Links ‘n Things Monday (1/14/13)

What’s the generally accepted cutoff for saying “Happy New Year”? One week? A couple of days? Either way – it’s too late to say it so I’ll just say, “it’s been awhile!” We’re back in the saddle here at Sun Recruiting, we’ve been back since the 3rd, but have been mostly in job gathering mode – making sure our reqs from last year are updated and taking new positions to recruit on. At any rate, I’m excited to get back to regularly publishing this blog, enjoy!

1) Saw this last week – NASA basically came out and said that despite our technology for detecting Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), we likely wouldn’t see a catastrophic meteor coming. In fact – all we would likely see is “a flash of light and the shaking of the ground as it hit.” That’s unsettling if you’re worried about such things – to me it just puts into perspective how little we know about the Solar System around us: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/01/10/we-probably-wouldnt-even-see-a-doomsday-asteroid-until-it-was-too-late/

2) This article is a little old (it was published prior to the “fiscal cliff” fix), but it suggests that the business prospects of the chemical industry are looking up. 2012 was a pretty blah year but, “the consensus is that U.S chemical output will improve during 2013. Volume of chemicals, excluding pharmaceuticals, will increase 1.9% in 2013 and 2.3% in 2014. Strong growth is expected in plastic resins as export markets revive. Demand from end-use markets, most notably light vehicles and housing, will drive production of specialty chemicals.” Here’s the full article: http://www.chemicalprocessing.com/articles/2013/prospects-brighten-for-chemical-industry/?show=all

3) Pretty scary moments at the SNF Flopam facility in Plaquemine, LA last week when a tornado went through the facility. Not only that, the facility surveillance cameras caught the tornado. Sounds like some really tense moments: http://www.fox44.com/news/tornado-rips-through-plaquemine-chemical-plant

4) No pop-Science website would be worth it’s salt without publishing Lists. I like Wired.com and I enjoying reading this — a list of the top 15 “Worst Scientific Mistakes of 2012”. My personal favorite is the bit about Felix Baumgartner: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/01/worst-science-misdeeds-2012/

By the way – quick aside on that last item; towards the end there are 3 items related to retractions and another couple related to falsified research — this has really become a SERIOUS problem within the “industry” of science, if you think it isn’t, check out this website, which tracks retractions: http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/ — what is unbelievable to me is that a “scientist” with 172 retractions to his name is allowed to publish anything.

5) I’ll leave you with one hell of a cool chemical reaction – actually, it’s not so much a reaction as it is a decomposition – specifically the decomposition of mercury (II) thiocyanate. Trust me, you want to see this: http://i.imgur.com/dDome.gif

That’s all for this week – we send out a monthly e-newsletter with chemical industry news and jobs – if you’d like to join the mailing list, please click here: http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=ncx8utiab&p=oi&m=1108760976461

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