We were at the last checking book for our credit union
account. On the top of the book is a reminder sheet to
order the next checks at an email address. So I went
through the filling the form exercise and it would charge
me more than $30 for plain checks.
That seemed much to high. So I phoned the credit union
Sandy, the representative , asked for our ages and determined
that seniors do not have to pay for new checks when ordered
through them. I googled senior checking accounts and
determined that this is a common practice.
As you approach your senior years and your parents do,
contact your credit union and ask for senior checking account
Have you heard of that book?
No, well, I am here to tell you you are missing out on a real ice-breaker
of a nonfiction written by Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum.
For decades there has been a struggle between the American economy’s
desire to constantly increase productivity and the desire to maintain
blue-collar jobs. We watched
- as more machines and cheaper workers replaced
American manual laborers
- as loss of blue-collared jobs were
compensated for by creating white collar jobs
- as we see the hyper connected world
threaten white collar jobs
We do it by inventing new white collar jobs, which requires
more start-ups and better education.
Workers who can think critically, who can tackle nonroutine complex
tasks, and who can work collaboratively with teams located locally and
Critical thinking has become the basic price of admission. Look for
proven ability to innovate.
Innovation is more than conceptual thinking. It comes our of working
with the problem. Working with the materials, on the line, seeing a
problem and devising a solution. Every employee is part of the
process of continuous innovation.
EDUCATIONAL TRANSFORMATION REQUIRES WHOLE
Graduation from high school is not enough.
Six improvements are proposed:
1. better teachers and better principals
the quality of an educational system can not exceed the
quality of the teachers. A principal recruits and retains great teachers.
WE NEED A NEW EDUCATIONAL ACADEMY MODELED
AFTER MILITARY ACADEMIES.
Great teachers make the difference. Colorado can be a model
for educational improvement
Education needs its “Tuskegee Moment”- prove that children can
compete with the world’s best.
2. more involved parents that demand more in children’s education.
3. politicians who push to raise standards
4. neighbors who invest in schools even if their children are not there.
5. business leaders committed to raising educational standards
FRIEDMAN AND MANDELBAUM URGE
As globalization and IT merge, expand and advance, old
categories of developed and underdeveloped will disappear.
The world will be divided between high-imagination-enabling
countries that encourage and enable imagingation and
those countries that simply fail to develop people’s
creative capacities and abilities to spark new ideas and
nurture their extra special features.
Add to the three R’s of education– reading, writing and arithmatic
with the three C’s– critical thinking, effective oral and written
communication, and collaboration.
Several sites recommend looking in to your passport expiration
date. If less than a year, now it may be a good time for there are
concerns that delays may be in store.
One of us was close to that timing and googled passport renewal.
She went to the site and printed the form with her data. At the
bottom of the page was a form to pay a fee. ALERT. There is NO
fee for the passport renewal form DS-82! She paid it and learned
that it was a scam.
Our immediate action was to contest the credit card charge (which also
had a foreign transaction fee included. This is a further sign that it is
a bogus charge.). Please be alert and not deceived by this.
There is a fee for a new US passport and renewal. [$110′ It is
sent to the passport renewal address.
It is not enough to do good research on topics of interest and
importance. You need to formulate a strategy to present your
work so that it is read by a wider audience and referenced
as a meaningful contribution.
- attractive title”\
- storytelling introduction providing implications
- broad access (I am a supporter of open-access. Also, provide
independent links in your online presence sites to google docs,
- outreach (this is not often promoted in science communities.)
The author wrote:
“…seek out readers. …Reach out to potential audiences…
It is important to take the time to help a general audience
understand the bigger picture of whatever you do …social media,
local media, professional media.”
Broad outreach can yield interviews and support future attempts
to scientific collaboration and application.
We are into the 6th month of the Pandemic that affects
all industries and the chemical enterprise, including
universities and funded research. While I could list several
things to do,
The ACS does a creditable job in the following link.
Please consider three related things regardless of what stage
your career is in?
