Category: Chemistry


Hmmm ;)

Hmmm ūüėČ

Yes they are big and fundamental in how we became and what were are today.

Below is a link to the 25 biggest turning points in earth’s history. Science is continually ¬†shining an almost celestial light to illuminate the path out of ¬†the darkness of our ignorance ¬†in understanding our ¬†existence. Exciting discoveries are being made. It is now thought that life on our planet ¬†began in deep space.

The cloud of gas and dust that eventually formed our sun and solar system was created over 5 billion years ago  by the massive  death throes  and explosion of a massive star over 10-100 times the size of our sun in an event known as a supernova. This cloud  contained all the elements we know of today and make us up.

So we are literally  star born!

Chemical precursors  to life have been found in comets and asteroids that were and still are  around  from 5 billion years ago at the birth of our solar system, from this cloud.

Some of these objects  were very many at the beginning  and  their close orbits meant that they  regularly collided with the  forming earth.  Some of these comets and meteorites  seeded our planet  with chemicals and materials which over millions of years evolved into multi cellar life, primitive bacteria and thenceforth to us billions of years later.

Please click below to link to an interesting BBC science article graphically portraying those key points &  milestones in hour history




Lead Poisoining & The Romans

RomansPeter and I are watching a very interesting documentary about volcanoes.

Lead poisoning & The Romans

It touched on many things including lead poisoning during the First Century Rome.

Unbeknownst of the toxic effect of lead, the Roman Aristocrats of the First century were being poisoned with lead imbibed from their wine, food and the use of make-up.

Apparently to make wine or syrup to sweeten their food, they  must use (grapes still in bunches Рtwigs and all), which they would boil in lead pots.

As a consequence of the lead poisoning, many of the aristocrats went mad like Caligula and Nero.

It was probably the lead that led Caligula to appoint his horse a position in the senate. lol

There were also problems with fertility.  The Aristocrats were not reproducing (which is now believed to be due to the excessive lead in their bodies), so much so that it became an offense to not have an offspring or two amongst the aristocrats.

Wee Mobile

This is good news and I certainly want to find out how to harness power from wee. I am one of those who never remember to charge mobile phones.

WARNING! To power up your mobile/cell phone using wee/urine doesn’t mean you go to the loo/toilet and urinate on your phone. Shocking LOL

I am afraid  harvesting power from urine is a sophisticated process.


‘Urine could charge mobile phones’

Press AssociationPress Association¬†‚ÄstTue, Jul 16, 2013

Urine has been used to power a Samsung mobile phone

Press Association – Urine has been used to power a Samsung mobile phone

Scientists are claiming a world first in developing a way to charge mobile phones using human urine.

The Bristol-based boffins have been able to charge a Samsung phone by putting urine through a cascade of microbial fuel cells. They have generated enough electricity to send text messages, browse the internet and make a brief phone call.

The scientists now plan to develop the technology to be able to fully charge the handheld device.

The discovery has been made by a team of experts working at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, which is a collaboration between the University of the West of England and the University of Bristol.

Dr Ioannis Ieropoulos, from the University of the West of England, is an expert at harnessing power from unusual sources using microbial fuel cells.

He said: “We are very excited as this is a world first, no-one has harnessed power from urine to do this so it’s an exciting discovery. Using the ultimate waste product as a source of power to produce electricity is about as eco as it gets.”

The microbial fuel cells act as an energy converter, which turns organic matter directly into electricity, via the metabolism of live microorganisms.

Essentially, the electricity is a by-product of the microbes’ natural life cycle, so the more they eat things like urine, the more energy they generate and for longer periods of time.

The electricity output from microbial fuel cells is relatively small and so far the Bristol scientists have only been able to store and accumulate these low levels of energy into capacitors or super-capacitors, for short charge or discharge cycles. It is the first time they have been able to directly charge a mobile phone battery.

The project has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Gates Foundation and the Technology Strategy Board. The ‘Waste to Real Energy: the first MFC powered mobile phone’ article has been published in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Salt, Sodium Chloride (NaCl)

Salt is consumed by us as a flavouring or condiment; it is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt (table salt  mixed with a minute amount of various salts of the element iodinewhich helps prevent iodine deficiency.

Salt: It’s Properties

Salt is crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.

Salt or Sodium Chloride (NaCl) has many uses.  Some of which are for cooking, preserving, flavouring, as a table condiment traditionally with the ubiquitous black pepper, etc.

Salt is a mineral essential to the human body, yet we tend to think of it as a spice essential to cooking. It sharpens flavour and stimulates the tastebuds, helping make other food tastier and more appetising, and is an important preservative. In countries where salt is not added directly to food, other ingredients (such as soy sauce and other fermented pastes and liquids) add a salty component.

Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to dizziness muscle cramps and can cause electrolyte disturbance  which leads  neurological problems, or death. Drinking too much water, with insufficient salt intake, puts a person at risk of water intoxication hyponatremia.

Fatalities  can occur by ingestion of large amounts of salt in a short time (about 1 g per kg of body weight)  Deaths have also resulted from attempted use of salt solutions as emetics (purges)  forced salt intake, and accidental confusion of salt with sugar in child food.

Salt is also thought to have magical properties and is mentioned in religious holy books and pagan rites

The Hebrew Bible quaotes¬†¬†the story of Lot’s¬†¬†wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the cities of Sodam & Gomorrah Genesi 19:26) as they were destroyed. ¬†The Book of Job contains the first mention of salt as a condiment. “Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Job 6:6)

In the Christian New Testament, six verses mention salt. Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount ¬†¬†referred to his followers as the ¬†“Salt of the earth” ¬†Paul the Apostle¬†encouraged Christians to “let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).

In one of the Hadith recorded in Sunan Ibn Majah¬†the Islamic Prophet Muhammad¬†is reported to have said that: “Salt is the master of your food. God sent down four blessings from the sky ‚Äď fire, water, iron and salt”

Salt is mandatory in the Catholic  rite of the Tridentine Mass  Salt is used in the third item (which includes Exorcism)

Salt is considered to be a very auspicious substance in Hinduism, and is used in particular religious ceremonies like housewarmings and weddings. In Jainism, devotees offer raw rice and a pinch of salt before a deity to signify their devotion.

In Judaism  it is recommended to have either a salty bread or to add salt to the bread if this bread is unsalted  To preserve the covenant between their people and God, Jews dip the Sabbath bread in salt.

In th pagan   Wicca, salt is symbolic of the element Earth. It is also believed to cleanse an area of harmful or negative energies. A dish of salt and a dish of water are almost always present on an altar. For consecration  salt is mixed with the water  producing a holy water. This mixture is used in a wide variety of rituals and ceremonies.

 Did you know?

Our body contains 4 oz of salt.

Huixocihuatl in Aztec culture  was a fertility goddess who presided over salt and salt water.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans invoked their gods with offerings of salt and water.

Too much in your diet can cause puffiness of the face and body and can lead to health issues.


If you have an unwanted visitor, be sure to pour down salt on your doorsteps after the visitor had gone. The salt will ensure the visitor won’t be back. ūüėČ

Sprinkling salt on the front doorsteps keeps evil away.

We are now familiar with horror movies where a magic circle  of salt will prevent evil forces and demons from getting to you.

Anyway a superstition from the medieval period believed that a bag of salt should be placed in a cradle next to a child who has not been baptised to protect it from witches.

For the relief of pain:

Apply a small bag of salt, which has been heated in the oven, to the affected area.  The heated salt retains its temperature for a long time and can give considerable pain relief!