Monthly Archives: February 2015
Charles Herbert Best was born on 27th February 1899. He was a scientist and co-discoverer of Insulin.
|(February 27, 1899 – March 31, 1978)|
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Ever wondered about the vitamins we need or that we eat as part of our breakfast cereal. What they do? How they help us?
The German-speaking scientists who isolated and described vitamin K (in addition to naming it as such) did so because the vitamin is intimately involved in the coagulation of blood following wounding (from the German word Koagulation).
Again, the excellent Compound Interest has produced a detailed image of the chemical structures of vitamins as below. Click on the image to enlarge.
|Click to enlarge|
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Today is Friday the 13th of February! The 13th and in particular a Friday is commonly known as being an unlucky day according to Western Superstition. It is also known as Black Friday in some countries.
There is no written evidence for a “Friday the 13th” superstition before the 19th century, and the superstition only gained widespread distribution in the 20th century. The fear of the number 13 has been given a scientific name: triskadekaphobia; and on analogy to this the fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia.
It is thought that Friday and the number 13 were traditionally considered unlucky because of their connection with the crucifixion of Christ (Friday being the day the crucifixion took place and was commemorated weekly in Catholic practice, and 13 being the number of people present at the last supper.
In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th (martes trece) is considered a day of bad luck as it is in Greece.
Research in America has shown that Friday the 13th adversely affects the economy with people changing their daily routines on this day and avoiding certain things like transport and flights. They estimate that this day can affect the economy in America meaning it loses $800 or $900 million in business on this day.
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Boron is a chemical element with symbol B and atomic number 5. It is a low-abundance element in both the Solar system and the Earth’s crust and is concentrated on Earth by the water-solubility of its more common naturally occurring compounds, the borate minerals. These are mined industrially as evaporites, such as borax and kernite. The largest proven boron deposits are in Turkey, which is also the largest producer of boron minerals.
This rare element is a metalloid; which means that it can can act both as an acid and a base, and it also behaves as a semiconductor. Boron never occurs in a pure state in the wild, and can only be purified with difficulty by chemists. Boron is a poor conductor of electricity, and is fairly non-reactive, although it is water soluble. The most common uses for boron-containing compounds includes a bleach for clothing, a swimming pool disinfectant and to produce green flames.
About half of global consumption of boron compounds is as additives for glass fibres in boron-containing fibreglass used for insulation or as structural materials. The next leading use is to make boron polymers and ceramics, that play specialised roles as high-strength lightweight structural and refractory materials. Borosilicate glass glassware is used for its greater strength and breakage resistance (thermal shock resistance) than ordinary soda lime glass.
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