1. Be prepared for a job loss or unexpected job change.
Regularly line up your public relations documents and digital
2. Continue to learn new skills and expand your abilities
new and emerging areas, in-demand strength areas and areas
where you know or have been advised you need improvement.
3. Extend a helping hand to others. Let them know you are
there for them. Work hard at it, as it is amazing how much this
will mean no matter where you are in your career growth path.
[mentor others, offer strong recommendations, promote people
for honors, awards and honorary designations, if you are authoring
a technical journal article consider mentioning recognition of
a teacher or mentor]
NOT REAL Career Management Alert
Received an email recently that you might delete as
not in your best interests…
Hope this mail finds you in the best of your health.I am Mirha Shah, an independent academic
consultant. I provide assistance to higher-education
level students in the articulation of their dissertations
and thesis. I connect them with the published
scholars of their fields.These scholars help you out in:
- Finding a suitable research topic,
- Deciding on the appropriate methodology,
- Gathering, analyzing, and presenting the data,
- Drafting the manuscript as per standard referencing styles, and
- Will remain with you, till you defend your study, in front of I.R.B.
This is the second recent scam this blog alerts you to
be aware that it seems to be spreading at this uncertain and
potentially devastating time in our careers…
I get bombarded with you have been cited notices
in one of my email accounts. Then I received a half
off subscription email. This is so common these
days, so I checked into it and share…
Is Academia Edu legit?
As mentioned in the last post, something that may be of interest
is for us chemists to learn about our heritage, our familial
My Academic Genealogy follows the academic paths of my
senior thesis adviser, Bob Alendoerfer, from SUNY Buffalo, and
Ernest Grunwald, doctoral thesis adviser from Brandeis University.
My career path information is provided in the Linkedin.com
Also, my career path found me involved in a number of
projects and departments for Esso Research/Exxon Research/
ExxonMobil and Polaroid Corporations, the University of
Connecticut Chemistry Department, and as a career
consultant/workshop presenter for American Chemical
-Advanced Battery Project Zinc Bromine Flow Batteries
co-workers: Bhaskara M. L. Rao, Paul Malachesky, Richard
Bellows, Tom Whitney, Augie Venero
Lithium Ion Batteries
co-workers: B. M. L. Rao, M. Stan Whittingham, Bob Hamlen,
Joe Shropshire, Bob Thomas, Al Groman
-Solar Photovoltaic Project: Polycrystalline Silicon - Solar
co-workers: Jim Amick, Paul Maruska, Tom Feng, Amal Ghosh
-Shear Thickening Fluid Technology for Oilfield Problems
co-workers: Don Siano, Evelyn Drake
Negative Manufacturing: Silver Halide Emulsion Production
co-workers: Ed Brandenburg, Bob Woeller, Mike Riebe,
co-workers: John Cabral, Jackie Pires, Jack Horrigan, Nimi
Natan, Sandy Levine, Don Preissler
Six Sigma Projects
co-workers: Chuck Page, , Brad Pires, Barry Mahoney,
Freeman Chen, Emil Cuiczak, Mike Young,
Bonnie Ferreira, Project Bridge Teachers
Health, Environmental And Safety
co-workers: Dick Chandler, Dave Morreale, Mike Walters,
Sean Riley, John LeFevbre, Dick
University of Connecticut
Department of Chemistry
Colleagues. collaborators: Amy Howell, Steve Suib, Patrick
Gordon, Doug Adamson, Marisha Godek,
Chris Eustace, Brenda Eustace, Lisa Balbes
Let me pose an idea for Chemists that builds on the naming of
the Periodic Table as the topic of the year a couple of years ago.
We all noticed that scientists volunteered a story about their
Throughout my career Bromine has been a common
denominator of research, manufacturing and enterprise. So I
have created a document telling its story that I have pulled
together from a number of fields with a 21st century perspective…
that entails knowing about toxicology, ozone depletion,
biochemistry, and even geology and historical uses and abuses.
