Monday, May 13, 2013


Imagine that you're a chemist, and you've followed a standard procedure to produce a chemical that's new to you.  The procedures that you read didn't mention that the chemical you're making has an odor, but it does – an unimaginably foul, evil odor.  So bad, in fact, that it ended up getting you fired.  Now imagine that you had to describe that odor.  Here's a valiant attempt:
But the smell - right at the moment when we quenched (in a hood of course) we were pushed back by the solidity of the reek. I got to know many evil chemical smells over the years but nothing comes anywhere close. With the other stinkers, at least one can imagine what sort of unwashed, putrid, fishy, skunky, human-waste object those smells are related to. But I never encountered anything as nauseating or alien like PhePHMe: The memory is stil with me - the most sickly and sweetish smell of rancid gasoline combined with rotten water melons, with undertones of stale sweat, pig carcass, a hint of garlic, moldy oranges, russian-made aftershave and a cheap household air freshener…  its a whole package, and rather sweet one – like isonitriles or cyclopentadiene but magnified thousand times. A whiff of that thing and you feel that your nose just suffered a stroke and will hopefully die and peal off so that you never smell that thing again.
Not bad.  Not bad at all :)  Do read the whole story – it's marvelous, and you don't have to be a chemist to appreciate it!

Murder Charges For Ariel Castro...

Prosecutors in Ohio announced that they'll be seeking aggravated murder charges against Ariel Castro, for the miscarriages his abuse of his captive women caused.  I'm surprised that keeping three women captive for ten years doesn't carry the same sort of penalties as murder (life in prison without parole or execution), but apparently it does not.  If charging him with murder is required to make sure that miserable scum is never a free man again, then I'm all for it.

But it does raise some questions.

How, exactly, is it possible to simultaneously have legal abortion and charge someone for murdering a fetus?  If you can charge someone with murder for killing a fetus, then you are saying that killing a fetus is (under the law) the same as killing a human.  If that's the case, then how can abortion be anything other than murder?  It can't be the mother's permission – there's no other circumstance I can think of where permission excuses murder.

I'm no lawyer, but this isn't making sense to me.  I don't see how our legal system can simultaneously hold that abortion is legal and that Ariel Castro is a murderer...