[Poem: "A Biochemical Sonnet"]

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  • LETTERS T o the Editor:

    Regarding the article on liquefying ammonia,' I cannot resist the urge to add my experience to that of your correspondent from Putney, Vermont. I, too, attempted this experiment but, having learned long ago that rarely are adequate precautions prescribed, used not only safety goggles but did the whole thing in a recessed sink. Nonetheless, the blasted tube blew up in my case, too, and luckily I escaped with but a few wrist lacerations.

    On the whole, the directions, in my opinion, were de- cidedly inadequate, and the breezy style must have conveyed to others (possibly younger, less experienced manipulators, too) that no danger whatever was in- volved. Then, also, I submit, one of the worthy pur- poses of such scientific suggestions should he, in addi- tion to increasing one's knowledge, that they permit one's survival.


    P.S. Is the original author still alive? Editor: Yes. I SHUMAKER, "Refrigeration: A demonstration for the class-

    room," THIS JOURNAL 21. 195 (1944).

    To the Editor: May I presume to speak with favor on the editorial

    in the April, 1944, issue of the JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL EDUCATION? In particular I refer to the following state- ment: "It is time we had a real division of chemical education, to which people will look for leadership in any branch of the field. . . to trust (it) in matters of professional educational policy as confidently as (the A. C. S.) trusts any of the other divisions to establish standards and procedures." People have missed that sort of leadership.

    Among the rank and file of the A. C. S. memhership over the country there is a resurgence for more real professional status. This is reilected in part in many of the Local Section Publications, which are a medium for expression of opinions from the base membership upward. These publications are not properly equipped to do any more than make surveys and point out prob- lems, crystallizing points around which considered

    opinion can revolve to come to some stationary con- structive levels. They are by no means able to offer solutions to problems. In the background of the proh- lems they have to point out is that professional outlook of unfortunately limited dimensions in the average practicing chemist. Somewhere in his formal education the scope of his professional outlook was fixed in a manner which time has proved actually hampers im- provement in the status of the average chemist. In no other recognized profession does the practitioner con- fuse himself with his profession and the practice of it as much as does the chemist with chemistry and things chemical. This makes it quite difficult for the average chemist to be as adept a citizen as he ought to he in justice to himself. To "step out of the laboratory" he should he taught first how to step out of his class- room, and learn to accept the whole world and its unscientific ways as his next classroom!


    To the Editor: Enclosed is a "poem" which my classes in chemistry

    have found amusing, and I thought that i t might possibly he amusing to classes of other teachers.


    Love is but an unknown change In physicochemical constitution;

    Perhaps a jog in blood pH, A concentration or dilution.

    Some active ions are involved And charged micelles, no doubt.

    The cerebrospinal fluid thickens, Or mayhap it thins out.

    Who knows but that the only shift When broken love has turned to hate

    Is hut a mutual precipitation To form some bleak coacemate.

    True love thus smacks of Brownian Movement, But could you ask for an improvement?


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