I encourage others to create their own favorite element story and
I will gladly list their perspectives in this blog. [To my mind,
CEN tried to give one page, edited views that missed a valuable
opportunity to teach about advances and new notions.]
Another opportunity I wish to suggest people learning about is
their “Scientific Genealogy”. That could be not only the
university department from which each of us attended and
graduated from, but also teachers and their teachers, colleagues
and their contributions. Think about it and the value it would provide.
Thanks to the reader who alerted me to USAJobs.gov
website change. It is important to notify authors where
errors that can be corrected are located and what
should be done.
Thanks to the reader of the blog.
Let me start by wishing all readers good health and
patience in the human struggle with the coronavirus
pandemic. We wish it were not in our environment.
Now that it is we need to work together to survive
We each have struggles each day. Face them and
overcome them. We are scientists and technologists,
all. Let me tell you what I faced this morning with
my laptop, quarantined at home like many others. I
was perusing the news and mail and regularly visited
websites this morning when I noticed my lithium ion
battery was getting low state of charge signals. I had
the charger cord plugged in. What was going on?
This battery was replaced two months ago with an unused
one online, not from Dell (They only sold “refurbished”
batteries for this laptop.); it was installed guided by a
you-tube ‘how-to’ video and has been working nicely.
What to do? Go on line and see what others have
faced and done, right! Accordingly, I opened the
computer up to wipe the electrodes clean. While it
was sitting on my lap, I look down and the power cord light
was not lit. the plug had loosed from the socket and was
the root cause.
Lesson: Look for root causes of problems before you go
Electrochemistry in Space
The latest issue in “Interface
” brings us incredibly
thought-provoking articles that should move you to
take several looks.
The first uses the technology of ‘regenerative fuel cells
to explain the details of and action items included in
NASA patent of the utility patent US 7,410,714,
K. A, Burke.
[For all interested in a terrific series of technology
patenting please see
Cordeiro and colleagues show photos and descriptions
of a variety of sensor systems
Bugga and Brandon nicely review the history of
that find their way into the decades
of space programs and pointing out the need for
“beyond lithium” technologies
This is strongly recommended reading for people
interested in the science as well as future career
Trend that I noticed is not including an objective.
I prefer seeing Qualifications which aim specifically at
the job description musts and wants. The article suggests
David Brooks, The Second Mountain: A Quest for a Moral Life,
RandomHouse, NY 2019
Rachel Maddow, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State
Russia, and the Richest Destructive Industry on Earth, Crown, NY, 2019
David E. McCaw, Truth in our Times: INSIDE THE FIGHT FOR PRESS
FREEDOM IN THE AGE
OF ALTERNATIVE FACTS, All Points Books, NY
THE ROAD TO UNFREEDOM: RUSSIA, EUROPE
Tim Duggan Books, NY 2018
Preet Bharara, Doing Justice: A PROSECUTOR’S THOUGHTS ON CRIME
AND THE RULE OF LAW, Alfred Knopf NY 2019
Doris Kearns Goodwin, LEADERSHIP
IN TURBULENT TIMES, Simon &
Schuster, NY, 2018
Clint Watts, Messing with the Enemy: SURVIVING IN A SOCIAL MEDIA
HACKERS< TERRORISTS, RUSSIANS ANND FAKE NEWS,
HarperCollins, NY 2018
For access to all of 2019 entries with links to the pages please review
the following listing.
Hot Buttons. Trade secrets 9-11
Hot Buttons. Cell phone hacking 8-21
Hot Buttons. Subscription
Hot Buttons. Where do
you get reliable data,
information and conclusions 7-29
Hot Buttons. Stress
in Grad School, Post-doc, and career
Hot Buttons. Women in
Scientific Leadership Roles 7-11
Hot Buttons. Online
Hot Buttons. Motivation underpinnings, Financialization
and Laws 6-3
References following Job Interviews 9-7
Provisional and Utility patent applications
and C-I-P 7-25
Watch-Outs 110. H3+,
High Pressure Elements, Retractions 6-14
Scientific Writing Editing Review
Job Loss, Job Search and Retirement. 5-20
Tax Law Change.
