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June 25, 2007
Volume 85, Number 26
p. 112

Baby Bloggers

If we here at Newscripts had to guess, we'd say the average age of CHEMISTRY BLOGGERS skews younger than that of your average chemist. Why? Well, take 11-month-old Mary Helen Winkelmann, for example.

Kurt Winkelmann
Milli: It's never too soon to learn about safety.

At the tender age of nine months, Mary Helen was blogging about her newest toy—a Milli Mole doll that her dad bought for her at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Chicago. "She used it to illustrate the many important reasons for wearing proper lab safety," says Kurt Winkelmann, an assistant professor at Florida Institute of Technology, who admits he helps out with the typing on his daughter's private family blog.

"According to Mom and Dad, Milli Mole is a hilarious chemistry joke that is way too boring to explain here," Mary Helen writes in her blog. "You might wonder what hazards a chemistry doll might encounter. First, chemists must wear shoes in case a baby is teething." She illustrates by gnawing on Milli's left foot.

After a good poke to Milli's right eyeball, the nearly one-year-old notes, "Goggles are important. You never know where a baby's hand will grab you." Finally, she adds, "A lab coat protects against caustic baby drool. Overall, it is a dangerous world for a stuffed toy when a baby is near."

Elemental Names

We'd like to thank Newscripts reader Rick Samuelson for bringing to our attention the fact that the chief executive officer of China BAK Battery, which describes itself as one of the largest manufacturers of LITHIUM-BASED BATTERIES in the world, is none other than Xiangquan Li.

"If you want to make lithium batteries, then I'm sure that Mr. Li is exactly the right man for the job," Samuelson writes.

Lucky Meisenheimer
Mg: Pricey yo-yo.

Inspired by Mr. Li, Samuelson also found "references on the Web to a Mr. Au, who designs gold earrings in Hong Kong; a Mr. Al Reinhart, who works at Superior Aluminum Alloy, in Indiana; and a Mr. Ti, who is selling his titanium road bike online—but I think it's all downhill from here and not worth pursuing any further," Samuelson concludes.

Chemical Ups and Downs

Need a reminder that chemical research has its ups and downs? Look no further than Lucky's PERIODIC TABLE OF YO-YOS (available for $10 at—proceeds are donated to support the World Yo-Yo Championships).

The poster-sized table was designed and is produced by Lucky J. Meisenheimer, a dermatologist who has collected a record number of yo-yos, and John. L. Meisenheimer, a 50-year member of the American Chemical Society who "hopes that this poster will not have him removed from ACS."

Elemental yo-yo enthusiasts take note: According to Lucky, the Duncan Freehand Mg—with a body made of 99% magnesium—is the most expensive retailed yo-yo in the U.S., selling for a whopping $400.

This week's column was written by Bethany Halford. Please send comments and suggestions to