that will probably appeal to fans of the Wolfenstein video game franchise and, if that applies to you, you pretty well know where this movie is going.

Overlord starts off like a conventional World War II movie and it probably would’ve worked just fine if it had stayed that way. But nooooooo! Part way through the film veers directly into the Twilight Zone – a fact acknowledged by Abrams himself in the generous supplements that are on the Blu-ray that accompanies the 4K UHD (HDR) disc.

By Jim Bray - Sunday, February 24, 2019

Questions We’re Often Asked: Seedless Fruit

Questions We're Often Asked: Seedless FruitSooner or later a curious kid will inquire: why does some fruit have seeds and others don’t? Even more embarrassing is the follow up: if there are no seeds, where do the plants come from?

The answer, like the question, is two-fold. One dates back to the dawning of horticulture. The other emerged from recent discoveries in plant genetics.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, February 23, 2019

Watch: Can mixing household cleaners kill you?

WASHINGTON—When the bathroom starts looking grimy, and it’s time to whip out yellow gloves, the only thing that matters is getting the job done quickly. So you open the cabinet, see a bunch of bottles and think, “Hey, this cleans, and that cleans, so why not mix them all together? That’ll kill dirt and grime even faster!” Think again –– your all-purpose cleaning cocktail could turn a bad day even worse. Can death by toilet-bowl cleaning really happen? Today on Reactions, you’re about to find out:



By American Chemical Society - Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Pebble In His Shoe

The Pebble In His ShoeIn a discussion following a tour of William Faulkner’s home, I asked students in my creative writing course how the great writer felt about mankind’s capacity for endurance.

“He summed it up in one line from his Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech,” a student replied. ‘I believe man will not merely endure, he will prevail.’”

Another great thinker, my boyhood best friend and mentor Jaybird defined man’s capacity for endurance by living it, day by day.

By Jimmy Reed - Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Viganò: Rome Has No “Genuine Willingness” to Stop Clerical Sex Abuse

McCarrick LaicizationArchbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United states, has publicly expressed his misgivings about the upcoming Vatican summit on clerical sexual-abuse this February 21-25.

In a brief essay issued in response to an invitation to participate in a National Catholic Register symposium on the upcoming summit, he says, “I am praying intensely for the success of the February summit” but laments that there is “no sign of a genuine willingness to attend to the real causes of the present situation.”

Viganò presents three critical questions, wherein he manifests his doubt over the likelihood of success at the summit.

By David Martin - Monday, February 18, 2019

Frogmore Cottage Landscaping

Frogmore Cottage Landscaping“Forget Frogmore Castle: Come back to Toronto Harry and Meghan!” The Toronto Star headlined late last year. Toronto has more ducal lodgings—the Casa Loma, perhaps—and far superior landscaping than Frogmore. Alas, it is unlikely the couple will relinquish England, however asinine. 

Still, the quaint name of their new home might prove an attraction. Then again, it might not. They are expected to take up residence this spring. It is far from being a castle and never was. Frogmore Cottage is located on the estate of the same name, part of Home Park, Windsor Castle in Berkshire, 25 miles west of London. The cottage was built in 1801 at a cost of £450 by Queen Charlotte and was used by her unmarried daughters. Originally it was known as the “Double Garden Cottage.”

By Wes Porter - Saturday, February 16, 2019

The science behind big ‘80s hairstyles (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON—The ‘80s was a decade full of neon leg warmers, power ballads and big hair. But how did we get that big hair that was so bad it’s good? A little bit of teasing and a lot of chemistry. This week on Reactions, Ms. Beautyphile helps us tackle the science behind perms and crimping and overall big ‘80s hair:



By American Chemical Society - Friday, February 15, 2019