Relocation and :Grosss Up”
Habits. Top Four that
enhance your self esteem 4-17
Best Jobs and Predictions 4-14
Update on Financial Record-keeping 4-12
Professional Profile 7.
4-5 Technology Specialist,
Technology Patent LLC
Professional Profile 6.
2-23 Senior Supervisor
Professional Profile 5.
2-11 Policy and Advocacy Fellow
Society for Neuroscience
Professional Profile 4.
1-21 Pharmaceutical Process
Professional Profile 3.
1-20 Field Application Scientist
Professional Profile 2.
1-19 Medical Science Liaison
Professional Profile 1.
1-15 QUESTIONS. Applied energy
research, Photographic production and process research, Adjunct
New Requirements 3-27
Plan S. OPEN ACCESS
Suggestions from Clint Watts 3-16
End of Year Career Management 2018 12-23
NYT takes up Google-Alphabet-Uber law suit against Anthony
Levandowski regarding trade secrets of files when he left in 2016.
The article reports:
The statute defines the class of proprietary property “trade secret” as
“any form and type of financial, business, scientific, technical,
economic or engineering information, including patterns, plans,
compilations, programs or codes, whether tangible or intangible, and
whether or how stored, compiled or memorialized physically,
electronically, graphically, photographically or in writing….
But for information to qualify as such its owner must take
“reasonable measures to keep such information secret and derive
independent economic value from its not being generally known.
The prosecutor must also show that transfer was done by improper
means, meaning theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or
inducement of a breach of duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage
through electronic or other means. The statute does not define
reverse engineering or other lawful means as such.
Toxic chemical ingredient cannot
be a trade secret (Metzger
Withheld toxicological ingredient information
medical treatment pursuit for employee exposure cases (LSU
describes in more detail than NYT some steps that the
owning company must take to protect the trade secret. In rapidly
evolving industries not all the privacy steps are taken and documented.
One of critical pieces of data you must have ready in an interview
is a list of at least three references.
Along with this, please know it is critical to have asked those
individuals whether they are available to provide good references
for you. To help them do their job, it is so critical to provide
a current CV or resume and with whom you have or will be
Recommendation references can be requested via mail and email,
and also via email in a phone call where there is an actual
conversation between an interviewer and your reference.
I have known HC for nearly ten years where we have worked on
her career path search process. Her goal from the beginning has
been to work in a government research lab or federal department
as a scientist/ chemist. After her Ph.D. she gained a post doc position
in a field related to pharmaceutical sciences. A four year R&D role
and academic positions followed. In each, she has come up to speed
quickly and made creditable contribution.
Earlier this year, I strongly recommended her for the academic
role. To prepare me for this we had a telecon to help me develop
an understanding of her motivation and qualifications. The process
followed where I wrote a supporting letter to the search committee.
Since I have not been a supervisor or co-worker, I perform as
a professional personal reference and provide a brief summary
of my background as a manager and interviewer and teaching
professional skills as a consultant and adjunct for many.
Ideal references need to provide your assets and specific examples.
So, it is important that you know he or she will be able to do
this. Rank of the individual is less significant than their ability
and experience supporting your candidacy.
If your reference is asked to conduct a phone reference
conversation, it may be a sign that your quite highly considered
for the opening and the conversation will “close the deal”. So
it was for HC, there was a strong positive reaction to the interview
process. Yet one of the other three references failed to respond.
This could be a situation where you are asked to provide three
references and where you add a fourth, just in case.
References for professional positions, you should:
- Have a list of four four professionals–name, title, affiliation,
address, phone (confirm the right one for interviewers to use), email.
(Senior level positions could require 5 to 7.)
- Obtain permission and availability to provide a good reference
- Keep your references aware of your progress.
- Send current resume, CV, cover letter and related documents to
- Thank your references, letting them know you appreciate their efforts.
- When leaving a position, thank your supervisor in that role for their
role with respect to you.
- Consider greeting references with a holiday card in a personal, more
than casual way.
- Understand providing a reference requires thought, time and know-how.
Find ways of professionally recognizing them for doing more.
Reader, whether on cell phone, laptop, tablet or
desk top, you may have a general preference, or not. Yet,
most will use your cell phones for many communication
and data managing. In fact you may even control
experiments via cell phones.
This post is not offering a recommendation for your choice.
It is aimed at alerting you to the real problem of losing
control of your identity by making public your cell phone
This is something you should carefully limit, like giving
out your id or password.
Online hackers are targeting cell phone numbers increasingly
as their use for many things increases. An article by M.
Stokes highlights a half dozen items that may signal your
cell phone number has been hacked– shorter battery life,
interrupted performance, increased data use, uninitiated
calls or texts from your phone, and mysterious pop-ups and
trapped into a cell phone hacking situation. It is worth
Do you reckon how many situations you “choose” to accept
a subscription? Your yearly membership in ACS– subscription
[how many years have you been a member?] , Marriott hotel
chain ‘elite’ member, Netflix subscription, Amazon ‘prime’,
New York Times online subscription, journal subscriptions
(both personal and institution). Business has adopted the
model that individuals do not ‘own’ things, memberships,
and even personal items. It is evolving to ‘things-as-a service.’
and others have indicated a change to the time
covered the subscription model in some detail showing
how they use AI and collect and parse your personal data for
increased sales without human interaction.
Marketing is different for ownership and subscription models.
Ownership is driven by getting you interested in one time
purchase. Whereas subscription marketing has
-streamlined purchasing, with the company knowing
everything about you
-advertised easier returns and breaking off subscription,
if satisfaction is not met
-with the aim to keep you as a subscriber, there a regular
upgrades and improvements, new content and features
-many subscription services allow you to pick specific
items for your needs and wants.
Know that the chemical enterprise is already deeply
involved in the subscription model. R&D is likely to
be headed there.
It is just as hard now, as it was in the past, to assess reports
of data. In the past, one would have to wait until there was
enough sample size using the specific question. So often
now we need to assess the bias inherent in the source.
[If data is published in peer reviewed journals by a variety
of established authors, it is likely worth using the results and
conclusions. What must be factored in is that publications support
awarding of grants and promotions. Publications represent
a time-honored path. Things can be proven wrong, but rarely
do these kinds of results find the light of day.]
Think about business news or about scientific data, hypotheses
and conclusions in “news.” So much is hampered by bias from
various sources. In science, we speak about the importance of
controls or control charts and sample size. The logic of
conclusions and validity of models also play essential roles.
There is an equivalence in the non-scientific world of looking
at ‘news cycles’ and marketing of ideas. In addition, we are
encouraged to realize the emotional content and repeat frequency
with catchy easy phrases that sway human thinking when there
is not an equally persuasive rebuttal.
There was a time when audiences believed that there was an
editor and fact checker for what is reported in media. It seems
like this is no longer the case as the money driven enterprises
seek ready-viewers and ready-readers. So common now summaries
of habits miss that dimension.
Nonetheless, polls depend on the question raised, options of
answers, the sample size and variety, timing and context.
They are of a different “reality.”
to report, consume and believe the news we pay attention to.
It is of high value to highlight journalism best practices
using the scientific method.
Realizing most scientists and engineers receive little
specific training in grad school or their careers related
to patent applications. It is instructive to see the next
in the series of contributions by
Taylor Jennings and Maria Inman.
Their summary reveals the significant content: contains a
synopsis of the discovery of Lithium - LiMPO4 materials
followed by (1) filing provisional patent applications, (2)
filing of utility patent application, and (3) filing continuation -
in - part patent applications,
The strong article clarifies differences between the two
kinds of applications and the requirements to maintain
Provisional Patent application
-claims NOT required
-will not be examined and not issued as a patent
-cannot claim domestic or foreign priority
-21 year term if nonprovisional is filed in 12 months.
(utility is a nonprovisional patent application)
The Jennings and Inman series of Interface articles is